The “Juicy One”/Das Saftige (Germany)

Rye %: 100%
Stages: Sour sponge, Final dough
Leaven: Rye sour culture, Instant yeast
Start to Finish: 13-15 hours
Hands-on Time: 20-30 minutes
Yield: One 3-lb/1.35 kb loaf

Odd name for a bread, The “Juicy One,” especially since this close-crumbed, rustic north German bread is anything but “saftig,” German, for “juicy. But if you consider its broader meaning (which survives in the Yiddish word zoftig) of “ripe,” “luscious” and “mouth watering,” then the description is spot-on, for this bread has a rich, mouth-filling texture and subdued sweet spiciness that showcases rye in all its glory.

Aside from an overnight sourdough sponge, the bread comes together quickly and easily. The dough mixes for 10-12 minutes, ferments for an hour and then undergoes a second mixing during which sunflower seeds are added. Proofing is short – 15 or 20 minutes – and the dense dough requires a bake of 1½ hours. Mix this dough in the morning and you can have finished loaves by noon.

Here’s the “mouth-watering” part: Together with the seeds, the rye meal – a whopping 91.5% of total flour content – produce a coarse-grained, intensely rustic chew. The flavor profile is mild and complex – more like a mellow Danish rye than a sour and robust north German bread. The relatively small amount of sour sponge contributes a hint of acidity to the finish, while the subtle astringency of caraway and citrus notes of coriander play against the natural sweetness of rye and syrup. This is an engaging bread with a distinctive personality, equally at home with a strong veined cheese like Stilton or Gorgonzola, smoked meat and fish, or a fermented sausage like sopressata.

Sponge (Day 1, Evening):

Ingredient Grams Ounces Baker’s
Medium rye flour 70 2.45 100%
Warm (105°F/41°C) water 70 2.45 100%
Rye sour culture 10 0.35 14%

Mix the sponge ingredients by hand, cover and ferment at room temp (70°F/21°C) until doubled in volume, 8-10 hours or overnight.

Final Dough
(Day 2, Morning):

Ingredient Grams Ounces
Sponge 150 5.25
Coarse rye meal 750 26.45
Warm (105°F/41°C) water 530 18.70
Salt 20 0.70
Instant yeast 8 0.30
Beet syrup, light molasses or dark corn syrup 85 3.00
Caraway seed 3 0.10
Coriander seed, ground 3 0.10
Sunflower seed 50 1.75

In the mixer bowl, combine the final dough ingredients except for the sunflower seeds. Use the flat paddle at low (KA2) speed to mix until the dough is fully integrated and the coarse rye meal starts to break down, 10-12 minutes. Cover and ferment at room temperature for about 1 hour: the dough will have barely expanded.

Add the sunflower seeds and use the flat paddle at low (KA2) speed to mix the dough until the seeds are fully incorporated.

Use a plastic scraper and wet hands to transfer the dough into a well-greased 9″x4″x4″/23x10x10 cm. Pullman loaf pans or9″x5″x3″/23x13x8 cm standard loaf pan. Use wet hands and scraper to pack and shape the dough so that it forms a slight dome. Cover the pan and proof at room temperature until the dough has expanded to within 1 inch/3 cm of the rim of the pan, 15-20 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 480°F/250°C with the baking surface in the middle. Dock the loaf to a depth of 1 to 1½ inches/3-4 cm and bake for 15 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 355°F/180°C and continue baking for another 60 minutes, then turn off the oven and bake the loaf in the residual heat for another 15 minutes. Transfer to a rack and let stand at least 24 hours before slicing.

Baker’s Percentages:

Ingredient g %
TOTAL FLOUR 820 100.00%
   Coarse rye meal 750 91.46%
   Medium rye flour 70 8.54%
Water 600 73.17%
Salt 20 2.44%
Instant yeast 8 0.98%
Rye sour culture 10 1.22%
Syrup 85 10.37%
Sunflower seeds 50 6.10%
Caraway seed 3 0.37%
Coriander seed 3 0.37%
TOTAL FORMULA 1,599 195.00%
Prefermented 70 8.54%



  • Paul, baker dude

    January 19, 2017

    Hi Stanley, about the Crushed Rye Meal used here:

    Is this strictly rye kernels that have been crushed to smaller pieces or is this rye wholegrain flour with bits, as in a VERY coarse rye flour? The description on the NYB page doesn’t really specify. What it does indicate is that this should be soaked ahead of time or scalded but ratios are not given. And soaking would suggest it is just cracked grain (although soaking and scalding flour is obviously not unheard of).

    So this recipe doesn’t suggest soaking or scalding; is the grain to simply absorb moisture while mixing/proofing?

    How close is this to what one might consider “rye chops”? Could I use whole rye kernels, soak/boil to tender and then pulse in a food processor?

    Thanks for clarifying.

    • Stanley Ginsberg

      January 20, 2017

      hi Paul, the coarse rye meal is, in fact, whole rye that’s been crushed just enough to break the kernels. Although most of the breads I’ve baked that use coarse rye meal call for pre-softening of some kind, whether soaking or scalding, this one doesn’t. Instead, the 10-12 minute mix and the second 5-minute mix after bulk fermenting break the kernels even further and allow them to hydrate. That hydration and absorption continue through the 90-minute bake and 24-48 hour rest following baking, resulting in the bread’s coarse, rustic, and firm yet tender crumb.

      I don’t know that poaching whole rye kernels and then blending them to break them up is all that good an idea: the whole basis of rye bread is the viscous gel that forms when water meets the grain’s complex starches; pre-cooking the starches essentially short-circuits the process, depriving the bread of the matrix that holds it together. If all you have is whole kernels, I’d pulse them before cooking, rather than after.

      To your point re: rye chops, chops are cut, which IMO, doesn’t liberate as much of the starchy endosperm as crushing and also doesn’t allow the grain to break down as well during mixing. While chops are good as textural additives, I’m hesitant to build an entire loaf around them without scalding or soaking.

  • Sabine Friedrich-Walter

    January 20, 2017

    The last coarse Rye I got from NY was very coarse, closed to barely crashed , so added fine Rye to the mix. 70% very coarse and 30% fine . Lets see the result later. Since I bake similar bread weekly, I am familiar with wet dough’s.North German and Nordic Breads.
    Your Rye book is my new baking “bible” great recipes good substitute for most of my German Books and Recipes, because missing the perfect flour and not have it on hand here is the trick. Need always lots of adjustment for good and close results.
    Thank you.

  • BB

    January 26, 2017

    In Swedish, “saftig”, when applied to bread, would simply mean moist.
    Thank you for your fine blog.

  • Valentina M

    February 13, 2017

    Thank you so much for another excellent recipe. I’ve made a couple of loaves from your new book and each one of them turned out just great. We love rye breads in my family and it’s a treat to have a full book to play with!

  • Alex Vaughan

    March 30, 2017

    Hi Stanley. I don’t have a mixer… Any idea of how i could get the same effect with the rye meal? I was thinking maybe soaking them and using that water, or just make with sourdough culture,no bakers yeast, and hope the longer proofing will help to break them down?

    • Stanley Ginsberg

      April 3, 2017

      You can try that; or alternatively, do what bakers have done for centuries and mix by hand — which I promise you will be messy and take a long time. Other than that, I have no suggestions.

  • Nils

    April 1, 2017

    Looks great. Keep up the good work!

    Nils from Germany

  • Ignacio

    May 17, 2017

    I just came across your blog, and I am so happy I did. I like to bake occasionally, and rye breads are among my favourite. Your posts are going to be such a helpful source of information.
    This recipe surely is luscious and mouth-watering, and no doubt a slice of this saftige would go great with some butter and salt. I’ll give it a try soon.
    Keep up the great work!
    Ignacio, from Chile

  • clazar123

    September 28, 2017

    The Das Saftige recipe intrigued me-I am on a rye kick lately and have your wonderful book. I am also active on The Fresh Loaf (for many years) and have always appreciated your posts. I just did the Saftige loaf yesterday and I have some feedback. I had done another “quick” toothsome rye a few weeks ago so I feel like quite the expert now.

    First of all, I did have to do a little substitution as I didn’t have quite enough of the coarse cracked rye. I had 250 grams of whole rye berries that I cracked in my coffee grinder to what resembles your picture of coarse rye on your latest article , “Rye Flour Classification: Untangling the Mess”. Another great post by you! My rye flour is Hodgsen’s whole grain stone ground-almost a cross between a meal and a flour. Nowhere near as fine a grind as in your picture.

    Alright, all disclaimers aside, Immediately reviewing the recipe, I was doubtful that the 750 coarse cracked rye would be soft enough in the final loaf with such a brief soak. I was correct. The grain are not outright crunchy but are just slightly crackly for my taste. Next time I make this loaf, I will put the Sponge up the evening before and also a soaker of the 750g coarse rye meal and 530 g warm water.

    The other issue I had with the instructions were on the pan size and whether to bake covered, for how long, and when to remove the cover. As an addition, I added a generous few teaspoons of water over the top of each loaf before covering tightly with foil. I removed the foil after the first 15 minutes but believe I should have left them on for at least 30-40 minutes total.

    I really look forward to seeing how this loaf ages. It could be that day 2 and 3 will only see an improvement in taste and texture.

    • Stanley Ginsberg

      September 28, 2017

      Thanks so much for the feedback. I’ve made this loaf using the recipe as given with great results: it may be that you prefer your breads somewhat less rustic in character than I. De gustibus non disputandum est. BTW, I took the liberty of incorporating your correction.

  • Roberta

    November 1, 2017

    Hi Stanley
    I made The “Juicy One” yesterday. While the interior of the bread was moist and delicious, I found the crust too hard. I used a William Sonoma goldtouch non stick 9×4 pan. I followed the time/temperatures indicated. The crust doesn’t look burnt. Should I have baked for a shorter time?
    I have your Rye Baker book and plan to try some other breads with less coarse rye meal.

    • Stanley Ginsberg

      November 1, 2017

      Try brushing the crust with boiling water as soon as you take the bread out of the oven.

  • Owen

    May 28, 2018

    Would rye flakes be an acceptable substitute for your coarse rye meal?

    • Stanley Ginsberg

      June 2, 2018

      Absolutely not! Rye flakes are crushed blat, whereas coarse rye meal is whole rye kernels broken into large pieces. Because of their shape, and because flakes are often steamed before rolling, they’ll form a mushy crumb. The rye meal, on the other hand, will produce the coarse, rustic crumb that’s the hallmark of this bread.

  • Owen

    June 3, 2018

    Thanks for that. The other substitute available locally is kibbled rye: I had a look at it and it looks a mix of sizes from whole grains to coarse flour. Sorry about this; I’m in New Zealand so speciality flours are hard to source.

  • Owen

    June 4, 2018

    I took a photo of our kibbled rye. Hope this makes it through:
    The ruled lines are 8mm apart.

  • Nancy Rimsha

    June 4, 2019

    Stanley, i have been enjoying learning about rye bread from this website and your book. What fun, and so tasty! I made this recipe, but the cracked rye was too hard, and I really couldn’t eat it at all. I may try it again, soaking the cracked rye overnight, as some recipes call for. It has a wonderful flavor, and I love the cracked rye kernels.


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