Loaf 17: linseed and chopped rye bread from Germany

I have made a lot of French loaves recently, and there is much kneading and poking and careful observation involved. So it was time for something completely different. This loaf comes from a wonderful dormant blog called Ye Olde Bread Blogge, which was written by Nils Schöner, a German baker. His archives are a treasure trove of German breads, described with clarity, dry wit and photos of bread slices on white backgrounds.

In homage to Nils’ unfussy photographic style, here is a cross-section of my own loaf:

photo (4)

Taste test: Nutty and textured. You can taste the linseeds. Nice crunchy crust and moist interior.

Recipe notes: This loaf is 60% chopped rye, which is difficult to get hold of in the UK. Shipton Mill are the only people who stock it, as far as I know. It is also known as pumpernickel flour or very coarse rye meal. However, the recipe is very easy to make once you have the ingredients: mix, wait, mix, wait, mix, wait, mix, wait, bake. Well… there is a lot of mixing and waiting, but it is not laborious or difficult at any step if you have a sourdough starter.

photo (5)


for the starter
140g chopped rye
180ml water
10g rye sourdough starter

for the soaker
50g linseeds
100g chopped rye
250ml boiling water

for the dough
160g wholemeal flour
warm water
1.5tsp salt
1.5tsp yeast

How to make it

1. Around 18-24 hours before baking, mix up the starter ingredients. At least 5 hours before baking, mix up the soaker ingredients.

2. When the starter and soaker are ready, mix them together and add the dough ingredients. Add enough water to make a moderately loose dough (see photo below). Nils says to mix it on a slow speed for 5 mins; I stirred it with a wooden spoon for about two minutes, and it worked fine.

3. Mix a little once a minute for 5 mins, then let the mixture rest for an hour.

4. Mix the dough again for 5 mins on a slow speed (or with your wooden spoon). Put it in a greased or lined bread tin and leave it to rest for a further 45 mins.

5. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 230 C for 20 mins, then turn the heat down and bake for another 40 mins.

6. You’re meant to give this a day before tucking in, if it’s anything like other rye loaves.

I’m going to start taking process photos where I include a recipe, because I have occasionally found this so helpful on other blogs.

Step 1: the starter after 18 hours of fermenting.

photo (6)

Step 2: the “moderately loose” dough. I think I got the consistency correct, judging by final loaf.photo (7)


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