66 Percent Sourdough Rye

ImageJeffrey Hamelman’s Recipe. Rye starter has a strong smell of bread and my boyfriend asked whether I was baking bread when the starter was fermenting (not even baking). I only kneaded the dough 10 times with three 10-minute rest, then had first fermentation for 30min. The dough had little strength even after the first fermentation. Due to the hot weather in Hong Kong, it only had 20-30min 2nd proof which was shorter than the recipe indicated (50-60min). Most flavor of this bread comes from the rye starter.

The bread has to be waited for 24hrs before cut to stabilize the crumb and develop flavor. I put it under room temperature for the first 24 hrs wrapped with linen, and put it in fridge wrapped with parchment paper for the next day as Hong Kong’s humid and hot so I tried to avoid mold on it.

I love the taste of this bread, moist, mildly sour, mild taste of rye, and the crumb didn’t feel crumbly even the dough didn’t have much strength (I used Doves Farm Rye flour). It’s an easy going rye bread and I know it’s happy with my blue cheese.




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  1. I made this a while back using an english rye and it was very delicate to handle but it had a good flavour. I think the high proportion of rye is the reason that it doesn’t have much strength. (Wish I had some in the house right now! ) best wishes, Joanna

  2. Hi Joanna, how are you? I remember the book mentioned that dough with over 50% rye flour will be of little strength, and recipes in Nil’s blog suggested to mix doughs with high percentage of rye to a smooth dough only, hence I didn’t knead this dough much.. simple to make but it turned out great. I particularly love the taste. Am sure you can make a great one too. How are you going to spend the autumn? Have a great one. 🙂


  3. Just wondering how difficult it is to make a sourdough starter in Hong Kong. I just tried making some starter, and it smelt awful after 36 hours. I am going to toss that away and start again.

    • Hi Kelvin
      Which recipe did you follow to make the starter? Is it a white or rye starter? Also it may not take 36 hours for the starter to ripe as it’s hotter in Hong Kong, just see if the starter is risen to max. and wants to fall (for white starter), for rye starter when it’s ready it should be doomed and have some holes on it. If rye starter is too ripe then it’ll smell aweful. Hope it helps!


  4. Nat, I found the tartine recepie which I thought I’ll give a try. It was a mix of wheat and unbleached white flour. It smell like rotten egg, or vomit. I threw it away and I thought I’ll give it another go.

    Bought some rye flour and thought I’ll use rye and give it another go.

  5. Looks great!


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