Rye Loaf

Franschhoek chef Jean Pierre Smith’s reputation is on the rise at Lust Bistro and Bakery. Try his Rye Loaf…

Makes 2 loaves

“Rye loaves generally have a lower glycaemic index than their white-bread cousins. This simply means that it is metabolised slower, causing a lower and slower rise in blood glucose and ultimately insulin levels. It is important to note that even 100% rye loaves are not gluten-free.”


  • 720ml boiling water
  • 150g stoneground rye flour
  • 600g rye wild-yeast starter

Final Dough

  • 900g stoneground rye flour
  • 150g water
  • 15g salt
  • 300g blackstrap molasses
  • 5g caraway, fennel or aniseed (optional)


  1. Make the pre-ferment the day before you intend baking the loaves. Whisk the rye flour into the boiling water – causing the starch to gelatinise (this ultimately contributes to a better texture of the final product). Allow this batter to cool to room temperature and add the wild-yeast starter. Cover and allow fermentation for no less than 8 hours (but no more than 16 hours) at room temperature.
  2. Preheat the oven to 200ºC. The final dough (more of a batter-like consistency) is made by adding all ingredients to the pre-ferment. Do not overmix. Divide batter between two greased 700g (190mm x 95mm x 60mm) bread tins and allow to double in size/volume. Bake the loaves for 20 minutes, then cover with foil and continue baking for 90 minutes at 160ºC. This is a loaf that will benefit from ‘ripening’ for an additional 24 hours after baking.

Here are chef JP’s 5 Tips for Successful Breadmaking

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