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Scalded rye loaf

Updated: Thu, 2 June, 2022

Mixed flour honey loaf baked with scalded rye flour which makes it last longer, taste better and make me come up with bad puns.

scalded rye loaf loaf

As a queen of bad puns I can’t resist it: this loaf was repeatedly told what a bad, BAD dough it had been and it was also threatened with punching and kneading should it prove to be naughty again.

Scalded – scolded – geddit? Okay, now I’ve got it out of my system we can continue seriously.

What is scalding in bread making?

Scalding the flour means mixing a portion of the flour amount required for bread with boiling water. It results in cooking up starch in the flour, thus making it more pliable and, in effect, more mouldable.

Therefore, it is advantageous in rye breads as rye flour is low in gluten, which means it doesn’t come together easily during kneading. Incorporating scalded flour into the rye bread mix makes it more kneadable as well as speeds up fermentation.

It is all far too much of a chemistry lesson for my understanding, with amylase enzymes and conversion to glucose, and I’m primarily interested in what all the scalding does to the bread.

As it happens, it works well towards softening the crumb and prolonging the life of a loaf. I imagine industrially produced bread must be all about boiling the flour, considering its shelf life. This is not industrial bread though but very much artisan, so we’ll talk only in terms of shelf life of a proper bread loaf – which should be a few days, not a month.

scalded flour honey bread loaf

How to make scalded flour bread

Start the process the night before baking, by scalding the rye flour. It will become glutinous and not seemingly fit for making bread.

The next day it’s bread business as usual though, with the addition of scalded gloop. This is a lovely mix of the scalded rye, with whole and white wheat, some honey because why not? and a pinch of cinnamon which makes the flavour really interesting.

The proving and shaping into a roll to fit in a loaf tin has also nothing unusual in it for bread bakers, and the loaf bakes in very hot oven, gradually reduced to just hot.

proving scalded loaf loaf

What does scalded bread taste like?

The bread is lovely and moist; the crumb is nice and squidgy, the crust firm but not crackling and the loaf makes wonderful toast.

If you’re suspicious of the cinnamon addition, skip it: I’ll admit it’s not to everyone’s taste. I quite enjoyed the hint of spice but half a teaspoon of ground caraway will be less startling. That would be my idea; the scalding procedure comes from Virtuous Bread.

It reminds me a little of the Japanese tadzhong technique which involves cooking up a starter of flour and milk, not unlike roux for béchamel, and adding it to the bulk of other ingredients.

Basically, it’s the case of Very Picky Yeast which won’t feed on raw flour but demands to be served a cooked starter.

But of course the scalded bread is nothing like the super fluffy Japanese Hokkaido. It’s much stodgier in a familiar European way.

I’ll be keen to try improvise on the scalding so watch this space. Bad, bad bread!

bread with scalded rye flour loaf

More rye bread recipes

Seeded light rye bread with linseed, sunflower and pumpkin. This light rye loaf is a little like a blonde pumpernickel, quite easy to bake and best sliced a day after baking.

Light rye yoghurt sourdough, healthy and tasty, with whole rye grain and linseed. It’s a blessing for gut health!

Rye crispbread, Swedish knäckebröd style thins, is full of flavour and quite easy to make. Ryvita, eat your heart out.

More unusual bread recipes

Possibly the most organic, natural and fascinating way of creating food is bread leavened with wild yeast water made from fermented dried figs. Pure magic.

Japanese Hokkaido milk bread recipe as mentioned above, using tangzhong method. It is soft and fluffy and it is utterly delightful.

Does bread have a soul? They think so in Schwabia, south Germany, where they bake traditional spelt sourdough ‘souls’ bread rolls - Schwäbische Seelen.

scalded rye and wheat flour loaf

Scalded rye loaf

Servings: 2 small loavesTime: 15 hours


  • 150g dark or light rye flour
  • 300g boiling water
  • 300g strong white bread flour
  • 300g wholemeal flour
  • 300g water
  • 15g fresh (1½ tsp instant) yeast
  • 20g salt
  • 1 tbsp. honey
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon


1. Prepare the scalded starter the night before baking. Place the rye flour in a large bowl, pour over the boiling water and stir to combine. Cover with cling film and leave overnight at room temperature.

2. The next morning add all the other ingredients to the scalded flour and knead by hand or in a standing mixer with a dough hook attachment, for about 15 minutes. Cover and leave in a warm place for 2 hours.

3. Lightly grease two 9-inch loaf tins.

4. Turn the risen dough out onto a lightly floured surface and divide in two.

5. Shape each piece into a ball, then flatten it down and roll up into a cylinder. Drop the loaves seam side down into the tins and cover with a damp tea towel. Leave in a warm place to rise for 1 hour.

6. Preheat the oven to 230C/450F/gas 8.

7. Slash the tops of the loaves, transfer them to the oven and reduce the heat to 180C/350F/gas 4.

8. Bake for 40 minutes, turn out of the tins onto a wire rack and let the bread cool down for 30 minutes before slicing.

Originally published: Fri, 5 January, 2018

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Your comments

Anna @ CuisineFiend
It can, though make sure to shape it quite taut. Add about 5-10 minutes to baking time, or until the internal temperature is 96C/205F.
3 months ago
K Bob
Can this be cooked as one large round loaf, instead, and, if so, how long would it bake (or to what internal temperature)?
3 months ago
Anna @ CuisineFiend
Hi Rob - thanks for sharing your thoughts! There is a recipe for Borodinsky bread here on my website actually, if you were interested.
8 months ago
This is a good recipe. Instead of wholemeal flour, I used wholemeal spelt flour. When baking was done and the bread was out of the oven, I ribbed Greek-style yoghurt over the crust. This softens the crust a little and prevents it going rock hard. You can also use milk for this purpose, but I didn't have any to hand. The bread has a soft crumb and a nice wholemeal flavour. I tried a slice with butter, then a second, with marmalade. Yum! The one thing I would do different next time is omit the cinnamon. It doesn't convince me, here. Some caraway seeds (whole, not ground) might work. You could also use cracked coriander seeds. There is a traditional Russian rye bread which includes cracked coriander seeds, Borodinsky bread, I think it's called.
8 months ago
Anna @ CuisineFiend
Hi Maria! That's a good question: I've not tried it but I don't see why not as you can make sourdough versions of most breads. I'd use 20% starter in the total volume, so about 280g. If the starter is 100% hydration, decrease the (cold) water amount by 150g and the flour by 150g - rye if it's a rye starter and wheat if your starter is wheat. If the starter is thicker or thinner, adjust the water or flour amounts, aiming at the same overall amounts as in the recipe. Hope it helps?
5 years ago
Maria Quini-Papa
Can I use sourdough starter instead of yeast and if so how much?
5 years ago

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