RyeDetailThis 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.

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.

Sourdough Rye Recipe:
Click here to print recipe

Ingredients:
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

For 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.

For 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.

Note 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.

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.

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.

571 thoughts on “Sourdough Rye Bread

  1. Philippe Orlando

    I’m kind of biased against white flour and I’m wondering if your recipe would work if I used 1/3 or white flour and 2/3 of rye flour.
    Have you tried it? What would you anticipate the problems to be? No rising? Denser bread?
    Thanks
    Philippe

    • Hi Philippe,

      I haven’t tried it but it should be fine. Rye is pretty sticky so the more you use the more you have to deal with that. Not a big problem but it helps to be aware of it. The loaf will be denser for sure and won’t rise as much. So you’ll just end up with something approaching a kind of pumpernickel. Could be really good!

      • Philippe Orlando

        Thanks for your answer. I’ll give it a try and see. Maybe using a high gluten white flour should make the whole thing better. I’ll see.

      • Philippe Orlando

        I’ve modifie your recipe a little bit. In my attempt to limit consumption of white flour, here’s what I’ve done

        250 grams of high gluten white flour
        500 grams of organic dark rye flour
        250 of starter.

        I love it! For me, that’s it
        All the rest is the same as in your recipe, caraway, etc

  2. Paul L.Konkowski

    M Clay bakers are the best, with a top, of course . I found one at Salvation Army for 9.00$ .now I make bread that is too good . ( I have diabetes).
    I have to give it away. The cloche I have is large and round with a vent on top. I’ve been making sourdough bread for one year , till I found my clay baker I have had mixed results.
    Of course there are many aspects that go into making good bread.
    My wish list ,includes a Danish whisk, an oblong clay baker or two,proofing baskets.
    I will attempt to make an all rye loaf someday. After reading some of the comments , I recognize a few problems,: too much kneading (I do everything by hand, so if I’m tired ,I’m done) too long a proofing period. Don’t be afraid of sticky dough. A pic of my rye dough proofing on the counter. The recipe says 12- 14 hours ,but I’ll call it done if it looks right. After 5 hours?

  3. I am so thankful for your recipe. I finally have a Ryebread with a thick crust and delicious flavor. This will be our daily bread from now on.
    Great directions to follow, the video really helps when you do it for the first time.

    Thank you for all the helpful tips,

    Elisabeth

  4. Sarah

    I made the sourdough rye this weekend and you didn’t overstate it. It is the best ever. I love it. Thank you! I’d post a picture but there’s not much left.

  5. Margaret

    I have been looking for a pumpernickel recipe I lost years ago, and this is very similar. I am writing this while my bread is in it’s final proving before baking and am so looking forward to the results. In Australia our dry yeast is more granulated than yours seems to be in the US, so I added it to the molasses, water etc as we normally do when using dry yeast out here. I also used a fraction more as I wasn’t sure it would work. Thank goodness, I only had to leave it one hour for it’s first proofing as I did not have 12-14 hours to spare (I am bushwalking tomorrow). I am now letting it have its last proofing before baking. Incidentally, it is winter here though and my kitchen is cool, probably about 17″C. If it turns out as nicely as I hope we will take it on our bushwalk tomorrow – mmmm! Later: Absolutely delicious.

  6. doris

    Jus curious as to what types or brands of ry flour everyone is using in this recipe. I have used bobs red mill dark, but want to try a light one as well…..any input appreciated!

    • Tammy

      I use a pre-packaged bulk package from Vitamin Cottage, their Natural Grocers brand. The ingredient list says organic whole grain rye flour.

      • doris

        thanks Tammy
        They don’t have Vitamin Cottage here in OH, but I will try Whole foods next! Just looking for a larger package/ qauntity since I make 2 loaves of this every week- 2 weeks.

        Doris

        • Inna

          Doris,
          I’m ordering Great River organic flour online. I get both, rye and bread unbleached wheat, mostly 25-lb bags. sometimes 4×5-lb bags; there are also 50-lb bags. I must say that bread flour doesn’t look white at all, it’s grayish with speckles of bran. From what I’ve read, it has about 20% of bran left in it. Works for me though; I’m using it for breads, pizzas, english muffins, anything that calls for bread flour. Look it up, it’s worth it.

          As for this bread – to my taste, it’s delicious. My SO thinks it’s a bit too fragrant though, so I add a bit less of the fennel and anise. Still very good.

          Happy baking!
          Inna

    • Sarah

      Doris, I used Hodgson Mill 100% stone ground.

  7. Melissa

    Thank you. Could you also tell me what the name and number is on your clay baker please? I’m not sure what size to get that will be big enough. Do you think it would be better to get the bottom glazed or will this hinder the bread? I noticed you didn’t put anything on the bottom to keep it from sticking and some people say it will but yours may be seasoned and not stick because it is? thanks again for helping me figure it all out!
    Melissa

  8. Melissa

    Where do you get the dough bowl scraper he uses in the video. He makes me think…. I can do this! thanks

      • Melissa

        Thank you. Could you also tell me what the name and number is on your clay baker please? I’m not sure what size to get that will be big enough. Do you think it would be better to get the bottom glazed or will this hinder the bread? I noticed you didn’t put anything on the bottom to keep it from sticking and some people say it will but yours may be seasoned and not stick because it is? thanks again for helping me figure it all out!
        Melissa

        • Inna

          Melissa,
          If I’m not mistaken, this is the baker used in the video:
          http://www.breadtopia.com/store/romertopf-clay-baker-99111.html
          I get great results using this one:
          http://www.breadtopia.com/store/oblong-la-cloche.html

          You should season both of them before first use, same way as cast iron: rinse the bakers — do not use any soap–, pat them dry and let air dry for a while (I did that in a warmed up oven to speed up drying process). Rub the inside with heat-resistant oil (I used grapeseed oil), then place in the oven at about 450F for 20-30 minutes. Inside surface should get pretty dark, that’s what you want. And once again, do not use anything but water to clean it. I, personally, never had to wash mine since I’ve got it, for almost a year now. If I misplace a loaf and the rim gets some dough on it, I bake it as is; when I’m done baking and the baker cools down, I scrub it with a kitchen brush that I designated for this purpose only.
          I hope this helps.

          Inna

  9. Pauline Gruental

    Birgit, I have found the solution to this problem: add more flour to the dough in the beginning. The dough should not be very wet or soft. Add as much flour as it can absorb. Good luck.

    • Birgit

      Thanks Pauline ,for responding . I have just taken the loaf out of the oven. Its rather flat again, I used a pizza stone this time ..Will see what inside is as it cools down. I struggled with the dough trying to shape it.. all it did was pull the gloves off. I added at least a cup of flour ( I know should not at that stage) to stop it from running like a half done pancake. VERY discouraged., but this recipe sounds so yummy…sigh

      • Birgit

        The bread came out with the center fluffy and a very heavy ,thick crust. Taste is good , will make for artsy sandwiches ;)

        • Marianne

          Birgit, I too have had trouble with the gooy mess. I increased my flour, and it was very “normal” in texture and feel compared to the other breads I have baked. But that rise time overnight seems to kill it. Further down in these comments you will find Pamela who says a shorter rise time is better and your dough doesn’t get as runny. Scroll down and read her comments. That might help. Good luck.

          • Rhonda

            Rise time depends on temperature, among other things. In the winter I need longer rise times, in the summer I need shorter rise times.

            A decent starting rule of thumb is for every 5C (9F) hotter, the yeast grows twice as fast (so half the rise time). It might not be exactly half, but shouldn’t be wildly far off. If I were to bake this bread today, I’d need less than half the recommended rise time, because it’s 30C inside my place right now. (I wouldn’t bake today, both because I don’t want to turn on the oven and make my place even hotter, and because the fast rise means less lovely sourness.)

            Likewise, for every 5C cooler, the yeast grows half as fast (so twice the rise time). When I have my starter out on the counter in the winter, 12 hours after a feeding it’s still growing and hasn’t started falling back yet — but my place is about 20C.

      • Lachy

        Hi Birgit, I have found that if the mix is a bit to wet that freeform it would spread across rather than up from the pizza stone. I am now using for the first 5min of cooking part of a cake tin (the one with the removable base). Does the trick for a wet mix.

  10. Ralph

    Eric,

    Thanks for this recipe! I’ve made six loaves so far. I use einkorn instead of “wheat”, and much more starter than originally called for (we like it *sour*). My current recipe uses 450g water, 360g of starter, 360g each of rye and einkorn. It’s too wet to use a basket for the final proof so I use an oval bowl coated with olive oil instead. The cooking time is a bit longer too, with 35-40 minutes covered and another 20-25 uncovered. The bread turns out great, with a nice crunchy crust and moist crumb.

    Ralph

  11. Tammy

    Thanks, Breadtopia!

  12. Lachy

    Hi I tried the recipe and it worked out for me first time. Beginners luck I think. My rye starter is going pretty well here in an Adelaide winter and is really active. Getting the hang of flouring the very wet dough enough was the trick for me. Got great oven spring using my pizza stone but creates a very rustic loaf. The kids love it and it has inspired me to bake all our bread so thanks for that!!! I found the video has also given me some great tips for baking bread in general and some cool ideas on adding different flavours.
    Am planning a spelt version of the same recipe. Does anyone think it would work?
    I also love the no knead recipes. Great for me with kids – although they love playing with the dough!!
    Lachy

    • Hi Lachy,

      One thing to consider when substituting flours is that different flours absorb water differently. So you might have to tweak the amount of water in the recipe to get the dough consistency you’re looking for.

    • Tammy

      I started making this with more and more wheat flour and spelt flour, until this one had no white flour at all.
      I use 2/3 cup of a runny starter. I kept the water the same. I also added 3 T of vital wheat gluten. This recipe is such an experiment but the result are always yummy! I also only let rise 6 – 7 hours out of the fridge (longer if in fridge).
      Thanks to all of the posters for all of the additional ideas and especially thanks for this great recipe!

  13. Mike Parish

    The fundamental problem with the recipe is that 1-3/4 cups of flour does NOT weight 245 grams. 1-3/4 cups of rye flour weights approximately 332 grams and 1-3/4 of bread flour weights 348 grams (yes, rye flour weight less than white bread flour). What’s interesting is that the cups of water versus grams is correct. If you use cup measurements the dough will turn out stiff while use of the gram measurement gives you a goopy mess. However the taste is fine either way. I’ve settled on 300 grams of each flour when using 400 grams of water and it works out perfectly. I am NOT using starter. I use quick rise yeast instead. I’m not sure how using starter would affect these measurements. I’ve also used a pre-ferment of 150 grams of rye flour to an equal amount of water plus half the yeast and allowed it to sit overnight. I didn’t notice any difference in flavor nor in the rise. I’m not sure it was worth the extra effort but made for an interesting experiment. Best of luck for those still trying.

    • Mike Parish

      My starter was finally ready and I tried making a loaf and again it turned out an even goopier mess. I went back to the basics and computed the “baker’s percentage” as this bread was written. It turned out to be 82% liquid to flour, WOW! The most slack (wet) bread I could find in any bread book I own was Ciabatta at 72% and I always thought working with that dough was tough. I finally made a perfect loaf using 600 total grams of flour and 375 grams of water. That gave me a 62.5% flour to water percentage which falls in line with most similar rye breads I found in other books. It was easy to work with and baked up nice and tasty.

  14. Hi, Just wondering what would happen if I use a wheat flour based starter to make a rye bread that had wheat and rye flour in it. Would it be a disaster to do this or would the results just be satisfactory regarding: taste? texture? or volume/rising? thanks. Br. Paul

    • That’s what I do most of the time. It shouldn’t make much difference. The more important thing is that the starter be healthy.

    • Mike Parish

      Use your starter and add at least half the rye flour and an equal amount of water and let it sit out for five hours. Then put the mixture into the frig overnight. The next day take out the mixer and let it sit for an hour or so to warm up and mix up the rest of the ingredients and precede as written.

  15. I prepare this sourdough rye dough once a month.
    I make sure it feels slightly wet and sticky
    I keep it in fridge in large plastic container.
    It rises about 2.5 times.
    Every time I need to bake, I use a small portion of the dough.
    I put it into silicon baking form, rise for 2 hours and then bake for 1 hour, until internal temperature will reach 96 Celsius.
    or I kneed with little bit of fresh white flour, rise for 2 hours and then bake it the same way.

    • Pauline Gruental

      Alex, please give more details about your bread.

    • MARIANNE

      Wow Alex, you have tamed the monster! A very nice loaf indeed!
      I can relate to all the new bread bakers out there struggling with timing and wet, exhausted doughs. The lesson I am getting from you, Doris, and Pam is to trust my instincts and work with this accordingly. The timing is not carved in stone. Thanks to you all for sharing.

  16. Doris

    Here is what I have noticed. Over rising is BAD. That is where I made my mistakes. Once I got the timing down right ( as in having oven preheated before the dough had raised too far) everything worked out well. I bought some cheap, smaller sized melamine pasta strainers and lined them with well floured thin ikea kitchen towels and the dough rises well in these , ( solved the flattening & puddling effect.) I use Bobs Red Mill dark rye flour. I also invested in a digital scale and love the accuracy (eBay = cheap) To bake, I bought a vintage lidded brown glazed stoneware casserole (also ebay) which works perfectly. It is sort of bee hive shaped.

    Hope you have better luck and don’t quit trying! It’s worth the effort. I’m going to buy breadtopia’s dough whisk next! The video is great. The bread is phenomenal!

  17. Huseyin Cakal

    Just wondering the protein content of both grains. According to FDA database 100 grms of rye has 10 grms of protein and 100 grms of wheat has 14 grms of protein.

  18. Doris

    To all,
    This bread is fantastic. WATCH the video… Even if you think you are a pro, you will pick up tips that are not in the recipe.
    I have tried other recipes and had plenty of failure.
    If you are not having luck with your sourdough starter, resist the urge to launch it. I am finally doing well with sourdough but it took a couple of years of failure first. I resisted the urge to boost my dough starter with yeast, only to get lousy results…..and then I got success!!!
    keep the starter , keep feeding it , even if you forget about it for a month….resurrect it , and keep it going. mine is 3 years old and is awesome (finally!)

  19. Harry

    I am diabetic and am looking for a low glycemic bread. I have been researching “rye” and came across your video. However, your ingredients call for an equal parts of white flour which is extremely high on the glycemic index. So I am confused how rye bread can be a low glycemic bread. I am wondering if the souring process somehow effects the white flour, changing it from high glycemic to low. Sorry for my lack of understanding, I have never made bread. But I am sure I could, and I look forward to your explanation. Thanks.

    • nicholas

      almost all rye breads you will eat are half and half rye and white, instead of all white.. thej reason is that pure rye bread is EXTREMELY dense… a loaf of pure rye bread that is about 3x3x3 is over a pound(roughly guessing).. its super dense and heave, most people don’t enjoy bread like that, it is very common in Russia and a few other countries to enjoy bread as such. also something I recently heard about, or know much about is that a whole grain starter is good for people with are cyliac(cant eat glutton with out getting extremely sick) kind of random but may help

      Nicholas
      the journeyman baker

      • MARIANNE

        Nicholas, you sound like a very knowledgeable baker. My starter seems very active and does a good job with the overnight rise when the dough is mixed, but when I form the loaf and leave it for the second rise, nothing happens. I’ve tried watching it and baking after 8 hours, (even though it doesn’t look like it rises) and I’ve waited as much as 14 hours. Both results are the same. Flat loaf. No matter which recipe I follow, once I touch the risen dough, it degasses no matter how gentle I try to be with it. It becomes completely relaxed and flat and won’t come back. What could be the cause of this?

        • nicholas

          I am only a journeyman, and have been encountering the same problem with my sourdough starter, I have a few suggestions and/ors that may help. Some I guess are just thoughts or theroies…

          First try mixing and forming then baking and skipping the second rise, it may reduce the flavor due to the yeast.. But it might work. because of your climate, or the yeast overdoing its self and eatting all the sugar then making to much alcohol and dieing… (yeast likes dark wet and sugar) (and makes carbon dioxide and alcohol)baker want the dioxide and brewers want the alcohol.

          Second though is try using three fourths rye instead of half half, you may need more white but baking is by feel and concept.

          Third is your dough maybe to wet… Or not enough mixing to develop the glutton strains to hold it together…. And so on…

          I been having the same problem with my rye starter it even could be the time of year…. I’m not sure…

          My first thought for a test(half or quarter batch) mix form proof and bake and Dont touch it… Or more white flour… Or your starter is weak….

          • MARIANNE

            Your theory about the yeast overdoing itself and forming alcohol sounds like you may have solved the mystery. Because even when I cut back on the water, the second rise just seems to keep getting wetter/softer. Almost as though there is liquid being produced, which could be that alcohol you refer to. the same alcohol that comes to the top when the starter sits at rest. I will definitely test your theory. But if that’s the case, how do you prevent this over activity?

            • nicholas

              Yes on the extra liquid and yes the starter liquid… And salt, it regulates the activation of the yeast. Sorry woke up from a nap… Going back to bed, damn grsveyards I’ve more just to tired to type… Look up the effects of salt on yeast/bread

            • nicholas

              Another idea is perhaps your starter is to thin, I go for about a think pancake batter and nice and smooth, the yeast will settle to the bottom as the alcohol floats to the top. Hope it helps

              Nicholas

            • Birgit

              I have tried this recipe twice too often apparently :(
              the first batch did not rise a second time, was a goopy dough and a flat, tough as nails brick when it came out.. Today after following instructions to the T , another glob of goo . I am wondering if I should even waste the electricity to bake this mess… Although I am new to sourdough, I have been baking bread for decades . Ill have to find something else to try.

  20. Renee

    Where did I go wrong??? I made a sourdough rye bread. Followed the recipe on this site. Ground the rye berries fresh. But the crust was so hard. I mean break your tooth hard. How do you prevent the crust from being so tough? And, it didn’t rise all that well.

    • Marianne

      Renee, I had the same thing happen to me. Did you cut the heat back as the recipe instructed? or did you bake at the same temperature for the entire time? I forgot to knock the temp back one time and my crust was thicker and harder than I wanted. I’ve found Eric’s suggestion for using the instant read thermometer a good way to test for doneness. (200F). As for the rise, I don’t do that well either. My first rise is great, but once I dump it out to shape it, it seems to degas without my even touching it much. If you read further down, Pam seems to have some good advice about your starter needing to be very alive and healthy. Just keep trying it WILL work. I add sunflower and pumpkin seeds they add crunch and my flat loaves taste great anyway. I get nice crumb, but not a high loaf.

      • nicholas

        you should feed your starter daily! a starter is most active 8 hours after being fed so if you only feed it once a day do it before work in the AM and come home and mix and form, and bake in the morning.

        also you can mix and form then leave it for the night, knocking the dough down later only strengthens the glutton strands and give you better bread but is totally not necessary if you have the time I suggest it.

        next, not 100% sure for rye, (usually because the grain is thicker than white flour) but bread is done at 180 degrees. the courser flour will cut the glutton strains and usually takes longer to bake. you can also flip the loaf over and knock on it, if it sounds hollow it is done. :-) old baker tip.

        your sourdough will rise better if you feed it more cost more in flour but well worth it, and truthfully how long a sourdough of any kind takes to rise has many variants the temp, humidity, and how much natural yeast is in the air in your climate. on average even from work and personal experience about 8 hours is right, and that is because you are cultivating the natural yeast around you not using a factory made yeast. weather its instant or dry(the only difference is that one is more potent but still the same strand of the same organism).

        the thick crust could arise from a few problems, I barely glanced at the recipe, but try less molasses the crust forms from the carmelization of the suger in the bread, also gives it its color, that or over baking, (if there is a hole in the middle of your loaf you underbaked) orto high of a temp not sure what the temp but 350 to 400 should suffice you may bake longer if its higher.

        Nicholas,
        journeyman

        I was just trying to figure out to turn my starter that was sweet, sweet again… and read a few comments and got sucked in hahaha hope the information I provided helped :-)

        • nicholas

          And the 24 year face of a year and half baker that is giving you advise

      • nicholas

        Or mix form bake, or more flout in the proper proofing environment…

      • Cheryl

        I had the same problems with my bread collapsing when shaping gently.
        I found adding gluten has improved the whole of the loaf.

  21. Mary Latimer

    Have made my last three loaves of Rye using the instant yeast method with great success. Sour dough is just not my thing . So delighted to be able to have the delicious Rye without having to make the starter. Last year in the beginning of my venture into sour dough my first two Rye loaves were done with the pineapple starter,they also turned out nicely but think the instant is my favorite. Have to confess I am not a good keeper of the starter.

    Thanks Eric for the lovely organic rye berries which are now making great bread. How fortunate we are to have the excellent videos and personal help from Eric and the Breadtopia web site.

  22. DAvid

    There was a presentation on America’s Test Kitchen recently for
    English muffin bread. Incredibly simple, quick, and providing
    excellent tasting bread. Wonder if anyone has done this with
    sour dough?

  23. Pamela

    I had to try this recipe twice. The first time was a total fail because I followed the recipe’s timing even though my starter is based on 100% rye and is very active as it is maintained at room temp. As a result, the 12 hour bulk fermentation was way too long and I woke up to goo. I managed to shape it and get it into the hot dutch oven, but it resulted in no oven spring as the dough was completely exhausted.
    So the second try, I reduced the amount of rye in the recipe to account for the rye flour in the starter, reduced the bulk rise fermentation by half (6 hours at room temp) and limited the final proof to just one hour. The bread baked up nicely and tastes very good. Thank you .

    • Marianne

      Pamela, thanks for your advice. I have been wondering about the rise time. I will definitely give that a try. I too changed the amount of rye flour, but it still got so sticky that I was unable to “lift” the dough to fold it over. It just puddled back down into a thick blob again. I baked it anyway, and I got enough rise for it to bake through, but not a high loaf. Tastes fine, so I hate to abandon this recipe. It would be great to just use the 6-8 hour rise time so that this could be achieved in one day.

      • Pamela

        If you can do it during the day, where you can keep an eye on it, try just letting it rise until 2x, 2.5x or so, so long as you shape it before it starts to fall. The dough will be much more normal/easy to work-just like the one in the video. I promise it is worth the effort and comes out very nice. Next time, I’m going to put back the rye I took out originally and just watch the dough- I predict it will be even better! Happy baking!

        • Marianne

          Strangely enough, my dough looks very airy and still high in the bowl at the end of the 12 hours, but it just puddles on the dough board. When I try to fold it with my bench scraper it fights me everytime. Way too wet. I’m definitely using your 6-8 hour recommendation. (Sure have been eating a lot of bread lately in my effort to get this thing right!)
          Marianne

          • Pamela

            Marianne, You’ll have to tell me how it goes with a shortened ferment. I suggest keeping an eye on it so that when you go to shape it, you can handle it the way the Day 2 video does, that part when he touches it to show the texture (about 15 seconds into the video). For me, that was at 6 hours in.

            • Marianne

              Pamela, I’m sure you’ve given up on me reporting back. I changed a couple of things that I have been doing. First thing was to skip using my stand mixer and mix this up by hand. I used the rye starter instead of the one made with bread flour and to compensate for the rye in the starter I cut back on the recipe amount. I made the dough at 11:oo AM, and watched it, but nothing had changed by 11:00 PM that evening. I wondered if it would even turn out. Didn’t want to pitch it, so I set the bowl inside my oven for the night with the light on. By next morning it was double the size, and it was not too difficult to shape although still much more relaxed than the video. I suspect it may have started to fall again. I got a decent edible loaf, but I will continue to try your advice about manipulating the time. I still feel I made progress, since it was easier to handle, but I think I degassed it and after 1 1/2 hr. rest time it hadn’t changed much, so I baked it anyway. Of course not much oven spring . I’ve attached a photo. Will continue to follow your advice.

          • Pamela

            This a response to your latest comment, below – I think there is some limit on the number of comments in a thread here. It is strange to me that there would be no activity in your dough after 12 hours! Was it very cold to start with or very cold in your house(under 70*F)? Temperature as well as time plays a big role. How active was your rye starter at the beginning – was it very bubbly or just sitting there? You need to begin with a starter at the peak of activity. It seems that you probably did exhaust your dough overnight which accounts for your less than spectacular rise in the oven, but you are definitely getting there! I only let the shaped loaf proof for an hour, which also may contribute to the lack of oven spring. Good luck and keep trying – hey, at least the bread tastes good!

            • Melissa

              This is what my all rye loaf looked like. I was giving up as it had fallen in from rising in my oven with the light on overnight. I added another water/flour and set it in my bay window overnight. Viola! It rose to 2.5 times and looked good. However, it would not fold and was too sticky. I added some more flour to where I could fold it. It did not rise much more but had some oven spring. All rye was a pretty dense loaf but I still enjoyed it. SO, I think my oven light was too warm and it rose too fast. In my window, it rose overnight just right. I still need to figure out the water/ flour ratio. I am going to try Mike Parrish’s ratios next….

        • Mark

          I’ve had this problem too, of the dough just being too sticky and “puddling” and getting stuck to the board no matter how much flour I put down. I am fairly sure I got the measures right. I followed the metric measures – 400g water + 245g each of rye flour and bread flour, but the bread flour was wholemeal, maybe that had something to do with it not absorbing as much water. I just hate to use white flour when I have this lovely organic wholemeal flour from some friends, so I may need to tweak the quantities a little bit (less water). But also I wonder if the amount of rise had something to do with it, as Pamela suggests. I would say mine is close to tripling in size over the 12 hours or so, so maybe I need to cut that time short a little?

          • pamela barnhart

            I would indeed cut back on the bulk rising time, like maybe no longer than it takes to double instead of triple in volume (saving some oomph for the oven) and also, restrain from using all whole meal flour (e.g.. all whole wheat and rye). I think you’ll get better results with regular bread flour as per the recipe. You need the regular wheat flour without the bran to make the bread rise/develop properly. Once you get it to work, then you can start adding back in higher percentage of whole grains, but I encourage you to start with the recipe first.
            Happy baking.

            • Mark

              Thanks for the advice, I actually managed to “pour” the dough into the tin and left it to rise again for another 3 or 4 hours, and ended up with a great loaf, just as airy as yours looks on the picture, though a bit heavier somehow, too, and tastes perfect (though quite sour, probably from the endless proofing – I had already reproofed once with extra flour to try to compensate for the stickiness :D). So I guess it’s hard to go TOO wrong. I did want to avoid white flour because our son is on a candida diet at the moment, I am sure the results would be better with white – though I know wholemeal flour actually absorbs MORE water than white, so not sure why it got so sticky! Anyway, got some useful experience under my belt thanks to your recipe, I am sure I will be experimenting more!

          • Mike Parish

            I had the same sticky dough problem. I used a gram scale and the conversion didn’t seem correct from 1-3/4 cups. I measured and when I used the cups the gram weight turned out to be 320 grams on the Rye flour not 245. When I used 320 grams of each flour everything came out OK if not a bit stiff. I still didn’t get the bigger holes (it was dense) in the bread but the taste was there. I ordered the instant yeast used on the show and we’ll see how that works. By the way when I checked on-line for Rye flour cup to gram conversion 1-3/4 cups equals 222 gram, go figure?

            • Joffres

              Weights of flours: it’s a big issue for me too. I live in southwest France and use flour that is milled near here. I find that even if I measure out in volume and then weigh that, I can get different amounts. And if you sift or not, this will have an influence on the weight of your volume. Take it slowly and by trial and error you will get it. 222g for 1 and 2/4 cups is, however, not even in the ball park. Have fun! It’s a great bread.

    • Allen

      Hi Pamela,

      As a sourdough newbie, your comment picqued my interest.

      As a general rule, what characteristics do you look for in your dough to determine whether one’s dough has enough bulk fermentation? I’m only seeing about 50% success in my sourdough making efforts (by success I mean a loaf that looks and tastes the way I believe it should) and am beginning to believe the problem lays in my allowing the dough to over-ferment.

      • Hi Allen, that is an excellent question and I am honored that you would single me out to ask advice—what I have observed is that you want to take the next step with your sourdough when it appears to be fully activated/aerated but well before it starts to fall. That goes for your starter, levain, your bulk ferment and your final proof. This dough is harder because you only get to mix/fold it at the beginning so it is harder to know when it is done-a glass bowl will let you see the bubbles on the bottom and along the sides. Retarding in the fridge to slow down the process at any/each step will help develop the sour flavors.
        I read somewhere that the process for sourdough is to develop you dough enough to provide enough structure to support bubbles in your dough, and do everything to keep them there with manipulations of time and temperature while making sure that the wee beasties have enough food left at the end to give you a nice rise in the oven before they die. If in your bulk ferment, you can see large-ish bubbles under the skin, move on to the next step- watch your dough, not the clock!!!
        I hope this helps! Happy baking!

        • Allen, please let me know if this is helpful or makes any sense.

          • Culture Critik

            Mike,

            I don’t know if this has already been said, so forgive me if this is duplicate commenting.

            I’ve discovered that high dough hydration (>72%) is the only way to produce a consistently open crumb (big holes) in any type of bread. Even a prolonged rise time can not substitute for water in opening your crumb. In Jim Lahey’s seminal book, “My Bread,” (the book that started the ‘no knead’ bread craze), he points very specifically to high hydration as a necessity for an open crumb.

            Further complicating the issue is the use of rye flour; its low gluten content makes it difficult for the dough to stretch when CO2 bubbles are created during fermentation, resulting in dense, tight crumbs, all things being equal. A couple tablespoons of essential wheat gluten, which you can find at just about any grocery store, added to the recipe can balance that factor.

  24. Marianne

    Does it matter if you use too much starter? I was bad..I just used a big spoon like Eric does in the video. My dough ended up wetter, still full of air bubbles, but when I felt it the next morning, it stuck to my fingers. I mean a gobb came off the main dough. After mixing, I also transferred it from my Kitchen Aid mixer bowl to a glass bowl for the overnight rise and I pre-wiped the bowl with a bit of olive oil. To “rescue” my very wet dough, I ended up stirring it, and adding some flour, then setting it aside for another rise.
    How much does a variance in starter impact the wetness?
    I’m reading that rye flour tends to absorb more flour. Should I increase the rye and cut back on the bread flour?
    Kudos to you people that have one success after another! My triumphs have been more random.

    • Lesley

      Hi Marianne
      Are you making the no knead rye bread described here? I just wondered because you transferred from your mixer bowl before rising. My experience was that it matters regarding measuring or weighing my starter. When I added too much starter my dough rose too quickly and had less sourdough flavor.
      I don’t remember how often you’re feeding your rye starter but I leave mine in the fridge as in the video. I find that for baking every week or 2 taking it out the day before and feeding it does just fine. I have even put it back in the fridge once it has sufficiently activated and use it directly from the fridge. I use the no knead mixing technique as described here. It rises overnight (my house temp drops from 71 to 68Ft during the night) in about 10 to 12 hrs. Also, I second rise for an hour in a bread pan lined with a cloth that is dusted with rice flour. I think that this helps my loaf keep it’s shape (and I don’t have a basket). I was fortunate in that I already had a Romertopf. I probably would have been reluctant to pay the price for one initially but I believe that it makes a difference in the final product. Being able to check your long rise (so it doesn’t over rise) and comparing that to how much starter you added really helps. Also, having rising and baking support helps to make a higher loaf.

  25. Marianne

    SUCCESS! Finally on my third try I have a loaf that resembles what Eric’s video tutorial demonstrates. (picture attached). But for other newbies like myself who are struggling with a relaxed wet dough, I would like to offer a suggestion. Not knowing if I would ever master this thing, I didn’t want to spend money on an expensive baking vessel, so I went to Walmart and bought a cheap enamil speckled small roaster. (It’s in the background of my photo.) I put it on parchement paper for the final rise, and then dropped into the preheated enamil pot parchment paper and all and baked it on top of the pizza stone. I the pot is a big part of my success. Even this dough (although better than my first) was very relaxed and wet. It would never have risen without a vessel to “guide” it up, in the baking process, and the lid helped contain the steam, keeping the top wet enough to allow the “spring”. Now I feel confident in going out and buying a Roemertopf.
    Question: If I want to make a couple of mini Boule’s , does anyone out there have a recommendation as to how to adjust this recipe so they could be baked on a stone? Or is there a different recipe here that I should be using? Any comments would be appreciated.

  26. Marcia

    Hi Shirley,
    I found the Microplane brand graters, in choice of fine or less so, in the gadget aisle of my local Wegman’s supermarket.

    Marcia

    • Shirley

      Thanks Marcia!!

  27. Shirley Moore

    Love this bread recipe and sure would like some information about that nice microplane grater…would like the the exact name and where to buy….Thanks so much and love your wonderful site, Shirley

  28. Marcia

    I seem to remember that when I started making this bread, I was using white rather than bread flour, and that since I started using bread flour (always organic whatever the flour), the dough has been somewhat less fluidy, and easier to manage. I make this bread now every few days.

  29. Marcia

    Hi Marianne,
    Your dough looks right to me, but I don’t understand what you mean by working it; it sounds like you’re working it a lot. But, other than vigorous stirring three times before the dough is set to rise, I find it best to barely de-gas the dough when removing it from the bowl, then barely shape it into a rectangle, and very gently make the boule, all with floured hands to minimize dough-smooshing and dough-wearing. Plus the twelve hour proofing seems perfect with room temp around 70.

  30. Marcia Ian

    To Marianne and others on the recent cow-pie thread: I too was alarmed by the goopiness of the dough, but I have learned to work with it. I don’t add extra flour, but replicate Eric’s recipe exactly. I only let it rest for ten minutes on the counter after shaping before putting it into the proofing basket. After a lot of trial and error, I find that it’s key not to try to squish it into anything compact, but instead handle it like a slinky and sort of flow it into the basket, making sure not to trap any pockets of white flour. I can’t imagine baking it, though, on anything flat. I use the clay baker, and it comes out truly fabulous. My starter seems to be maturing into a rambunctious critter that makes for a spongy yummy bread.

    • Marianne

      To: Marcia Ian
      Thank you for your comments. As a newbie to starters and rye flour, it’s hard to not panic at “wearing” half the dough on my hands. No matter how long I work the dough, it just doesn’t change in character like my other yeast doughs have. There is no way my dough can even begin to be shaped. I’m attaching a picture of what it looks like. I also get the sense that my dough rises too fast and has collapsed if I give it the recommended time. I’m sure the recipe is not the problem. I’ll just keep trying until I get it right. What I DO bake at least tastes good but there is no oven spring to speak of. See picture.

    • Janice Wilke

      I have had Marcia’s experience the past two times making this bread. It is my favorite and I have had great luck, however, strangely the past two times, the dough was so hydrated that it was impossible to form a loaf and to score the bread after the last rise. I think because this is such a hydrated loaf anyway that I should be adding extra flour in the beginning a bit without any fear of dryness. It still comes out tasty beyond anything I have made and the crumb is gorgeous!

      • Marianne

        To Janice Wilke: Glad to read your comment about your “relaxed” dough. I will give your idea of adding more flour at the begining a try. Maybe that’s the solution. I know I’m not supposed to expect a firm ball of dough, but my experience so far has been like trying to handle a thick cake batter– you just can’t handle something that loose. I’m sure the problem isn’t Eric’s recipe, but rather my lack of experience in working with starters, sponges, and rye flours. I’m hoping to eventually abandon the use of active dry yeast altogether. Don’t mind putting in the time, but disappointed so far in not being able to tame the beast!

        • Lesley

          Hi Marianne,
          I’m not a bread maker and perhaps that was to my advantage.
          It took me a while to get successful starters going but when I tried the pineapple juice starter everything took off for me. I also bought a digital scale and the dough whisk and weighed all my ingredients.
          The first time I made the bread it seemed that the dough was over rising on the long rise. I started decreasing my rise time but decided that I wanted that long rise so was extra careful of the amount of starter I was using and at the same time relaxed a bit on my feeding of the starter (made bread once a week/fed the starter once a week). I used organic all purpose instead of bread flour as that is what I had. I was so astounded when my bread turned out wonderfully every time. There were a few minor adjustments for my oven and starter but if anything my bread would be a little too much on the oven rise. I believe my success was attributed to my inexperience and consequently following the video precisely.
          I so enjoy having my own starter and highly recommend the use of one.

          • Lesley

            Note, I used a bread pan lined with a linen tea towel and dusted with rice flour for my short rise as I didn’t have a proofing basket.

  31. Bill

    Celebrating my sourdough starter’s first birthday with swirl rye bread. I cut and pasted the Breadtopia recipe to ensure excellent flavor.

  32. thom lawrence

    now my third try at this very aromatic bread …. using sourdough starter I made, always tastes good but… after the first rise, I find it very wet … (fresh pie from a hung-over bovine comes to mind) …. all ingredients weighed. I have tried lengthening and shortening the proofing time, adding a lot (3\4 c) extra flour while trying to shape but still end up with a large, flat loaf (no pans used just pizza stone). Can I just keep adding flour at the beginning or cut back on water or is there a price to pay for altering the recipe to try to make stiffer at the outset?
    thanks
    thom

    • Bill

      I use volume measurements and I find my dough to be wet as well. When I pour it out on the counter to stretch and fold I add enough flour to make it manageable. From there it goes straight in to my buttered baking tin for proofing and baking. It always tastes great so I don’t think the extra flour is altering the recipe too much.

      • Marianne

        I have the same problem. If anyone comes up with a solution let us know. I too have added flour just so that I am able to handle it, but once it just seems to spread right out giving me a very flat wide loaf. I am not using a covered vessel to bake. Am wondering if that’s part of it??? (Am quite experienced in baking with commercial yeast and bread flours, but can’t seem to get the rye flour to co-operate.) Looking forward to any suggestions.

  33. MARIANNE

    This is a great website. Eric, you make everything seem so simple. You are a true artist when it comes to bread baking!
    Can someone tell me if there is a basic ratio of starter to flour in a recipe? e.g. 6 flour:1 starter. I’m talking about making one loaf of bread. I guess I am curious as to how much starter it takes to “lift” how much flour. Which leads to the next question. If you add seeds such as sunflower and pumpkin, does that diminish the rising power of the starter at all? Thanks! Any advice would be welcome.

    • Thanks Marianne. There is no basic rule on the ratio of flour to starter. It can vary as much as desired with lesser amounts of starter just taking longer for the dough to proof and more starter taking less time. Adding seeds won’t diminish the rising power of the starter, but the dough might end up denser just due to the presence of the seeds and maybe their weight to some extent. But you don’t necessarily have to add more starter.

  34. Jennifer Niskanen

    My sourdough starter never doubles in size. I am fairly certain it is just too cold in Northern Ontario at this time of year. It’s alive and it was growing but it eventually molded. I thought if I left it on the counter long enough it would grow bigger. I think I just should hae been happy with all the healthy bubbles and stopped waiting, moving my starter to the fridge where it would be safe. I assume a hybrid bread might be the way to go then. Use my starter in the overnight rise and maybe some instant yeast too. My starter grew by maybe a quarter or a third. What do you think?

    • Rhonda

      If it’s cool room temperature and doesn’t double in 12 hours I will leave it maximum 24hrs before feeding again. Otherwise you get mold, as you noticed. (If it’s warmer 24 hours is pushing it.)

      If I’m going to refrigerate my starter (which is where it usually lives) I feed it then refrigerate right away. It’s nice and bubbly by about day 4.

      I figure as a rule of thumb, about a 4-5C (7-9F) difference in temperature doubles or halves the growth rate of the yeast. That’s the difference between winter and summer indoor room temperature for me, so in my kitchen winter breads take twice as long to rise compared to summer breads.

    • Stash

      Have you tried putting your starter in over with the oven light on? Works for me!!!!!

  35. Apryl

    Is there a good sourdough rye recipe using just rye flour instead of a “blend”. I make spelt sourdough already. I like the simplicity of it. I would love to have a simple rye, too.

    • Stash

      Google the Detmolder method of baking Rye Bread. I have and it’s magic.

  36. Monika

    Fantastic bread! I’m planning on trying to convert it into black rye bread next time. Thanks!

  37. We love this recipe! My son doesn’t normally like rye bread, but he loves this version. It tastes and smells fantastic!

  38. Gwite

    Eric,
    I’m surprised how fluffy it is. What kind of white flour are you using(brand/type)? Thanks.

    • Rhonda

      I cooked mine in a cast iron dutch oven. Preheat the same way as shown in the video; cast iron takes a long time to heat up.

      • Jennifer Niskanen

        But do I put the lid on or not? Was your dutch oven the same size?

        • Rhonda

          Use the lid on the same pattern as the video – start with it on, take it off for the last bit. My dutch oven was I think a bit bigger than the clay baker shown in the video, so I had more crust and less inside. The one you linked looks a bit smaller than mine, so it will probably be ok.

          I think as long as it holds all the dough and has a tight fitting lid and gets good and hot in the oven and holds that heat while you drop the dough in, you can use just about anything.

          • Jennifer Niskanen

            What do you think of doing the final proof in my crockpot on the warm setting. It’s generally cold in my house in the winter. I saw elsewhere you could do that on the warm setting and set the loaf on parchment paper, then lift it into the heated dutch oven.

  39. Suzanne

    How do you make the starter?

    • Rhonda

      I used this method:
      http://sourdoughhome.com/index.php?content=startermyway2

      using fancy organic stone ground rye to get it going. Once I used the fancy stuff up and the starter was bubbling away happily, I switched to regular dark rye. (I didn’t convert mine to white flour.)

  40. Taryn

    I don’t know if it was because my oven was on most of the day or what (but only at 200F and my dough wasn’t right on top of it or anything), but my initial rise period did NOT take anywhere near 12 hours. More like 3-4. It started sinking after that which is a big clue that you’re about to lose it. So I quickly kneaded it, let it rise again, and baked as usual. Sehr gut!

  41. GW

    Drone on and on… you are doing a fantastic job of showing us newbies how to improve. Here’s my first attempt ever to make a starter. Kindest regards, GW

  42. Marcia

    I just bought a bag of First Clear flour and don’t know what to do with it. Breadtopia sourdough rye is my all time favorite bread, but would it be even favorite-er subbing First Clear for the bread flour?

    Marcia

    • Christopher Dobney

      I’ve actually used KAF First Clear in rye (not this recipe.) It gives a great taste and texture. It has a higher bran, germ and ash content than bread flour, much closer to whole wheat, so I’d use some Vital Wheat Gluten to help with the rise.

  43. Evan

    playing with no knead rye again. I have made Jewish rye by conventional techniques using First Clear flour. Do you know if anyone has successfully used First Clear in NYT or Almost no Knead methods?

    • Christopher Dobney

      Yup. See the above post.

  44. Christin

    can I make this using all rye flour instead of half rye, half bread flour?

    • Sure. It will just be quite a bit denser a loaf. You may want to (or need to) adjust the amount of water, but I don’t know how much without trying. Consider your first go something of an experiment.

      • Christin

        ok. Thanks for the quick response!

    • Christopher Dobney

      If you want it to rise very much, I’d recommend adding some VItal Wheat Gluten ( 3/4 to 1 tsp. per cup of flour) to make up for the poor gluten development of Rye flour. The addition of potato flakes or potato flour (1 1/2 Tbs. or 1 Tbs. per cup, respectively) will also soften the loaf considerably.

      You’re going to end up with a rough surface on the loaf. Don’t worry, you didn’t do anything wrong! That’s just how it is with most breads that are made with 100% grains-other-than-all-purpose-flour.

      Chris

  45. Alice

    Would it be okay to have a 20-24 hour fermentation proof time? Maybe at a lower temp, like in the refridgerator or a cool room? Due to my work schedule this would work better…

    • Lesley

      Hi Alice,
      In the video Eric suggests putting your dough in the fridge overnight and letting it rise during the day if you can’t bake in the morning.

  46. Safaa Mahgoub

    Oh my God, what a great recipe! I have´nt tried the bread yet, i have to say.. But the process was very easy, the dough was a bit sticky but very pleasant – i prefer working with wetter dough- The smell is AMAZING! Ive just got it out of the oven, and it looks GORGEOUS! I was a bit worried at the beginning becoz of the long fermentation – which i sometimes do but always in the fridge- but i got a beautiful Oven Spring, so i dont think by any means its over-fermented..

    I cant wait to try the bread, but ill have to wait till it cools down completely :)

  47. Christine

    Just wondering: I don’t like sweeteners of any kind in my bread, plus I’m a novice. Are the molasses needed as “food” for the beasties or could I just omit them?

    • Hi Christine,

      You can definitely omit sweeteners. The yeast will feed on the starches in the flour. Sweeteners speed up the fermentation process so your bread will take a bit longer to proof without them. But no big deal there.

  48. Craig

    I often cheat this a method bit and add a teaspooon of active dry yeast, about 1/2 a packet. Can’t say I’ve made the recipe above, but I put out some pretty good “sourdough” rye loaves using a Michigan wild-grape aquired starter. By cheating, I get the sour flavor and the rise I want every time.

  49. Marcia

    I’ve made the sourdough rye about ten times now. My husband and I both LOVE it. Objectively speaking it’s the yummiest bread ever. The first few times I was alarmed by how goopy the dough was — it stretched and dripped and slithered en route to the proofing basket. Since then I’ve noticed that vigorously stirring each time, rather than stirring halfheartedly as I was at first, and mimicking a kneading motion, developed the gluten sufficiently so that the dough cohered and behaved itself. It makes all the difference. My rye loaves have been coming out airy and spongy and did I mention YUMMY.

    • Lesley

      Hi Marcia,
      Just wondered, how long is it taking your dough to double on your long proof?

      • Marcia

        Hi Lesley!
        On proofing times I’ve been following our fearless leader’s recommendations. It does seem to take 12-13 hours at room temp of around 70 degrees for the dough to get nice and spongy.

        Marcia

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

clear formSubmit