Mixed Rye Bread

The new rye harvest of 2019 probably drew more notice from professional bakers than hobby bakers. Rye bread characteristics that stood out were:

  • A lack of moisture and inadequate preservation of freshness
  • Stale bread taste
  • Overly tight crumb 
  • Poor dough development
  • Dough that gets progressively harder

These problems usually gradually slip into the bakery, again and again (at least they do for me), and eventually mutate into a giant disaster. (Schelli likes to say: “My friend, you’ve been generously peed upon again!”) When it generously pees upon someone like me, this leads to sleepless nights–and to be honest, it was a few weeks.

When the falling number, Amylograph viscosity curve, and gelatinization temperature all continue to rise, it is no longer enough to experiment with the sourdough. In this case, various measures have to be taken in the creation of the sourdough, the dough working process and the baking phase. 


  • Slightly Increase starter amount
  • Lengthen the base souring stage for multistage sourdoughs
  • When possible, use an higher-type flour or include a portion of whole grain in the mixture
  • Slightly increase the sourdough used in the main recipe

The advantage of multistage sourdoughs is that you can more precisely control and steer the level of acidity. This allows you to add more acidity to a mild sourdough, which in turn leads to better preservation of freshness. 

Dough creation:

  • Increase hydration
  • Use old bread or increase add-ins
  • Add fat (lard, sunflower oil, etc….)
  • A scald (water and near boiling water)
  • Finely ground psyllium seed husk
  • Increase maturation time for small amounts of dough by 5-10 minutes
  • Keep dough temperature at 30-32°C

It’s up to you to choose whether to add ground psyllium seed husk, a scald, old bread or fat, but these measures help make the bread stay fresh longer.

Baking stage:

  • Slightly lower baking temperature
  • Increase baking time


Total amount of sourdough 763g / TA 210

330gRye flour type 960 / 99733%
30gDark rye flour type 2500 or finely ground whole grain flour3%

1. Stage – Refresh Sour

10gRye flour type 960 / 9973%

Dissolve the start in the water and mix it with the rye flour until no lumps are left. Desired temperature 28-30°C / maturation time 3 hours.

2. Stage – Foundation Sour

27gMature refreshed sourdough100%
100gRye flour type 960 / 99728%
30gRye flour type 2500 or whole grain flour8%

Dissolve the refreshed sour starter in the water and then mix it with the rye flour until no lumps are left. Desired dough temperature 24-25°C / maturation time 8-10 hours.

3. Stage – Full Sour

247gMature foundation sourdough100%
220gRye flour type 960 / 99761%

Dissolve the mature foundation sour starter in water and mix it with the rye flour until no lumps are left. Desired dough temperature 30-32 °C / maturation time 3 hours. 

Bread soaker

40gSoft old bread66,6%
20gDried, roasted and finely ground old bread33,3%
150gWater 35°C100%

Puree the soft old bread and the water with a hand mixer, eventually mixing in the dried old bread.

Main dough

763gMature full sourdough100%
210gSoftened bread soaker100%
440gRye flour type 960 / 99744%
200gWheat flour type 70020%
250gWater 45°C100%
20gLard / sunflower oil2%
3gBread spice0,3%


  • Add the sourdough, water, flour and remaining ingredients to the kneading bowl and mix it slowly for 6 minutes, finally kneading it quickly for 1 minute.
  • Let the dough rest for 15-20 minutes.
  • Divide the dough into two pieces of equal size and shape them into round loaves (see video https://www.homebaking.at/brotteig-1-rundwirken/).
  • Place the shaped loaves seam-side down in a flour proofing basket in preparation for the final proof. 
  • Let it prove for c. 50-60 minutes (the times correspond to a dough temperature of 30-32°C)
  • Bake the loaves seam-side up in an oven preheated to 250°C. Ensure there is plenty of steam as the bread starts to bake. Release the steam once the desired cracks have formed on the bread’s surface (release steam after around 6-7 minutes).
  • To release steam, open the oven door for at least 2-3 minutes.  
  • Reduce the oven temperature to 195°C and bake until well done/until brown (baking time 55 minutes)

Baking in a pot: Preheat the pot in the oven at  250°C. When the shaped dough has fully proofed, slip it into the pot, place the lid securely on top and place the pot in the oven. After 8 minutes, quickly lift the lid. If the desired cracks have formed on the crust, you can remove the lid. After removing the lid, lower the oven temperature to 195°C and bake until done.