100% Sourdough Rye



I've been baking a 100% ryeflour sourdough with a rye starter at 100% hydration. My recipe incorporates oatbran, rolled oats as well as sunflowerseeds. I am using about 10-12 cups of organic rye flour with about 4 cups of the starter and 4 cups of water and a cup each of oatbran, rolled oats and sunflower seeds + 2 tbsp of fine salt for a total of 8  500gr loaves.

The loaves come out really nice - I bake them freestanding and they taste great.

I am looking for a tip to reduce their density a bit  - I found the oatbran and rolled oats do a nice job in breaking up the texture a bit but I'd like to get some air pockets.

After mixing the ingredients I autolyse for about 30 min, mix in the salt and let the dough rest for about 2 hours after which it goes covered into the fridge for an overnight slow fermentation. After about 6-8 in the fridge I shape the loaves in their bannetons and once again they go into the fridge - this time for about 18 hours. After about 30 min at room temp I place them in a 450f oven, right on a baking stone.

Any ideas on how to create a loaf that's a bit lighter ? I'm new to this website and would love to get some ideas on how to improve my breads.







151 users have voted.


farinam's picture
farinam 2012 December 8

Hello Talia,

100% rye dough can be hard to work with as the rye flour is low in gluten and doesn't really have the strength to support a big volume of gas and a big lift.  Also from the amounts given I wonder if your dough really is 100% hydration.  Without knowing the volume of cup that you are using you could have 1.5kg of flour and only 1kg of water plus you are adding the oatbran and rolled oats so I am suspecting that your dough is actually quite dry and firm.

If that is the case then perhaps you could try adding more water.  Even better if you could see your way clear to acquire a set of digital kitchen scales then you will be able to work by mass and have much greater control over the amount of ingredients that you are using.

Another option would be to use a blend with wheat flour to get sufficient gluten to get a strong dough.

Let us know how you go.


Talia 2012 December 9

Thanks for getting back to me :)

Well. since I don't always use a measuring cup for the flour I could be wrong about the quantities- the dough is actually rather sticky when I am done mixing all the ingredients in - I will try to add more water and see how it goes - will keep ya posted as well as upload a shot of the loaves next time

farinam's picture
farinam 2012 December 9

Hi Talia,

That is another characteristic of rye dough.  And unlike wheat flour it doesn't really go away as the dough develops. If you go to high enough hydration the dough is a bit more tractable but the loaf really then has to be tinned.

My experience with 100% rye is a bit limited so I am hoping that somebody with a bit more hands on might chip in.

Good luck with your projects.


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