Mathias Dahlgren's Swedish Rye Bread - with an apple twist

The 40-year old Swedish chef-owner, Mathias Dahlgren, has two Michelin-starred restaurants, Bon Lloc and Matsalen, the latter in Stockholm.  His style of cuisine is Swedish traditional as well as innovational (a fusion of Scandinavian, Tuscan, Californian and Oriental dishes). 

I saw a picture of his Swedish Rye Bread in [i]Coco: 10 World-Leading Masters Choose 100 Contemporary Chefs[/i], page 101, and decided to give it a try.  The recipe uses a rye sourdough starter.  It also has a high percentage of instant yeast and molasses, which is 4.7% and 19%, respectively, of total flour, rye gains and seeds.  The approx. dough hydration is 84%. 

The bread is exceptionally moist and flavourful.  For a person who does not normally like a lot of rye flour in bread, I find this bread quite delicious.  The bitterness from the Black Strap Molasses that I used, together with all the grains and seeds and the fermented rye flour, formed a very interesting flavor and texture.

There is something, however, not quite how I would like it in a fully-loaded bread like this one.  If no changes were made to the recipe, I would probably not make it again.  As with the Chinese concept of ying (feminine) and yang (masculine), for something to be balanced, there has to be a ying and a yang element simultaneously.  For instance, the enjoyment of a fatty and salty pork chop (the yang) is enhanced if it is eaten with, say, apple sauce (the ying) - the sourness in the apple sauce cuts through the fat while the sweetness in the fruit compliments the saltiness in the meat.  Another example: the best chocolate lava cake would have some salt in there, or the sweetness would make you sick. 

The issue with this bread for me is: it is perhaps a tad too masculine (too much "yang") because of all the rye grains and seeds in the recipe.  I have no doubt that there are plenty of people who love this bread just the way it is.  I just have a difference taste.  To address the imbalance to my taste, I am adding apple puree as a hydration for the final dough.  Also, I have changed the formula to a sourdough version.  

I find molasses an attractive ingredient to add to a bread full of rye, grains, and seeds but too much of it makes the bread bitter so I cut it down in my formula (below).  


 [color=green][b]Swedish Sourdough Rye Bread with apple puree[/b][/color]

[b][u]Day 1 - soaker[/u][/b]
  • 330 g water
  • 125 g crushed rye grains
  • 43 g rye meal flour (whole rye flour)
  • 83 g sunflower seeds
  • 53 g linseeds (flax seeds)
  • 68 g rye sourdough starter (or any ripe starter) @100% hydration
  • 11 g salt

Mix all the ingredients together and let stand at room temperature for 12 hours or at least overnight. 

[b][u]Also on Day 1 - rye sourdough starter[/u][/b] (Note: Mathias Dahlgren's original recipe uses instant yeast and so there is no rye sour build.)
  • 20 g any ripe starter @ 100% hydration
  • 123 g medium rye flour
  • 70 g water

Mix the ingredients together and let stand at room temperature for 12 hours or until ripe. 

[b][u]Day 2 - final dough[/u][/b]

The Dough

Ingredient Weight US Volume Bakers Percentage
Rye flour 110 g 3.88 oz 0.86 cups 47.21%
White flour 123 g 4.34 oz 0.96 cups 52.79%
All of the soaker from Day 1 713 g 25.15 oz 3.14 cups 306.01%
All of the rye sourdough starter from Day 1 213 g 7.51 oz 1.67 cups 91.42%
Black Strap Molasses (Dahlgren's recipe has 140 g.) 85 g 3 oz 0.37 cups 36.48%
Granny Smith apple puree (or SPC apple sauce from supermarket) 345 g 12.17 oz 1.52 cups 148.07%
Total Weight: 1589 grams / 56.05 ounces
Total Flour Weight: 233 grams / 8.22 ounces

Bakers percentages are relative to flour weight (flour equals 100%) and every other ingredient is a percentage of this. Flour from the Starter is not counted. Note: This recipe was uploaded in grams and has been automatically converted to other measures, let us know of any corrections.


1.       Mix half of the apple puree with molasses and the other half with the starter. 
2.       Then, mix all ingredients together until thoroughly combined. 
3.       Grease two bread tins. Divide the dough by two and place them in the bread tins. Cover and let rise in a warm place for 3 hours (my room temperature was 28 - 30 C). 
4.       Pre-heat oven to 220C / 425F.  Bake with some steam for the first 3 - 5 minutes, then lower the heat to 185C / 365F and bake for a further 40 minutes. 
5.       Turn out the loaves immediately after baking and let cool on a wire rack (or the bottom will get soggy). 



My father-in-law and his wife came to stay for Christmas.  They are very discerning diners and both keep in good shape.  They have been told by their doctor to NOT have too much bread made of wheat flour and that if they must have bread, rye and spelt breads are the best.  Whenever they come to visit, I try to make rye and/or spelt sourdough for them.  For today's lunch I served this bread.  They loved it.

Tomorrow morning, when my father-in-law and his wife leave, they will have this little prezzie, all nicly sliced-up to go. 



I'm not sure what that is. I've found rye seeds for sale online but I don't want to buy them if they aren't the right thing. The other items I've seen online are called crushed rye grain but they are for beer brewing so I'm pretty sure that they have been fermented and I don't think that is correct either. If you could clarify or even post a link to a site that sells crushed rye grain I would really appreciate it because this bread looks so good I would really enjoy making it.

Hi, I get my crushed rye grains from my local health food shop where a lot of organic foods are sold.  These are simply rye grains that are roughly crushed, so are not whole grains.  They are like whole wheat grains but roughly crushed.   My local supermarket also has a health food section where a lot of these grains are sold.

Awesome bread, you can see the moisture in the bread.   I bet it tastes just as awesome as it looks...


I'll look for some rye grains at out health food store...

I know this is an old thread but when I noticed come up in the pictures down the side a while ago  I was intrigued and gave it a go. I couldn't find rye grains so I just adjusted the amount of linseeds and sunflower seeds and also added pepitas. I found it to be too moist after I added the apple in the final mix, so I added a reasonable amount more flour until it was more workable for me. 

Anyway, it was amazing, I loved it. It stays very moist, toasts well, is nice with savoury or sweet toppings and freezes well too. I am making another batch today after mixing up the 2 soaks last night. Yum!