Friday, September 16, 2011

Very Rustic Rye Bread

One of my customers is of German descent and loves crusty rye bread.  Recently, he requested a 100% rye bread from rye starter.  He showed me the book, "Healing with Whole Foods: Oriental Traditions and Modern Nutrition" by Paul Pitchford.  The chapter on breads describes the many benefits of rye.  The contributing author, Jacques de Langre, states that rye has the capability of reducing and totally eliminating vessel and plaque calcification in the blood vessels.

Well, the recipe didn't look too difficult.  Just 2 stages of starter--starter and then leaven.  But that's where it's deceptively simple and tricky!  The recipe can go wrong at not rise at any step.

The first stage is mixing freshly ground rye flour with water and letting it sit for 3 days in a warm place.  I was able to get freshly milled rye flour from a vendor at our Farmers Market.

The starter was placed in the microwave or oven.  The flour never did mix completely, and that made me a bit nervous.  Therefore, I stirred it every now and then.  On the third day, I did notice some bubbles.  There was a slightly sour smell, which was good.

That starter is then mixed with more flour and water before leaving it out overnight.  The next morning, there was a loose batter with bubbles.  The batter is then mixed with more flour, water, and sea salt and left to sit for a few hours.  I was hoping that it would thicken up, even though I added more flour:

The intructions say to put the dough into four 6" x 3" pans.  There was much too much batter for that, so I made more loaves and tried a larger size.  The pans were to rise in a moist environment, so they were placed in my warming oven on moist setting.

After a few hours, the loaves were baked.  They did rise, and actually stuck to the plastic wrap I put on top.  That's why there's a crust on the side.  Next time, I'll leave the plastic wrap off or spray the plastic wrap better.

I don't know how the breads were yet, the instructions said to wait a few days before eating them.  The wait helps the flavor develop.  I am hopeful, though....

Have you tried making a bread like this?



  1. I've never tried any breads like this, but I do use a starter every weekend. Your starter looks nice and active, and the breads look good.

  2. Thanks so much, Elwood! After the customer said it was gummy, I tossed the recipe. I was surprised when the customer asked me to make it again sometime! OY!

  3. Judy, any update on this recipe? Have you ever tried it again? I just opened this book and started my starter 3 days ago; it is quite wet and separated, I just added more flour and am letting it sit to see what happens. The bread is supposed to sit after baking for 2-3 days also, maybe that's why your customer said his was gummy?

  4. Hi Karen, Sorry for the delay in responding. I moved back to Calif, and haven't been baking at the TN farmers market for a long time.

    That customer switched to my sourdough bread. It turned out he was sensitive to dough conditioners, not gluten. Since I didn't use dough conditioners, he didn't have problems with my breads.

    Best of luck to you!