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Rye Sourdough with Roasted Cracked Wheat

Mmmmmm… it smells terrific! This bread fresh out of the oven smells awesome! It is the roasted cracked wheat that gives it that extra kick in flavor and smell…. So you want to try a rye without caraway seeds? This is another in the series of 100% starter hydration formulas. I am working with 100% sourdough starters right now, except when I am working on my salt sourdough of course.

I am back in Washington state and have my dedicated refrigerator going so as to have more control over my salt sourdough experiments.

Today though I have a light rye bread infused with the flavor and smell of roasted cracked wheat. It turned out really good.

Rye Sour with Roasted Cracked Wheat

First weigh out 4 oz/113g of cracked wheat and toast it. I toasted the cracked wheat in an electric skillet on 400 degrees and kept stirring until I heard a few pops and smelled roasted wheat. You can toast the wheat any way you like, just make sure not to burn it! Remove your toasted cracked wheat and add it to 4 oz/113g of water which is at the boiling point. Stir, take the pan off the heat source and let the cracked wheat cool. It will absorb all of the water as it cools. Set the cracked wheat aside.

In a large dough folding container or a mixing bowl add:

  1. Vigorous starter @ 100% hydration- use a whole wheat starter if you have one, if not a rye or white starter will do fine- 9 0z/255g
  2. Lukewarm water-  20 oz/567g
  3. The roasted cracked wheat mixture- 8 oz/226g
  4. Sea salt- .7 oz/19g

Stir this mixture well with a heavy spoon or your hands and then add:

  1. Bread flour- 15 oz/425g
  2. Rye flour (it doesn’t matter if it is light, medium or dark, I prefer dark)-7 oz/198g
  3. Whole wheat flour- 7 oz/198g

Stir the flour in and work it in with your hands, it will be very sticky:

Come on, don’t be afraid of a little bit of sticky dough! Cover the dough and allow it to ferment for 5 hours at room temperature, folding it once each hour. After five hours and folding it will look like this:

Once your five hours is up, put the whole container in the refrigerator for two hours. This helps cool the dough down so it isn’t proofed too fast overnight.

After two hours, shape your dough into loaves (I made three small loaves weighing around  1lb 5 oz each)with the first shaping. Let the loaves set for 20 minutes and then do a final shaping and place the loaves into a floured, lined banneton or basket.

Place a plastic bag over the whole setup, banneton and all, and place the loaves into the refrigerator overnight. Next morning stagger your loaves by taking them out of the refrigerator 30 minutes apart. Allow them to warm up and do a final proofing.

My loaves took three hours. I placed my loaves into a warmed proofing area for 1/2 hour each to help warm them up just before baking.

To make a warmed proofing area, put a coffee cup half filled with water into your microwave and get it to the boiling point. Be very careful while handling hot water! Then push the coffee cup into the corner of the microwave and place your bread into the microwave with the hot water.

Don’t turn on the microwave, just warm the dough up in there! You can also use your dishwasher to warm up dough by heating the dishwasher with the drying cycle and then turning it off and placing your dough inside to keep warm.

Once your dough is proofed, slash it, spray it once with water all over and then bake in a hot (450 degree) oven which has been preheated for one hour with a baking stone and use the roasting lid method of for steaming your dough (See Northwest Sourdough on You tube for this method).

Bake with the loaf covered for 20 minutes and then take the lid off, turn the oven down to 425 degrees and bake for 10 minutes more for a small loaf, 15  minutes more for a large (2 lb) loaf.


This dough is at 73 % hydration, but don’t let that scare you because the whole grains soak up a lot of the water. This formula will make a little over four lbs of dough (4 lbs 2.7 oz/1890g). It is wet enough to make a delightful open crumb and your bread eaters will be astonished at how good it tastes… and smells.

Have fun baking, I always do 🙂

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8 Comments

  1. elizabeth elizabeth
    September 8, 2013    

    Thank you for explaining Teresa. I make a lot of sourdough recipes, but haven’t taken the time to learn the science of why the recipes work. The rye loaf did taste good, I’d say it is chewier and more dense than my favorite Mill Grain. Thanks for the great recipes!

  2. elizabeth elizabeth
    September 6, 2013    

    I usually make your Mill Grain Loaf, but decided to try this one for a change. I noticed that this recipe doesn’t have an autolyse period without the salt, like the Mill Grain does and was wondering why?
    After the folds, I always put my dough in the fridge overnight, before shaping the next morning and this rye sourdough did not rise as much as Mill Grain, maybe because this dough has more moisture?

    • September 6, 2013    

      HI Elizabeth, I didn’t do an autolyse because the rye is gluten is weak so I don’t like to weaken it further and the wheat gluten is needed to hold up the rye, so I don’t want to weaken it by an autolyse either. Rye breads don’t get as lofty as other bread. If it tasted great, I would say it was a success!

      Teresa

  3. Philip Biggins Philip Biggins
    November 22, 2011    

    Need…Recipe for Oroweat extra sour dough rye no longer sold in the great north west..Per: Oroweat e-mail..and personal reply by phone to my e-mail.
    I NEED this bread…Help
    Afable: PHIL Biggins

    • Kat Kat
      April 25, 2014    

      Did you ever get an answer to your sourdough rye question?

  4. September 21, 2010    

    Thanks Susan, that a very nice compliment coming from you.

    Hi Patty, for roasted cracked wheat, you either crack your own wheat berries or buy some cracked wheat and roast it until it is starting to make popping sounds and/or smells roasted. It tells how I did it in the recipe, but you can roast any grains in a variety of ways, in your oven, skillet, electric fry pan, etc just be careful to stay with it and not burn it!

  5. Patty Patty
    September 20, 2010    

    Wow, you’ve done it again–another “must bake” loaf! Can you elaborate on “roasted cracked wheat”? Never done that before. 🙂

  6. September 20, 2010    

    Really beautiful loaves! The roasted cracked wheat sounds amazing.

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