This is the comment thread for the Breadtopia blog post originally published here:
I have been baking bread for more than 40 yrs now, since my hippie days. And up until a few month ago I had an ancient sourdough starter, but alas and alack she died. So I’ve started with a new one. It is lovely. I’ve been making pumpernickel for my “boyfriend” since I started making regular sourdough for myself, again. I scan the Internet for different recipes all the time esp for the pumpernickel since its new to me. (He says why don’t you just stick to one) well you know how that goes. So I’m making this Artisan Sourdough Rye. I can’t wait to see how it turns out and how he likes it. He’s laughing that I got up at 8am to finish it! I’m not a morning person. It’s on its 2nd rise and looks lovely, not too sticky, nice rise, good shape. I want to thank everyone who contributed comments! Turns out you’re not too old to learn new tricks! Heehee!d
This bread turned out so beautiful and delicious. I didn’t have anise or orange and can’t wait to make it again with the missing ingredients.
I think this is the most beautiful loaf I’ve ever made! And it does taste GREAT!
I love this bread, thank you Eric for the recipes and video tutorials. I’m not sure if any other recipe can beat this! I loved it and the whole family did as well. Just out of interest, what happens if I just use my sourdough from the fridge without feeding it?
Hi there. I’m another one with a rye sourdough starter and I’m starting to suspect that it behaves quite differently from white or wheat starters. It’s nowhere near as stiff, for one. I’m sure it played a part of my first (and only yet) batch of this bread being overly wet and sticky, and I think the ratio of yeast to moisture impacts the rise as well (i.e., I suspect that I’m getting less yeast for the quantity of starter).
I’ve seen some methods online that call for taking the starter “mother” and adding flour and water in given quantities to stiffen before using in a recipe, such as the following:
To use for recipes - Combine 1/2 c (5 oz) mother starter from the refrigerator with 3 oz flour and 2.5 oz warm water (85 - 90 degrees). The mixture will be stiffer than the mother. Let it sit, covered, until doubled in volume (if it doesn’t do so go back to maintenance procedure). When the starter has doubled, it is ready to use in a recipe. Measure the amount needed and discard any that remains. (http://www.angelfire.com/ab/bethsbread/sdRyeFlourStarter.html)
Do you think that using such a method would produce a starter that would better approximate the stiffness of the starter you are using, and create more consistent results in recipes in general? Or am I better off just spinning off a white or wheat starter from my rye start?
It should still be fine. I almost always take my starter straight from the fridge. As long as your starter was healthy and well fed within roughly 4-7 days of going into the fridge, it should still be plenty vigorous when you take it out to use.
I’m not sure I know how to answer your questions. Mostly because I don’t know the answers !
I don’t really think you need to switch the flour you’re using in your starter, but stiffening it up with more flour would help with a too wet final dough. But so would just adding a bit more flour (or reducing the water) in the main recipe. Rye is by nature sticky and harder to work with that most wheats. Making it stiffer, one way or another, will made the dough easier to handle and not tend to flatten out as much during baking.
Such a great recipe and comprehensive tutorial!
I went with the Rapid Rise (instant) yeast method and was very pleased with the results. This was a test run for a dinner party next weekend for a group of us who went on a Rhine River cruise this summer and I am looking forward to sharing this wonderful recipe!
Hi, what’s the room temperature there? our room temperature here stays at 28~ 30 deg, does the
proofing time remain at 12 hours?
We keep our temp at a consistent 72 deg Fahrenheit. I proofed for 12 hours. Not sure if your higher temp (which I’m guessing is Celsius) alters the initial proofing time; I believe it’s the final proofing time where you need to enature not to over-proof in order to achieve oven spring as noted in the video. Given the higher room temp it may not require the full hour or so of the final rise. I’d suggest checking it after the first 30 minutes and compare to
how it looks in the video and proceed accordingly.
Hope this helps!
The most dramatic lessons I’ve learned, are the use of a Dutch Oven and an implanted thermometer.
I have experimented with 100% rye (will write about that at another time) however, am trying to improve my technique with this recipe.
Repeatedly, I get a very wet bread.
Usually, the Dutch Oven is heated up to 240C (i.e. ‘hot’ oven) and closed with the dough for 20 minutes.
Then, the cover of the Dutch Oven’s removed and the thermometer is speared into the still baking bread, with an alarm set for 98C.
This is usually reached in another 30 or so minutes.
Round wooden skewer tests always come out wet, so I keep the bread in for longer and longer, causing it to over crust. Possibly even, to burn.
At this time, I am baking the same recipe with 370 instead of 400 grams of water.
The dough was very sticky - let’s see what happens.
Any suggestions how to get the baked bread less sticky?
here are the external results:
1] after 45 minutes in total (20 in closed Dutch Oven plus 25 uncovered D/O = 45 total) the wooden probe came out quite clean.
2] experimented this time, by transferring the dough directly from its second ‘rise in a basket’ on a parchment paper, into the Duth Oven. Oven spring looks like it worked, though the underside of the loaf looks a bit burned.
3] maybe I ‘scored’ the dough too early - about 10 minutes before the bake, so the finished product is less pretty than usual.
We’ll have to wait a while to check the crumb and the wetness after slicing.
Here it goes The crumb looks good, the crust is crunchy and thin, the bread, though still sticky, is much less sticky than usual.
I’ll write the ingredients, including all changes I’ve made to the ‘official’ recipe over the past few months.
It would be an exaggeration to say that I’m delighted with the outcome- I am happy.
A bit of background, we live about 700 meters above sea level, near Jerusalem, in Israel.
Spring is behind us, so the unheated in-house temperatures are just over 20*C.
This bread’s dough was started on Thursday morning, about 9am, then put in the fridge at 2pm, until this (Sunday) morning at 8am.
The second rise, after folding, started at 2pm, for baking at 4pm.
370 grams water
70 grams rye starter
245 grams whole rye flour
245 grams general white wheat flour
40 grams date syrup
5 grams table salt
25 grams peeled sunflower seed
25 grams linseed
Followed directions of Artisan Sourdough Rye Bread.
Eric, I love your site but am having trouble with the Artisan Sourdough Rye bread. #1, I’m not sure if my sourdough starter is what it should be. I live in central Canada, Manitoba to be exact. A person I know that taught culinary arts in one of our regional high schools told me that we could not maintain good sourdough starter here. We do not have the good wild yeast like that found on the west or east coast. Is there any truth to that. What can I do to keep my starter healthy. I do the weekly feeding of the starter. Should I be adding some yeast with the flour and water? I tried this recipe twice and it just does not rise like yours. I like the taste but it is not what it should be. We are in late fall, early winter here. The temperatures have been very nice so far, for us. Our house is 18C at night and 21 during the days with a relative humidity of 57%. I tried to include a couple of pictures of my latest rye bread but could not do it… It’s better than the first would you believe. Any suggestions?
There are artisan bakeries throughout MB that cultivate and bake with their own sourdough starter cultures. So you can too! I would say no, don’t add commercial yeast to your starter or you’ll not know if your starter is any good. Besides watching my highly pixilated video on sourdough starter management (I will redo it someday), and reading the text and reader comments, you could acquire some starter on line to be shipped to you. Or just keep at it. One thing I can say is that the consistency of your starter should be kinda stiff, more like a wet shaggy dough than a pancake batter. With a thin, runny starter, the bubbles (from fermentation) will rise up through the mix and it will look like nothing is happening. But if the mix is stiff, the dough will trap the bubbles and it will rise and get spongy. In other words, when the starter is thick, it’s easier to see when the starter is doing well. When starter rises well after feeding, so should the bread. So hold off on baking bread until your starter rises well.
If you’re new at sourdough bread baking, you might want to start with a basic white flour recipe and get the hang of that before getting into more whole grain breads.
What a wonderful tasting bread! The crust is nice and chewy and the crumb, lovely, and my starter imparted the tang I was looking for. Just had one problem. When I left it on the counter for the final rest before proofing, the nice lump I formed began to spread out, and the spreading continued on the baking stone, so I ended up with a round loaf that is 10-1/2" across and only 1-3/4" high. My starter is not wet and by the second mixing/rest cycle, very little dough was sticking to the dough whisk, so I felt my ratio of dry to liquids was good. It rose up wonderfully over night and even the first proof did well. Should I try 1-1/2 cups water rather than 1-3/4, or should I add a bit more flour. I had the feeling if I had baked it in something that had sides to support the loaf, it might have gone more up rather than out. I am so open to suggestions!
There’s a couple things you can do to get around the “pancaking”. Using less water and/or more flour would certainly help. But since you’re getting such good results as it is, maybe just skip the rest phase on the counter after the long proofing and go straight to the proofing basket after shaping. That’ll certainly prevent the dough from spreading out. Since your dough will be spending more time in the proofing basket just be sure to dust it generously with flour so the dough doesn’t have too much time to stick to it. That rest period isn’t a big deal to skip.
I adore this recipe! So flavorful, and so easy to make!
I put it all together in the morning but knew I would not have enough time to bake at the end of the day, so I put it immediately, after mixing, into the refrigerator, and then took it out at night, to warm up and rise overnight. The loaf was formed and proofed the next morning and then baked in a cloche, it is brown and beautiful and oh, so tasty!
Thank you for this recipe!
Yummy looking bread! Way to go on adapting the recipe to work around your schedule.
From bread baking kindred spirit, Lynn Street…
Just wanted to send you a picture of the latest effort with your artisanal sourdough rye recipe: because of time constraints, I had to do some experimentation (always fun). I mixed the dough in the morning using the Ankarsrum roller, then let it proof in the bowl for 11 hours, then turned the dough into a proofing basket and put it in the fridge for the second rise, overnight. In the morning the dough seemed well proofed, but not over-proofed. I had read a note from one of your disciples, who recommended baking cold dough for better Ofensprung, so I turned the cold dough into a small round Roemertopf that had preheated overnight in the roasting oven of our Aga — with some trepidation, but the German clay didn’t shatter! — then returned it to the roasting oven for a total of 45 minutes, 15 minutes of that time uncovered. Could have shortened the time judging by the internal temperature of 208 degrees F, but it still looks good to me and is mighty tasty. My husband and son approve. Thanks again for all your helpful videos and a relaxed style that encourages experimentation!