Making artisan sourdough rye less wet

The artisan sourdough rye has become my favorite recipe…I am still working on proportions of water to flour . My wish is to make the dough a bit less wet so it can be handled easier when proofing and shaping without losing the terrific end result taste!

I was wondering if 1) has anyone changed the proportion of white to rye ( and water) in any significant way and what have the results been ? 2) Has anyone used almost all rye and a little white and gotten any kind of result ? 3) Can you use only rye and what what would that do to the amount of water needed?

  1. Is it possible to use whole wheat flour for the white and would that be OK?

Thanks for all your help/answers…


Hi, Gus,

There are many variations of rye bread, from the 100% rye volkornbrot and similar style breads from Germany and Scandanavia to many combinations with wheat flour in varying percentages from many countries. Stanley Ginsberg has written a wonderful book called The Rye Baker which has rye recipes from around the world if you are interested in pursuing some of these options.

You could also just try some of the options that you’re wondering about and see what happens, after all, it’s only bread. No matter how it turns out, you’ll learn something new. If it seems too difficult to shape, bake it in a pan.

Good luck!

I’ve made this rye bread three times. I reduce the water to 385g, but even then it’s a wet dough, very difficult to shape. That is the nature of rye. Very sticky, too. I’ve learned that I don’t need to actually shape it. From the counter, I lift it with a big dough scraper shoved underneath and my free hand and plop it into the banneton (that is very very well floured). I find it hard to score a wet dough so I refrigerate it and take it out when the oven is preheated and ready. It’s easier to score, it doesn’t affect the oven spring, and I run less risk of overproofing, as I’ve been known to do. For the flour, I agree with another comment that you should experiment. Choose percentages that suit your taste and go with it! The only other change I’ve made is to vary the seeds. Recently I only used caraway and fennel as I was getting mixed reviews from others in the house about the orange and anise flavors.

Many thanks…all good suggestions especially the one about putting the dough in the fridge before baking

I have also frequently run into very wet dough. this seems to be happening in the summer with possibly wetter flour than usual because of high humidity. but the discussion about seeds is interesting. I only use caraway seeds in larger quantity than called for in the recipe. perhaps they need less water to soften than the original recipe.

an interesting note that my whole spelt bread has also been much wetter this summer and more difficult to shape.

I have never soaked my caraway seeds and have not had an issue with the final result

I too add more seed than asked for because I think with a rye it goes so well; no anise but test to fennel ( a bit more than asked for)

Wet bread yes but just need to reduce water a bit and maybe increase flour

Artisan rye recipe is my favorite so far