Bread Baking Buddy: Breadchick’s Dark Onion Rye

Bread Baking Babes‘ Kitchen of the month is located at Mary from The Sourdough. Mary chose a mixed rye bread (52/48) with molasses and onions.

As a German food chemist I can’t name this a pumpernickel. The German Pumpernickel is accurately defined in the guidelines for baking goods, they have a legal character. You may only call a bread Pumpernickel, if it meets this standard:

Pumpernickel wird aus mindestens 90 Prozent Roggenbackschrot und/oder Roggen-vollkornschrot mit Backzeiten von mindestens 16 Stunden hergestellt. Wird Pumpernickel aus Vollkornschrot hergestellt, so stammt die zugesetzte Säuremenge zu mindestens zwei Dritteln aus Sauerteig.

That means 90 % of the flour must be (whole) rye and it must be baked at least for 16 hours.

German Rye flours

Karen and Lien had to overcome some difficulties with their rye flours. I never had difficulties to duplicate an American recipe. I always substitute Roggenmehl Type 997 for light rye, Roggenmehl Type 1150 for medium rye and whole rye for dark rye. In my experience rye breads end in success if 30 % of the rye in the recipe is added as sourdough. Normally I bake mixed rye breads only with a rye starter. Rye always needs acid to be baked, it is necessary to develop the pentosans. This time I also used a mixed starter like Mary but increased the rye amount in the starter and decreased it in the flour mixture.

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7:00 AM 13:00 PM
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13:30 PM 15:30 PM

The kitchen smells like heaven, now I have to wait until

Breadchick’s Dark Onion Rye

Dark Onion Rye

is cooled. 16:30 PM: Definitely not a brick!

And here’s the way I did it:

-========= REZKONV-Recipe – RezkonvSuite v1.4
Title: Breadchick’s Dark Onion Rye
Categories: Bread, Levain
Yield: 1 Boule


240 grams   Active starter (40 grams starter 100 % Hydration
      — + 60 g rye 1150 + 140 g water)
100 grams   Whole rye flour
100 grams   Bread flour *
120 grams   Water
      Sponge all of above
32 grams   Molasses (Rübensirup)
42 grams   Honey
30 grams   Melted unsalted butter
1 3/4 teasp.   Salt
1 1/2 tablesp.   Dried sweated onions
130 grams   Whole rye flour
70 grams   Bread flour*
65 grams   Dark rye
50 grams   Wheat flour 550
70 grams   Bread flour *


  Edited *RK* 06/23/2008 by
  Ulrike Westphal


Total Time for Recipe: 2 days (does not include the time needed to build a starter)

Day 1: You will feed your starter 2 times on the first day; once in the morning and once about 2 – 4 hour prior to making the sponge.

First Feeding: Refreshing „him“ (100 % Hydration) 10 g starter + 30 g wheat flour + 30 g Water

Second Feeding: 40 grams refreshed starter 100 % Hydration + 60 g rye 1150 + 140 g water) Wait 2 – 4 hours and then make the sponge. (Note: I make the sponge right before I go to bed as it needs about 8 hours of fermenting time)

SPONGE: In large bowl combine all ingredients for the sponge.Cover and let ferment 8 – 10 hours overnight

DOUGH:You can use a stand mixer or do this by hand.

Add molasses, honey, butter to the sponge and mix until smooth. Then add salt, onions, whole rye and bread flour. Mix on low speed until a shaggy wet dough is formed.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour mixture. Using the dough hook of your stand mixer, on low speed, add rye flour mixture to shaggy dough about 60 grams at a time until dough forms ball that pulls away from the bowl and is firm but still slightly tacky to the touch.

If you are doing this by hand, the dough ball will be firm and smooth but will stick your hand if you squeeze the dough.

On a floured counter (Breadchick uses medium rye flour to flour the counter), give the dough a few hand kneads (about 2 – 4 minutes) and let rest for 15 minutes. Give one last knead, dough should be elastic feeling and not stick to your hands but will feel tacky. If it sticks to your hands, knead in additional rye flour until dough is firm but ever so slightly tacky.

In large, lightly greased covered bowl, let dough rise until almost double, about 4 hours.

FORMING THE LOAF: This bread works best if formed into a large round loaf. Gently deflate risen dough and gather into a boule. Place, pucker side up, in a very well floured brotform or banneton and loosely cover. Let rise until dough fills form and rises slightly above.

BAKING: Preheat oven to 205 °C. If using a stone or tiles, pre heat the oven with the stone/tiles in the oven. Gently unmold risen loaf onto a flat baking sheet prepared with cornmeal dusted parchment paper or onto a cornmeal prepared peel. You may slash the loaf is you wish. Mist top of loaf with water and gently slide bread into the oven and bake at 205 °C for 20 mintues. Turn oven down to 190 °C and bake for another 25 minutes or until inside temperature of loaf reaches 93 °C.

Let bread cool for 4 – 6 hours before slicing. This is very important as rye breads will turn to a gummy mess if they are sliced before completely cool

* bread flour: 168 g wheat flour Type 550 + 72 g Manitoba flour


Update: The bread has a tasty smack of onions, the crumb is moist, fine pored and not dense. Even after 3 days it was not stale, it improved flavour.

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11 thoughts on “Bread Baking Buddy: Breadchick’s Dark Onion Rye

  1. breadchick (Gast)

    Ulrike! How absolutely wonderful adjustments for the rye flours you have. I love that you tinkered with it in a way I couldn’t because I don’t have access to the same flours. I’m going to link to your recipe for those wanting to try the bread with the same type flours and now hopefully Karen and Lien can make a non-brick loaf.

    You truly earned your Bread Baking Buddy badge this month.

    Let me know how you like the taste.

    and thanks again!!

    Breadchick Mary of The Sour Dough

  2. Judy (Gast)

    This looks so delicious. I’ve been waiting for weeks to see what they would make, but with no more starter, I’m disappointed that I can’t participate. Unless I can get one going in the next week or so.


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