Sourdough Rye

I’m getting back into my post Holiday baking with this lovely boule of sourdough rye bread. The addition of caraway seeds is optional, but I highly recommend the addition of orange zest. It adds a slight fruitiness to the bread that nicely compliments the bitterness of the rye and the tang of the sourdough. For me, baking this bread is a three day process: 1) create leaven 2) mix and autolysis dough 3) rise and bake bread. You can do it in less time, but the three day routine works best for me – I find it less stressful, and on the first two days there’s very little work involved, it just takes a little pre-planning.


  • 1 cup Leaven
    • Mix and leave overnight (Day 1):
      • 1/2 cup Flour
      • 1/2 cup Water
      • 1 tbsp Sourdough Starter
  • 1/4 cup Honey
  • 1 cup Water
  • 1 tbsp Caraway Seeds
  • zest from 1 Orange
  • 2-3 cups Rye Flour
  • 2-3 cups Flour
  • 1 tbsp Salt


  1. Create autolysis (Day 2).
    1. Combine the leaven, honey, orange zest, caraway seeds, water, 2 cups rye flour, and 1 cup flour.
    2. Mix with dough hook, or stir vigorously, until the dough is stretchy and elastic. It should look fairly smooth.
    3. Place the dough in an air tight container with plenty of room for growth, leave the dough to autolysis overnight.
  2. Rise and Bake (Day 3).
    1. Knead in remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time. This is a really wet dough so just add and knead in enough flour for the dough to retain as slight shape and bounce back.
      1. At this time you should also knead in the salt.
    2. Place the dough in a well floured rise basket or bowl.
    3. Cover, and rise dough until doubled. This can take 3-4 hours in a cold room.
    4. An hour before your dough has finished rising, place your bread stone (or an upside down cookie sheet) on the middle shelve of your oven and preheat your oven to 500 F (260 C).
    5. 10 minutes before baking, place a few shallow trays of water at the bottom of the oven.
    6. Slide your dough out of the proofing basket, score the top of your boule, and slide it into the oven.
      1. If you just shake the dough out of the proofing basket you run the risk of deflating it. I have found that if you have a rimless baking sheet and a piece of parchment paper, you can place the parchment paper over the top of the basket, followed by the baking sheet, and carefully flip the baking sheet and basket upside down carefully sliding the boule out onto the parchment lined baking sheet.
      2. Score the top.
      3. From here, you can use the baking sheet as a peel, to carefully slide the boule into the oven, leaving the parchment underneath.
      4. Work quickly when transferring the dough into the oven, since you don’t want to release the steam.
    7. Reduce the heat to 450 F (232 C).
    8. Bake for about 40 minutes, or until the internal temperature of the bread is 180 F (65 C).

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s