Artisan Sourdough Rye Bread

Exactly what I do Liz. Skip the added yeast and rely solely on my sourdough starter. They workout just as well. You’ve gotta give the famous Borodinsky bread a try. Can you get hold of red rye malt?

Good to hear, Abe (no yeast). I looked up red rye malt and looks like I can get it as it is a beer making thing also. Worse case, I found a recipe to make it from berries. So Borodinsky goes on my LONG list of things to try!

Exactly what I did. Couldn’t find any Red Rye Malt so went online to a brewing company and bought the next best thing - Crystal Rye Malt. It’s so similar it looks identical to Red Rye Malt when ground.

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This bread has become a part of my bread baking repertoire for a couple of years now. Over time I have found a way that suits our tastes best. First I double the amount, make it a tad less sticky by adding a bit more bread flour. I use the bread flour with added multigrain. I double the spice weight with an additional 8g of coriander and grind half of it. Add 100g of roasted sunflower seeds. I use my own sour dough starter. I follow the recipe until it comes to the rise the next day. I prepare two non stick bread pans and split the dough among them. Cover and let them rise for 1 1/2 hour, cut the dough with a razor and then bake at 475 convection covered with alu foil for 25 min, remove the foil and bake until it reaches 200F inside temp. It forms a strong crust and tastes absolutely delicious. It has a distinct European flavour which we had missed here for far too long. Thanks for a great recipe!

Thanks for sharing your modifications and the “loaf” technique. Your loaves look wonderful!

This is one of my favorite recipes also and I was just thinking to increase volume and bake in my Breadtopia oblong clay baker which makes a long, but loaf shape (vs batard or boule). I find myself going back to loaf shape often as it works well for the size sandwich’s and toast I like!

OK mixed it all up in the Kitchen Aid Friday afternoon, gave it two more 2-3 minute mix sessions after the initial mix, adding a bit more rye flour each time until the dough firmed up and began pulling away from the bowl. Knew I wasn’t going to get to bake it today it’s still in the refrigerator, I’ll take it out before bed and hopefully the long hibernation it the cold will have no ill effects. The dough smells amazing and I added two tablespoons of cocoa powder to get a dark color, looking at the dough it’s definitely dark, we’ll see how it bakes up tomorrow after a long chill.

This is hands down THE BEST Rye bread I’ve ever tasted!!! I’m a year into sourdough baking (at home). I’ve been experimenting with different recipes and this is now my fave to work with and eat!!! Thank you for this brilliant recipe!!! My crumb, scoring and bloom need more practice but I don’t mind eating my mistakes​:stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye::hugs:

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Looks awesome to me!

Thank you Eric!

I had great success with your recipe. Thank you for sharing! Has anyone had any luck freezing one of these loaves? I would like to bake a few ahead of time.
Thanks, Carrie

@cderuytt, I freeze breads all the time, but I slice them first and place the slices into a freezer Ziploc-type bag. I just toast up my slices when I want to eat my bread. I have never frozen a whole unsliced loaf though.


Can this be done using whole wheat flour? Will there be any significant changes?

Probably. Can’t harm trying and i’m sure you’ll get something nice out of it. Might take a bit of trial and error though. First thing that would have to be changed is the hydration. If you need any guidance on how i’d tackle this recipe using wholewheat instead of rye just let me know.

I’d love some guidance! I’m a total newbie bread baker. I’m trying the recipe right now with a 1:1 replacement of whole wheat but I’m curious what you would do.

  • 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.
Total flour = 525g
Total water = 435g
Hydration = 83%

Actually, I was concerned about the hydration but after looking at the recipe closer that’s quite nice for a 100% whole-wheat loaf so no need to change anything there.

How let’s look at the method…

Flour = 100%
Starter = 14%

But the ferment time is 12-14 hours. I’m thinking to play it safe and aim for 6-8 hours. Once the dough is aerated, has a good matrix of bubbles and is billowy then you can either move onto shaping and final proofing or shape, refrigerate and bake the next day or refrigerate then shape the next day and final proof then bake. 12-14 hours for a 100% whole wheat with 14% starter seems too much. But as always watch the dough and not the clock.

If you wish you can add in an autolyse of just the flour and water for one hour before combining the rest of the ingredients since it’s 100% wholegrain. And this will make a proper dough using 100% wholewheat so you’ll develop the gluten differently. When combining the final dough give it a few minutes knead till medium gluten formation then periodically give it a stretch and fold through the bulk ferment. Try and get in 4 sets about an hour apart.

So, I finally followed your directions and now I have successfully made your artisan rye bread. It is gorgeous!

Thank you for the videos!


It sure is!

I baked this bread after starting it yesterday with the 12 hour or longer proof over at 8 PM. Not wanting to finish it late and wanting a cold loaf to avoid spreading I put it in the fridge over night. I took it our and let it sit for 30 minutes and put it into the hot cloche. Turned out perfect. I did over bake it by 5 degrees but it should be fine. Great recipe to play with.


When I weigh the Rye - the cup equivalent is more like 2.5 cups.
my dough is much drier than i like for no knead recipes.
I’ve checked my scale over and over- it seems to check out.
I also weighed the wheat flour…same issue.
Is everyone else here measuring in cups?

I always measure by weight (scale) and not volume (cups) and I am guessing most who make these recipes on this site and/or are regular bakers, also measure by weight. Volume measurements of flour are just not accurate … even by the same person, in the same kitchen, on the same day :slight_smile: !

I have not (not for a long time, anyway) compared weight to volume approximations. BUT, I would say that the difference you are describing in addition to the dough being dry** points to inaccuracies with measuring and/or the scale. If you do not have a way to calibrate your scale, you might want to borrow one from someone else and compare. If neither is an option, you can certainly try the cup approximations and see what happens. If you then find the dough too wet, add flour a little at a time … maybe 1/4 cup of half rye, half white. Go slow and allow time for the flour to absorb the liquid. It is easy to add too much flour if you don’t give it time. Additionally, if you have not used this much rye (% vs white), be aware that the consistency is heavier and a bit mud-like. Go for the texture in the videos.

**if you read through all of the comments, even skim … you will note that there are many who find this dough too wet to way too wet and need to add additional flour … another clue that there might be an issue with your measuring.