Whole Wheat Whole Rye Sourdough Hybrid Mellow Bakers Baking

Whole Wheat and Whole Rye Bread for Mellow Bakers

Whole Wheat Whole Rye Sourdough Hybrid Mellow Bakers Baking

This bread’s given name is a classic example of not really telling the whole story, because it has a substantial proportion of high gluten (bakers/very strong) flour in it as well:  50% high-gluten flour, 25% rye, and 25% whole-wheat.  Without the high gluten flour it would look and feel quite different. The rye is all made into the pre-ferment and the white flour and the whole-wheat flour are added when you mix the dough.

It is listed in the rye sourdough section of Bread, but as with so many of these breads, the author, Jeffrey Hamelman, just puts a little yeast in there as well. So what does that leave us with? Is this sourdough, isn’t it sourdough?

 If you are mixing your doughs entirely by hand I recommend sieving the flours together before mixing as there is a tendency to get white patches in the crumb otherwise. I mixed this dough in a Kenwood to begin with and then moved on to some light stretching and folding.

The dough was very soft, due to the wholemeal flours but pleasant to handle.

Whole Wheat Whole Rye Sourdough Hybrid Mellow Bakers Baking

I shaped it into one big 1.5 kg boule as I was curious to see if I could bake a big loaf without too many problems. The main challenges are that you have to prove it somewhere fairly quickly and at a consistently warm temperature. I did this in my little second oven at 30 C on a tray. The boule went on a thickly floured linen cloth, covered in clingfilm and topped with a teatowel. It was a bit hairy moving it from the cloth onto the peel when it was proved and I was glad I had help from Brian.

Whole Wheat Whole Rye Sourdough Hybrid Mellow Bakers Baking

Whole Wheat Whole Rye Sourdough Hybrid Mellow Bakers Baking

I slashed the loaf in a simple pattern and made the slashes a bit deeper than usual as it was such a big loaf. I then gave it a big long bake as there weren’t guidelines in the recipe for this size of loaf.

Here are my timings and temperatures

  • 235º C for 20 minutes with a big tray of steam below the stone
  • 200º C for 40 minutes
  • 190º C for 15 minutes
  • and a further 10 minutes in the oven with the door open and the oven switched off

This bread went a deep dark colour and had a wonderful sweet and nutty smell when it finally came out of the oven.

The dough weighed 1545 grams unbaked and the finished bread weighed 1328 grams, losing about 12% in weight over the course of the bake.

Whole Wheat Whole Rye Sourdough Hybrid Mellow Bakers Baking

I sometimes use a probe thermometer to take the internal temperature of the bread, but because I prefer my bread well baked and not sticky in the middle I find this is not very helpful, as the thermometer will register a technically cooked temperature when it is not cooked enough for us.

If you like the flavours of wholemeal and rye this is a good loaf to bake! This is one of the September breads for Mellow Bakers. If you have Bread by Jeffrey Hamelman do join in and give it a go.

Whole Wheat Whole Rye Sourdough Hybrid Mellow Bakers Baking

29 thoughts on “Whole Wheat and Whole Rye Bread for Mellow Bakers

  1. cityhippyfarmgirl

    Ohhh, two ovens… Ah, one day…
    I don’t have the book but I might fiddle with those ratios. I haven’t done any rye types since my Scandinavian ‘patch’. I should though as I love them.

    1. Joanna Post author

      One day I will have a wood fired bread oven.. dreams, dreams.. If you like wholemeal this is a good bread to make as it is darker and denser than one made with just strong flour and rye which is the one I usually make :)

    1. Joanna Post author

      Thank you, I wasn’t sure whether we’d get it into the oven and still keep its shape, it started getting a little hump at one end when we were moving it… :D

  2. heidi

    I love your slashing technique, Joanna!
    This is one beautiful loaf-cutting it into quarters certainly makes is more manageable, doesn’t it?
    I use yeast to goose the starter as well- as it tastes and smells like sourdough- that is what I call it. Especially using rye and whole wheat flour, I think a little yeast AND some white flour are advisable in order to get something other than a hard loaf.
    Great pictures!

    1. Joanna Post author

      My Aunt makes her everyday loaf this sort of size or bigger and she always quarters it for freezing. I like the phrase ‘goose’ the starter, sounds a bit cheeky. The word I’ve seen used here is ‘spike’ the dough. It’s good if you are running out of time or you want a milder flavour to the bread than a full sourdough ferment time gives. Thanks for the nice words Heidi :)

  3. C

    What a beautiful loaf! I love the crust and crumb shot of the loaf in quarters – gorgeous light to reflect a gorgeous loaf. I’ve always enjoyed the rye/wholemeal/white combination loaves that I’ve made before, so I must go and look this one up, it looks right up my street!

    1. Joanna Post author

      Thanks C! That’s the morning light in the kitchen, the only time it comes in to the room directly. It does sound like something you would like, maybe make smaller loaves if you don’t want the heavy duty crust?

  4. Melanie

    Wonderful looking loaf Joanna!! I like the picture showing the loaf in quarters. It gives you a better idea just how big the loaf was. Good idea to cut it into quarters to make it manageable. I’m looking forward to making this one, as soon as I go get my high gluten flour from the mill.

    1. Joanna Post author

      Hi Mel! How are you? I have baking friends who would say that was just a regular sized loaf of course. I think people used to bake bigger loaves when the bread had to last for a while, but a lot depends on how big your oven is to start with. I can’t make full size baguettes for example. I use a flour that is mostly Canadian from a local supermarket called Waitrose. We call it very strong flour here.

  5. ceciliag

    Oh that looks lovely Joanna. The light on those shots works so well.
    Now I have a sourdough question for you. I am trying to start my own starter from a sachet i received from a very specialised sourdough company. After about 10 hours in the first warming stage it began to separate, a layer of watery fluid in there. I added the flour and water and went to the next stage anyway but is that right, it did bubble a bit and smells sour?.. we are at the second stage right now.. help?..

    1. Joanna Post author

      I’m assuming the company sent instructions with it? When one makes starter from scratch the process takes anything from 5 – 10 days to get a healthy starter going. It goes through various stages during this time and at the beginning doesn’t look like it’s doing very much. Ultimately the ‘pot’ will contain a stable balance between lactobacteria and yeast cells, which will form the culture. Until these have been built up in numbers, through feeding, reproduction etc the ‘pot’ can be prone to separating out into layers. It will also do this if you leave it for a long time without feeding but can usually be revived.

      Short answer, probably fine, but without knowing what your sachet is exactly, I can’t give you a definitive answer. If it is dried sourdough then it will take almost as long as doing it from scratch. I was sent some starter from America by a blogging friend which I revived and it took about seven days to get it to the stage I could bake with.

      1. ceciliag

        Thank you, so much. I have perservered (following the instructions faithfully) and it is starting to look and smell much better and is no longer separating. Soon I can come back to your page armed and ready to bake. c

    1. Joanna Post author

      Hi Kari, you’re very welcome! I will be back to admire your photos and read your vegetarian recipes too :D

  6. teawithhazel

    oh..what a loaf..i’m about to go and track down at least one good bread book..i can’t stand not being able to experiment a bit more..

    1. Joanna Post author

      Thanks Jane!

      All the books have their pluses and a few minuses. I can recommend The Handmade Loaf by Dan Lepard and Bread by Jeffrey Hamelman in particular, which are the two I would keep if I had to make a choice, though I would rather not have to choose. I rate the books which have lots of base formulae and bread lore and history, not so much the ones with the pretty pictures with the same two or three bread doughs with different inclusions, of which there seem to be a fair few, though they are good for ideas.

      1. teawithhazel

        thanks joanna..i ordered both of those books yesterday because they were the ones you refer to most in your posts..i’m glad i was on the right track..the pretty picture ones are nice to look at but they’re not the ones i want either..i want substance and like you i love all the history behind bread making..

        1. Joanna Post author

          You’re welcome, I am sure other people have favourite books, I bought loads of books when I started and got just a bit confused so in the end I stuck to these two. Other great writers are Maggie Glezer, Cyril Hitz, Suas, Elizabeth David (classic), oh loads more… Only so many recipes a home baker can make each year…

          There is an ‘errata’ sheet for ‘Bread’ and depending on which edition you have some of these have been corrected by the publishers or they haven’t. Here is a link to the post on Mellow Bakers about the updates/corrections for that book http://Mellowbakers.com/index.php/topic,242.0.html. It looks worse than it is, so don’t let it put you off!

          1. teawithhazel

            oh..thanks so much joanna..i did find the formulae a bit confronting and the bread making language a bit confusing to start with but i’m now finding it all very exciting especially the prospect of making something a bit more challenging..

  7. Misk Cooks

    So utterly beautiful. You are so talented with your lame. I’m also going to take up quartering larger loaves for the freezer. At the moment, I slice them up and stuff the whole lot into a zip-lock freezer bag. I think that quartering might be easier and make better use of my limited freezer space.

    Is this the loaf that had the slight blow-out?

    1. Joanna Post author

      Morning Misk ! :) It didn’t have a significant blow out that I noticed, slight uneveness where it got moved from cloth to peel and a bit bulgy in places. I like those characteristics in a big loaf though!

      I kind of made it for you as I was curious whether it would blow, following our conversation about big loaves. From this one I concluded that it is about making the slashes fairly deep so the loaf opens along those ‘fault lines’ and not any others as well as making sure the dough is not pushing back too fast when you check it during the final prove stage.

      The other possibility is that you might not have ‘sealed’ the seam firm enough, as Mick said in a recent post in his blog, one really has to apply a fair bit of heel of hand pressure to get them to close, particularly if the dough is full of gluten high flour and a medium sort of hydration.

      It was so big it got a little distorted when I moved it from tray to peel but recovered in the oven.

      Just had a little root around on Dan Lepard’s forum for a 2009 thread I started re blow outs, it has pictures of a gruesome loaf of mine if you want to see/read…

      1. Misk Cooks

        And good morning to you! :) I’m going to try very hard to write up my latest two attempts at mastering slashing and restraining my exuberant Sedrick. The problem is that we’re leaving on Thursday, Peder just deposited a mountain of clothes in front of the washing machine that he’d like to wear on hols, Gabriela’s parents are still in town, and it’s so cold and blowy outside that I swear it’s going to snow. Well, okay, that’s a minuscule exaggeration but flippin’ heck it’s cold today!

        And here I am blethering again ….

        I totally agree that it was my pitiful slashing that caused my loaf last weekend to mimic a projectile object. That and perhaps the crust hardening before oven-spring had completed. Saturday’s loaf was a vast improvement on last weekend’s.

        I’d better get my shoes on the move because I have a gillion things to do today. xx

        1. Joanna Post author

          Just added a link to a discussion about blowouts from a couple of years ago to my reply above, Misk. We have huge billowing clouds, sudden downpours, sunshine all a bit funny today. And I have a big chunk of motorway driving to do as well. Talk soon !

          1. Misk Cooks

            Thanks for the link. There’s nothing quite as soul satisfying as ‘misery loves company’. Great pics, too. I’m slowly coming to an assumption that anyone who claims blow-outs never happen to them is either not baking or blind as a cricket bat. I wish someone would ask Dan if he’s ever had a blown loaf. Maybe I will…

  8. Ruth

    Oh – I really like the look of this – and I can see why you put it on your header. That is indeed bread to be proud of. Big and beautiful! You’ve made me want to crack out the sourdough this weekend – I feel a baking session coming on! :-)

    1. Joanna Post author

      Thank you Ruth, that’s very sweet. I quite often put a ‘featured image’ to go with the individual post in the header if I think it will fit the space. Go on, rev up the sourdough this weekend, can’t wait to see what you make :D

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