August 2, 2012

German Rye

So long, Vancouver; I'm back in Germany for the next little while, visiting family and friends, working, and, of course, baking and taking pictures.

I took some of our two sourdough cultures in my luggage with me, and they seem to adapt quite well to their new home. Both cultures are pretty happy, they just need to be used a little bit more often. But, these days, I tend to get sidetracked with all sorts of different other things.

Florin is staying in Vancouver and he will continue to bake all his amazing breads as well.

However, for today's post, and awesome results, neither of us can claim any credit. The baker in today's story is Henning, my dad. Baking his own bread at home has always been a point of pride for him. His parents did all the bread baking for the entire family themselves, as well. Years back, when we moved into our new home, he built a little wood-burning oven for himself, just for private use. Ever since, he is baking all our bread in it, and he seems to have lots of fun doing it. Whenever he fires it up for baking, we have a little pizza party beforehand.

Even though my mum and dad have always baked all our bread themselves, I had to go all the way to Canada and meet Florin to really get into baking. Now I am very eager to try out my dad's oven myself, since I've never baked in a wood-fired oven before. I'll keep you posted about the results!

The recipe we are sharing with you today is for my dad's staple loaf, that he's been making since forever. It is a fairly dark rye sourdough, made of two thirds rye and one third wheat.

For two large and two medium loaves

(prepared 12 to 24 hours in advance and left at room temperature)

100 gr rye sourdough
1 kg medium coarse rye meal
1.2 kg water

Mix the rye meal and water until everything is well incorporated and the mixture has a pasty consistency.

Final dough

1 kg whole wheat flour
1 kg whole rye flour
1 kg water
50 gr salt

Add the water to the preferment, then add the whole wheat flour, the rye flour and the salt. Let bulk ferment at room temperature for about 8 hours, then shape the dough into loaves and let them rise in proofing baskets (for as much support as they can get). Let proof in final shape for about 4 hours. Bake the proofed loaves at 480 F (the temperature in the oven will slowly drop over time) for about one and a half hours.

Shared at YeastSpotting.


  1. Wie ich mich schon freu- auf Canadian- German Gaumenschmaus! Gruß-Dx

  2. beautiful loaf! thank you for sharing and welcome into blogging! (ps: it looks like we like the same books) ciao!!!

  3. Lovely bread and pictures! Welcome to the bread-baking blogosphere!

  4. Did you do any stretch and folds or kneading during the bulk ferment or just let it rest on it's own? How long did you mix the dough before the bulk ferment?

    Would love to see some photos of your Dad's oven if you get a chance.

    Beautiful loaves by the way! I'm on business in China right now and can't get anything that good where I am.


    1. Hello Ian,

      thank you for your lovely comment on our post, and please excuse the late reply. There are just so many things happening these late summer days, and the time spent in front of the computer and on our blog is very limited somehow.

      Regarding your questions on the mixing process, my dad never does any stretch-and-folds, but rather lets the dough rest on it's own after the mixing. The mixing itself is basically just long enough to incorporate all the ingredients.

      In our next post, which will hopefully happen very soon, I took a picture of my dad's oven just for you!

      Are you still in China, or back home baking? Hope you are well!

      Cheers, Lisa