Sunday, August 19, 2012

Pierre Nury’s Rustic Light Rye

This is great tasting bread. Even though the crust could be a bit harder for our taste. I’m getting to like this stiff levain a lot; it’s easier and stronger than the 100% hydration starter and slightly less sour.

A while back a Thai friend gave us organic whole wheat berries so we could make our own wheat grass. The other day I found weevils in the bag of berries. A few hours later they were all out, they just walk out if you let them. Normally we like beetles a lot. Because we don’t use chemicals in our mango garden we have plenty of them. But, I don’t like them in my flour. I wanted to use the berries before the weevils eat it all. I decided to grind the berries and use the flour. For the stiff starter I need just a little bit. Next time I will make this delicious loaf with home ground wheat instead of rye.

After a retard proofing for the night I baked the big loaf straight from the refrigerator. I sat expectantly waiting for the oven window for the oven spring. But because the dough was cold from the refrigerator it took longer than usual. But, finally it started to grow and the result was a beautiful loaf.

Name                                Pierre Nury’s Rustic Light Rye 
Adapted from
                   Daniel Leader’s Local Breads
Yields                               1 big loaf
Dough temp.                     24°C
Levain build                      8 - 12 hours
Mixing                               6 minutes
Fermentation                     2.5 – 3 hours
Stretch/Fold                      60 and 120 minutes
Shape                               30 minutes
Proof at roomtemp.           1.5 hours or overnight in refrigerator
Prepare steam/bake           1 hour
Bake 230°C                        25 - 30 minutes

This is what I used:
Bakers formula                  %        grams
Flour                                  100       645
Water                                 71        459
Salt                                     2          12.9

Stiff Levain                      grams
Bread flour                        95
Whole Wheat flour             5
Water                               50
Mature Culture 80% hydr.    45

Final Dough
Bread flour                       450
Rye flour                          50
Water                              400
Salt                                 10     
Stiff Levain                      125
Diastatic Malt Powder         5

This is what I did:
Stiff Levain:  I mixed the ingredients for the levain. I left it in a plastic container with a lid in my kitchen for about 12 hours.

The final dough
: I added all of the ingredients, except salt and the levain, in the mixing bowl of a spiral mixer and mixed until all was well combined. In the mean time we had breakfast. After 60 minutes I added salt and the levain.

I mixed on first speed for 3 minutes and on second speed for another 3 minutes or so. The dough should have moderate gluten development.

Bulk Fermentation:
 transfer the dough to a slightly oiled container, cover and leave for 2 1/2 – 3 hours. Stretch and fold the dough two times at 60-minute intervals.
Shaping: I wanted to make 1 big loaf. I made a loose ball, covered with a towel and left for 15 minutes to rest.
I tightened the ball gently and placed it upside down in the floured banneton. And I covered it with a moist towel and a plastic bag.

Proofing: I proofed the loaf for 1,5 hours. Because of the warm/hot temperature in our house I watch them to prevent over proofing. After 1 hour I placed the dough in the refrigerator for the night.

The next morning
Pre heating
: I pre heated the oven to 230°C and placed the steam pan with stones on the bottom of the oven.

Preparing and Baking: When the oven is hot enough I boil water and pour it in a glass bottle with a long neck. I pour some boiling water on the hot stones and quickly close the oven door to keep the steam in the oven.
I place the loaf on parchment on a peel. I scored the loaf with an “S”. Transfer to the oven and quickly slide the loaf on the baking stone. After some minutes I add some more water to get more steam.
I baked the loaf 12 minutes with steam and quickly removed the parchment paper and the steam pan. I baked the loaf for another 23 minutes. Bake the loaf until nicely brown colored.

Cooling: Let the loaf cool completely on a wire rack.

I found the original recipe at Judd’s Weekend loafer
I send this to Susan’s
YeastSpotting and to Bake Your Own Bread


  1. That IS a beautiful loaf, Connie. I've been wanting to buy a grinder so that I can try grinding my own grains. Very inspiring!

    1. Thanks Heather. I didn't bought a official grinder for flour, but a friend gave me an old "herb mixer" that comes with (milkshake) blenders. It's the small cup and it works great! for me. I also made my own diastatic malt this way.

  2. Gorgeous loaf. I seem to remember baking this one long ago. That's a wonderful book and you remind me to look through it again. I seem to remember a bread of his with blue cheese of his that I did as well and we really enjoyed it.
    I don't have a cure for the weevils but I can share what works fairly well for me. There's a product put out by Safer Brand ( called The Pantry Pest Trap. The trap is pheromone based, organic and safe for use around pets and children.
    The other thing I do I learned from our sail boat experience. The buggies don't like bay leaves so I tape a bay leaf or two to the tops of my flour containers, fresh ones when I add new flour. It seems to just discourage them; it will not kill them.
    Good luck.

    1. Thanks Tanna, both the loaves use the same levain. It's a stiff starter and I have it ready to use in my refrigerator because I love it.
      Thanks for your tips on weevils. I'll try bay leaves. In the rice we use a Kaffir Lime. I don't dare using this in my flour, but it works great in rice.