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Thursday, March 17, 2011

Rye Bread Saga Continue - Light Rye Bread with grains and seeds

Continue from the post last week about my learning and experimenting on baking with rye flour where I made light rye bread containing 15% of rye flour. This week, I increased the rye percentage to 20%. I love rye flavour and intended to try increasing the rye percentage to find the flavor profile that I enjoy.

I also intended (and hoping) to get to know rye more and be able to work with it in the most effective way, that is, to make a flavorsome bread with the right texture.

The basic ingredients and method are largely similar to the light rye bread made last week. The differences are increased rye flour percentage and additions of seeds and grain. I added sunflower seeds, millets and pearl barley to enhance the flavor and texture.

Rye flour is known to be highly fermentable and not suitable for delayed fermentation, i.e. retarding the dough. The light rye bread I made last week had no issue with retarding. The bread tasted lovely. The texture and crumbs are what they should be; nice and open, moist & chewy with mild acidity.

So, I was keen to find out if the flavor and texture profile would change with increased rye percentage.

The loaves had no apparent issues with retardation. They got nice oven spring and open crumbs. The flavor, though, appeared to be more acidic, sourer. If you like a sourdough with a pronounced sour flavor, I think you would like this bread. I personally enjoy acidic sourdough. However, this is too sour to my liking and overpowering the wheat taste. I am not sure if this is something to do with the sourdough starter, or the increased rye percentage in the bread. The only way I can find out is to try preparing the sourdough starter differently next week and keep on making the bread with 20% rye. I sure will report back of any developments.


Here is the recipe....

Light Rye Sourdough with Caraway Seeds Recipe
adapted from Jeffrey Hamelman's Bread: a baker's book of techniques and recipes

make 2 large loaves


Overall Formula
Bread Baker’s Percentage
High-gluten flour
771 g
Medium rye flour
136 g
598 g
Sunflower seeds
60 g
40 g
Pearl Barley
20 g
Caraway seeds
17 g
17 g
1.66 kg

Sourdough Built
Medium rye flour 136 g
Water 108 g
Mature culture 20 g

Millet 40 g (or any grains of your choice)
Pearl barley 20 g (or any grains or your choice)
Water 90 g
Final Dough
High gluten flour 771 g (I used flour with 12.5% protein)
Water 490 g
Caraway seeds 17 g

Sunflower seeds 60 g, roasted
Salt 17 g (1 tablespoon)
Sourdough 244 g (all of sourdough built less 20 g for future bake)

Soaker all of the above, drained


Prepare sourdough built:  Mix mature culture with water and add rye flour to the mixture. Mix until it is well-combined. Leave the sourdough in a covered container and leave it at room temperature (70
°F or 21°C) for 14 - 16 hours until it is ripen.

Prepare soaker: Mix pearl barley and millet with water when making sourdough built. Let it sit in a covered container at room temperature.

Completely drain the soaker before mixing them into the dough.

Mixing: When the sourdough is ripen (it will be dome on top). Add all the ingredients to the mixing bowl, except salt, soaked millet & pearl barley, and sunflower seeds.  Mix until the ingredients are incorporated. Leave it to autolyze in a bowl covered with plastic bag or wrap for 15 minutes. 

Sprinkle salt over the dough surface and mix on the first speed for 3 minutes on first speed and continue mixing on second speed for further 3 – 4 minutes, until a strong gluten development is achieved.

Fold in or gently mix sunflower seeds, millets and pearl barley through the dough. Desire dough temperature is 80°F/26°C.

Bulk fermentation: - Leave the dough in a lightly oiled container and cover the bowl with plastic bag or wrap for 2 hours, with one stretch-and-fold after 60 minutes.

Divide the doughs into two equal portions. Pre-shape the doughs into rounds  and let them rest for 10 – 15 minutes under a tea towel. Shape the doughs into oblong (batard) and place into proofing baskets/bowls. Slip the proofing basket into a large plastic bag and retard the dough in the fridge overnight, or between between 8 –12 hours. 

Baking: take the doughs of the fridge. Let them sit at room temperature to continue its proofing. This will take between 1 - 2 hours depending on the temperature. In the meantime, preheat the oven to its highest temperature.

Bake at 240C for 15 minutes with steam, then lower the temperature to 225C and bake for another 25 -30 minutes.

Submitting this post to YeastSpotting.


  1. This is a realy beautiful bread, I will try to bake it.

  2. Thanks for posting this recipe, I am going to use it this weekend. :) Thailand is still cold & raining/flooding in the South, BTW.

  3. Hi K.Wandee,

    You're welcome ka. Yes, I heard about the bizaar weather in Thailand. You might need to prepare the lukewarm water for the Songkarn festival this year if this weather pattern continues:)

    Sad to hear about the flood in Surat Thani too.