My everyday bread recipe contains:

550 g flour
370 g water
12 g salt
4 g yeast

I knead it in a Kitchenaid mixer with a C-shaped dough hook (which, I know, is loathed by some folks). Dough tends to ball up around the hook, but if I raise the speed to 4 or so it works well enough.

Which leads me to my question: today I made this recipe with half white flour and half rye flour, and the mixer just couldn't get a grip on the dough at all. I eventually gave up and kneaded by hand. Is this a problem with the flour combo or the hook? Is there a way to make that dough kneadable in the mixer, or should I just plan to knead by hand if I make it again?

2 Answers 2


Rye and whole wheat flours contain bran and the germ of the wheat, which absorb more water than white flour, so your dough became too dry to stick to the dough hook. I would bet that the bread turned out a bit close textured as well. You need to add more water, how much depends on your flour, it may be up to an extra 30%. The way I'd attack this is to withhold the yeast and the salt, add some extra water (say 15% or 50g), mix it up a bit, then let it sit in the bowl for at least 30 minutes. This will give the bran a chance to absorb the water and you'll see whether it's still dry. If it's a bit sticky then that's good news, it should stick to your dough hook, you can then add the yeast in with a bit of water as it kneads, then the salt mixed with a bit of water once the yeast has gotten mixed in (salt retards yeast growth, you want to keep the two apart).

You could also bake a few batches adding more water each time until it works for you.

This isn't the first bread related question asked, I've addressed some common bread problems in this answer which you may find relevant.


Rye does not have the gluten content of wheat and thus is lacking significant amounts of the mechanical properties of wheat, like its elasticity.

One consequency is that it kneads significantly differently, another that bread with rye flour as primary component does not maintain shape well and requires the use of baking pans (or significant content of precooked unmilled grain, but that's tricky in other respects).

Rye flour does retain less water than high-quality wheat as well but it's much stickier either way, one consequence being that raising it with yeast alone is not working well either.

A 50/50 mix with wheat should be sufficient to recover most of the mechanical qualities but it will still take less water and be stickier overall.

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