Bread Baking Part Deux- Lemon Rye Bread

When my mom was in town last week we took the follow-up class to bread basics one at Le Pain Quotidien. It was a lot of fun and very informative. It’s amazing how much work goes into making fresh bread. The class focused on making more complex breads such as spelt ciabatta, whole wheat,  rye bread and focaccia.

The 6 types of flour above show just how different basic flours from each grain can be. Each flour gives off its own unique flavor and texture. My favorite is definitely the sprouted grain. Its more expensive than regular whole wheat but it’s slightly bitter taste and health benefits are worth the extra cost in my opinion.

To make more complex bread such as rye or ciabatta you will need to use some fermented dough. What is this you ask? I thought the same thing!

There are three types of fermented dough and they are used to make a variety of different breads.

1) Poolish- very liquidy, used for breads that are light and airy like focaccia. It is slighty sweet and nutty and very difficult to deal with! It is made of equal parts of water and flour plus a small amount of yeast. It requires 4-18 hours of fermentation at either room temperature or refrigerated.

2)Biga- very stiff, its midily acidic and used in breads like ciabatta. It is made of two parts flour, one part water and a small amount of yeast. It requires 12-18 hours of fermentation in a cool environment.

3) Pate– is known as the old dough. It is stiff and is the only complete dough containing salt, it is used for breads like whole wheat and rye. Most likely it is leftover baguette dough from the day before. 4-24 hours of refrigerated fermentation.

Needless to say making these breads takes a lot of planning! If you have a bread baking class near you I recommend taking one. Even if you don’t plan on ever making your own you will really learn a lot. Enjoying the bread fresh out of the oven is heavenly!

Today I’ll take you through how to make lemon rye bread using Le Pain Quotidien‘s recipe. The bread has just a tiny amount of lemon in it and gets most of its flavor from the acidic taste the rye flours gives off.

Lemon Rye Bread:

Pate Fermentee- 235 g Make a day ahead and store in the fridge overnight or at least 4 hours.

138 g Bread Flour, Unbleached

93 g Water

3 g Salt

1 g Instant Dry Yeast

Final Dough-

145 g Bread Flour

269 g Rye Flour

315 g Water

8 g Salt

3 g yeast

25 g Lemon Juice

235 g Pate Fermentee


1) Mix all the ingredients until smooth. To make it easier break the pate into smaller pieces before mixing it in. You want to work the dough until it reaches about 75 degrees. Make sure to adjust your water temperature for the warmth or coolness in your kitchen.

2) When fully mixed, place the dough in a greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Leave covered at room temperature for 30 minutes.

3) When dough is properly fermented. Divide the dough into four 250 gram loaves or two 500 gram loaves.

4) Pre-shape the dough into rounds like in step 3 of my basic whole wheat recipe.  Let the dough rest 15-20 minutes before the final shaping. See  step 5 of my whole wheat bread.

5) Pre-heat oven to 450 while bread is going through its final proof. It should take about 60-75 minutes at room temperature and the loaves will nearly double in size. The dough should feel springy to the touch.  Make sure to score your bread so that it doesn’t split at the seams! (See the picture below)

6) Bake the 250 gram loaves for about 30 minutes and the 500 gram loaves for about 45 minutes.

7) As hard as it will be to wait until the bread has cooled, try to! You can even freeze the extras to enjoy later!

Putting my mom to work!
The whole wheat bread we made heading into the oven.

Our spelt ciabatta bread made with biga. 

My mom and I had a good time in the class and we were starving at the end! Thankfully they ended the class with homemade focaccia bead with olive oil, sea salt and parmesan flakes. At home Dad and Peter made themselves some fresh sandwiches! Yumm!










In other big news from last week, I finished my 9+1 journey into the NYC Marathon for 2013. I’m pumped and excited to try the NYC marathon again after a bad experience in 2010. Lets hope I can make it to the end without tears! A big thank you to my gal pals Amanda and Andrea who I did a lot of my races with. They also did the 9+1 program through New York Road Runners to gain entry into the 2013 NYC marathon. Andrea writes a blog over at Andreas Adventures. She has done a much better job at posting about her runs, its her picture below. Follow her here. Thanks Ladies!




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About rebacox

Pseudo athlete and vegan, learning to love all the imperfections in life. Follow me in my journey, training for races (a half marathon in all 50 states to be exact) and my adventures in the kitchen!
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