Sourdough Seeded Rye Bread


for the starter:
1/4 oz active dry yeast
2 cups warm water
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup rye flour

for the bread:
4 cups flour
2 cups rye flour
1/4 oz active dry yeast
2 tablespoons melted butter, slightly cooled
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons caraway seeds
1 tablespoon malt syrup
1 teaspoon salt
warm water

for the egg wash:
1 egg
1 tablespoon water

Four days before you want to make the bread, place all of the ingredients for the starter in a large bowl. Stir to combine. Cover tightly with plastic wrap. Let sit on the counter for 2 full days. On the morning of the third day, place in the refrigerator. Then, right before you go to bed that night, combine 1 cup of the starter, the two cups of rye flour, and one cup of warm water in a second large bowl. Cover and leave out on the counter overnight. If you want to keep the starter going, add 1/2 cup warm water, 1/4 cup flour and 1/4 cup rye flour to the starter bowl and keep refrigerated until the next time you want to use it.

Scrape the contents of the bowl that has been sitting out overnight into the bowl of a stand mixer. Add the remaining bread ingredients and mix, using the dough hook, until a firm but fairly malleable dough forms. Add more water, a tablespoon at a time, if the dough seems very dry or more flour if it seems wet. Knead by hand or in the machine until a ball forms. Place in a large, buttered bowl. Cover with a towel until it doubles in bulk, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Punch it down and divide into two equal halves.

Sprinkle a buttered or lined baking sheet with cornmeal. Shape into 2 rounds and place on the baking sheet. Alternately, butter 2 standard loaf pans and sprinkle them with cornmeal and place the dough in them. Or mix it up and make one of each. Cover and allow to rise for 1 hour or until doubled in bulk again. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375. Beat the egg and water together for the egg wash, brush over each loaf. Bake for 30 minutes or until brown on top and it sounds hollow when tapped. Cool on a wire rack before slicing.

My thoughts:

I admit this seems like a long, drawn out recipe. However, it is not terribly difficult and the results are amazing-the closest to deli rye I have ever had in a homemade bread. I have to warn you that it is a pretty stiff dough to work with, even if the final product isn’t overly dense. Rye flour doesn’t have much gluten so it won’t be as soft or stretchy as bread made with plain flour. Personally, I found the dough much easier to knead in my KitchenAid using the dough hook than to knead it by hand. Someone with a little more upper arm strength might have an easier time than I did. I do think it was worth the effort. It was the perfect bread to have with some homemade corned beef and mustard. It also made excellent toast.


  1. Looks delicious. I love rye bread, and I have been endeavoring to bake my own as much as possible. This will be a great recipe to try.

    I love your picture – the sliced loaf, steaming and hot from the oven is awesome!

  2. Have never tried making my own rye bread. the bread looks delish!

  3. We love the 3 together! Corned beef, mustard on this rye sounds delicious! Now it’s in the files! best from Santa Barbara, s

  4. Wow this looks amazing and totally worth the effort. I love rye bread.

  5. I am so impressed by the awesome job you did with this recipe. I love how the bread is still steaming hot in the photo.

  6. The bread looks great. This is the first time I visit your website and I must say you have a great collection of recipes. I will come back for sure. Thank you for posting the recipe.