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Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Rye Sourdough Bread Recipe

So I mentioned in one of my previous posts that I make my own bread. Somebody mentioned that they'll be interested in knowing what kind of bread I like. So, in Germany, I go for the heavy dark bread packed with grains and nuts. In Poland, we eat what bread my parents have. In the Netherlands, it's the bread I make myself.

I am sitting here, eating a sandwich made with homemade sourdough bread and it's delicious. I think it is my very favourite. It is relatively easy to make, but does take some time. Like, around a week- but you don't have to do much. And the only ingredients? Rye flour (but you can mix it with wheat), water, salt.. do you see there is no yeast in this recipe?

First, you need to make the sourdough. You need:

500g rye flour
500ml water

Take 100g flour and 100ml water and mix it in a big jar- it should have a closing lid. Put it into a warm spot. The mixture will be rather dull looking and grey, but please give it a chance.

The next day, add 100g flour and 100ml water. Repeat this for 3 more days. This is what I call "feeding" the sourdough.

Around day two, a miracle should happen: bubbles will appear. This means that your sourdough is working! Now I said there is no yeast in this recipe. This is not entirely true. There is no baker's yeast, no instant yeast, but also no fresh yeast that you can buy in the shops. However, the yeast you need is in the air. I think this picture shows my sourdough around day 3. 

Don't be affraid of the sourdough. It may look uninteresting...

For me, yeast is something magical: you add it to dough and the dough gets bigger! Sourdough is even more awesome, especially with children- instead of buying the magical mixture, you can make it yourself! I often joke that sourdough is like a home pet, you need to feed it.

Once you have the 5-day old sourdough, you're ready to make your first bread. You will need:

500g sourdough (but remember to put 2-3 spoonfulls aside for the next bread!)
500g rye flour (you can also use 250g wheat and 250g rye flour)
200-250ml warm water
1 tablespoon salt
Some carraway seeds (optional, not everybody likes them but I think they go perfectly with rye bread)

First, measure out the sourdough. Add flour (or flours), then the water, and the salt. Mix. Kneading will be difficult since the dough is rather sticky, but just do your best. Allow dough to rest. I then put it into a form and let it rise. 

Sourdough needs more time to rise than bread made with yeast. What I do is I make the dough in the morning, then let it rise during the day, and if that isn't enough, I put it in the fridge and bake the bread the next morning. The dough should grow twice the size.

When the dough has risen enough, put it into a pre-heated oven, 230 centigrees. After 15 minutes, change the temperature to 200 centigrees and bake for another 30 minutes. 

My bread wasn't perfect. It was a little too chewy, a little too humid. But the taste was perfect. This recipe may look complicated, but it is easier than you think!

...but will help make this!

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  1. Sounds great, I think I'll try it! By the way, is caraway the same as "kümmel"? Its a must in any Latvian dark bread but impossible to find in the North German breads.

    1. Hi Ilze, thank you! It is great and not at all so complicated as it sounds. Yes, carraway is Kuemmel- the first time I didn't use it and felt something was missing, but this time I remembered to add some. I think in Poland some breads are with and others are without carraway. In Slovakia, they served bread with carraway and I love it!

  2. Thanks for posting this recipe! I love sourdough, I'm excited to give this a try.

    1. You're very welcome, Ace! It was actually you who gave me the idea to write this post!

    2. I found your blog from the PATH group on FB and im really interested in making my own sourdough starter to make american style english muffins but i am finding conflicting info online. Some recipes call for adding yeast and some not...and if i want to make use a mix of whole wheat and white should i just use normal volkoren bloem and tarwe bloem or do i have to use bread flour? (which i havent been able to find here)

    3. Hi Michel and Karen thank you for commenting! I am glad that you're interested in making your own sourdough- and I haven't heard of muffins made with sourdough- would you share the recipe? I know the advice is conflicting. I guess it depends on the recipe. For example, for this bread you need a lot of sourdough, 500g- you need slighly less when the sourdough is older (around 300-350g), and rye sourdough is a very powerful one, so for this you don't need yeast. For bread recipes that call for 2-3 spoonfulls of sourdough, then I would use yeast to help it rise a little. The recipes I find call for yeast but no sourdough, but I am not an expert on this. Also, check if this is rye sourdough or wheat, because they could behave differently.I do use volkoren bluem and tarwebloem from Albert Heijn, but you can buy bread flour in Biowinkels (there you can also find more interesting flours such as spelt, rye, buckwheat, rice- and sometimes bread flour). Of course bread flour is better, but I don't use it because I can't find it either- my Biowinkel is small, so you'd have better chance of finding it at EcoPlaza. It works just fine with all purpose flour though (but shhh, don't tell anyone I said that)! Hope that helps!

  3. Thanks! English muffins are more similar to bread rolls than real muffins...i know the name is misleading. The recipe i found is here http://www.alli-n-son.com/2011/06/19/white-whole-wheat-sourdough-engligh-muffins/ . So i suppose ill follow her recipe (with yeast) except ill try it with normal flour first and then see if i can find breadflour at ekoplaza if it doesnt work :-) - Karen

    1. Hello, yes I actually googled English muffins to see what they are! Thanks for sharing the recipe, try it and see what will happen- if you're happy with the results, that's great! Oh and please come back and share how it went!


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