Artisan Sourdough Rye Bread

With this much rye I’d be very surprised if it puffed up tall. Eric baked it in a deep clay baker which would have encouraged a little better rise. If you’re baking it on a stone or oven tray then expect a flatter loaf. I disagree… If you had baked this in a loaf pan (but I understand your reluctance) this is salvageable when it comes to getting a tall loaf however I don’t think a flatter loaf is necessarily a failed loaf. If its flat but has a nice crumb and its tasty then its a winner. So save judgement for when you cut into it and had your first taste.

Now even if you think you have the exact same ingredients you might not. I watched the video and Eric said rye flour and white flour. He ground his own rye berries but if he had a fine grind and you’ve bought a coarser grind then yours will need less water. The recipe doesn’t say what type of white flour. How strong is his bread flour and how strong is yours? Since you’re using 50% rye you have to be going for a very strong bread flour to expect any sort of good rise. 13% + but ideally 14-15% protein. What are you using?

P.s. ignore anyone who says things like “this is so easy”. You don’t know how many flops they’ve had before they started churning out “good” loaves. As a matter of interest how much have you baked with sourdough and rye?

First, I’ve never made this particular “recipe”, so take whatever I say about it with a grain of salt. Second, when I have used rye flour, I don’t think I can remember ever going over about 20% and that has been enough to both make for an interesting flavor addition and also make the dough pretty sticky, hard to handle, and not hold its shape very well.

I think that sourdough bread is both similar enough and different enough from commercial yeast bread that having experience with the latter can be a detriment to learning the former because certain things you have come to expect don’t happen the same way.

So I’d suggest a couple things. First, it might be worthwhile to try a more basic sourdough recipe like @eric’s sourdough no-knead bread. Having success or not with a simple recipe like that will rule out a lot of sources of potential problems.

If you are dead-set on doing this recipe, you could try changing the ingredients to 400g bread flour and 100g rye flour and then start with 350g of water and see how the dough feels when it’s all mixed up. Add more water a little at a time if it seems too dry. See how it works with a higher proportion of bread flour.

Aside from ingredients issues, getting a soupy dough that won’t hold its shape, or falls down in the oven can be the result of over-proofing with sourdough. So really keep an eye on the proofing process and make sure that you have a feeling for when the rise is peaking and err on the side of ending the bulk fermentation too soon rather than too late until you get to where you have enough feeling for it to hit it on the head exactly.

So best way to see what’s going on is to try it for myself @emetzler and @homebreadbaker. Decided to try it at the last moment so had to make some slight adjustments like so…

1: Had no anise seed so used extra fennel instead. Between caraway and fennel I think fennel is most like anise seed.

2: Instead of using the usual molasses I used carob molasses instead. It is more liquid than the thick viscous cane molasses.

3: Had no oranges and even if I did I have no zester. So I used 20g orange marmalade jam instead. Don’t know if a perfect substitute but should be interesting!

4: Because of points 2 & 3, the more liquid molasses and the 20g jam, I reduced the water by 20g to try and get the same properties for the final dough when it comes to hydration. It seemed to give me a good result which was very similar to Eric’s dough.

The bread flour I used was a very strong 15% protein Canadian flour by Marriage’s and I used Dove’s Farm wholegrain rye.

The dough was sticky however by the time I finished the last of the stirring folding kneading alternative method it had strengthened up very well. The dough was holding itself together and had strength to it even though it was sticky. Left it to bulk ferment overnight.

This morning it was very well risen, much more so than Eric’s dough in the video, and seemed over done and far too sticky to handle just by looking at it however when doing the folds the dough soon tightened up and had a good strong structure. Shaping was not as difficult as I thought it might be just by looking at the risen dough.

I did not final proof in a basket. As per Eric’s advice, and I can see what he means, this dough would really suit a cloth lined banneton due to its sticky nature. So I final proofed and baked it in a lekue - silicone pouch. More support than freestanding or in a cloche but more room to expand then a loaf pan. While this method of baking obviously gave me a big advantage for a tall loaf I have to say even I was surprised. I’ve done other less challenging loaves this way which produced less oven spring so while I was expecting this method to help I wasn’t expecting such good results. This loaf exceeded my expectations and while I would have lost height on a stone or in a cloche I think there’s still potential for good oven spring. Something which I suspected when shaping due to feeling how much strength it had and a good gluten formation.

Just cut into it and had a taste. Wow! This is one heck of a delicious loaf. I’m sold on this recipe. Texture and flavour are spot on. Thank you Eric.


Abe, How do I PM you? I will send you more information. Perhaps you will be able to help me. ~Eric

I’ve sent you a PM. You should have received a notification so all you need to do is reply.

Thanks, Abe. Where do I look for the private message? I don’t see anything on this site. I have not received anything from you anywhere that I can see.

OK… Let me see

Top right hand corner you should see your avatar or picture. For you it’ll be an upper case “E” within a red circle. Click on that and then you should have a drop down box. Click on the picture of an envelope and you should see my PM.

I suspect I’m having trouble with private messaging because I’m a new user. In the help section, it says there are things unavailable to me until “I gain the trust of the community.”

Well you have my trust :slight_smile:

We have bestowed upon thee community trust. Go ye forth and make bread!

I’m new to Breadtopia and fairly new to sourdough. This recipe sounded so delicious that I couldn’t resist! Thanks to Eriks clear directions and helpful video, I am delighted with my first attempt with rye! Thanks so much!


Hi Eric,

Been using your starter and recipes for a year now and all the daughters bought my Christmas presents from Breadtopia!

Question on the Rye recipe. Could I make this in a loaf pan with good results?

Thanks, WIll

I just love this bread - so beautiful and delicious baked in the Breadtopia Batard Clay Baker. Almost like a trip to Germany!


Beautiful color! Can you share what type of flour you used? I just made two of these for the first time. In Holland we can buy whole rye flour and regular (processed) rye flour, I used 250 grams of half whole not regular rye flour and 250 grams of whole wheat, but I did not get this beautiful color you have! Also did you score with a knife or a propor blade? Thanks for the tips.

Hi! What a wonderful website and community, thank you for creating it! Thanks to Covid-19 I have been happily making sourdough bread, using this website and instructional videos for the past 2 months. I looked for rye flour for weeks and finally bought it online. To my surprise, I could choose between “whole” rye, in Dutch its called “roggemeel” and regular rye, “roggebloem”, the difference is that the bloem is more processed. I finally made two loaves of it this weekend. For the 1st I used half and half of whole/white rye and the rest whole wheat (see picture of whole loaf). For the 2nd I used half whole/white rye, and half all-purpose flour (see picture of cut loaf). I did not use molasses or spices, but I will very soon. These were my issues, any tips are greatly appreciated!

*My dough was impossible to shape as it just spread out everywhere. The one with white flour, was easier, no where near the one on your video.
*My color was very pale compared to yours, could that be because I didn’t use molasses?
*The taste is good, but my crust was not as crunchy or dark as I expected.

Cheers and let’s keep baking,

So glad you found the Breadtopia community :slight_smile:

Those look beautiful!
Rye is sticky and difficult to handle. This is normal.
Molasses does darken the bread and crust, as does whole rye vs white rye, though most of the color difference is the molasses in my opinion.
If you take off your lid sooner in the baking process, the crust will be crunchier and darker too.

What Melissa said, but I have a few more thoughts as well. If you left the molasses out because you don’t like it or don’t have it, I have used a little strong coffee and/or some cocoa powder for color. This is not an original thought, some recipes for dark rye or pumpernickel call for coffee and/or cocoa. You probably still need a bit of sweetener: honey, sugar, brown sugar which has molasses in it.

For handling rye … practice, patience … BUT, you can also try a long, cold (refrigerated) rise vs the 12-15 hour room temp rise. The cold dough will be a bit easier to handle and shape. You can shape cold, let warm up, rise and bake or put the shaped loaf back in the refrigerator for another 8-12 hours and bake straight from the refrigerator. This draws out the timing, but adds some to flavor as well as handling.

The other thing with rye … it benefits from 12-24 hour wait time after baking before cutting into it. Some bakers say 48-72 hours. I’m lucky if I manage to wait 12-18 :slight_smile:

Hi Clara - I attribute the color to the magic of the clay baker. I did not use any sweetener (so no molasses), but I don’t have spelt flour (called for in the recipe) so I substitute Einkorn flour instead - which could affect the color. As for the rye flour, have made it with both a very light sprouted rye flour as well as Stone Ground Dark Rye Flour, and it always comes out this color. There is a lot of flour on it because my dough was also very sticky and I wanted to make sure it would release from the cloth-lined rising basket. maybe the appearance is due to the contrast between the white flour on the loaf, and the open slashes : ) I used a razor blade (in a Breadtopia holder) to slash it Your loaf may look different, but it still looks delicious!

I tried this recipe with a few changes.
Water 370 G
Sourdough starter 70 G
Rye flour 245 G
Hard red wheat flour 200 G
Spelt 45 G this was leftover in a bag I had so I added.
Salt 15 G
Caraway seeds 16G
I followed all instructions and videos to a T
I lowered the amount of water from original recipe since all my dough is always way to wet. I didn’t use any of the other ingredients from the original recipe.
The dough had perfect wetness and looked just like the video.
Tell me what you think.


A big success. Nice combo. Spelt and rye compliment each other. A lovely caramel crust with a very nice crumb. Looks delicious.