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Mini's 100% Dark Rye & Chia Recipe ...Love at 104% hydration

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Mini's 100% Dark Rye & Chia Recipe ...Love at 104% hydration


This rye recipe is my Chilean version of my favorite rye ratio recipe using a rye sourdough starter and the addition of chia seeds that increase the dough hydration yet maintain a nice shape.  Use a large Dutch oven for a free form shape. 

I designed this recipe for one narrow tapered loaf pan:   cm: 30 x 11 x 7.5   or   inches: 11 3/4 x 4 1/4 x 3 

It is my basic rye recipe (starter:water:flour) (1: 3.5 : 4.16) plus 6.1% chia (on total flour weight including flour in the starter) plus 4 times the chia weight in water added to the dough.  Also added nuts, seeds and 90g to 100g arbitrarily selected moist rye altus (day old bread.)



The wet:

  • 175g vigorous peaking rye starter  100% hydration
  •  90g  moist rye altus 
  • 812g  water  24°C   (75°F) 


The dry:

  • 728g rye flour  (dark rye 14% protein)
  •  50g chia seeds
  •  17g salt   (2%)  
  •  17g bread spice  (2%)  (toasted crushed mix: coriander, fennel, caraway seed)
  •  17g toasted sesame seed  (2%)

         829g    (total dough so far 1906g) 


  •     4g black pepper  (0.46%)
  • 100g broken walnuts
  • 150g chopped Araucaria Pine nuts   
  • sunflower seeds to line bottom and/or sides of buttered form 



Inoculate (1:5 to 1:10) sourdough starter soon enough to have a vigorous starter when ready to mix up dough.  

Plan to bake in 3 hours from the time you start combining liquids with the flour to make dough.  

Combine liquids and break apart floating altus.   Stir dry ingredients and add to liquids stirring until all dry flour is moistened.  Scrape down sides of bowl, cover, let stand 2 hours.  No kneading ever!  Dough will stiffen as it rests.   (Another order for combining is to add the chia and spices to the wet ingredients and allow to swell 15 minutes before adding flour, salt and nuts.  Not sure if it makes a difference but if you find you're getting a gummy crumb, let the chia soak in the water and swell before adding the flour.)

Smear bread pan with butter and dust/coat with raw seeds, crumbs or flour.  Spoon or plop dough (trying not to trap air) into form or floured banneton.  (The recipe lends itself well to free form in a large Dutch Oven.)  Use a wet spatula or wet fingers & hands to shape dough.  Pile the dough up higher in the center for a nice rising shape.  Sprinkle with seeds and press lightly into dough while making a nice dome shape.  

Let rise about an hour.  Meanwhile heat oven 200°C to turn down to 185°C (365°F) 15 minutes into the bake.  Make a cover for the loaf from a double layer of alufoil or flip an identical pan over the top.  Leave room for loaf expansion.  

When ready dock,  take a wet toothpick and poke about one hole every inch, all over, toothpick deep.  Wait a few minutes and smoothen over with a wet spatula.  Dough is ready to dock when you see the dough surface threatening to release trapped gasses under the surface.  One or two little pin hole bubbles is enough to start docking.

Spray or rinse the inside of foil or empty bread pan cover with water and cover the dough to trap steam during the bake.   Bake for about 40 minutes on the lowest rack, then rotate and remove the protective cover to brown the loaf top.  Finish the loaf in another 20-30 min for a rough total of one hour baking time.  Inside temp should reach 94°C, sound hollow, but I tend to shoot for 96°C or 205°F.   Cool on rack.   Wrap when cold.  

Here is the cold loaf (after 12 days, last 6 in the fridge) and you can see how much the dough rose. The shaped dough would have been rounded under the rim.   There are no nuts in this loaf other than what came from frozen stored altus.

Free form using floured rice sieve:           Oops, I spy a few docking holes!  

Have fun,  I do!    Really proud of that one!   



Barbarat's picture

Hi Mini, thanks for your answer I just found now. Since we have the new format I don't get any e-mail notifications any more and I have not found out how to fix this. So I don't check in very often anymore.

I tried to follow your recipe and the bread looked pretty good and also tasted good but after a couple of days it started to fall apart. Also the pieces I froze are falling apart after one day. I am using a rye I get from Carolina Ground and I mill it myself rather course. I am wondering why this bread falls apart. Could it have to do with protein content of the rye? I just sent en e-mail to find out how high/low it is. It look like there is no gluten at all. Would you have an idea? The 66% rye (Hammelman) I am baking for my customers works out great. It has a creamy eating feel to it. I still would like to have a 100% rye in my assortment.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

That is very interesting.  I can't say that has happened to me unless I chilled the baked bread.  Even then it would crack in half but not fall apart.  Would like to know more...


nicodvb's picture

Mini, it's disturbing to read that among all starters in the world the one that suffers is right yours!

If you really believe it's water, did you try to boil it? Boiling should remove most of  chlorine and chloramine. Some claim that lemon juice can remove chloramine, too, but I don't know if it's true. For sure some drop of lemon juice will re-establish a sane pH in the water and in the starter, too.

I always add some sugar, salt and lemon juice to my refreshment bibit  and my starter is extremely happy :-) . Could I be so cruel to remove such goods from its diet? :)


Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Ran across this research paper.  For those of you interested in a comparison study of Rye sourdough LAB 

I can only say that my starter is not the same and I'm working on getting my aromas back,  Nico is helping me with my gummy crumb, so far zapping the bread with microwaves is setting up the crumb.  The problem looks flour related.  So it is affecting my starter as well.  We are working on controlling enzymes now.  (Need more sour.)  


Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Not sure in Fig. 1  stages 2 and 3, totals of 400g is coming from, should read 350g total. Seems strange that the 4 writers missed this error.  Keeping in mind that it takes 24 hrs to read a test sample to count colonies of bacteria grown in that time...  there is a lag time for data meaning that one full day has passed to  chart it.  So the first day is actually missing and that this is a 4 day process.

What I find interesting is the temps rising as the experiment continues and that ideal yeast temps are first applied before raising temps for LAB, starting out around 26°C and raising to 32°C.   

PeterS's picture

Interesting reading. Thanks for posting the links!

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

(July 5th)

Made a loaf with 960 Austrian rye flour and it came out!  Now that I'm back in Austria, wanted to duplicate this recipe with white rye flour.  Wow, what a difference in dough!  Wetter, uglier, and more like wet cement.   Dough stuck a lot to my spatula.  

Oh about a week ago I got my starter up and working.  It has been sitting in the refrigerator, no, it had gone to South America and come back with me, dated October 2012.  I still have one that sat here the whole time.  Low hydration, in a ball shape sitting in a jar with a little flour and a tight lid.  Got it up in 4 to 5 days and then used it after a 1:10:10 test.  

All the times were slow which didn't surprise me, I aimed for a 3 hr bulk rise which took 4 hrs and then the shaping... well the shaping was more of a few spatula folds & pouring.  After filling the pan I was worried this goop just might rise over the sides and crawl away dragging on the 150g of walnuts pieces in the dough.  It was level and flat after my attempts to round the top.   I dusted the top with rye flour (was thinking about running out for rye flakes) and with the help of the spatula got some flour deep into the sides between the pan and the dough.  I was hoping the flour would soak up some of the water and firm up the crust as it rises.  I would brush it off afterwards if it was too ugly.   I set it in the cold oven to rise.  I also reshaped the top the best I could.

I Docked the loaf after 3 hrs and shoved it into a cold oven with a alu-foil tent pinched tightly to trap steam.  Set the oven to blow hot air at 220°C and in 15 minutes, the oven was hot.  Let it hold 210°C for a quarter of an hour and then let it fall back to 200°C.  Uncovered it 45 min after reaching temp. and rotated the pan.  The crust was not the best looking, had a crack down the middle but it had sprung!   Sprung into a nice loaf.  Wow, caught me by surprise.  

When it was cool the next day, I cut it open and much to my relief, the crumb was light in color but very satisfying.

Pictures to follow... (please forgive my late update, been busy and am now in Canada.)

Here is the consistency of the rye paste, quite wet...


And the crumb shot !!!



Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

It was my fault.  The Canadian rye is quite good however faster fermenting than my Austrian rye (more bran)  yet more time than the Chilean rye.   A very beautiful dark (Rogers Dark rye) flat frisbee round and tasty too.   Hey, I docked with a cut off Q-tip swab!  (must be a first!)  I realized when I folded the dough after a 3 hour bulk rise that I had my hands full.  Almost lost my loaf through my fingers until it was deflated enough.  

Wonderful aroma and bubble distribution.  Half stuck to my make shift banneton.  Loaf top fell out a split second late after flipping.   Well ...let's call it a radical pre-docking maneuver.   I was too eager and should have let the dough fall in its own time.   Next loaf should be more photogenic.  

I have 5 hours from mixing to baking.  Shape after 2 to 2 1/2 hrs of bulk rise.  

grind's picture

Hi Mini, I'm giving this one a try today.  Few mods, no altus and no add in, 'cept for black sesame seeds and chia seeds.  Added an extra 60 grams of water to make up for the missing altus goop.  Using Anita's stone ground rye.  I've tries rye a few times in the past but quickly lost interest in working with 100% rye flour doughs.  Not what I'm used to I guess.  I'm thinking of committing to it.  We'll see!  Thanks for the well thought out recipe.

grind's picture

for 100% rye, ever.  Crazy.  I'm worried it's gonna collapse!!

grind's picture

so far with the exterior -





Do I really have to wait 12 days before eating?

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

It looks very good!  (so far)  and all those seeds!  How many did you pick off and nibble on before cutting it?  Yum!

Can't wait for the crumb shot!    12 days... you're funny...   :)

grind's picture

Very nice crumb, supple with good elasticity and nice flavor.  I could make an actual sandwich with it.  Every other whole rye attempts resulted in very hard, dense and brittle crumbs with almost no rise.  I guess I treated the doughs like I do wheat doughs.  This was a completely different treatment and with way more water.  Thanks again for the tutorial, Mini.






grind's picture

Maybe breakfast but probably lunch since I gotta fly out the door first thing tomorrow.  Curious about the crumb as well.  I took your advice and baked it pretty close to 205 F.  Cheers.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

focused elsewhere but a great crumb!  Congratulations!

leekohlbradley's picture

Your baking and travelling has me very impressed, not to mention envious!

clazar123's picture

I am working on  your 100% rye ratio bread (only 2nd time baking this). The first bake was wonderful tasting-I added dates,toasted walnuts and sesame seed and just a little honey. I was aiming for a dense,chewy, slightly sweet toasting bread and hit it perfectly. Thank you!

About chia seeds in this bake:

Does the water used to soak the chia seeds affect the rye ratio? Is it that the rye ratio takes care of the rye hydration needs and the chia water takes care of the chia needs so there is no adjustment of the ratio?

Have you ever used psyllium husks? I've just started using them as a binder in GF bakes but don't have a feel yet for how much water is needed to completely soak them. Some more kitchen experimentation is called for.

My plan is to use the 100% rye ratio as a base and be able to make different flavors of bread (different seeds and fruits). My co-workers that like rye did  like the loaf I had made and asked for repeats in the future. They are great testers!

Skibum's picture

I am going to begin a rye starter in the morning -- too many projects on the go this aft. I am nearly finished my volkornbrot and just HAVE to give your formula a try. It really looks delicious. Some of the other loaves posted on this thread also look pretty awsome!

Thanks for sharing! Brian

Lesley H's picture
Lesley H

Hi Mini, I love the taste of this bread.  I'm on my second try and I keep getting 1/2" of what looks like compact unraised dough on the bottom of my baked loaf.  I have split the recipe into two to fit my pans.  Also it is taking about 4 or 5 hours to reach the pinhole stage with some rise at which time I'm docking then baking as per recipe. Can't figure out what's going wrong.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

the crumb?    If you have heat under the loaf, a layer of compact dough starting about 1cm up from the bottom, often means the dough over-proofed and then that collapsed interior dough doesn't bake through.  You really want to bake it before the surface gets pinholes.  Try shortening the rise.  If you strike the dough very smooth, you will see slight bumps on the dough surface before pinholes as gas bubbles try to rise to the surface.  That is, if the dough is wet enough.

Perhaps it wasn't baked long enough?  

Or the starter wasn't up to snuff and needed another refreshment before using.  Be sure to let the starter peak rise and not just double.


elainek's picture

Hi, I like the photo of this bread a lot and would like to try and bake it without the chia seeds. Unfortunately I am not good at maths and need some help. If I omit the seeds from the recipe how should I work out the amounts of the other ingredients or does it matter? I could use a dough calculator on Bakery Bits to make more than 1 loaf.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

along with 200g of the water.   I haven't tried either dough calculator to make more than one loaf.  I just use the ratio and it can easily be multiplied.   Subtract the water and chia first and then multiply for more loaf ingredients.  Times 2 or 3 or more loaves.  :)

elainek's picture

I hope it turns out looking as good as your one.:)

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

and also if it is better than mine.  :)  

If you want to run the final figures past me, that's fine too, I don't mind checking the maths.