Joe Valencic kindly allowed me to post his no knead rye bread recipe. This is a great tasting bread with a chewy crust, soft crumb and nice rise that’s also easy to make. What more could a rye lover want in a loaf of bread?

Thanks Joe!

No Knead Rye Bread


3/4 C Dark rye flour (Light rye will also work fine)
2-1/4 C All purpose flour (I use unbleached)
1-1/2 t Kosher salt (other salts are fine)
3/8 t Instant Yeast (that’s 1/4 t plus half of that again)
1-1/2 T Caraway seeds (Optional, although I don’t know why you’d leave it out)
1-1/2 C Water


Mix and bake as any other no knead bread recipe.
(If you happen to be brand new to no knead bread baking, click this link for specific directions or view practically any no knead video).

Alternate Recipe by weight:

4 oz Dark (or Light) Rye flour
12 oz Unbleached all-purpose flour
3/8 Teaspoon Instant Yeast
1-1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1-1/2T Caraway seeds (Optional)
13 oz. Lukewarm water

Joe's No Knead Rye

Joe’s No Knead Rye

Joe’s No Knead Rye Recipe

Comments from our Forum

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  1. GojiB says:

    Hi, I've been making NK bread for a few months now (without fail every week) with both my sourdough starter and my store bought active dry yeast. They've always turned out delicious, with quite a bit of rise, the perfect crust and everyone loves them. However, i must say i am completely miffed by the Rye NK recipe. I've tried it twice and both times, after the proof, i've just ended with a very sticky gooey dough which i couldn't proceed with. What am i doing wrong? I am not using Molasses, my ratio has been 3/4 cup rye + 2 1/4 cup bread flour, 1 1/2 cup water. My Sourdough starter is fed a 50-50 by weight ratio of bread flour + whole wheat flour..... but even with yeast, i had the same result. What am i missing? Any help/suggestions would be really appreciated!

Earlier Comments

72 thoughts on “Joe’s No Knead Rye Recipe

  1. Josh

    Replaced about a third of the water with beer

  2. Novice Baker

    Please post the recipe for sourdough rye.
    I am particularly interested in the variants involving “chef” and “altus.”

    “…Other variants include using a “chef” – a portion of your previous batch of dough and “altus” – slices of stale rye bread soaked in water, squeezed and mashed up into the final mixture…”

  3. Richard

    Opps… Sourdough Rye bread recipe.

  4. Richard

    I’m with Jitka, please add a Rye NK recipe! Thanks!

  5. Jitka

    Hi Eric and Didier,
    I would be very greatfull to get your recipe for the sourdough rye NK bread.
    Thank you very much in advance.

  6. didier tissot

    I hope these comments will help with some of the problems raised in the earlier posts.

    You cannot make rye bread without acidification of the dough. Rye flour does not contain gluten with the gas-retaining properties of wheat dough, so that the structure of rye bread relies mainly on gelatinized starch.

    You must use a good rye sourdough starter to acidify the dough and stop or inhibit the activity of the amylase enzymes in the rye flour. Failure to do this results in sticky, inedible rye bread. Baking should be long, slow and from a cold start– otherwise you make bricks!

    If you want good, real rye bread you need to take your time. A 3 stage process works best which includes a stage of making a zavarka, a sort of porridge of coarse rye and boiling water. Barley Malt is also highly recommended for good tasting rye bread, such as the famous Borodinsky Bread. Coriander and caraway seeds are another possibility.

    Using 20% wheat bread flour, especially Spelt or Kamut is a very useful and acceptable way of stabilising the structure of a rye loaf and adding even further to the subtleties of its taste. Other variants include using a “chef” – a portion of your previous batch of dough and “altus” – slices of stale rye bread soaked in water, squeezed and mashed up into the final mixture. These are just part of the fun and fascination of making rye bread. The possibilities and variations are truly endless!

    Any coventional type of kneading of the rye mixture is uneccesary and pointless and should in fact be impossible if you have the consistency of the mixture as it should be.

    I don’t want to make this a really long post by adding a full recipe and method, but if anyone posts an interest I will gladly do so.

    • MilA

      didier tissot – could you please provide a detailed recipe for the rye bread you’re describing. Thank you.

  7. Wil Rice

    Sorry the pictures got sent twice, I really don’t know why. Oh yes, the bread is very much an excellent rye with a just right sourness.


  8. Wil Rice

    Just got back to making bread after a couple years. I came across Eric’s site and his video snagged me in. I got my old dried starter out of the freezer, kept my fingers crossed and in about a week it was back strong. Had to work with it another week, in and out of the refrig’s, to get the sourness I like. Anyhow, I started right off with Joe’s recipe, following Eric’s video instructions. I did add 1.5 tsp of caraway, 1.5 tsp of fennel and 1 tsp of lemon juice. I put it in a small tupperware w/lid and put it in the refrig for almost 24 hours. It didn’t rise at all, maybe a smigit, but it smelled great when I took it out about 8 pm the night prior to baking. My starter, true to form to when I use to bake bread, doubled the dough just over night, about 12 hours. I was afraid to go the 18 hrs, so I went ahead, layed it out on the board, folded and put into a basket sprayed and lined with wheat bran. After an hour I heated up a 7 qt Le Creuset DO at 500 deg. At 1.5 hours the dough really had not risen all that much but I knew from using my starter, it’s character was/is to give a nice oven spring. I gently plopped the dough into the DO, a little off center, turned down the oven to 475 for 30 min. I took the cover off and turned the oven down to 450 but had to take the bread out after only about 7 min. I was amazed, at the loaf I got after only the first time. My wife said it was the best bread I ever made. I have already sent an order into Eric for some equipment. I don’t want to keep using the DO. It is too heavy to lug around and I don’t want to darken it. I am now looking at my Russian Black bread to see if I can convert it to the NK. Thanks to everybody for your postings and thanks to Eric for hooking me.



  9. Eric E

    I just tried to make NK rye, but using my well fed starter instead of dry yeast. I followed Joe’s recipe except substituted 1/3 cup starter for the yeast. Ended up with a waaay too sticky dough, and after fermenting for 18hours and proofing for 2, it just oozed into the La cloche. Nonetheless, even though it baked only 2 inches high, it has an incredible taste, and a pretty good uneven crumb. Any suggestions, or did I mis-measure something? If using AP flour, should I add Vital Wheat Gluten?

    I’d love to nail this recipe, because, as I said, it was delicious!

  10. eric,just made nkrye and added 1 tbl molasses and 1/2 tbl
    of carob and it just came out great…baked it in the oval laclocle..

  11. I bought malt syrup Friday at a beer brewing shop. About 3.00 USD for a half pound.

  12. In my search for malt powder I have only been able to find it in commercial quantities. However, malt syrup can be found in health food stores here in Canada in a 10 oz jar. Malt syrup is used extensively by European bread makers. I saw it being used in a video on French bread baking. It looks just like molasses. The baker used about 1/8 teaspoon in a rather large batch of bread. The brand of malt syrup I have been able to find is HAPPY HOME and distributed by Grain Process Enterprises Ltd., Scarborough, Ontario, Canada,M1S 3M7. They may be able to advise you.

  13. marc

    I’ve not seen barley malt powder anywhere

  14. Dorothy Chan

    Hi Ellen,
    Ovaltine is a malt based beverage which is similar to Horlicks. It contains malt extract, sugar, whole milk powderm, whey powder, sugar, palm oil, butter oil, oligofructose, sodium bicarbonate, and salt. I don’t think you can substitute it for barley malt powder.

  15. Ellen

    Is it a difference between Ovalteen (sp.?) and barley malt powder, please?
    I think in one of the mail I read that this two products interchangable.

  16. Ellen

    This is clarification for my previous post. It should read BARLEY malt powder

  17. Ellen

    Is it a difference between Ovalteen (sp.?) and malt powder, please?
    I think in one of the mail I read that this two products interchangable.

  18. MIKEE

    I too am using diastatic malt powder 1/4 teaspoon or less. A little goes very far. I get great results . Better taste,much longer shelf life, and softer bread. The crust doesn’t get as crisp for non rye breads. overall though its great. its not a preservative but wheat berries that are moistened and when they start to sprout they are ground and add
    ed with a little more wheat flour. the malting produces an enzyme which improves the dough matrix.Its completly natural. I havn’t heard anything bad,

  19. Linda

    I have ww sandwich bread recipe that I’ve used forever, but no matter how I stored it, it just wasn’t good after a couple of days. I tried King Arthur’s diastatic malt powder – 1/4 teaspoon – and it has made all the difference in the world. When I fed 7 people the bread never had a chance of going stale, but with just 2 of us now, using the malt powder saves a lot of waste. I haven’t tried it in the nk breads – we tend to eat those faster – lol!! Why does using Corning Ware at 500 degrees make me nervous??

  20. Hi Janet,

    Please email them to me and I’ll be happy to post them for you.

    Some day I’ll find software that will allow people to post directly, but until then it’s kinda round about.


    Breadtopia Edit: See Janet’s photo and comments on the no knead recipe variations page.

  21. Eric,
    I have consistent good results with the no knead basic recipe, whether I use yeast or starter. Thanks to you I’ve also learned how to dry and reactivate my starter. I now play with the basic recipe a bit and would like to submit pictures of some of the successful variations. How do I go about this?

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