Food, Home & Lifestyle


Apollonia Poilâne

Lesson time 19:49 min

Apollonia introduces you to the Poilâne approach to rye: a rich, floral loaf leavened by the same starter used for the wheat loaf.

Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars

Topics include: Mixing, Kneading & First RIse · Shaping & Second Rise · Baking


APOLLONIA POILANE: We often overlook rye. We see it as a very sturdy flour and don't think of the richness that its very coarse and rough appearance gives you. I find this bread to be very floral, very tasty. It's wonderful with butter and honey. There's an infinite possibility of flavors and tastes in a slice like this. [MUSIC PLAYING] The rye breads we make at Poilane have been the same since my grandfather. We make a plain rye sourdough loaf and a rye and currant spread. The recipe we're going to do is a plain recipe. I think you really need to master the plain dough, get a sense and feel for what it smells like, how it feels under your hand before you expand into different variations on the loaf. Naturally, rye has less gluten than wheat, so it also makes for bread that's much denser than the wheat breads. The loaves are generally a little smaller, not as risen. When I think in American terms, I think of the Northern European or Jewish rye breads that often have caraway in them. They are these very dense, very moist, almost pumpernickel types of breads. Whereas when I think of rye with the French mentality, I think of this grain that's used typically in the regions where the soil is much poorer because the rye grain requires so much less from the fields, and so it's much easier to grow. And so in the poorer regions, you will have breads of rye. This recipe is in between easy and hard, and this is because the flour tends to absorb a lot of water. So it's a very sticky dough at first. Because the dough is so coarse, because it's so rough and tough, it's actually a great dough to learn how to shape a loaf. [MUSIC PLAYING] If you've done the sourdough starter and have kept about a cup of it, you can use the leftover for your rye recipe. It should be just enough. In this recipe, I not only use the sourdough, but I supplement it with a little bit of yeast. The rye flour is a very hard flour to have expand, so I just do this to facilitate the job. Here, I'm using a mixture of 70% rye flour and 30% bread flour to make the dough easier to work with. As you develop your baking practice, I encourage you to work up to 100% rye flour. So we have sourdough, a little bit of yeast. We have some sea salt-- coarse sea salt-- flour, and water. I'm going to put the sourdough, the salt, and the yeast, but I'm going to activate a little bit the yeast by pouring a little bit of water on it-- say, a tablespoon-- and waiting a couple of minutes, just enough time to put in the other ingredients. I'm going to do the same thing with the salts. Now, the reason why I soak the salts in water is just because I want to dissolve the salt. It's just that it's such a small batch, you don't want to wind up with a pocket of salt. We have my active dry yeast, which I've activated with water. Once you mix it, it starts creating air bubbles, and that's a good sign that it's ready to roll. I'm going to start putting about a cup of my sourdough ...

About the Instructor

As a third-generation baker and CEO of the renowned Parisian bakery Poilâne, Apollonia Poilâne keeps time-honored traditions alive with every loaf. Now she’s sharing the joy of making bread from scratch with her recipes and hands-on demonstrations. Learn how to make your own starter and a variety of French breads, including rustic wheat, rye, and brioche. Taste, smell, and feel your way to fresh, warm bread at home.

Featured Masterclass Instructor

Apollonia Poilâne

Poilâne CEO Apollonia Poilâne teaches the renowned Parisian bakery’s philosophy and time-tested techniques for baking rustic French breads.

Explore the Class
Sign Up