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. Thank you for this fabulous recipe!

  2. Todd

    This bread was AMAZING – and so simple to make. It came out with so much flavor, and the texture was awesome – almost like CAKE!

    Love this — it went VERY well with the homemade pastrami that I made the bread to go with.

  3. Jeff

    Hey there. I’m a bit of a rookie at sourdough breads, but I fel competant enough to take this on given the success I’d been having. I have to be honest…I tried this recipe two times and both ended up in the garbage, regretfully. On both attempts, the dough was unworkable…sticky, uncorrectable. The first attempt I mixed with a dough hook for way too long and no amount of added bread flour gave it the consistency I expected. Finally, I let it rise and it doubled like crazy. I was able to shape it, proof it, and I after lancing the top I was really excited. After baking, however, it was hard as a rock, albeit not bad tasting.

    The second attempt I kneaded by hand. It rose perfectly again. This time I kneaded it for 30 minutes, after researching my misaked, without adding flour. Finally, I have up hope and threw the whole mess away.

    I’m taking a break from baking breads. I haven’t been able to find out what is wrong in researching. The only thing I can imagine is, in many other recipes, the percentage of rye is a lot lower. Can you suggest where I’ve gone wrong? I’m sure it’s not your recipe. Is it possible my starter, albeit successful with white breads, is not good for rye? Is the King Arthur brand of rye bad? (their recipe calls for an additional 2 tablespoons of Vital Gluten, which I’ve never used. Please advise, thank you.

    • Bill

      This recipe has worked well three times for me. I’m new at this and can only suggest that you try another brand of rye flour. My rye flour looks to be light rye but I’m not sure. I’m in Spain, using Rincón del Segura – Harina integral de Centeno. I accidentally mixed five cups of rye flour thinking I was making spelt sourdough bread. After wrestling with that stiff monster ball of dough for 10 minutes I reread my flour labels. I froze 2/3 of the rye ball and mixed white flour in with the remaining 1/3 and got a great loaf. I’ve since made two more loaves from the frozen portion and everything turned out fine. So the recipe is definitely forgiving.

      I took a 20 year break from bread making after a long string of yeast failures back in the 90s and it’s great to be back.

    • Rhonda

      Just to clarify, are you following the video instructions for this recipe? You mention extended mixing and kneading, and there are no instructions anywhere in this recipe for kneading and it calls for very little mixing.

      This dough is supposed to be sticky and gloppy and hard to handle, which you can see in the video. If you’re used to a “normal” white or whole wheat sort of dough that requires kneading this will not have the consistency you expect.

      • Jeff

        Thanks Rhonda…I’m using a combo of the recipe and the video to judge my work…along with other experiences. My dough never appeared like that in the video, although another recipe I found did. It is my belief that the MOLASSES is creating two problems for me: 1) making the dough sticky with a consistency more like wet salt water taffy then dough, and 2) affecting the baking process by giving me a harder, overly dense product. Since this was my hunch, I’ve substitued honey in similar recipes because I’m wary of molasses now.

  4. Caarole

    Made this bread for the first time and it turned out wonderful. I find this recipe easy, although it takes a little time, it is well worth it. I made mine in the afternoon and put it in the Ref. then took it out to rise over night on the counter, then finished baking in the morning.
    I followed the recipe except did not have fennel seed, so I just left it out. Great flavor, will be making this over and over again.

    • Caarole

      Adding a Photo to my comment.

  5. Eliza

    Thank you for the videos, it’s really helpful to actually see it! Do you have any recommendations on how to bake it if you don’t have any clay form or dutch oven or bread stone? Would it be okay in a regular metal bread pan? If so, should I cover it with say aluminum foil for the first 30 minutes? I would be very grateful for suggestions!

    • Hi Eliza,

      Sure, use a metal bread pan. And covering as you mentioned is a good idea. The bread might bake faster in a metal pan, and the crust be a bit more prone to burning at 475, so you might want to keep it closer to 400-425 the first time and see how it goes.

  6. Yesterday I baked my very first sourdough bread and I used this recipe as inspiration. It turned out wonderfully and it is the best bread I’ve ever baked. I’ve been baking for ages with the instant yeast, which is nice and handy and quick, but really has nothing to do with a good sourdough bread. Thank you so much.

    • That’s great, Ana. I’m glad to hear you’re onto the glory of sourdough baking!

  7. Selene States

    Hi there,

    I tried out this recipe and it looked great, but I had no idea how to monitor how long the bread should be in the oven and it came out really dense.
    Approximately how long should I bake before an internal temperature of 200 *F?
    Perhaps you could add this to the recipe notes as there are hundreds of comments I’ve trawled through w/o an answer.

    • Doris

      Hi Selene, yes I also find that the bread is quite dense but then this kind of bread usually is. I am still experimenting with getting a less dense texture. Maybe adding some extra yeast to it might help. I wonder if Eric would agree to that? The flavour is great though.
      If you watch Eric’s video on sour dough you’ll find that he recommends baking the bread for 30 mins in a covered clay baker and 10 or so minutes with the lid removed and the temperature reduced to about 450F I believe.
      I bake mine for 35 mins in a 485F and then 10 mins at 450F uncovered.
      That is about the time that is required for the bread to reach an internal temp of 200+F.
      I test mine with an instant read thermometer. Well worth the investment.
      Hope you have better luck next time.

  8. Donka

    This is my second attempt making this bread. My first bread wasn’t soo good, but st’ll eatable. I had to reduce the water to 350grams since I put less seeds. I was just wonderinf if the texture is right ?

    • Doris

      Looks terrific to me!!! What kind of seeds did you use?

      • Donka

        I used Fennel Seeds and Anise Seeds but the half of the recipe’s. The flavore of the seeds is very strong for me.
        Thank you for the recipe!

  9. Deb

    How will I know my rye is at 200 degrees? Does it sound hollow the same as white flour?

  10. Rika

    Hi, I use your Rye sourdough recipe after trying some other starter and bread. But this was the best, certified by German husband! I could not get molasses so substitute with brown sugar. It was still working well.
    Thank you for posting this!!

  11. erv karaba

    I have successfully made the rye several times using my home made wire mesh and parchment paper. Just got a Rommerkopf and the bread sticks to the bottom and sides after baking.

    Should I somehow condition the cloche somehow?

  12. Bonnie

    I made my very first loaf from my own sourdough starter and it turned out great! I honestly wasn’t expecting much since reading that the first few sourdoughs don’t usually turn out. I used cast iron instead of the clay oven, it’s so pretty I feel like a proud momma. Thank you for your great tutorial!

    • marlie

      Can you send me your recipe for your starter for the sourdough bread??


      • Bonita

        Hi Marlie, sorry I took so long to get back to you, I didn’t realize your message was to me!

        All I did was mix good fresh organic rye flour with water and left it on the counter. I fed it twice a day with equal amounts of water and flour to keep it bubbling. I covered the jar with a coffee filter and elastic band to let the air exchange but to keep dust out.

        It was so simple, that’s why I was so amazed that my loaf actually rose! I keep the starter in the fridge now and use it once a week and it’s doing great! Now I feed it either rye or white whole wheat, whatever’s handiest.

  13. Lazaro Esparza

    This was my first sourdough rye I baked and it came out excellent. Baked it in my La Cloche. It is bursting with flavor. Thanks for the recipe..

  14. Made my first sourdough bread and it turned out exellent. Thanks ! Can I make buns as well with the same dough ?

  15. Julian Silverman

    Help! My wife is Swiss. And me too, I love it. There’s no bread like Swiss bread! When we click on the link you provided nothing shows up. Can you bring it back?

    • Hi Julian,

      The link is fixed. Thanks for catching it.

  16. Suchitra

    My favorite bread of all time is a sourdough rye from a master baker in Vermont, sadly, now retired!
    I have been searching for recipes and instructions, have studied the conversion equivalents for flours and liquids, and armed with a sourdough starter I bought in Germany (pretty confident that it was viable and fresh), I have finally made the attempt.
    Following your measurements and directions carefully, my dough is not what I’d call dough, but more like thick batter. I used to make bread so I am familiar with the feel of bread dough. I have added a bit more flour two times, letting it settle for an hour or so.
    I am at last baking it just to see what I have, but while it smells great, it never was a “loaf”.
    Any ideas?

  17. Ian Wright

    Hi Eric,
    Forgive me if this has already been asked – but if you use instant yeast in this recipe does it still require 12-14 hrs proofing? My experience with intant yeasts are that the proofing period is much shorter than when using a levain and I wouldn’t want to spoil it by over proofing.
    Cheers, Ian

    • Hi Ian. It might go a bit faster with instant yeast. 1 tsp isn’t so much that it will go that much faster, if any. 12-14 hours is still about right if it’s not too warm. In warm temps, 10 – 12 hours might be more like it.

  18. Yariv

    hi there,
    your recipe looks really great. i have to try it!!
    from my short sourdough baking experience, i usually do a 4 hours bulk fermentation at room temp, 77F, then i shape the dough and retard it for 10-15 hours in the fridge.
    what is the room temp in your kitchen when the dough was proofing for 12-14 hours ? can i proof my dough at 77F for 12-14 hours?
    many thanks

  19. Jay J. Schneiderman

    hi eric….

    Got my Sassafrass Bread dome from you recently, and a few other things. My first bread made in the Bread dome was the Sicilian No Knead; while it wasn’t bad at all, I honestly didn’t care for it, to the point where I don’t know that I’d make it again.
    Now then, I made your Sourdough Rye, and I must say you’ve got a winner there. That recipe will be made again and again by me.
    Btw, I’m not a newbie at bread baking, or here at Breadtopia.
    You have quite a nice site here, and should be proud. I know because the information here has helped me in sharpening my No Knead skills. I still continue, however, in my quest to learn how to create standard Artisan kneaded bread.
    Eric, before I sign off, I’ve come across an interesting recipe for you and the gang at Breadtopia. I found it in the King Arthur Recipe Collection, at their website. It’s called “Cloche” bread. I just finished baking a loaf today; it is designed to show off the capability of the Cloche. It produces one of the highest rising, crusty, beautiful breads I’ve ever made. The only problem I had with the recipe, was with the baking times, the recipe calls for 35minutes from a COLD START, and 5-10 minutes more uncovered , to brown. This turned out to be nonsense. To develope a nice brown top, and crusty brown bottom, I had to take the bread out of my cloche and finish it off on my baking stone. Total baking time ran about an hour, 35minutes in the covered cloche, and 15 minutes uncovered and 15 minutes more on my baking stone. If I make this again, which I may very well do, I’ll try removing the bread from the cloche at 35 minutes and finishing it on my baking stone.


    • Thanks for the info, Jay. You might want to try just taking the lid off sooner next time and not bother with finishing on a baking stone. The base of the Bread Dome (or any ceramic baker) should accomplish the same thing.

      • Jay J. Schneiderman

        Thanks for the reply, however, this recipe uses a Cold Start. The dough was allowed to rise in the covered bread dome, and then placed in a Cold oven. The oven was then turned on and set to 400 F and following the recipe, baked for 35min from the Cold Start and the Bread Dome cover removed and so on.
        There is quite a difference between using a cold start, and using the preheated oven, with the preheated baking vessel inside.
        All in all, I think it comes down to Cold Start verses “Hot Start with preheated vessel inside. There seem to be advantages to each method, however, I do not believe the Cold Start method can develop as nice a crust as the Hot Start with preheated vessel. Please share your thoughts/observations on this, Eric?

  20. jeff

    I want to add some whole grian,sunflower seeds,etc to my bread-is there a rule of thumb as to how much non flour can be added and if adding these items,should I use more glutin in the mixture? Thanks, I appreciate your help.

    • I don’t think there’s much of a rule of thumb on this other than try to approximate the the same hydration level in the dough as you add ingredients. Just go by feel. It’s not going to change much with some ingredients like sunflower seeds, but as you add more whole grains, the dough might need a bit more water. I wouldn’t bother with more gluten.

  21. jeff

    Can you do a combination of sourdough starter and yeast? Seems like you might get a bigger rise.

    • Hi Jeff,

      Yes you can and you would. Peter Reinhart, in his whole grain baking book, has several sourdough recipes that also call for a bit of yeast for an extra kick. You just need to be alert to the proofing times speeding up some.

  22. Kath

    I’ve just started making bread after using a bread maker on and off for a while. Finding your website was a godsend and the rye sourdough is by far my favourite…of course until I make something else from your website and it trumps it.
    Loving Breadtopia!

  23. Anna

    Bonjours Rhonda- merci pour la réponse car la température et le temps est très important.Je m’inquiète un peu pour mon Romertopf que j’ai depuis 20 ans et avant de le mettre au four on nous conseille de le tremper dans l’eau 20 minutes et le mettre ensuite avec le pain dans le four froid au début et mettre la température 250°C . Dans la video Eric , je pense chauffe le Romertoph “à sec”!- il ne claque pas?Enfin je vais essayer mais !!!!Peut-être il met dans le four froid au début et chauffe avec? Je crois que je vais apprendre l’anglais pour profiter pleinement de conseils et de superbes livres en anglais.Merci encore Anna

    • Scott

      Bonjour Anna,
      Oui, mettre la cocotte RÖMERTOPF sèche dans un four froid et préchauffer à la température désirée. Ensuite, mettre dans la pâte à pain et cuire au four. J’ai fait cela plusieurs fois et mon Römertopf est OK, pas de rupture ou de fissuration.

      (J’ai utilisé Google traduire de l’anglais, donc j’espère que c’est compréhensible.)

    • Rhonda


      Oui, il met le Romertopf dans le four froid “à sec” et chauffe les deux ensemble.

  24. poniatowski

    bonjours les amoureux du pain;j’ai un levain au seigle qui dort dans mon frigo et s’appelle Prosper et va très bien.Je vais faire un levain au blé pour l’utiliser avec d’autre pains .J’aimerais votre avis sur les deux; Quelle est la différence et quel utiliser pour quel pain?D’autre part je suis régulièrement vos recette mais je ne parle pas anglais et dans le texte traduit il n’y a pas tout- et pourtant les choses importantes comme ici par exemple le temps de cuisson dans le Romertophe;Faut-il le tremper dans l’eau 20 minutes avant de le mettre au four?Et quelle farine de seigle vous utiliser? En France je trouve le seigle de T 130(très complet);Je vous tiendrai au courant de la naissance de mon levain de blé.Votre fouet est superbe, je l’utilise très souvent; Merci pour vos précieux conseils; anna

    • Rhonda

      salut poniatowski

      Le temps de cuisson est seulement dans le vidéo. Là il dit de le cuir trente minutes avec le couvercle à 250C, puis enlever le couvercle et cuir un autre dix minutes à 230C. Cela devrait vous rendre un pain avec temperature au centre de 95C.

      On n’a pas besoin de le tremper avant de mettre le Romertophe au four.

      J’utilise le levain au seigle pour les pains contenant seigle, et le levain au blé pour tous pains au blé sans seigle.

      (SVP pardonnez les erreurs; Français n’est pas ma langue maternelle et il y a quelques ans depuis que j’y parle.)

      Dear breadtopia: you might want to put the cooking times and temperatures in the text of the post; they’re only in the video and thus not accessible to people using machine translation. 🙂

  25. Donna

    This bread is FABULOUS! Thanks for the recipe!

  26. Susie

    This has to be the BEST Rye Bread I have ever eaten. It made me feel like an Artisian Bread Baker I made the sourdough version and would not hesitate to use the yeast recipe if I ever do not have sourdough starter. The addition of the Anise seed & Fennel seed is the secert. Thanks so much and Love Love your web-site.

    • Patrick

      Susie – I left out the seeds on purpose so that I could get the straight bread taste the first time round. (I had a special rye flour to try.) I did, however put the orange zest in, and I think this adds the magic boost to the rye taste without overpowering it. I vote for orange as the secret ingredient! I DO agree that this is the best rye bread recipe and link you I felt like a proper artisan baker for the first time.

  27. Patrick

    Eric, have just discovered this recipe and your glorious ” how to” videos. Thanks on all counts. For taste, I used an elderly sourdough starter that I should have refreshed before now and for security, some dried active yeast. Subbed treacle for molasses (not that easy to find in the UK) and left out the seeds for the first try so that I could taste the rye flavour au natural. The taste is great and for the first time I managed to get the dough from the mould to my (pizza) stone with control (your video). Slightly wet dough baked directly on a stone meant a flatter loaf, but moist and very delicious.

  28. Donna

    WOW! I just finished making this bread and I had the best pastrami and swiss sandwich with german mustard! One question…I baked it in the Rompertoph just like you did. Baked it for the same amount of time. Temp was 200 (checked with the Therma pen). Waited 3 hours to cut into it. While slicing it was a tad gummy both with a regular knife and electric. Should I have left it in the oven a bit longer? It certainly is nice and moist..

    • Sounds great, Donna. I guess I’d let it go to 210 next time. Toasting should help with the tad gumminess.

  29. Tansu Aksu

    I make a similar bread that wanted to share with you – i tried yours too.
    I don’t use orange zest, anise seeds – not always handy. But in any Indian store you can find caraway and fennel seeds. So I use 1 tablespoon caraway and fennel seeds each. I tried grounding them, but found the whole seeds version better. I also use instant yeast. The other difference is I don’t stir it 3 times, but i make sure i stir it once with dough whisk thoroughly – which is a great, inexpensive tool. I cover it and rest it overnight ( no kneed method). Finally next day i shape it and wait for second rise – same as here. Instead of Romertopf i use my old 5qt Lodge Cast Iron Dutch Oven 450F half hour with lid on, and another 15-25 minutes with lid off. My Romertopf’s lid is not 100% closing, so when i made them side by side, Romertopf version comes unbaked and needs another 20 minutes.

  30. Ann-Marie Purvis

    Hi all
    I am a beginner baker! I usually use a Breville breakmaker for wheat based breads. Could you tell me – does this ingredients list and volumes etc work for a breadmaker?

  31. Stash

    Hi All,

    received my dough whisks recently and boy do they make a difference. Love em. My poor old breville won’t be used any more (except for cakes) I now have friends who keep asking me to make bread for them LOL . thanks again to Breadtopia for a great site.

  32. OK, friends, I need some feedback. For those who have ventured out into the “knead” family of bread, I have a recipe that I got at a sourdough bread making class. It’s for bagels. I’ve mixed up this recipe twice and it’s soupy. Darn, darn, darn…how frustrating. I even purchased a new digital scale. I’m very careful to weigh the fluid ingredients: sourdough starter, water and oil using the appropriate fluid weight, then conversely, I weigh the flour, salt, sugar, etc., as dry measurements. I cannot figure out why each recipe comes out incorrect. Any advice from you bakers who use scales to weigh ingredients. I’m scratching my head, yet again after throwing this morning’s mix down the drain. I’ve even practiced weighing liquids to make sure my scale is correct. Stumped in CA. (On a positive note, I did make a great sourdough cranberry walnut bread this morning.)

    • George

      Hello Mary

      Can you please let me know were to buy Sourdough Extract.

      Regards, George

    • Rhonda


      What do you mean when you say you weigh the dry ingredients as dry measurements? Do you mean by volume?

      My scale will display a volume, but it is actually measuring weight and assumes water density to convert to volume. If I were measuring flour using that volume display, I’d get about half as much flour as I should because flour has about half the density of water.

  33. Mary

    OK, senior moment, wrong photo, here is the correct one.

  34. Mary

    Here is the photo that didn’t come thru with my previous post

  35. Mary

    After going over the video umpteen times, plunged headlong into making the SD Rye. Found the dough really really sticky, maybe will add more flour next time, but got a nice rise over night and then in my new oval proofing basket. Had a Romertopf baker from years back but never used it for bread, carefully dumped the dough in the preheated clay baker. After 35 minutes, instant thermometer read 200 degrees, removed to cooling rack and voila for lunch a delicious corned beef on rye sandwich. Have enclosed a photo of my loaf.

  36. Susan.

    Eric, I bow down to you. That taste lingering on my tongue is the most…….well everything….For a beginner sourdough maker it is such a blast to produce a loaf like that. Crunchy crust, the first bubble holes in the crumb in this house, deeeliceous taste. The crumb is “gummy” but that does not seem noticable to the tooth. Thank you for your terrific directions /lunch. Regards.Susan.

  37. Stash

    just made my first loaf using the above-mentioned recipe and using my home-made starter. Have to say that after proofing in the oven (with the oven light on) for more than 18 hours the dough still looked too wet and was very sticky, I thought this was going to be a total disaster. It hadn’t risen, didn’t look poufy as in the video…. mmmm well I floured a board and it kinda fell out like the “blob” all spineless etc. It was so sticky that I had to keep scraping bits off my fingers. Folded it a couple of times and thought bugger it !!!!. Found I had a cane basket similar to the one in the vid. I floured a clean bit of cloth and placed the dough in it and covered it with plastic for the last rising (lasted about an hour and a half). I don’t have a romertopf but I did have a cheap version of the le creuset dutch oven, just the right shape so I pre-heated this to 230C (I’m in Australia) and then kinda dropped the dough in the dutch oven, put the lid back on and hoped for the best. Well after 30 minutes I took the lid off and blow me down , it looked wonderful. It had risen, looked just like the one in the vid and of course after half an hour I just had to have a slice of warm bread with butter, yum. I am stoked LOL

    • Congrats Stash. Isn’t breadmaking wonderful. I just finished off a loaf of whole wheat cinnamon swirl. It didn’t rise as large as the picture on the original recipe but what the hell, I didn’t have any trouble eating it. I’ve thrown out a few loafs in the last two months, but for the most part, my trials have been successful. Eating that first slice of homemade warm bread…yum, there’s nothing like it. Enjoy and keep baking.

  38. Garson

    A recent trip to Copenhagen led me to the desire to bake sourdough. First attempt (using first my ever home made sourdough starter) worked beautifully last weekend.
    I split the amount into two medium sized loaves and used pro loaf tins not clay, but still got an excellent result.
    Have a second attempt on the go for baking this evening for saturday morning breakfast.
    I didn’t realise before quite how the taste of commercial dried yeast spoiled previous attempts at home made bread…
    Thanks for the great site and videos Eric, videos really help!

  39. John D

    This has become my husband’s favorite bread. I’ve been making some small changes to the original recipe.

    Instead of bread flour, I use an equivalent amount of whole wheat flour. Since whole wheat is lower in gluten than even all purpose, I add two tablespoons of gluten.

    Most recently, I added a couple grams of dill seed (they were in the cabinet next to the anise seed and insisted on playing). It worked.

  40. Kathy

    I just made my first sourdough recipe after watching your video several times. Ooops, I forgot to let my bread sit for the 15 min. after the first rise. I’ll let you know how my bread turns out. I’ve been making the no knead original recipe for the past three weeks (w/o starter) using yeast and I bake in my Dutch Oven. I add cranberries, walnuts and a tsp. of cinnamon. Just had some toasted for breakfast. Love making bread. Tks Eric for all of your tips.

  41. Milla

    Hi Eric,

    I’ve been trying out your no-knead techniques, and the bread does come out with a nice crumb, but I keep getting a flying crust! Do you know what could be causing it? I proof it in the same loaf pan I bake it in, simply because the dough is so wet and sticky there is no way I can move it before baking without tearing it and ruining the whole thing – is the lack of a pre-heated baking vessel causing the flying crust?


  42. Nancy

    Your dough and bread look so dark, and mine is quite pale. Why?

    • Did you use the dark molasses?

      • Nancy

        No, light molasses. Your recipe just said molasses–in other recipes that has usually meant light. guess next time I’ll use dark

        • You might like light better.

  43. Lee

    This has been The Year (thus far) of Bread, specifically sourdough from start(er) to finish.
    In January (hot Aussie summer), using 6 different Starter variations to determine the most active, I developed the Mother of all Starters (like what I did there with Mother…) the little sucker was able to double in 2 hrs No steroids and No commercial yeast in sight!
    There is so much information on the web on the A-Z of sourdough that my little head was spinning with flour types, recipes and know-how but that doesn’t get bread baked SO on I went trialing and erroring (lots of that) until I can make a pretty good white sourdough.
    And that’s when I moved to phase 20, learning to make a sourdough Rye and that’s when I tried your brew. Damn it’s good! Your calm no-nonsense video was just what I kneaded (can’t help myself).
    Thank you so much

  44. Scott


    I made this bread but did not get quite the oven spring that showed in the video. I used the Romertopf like in the video. My kitchen is about 76 degrees F. I let it rest for 13 hours and did notice 3 or 4 of the bubbles had popped. It was very aerated and was quite fluffy. I followed the rest of the directions but did not have a proofing basket, so I just used a bread pan. It did rise a little during baking. The crust was great and there were pretty good size holes in the bread, just not quite like the photo. Fantastic flavor! Any ideas on what I should do to achieve better oven spring?

    • Scott

      One more thing, the crumb is a little “gummy”, not bad, just not what I expected. Is this normal?

      • Rhonda

        I’ve been getting gummy bread as well, lately. (The first few were fine, but the last few were gummy.)

        I’ve also noticed that my oven is now really struggling to reach 475F. Maybe it’s just undercooked?

        • vicki

          Hi Rhonda, I solved the gummy problem by using a little less starter and cooking the loaf for a bit longer, once you have your spring and turn your oven down. Hope this helps.

          • Rhonda

            I seem to have solved the gummy problem simply by cooking it longer, but otherwise using the same recipe. The crust seems a bit thicker but didn’t get burnt, which was my main worry with cooking it longer. I also gave my oven a lot longer to get up to temperature before trying to bake. It did eventually get there.

            • Scott

              Thanks for the info Rhonda and Vicki. I’ll definitely give that a try.

  45. Ann

    Love the sound of this recipe. But I don’t have a clay baker. Or an oven that likes to go to 475. Can I bake it in a bread pan or baguette pan, and at a lower temperature? Thanks.

  46. Jodi

    I have made the sourdough rye recipe (both with starter and with yeast) about 6 times now, with varying results.. This last time everything was fine until I turned it into my Le Cloche at which point it kind of deflated and spread. Why did this happen and how can I get a high loaf instead of a flat one? Any insight appreciated.

  47. Phyllis

    Hello Eric
    I have been using starters for about a year now, and was very interested in your rye sourdough recipe (I have had great results with rye recipe in Artisan Breads in 5 Minutes cookbook). Watched the videos (twice), turned an active whole wheat starter into a rye starter over 3 days, and proofed dough overnight for 12 hours. Very slack dough, and when I turned it onto hot stone, it spread further with minimal ovenspring. Loaf smelled wonderful, but was way too flat. Can’t tell whether it was overproofed (house is pretty warm) or dough was too wet to begin with. Any tips on how to tell when it’s proofed enough?

    • Hi Phyllis,

      Could be either of both of those things (warmth and too wet). Rye is just stickier and slacker to start with compared to wheat so can be more difficult to work with.

      As for how to tell when it’s proofed enough, after a while you’ll just get so you know. In the mean time, when the dough gets springy – when you make an impression in the dough with your finger and it mostly springs back, that can help tell you it’s ready.

  48. Debbie


    Thanks for the videos they make a huge difference. I was given a dough whisk for my birthday and so tried your rye recipe… but had difficulty and wonder if you might shed light on why? I did a 20 hour 1st rise. It was quite warm overnight and during the day and when I looked at the dough it seemed OK, but when I turned it out to shape it as instructed it was very wet indeed – unshapeable! So I ended up returning it to the bowl and over a period of time added more flour (white bread flour) until the consistency would allow shaping. Decided to leave it overnight – and it had risen by morning, but it was still very sticky – not very shapeable… I’ve baked it, but it was more time consuming than making a sourdough and kneading it! Would really like to know what might have happened – why did it seem to keep getting wetter?!

    • Debbie

      When I say it was wet – it was more liquid than anything… like a very thick batter so Ihad to scoop it back into the bowl as shaping it just wasn’t an option… any thoughts most welcome.

      • Hi Debbie,

        20 hours is way too long, especially if it’s warm. Cut the proofing time in about half and add more flour next time and your results should be a lot better.

  49. Doris

    do you have any info re making bread with a biga plse.
    ie making the biga and making bread with it.
    I understand it is used in Italian bread making, using biga instead of sourdough.
    thanks for your help.

    • Hi Doris.

      I’m not really sure how to answer your question. If you have a recipe for making Italian bread using a biga, the recipe will typically specify how to make it. If you’re wanting to formulate your own recipe using a biga, there are countless ways to do it.

      Do you just want to know what a biga is in general?

    • Doris

      you were right of course 🙂 I should have looked for” biga” in some of the bread recipe books I have and there was all the information I needed. Thank you.
      I actually made a Ciabata breadyesterday and it turned out beautifully. It was so big that I probably should have made two loaves.
      However, transporting the dough from the counter top to the oven was quite an adventure and I thought I had lost the dough, but it recovered very well and I watched it rising like a balloon.
      I just saw your super peel on your website, I assume that would make transporting the dough much easier. If it works for the pizza it should work for the bread dough – correct?

      • Yes, the Super Peel is great for that sort of thing.

        • Doris

          Great, thanks Eric. I had intended to bake it in my la cliche, but it was w a y too big for that.
          I wanted to try a bread made with biga to see if there was a difference in structure and taste. I found the structure of the bread much like the no knead method and the taste a little more subtle than the sour dough bread. Next I shall try it with whole meal flour.
          The whole process is a little more involved than the no knead process so I may just go back to that. It’s fun trying though and I have never made so much bread since I discovered your website.
          Thanks again Eric, you are doing a great service to us everybody. I hope that schools take an interest in your site because it would be a wonderful teaching tool to get the life started at a very early stage in their lives to learn that making good bread is not only cost effective but also easy.

  50. wendall

    i found a recipe for sour rye that everyone loves. i have bernard claytons bread book and it’s in there.

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