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Swirly Rye

When I first made swirly rye I thought using equal amounts of Swirly Rye Crumb Shoteach dough was the way to go. However, the dough that was rolled into the center of the roll just took over the loaf visually. Playing with quantites showed that 2/3 of the dough should be in the outer layer, and 1/3 in the inner layer.

Ready to roll!To get this balance, I divide both the dark and light loaf into three equal sized chinks. With this recipe, that should be around 255 grams.

Take two pieces of the light dough, fashion them into a single piece of dough, and roll it so it is around 6 to 8" wide and 10 to 12" long. Roll the remaining piece of light dough into a piece about the same width and about 2" shorter.


Repeat this process with the dark dough. Put the thicker light piece of dough in front of you with the smoother side down, and with the narrower sides nearest to and farthestRollin' rollin' rollin' Doughhide? from you. Put the thinner light piece of dough on top of the thicker dark piece of dough. Align them so that the top edges are lined up, and the sides are fairly close to being aligned. Roll the dough down towards you as you would with a jelly roll. When the dough is rolled, crimp the seam and the edges.

Almost done!Repeat this with the remaining three pieces of dough. Once rolled, you can either let it rise as a free-form loaf or put it into a bread pan and bake it as a pan loaf. Either way, cover the loaf and let it rise.

When the loaves have risen, bake them for about 40 to 45 minutes in a 375 to 400F (190 to 205C) oven.

Marbled Rye

This was inspired by a number of really dreadful cakes I've A closer image of the marbled rye"enjoyed" as well as monkey bread. I wanted a more rectangular series of rye blobs.

Chunks of doughSo, I cut two half loaf sized dough blobs into cubes somewhere between 1/2 inch and an inch on a side.


Checkerboard, layer 1The cubes of dough were put into a loaf pan in a checkerboard pattern. Unlike a monkey bread, the dough balls were not buttered. It is the butter in a monkey bread that lets you pull apart the baked dough balls. This time, we want a solid loaf ofCheckerboard, layer 2 multi-colored bread,

Once the first layer is in place, I added another layer, alternating the colors with the first layer. You can, of course, use more layers. Just play with the size of your loaf pan, and the size of your dough blobs. Remember to leave enough room for the dough to rise.

You may notice a few odd lumps of dough that don't quite fit into the pattern. I had some leftover dough lumps and used them to fill in some of the larger holes in the checkerboard. They made the pattern a bit more irregular. Whether that is a good thing or a bad thing is an aesthetic judgement. If you want a smoother top, you could rub the surface with wet hands to smooth it out. I was trying for a cobbled and rustic look.

Once the dough blobs are in place, cover the loaf and let it rise.

When the loaves have risen, bake them for about 40 to 45 minutes in a 375 to 400F (190 to 205C) oven.

To Infinity

The fever from an ear infection made me thing some wildInfinite Rye Bread - to infinity, and BEYODN! and crazy thoughts. Well, wild and crazy for me, anyway. I was thinking about multi-colored breads, I thought, yeah, how about baking an infinity sign into a loaf of bread?

Reversing the colors, but still - Infinite rye bread - to infinity and beyond!One color dough could be the centers of the infinity sign, another could be the infinity sign, and then we could surround that with central color. Yeah, what could go wrong with a fevered dream, brought to life in a medium as uncontrollable as bread dough?

The lessons of the swirly rye helped here, the outer layers need to be larger than the inner ones. A student in a rye class commented on the Fibonacci number. And that was the starting point for the dough ball sizes. One part for each of the center pieces, three parts for the infinity, and five for the outer loaf seemed to work pretty well, though I may tweak the numbers a bit. In particular, I'd increase the infinity a bit, and the outer layer considerably.

Let's turn those numbers into Doughballs, many many dougballs!actual dough ball sizes. To make a 1 1/2 pound loaf we need about 770 grams of dough before baking. There are 10 parts of dough. 5 for the outer layer, 3 for the infinity, and 1 each for the two central parts. So, since 770/10 = 77, each part weighs 77 grams. That means we need two dough balls of 77 grams each, one dough ball of 231 (3 * 77) grams and one dough ball of 385(5 * 77) grams. And that's what we have in the picture above and to the right. The difference in size between the three and five part dough balls isn't terribly obvious in this picture.

A cigar of dough, wrapped in infinityNext, I rolled the small dough balls into cigars about the length of the bread pan I was planning to use. Then, I rolled out the "infinity" dough balls and wrapped them around one of the cigars.


Two cigars of dough, wrapped in infinity!After rolling the first cigar of dough, I put the second cigar into the infinity and wrapped it too.


Ready for the final wrapupThe infinity bundle then gets wrapped in the contrasting dough color.


Now we've created two mirrorTwo mirror image loaves image loaves. It seems the cocoa in the dark dough makes that dough handle a bit better than the light dough, however both loaves bake up nicely. If you decided that you only want to make the loaf with the light, or dark, outer layer you could change the recipe sizes to get the appropriate amounts of dough. With the bakers percentages and ratios, it's pretty easy to set up a spreadsheet. If there are enough requests, I can set one up.

When the loaves have risen, bake them for about 40 to 45 minutes in a 375 to 400F (190 to 205C) oven.

And Beyond!

Well... this has been a rather long exposition on a single bread. What brought you to this page? The "Toy Story" reference? In any case, I hope the page has been helpful, and that you think that of other things you can do with these, and other contrasting, doughs.

Maybe you could braid them? Or you could swirl them? Or you could make mystery, or surprise, rolls - would your guests be amused or put off by not knowing what is inside a roll? You could put other fillings in the rolls. Maybe cheese, sausages, hot peppers, Italian peppers. With, or without, contrasting doughs.

As with all the recipes on this site, I hope you'll see it as a starting point, not something writ in stone. I strongly believe that a recipe isn't really yours until you change it and MAKE it yours.

If you come up with any variations you really like, I hope you'll write me through the "Contact Us" page to share the ideas. And if you have pictures to share, I'd REALLY like to see them!

2 thoughts on “swirly rye assembly”

  1. Thank you so much for all the recipes and the advice! My sourdough breads have been a hit and a miss but since I came across your website it’s getting better! I made the swirly Rye and it’s delicious!

    1. Hi Sherry,
      Thanks for the kind words! The Swirly Rye is one of my wife’s favorites. I hope finding the ingredients wasn’t too much of a pain.

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