Bakers Journal

Bakers Formula: May 2014

April 21, 2014
By bakers-formula

Chef Marco Ropke of the Pastry Training Centre of Vancouver has contributed one of his favourite rye bread recipes to Bakers Journal readers.

“This rye bread is very authentic and very tasty,” he shared in an email. “Being a native German I just can’t live without a good rye bread and this is one of my regular recipes. Hope you like it!” 

For the biga (day 1)

  • 120 g Organic Bread Flour
  • 80 ml Water
  • 8 g fresh yeast (or 4 g traditional dry yeast)


  1. Combine these three ingredients together and allow them to ferment at room temperature for eight to 12 hours.

For the main dough (day 2)

  • 480 g Organic Bread Flour
  • 400 g Organic Whole Rye Flour
  • 30 g Maple Syrup
  • 12 g Vital Wheat Gluten (optional)
  • 620 ml Water
  • 12 g fresh yeast (or 6 g traditional dry yeast)
  • 12 g sea salt


  1. Combine the biga from day one with the remaining ingredients for the main dough and knead the dough until the dough is fully developed and feels springy and elastic.
  2. The approximate kneading time is 8 to 10 minutes at low and medium speed.
  3. During the last minute of kneading add:


  • 100 g caramelized onions
  • 10 g onion powder
  • 2 g fresh rosemary

Additional information and bake time

  • The desired dough temperature after kneading should be around 24 C / 76 F to ensure a healthy and organized fermentation. The initial fermentation time is 90 min to double volume.
  • Scale the dough in either small (450 g), or large (900 g) pieces. Shape the dough pieces in balls and allow them a bench resting time of not more then 20 minutes.
  • Re-shape them into balls and place them into floured round willow bread proofing baskets to allow them to proof until double volume has been re-established.
  • Place a slice of onion in the base of the proofing basket prior of placing the dough inside them.
  • After 30 to 45 minutes of proofing (or double volume), tip the dough out of their proofing baskets, ensuring that the sliced onions are now on the top of the dough.

Slash the loaves and bake them with steam at 425 F / 230 C for approximately 30 to 45 minutes.

Bakers Journal and Marco Ropke

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