The essentials of a good rye (or why I ground my own flour!)


I was looking for a good rye bread yesterday.

I had depleted my freezer supply.

Run out of the last baking I did in Chincoteague.

And I just can’t buy the insipid loaves they sell at the stores locally.

I went to the bulk food store to buy some flour,

and all they had was a very fine white rye flour.

Sad. SAD. downright sad.

So I bought some rye berries-


got out my grinding apparatus-





And ground my own dark rye flour.


The little red hen hasn’t got anything on me!



It took a little while because my grinder is

almost as old as I am.  And it is done by

hand- and I didn’t have it clamped down on

my husband’s new table.

But I ended up with almost a cup and figured

that would give me enough fiber and texture

in my loaves.

Then I fed up my sourdough and added 1 cup of

the white rye and 3/4 cup warm water and let that

prove overnight.

At the same time, I followed Joanna’s advice,

and poured hot water on another cup of white

rye and stirred until smooth and then left with

the sourdough starter poolish/sponge to prove

for at least 8 hours (overnight).

This morning I added the rough ground flour, 2 tsp.

sea salt, 2 TBS butter, and 1/4 cup sorghum molasses

and enough water and high gluten wheat flour to

give me enough dough for 2 loaves of bread.

I put the dough in a warm place to raise for an hour,

then shaped it into two loaves- one for the banneton

and one in a loaf tin, covered them loosely and then

let them raise another hour and a half.


I added some golden flaxseed for flavour and

beauty and made the mistake of cutting a vent

in the top.  I think it destroyed the integrity of

the gluten cloak and the loaf got sloppy in shape.

Then I baked them a 375 F for about 45 minutes.


Although I’m not entering them into a beauty




And I sliced it for a crumb shot before it cooled


All in all, I am quite happy!

I love rye bread with golden flax seed.

12 thoughts on “The essentials of a good rye (or why I ground my own flour!)

  1. Love the new look blog Heidi! I have a hand grinder which I have only used once, but I really ought to use more. Thanks for the mention and the link. Did you notice any difference? I think it’s something to try with a straight white bread dough one day too, it makes the crumb a bit softer and sweeter, but without adding sugar. I’ve been driving all day, so time to make some quick supper and put my feet up 😀

    • I added molasses, so I really didn’t notice a marked difference to the sweetness- but I do think the crumb was a bit softer. It is such a lovely bread.

      I mainly used my hand grinder when I was teaching elementary school children bread baking and had them do the grinding of the whole wheat flour. A whole classful of children can grind enough flour for a big batch of bread in no time!

    • Ha ha ha! You noticed that, did you?
      I used to have a wonderful old pine kitchen table that would stand up to my abuse. Then my husband was so ashamed of it that he bought a new one- which is only good for eating at!
      I miss my pine farm kitchen table so very much!
      My nephew is trying out new designs on my blog- I may not end up with this one- but it is a nice change for now!

  2. Thanks, Cindy!
    Nice to see you again!
    This rye is so very good- I used to make a sourdough rye that was a bit tangier and sharp,but this one is just perfect for my tastes right now.
    I am really just picky about my flour and it is hard to find exactly what I want- so I grind my own when need be.

  3. It’s good to be picky Heidi, (although it usually makes more work!) Why compromise on taste when you can get the taste of a loaf juuuuust the way you like it. I’m still working on my rye breads. The last one was a delicious heavy doorstop.

  4. Brydie-
    My first loaves (back when I was in my teens) were ALL doorstops! I think it takes a lot of practice to make bread that everyone will eat!
    Tandy- thanks for stopping by- we have stone ground available here- I just don’t always like to run around town and country to find it! 🙂
    I really like the look of your cupcakes-I’ve been looking for a good caramel cake recipe!

  5. Wow Heidi! What could be more authentic than homemade rye bread from scratch! I have all the kitchen gadgets except for a wheat grinder. You really are the best bread maker I have to say! God bless your meeting with your dear brother! Cheers!!!

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