Losing My Marbles for Marbled Rye

For the first time since the beginning of the BBA Challenge, I am not ahead on my bread baking. I attribute this to two things:  first, my recent jam and jelly obsession, which has occupied most of the last few weeks; and second, the fact that I was a little unsure about making marbled rye. It’s not that I don’t like it, because I do. It’s just that I was only slightly less nervous about marbling the rye than I had been about braiding challah.

But the Challenge is all about breaking our bread barriers, so I finally decided to try my hand at marbled rye. Besides, I needed something to go under my citrus marmalade.

The first thing that concerned me was making sure the two doughs would work together. That is, that they would rise, ferment, proof and bake on roughly the same schedule. In order to ensure this, I made the doughs one after the other. I began by doing my mise en place for both recipes, so I could move right from one to the next.  

I started with the light rye. While it was kneading in the Kitchen Aid, I began mixing the dark rye. It was ready to go into the mixer as soon as the light rye came out, so the doughs were only about 5 minutes apart by the time they began bulk fermenting.

The recipes are exactly the same, except that the dark rye has caramel coloring in it. The recipe calls for liquid caramel coloring, but what I had was powdered (from King Arthur). I used 5 teaspoons of coloring, and it seemed to work out just right. I also added about a teaspoon and a half of rye sour (also from KAF) to each dough.

At the end of the bulk ferment, I divided each dough into 4 pieces of equal size (yes, I am OCD enough to weigh them). Starting with the light rye and alternating, I rolled 2 pieces of each dough into an oval roughly 8 by 5 inches, stacking them as I went.

Rolling Marbled Rye

I rolled each stack into a batard and put them into loaf pans. Shaping the loaves was easier than I thought. It was really just a matter of rolling the dough and sealing it as I went along; kind of like rolling up a really thick dough into a loaf.

Marbled Rye Batards

The loaf on the left is upside down to show how it looked when I sealed it.

Marbled Rye Panned

After 90 minutes of proofing in the pans, the bread went into a 350 degree oven for 45 minutes. I took it out of the pans and let it cool for an hour or so before slicing it.

Marbled Rye

Oh, yeah. And eating it with citrus marmalade.

Marbled Rye and Marmalade


  1. Lorelei said,

    December 18, 2009 at 11:44 am

    If they can sing about tractors being sexy … I can say your bread is sexy too. Okay … I’m going to give it a shot and try it for christmas gifts. (Maybe a bit over the top for a first bread ever try … but … what the heck … dream big!) Thanks for the step by step pictures. It makes it seem less like magic and more doable! Beautiful work … and I’ll bet it tasted great!

  2. December 17, 2009 at 9:19 pm

    […] they didn’t really.  (In contrast, see some prettier loaves here and here).  But they went into the oven […]

  3. Danielle said,

    October 14, 2009 at 11:34 pm

    The swirl is gorgeous! Congrats on your beautiful loaf and thanks for the tips about prepping each batch of dough in quick succession. It’ll take me a while to get to this bread but looking forward to it.

  4. Paul said,

    October 12, 2009 at 10:16 pm

    Loverly work there, sir.

    I get around the weighing by using a square-ish proofing bowl which makes dividing even numbers simple, just turn the square of dough out and slice from corner to corner. It’s pretty accurate.

    Until I have to divide the dough in three, then I’m totally flummoxed and pull out the scale, adjusting to the gram with tiny slivers of dough. It is excessive, innit? LOL

    Keep at it! And get to the Panetone soon!! I don’t wanna be first on that one!

  5. Frieda said,

    October 9, 2009 at 11:44 am

    Oooh…what a pretty bread~ Good job!

  6. October 3, 2009 at 5:03 pm

    Beautiful swirl and I don’t think that weighing the dough to get exactly even pieces means you haveOCD! (Spoken like a true fellow weigher!)

    The marmalade photo is lovely.

    • gaaarp said,

      October 3, 2009 at 6:08 pm

      Thanks for the vote of confidence! I really like using the scale when I divide dough for loaves, rolls, etc. It’s nice to have uniformly sized loaves and rolls, especially when serving them with dinner.

  7. AnneMarie said,

    October 3, 2009 at 9:49 am

    Absolutely beautiful swirl, I think your OCD weighing must have helped.

  8. misterrios said,

    September 30, 2009 at 3:51 pm

    Nice color on the dark rye. It’s a huge contrast to the light one. The swirl looks great.

  9. ravenlynne said,

    September 30, 2009 at 1:40 am

    Looks great! You rolled like a pro!

  10. Kayte said,

    September 29, 2009 at 8:45 pm

    Wow, gorgeous looking stuff…are you sure this is the first time you did this??? Love the step-by-step photos. Bread and a condiment, no way to keep up with that!

    • gaaarp said,

      September 29, 2009 at 9:01 pm

      Thanks, Kayte! Believe me, this bread looked like it was made by a first-timer. The outside was a lumpy, bumpy mess. But the swirl looked kind of nice.

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