Holiday wheat levain with a hint of rye

Generally I like my bread to be nutritious and delicious. But for the holidays I wanted to try and make a really beautiful and indulgent loaf, nutrition be damned. A crusty, yeasty loaf, light but not too insubstantial either. Here’s what I came up with (ignore the half-loaf on the right, that’s a very different bread):


I’m rather pleased with the result. The crust is thin and bubbly, chewy, and with just a hint of bitterness to offset the sweet, soft crumb.


  • 1 tsp dry yeast
  • 150 g whole wheat flour
  • 200 ml water

Mix flour and water. Proof at room temperature for at least 6h or overnight.

Main dough

  • levain
  • 1100 g white bread flour
  • 100 g whole rye flour
  • 28 g sea salt
  • 5 g sugar
  • water

Mix all ingredients and knead until you have good gluten development. Use enough water to end up with a rather soft and sticky dough. Remember that it will become stronger as you fold it.

Let it rise once. Then fold and put in the fridge overnight. Next morning, fold again and divide into loaf-size lumps. Allow to rest for 30 minutes. Then gently shape into desired loaf shape minimizing degassing. Allow 1-2h final proof and bake in a very hot oven for 20 minutes.

YeastSpotting submission #10

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