This is my favorite rye bread recipe of all time… so far. I could have just as easily called it Swedish Rye Bread or Aroma Therapy Bread for that matter (takes the coveted baking bread smell to another level). And if you’re not into sourdough baking, no problem, I cover the instant yeast version as well.

So much time had passed since my last video shoot I’d forgotten the challenge of keeping a video short and concise. Sorry about the way this one drones on. If you’re already a bread baker, you can probably just go off the written recipe and instructions below.




Artisan Sourdough Rye Bread
Artisan Sourdough Rye Bread

This is my favorite rye bread recipe of all time… so far. I could have just as easily called it Swedish Rye Bread or Aroma Therapy Bread for that matter (takes the coveted baking bread smell to another level). Covers both sourdough and instant yeast versions.

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 18 hours

Yield: 1 Loaf


  • Water: 400 grams, 1 3/4 cups
  • Sourdough Starter: 70 grams, 1/3 cup (omit if making the instant yeast version)
  • Instant Yeast: 1 tsp. (omit if making sourdough leavened version)
  • Rye Flour: 245 grams, 1 3/4 cups
  • Bread Flour: 245 grams, 1 3/4 cups
  • Molasses: 44 grams, 2 Tbs.
  • Fennel Seed: 8 grams, 1 Tbs.
  • Anise Seed: 2 grams, 1 tsp.
  • Caraway Seed: 3 grams, 1 tsp.
  • Salt: 12 grams, 1 3/4 tsp.
  • Zest of 1 Orange


Sourdough Version:

In a mixing bowl, mix the starter into the water. Add the molasses, all the seeds and orange zest.

In a separate bowl, combine the flours and salt.

Gradually stir the dry ingredients into the wet using a dough whisk or spoon until the flour is well incorporated. Cover with plastic and let rest for 15 minutes. After about 15 minutes, mix again for a minute or two. Again let rest for 15 minutes and mix one more time as before. Now cover the bowl with plastic and let sit at room temperature for roughly 12-14 hours.

Instant Yeast Version

The only difference is don’t use sourdough starter and instead mix the instant yeast into the dry ingredients before combining with the wet ingredients.

Both Versions

After the long 12-14 hour proof, stretch and fold the dough and shape into boule or batard (round or oblong) shape for baking. (If you didn’t follow that, I’m afraid you’re doomed to watch the video.) Cover again with plastic and let rest 15 minutes before putting in a proofing basket for the final rise. If you don’t have a proofing basket, line a bowl with a well floured kitchen towel and put the dough in there for the final rise. The final rise should last somewhere between 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Keep the dough covered with plastic to prevent it from drying out.

Preheat your oven to 475 F a half hour before baking.

Score the dough with a razor or sharp serrated knife and bake until the internal temp is about 200 F.

Let cool completely before eating.


On 12-14 hour proofing period: I typically prepare everything in the evening for baking the next morning. You can also mix everything up in the morning and refrigerate until evening then remove before bed to resume the proofing at room temperature. Alternatively, if you get started with mixing everything up early enough in the morning, the bread can also be ready to bake in the evening. This is a nice option when you want fresh bread ready to eat for breakfast.


On Rye: Higher in protein, phosphorus, iron and potassium than wheat. It’s high in lysine, low in gluten and very low in Saturated Fat, Cholesterol and Sodium. It is also a good source of Zinc, Copper and Selenium, and a very good source of Dietary Fiber and Manganese.

Rye bread, including pumpernickel, is a widely eaten food in Northern and Eastern Europe. Rye is also used to make the familiar crisp bread.

Some other uses of rye include rye whiskey and use as an alternative medicine in a liquid form, known as rye extract. Often marketed as Oralmat, rye extract is a liquid obtained from rye and similar to that extracted from wheatgrass. Its benefits are said to include a strengthened immune system, increased energy levels and relief from allergies, but there is no clinical evidence for its efficacy. Rye also seems active in the prevention of prostate cancer.

Jan 2, 2011 addition: Check out Joe Doniach’s variation of this recipe.

July 2011 addition: Also see Heinz’s simple and fast Swiss Artisan Bread Recipe.

Artisan Sourdough Rye Bread

Comments from our Forum

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  1. Patricia says:

    I have been baking bread for more than 40 yrs now, since my hippie days. And up until a few month ago I had an ancient sourdough starter, but alas and alack she died. So I've started with a new one. It is lovely. I've been making pumpernickel for my "boyfriend" since I started making regular sourdough for myself, again. I scan the Internet for different recipes all the time esp for the pumpernickel since its new to me. (He says why don't you just stick to one) well you know how that goes. So I'm making this Artisan Sourdough Rye. I can't wait to see how it turns out and how he likes it. He's laughing that I got up at 8am to finish it! I'm not a morning person. It's on its 2nd rise and looks lovely, not too sticky, nice rise, good shape. I want to thank everyone who contributed comments! Turns out you're not too old to learn new tricks! Heehee!d

  2. Patricia says:

    This bread turned out so beautiful and delicious. I didn't have anise or orange and can't wait to make it again with the missing ingredients.

    I think this is the most beautiful loaf I've ever made! And it does taste GREAT!

  3. sharondhl1 says:

    I love this bread, thank you Eric for the recipes and video tutorials. I'm not sure if any other recipe can beat this! I loved it and the whole family did as well. Just out of interest, what happens if I just use my sourdough from the fridge without feeding it?

  4. mcfunk says:

    Hi there. I'm another one with a rye sourdough starter and I'm starting to suspect that it behaves quite differently from white or wheat starters. It's nowhere near as stiff, for one. I'm sure it played a part of my first (and only yet) batch of this bread being overly wet and sticky, and I think the ratio of yeast to moisture impacts the rise as well (i.e., I suspect that I'm getting less yeast for the quantity of starter).

    I've seen some methods online that call for taking the starter "mother" and adding flour and water in given quantities to stiffen before using in a recipe, such as the following:

    To use for recipes - Combine 1/2 c (5 oz) mother starter from the refrigerator with 3 oz flour and 2.5 oz warm water (85 - 90 degrees). The mixture will be stiffer than the mother. Let it sit, covered, until doubled in volume (if it doesn't do so go back to maintenance procedure). When the starter has doubled, it is ready to use in a recipe. Measure the amount needed and discard any that remains. (

    Do you think that using such a method would produce a starter that would better approximate the stiffness of the starter you are using, and create more consistent results in recipes in general? Or am I better off just spinning off a white or wheat starter from my rye start?

  5. Paula says:

    Such a great recipe and comprehensive tutorial!
    I went with the Rapid Rise (instant) yeast method and was very pleased with the results. This was a test run for a dinner party next weekend for a group of us who went on a Rhine River cruise this summer and I am looking forward to sharing this wonderful recipe!

  6. wilbri says:

    Have been following and baking with lessons from this site for a few happy months now.
    The most dramatic lessons I've learned, are the use of a Dutch Oven and an implanted thermometer.
    I have experimented with 100% rye (will write about that at another time) however, am trying to improve my technique with this recipe.
    Repeatedly, I get a very wet bread.
    Usually, the Dutch Oven is heated up to 240*C (i.e. 'hot' oven) and closed with the dough for 20 minutes.
    Then, the cover of the Dutch Oven's removed and the thermometer is speared into the still baking bread, with an alarm set for 98*C.
    This is usually reached in another 30 or so minutes.
    Round wooden skewer tests always come out wet, so I keep the bread in for longer and longer, causing it to over crust. Possibly even, to burn.
    At this time, I am baking the same recipe with 370 instead of 400 grams of water.
    The dough was very sticky - let's see what happens.🤔
    Any suggestions how to get the baked bread less sticky?

  7. wilbri says:

    Here it goes ▶️ The crumb looks good, the crust is crunchy and thin, the bread, though still sticky, is much less sticky than usual.
    I'll write the ingredients, including all changes I've made to the 'official' recipe over the past few months.
    It would be an exaggeration to say that I'm delighted with the outcome- I am happy.
    A bit of background, we live about 700 meters above sea level, near Jerusalem, in Israel.
    Spring is behind us, so the unheated in-house temperatures are just over 20*C.
    This bread's dough was started on Thursday morning, about 9am, then put in the fridge at 2pm, until this (Sunday) morning at 8am.
    The second rise, after folding, started at 2pm, for baking at 4pm.

    The ingredients:
    370 grams water
    70 grams rye starter
    245 grams whole rye flour
    245 grams general white wheat flour
    40 grams date syrup
    5 grams table salt
    25 grams peeled sunflower seed
    25 grams linseed

    Followed directions of Artisan Sourdough Rye Bread.

  8. ritchd01 says:

    Eric, I love your site but am having trouble with the Artisan Sourdough Rye bread. #1, I'm not sure if my sourdough starter is what it should be. I live in central Canada, Manitoba to be exact. A person I know that taught culinary arts in one of our regional high schools told me that we could not maintain good sourdough starter here. We do not have the good wild yeast like that found on the west or east coast. Is there any truth to that. What can I do to keep my starter healthy. I do the weekly feeding of the starter. Should I be adding some yeast with the flour and water? I tried this recipe twice and it just does not rise like yours. I like the taste but it is not what it should be. We are in late fall, early winter here. The temperatures have been very nice so far, for us. Our house is 18C at night and 21 during the days with a relative humidity of 57%. I tried to include a couple of pictures of my latest rye bread but could not do it.. It's better than the first would you believe. Any suggestions?

  9. Michelle says:

    I adore this recipe! So flavorful, and so easy to make!
    I put it all together in the morning but knew I would not have enough time to bake at the end of the day, so I put it immediately, after mixing, into the refrigerator, and then took it out at night, to warm up and rise overnight. The loaf was formed and proofed the next morning and then baked in a cloche, it is brown and beautiful and oh, so tasty!
    Thank you for this recipe!

  10. jbluebird says:

    wow! This bread is fantastic. Followed Eric's video and ingredient list as close as possible. This is my 4th NK attempt using the pineapple based SD starter, and the best to date.

    Only issue (for now) is the overly dark bottom. For this last try I raised the rack to its highest point and lowered the temp by ~10 degrees, but still a little burnt on the buns. Will try parchment paper next weekend.

    Thank you Eric for the great instructions and delicious recipes.


Earlier Comments

760 thoughts on “Artisan Sourdough Rye Bread

  1. Heinz

    I would like to share my recipe for my Swiss Artisan Bread which is simple to make, needs no preferment and hours + hours time before it is ready. I use unbleached, organic King Arthur flour. I find that the dough develops well when the room temperature is around 77 degrees.

    2 cups of white Bread flour

    1 cup of whole Wheat flour
    ½ cup of Rye flour
    ¼ tsp. Instant Yeast powder (Fast-Rising, Rapid-Rise, Quick Rise)
    1 tsp. Honey
    1 1/4 tsp. Sea Salt

    1 1/2 cup filtered Water

    ▪ Mix together the dry ingredients in a bowl.
    ▪ Add in the water (with dissolved honey) and mix until the liquid is fully absorbed.
    ▪ Knead the dough for approx. 8-10 minutes.
    ▪ Let the dough rest for 90 minutes in the bowl covered with a plastic bag.
    ▪ Gently flatten the dough on a flat surface.
    ▪ Then fold it like a letter and shape it into the desired form.
    ▪ Transfer dough into a proofing basket lined with parchment paper.
    ▪ Cover with a plastic bag and let it rest for 60 minutes before baking.
    ▪ Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 500 with (clay baking dish).
    ▪ Open the hot oven and transfer the dough with parchment paper into the baking dish.
    ▪ Score the top & lightly sprinkle with flour.
    ▪ Close the cover of the baking dish and bake for 30 minutes at 500.
    ▪ Remove the cover and continue baking at 400 until crust is as desired.

    Good luck and bon appetit.

  2. Hi Deonia,

    I usually leave starter out for a few hours after feeding it. Starter will continue to grow, just very slowly in the fridge, so the timing on these things is flexible. There are zillions of ways to do just about anything with regards to bread baking that can be considered workable. This is one of those.

  3. Deonia Copeland

    I was perusing the Rye sourdough recipe and watching the video when I realized you mentioned that the starter had been in the fridge and was cold. Did you feed it and then refrigerate it before using it in the recipe? I thought you had jto leave the starter out for 8-12 hours after it being fed before using it. I’m a bit confused on that procedure now.

  4. EileenB

    A very forgiving recipe that turned out great. I just started baking, and used my own sourdough starter and followed the recipe exactly. It was a very wet dough (didn’t weigh, just measured), and I was afraid that it wouldn’t rise, but it turned out great. Definitely will make this again, and it is my favorite recipe so far. Being a newbie, I forgot to slash the top, but even with the cracked top, it is an attractive and aromatic loaf. Thank you for the great recipe!

  5. Nancy in CA

    Hmm. Fennel-anise-careway-orange peel-molasses (along with the rye flour) defintely make it Limpa (Swedish rye), but sourdough I would not have thought of, as Limpa is a sweetish bread. It is also typically more soft crusted than a sourdough. I may have to try this!

  6. Janey Williams

    I lined my Romertopf with non-stick foil (just the bottom part) and it works like a charm. .. no more sticking. I love it!! Baked 3 loaves of sourdough this week and they were all fab. The seeded sourdough lasted exactly 30 minutes. LOL.

  7. Wow! It looks so easy 🙂 I never thought about using those clay things to bake the bread in. Thank you for two great and easy to follow videos.

  8. Joan Cassell

    Eric, Your recipe is for a Swedish Rye Bread. A similar recipe is given, for Swedish Limpa, by James Beard in Beard on Bread, published in 1973. His version is not sourdough, though, and contains beer (with optional cardamom). A Swedish deli in Brooklyn Heights used to carry it; around Christmas their Limpa had candied fruits in it, which was wonderful. I’m looking forward to making your sourdough version.

  9. Janey Williams

    Made my second sourdough rye bread today and again, it stuck to the bottom of the Romertopf. It took a lot of muscle and digging to get it out of the baker. I *think” I know the answer but wanted to check with you, Eric. I think my oven is slower than normal to heat up, therefore the Romertopf is not hot enough when I drop my loaf in. The bottom (the little bit I managed to get out) wasn’t brown at all, just tan. It did measure 200 deg when I tested it.

    Maybe if I heat my oven up longer (and the Romertopf), I will have better luck.

    I also had trouble scoring it. My blades are new but they just pull the top of the loaf to the side when I try to slash. It is too low in the Romertopf to use a sharp knife. Suggestions? My three slashes were almost 1/2 inch deep tho looked messy, and the loaf split neatly down the middle, so it still looked OK.

    Sorry, lost my camera cord so I can’t upload a picture until I replace the cable. Best Buy, here I come.

    Also, got any suggestions for my next loaf of sourdough?

  10. tt

    @ jo,
    i had the same thing happen to me! the first dough went into the trash, extremly runny. i also realized that MY flour messurement were incorrect. (totally my fault)
    the second dough i baked but i had the same issues like you. runny, end product tasty but more looking like a flying soucer 😉 so today i tryed again!
    today i double messured in grams and cups and noticed right away that 1 and 3/4 c. water is not 400g of water. least not on my scale. it was only 370g of water. everything else was correct! my guess is that that may be the reason to our soucer looking bread and dough that is not manageable.
    todays dough looks and feels aready different then my previous attempts…so with any luck my bread should be looking good tomorrow. jo, maybe this will make a difference in your bread result too…don’t give up try again

  11. Dayle Watson

    Delicious, it came out perfect,

  12. Dayle Watson

    So here my result , can’t wait to see what the inside is like this time round.

    Thanks for this delicious recipe.

  13. Dayle Watson

    This is my second attempt now at this recipe, the first time although tasted great didn’t have as much oven spring as i baked the bread straight onto a Pizza stone, this time though I decided to put it into a Cast Iron dish with the lid on and I think it’s came out great.
    I think my dough was a little wetter than in the recipe but I’m pleased with the result and can’t wait to slice it open once it’s cooled down.

  14. Pete

    Thanks for the feedback Melody. It definitely makes sense.
    I use the longer heating time from now on.
    That’s some nice looking bread Inna!

  15. Inna Lye

    Here is my first try of this version. I didn’t add as much fennel seed cause I think it’s a little too strong for my taste. I aslo used freshly ground whole wheat in place of all purpose. The final result was wonderful!

    Thank you for the recipe

  16. Melody

    I think it’s because you pre-heated the dutch oven fully. It has to be pre-heated minimally 30 minutes so that it can be sufficiently hot to both activate the yeast (oven spring) and create a tough enough crust (from the water evaporating from the wet dough) to keep the bread from collapsing after the initial oven spring…Proofing longer probably didn’t hurt it much too, but I’m a perfect example that over-proofing (you’ll notice this when you move your bowl and it suddenly collapses) will not help this at all. I say the pre-heat was the main hero.

  17. PeteW

    Hi Eric, et all,
    Just baked another loaf of this delicious rye. Did some things different and got some different results. Which is my reason for posting. I’ve had very good results with this recipe, but for the first time I attained some nice air pocketing. Possibly due to oven spring, but I have no idea, I’m still to much of a newbie so… I’m trying to figure out why. The differences this time were partly on purpose and mostly by mistake, so I’m posting in order to get some feed back from my fellow bakers. This time I just followed the recipe pretty much without deviation except that I switched measurements between the fennel and the caraway seed amounts. In the past I have used whole wheat instead of bread flour and mixed whole wheat flour and unbleached bread flour on the bread flour side of the recipe. I’ve also added some vital gluten to aid in proofing and baking. The time before this I stuck to the ingredients but also added vital gluten. This time I did not, everything was spec, but the seeds as I’ve said. Also as always I used my rye sourdough starter.
    I do not have a metric scale so I measure ingredients. I do not have a La cloche so I use a cast iron dutch oven which I set on top of a baking stone, preheating them with the oven for 25 to 30 minutes at 480 F degrees. This time I preheated for 45 minutes and allowed the dough to shape longer. Naturally, I made the dough the day before. I’ve always proofed my other batches in a plastic covered bowl 12 to 13 hours. This time it proofed for nearly 16 hours from 6:45 PM Tue. until approx. 11:45 AM Wed. As before, I removed the dough to my floured board, gently flattened it slightly and then tri-folded it sideways and length ways per the video, then I placed it into my floured cloth lined glass shaping bowl and covered it with plastic. Like others have mentioned I’ve found the 15 minute rest before hand unnecessary. I set my timer for one hour so I’d remember to turn on my oven 30 minutes before I needed it. Plenty of time to preheat everything. When the timer rang I remembered that I’d forgotten to flip my loaf seam side up before putting it in the shaping bowl, so I rightly or wrongly flipped it over. I knew this might mean letting the bread proof a bit longer so I reset the timer for 30 minutes and checked the loaf again at the bell. I decided to give it 15 more minutes and check it again. At that point I decided it looked pretty good. I removed the hot dutch oven and plopped in the loaf turning the shaping bowl over the dutch oven (same as always) I kind of hold it slightly with my fingers so it is a bit more controlled than this sounds, but the it’s still far from graceful. Using pot holders I swirl the kettle a bit shifting the loaf to center, replace the lid and put it back on the baking stone in the oven. I baked it for 30 minutes at 480 as usual. At 30 minutes I removed the lid honestly expecting a doorstop as a result of all my mistakes. The loaf looked gorgeous and it was obvious it had risen better than any of it’s predecessors. Leaving the lid off I turned the oven to 450 and continued baking for 10 more minutes, as usual. At the end of that period I removed the kettle and plopped the bread out on a rake. After it had cooled I slice off a few pieces and I was very pleased with what I saw. The taste was excellent also. Always is. Subtly different this time because of the switch in amounts of fennel and caraway.

    So did I get the better spring because I let it proof longer, or because I heated the dutch oven longer or because I allowed it to shape longer? Anyone care to jump in on this. Oh yes one additional mistake, I forgot to score the top of the loaf after I placed it in the dutch oven. Fortunately it split nicely on it’s own, thank goodness. 🙂

  18. anne

    Approximately how long does it take the baking bread to reach 200 degrees internally?

  19. Hi Eric H and Alan,

    Some years ago I got in the habit of allowing for a 15 minute rest prior to the final shaping. There’s actually some french name for this preshaping. The idea behind this stage is that the dough relaxes, making the final shaping easier and helps develop flavor and texture. The funny thing is, I didn’t do it right in this video. I should have only barely shaped the dough after I removed it from the bowl and then come back after 15 minutes for the final shaping. In this video, I final shaped it right away so the 15 minute rest provided no added value. The other funny thing is I also don’t think it makes a hill of beans difference whether you include that stage (correctly) or not.

    So, yea, skip it. Good observation guys and thanks for bringing it up.


  20. Jo


    I finished my first loaf of sourdough rye and my husband said it looked like a flying saucer. It spread out and not up. I was sure it was going to go into the garbage but thought I would try it and see what it tasted. To my surprise it was pretty tasty, except for the over powering taste of Fennel. But even my daughter and son-in-law thought it was good. It wasn’t heavy and the crumb seemed pretty good. I want to make another but I want to have it rise up instead of out and how can I keep it from being so wet that I can’t fold it . I had to scrape it off my board and had an awful time trying to put it onto the parchament paper. Please Help!

  21. Eric H

    Hi Eric, Could you please answer Alan’s question of 1/31/11 regarding the 15 min. rest? I have the same question. In fact, I forgot to do it once and didn’t notice any effect.

  22. Jo


    I am in the process of making my first loaf of rye bread. Everything seemed like it was going great until it was time to take it out of the bowl and fold it. The dough had risen really good but when I went to remove it, it was so wet I had an awful time trying to fold it . I sprinkled more flour but nothing seemed to help. It is resting (15 minute rest) and I hope I can get it into the proofing bowl.
    What can I use to bake it in as my romertoph won’t be here until Wedensday? I followed the video and recipe perfectly so I can’t figure out what I have done wrong and why it is so wet. Any suggestions?

  23. Pete

    Thank you that makes sense.

  24. Hi Pete,

    Great bread again!

    I think the crust is a bit more crackly with an unglazed ceramic baker just because the porous clay wicks more moisture away from the dough during baking. You can get great bread either way, so don’t feel like you’re missing anything by continuing as you are.

  25. Pete

    Hi Eric,
    Thanks again for this great recipe. This is my 2nd loaf. The first loaf was delicious. Still working on it actually, but did not want to run out. Hahaha I actually have a quick question. As I mentioned in my previous post, I’m using a cast iron Dutch Oven. What would be different if I used a clay La Cloche? I hope my ignorance is not to apparent.

  26. Bob

    Great recipe Eric, really nice crust and crumb. I like the strong flavors and my starter had a real sour taste today. I make a 100% rye Borodiinski Bread with coriander seeds from the Bread Matters book.

  27. Looks great, Pete. Love the dark crust, just the way I like it.

    Lexi’s and others look awesome too. Wow, so much good bread.

  28. Pete

    Thank you for this website and thanks for the video instruction. I followed your instruction and recipe using a for the Sourdough Rye using a rye flour sourdough starter I made using yogurt, brown sugar and rye flour which I found the recipe for on the internet. I had to improvise on the tools and bake ware. Possessing neither the hand whisk nor a Le Cloche I used my stand mixer and a Cast Iron Dutch Oven. All in all it turned out pretty good. This is not my first bread baking. Not counting this latest loaf, I’ve made about 5 loaves, 2 bricks and one batch that never made it to oven. I’ve previously used a baking stone. This one was one of the more successful as far as the oven spring. Still not where I think it should be, with larger air pockets, etc., but over all a reassuring first attempt using the No Knead method. Thank you again. Ive included a photo.

  29. I had to cut back on the molasses, personally. It was overpowering. But, adjusted, am LOVING the rye. Last time I smeared on some cream cheese. Next time I’m going to also add some jam!

  30. Lexi

    After having my oven die just before I baked this loaf, it survived refrigerated for a day in the proofing basket. (Speedy appliance delivery!)

    This is my second loaf of this rye sourdough. I didn’t even think I liked rye bread and had made it for my husband who is a rye fan. Maybe I never had good rye bread until this rye bread as it is now in my top 3 breads! It is so delicious.

    Thanks for yet another winning recipe.

  31. Alan

    Thanks for the recipe!

    All your no-knead recipes have this stage: “Cover again with plastic and let rest 15 minutes before putting in a proofing basket for the final rise.” A question – why is the pre-rise 15m rest necessary, i.e. what is it doing while resting (sitting there resting/rising), that it’s not doing during the final rise (also sitting there resting/rising!)? Just wondering.

  32. Melody

    As long as you’re at sea-level (or close to it), it should be fine. Maybe you could add a salt-free flavoring to keep it from being too bland? If indeed I left my salt out, this rye bread was pretty bland..and only tasted good with salted butter on it (I’m still not sure of what I did). I suppose you could do some research regarding the purpose of salt and what substitutes there are that would serve the same purpose. See the link I posted below for Bread911.

  33. Hi Gailann,

    The only major difference with most bread recipes when the salt is omitted is the bread is very bland tasting. This particular recipe might not be so bland given all the other flavorings.

  34. Gailann

    I have a friend who cannot use any salt whatsoever and I would like to make some bread for her. What would happen if I just omitted the salt completely from the sourdough recipe?

  35. Melody

    I found this site to be helpful:

    After my little story about how easy it is to over-proof dough here in CO, I think that’s exactly what I did! I’m starting to look for a concave vs. convex top to decide when it’s ready.

  36. Melody

    This is what I know about high altitude cooking: The thinner air allows baked goods/breads to rise much faster (less air resistance). If you cook with any whole grains or less than optimal gluten content items (i.e. rye or wheat), the gluten structure is not strong enough to withstand the quick rise over such a short amount of time. So the solution typically is to increase the flour content by a few Tbsp, or to have a higher bread flour content. Another option is to decrease yeast by 25%, although when such small amounts are being used, that is difficult to determine. Another solution is to increase the salt by 25%, which is what I usually do. I have found that doing volumetric measurements appears to have worked for me in the past (because I get more flour in each measurement) instead of weighing it, but it can also yield inconsistent results due to the way I scoop out my flour each time. I’ve opted for switching to weighing my flour, however I might do a volumetric measurement and then weigh how much comes out (make sense?). Another change you can do at high altitude is to make sure the water is colder than usual. The salt and the colder water slow down the yeast growth, so that the bread is allowed to develop flavors…which may be another reason why my rye was so bland (?). If you forget the salt, your bread will inevitably be flat at high altitude, although it was more airy than a really dense dough so I’m just not sure! The other thing is that it is really easy to over-proof your bread…I’ve literally seen it poof before my eyes and deflate within seconds! (very sad moments) I hope this is helpful for somebody! The King Arthur website has a great section on high-altitude baking.

  37. I don’t either. I didn’t realize high altitude could have such a dramatic influence. Interesting.

  38. Melody

    I used 1 tsp, just like the recipe called for (I think). The difference is that I weighed everything out instead of doing volumetric measuring and I wonder if there wasn’t enough flour as well to support the rapid rise in our thin air….I placed it back in the oven for a little bit at 450 just now, and it looks more cooked…haha, I have no idea.

  39. How much yeast did you use, Melody?

    If you did leave out the salt, that would certainly account for blandness.

  40. Melody

    Okay, so I made a second attempt at this (since the first one was so bitter). I made it with yeast instead of sourdough, and it came out really bland! When I placed it into the cloche, it deflated immediately, even after only 1 hour of proofing (and it doubled in size, which seemed unusual). Although the internal temperature was over 200degrees, when I cut into it about an hour later, it was sort of partially undercooked! Any ideas? I’m wondering if I forgot to put in the salt (I was mixing it early this morning), since I have no memory of doing it, and it rose EXTREMELY fast (it doubled in just under 4 hours!), which seemed really unusual, even for a yeasted dough at high altitude (I live in Colorado). The crust wasn’t as thick as I’m used to, and the internal temp of the oven was correct (I have an oven thermometer inside). Any thoughts?

    Other than that, with a nice dollop of fresh salted butter on it, it tastes really good 🙂

  41. Try sprinkling some flour in the base of your Romertopf just before dropping in the dough. I never have a problem with sticking in mine. Preheating is critical but also I think sticking naturally becomes less of a problem in time.

  42. I didn’t care for all of the molasses in this recipe (or was it the Anise?) so I found a recipe for Pumpernickel rye on the web but followed your excellent preparation instructions. It came out much more to my liking.

    I’m having trouble with the bread sticking some times to the bottom of the Rometopf. Any ideas on how to prevent that?


  43. NinactEngland

    Hi. I’ve lovingly made my starter which has worked beautifully, but now I need a basic bread recipe. Many I’ve found are a carry on from the starter and don’t specify the weight/quantity/ratio of starter, flour and water to make the sponge and then the final loaf. My first attempt was almost a liquid and was confined to the bin along with my loaf tin. Second was better, but a bit flat and rubbery in texture. Any thoughts? Many thanks.

  44. Diane Millar

    Hello Eric

    Because I like whole grain breads I sieved an organic whole wheat flour for the sourdough recipie..also I do not add any sweetener…with good results…the bran can be used for dusting a oil sprayed proof basket or added to muffins.

  45. Melody

    My first attempt at this bread and it was a success! I preheated the oven to 550 though, so that when I opened it up, it would be at 500 (it loses about 50 degrees when I open the door to put the dough in), and according to the King Arthur Website, they recommend increasing oven temp by 25 degrees to get good oven spring…and boy did that spring! When I put it in the oven, the dough was about an inch below the rim of the Cloche…when I pulled it out, it was almost touching the top! I think I could have turned it down to 475 after the first 10 minutes (when you get the best spring). The high temps for 30 minutes may have blackened the bottom of the crust too much, it tastes slightly bitter.

  46. I made this bread with 100% organic whole wheat and whole rye flours. This has to be the most delicous bread we have ever eaten, and so easy to make! I have been making it regularly a few times a week – my husband has had it for breakfast and with his lunch. It is delicious with jam for dessert. I wasn’t sure about using so many seeds, but I felt I would take the chance. WOW. I am so glad that I did – THANK YOU so much Breadtopia!!!!!

  47. Paula

    I’ve got a double batch of your recipe working on its last rise before popping into the oven. Earlier this week I made one loaf and we fought over who was going to get the last slice! Such a wonderful recipe, although this batch seems really sticky. Could be my starter is thinner than yours in the video? The first loaf was made with freshly ground rye and hard white wheat. This one is rye and hard red wheat. I will keep trying to perfect it and happily eat the results.

  48. I bought one of your clear glass bottles with the blue top with the rubber seal, which I am using for my starter (which seems to be doing okay, though not wildly vigorous, so I’m always nervous). What I want to know is if that thing seals too tight for Sourdough, which I thought was largely dependent on ambient yeast. Should I keep that sealed up tight?

    I love your site. Thanks for it.

  49. Isabelle

    I’ve made a couple, both with whole rye & whole spelt (but no spices), they tasted soooo good. I must add caraway etc. next time. Thanks for your help

  50. @crabioscar – sounds like you’re doing fine. It could be the longer rise as you mentioned or just the dough being a bit too wet. Or both. Or neither. So many variables all the time can make it difficult to isolate issues. But hey, you’re happy with the results, that’s the best thing.

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