Neil Robinson

On the trail of great bread!

Rye and whole wheat sourdough bread banner
Rye and whole wheat sourdough bread banner

Rye and Whole Wheat Sourdough Bread


It has been a while since I last posted here. Not that I haven’t been baking, but I haven’t been doing anything new. Yesterday I decided to try out a new combination, so the results of that is reported here. The idea was to produce a rye bread that wasn’t quite as heavy as a pure rye and which would actually have a more varied structure like that found in wheat breads.

The recipe I came up with looks like this:

  • 200g Starter
  • 800ml Water
  • 400g Rye flour
  • 400g Stone ground whole wheat flour
  • 200g Strong white bread flour
  • 19g Salt

To begin I refreshed my sourdough normally the night before (170ml water, 100g white bread flour, 100g whole wheat flour). The following morning, I placed 750ml of water and 200g of the starter (the remainder was put away for the next time) into the mixing bowl. I thoroughly mixed the sourdough witht he water, then added 400g of rye flour, 400g of stone ground whole wheat flour, and 200g of strong white bread flour. I then measured out 19g of salt to be added later.

The dough was then thoroughly mixed together then allowed to rest for 30 minutes. Then the salt was added together with the final 50ml of water and it was mixed into the dough. I then gave it another 30 minutes rest.

After the rest I gave it the first turn. This was certainly trickier than a normal wheat bread, since the influence of 40% rye flour made the gluten quite fragile. Rye doughs normally don’t get any turns at all, so with this much rye, care was essential. I turned the dough roughly every 15 minutes for 5 turns. Each time it was a little easier to do the turns.

After the fifth turn, I left it to do the bulk fermentation for 5 hours. I then turned it out onto the work surface, floured it and split it into two pieces, and did an initial shaping. This was also more complicated than normal, the dough was still quite moist and didn’t hold together like a typical wheat dough. After letting it rest on the work surface, covered, for 10 minutes, I did the final shaping and placed the loaves into two round bannetons dusted with rice flour. These were the covered and allowed to rise for 2 1/2 hours more.

I then baked them in the usual way, 20 minutes with the cover on, 25 minutes with the cover off. The result can be seen below. The taste was great, the structure is more reminiscent of a wheat bread but it has a strong rye flavor and the center of the bread is moist like a pure rye loaf.

All in all, it worked out well.

Rye and whole wheat sourdough bread

Rye and whole wheat sourdough bread

Rye and whole wheat sourdough bread sliced

Rye and whole wheat sourdough bread sliced

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