The Fresh Loaf

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Roggenmehl dunkel - whole grain or not?

Ilya Flyamer's picture
Ilya Flyamer

Roggenmehl dunkel - whole grain or not?

I got a bag of dark rye flour - Roggenmehl dunkel - from a local mill. I assumed it would be actually just whole rye flour, since it would be the most likely flour to be sold. However I opened it yesterday, and the flour actually looks much darker than I am used to. It doesn't have any nutritional info on the bag, and I can't find that info online on the website of the mill either (

Info on the website is confusing: in the main section with prices they only list light or dark rye, and no "whole rye flour", while below in the "Ladensortiment" sektion (what's available in their shop) they also list the whole grain rye flour... Is there another way to figure it out?
And if it's not whole grain but enriched for bran relative to whole grain, any specific recommendations how to use it?

I wish the German standardization influence spread just a few km across the border into Switzerland too :)

semolina_man's picture

 Can you post a photo?  I use Breadtopia's whole rye and it bakes a medium brown when mixed 66 rye/37 ap flours.  


Try it as a pure rye bake, or combine it with white AP and post photos of the results!

Ilya Flyamer's picture
Ilya Flyamer

Good idea about a picture. It's a bit hard to capture the subtle colour differences though. Here it is side by side with just regular plain white flour.

It's not that dark really, but it appears like even the lightest fraction of the flour is more cream coloured, not white...

I think it actually looks quite similar to 2500, now that I found its picture here:

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

but this time flatten the top of the little flour pile with the back of a spoon? This tends to show the coarseness of the flour.  Rub some between your fingers and compare to the white flour.  Thanks.


semolina_man's picture

Looks the same color as Breadtopia "whole rye".  It doesn't look terribly dark to me. works well for me in both directions with German and English.  I use it nearly daily for this. 


alcophile's picture

It may be the same as Austrian T2500, or Schwarzroggenmehl. Stanley Ginsberg in The Rye Baker describes this as the flour left after light rye has been sifted out. So, more than whole grain?

Ginsberg had a retail outlet that sold dark rye flour from Bay State Milling. I had some of this and it was definitely darker than Breadtopia's whole rye that I had also been using. It also behaved very different from other rye flours. It really absorbed a lot of water and was clay-like. Flavor was RYE!!!!!.The German and Austrian blogs seem to indicate that no more than 20% should be used in an all-rye bread.

However, Brotpoet had a Scharzroggen Kruste recipe that used 35% T2500 and 65% T1050 wheat flour. I made that a couple of times and it was delicious. The blog is now private, so you have to find the recipe using the Wayback Machine on (

mariana's picture

Ilya, Swiss millers call rye flours dark even if they are medium rye flours. Anything that is not light rye, they will call dark rye for their retail customers. Some indicate rye flour type or ash, others, like your miller, don't.

So we don't know whether it's whole rye flour that they list on their menu, or leftovers after milling their light rye flour, i.e. 30% bran rye flour with a little endosperm in it. 

For example. This company based in Zurich, Gebana AG, sells their organic rye flour as dark rye (RYE FLOUR, DARK SCHWEIZ ORGANIC, but indicates that it is medium rye (type 1150):

Dark flour made from Swiss organic rye, type 1150. Ideal for rye breads or mixed breads together with wheat or spelt flour. Milled at the Kofmel mill in Deitingen, Switzerland. The Kofmel family is the third generation to run the family business. They source the grain from farmers in the region with whom they have a long-lasting working relationship. 

The simplest way to verify what kind of flour it is and its baking properties, is express baking test. If you have rye flours with known ash content a.k.a. flour type and sugar content (in lieu of its falling number), for example, medium rye, whole rye, dark rye (Austrian type 2500), you can

- take 50g of each, including your mystery dark rye flour,

- mix each with 40 g of water,

- make a ball with each paste and compare their looks, take a picture.

-Then bake them for 20 min at 200C in a preheated oven or air fryer.

- Wait until they cool a bit and cut them in half. Compare and take a picture. 

Example. Our Ontario dark rye flour, described as whole grain dark rye, turned out not being whole grain rye, or medium rye, but the leftovers from producing light rye and medium rye flours. 

This is how it looks in a ball compared to light rye, two medium ryes, whole grain rye. When wet, you can not only notice differences in color which can depend on the color of bran particles which vary, but in the amount of bran in each flour. 

From left to right: Polish light rye flour Typ 720, Russian medium rye flour, American medium rye flour, Canadian whole rye flour, Canadian dark rye flour. 

Baked for 20 min at 200C/400deg F in an air fryer. We can see that each ball is differently colored after baking. Some are nicely browned, they have enzymes that produced both free aminos and sugars in flour and our dark rye mystery flour hasn't browned at all and is very gritty to touch - lots of fiber!

Comparing their crumbs to see if they have cracks and gummy spots (indicative of their falling numbers) and how dense they are, i.e. their capacity to absorb water.

Here, you can see that Polish light rye and Baker's Authority's medium rye are excellent bread flours. Lower falling numbers show up as cracks and wet gummy spots. Whereas the rest of them need to be malted or supplemented with sugar/malt extract and oil/lecithin to perform well in bread baking and bread staling tests. We can also see differences in density and crumb color in wet cooked form and observe how quickly they harden after baking (staling). 

Standards for comparison to determine falling number of your dark rye flour, from Brandt&Ganzle's Handbuch Sauerteig:

These photos of yeasted rye bakes (no sourdough) from a German baking textbook show the same but in color, you can clearly see cracks or caverns (called rye smile) and wet gummy areas or lines in the first 4 groups of falling numbers of rye flour:

 Yeasted rye baking tests are also fairly quick, just rye flour, 2% compressed yeast, and water, wait for the dough to rise, shape and bake. But not as easy and quick as express baking test. That is the best we can do at home. Take samples that we know, even if it's bread flour milled from wheat (i.e. wheat bread flour with excellent performance in plain unsweetened bread) and compare them to the mystery flour sample, how it behaves in mixing it with water and in express baking. 

I happen to know this dark rye flour nutritional values and they are similar to Austrian type 2500 in ash but not in other parameters!  Austrian type 2500 is milled from special rye kernels. 

For 100g of rye flour with 11% moisture content

Austrian Schwarzroggen Mehl, type 2500 rye flour

Fett:1,1g ( vs 2.2% fat in rye clear flour, a.k.a. dark rye flour, 200% difference)

Kohlenhydrate: 68,6g Davon Zucker: 6,8g ( vs 2% sugar in NA dark rye flour, a.k.a. rye clear flour, 340% difference)

Ballaststoffe: 12,8g (vs 28% fiber in dark rye flour, over 200% difference)

Eiweiß: 6,9g ( vs 16% protein in rye clear)

Dark rye flour (rye clear)

16% protein, 2.2% fat, 2% sugars, 22-28% fiber (a quarter of that rye flour is fiber, about 30% bran!), 2.5% ash.

IN other words, this dark rye has 2 times more fiber than rye grain itself and 1.5 times more protein than whole rye kernels! This fiber and proteins come from the enormous amount of rye bran in that flour. 

Typical values for North American rye kernels, NA whole grain rye flours, 

10% protein (less is better for bread), 1.6% fat, 1% sugar, 15% fiber, 1.5% ash

Typical values for North American medium rye flour

9-12% protein (less is better), 1.5% fat, 1% sugar, 11-14% fiber, 1.1 - 1.3% ash.

Typical values for North American light/white rye flours

9-11% proteins (less is better for bread), 1.3% fat, 0.9% sugars, 7-9% fiber, 0.65-0.85% ash.


You can reuse those express baking test balls, chopped, in making kvass with them. And you can bake sourdough ryes even with 100% rye clear flour (dark rye in NA sense), once you correct it for sugar content (malting it) and for its staling properties, I usually add 1-2% of lecithin/ghee blend (50:50).

It makes nice high fiber loaves, similar to max bran wheat bread that Precaud baked a couple of days ago,  delicious and they stay soft for days, if you can stay away from them, of course. They are very good. 



squattercity's picture

I learn so much from your posts, Mariana. You are an absolute rye reference guide!

I have a perhaps less fun suggestion, Ilya: find someone who speaks/writes Swiss-German and call/email the miller.



Ilya Flyamer's picture
Ilya Flyamer

Agreed, mariana's posts are gold. Amazing dedication to sharing baking knowledge in such details! I quickly read through this one, but haven't properly digested it yet.

You are right, perhaps that's the simplest. I could simply try writing in English, there is generally a good chance they speak it (although might be less inclined to reply...).

I actually have a local Swiss friend who also baked bread, I could try asking her...

squattercity's picture

there's always Google translate, too. I used it in Basque and people thought I was amazingly fluent.

Ilya Flyamer's picture
Ilya Flyamer

Google translate somehow works very poorly for German... At least from German to English. Maybe ChatGPT would work well!

squattercity's picture

maybe you could make a video with one of those AI services I've been reading about that translates your text, uses your intonation, and reformulates the video to have you speaking a language you don't speak!

tpassin's picture

I tried Google Translate to translate a German recipe into English, and it translated the German for "lard" into "pig slime".  The Vivaldi browser's translate service got it right.

squattercity's picture

'pig slime' works for me🤣

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

In German asking for nutritional information and hope to hear from them soon. They did acknowledge receiving the email thru their contact link.:)

on another note,  I wonder what is Halloween flour?

Ilya Flyamer's picture
Ilya Flyamer

Wow thanks a lot Mini, hope you get a reply!

haha indeed, I haven't noticed that one!

Interesting combination, should make flavourful bread!

Weizen, Kürbiskernen, Sonnenblumenkernen, Maismehl, Bollmehl, Grahammehl, Amaranth