Whole Rye and Wheat Sourdough

Whole Wheat and Rye Sourdough

Do you have any recipes that use dark rye flour? A 25-pound bag from Bob’s Red Mill is taking up valuable freezer space for manly essentials such as White Castles and Eggo, so any suggestions would be well appreciated.

Buying a sack of dark rye seemed like a good idea considering that shipping costs were split with an Austrian co-worker. I hear they’re huge on rye — he’s probably on his second or third bag by now. He doesn’t seem like the type who keeps spreadsheets of bread formulas, though.

I haven’t seen many recipes that specifically call for dark rye flour so I mainly use it as a replacement for medium or whole rye. Dark rye is milled from the outermost layers of the grain, making it rich in bran and fiber. It also gives breads a stronger spicy rye aroma, a deeper shade of reddish-brown in the crust, and a darker and tighter crumb.

This whole rye and and wheat sourdough recipe originally calls for medium rye flour so it’s a bit more dense than it should be. The acidity from the whole rye starter gives it a good shelf life and subtle sourness. Since rye flour also retains moisture well, the crumb stays moist even without additional fats or sugar.

The dough consists of 50% white wheat flour, 25% whole wheat flour, but only 25% whole rye flour. I guess I could consider it a good start in freeing up some freezer space.

recipe adapted from Jeffrey Hamelman’s Bread: A Baker’s Book of Techniques and Recipes
Yeastspotting at Wild Yeast Blog

Whole Rye and Wheat Sourdough

makes 2 large loaves

Whole Wheat and Rye Sourdough - Crust

For the Sourdough / Rye Starter:

Ingredients                  Volume          Ounces          Grams
mature sourdough culture          4 tsp            .4           11
water, at room temperature      7/8 cup           6.6          187
medium or dark rye flour      1 3/4 cups          8            227

Sourdough / Rye Starter Instructions:

Dissolve the sourdough culture in the water. Add the rye flour and mix until evenly hydrated. Cover and leave at room temperature for 14 to 16 hours.

Final Dough Formula:

Ingredients                  Volume          Ounces          Grams
bread or high-gluten flour    3 1/2 cups         16            454
whole wheat flour             1 3/4 cups          8            227
water, at room temperature    1 7/8 cups         15.2          431
kosher salt                       1 tbsp + 2 tsp   .6           17
instant yeast                     1 tsp
sourdough / rye starter, cut into pieces         14.6          414

Final Dough Instructions:

Mix             Mix the final dough ingredients until a shaggy ball
                is formed.

Knead           10 to 12 minutes

Rest            5 minutes

Knead           1 minute to further strengthen the gluten.

Bulk Ferment    1 hour

Divide          2 pieces

Preshape        loose rounds

Rest            15 to 20 minutes

Shape           shape into a tight oval or boule

Preheat Oven    460ºF/240ºC

Final Proof     1 to 1 1/4 hours at room temperature

Whole Wheat and Rye Sourdough - Proofed
Proofed whole rye and wheat sourdough.


Whole Wheat and Rye Sourdough - Slashed
Slashed whole rye and wheat sourdough.

Steam           1 cup of boiling water poured into a heavy steam pan,
                preferably cast iron

Bake            Bake at 460ºF/240ºC for 20 minutes. Rotate the loaves
                and lower the heat to 440ºF/225ºC. Bake for another
                20 to 25 minutes, until the crust is a deep shade of
                reddish brown.

Cool            At least 4 hours

Whole Wheat and Rye Sourdough - Crumb
Whole rye and wheat sourdough crust and crumb.

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30 Responses to “Whole Rye and Wheat Sourdough”

  1. Rosa says:

    What fantastic loaves! They look far better than any bread I’ve seen in bakeries here…



  2. Caitlin says:

    Phew, I’m not the only one with spreadsheets of baking formulas :P I don’t tend to bake with rye flour, so I can’t help you there. Unless, that is, you feel like shipping some bread to me. Then I can totally help you out.

  3. Marija says:

    That brad looks wonderful!

    I got the new oven so I’ll be finally able to make some of your wonderful breads :)

  4. Miri says:

    Unfortunately I can’t help with the dark rye bread recipes, but what I can say is that these breads look so rustic and yummy!

  5. snooky doodle says:

    Wow great bread as usual :) this is interesting with rye flour

  6. Manggy says:

    Of course my first instinct was to search for dark rye use by Dan Lepard and came up with this. But you probably already have the books anyway :) And of course, you can just make this beautiful sourdough again and again…

  7. Joelen says:

    Gorgeous breads… that rival some artisnal bread I’ve seen at bakeries!

  8. Argus (Jy) says:

    Those are amazingly beautiful, Jude. I taught two teenage boys how to bake bread today and I’m glad their bread rose for them.

    By the way, thanks for the Cake Wrecks link. ^_^ It was the first time I’d seen it.

  9. White On Rice Couple says:

    Jude, seriously, those look better than most pro bakeries I’ve seen out there! Wow, wow! thanks for the great information and insight too!

  10. Squawkfox says:

    My husband just proposed marriage to you. I had to remind him that he’s already married. Grumble.

    Indeed. Your Whole Rye bread is proposal worthy.

  11. _ts of [eatingclub] vancouver says:

    “Manly essentials.” Teehee.

  12. maybelles mom (feeding maybelle) says:

    Very, very manly bread.

  13. Adam says:

    Haha I agree with the manly posts comments. I think dark rye flour would be so hearty and tasty, it’s hard to turn down. This is calling my corned beef name :)

  14. Eileen says:

    Beautiful bread! Wonderful with a bowl of soup on a snowy day!

  15. Lori Lynn says:

    I like seeing the score and then then bread after it is baked. It’s bread art. Neat!

  16. oggi says:

    Beautiful loaves!

    I use dark rye flour in pumpernickel buns.

  17. Fearless Kitchen says:

    This looks great. I’ve never tried making a sourdough bread before – something new to try. I can’t think of anything appropriate for rye flour, but I’ll check with the Spouse. He’s more experienced with bread than I am.

  18. Indigo says:

    I’m on such a bread kick at the moment – I just need to get the nerve up for a sourdough! Looks amazing.

  19. Soma says:

    WOW!! Beautiful color, texture & pattern. I have never used rye .. before or sourdough.

  20. Caitlin – Yay for bread geekery.

    Manggy – I don’t have Lepard’s book but I’ve tried some of his recipes. Thanks for the link!

    Argus – Cake Wrecks is fun stuff :) If you’re not a pro, that is.

    Squawk – uh….

  21. Jaime says:

    beautiful loaves.

    sorry, no recipes to share using the dark rye

  22. MyKitchenInHalfCups says:

    Gorgeous loaves. Love rye, wish I had some of this flour but maybe I know where to look.

  23. Susan/Wild Yeast says:

    I don’t have any recipes specifically for dark rye, but how about mixing it in with your morning oatmeal. Maybe even instead of your oatmeal. (no manly Eggos for you) Or just keep doing what you’re doing, that’s obviously making great bread!

  24. YeastSpotting December 5, 2008 | Wild Yeast says:

    [...] Whole Rye and Wheat Sourdough – Hamelman Recipe [...]

  25. sweetbird says:

    look at you with your rye bad-assery!

  26. Erich says:

    Did you use high gluten or bread flour?
    I’ve used a 12% protein flour and the bread came out very very flat..

  27. Gökçe Özaydın says:

    Your breads look amazing. Thanks for the recipes.

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    Where I can get updated euro exchange rates

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