This bread takes a bit of time, but your effort is repaid with two chewy, flavorful loaves.

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Ingredients

24
Original recipe yields 24 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • The night before you want to bake the bread, feed your active sourdough starter with 1 cup rye flour, 1/2 cup bread flour, and 2/3 cup water. Mix until fully combined, cover, and let stand at room temperature overnight.

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  • The next morning, mix together the expanded starter and 1/4 cup water. Stir in 1 cup rye flour, 1 cup bread flour, salt, sugar, olive oil, and caraway seeds.

  • Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead until satiny. Place in a well oiled bowl, and turn once to oil the surface. Cover with a damp cloth. Allow to rise in a warm spot until doubled.

  • Punch down dough, and shape into loaves. Place on a greased baking sheet or in greased loaf pans. Allow to rise until doubled in bulk.

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

  • Score the tops of the loaves with a serrated knife. Bake in preheated oven until deep brown and loaves sound hollow when thumped on the bottom, about 40 minutes.

  • Alternate baking method for chewier, salty crust: Bake 20 minutes at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). In a small bowl, mix together 1/2 cup water and 1 teaspoon salt. Remove loaves from oven and brush crust with salt water. Continue baking for 25 minutes more, brushing at 10 minute intervals.

Nutrition Facts

81.1 calories; 2.4 g protein; 15.8 g carbohydrates; 0.1 mg cholesterol; 245.4 mg sodium. Full Nutrition

Reviews (27)

Read More Reviews

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
01/26/2004
Since I've been given a sourdough starter I've been making sourdoughs like crazy so the starter doesn't take over my fridge. This is the best of the whole wheat ones I've tried. It rose nicely but that probably has something to do with me kneading the heck out of it and also me being patient with the dough. I read James Beard's advice about sourdough rye and he says to let it rise for 2-3 hours on each rise. I didn't let this loaf go that long but pretty close. Anyway I recommend this one to folks who like rye bread. Read More
(36)

Most helpful critical review

Rating: 2 stars
04/09/2012
I'm frustrated with the way this recipe is written. It may work wonderfully for an experienced sourdough baker, but to someone new to the process it's not helpful at all. I tried this as the first bread with my new rye starter and, after a complete failure (well, not complete - I turned it into some lovely sourdough rye crackers) I dove in and did more research on sourdough baking. I realize now that what the recipe author intends is for the baker to make a sourdough "sponge" the night before baking. It's too bad the recipe never mentions that word, or I'd have looked into what a sponge was sooner. As directed, I fed my starter the night before but I fed my *whole* starter, not simply taking out a cup then and making a sponge. The steps for doing this are completely unclear for anyone who is unfamiliar with the ins and outs of sourdough breads and really ought to be clarified. NOW, I have a sponge sitting on my counter and will try again the proper way tomorrow. Lesson learned. Read More
(45)
30 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 18
  • 4 star values: 3
  • 3 star values: 1
  • 2 star values: 5
  • 1 star values: 3
Rating: 5 stars
01/26/2004
Since I've been given a sourdough starter I've been making sourdoughs like crazy so the starter doesn't take over my fridge. This is the best of the whole wheat ones I've tried. It rose nicely but that probably has something to do with me kneading the heck out of it and also me being patient with the dough. I read James Beard's advice about sourdough rye and he says to let it rise for 2-3 hours on each rise. I didn't let this loaf go that long but pretty close. Anyway I recommend this one to folks who like rye bread. Read More
(36)
Rating: 2 stars
04/09/2012
I'm frustrated with the way this recipe is written. It may work wonderfully for an experienced sourdough baker, but to someone new to the process it's not helpful at all. I tried this as the first bread with my new rye starter and, after a complete failure (well, not complete - I turned it into some lovely sourdough rye crackers) I dove in and did more research on sourdough baking. I realize now that what the recipe author intends is for the baker to make a sourdough "sponge" the night before baking. It's too bad the recipe never mentions that word, or I'd have looked into what a sponge was sooner. As directed, I fed my starter the night before but I fed my *whole* starter, not simply taking out a cup then and making a sponge. The steps for doing this are completely unclear for anyone who is unfamiliar with the ins and outs of sourdough breads and really ought to be clarified. NOW, I have a sponge sitting on my counter and will try again the proper way tomorrow. Lesson learned. Read More
(45)
Rating: 5 stars
01/26/2004
Since I've been given a sourdough starter I've been making sourdoughs like crazy so the starter doesn't take over my fridge. This is the best of the whole wheat ones I've tried. It rose nicely but that probably has something to do with me kneading the heck out of it and also me being patient with the dough. I read James Beard's advice about sourdough rye and he says to let it rise for 2-3 hours on each rise. I didn't let this loaf go that long but pretty close. Anyway I recommend this one to folks who like rye bread. Read More
(36)
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Rating: 5 stars
07/20/2003
I've been making this bread for over a year. It's AWSOME! Dense rich heavy and SOUR:-) when done correctly. It's gooey and sticky to knead when first mixed together but well worth all the trouble. I use a GoldRush brand sourdough starter for this which has been working for over two years. Give this a try! You won't be disappointed! Read More
(35)
Rating: 5 stars
07/14/2005
really good! I have a 33 year old starter so I have been using sourdough for quite a number of years.I only made a couple changes.. one I added one package of yeast to the 1/4 cup water and I just added the first ingredients to my starter and let it sit for an hour or so cause I didn't know I was gona make this.I did use someones suggestion that onion be added so I used dry chopped onion in the bread and sprinkled some on the baking pan. I did an egg wash ( one whole egg with a tsp. of water mixed) and brushed it on the bread before baking then added a sprinkling of caraway seed. It was really good.Its a real keeper! I made one big fat loaf instead of two. Read More
(29)
Rating: 3 stars
07/19/2007
Question-Are you supposed to add the first ingredients to 1 cup of starter or are you supposed to add the ingredients to your starter and then use 1 cup of it? I did the latter and the bread turned out okay but it only made one small loaf. Read More
(28)
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Rating: 5 stars
02/06/2009
This is a delicious recipe. I was nervous that it doesn't call for any yeast. I almost went ahead and put a teaspoon in, since my sourdough starter is not very mature, but I decided to stick to the rule, for once: make the recipe as-is the first time around. And it turned out great! I did change one thing: I fed the starter with rye flour 24 hours before I started the bread, not just the night before. I make all bread in my food processor, so I just put the starter and the additional flour in my processor, pulsed it a few times until it was mixed, then left it 24 hours. This morning I mixed up the bread, and left it 3 or 4 hours for the initial rise, then 4 or 5 hours for the second rise. I think this was necessary because my sourdough starter is immature. Thanks! Great recipe! Read More
(26)
Rating: 5 stars
08/25/2010
Really really yummy! I followed the directions exactly and used Sourdough Starter II on this site. I got a really nice crust by placing a pan on the bottom of the oven and filling it with boiling water to create steam... left it in for about 10 minutes then dumped the water. Delicious crust and a soft chewy bread. Thanks for the recipe!! Read More
(23)
Rating: 5 stars
01/20/2008
This was easy to follow and delivered 2 great little loaves of bread. I did vary the recipe a bit. I changed the final cup of bread flour to 1/2 cup of bread flour and 1/2 cup of corn meal. It was a hit at dinner with friends. Nice dense flavorful slightly sweet rye. I gave the recipe and starter out as take homes. Read More
(19)
Rating: 5 stars
03/03/2004
This was my first sourdough rye bread so it was a real treat. I added onion powder (about 2 tsp.) when it was time to mix the dough and sprinkled onion flakes over the greased pans. It's marvelous toasted & buttered & topped w/ swiss cheese! Read More
(18)