The Fresh Loaf

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Fluffy altus bread

happycat's picture

Fluffy altus bread


Altus... old rye bread... sometimes from a baking fail. Well, I had a bunch of altus from a whole grain pumpernickel I made that got dried out during baking. I was curious about incorporating it into a fluffier loaf... using something very dense and chewy to create something fluffy and creamy. 

Please... don't bin your "fails"!


I worked from Floyd's daily bread recipe

but made some changes:

  • used altus for half of poolish
  • significantly reduced yeast in poolish
  • incorporated tangzhong
  • reduced ferment/proofing time




  • 34g flour (5% total flour)
  • 170g water (5x tangzhong flour weight)


  • 420g flour AP
  • 170g water (room temp, filtered)
  • 1 teaspoon instant yeast
  • 2 teaspoons salt


  1. Night before, make poolish, cover overnight
  2. Next day, mix tangzhong in saucepan over heat until a paste 
  3. Let tangzhong cool and turn out into bowl
  4. add water to tangzhong and mix to break it up
  5. add flour, yeast, salt, poolish
  6. Mix 8-10 mins
  7. Cover and bulk ferment (fold after 40mins then wait 40 more)
  8. turn out dough and divide into 2 loaves
  9. shape loaves and place in loaf pans
  10. cover and proof ~75 mins
  11. preheat oven 450f (while another 15 mins proofing)
  12. spray/baste loaves with water
  13. bake 20 mins 


First, I dumped the chunks of altus in a food processor with water to make a chunky paste. Without water, the food processor mostly spins the altus around making a lot of useless noise.

I then combined the altus with atta flour, water and yeast for an overnight levain. I used a lot less yeast than specified (0.45g vs .78g for original tsp)

Next morning pieces of the puzzle: AP flour, tangzhong, and levain. 

I mixed the tangzhong with remaining water to break up the paste. (still some white bits got through to the end)

Then I added the rest of the ingredients and levain (I skipped the autolyse)

Mixed the dough for around 15 mins. Still didn't mix it well enough... in the final loaf you see bits of white.

After 40 min fermentation, I folded it down and gave it another 40 mins.

I cut the dough into two, did some somewhat lousy shaping (letter fold then roll up) and put the dough into loaf pans to bake. 


The resulting loaves were very fluffy, crisp thin outer crust, and decent flavour for IDY bread.

The loaf is so fluffy I can hardly cut it with sharp or serated knife.

Aroma has a teasing essence of pumpernickel.

Texture and flavour is creamy with light teases of rye.



headupinclouds's picture

Couldn't have planned it better.

happycat's picture

I like finding ways to reduce waste and rescue "fails" :) 

It's a way to reduce perfectionism and increase agency (sense of being able to exercise choice to navigate an imperfect world)

Ming's picture

Super cool crumb, easy to follow instructions, very unique bread. We need a LIKE button on this site so I can push it for this one. Nice work happycat!

happycat's picture

Thanks Ming. This was my second kick at this bread. The first crumb with original amount of yeast produced a crazy lacy crumb that wasn't very soft. Reducing yeast in the poolish helped, I think.

JonJ's picture

Looks like this one was fun to make David. The fluffy crumb comes through in your pics!

Have also got some frozen rye bits from my first attempt at the community bake and this is good inspiration for how to use the altus, especially since this is with a non rye base recipe.

What prompted you to use Atta in the preferment? And is yours from India or milled in North America (like the kind idaveindy uses)?


happycat's picture

Hi Jon, Yeah this was the softest bread I've ever encountered. I'm thinking it's the overnight poolish with reduced yeast + atta that did it.

I'd love to see what you do with your altus. I got burned out on dense, sour ryes so turning the fails into fluffy breads is fun.

I have tons of atta. It goes on sale here, sometimes as cheap as CAD$5 for 20lbs. It's Golden Temple milled in NA.

Atta results in soft baked goods and I think it worked really well here. Atta has nice flavour but isn't that strong. I would like more atta so I would be tempted to change the tangzhong from AP into atta to gain more flavour without losing strength.

JonJ's picture

I like the flavour that mine gives too, it's really nice, but I try to keep the quantity in my breads lower than other wholemeal flours. Hasn't worked well for me when it was a major component of the bread, possibly due to the starch damage thing. My chakki atta is from India though.

Martadella's picture

Wonderful results.  What a lovely crumb you created. Thanks for noting and sharing your procedure 🙂

happycat's picture

Thanks for the comment. I threw it together to see what would happen. Seems worth refining more next time. 

Benito's picture

Excellent baking David, love what you did with your Altus it was very creative.  I’ve kept some of my Tourte de Seigle for Altus and will have to find a way to use it eventually.  You just know the crumb is fluffy from the photos without even having to touch it.


happycat's picture

Thanks Benny. Yeah, I was pretty surprised at the fluffiness. 

I kinda wish I'd saved my au seigle bread for this instead of eating it. Mine was overbaked due to rye baker's recipe specifying too long.

I am having trouble integrating the tangzhong though. I did better this time than the first time I tried this experiment (not blogged), but still had bits that didn't integrate well. I'm almost tempted to out it plus extra water into the food processor and then integrate that into the dough.

Isand66's picture

Love the soft fluffy crumb. All you need is some cheese and a frying pan and maybe some bacon 🙄

happycat's picture

Heh heh heh. Sounds great but I'm not sure if the fluffyness would survive that unless sliced thick.

Might be good as french toast, fluffy enough to soak up the eggy liquid.

I had it with homemade hummus (chickpea-kidney bean combo) today and it was really great... creamy bread, hint of rye, really set up hummus nicely which surprised me.