My 70% wholerye attempt did not turn out to be very disappointing for the first try – read more about it here. Mr. Hamelman provides a second healthy and earthy rye recipe in his book, but this time with 20% high gluten flour and a soaker of boiling rye flour instead of chopped rye flakes. The previous loaf had to be baked in a tin, this one could be (barely) shaped into a loose boule.

 What you should look for

Since this is a rye bread, kneading, shaping and baking will be quite different from “traditional” wheat based breads. Well everything will be quite different in fact. I still need to learn how to control final proofing or fermentation time for rye bread myself, but there are a few tips I can think of – and posting these here might even help me in the future:

  • Rye sour ideally ferments best at 28-30°C. That’s higher than I’m used to for wheat based breads. I usually ferment at “room temperature” (between 20 and 23°C). I preheated my microwave for a few seconds and put the container with the dough into the microwave. You’ll lose heat but it’s better than nothing.

    I think, based on this, that it takes less time to proof loaves with rye.

  • Rye absorbs a lot more water than wholewheat flour. That’s why you need  more water than usual, otherwise you’ll end up with a brick and start calling the dentist.

    If your dough looks like a paste after mixing, that’s normal. It should be sticky (very).

  • Kneading times are dramatically reduced because there’s little gluten to be formed for wholerye breads. There are still some gluten present but not much, and even the 20% added high gluten flour would not do much but slightly help the dough lift.



Initial mixing
Dough, a thick paste
Proofing as a boule

Recipe and time table

Making this bread was not really difficult, the only challenging part it judging whether it’s ready to be baked or not. I think I underproofed the loaves quite a bit, @ 1 hour. All fermentation temperatures were +/- 30°C.

the soaker

  1. 200gr wholerye flour
  2. 200gr boiling water

Prepare the soaker at the same time you’re making the preferment. Mix and cover as quick as possible to avoid the water from escaping as steam.

the preferment

Use 35% of your final amount rye in the preferment:

  1. 350gr wholerye flour
  2. 290gr water
  3. 20gr mature rye sour (mine was at nearly 100% hydratation)

If you want, you can let the preferment sit there for up to 24 hours. I’ve noticed the rye sour can take a lot more than a wheat based levain. I’ve let mine ferment for about 12 hours at room temperature.

the final dough

  1. 250gr wholerye flour
  2. 200gr high-gluten wheat flour
  3. 290gr water
  4. 1 tablespoon salt
  5. your soaker & preferment

Bulk ferment: 1 hour, final proofing: 2 hours. (Mine was 1 hour short, turned out to be too flat). You will not notice a big oven spring. It should rise a bit though!


Starting to get hungry now…
Finished! looking good!
A slice of rye.

Geschreven voor Red Zuurdesem door Wouter .