Easy recipe for rye bread part 2

Easy recipe for rye bread part 2

Posted on 25. Mar, 2013 by in Bread and conversation

Further to the earlier post about simple rye bread made with yeast, remember I would write all about my fascinating learning.  Well, here it is:  use fresh or dry yeast if you can.  Don't use instant yeast.  Because I almost never use instant yeast, I was not entirely empathetic nor data driven in my mental frustration with the WONDERFUL people who wrote in.  Mea Culpa - how I have learned.

Now, a better scientist than me can probably tell you why this is so.  In theory there is no difference in performance between fresh, dry, and instant yeast.  However, when I did the time trial on the 100% rye bread I did find a difference.  So, I tried the time trial with wheat bread, with spelt bread and with enriched bread and found no difference.  However, let me repeat - there was a difference when I made 100% rye.

The bread made with the instant yeast simply did not really rise very well at all.  Whether or not I "proofed" the instant yeast (and in theory you don't have to) the bread simply did not move very much.  When I put it in the fridge it refused to budge and I had to leave it out of the fridge to get it to move at all.  Then, when it finally came to baking it was quite dry and so the resulting bread was not what it should be.  Now, it is winter and it is COLD and the kitchen is probably about 18 degrees maximum but that should only mean that the bread takes longer to rise - not that it barely rises at all.  I got a slightly better result when I used warm water and added some honey to the dough (neither of which should be necessary).

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Rye made with dry yeast at the top of the tin and with lots of nice holes almost ready for the oven

So, lesson learned although not understood:  when you make the 100% rye, use fresh or dry yeast if you can get it.  If you are using instant, use warm water and add a bit of honey (or sugar or molasses, bread syrup...something sweet that the yeast will like) and that should help it along.

Finally, remember to just stir the ingredients together -  no kneading - and when you get the loaf from the bowl to the tin, gather it together GENTLY with very wet hands.  Smooth it into an oblong, don't squash it into and oblong.  And when you pop it gently into the tin, don't push it down, flatten it, smooth it, or try to squish it into the corners.  The more air in the dough the better rise you will get.  Still concerned?  Come and take a class with us - we do 100% rye bread in all the basic bread classes.

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Loaf with dry yeast on left, loaf with instant yeast (with molasses) on right

Next up:  simple sourdough rye bread.  Not impacted by the cold at all.  Weird....

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13 Responses to “Easy recipe for rye bread part 2”

  1. Alastair Hobbs

    30. Sep, 2013

    Thank you for the rye bread recipe. First attempt was two 2lb loaves, (so 1.2kg flour) . I queried whether Allinson's Easy Bake yeast was instant or not, then found the note on the packet. Fortunately I had not read your notes on instant yeast's problems. The loaves rose well and were crawling out of the tin after about 3 hours. This note is really to let you know about the yeast performance. Thanks again for the recipe, I can now eat a presentable rye loaf without adding wheat flour as in so many recipes.

  2. virtuousbread

    05. Oct, 2013

    Thanks for letting us know. The packages of instant yeast normally instruct you to use far more than you need. So, I always use less - and with excellent results (and a longer time to rise because of less yeast) except when I make rye. As in the post, when I make rye, I do use less instant yeast and I do proof it and it does work however when people don't proof it first, they have reported almost no rise. So congratulations! Send photos! and I am thrilled you are making a good rye loaf!

  3. Banu Phillips

    22. Jul, 2014

    Hi, I am trying to avoid yeast in baking. Would using natural yoghurt instead of yeast work on Rye Bread?
    Thank you in advance

  4. virtuousbread

    23. Jul, 2014

    Dear Banu

    the answer is I simply don't know. Give it a try. And put in some baking powder or baking soda?

  5. Grace

    01. Sep, 2014

    How does one proof instant yeast?

  6. virtuousbread

    02. Sep, 2014

    Dear Grace

    in general one does not have to proof instant yeast however if you would like to, just pop it in a little glass of water and wait or measure your flour into a bowl and make a well in it. Measure the yeast into the well and pour in with water and wait for wait. It's very simple!

  7. Janeen

    01. Nov, 2014

    One last question,
    What happens if i put my oven on the lowest temperature for about 10-15 min then prior to putiing in the loaf to rise i air out the oven to let out the heat for about 3 minutes, once it is warm i leave it in covered by a towel to rise for 1-2 hours...
    is that ok or would it disturb the proper rising of the loaf prior to baking?

  8. Janeen

    01. Nov, 2014

    Dear Virtous bread,
    What happens if i put my oven on the lowest temperature for about 10-15 min then prior to putiing in the loaf to rise i air out the oven to let out the heat for about 3 minutes, once it is warm i leave it in covered by a towel to rise for 1-2 hours...
    is that ok or would it disturb the proper rising of the loaf prior to baking?

  9. virtuousbread

    13. Nov, 2014

    Hi Janeen

    some ovens actually have a proofing setting which is pretty cool. You can do as you suggest but just remember that yeast will die at about 50 degrees so use a thermometer to make sure it's not too hot in there! The other thing to remember though is that the longer your bread takes to rise the more flavour it has and the easier it is to digest. So whilst it is quick to do it in the heat, it may be "better" to let it rise more slowly in the cool!

  10. Diane Pastushyn

    15. Mar, 2015

    I was so glad to find your recipies for 100% rye bread. But here in Canada we are accustomed to following measurments by volume rather than weight. Would it be possible for you to put an alternate 'volume' measurment as well as the weights of the ingredients required? That would be great! Thankyou.

  11. virtuousbread

    16. Mar, 2015

    Hi there, the very best thing is to have this site saved in your 'favourites' that way you can convert in a jiffy!


    Best! Jane

  12. briancj

    22. Mar, 2015

    hello i have been baking for some time but then had a few goes at latvian black bread ,making the starter over 5 days but when i bake i it is very hard like wood if i put a tray of water in the oven or put some butter in the dough would that make it soft .? p.s. the tast is nice but its too hard to enjoy.yours Brian.

  13. virtuousbread

    22. Mar, 2015

    Dear Brian

    If you send me the recipe for the Latvian bread you are baking I can certainly comment. Normally it's simply a lack of water that is the problem but I will be able to tell from the recipe. I look forward to hearing!

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