Rustic Rye Sourdough Bread Recipe

Last updated: December 3, 2021
4.65 from 376 votes
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Homemade rye sourdough bread is a glorious choice for sandwiches, or eating on its own. Made with a blend of whole wheat, bread flour, and rye flour, this naturally fermented loaf holds its shape and has a moist, chewy crumb. The rustic crust is deeply colored and boasts beautiful blisters!

top down photo of rye sourdough bread
up close photo of rustic rye bread, sliced
2 slices of rye sourdough bread, laying down, overhead photo

New to sourdough baking? You’ll need an active sourdough starter! I ship my well-maintened 13+ year old starter to anyone in the U.S!  You can ORDER it here.

A great deli has a great rye bread for sandwiches, am I right?

I certainly love my Everyday Sourdough recipe for toast and dipping in really good olive oil, but I had my heart set on creating a loaf that was the perfect vehicle for my recent craving of EGG SALAD. I’m fully aware how strange this craving is, but let me tell you, when I piled it on this rye sourdough with crisp lettuce and pickled red onions – it was a joyful moment.

This rustic rye sourdough is called such because of its crisp, deeply browned crust and artisan sourdough shape, rather than baking it in a pullman loaf pan to get perfectly square slices for sandwiches. I might invest in one of those in the future, but for now, I wanted to share a sandwich bread recipe that you could make with your regular sourdough baking tools.

It’s hearty. Has substance. A pleasant tang. And freezes like a charm.

What is rye?

Rye is a type of grain, different than wheat, that contains a low amount of gluten. This means it will not create the same gas trapping air pockets that a bread made entirely of bread flour does.

The dough will also feel wetter and stickier compared to working with all purpose and bread flours, known as high gluten flours. Don’t be alarmed – the dough will become less sticky by the end of your stretch and folds. Knowing this before making this recipe is important.

For these reasons, I like to use rye in combination with bread flour, for a balance of high/low gluten percentages. This allows for excellent structure in the loaf, while the rye contributes a complex flavor and wonderful softness.

ingredients to make rye sourdough bread including bread flour, whole wheat flour in a bow, top down photo

Why I love using rye flour in sourdough bread

  • Complex flavor!
    • Rye flour bodes particularly well to sourdough as it’s unique fruity, subtle sourness compliments the traditional notes of fermented bread.
  • Less dense than traditional rye bread.
    • Because of the chemical reaction that takes places in rye flour during fermentation, your loaf will be airier and fluffier than if you were to use rye flour in a bread made with commercial yeast.
  • Bread has a moist, chewy texture that you can’t achieve with whole wheat.
    • Because of rye’s ability to absorb and keep much of it’s moisture, the inside of a sourdough loaf made with rye flour will have a more moist texture.
  • Your loaf will stay soft for several days after baking!
  • Higher nutritional profile that whole wheat.
    • Rye contains more nutrition than wheat flour does, and this is especially true when rye flour is added to sourdough bread. The slow fermentation increases the nutrient availability of the flour.
rye sourdough rising in a banneton
rye sourdough with scoring on top, and bread lame to the right

How to make rye sourdough bread that holds its shape

Because rye flour has little to no gluten content, it’s difficult to make a loaf of 100% rye bread. It can be done, but I wanted this to be a hybrid loaf, that would hold it’s shape for you, and still achieve a nice rise.

That’s why I used bread flour in combination with the rye and whole wheat, because it’s higher protein percentage is the key to the loaf holding its shape.

You’ll also notice this is a slightly smaller loaf, which makes the slightly wetter dough more manageable. Yes, you’ll notice the dough is slightly wetter than other sourdough bread you’ve made, and that’s okay! Just keep going with it. It will bake up with great structure if properly fermented.

WATCH this short video to see all the steps of making rye sourdough, so you know what to expect from your dough.

close up photo of Rustic Rye Sourdough Bread
close up photo of Rustic Rye Sourdough Bread
two slices of rye sourdough bread

What should I bake an oval loaf in?

I tried using my round dutch oven for baking oval loaves in the past, but without fail the edges of the dough with hit the side of the pot, creating wonky, bulged shapes. I’m newly in love with the Challenger Bread Pan, which has a unique shape that allows you to bake any shape of bread in it! Bâtards, boules, demi-baguettes, and other loaves of almost any size. Because of how it’s made, the perfect amount of steam is created inside the pan. I’ve never had better oven spring or thinner crusts.

This pan is magical. If you love baking sourdough, it is 100% worth having in your kitchen. You can learn more and purchase here.

My favorite things to eat on rye bread:

  • egg salad
  • smashed avocado + lemon + smoked paprika
  • ricotta + rhubarb jam
  • salted butter

More sourdough recipes:

top down photo of rye sourdough bread

Rustic Rye Sourdough Bread

A light rye sourdough bread with a soft crumb, that you can make at home with active sourdough starter.
4.65 from 376 votes
Prep Time :10 minutes
Cook Time :45 minutes
Additional Time :10 hours
Total Time :10 hours 55 minutes
Yield: 1 loaf
Author: Amanda Paa



  • 55 grams active sourdough starter
  • 280 grams slightly warmer than room temperature water
  • 15 grams honey
  • 100 grams fine rye flour
  • 260 grams bread flour
  • 40 grams whole wheat flour
  • 7 grams salt


  • Before beginning, it will be helpful to watch this SHORT VIDEO to see me make this bread, noticing that the dough will be stickier than normal because of the rye flour, but it will come together – you just have to trust!
  • Add starter, water, and honey to a bowl. Whisk thoroughly until combined, with a fork. Add flours, and mix together first with the fork to start to incorporate, then with your hands until a shaggy dough is formed, and the bits of flour left just disappear. Sprinkle the salt on top and do not mix in, just leave it on top. Cover with a damp cloth.
  • Autolyse: let dough sit for one hour, covered and undisturbed.
  • Bulk ferment: Now you will knead the salt that is sitting on top, into the dough for about 1 min 15 seconds. There is no precise way to do this, just think of working the dough through your hands and up against the bowl, push and pull. You will start to feel the dough relax a bit around 1 minute. Continue for about 15 or 30 seconds more. Then leave the dough alone, covered, for 30 minutes. This counts as what would be your first set of stretch and folds.
  • After those 30 minutes pass, perform a set of stretch and folds. Repeat 2 more times.
  • Now you will let sit, undisturbed and covered with a damp cloth, for about 7ish hours at 70 degrees F. If the temperature in your home is above 70, this will take less time, vice versa. You will know it is finished with its bulk ferment when the dough has risen about double, is smooth and puffy on top, with a few bubbles. It will not be as jiggly as some sourdough you’ve made before.
  • At this point, lightly dust your work surface with flour. Put dough onto the work surface, and pre-shape. This video will show you what that means. Let sit for 15 minutes on your work surface.
  • Then shape your dough, using this method as a guide.
  • Place dough into your flour dusted banneton, (or flour dusted linen lined banneton) seam side up. (Optional, you can wait 15 minutes after placing it in banneton, and pinch the perimeters of the dough into the center to hold the shape even more, called stitching.) The dough will now go through its final rise. You can do this on the counter, which will take about 2 hours at 70 degrees F for the dough to puff up and be jiggly. It will not double. OR you can do the final rise overnight in the refrigerator, with the banneton covered in a plastic bag or with a very damp cloth. You need this for holding moisture in.
  • Time to bake. Preheat your oven to 500 degrees F, with your dutch oven preheating inside the oven. When the oven is preheated, flip your dough out gently onto parchment paper and score your dough. If you did the final rise in the refrigerator, take it straight from fridge to scoring. You should score it cold, and DO NOT need to let it come to room temp.
  • Then put dough into the dutch oven on the parchment, and put cover on. Turn oven down to 450 degrees F and slide dutch oven in. Bake for 20 minutes, then remove cover.
  • Turn heat down to 430 degrees F, and bake for 25 more minutes, until crust is golden brown and crackly. Remove from oven, and remove bread from dutch oven and place onto a cooling rack.
  • Wait AT LEAST one hour to cool otherwise, the interior will be gummy.

Did you make this?

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June 12, 2020


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Recipe Rating

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  1. 5 stars
    I have tried multiple recipes for sourdough and rye bread from King Author website and I feel like a lot of them were complete duds. On the other hand THIS recipe was fantastic and I was able to make a delicious and sour load of rye bread. 100% recommend this recipe for anyone starting out baking sourdough!

  2. 5 stars
    It’s funny the first time I tried this 6 months ago I didn’t know what I was doing, and got a gummy frisbee. Now after tons of practice with other sourdough recipe I tried this again and got a masterpiece. Practice practice practice!

    That said, my minor additions to the very thorough recipe above –
    I always feed my starter with all whole mill rye and so substituted out 27g of rye flour in the main recipe with 27g white bread flour. (King Arthur 12.7%) to get the same total proportions of rye vs white vs whole wheat. I find the rye flour makes for a very lively starter that works well at 70 degrees unlike AP starters that seem to like higher temps.

    I autolyse without the salt or starter or sweetener. This gives me an extra hour of fermentation time later and I think is technically the correct way to autolyse. So says YouTube anyway.

    Consequently I used a stand mixer to ensure the salt and starter and sweetener were thoroughly mixed with the autolysed dough. I also kneaded on medium speed for about 2 minutes though in retrospect this might have been unnecessary. The dough had great strength throughout thanks to using the high gluten bread flour.

    I also used molasses instead of honey, because I had some and never use it otherwise. The color is gorgeous.

    Then after the S&Fa I fermented overnight at 69 degrees for 8 hours, and when I woke up, it had fully doubled in size and was ready to shape. Proofed in the fridge in a lined banneton just for about 3 hours to firm it up. Then baked in Dutch oven with 2 ice cubes and spritzes, 446@25 mins then naked for 18 more.

    Beautiful color and ear. Haven’t cut it open yet but I have no doubt the crumb will be perfect.

    Technique is so important!


  3. 5 stars
    Wonderful recipe! Used my rye starter (his name is Junior, an offspring of my original named Stanley)…. I made it exactly as written and it came out a bit darker than I like. Next time I’ll bake it with the cover on a bit longer and drop the temp a few degrees. Hubby wouldn’t change a thing. He loves this bread, had a chicken salad sandwich for dinner and he proclaimed it the best sandwich he’s ever had! Thanks Amanda. Definitely a keeper ❤

  4. Hello! I’m new to sourdough and my family and I are just LOVING your recipe. I tried doubling it to make 2 loaves but have not had luck… when it’s time to shape it and place in the proofing baskets it’s extra sticky and hard to work with resulting in a flat, dense loaf. I’m sure it has a lot to do the fact that it’s been hotter out where we live the past few days. I cut the bulk rise time by an hour because of that (6 hours total). But is it possible that I still could be over proofing? I know certain things can get a little funky when doubling the recipe so just wondering if you had any thoughts or suggestions. I really appreciate your help!

    • Hi Kim! As a beginner, I’d suggest only doing one loaf at a time rather than doubling, as you’re just learning to shape and get the feel for how the dough should look and feel. Doubling adds more elements to trying to strengthen the dough, which is already a bit more difficult with rye sourdough. When the dough is extra sticky and you aren’t able to shape it well, it is usually overproofed. Which happens easily in the summer when the temperature in our homes is warmer. So you can adjust by shortening the bulk fermentation as you said, watching for how it looks and feels rather than time, to know when the bulk fermentation is finished. Happy to hear that you are baking and enjoying sourdough!

  5. 5 stars
    The dough even grew in the fridge, so when I scored it before baking the next day, it deflated a bit as a result the bread was a bit flat…and didn’t have enough oven spring to help it stay upright. Do you have any suggestions for me, Amanda? Otherwise the bread is great….Thanks for sharing this and the scoring is beautiful.

  6. 5 stars
    Love, love, love this recipe. Definitely my go to recipe. Thank you.
    If I want to keep a back-up of my starter, do you have instructions on how to dry it and then rehydrate it? I would greatly appreciate it. Thanks kindly.

  7. 5 stars
    I made this last week and I felt like it didn’t rise as much as it should/could have. It is delicious and makes great toast. But I wonder if you have any ideas as to why it turned out a little flat. I did not do the long cold ferment. I let it rise in the banneton and baked same day. Thank you!

    • Hi Alison! I find that doing a cold final rise helps the loaf keep its shape and “set” the loaf for when when you go to score it, rather it being a bit warm from sitting on the counter and spreading out slightly when it’s taken out of the banneton. When it spreads, it won’t rise quite as much. I would try the cold final proof next time and see if that helps you get the rise you’re looking for.

    • 5 stars
      Superb recipe! ‘Just made it yesterday and love it. The recipe is spot-on and even though my starter was just a tad past fully active, the bread worked and was exactly as you describe it. I have been successfully making sourdough bread at our new home at 2,600 foot elevation in Virginia for the last two years (never could get it to work well at a lower elevation). Anyway, this is a great transition from simple sourdough. Thank you!!

  8. This is my first loaf of any of your and I put it in the fridge overnight and it got even pooof your and more beautiful I’m trying to figure out what to bake it in-?
    My van in town is more of a Lochet it’s not round and I’m gonna review the recipe again the only other thing I have is a stub 4 1/2 quart pot I think that’s too big I’m wondering about using a regular loaf pan I also have a steam function in my oven but I don’t believe you mention that and also not sure if it Hass to be enclosed

  9. 5 stars
    O.M.Gosh! I just ate a piece of this, after cooling (while I was drooling!), with a slab of swiss cheese. Dinner served. WOW, fabulous recipe! So, my changes were: divide 1/2 water 1/2 dark stout beer (coffee notes specifically), and used molasses for most of the honey, added a drop of honey also, added 1 tbsp caraway seeds and proofed it right into a bread pan greased and dusted with rice flour……….. about 2 hours. Baked at 400 about 35 minutes, till inside was 200 degrees. OMGosh, my husband will flip when he gets home. Thanks so so much. It’s awesome, the process was easy because of your great directions!

  10. 5 stars
    This recipe has produced consistently beautiful loaves, and I’ve now made it over half-a-dozen times. Instead of a banneton, I’ve had success using a cloth-lined Romertoff clay baker (bottom half)–it’s the right shape for this loaf. Question for Amanda–today I am doubling the recipe to make 2 loaves. When mixing the flour and liquid, the dough was way too moist–not shaggy at all. I’m suspecting that my measurements were correct, but that the water I added was too warm. I ended up adding more flour, and will see how it sets up after the autolyse. Fingers crossed!

    • Hi Jim! I’m glad you like this rye sourdough recipe. Yes, it could have been too warm of water, or possibly a different harvest of rye flour from a new bag?

  11. Beautiful recipes. What is the bakers schedule for this recipe? I was thinking of feeding my starter in the afternoon and a few hours before bed making the dough then letting it sit on the counter over night. The doing the second rise on the counter when I wake up

    • Hi Jessi! I usually feed my starter around 9am, mix the dough around 2pm and do the stretch and folds over the course of the afternoon. I look for cues that is finished with it’s bulk ferment is done depending on temp of water you used and temp in your home, then shape and put in banneton, and into fridge for final rise overnight in fridge. Then I bake it in the morning. You could do the schedule you mentioned, but you’d want to use cool water to make sure it doesn’t overproof while being left overnight.

  12. 5 stars
    I am loving this recipe! I am making my third loaf last 2 turned out beautifully, Thank you so much rye bread is my favorite.

  13. 5 stars
    Perfect! Just made your hybrid recipe. I had to adjust the recipe’s volume down to fit my smaller, makeshift cast iron baking equipment. I used the techniques you describe and results were perfect. I’m baking at altitude so hydration, temperature and baking times were a bit different.

  14. 5 stars
    This recipe was so comprehensive, I didn’t have the slightest problem making it for the first time. I actually produced my most picture perfect loaf ever! And what a heavenly sour bread it is!

  15. 5 stars
    This is only my second sourdough loaf and it is delicious and fluffy and crusty in a thin, layered, crackly way. I added caraway seeds. So yummy. Thanks for all the work you did on this piece!

  16. 5 stars
    This was my first time making rye bread and I was so sure I messed it up, because as the recipe states this dough is a lot stickier. But I trusted the process and man am I glad I did! This was my best loaf yet and love the rye flavor! Next time I will add caraway seeds only because I prefer caraway seeds, but wanted to stay true to the recipe this time around, plus my husband hates them haha. Love Amanda’s recipes!

  17. 5 stars
    Oh gosh …I am away without rye flour. I have made this list so many times and live it! I make the sourdough starter with dark rye flour. Can I make the loaf with while wheat and all purpose without rye flour? Thank you

  18. 5 stars
    I have been making sourdough for about 5 months but rye bread is my favorite! I was looking for a recipe without molasses since I don’t have any. This was perfect and easy! I thought I did it wrong because the dough felt so weird but it came out so amazing. Definitely mine and my roommates favorite so far!

  19. I have a 9” oval banneton. Will it be appropriate for this amount of dough? I just got it and haven’t use it before.

  20. 5 stars
    Thanks so much for this recipe! I have been craving rye bread and I am relatively new to sourdough. This turned out great and the video was helpful. Only one change: I didn’t have whole west on hand so I used more rye flour in place of the whole wheat. Turned out great.

  21. 5 stars
    My first time making sourdough bread with rye flour and so happy it turned out well. I would like to add scallions and walnuts to the next loaf, my husband’s request, any tips or suggestions? Thank you in advance. Kellie

  22. 5 stars
    I found this to be an easy and tasty loaf. I added caraway, molasses, and instant espresso for taste and color on my second bake…even better.

  23. 5 stars
    I LOVE this recipe! I just love the subtle sweet flavor with the rustic rye. I made it for some of my coworkers and they loved the flavor!

  24. 5 stars
    Excellent recipe, so delicious and a lively texture, thank you. The recipe is failsafe (so far!) and is already on regular rotation in my kitchen now. I’ve found it’s just as good when I bake it after 2 nights of retard in the fridge. I wonder, is there a way to figure out the nutritional value of the bread? It is so satisfying and filling, even just by itself. I love that it stays fresh for several days.

    • I’m so glad you like the rye bread and are having success baking it! If you google “nutrition calculator”, you should be able to find a program that allows you to plug things and find the value if you’re interested in that.

  25. 5 stars
    This is the second recipe I baked since starting to bake sourdough this past year. It is our favorite recipe. I love seeded rye but my spouse doesn’t. We both love the taste and texture. It is now my go to recipe. Still playing with the timing but find it forgiving ( at least in winter) to add more time or even shortening the time! Yesterday was the first loaf that coincided so I refrigerated the loaf in the banneton before scoring and baking.

  26. 5 stars
    I just tried your recipe. I made a boule and a large batard. They came out perfect: soft and airy dough, dark crunchy crust. And an outstanding taste. I used a Dutch oven for the boule, a tray for the batard with equal results. Thank you for this superb recipe

  27. 5 stars
    I’ve used this recipe and it came out amazing.
    If I wanna add more rye flour how much more water would i have to add?
    Thank you!

    • So glad you liked the rye bread, Damaris! I haven’t tested it with a higher proportion of rye flour than what’s listed, so am unsure about the increase you’d need in water.

  28. Is it absolutely necessary to use honey as I am a vegan. What can I substitute instead of honey or can I just eliminate it?

  29. 5 stars
    Thank you for this recipe. I made this with 50% light rye and 50% dark rye, and increased the hydration to 75% (300g). It turned out beautifully and tasted amazing. The oven spring and texture was excellent . Next time I might reduce the honey a little and/or use 75% dark rye as the honey slightly over-powered the rye flavour. It might also be the honey as I used honey from a local beekeeper and not commercial honey. Either way, this recipe is a keeper. Thank you so much!

  30. My very favorite recipe! I’ve made it several times with repeatable success. It’s a crowd pleaser. Last night I made the dough and did the bulk ferment overnight. all fine. The final rise happened very fast, and easily doubled in 60 minutes. I was able to get it in the oven at 90 minutes and it did lost a bit of rise, though still worth eating! Should I have baked before it doubled or should I have waited the full 2 hours?

    • Hi Claudia!
      You’ll want to judge the proof from what the dough looks/feels like rather than time, so always go ahead and bake whenever it is nearly doubled on the final rise.

  31. 5 stars
    I LOVE THIS RECIPE. The sourdough I was making before this recipe took a million more steps and all day long. I love that the hands on time of this loaf is much less and the bread itself is SO good. Tender, tangy, just enough bite in the crust. This is my new go to.
    I double the recipe each time so I can freeze a loaf for later. I also swap maple syrup for honey to make it vegan. Highly recommend.

  32. 5 stars
    Made this Friday night to make corned beef sandwiches Saturday for dinner. So easy & absolutely delicious. My starter was beyond prime but I went ahead anyway; also added caraway seeds with the initial mix. After the s&f let it ferment overnight at about 60C, shaped in the morning, left it on the counter for a couple of hours then into the fridge for about 3-hours. Beautiful oven spring, great ear, perfect crumb, excellent taste – so pleased with the result!! Thanks for the awesome recipe!!

  33. 5 stars
    Having never tried to bake bread before & being give a sourdough starter I thought I’d give this recipe a go. I was amazed at the results & it also tasted incredible too. Thanks for the recipe & step by step guide.

  34. 5 stars
    I loved how this recipe came together to provide a light tangy rye flavor. I used my 100% rye starter and it gave me great rewards! Thank you Amanda!

  35. 5 stars
    This is my go to recipe for rye sourdough! My grandson loves this one. He wants me to add some rosemary to the recipe. He is my future bread maker, Thank you for sharing this recipe.

  36. 5 stars
    Long time sourdough baker Tried your recipe for the first time. I added 1/2 tbl. of Red Mill essential gluten flour to 2X the recipe for two loaves. Also 1Tbl. caraway seeds soaked for a couple of hrs. in hot water after 1st fold. Rest followed your recipe and placed in bannetons in in sealed plastic bags in fridge overnight. Before inverting on parchment, spread corn meal on loaf bottom, then inverted and sprayed water on top of loaves & sprinkled on more caraway seeds & coarse sea salt. Yummy results.

  37. 5 stars
    Amanda, I have a young starter that is very active and starting to gift me with more flavour. I started it with dark rye flour and am now feeding it with dark rye in hopes of it developing a more sour flavour. I’d like to hear your opinions on starters. . . Best practices and methods Thank you,

    • Hi Doug! I’ve definitely heard that a rye starter imparts more of a sour flavor, however it also peaks faster after you feed it, so you have to plan accordingly. I use organic all purpose flour for my starter, so that it is interchangeable with any recipe, sweet or savory. For instance a rye starter wouldn’t be the best choice for making sourdough cinnamon rolls. I also have some a post with some tips on my sourdough starter!

  38. What a lovely loaf. I’ve not made a rye sourdough before but this is seriously yummy. The only thing I’m not sure about is what size loaf the recipe yields. Mine was about a third smaller than a regular white sourdough at about 650g. Is this the desired size?

  39. 4 stars
    I have made this a few times now. I like the process. Usually add a bit of molasses and more salt and some ground caraway to intensify the flavor. Now I bought a challenger pan. It comes with outs own temperature and timing instructions. Do you still use your own or do you use the one they recommend?

    • 5 stars
      I use the Challenger directions. I find the baking time I need is less than they recommend possible because I am using a convection oven. I always double check doneness with a foos thermometer

  40. 5 stars
    I just had my first slice of bread made using this recipe, and it is outstanding. It was the first loaf I made with the first starter I’ve made in years. I admit I was not having high hopes during the process. The dough was very sticky, and I didn’t have regular bread flour around, so had substituted a combination of All Purpose (King Arthur Organic) and High Gluten Bread Flour (Central Milling) in a ration of about 60/40. I am a fairly experienced bread baker, but was not feeling confident in the stickiness (as opposed to tackiness) of the bread after 5 or 6 stretch and folds, so on the last stretch and fold, I added about a quarter cup of the High Gluten Bread Flour, and that gave the dough a silkier, tacky – but not super sticky – texture that more resembled the video and made the dough easier to handle. I don’t currently have a banneton, so used a tea cloth lined glass bowl, sprinkled with organic brown rice flour for proofing over night. The results were stunning. A pretty little loaf with fabulous flavor, wonderful texture (soft w a light crunch to the crust), and lots of lovely big nooks and crannies. It was a bit labor intensive, but one of the best tasting loaves of bread I have ever made. Regarding some folks who are concerned about the honey, I don’t like sweet bread, and I rarely add sweetener to bread I bake (unless it’s a sweet bread or a festive bread like Challah), but I think the bit of honey in this loaf brings out the flavor and helps the leavening. It doesn’t taste sweet at all. Thank you for this exceptional recipe and for the reassurances on persevering with the sticky dough in previous comments. I highly recommend this to anyone who loves sourdough rye.

  41. 5 stars
    Making loaf 2 and 3 as we speak. This is a perfect recipe. Have been making 100% SD rye bread for over a year for my daughter who is gluten intolerant. This is a nice step away for a great sandwich bread. Sharing it with neighbors! Thank you
    Making your SD cinnamon rolls tomorrow. Never made them before and your recipes give me confidence !

  42. 5 stars
    This is so good! Thank you for the recipe! I doubled the recipe and baked one loaf in a loaf pan and one in a dutch oven. Both came out beautiful.

  43. 5 stars
    I am very new to baking bread (ultra novice with a whole month under my belt), and have been making SD bread using either AP or bread flour in the shape of a boule. Shaping and scoring is my favorite part. I just made this recipe and formed it into a batard. I had no issues with dough consistency for stretching or shaping. I did a wheat design with a half moon score. I got an excellent oven spring and gorgeous ear. I have a steam oven, but find the dutch oven method produces better oven spring. I prefer this bread over SD bread with white flour, and will definitely be making this bread as our standard home bread. It’s the perfect size for 2-3 people household.

  44. 5 stars
    Great instructions. I used an active rye starter. My loaf is in the oven right now…I added onion powder to the dough during autolyse, and added sautéed onion in the final fold….can’t wait to taste the onion rye!

  45. 5 stars
    Super clear instructions! This loaf came out beyond superb!!!! Have to hold myself back from eating the whole thing myself!

  46. Hi Amanda, I’m wondering if you would change the baking time if the bread is done in a Pullman Pan. I would add steam for the first 20 minutes. Thanks!

  47. 5 stars
    I love this recipe and the videos are great too. I have 3 question about instant yeast. I realize there is no dry yeast in this recipe, but Is it best to store it in the refrigerator after it’s opened? If so, can I use it straight from the refrigerator? Or, do I need to let it sit out to warm up?

    • hello! so glad you like this rye bread. it’s best to store it on the counter once cut into. for the first day, i store it covered with a linen, cut side of bread down on surface. on day 2, i move it into a plastic or linen bag, cut side down. avoid putting sourdough bread in the refrigerator, it will dry it out.

  48. 5 stars
    I love this sourdough rye bread with caraway seeds added. So delicious! I alternate between this and the everyday sourdough bread recipe.

  49. 5 stars
    I have made sourdough for years but, after being given a bag of rye flour, I came across this recipe and method when doing some research on flour ratios and the results were incredible! Will 100% continue to revisit it.

  50. 5 stars
    Hi Amanda,
    I just found your blog. I made your sourdough rye bread last weekend it was exceptional! I added 1 Tbsp of Brotgewurz bread spice. It went perfectly with my homemade split pea soup. I’m looking forward to trying more of your sourdough recipes!
    Happy baking,

  51. 5 stars
    Hi Amanda, great recipe – this was my first time trying a higher hydration dough AND flour other than bread flour, but my family loved it. Although it came out okay (a little flat) in the end, I really struggled with shaping it because of how sticky it was! It didn’t look as smooth as yours does post-bulk ferment in the video, and I was wondering if you have any tips? Is the gluten just not developing enough during stretch and folds?

    • Hi Diana! So glad you liked this recipe. The first time working with rye it’s typical to have a little trouble shaping because it’s different than the feel of a bread made with all bread flour. Doing an extra set of stretch and folds to help develop the gluten if you feel its needed can help! But also, just practice. :)

  52. 5 stars
    Wow! I have been making SD bread once a week for over a year and looked for a rye recipe. This is outstanding! It is the most wet dough I have worked with and I’m glad you mentioned the wetness so many times. It turned out so good I will definately keep this recipe and use it again and again. I love the flavor and the texture. Thank you thank you thank you

  53. 5 stars
    I just took this bread out of the oven -I can’t wait to cut in….looks fabulous!
    It was easy to make and directions were well explained!
    I made it look like a pumpkin- wish I could post pic here.

  54. 5 stars
    Great recipe! I’m going to add a Tbsp of caraway seed this time since we love the flavor it imparts. I didn’t get the same Rick dark crust to mine as shown in the picture. I ended up using my coringware covered casserole dish because my cast iron Dutch oven was being used for my regular sourdough loaf. Could that had impacted the bake since it’s stoneware?

    • So glad you liked this recipe! I do enjoy adding a bit of caraway, too. Your corningware dish was likely the culprit to a crust that isn’t as dark. It does not hold heat nearly as well as cast iron.

  55. 5 stars
    Worth the time spent with the rise and rest. My sourdough bread came out perfect! I wish I can post the picture. Thank you!!

  56. 5 stars
    Thank you so much for this fabulous recipe and great instructions! Just made my first loaf and we are loving it.
    I am wondering if there is a way to make the loaf more sour? I have read through all the comments and made some adjustments to the recipe based on what I understood from the comments. I replaced the whole wheat flour with bread flour, and did a 5 hour (just how the timing worked out) autolyse with just the bread flour and a portion of the water (equal to the % of bread flour used). Then added the rye flour, remaining water, honey and the starter (which I decreased to get a slower bulk fermentation). After 25 minutes I added the salt and some caraway seeds with a touch of water (to compensate for the decreased starter amount). After bulk fermentation I put the sourdough in the fridge for 48 hours and then baked which gave me what I think is a great oven rise. It was absolutely fabulous, however my kids are asking if I can make it more sour. Any suggestions?

      • Thank you for the link to your IGTV re the starter! I will go check out your other posts as well.
        My starter was originally being fed with 90 g of starter mixed with 120 g of water and 120 g of bread flour. As I didn’t want so much discard I decreased my starter to 55 g mixed with 73 g water and 37 g rye flour and 36 g whole wheat flour. After I feed my starter I leave it on the counter for 1.5 – 2 hours to make sure it rises, and then I put it in the fridge for 7 days before using it for making sourdough, to increase the sourness of my loaf.
        I never compensated for the use of whole grains in my starter with extra water. Should I? And if so, by how much? I was thinking maybe by 17 g (90 g-55 g=35 g and then divide by 2??)
        Also I wanted to mention that although my bread taste great, it is slightly gummy. Not so much on taste, but I can tell with the knife I am using to slice the bread. How do I correct that?
        Thanks for your support!

        • 5 stars
          Not sure it was clear in my description above. I use an unfed starter to make my sourdough to try to increase the sourness of the loaf.

  57. 5 stars
    Hi I tried your recipe over the weekend and the taste is marvelous. I would like to know what’s the secret to the beautiful scoring. Mine didn’t open up as beautiful as yours. But I’m pretty sure that my dough is well shaped as I normally will get a beautiful ear. Thanks.

  58. 5 stars
    Hi! I have just completed 1 of 4 stretch and folds. My question is can I put the dough in the fridge now (instead of letting it rest on the counter, undisturbed, for 7ish hours to double) and remove dough in the morning and THEN proceed with letting it sit for 7ish hours, etc?

    • Thank you so much for your quick response! I am so happy to say that I DID have to put it into the fridge after the fourth fold (before the 7 hour rest on the counter). In the morning, I removed from fridge and did the 7 hour rest at that point. I followed the remaining directions and it baked up beautifully!

    • Hello! You will want to do the bulk fermentation on the counter, as putting it in the fridge after the stretch and folds will halt fermentation, and the wild yeast will not activate. The warm counter temperature is important for the environment of the bread as it ferments.

  59. 5 stars
    I LOVE the sourdough Rye!! But would really like to add caraway seeds. Can you suggest how much to add for my first try?

  60. 5 stars
    Thank you so much. After a year of trials your advice gave me the near perfect loaf. I just need to perfect the slits. Maybe the s ally isn’t deep enough

  61. Why is there honey in this recipe? Is it required for the purpose some chemical reaction and can I omit it? Don’t want honey or sugar in my bread. Please advise

    • Hi! The honey is used to balance the flavor of the rye flour, but you won’t persay tastes the honey. It also adds a bit of moisture. You could leave it out if you want, but the recipe as written is my preferred way.

  62. 5 stars
    The most delicate rye bread ever ate! Definitely our favourite one! Thank you so much for this recipe, dear Amanda!💗

  63. Hi! I saw your recipe and it seemed like a long bulk fermentation time from my experience with my starter. I’m guessing it’s a difference in our starters. I want to try your recipe, but I think I need to adjust it for my starter. When you feed yours, what ratio do you use and how long does it take to peak?

  64. 5 stars
    I was very nervous to make this specific sourdough bread because I am new to sourdough baking and after reading that rye flour is even more difficult to bake with I was ready to have a first loaf as a failure. This was not the case , it was a success. Within a few days I made another one and this is going to be a staple in our house ( my 7 year old loves it toasted with butter!! ).

  65. 5 stars
    Just tried this recipe and it makes a wonderful rye loaf! Has a true rye flavour but soft/”normal” enough for a sandwich too :) I think next time I will put the dough in a tall square container to bulk proof so I can tell more easily when it has doubled (I think I probably under-proofed it), despite that, fantastic loaf and will definitely make again!

  66. 5 stars
    This recipe is an utter delight to make – and even better to eat! Many rye sourdough recipes are either too heavy on the rye (resulting in a dense, flat loaf) or too light (with no flavor). This is a real Goldilocks loaf – it is just right on all counts. I added caraway seeds and it turned out perfectly on the first bake! Would definitely recommend this recipe – it is now on high rotation at our house. Thank you Amanda.

  67. 5 stars
    One of my absolute favorite recipes to use! It always comes out great out of the oven :) My whole family loves it!

  68. 5 stars
    I doubled the recipe and used a round banneton. Due to timing, I let it sit in the fridge overnight and baked it the next morning. The videos were really helpful and the bread turned out amazing! So delicious.

  69. 5 stars
    Absolutely fantastic recipe, my first try at a white flour sourdough was a bit of a flop, but with this recipe I’ve managed to make a bakery quality loaf! It is soft and fluffy, just the right amount of sourness and a perfect crumb. Will definitely be making again, mostly because the first loaf is pretty much gone already after only a day!

  70. 5 stars
    Excellent recipe. I’ve been on the sourdough journey for over a year with my own starter. Just discovered your site. I’ll be following. Thank you.

  71. 5 stars
    Came out perfect first time. I followed directions exactly but made minor changes to ingredients. Used rye flour in place of the whole wheat, eliminated the honey and added 1 tablespoon of soft butter.

  72. Hi there, I’m finding my dough is crazy sticky and wet. I’ve followed your ingredient measurements with a scale and the dough is almost unworkable because it’s so wet. Any suggestions?

    • Hi Britt! This is a very wet and sticky dough, which is how dough with a large inclusion of rye naturally is. Keep going through the stretch and folds, it will come together! :)

  73. 5 stars
    This is the best Rye Sourdough recipe! I have made it 3 times and it get better with every attempt. I am still having a little trouble removing the dough from my glass bowl after the first proof. Would you suggest adding just a little olive oil to the bowl?

    • Hi Wendy! So glad you like the rye sourdough. You could spritz the glass bowl with olive oil and then dust with rice flour. You’ll have no issues with it sticking then.

  74. Just started process, love rye and this is my first attempt at rye. I’ll have to leave in fridge 2 nights because of all day commitment next day. Will this affect the bread?

  75. 5 stars
    This was my first try at any kind of rye bread, and with your easy to follow instructions, it’s now going to be my go to! A relatively simple recipe produced a complex tasting bread—I love that I can taste the honey. I just baked it this morning after letting it rise overnight and am very close to needing to make another one! I don’t have a banneton to shape it the same way (I just put linen in a ceramic bowl and made it round), and it still turned out great. Thank you for the recipe, Amanda!!

  76. 5 stars
    This recipe has some of the best tips and tricks for a perfect loaf. It also tastes amazing!!! Love the flavor, texture, crumb and crust. I’ll be making this regularly.

  77. Hi Amanda, after the bulk rise (7ish hours), how long is the dough suppose to set overnight in the refrigerator? Is there a set time that may be too little or too much? Last few times, my boule did not have much rise/crumb when baked. Any feedback is appreciated! Thank you.

    • Hi Julie!
      I usually let mine sit in refrigerator overnight, anywhere from 9-11 hours. If the rise isn’t where you’d like it, it may be that you aren’t building enough strength in your dough while stretching and folding, or you could be overproofing the bulk fermentation, depending on the temperature of the water you used and the temp of your home.

  78. 5 stars
    After trying many sourdough recipes unsuccessfully, this new baker finally managed to pull off what I consider a perfect cob loaf. This simple recipe delivered Aa crunchy crust with a soft and slightly chewy bread. I loved the addition of the honey. It will now be my go to recipe.

  79. 5 stars
    This is my favorite sourdough bread to make. I’ve made it almost once a week for months now and it always turns out perfect.

  80. After my first 20 tries, I am now making fabulous sourdough bread. Next stop is your sourdough rye. I would like to add caraway seeds. How much do you suggest for 2 loaves?

  81. I really like your rye recipe but now I am looking for a 100% (or nearly so) whole wheat sourdough recipe. This “rye”is best sourdough recipe I’ve made. I am now looking for a 100% whole wheat whole grain sourdough recipe. I’m convinced, Amanda, that you are the one to do this! Hope you can work your magic on this challenge. Thank you so much.

  82. 5 stars
    I feel so proud to have made it twice now. Great success!! My only problem? The parchment paper gets stuck to the bottom of the loaf….any suggestions? Love making it with a rye sourdough starter and dark rye flour….I make it on a pizza slab with steam from a roasting pan below…(no lid but next time I’m going to see if a lid would prevent the super dark crust) ). This recipe really has amazing flavour…so glad I found you!! loved all the links for tips.

    • Hi Martha! You can either dust your parchment with cornmeal before putting dough on it, or use a high quality parchment paper that does well at high heat.

      • 5 stars
        Thanks Amanda, this is wonderful bread I am again so happy to have found your and your recipes and guidance !!

  83. Wow … 38 minutes left on cool down/final cook. Used my daughter’s proof 4 and came close to following to a “T” … can’t wait to tasting it!
    Already want to increase rye ratio.

  84. Hmm it says 55g of sourdough starter which doesn’t seem much for the quantity of flour. I’ve started this a few hours ago but not much action happening so just want to make sure. My sourdough starter is well fed and active so I’d love some reassuring please – grateful thanks in advance!

    • Hello! This is the correct amount of starter. A lower amount of starter equals a lower inoculation, meaning bulk fermentation will take more time than recipes that use a higher amount of starter in terms of ratio. While it is in bulk fermentation, it is also gaining flavor complexity over that amount of time.

  85. Hello, I’m wondering if I increase the amount of starter to 75 grams per loaf how will the bulk fermentation time change? Thank you.

    • Hi Oksana!
      If you increase the starter, your bulk fermentation will take slightly longer, all things the same otherwise. You would also want to decrease the amount of water by 10 grams.

      • Hi Amanda thank you very much for your kind reply. I’ve baked this rustic rye five times till now and it tasted amazing each time. But I think I’ve been under-proofing it during BF, it’s 68 degrees in my kitchen but my dough was doubling in 3 -4 yours. I was afraid to over-proof it so I was pre-shaping at that point then shaping and then cold retard in the fridge overnight. I wasn’t waiting the 7ish hours for the BF as you mention in the recipe. Please advice, shall I wait the 7ish hours, won’t it be over-proofed? Thank you for any tips. And thank you for this amazing recipe.

  86. I started this recipe late last night and did the bulk fermentation overnight. This bread turned out just like your photos! This is my first successful sourdough loaf, after a bunch of disappointing attempts with other books/sites. Thank you so much!

  87. Hey! Going to try to convert all of this so I can make it here in America. I’m a touch nervous that I’ll mess it up and convert improperly. Is there an alternate recipe that is yank friendly? Thanks!

  88. Just tried this yesterday (at 74 degrees ambient temperature and without the overnight proof). Let cool for 1 hour. Great flavor and crumb! My first time baking with rye and thanks to this recipe it came out great.

  89. Hello! Two quick questions. Instead of using whole wheat flour, can I use more bread flour or rye flour? Also, I do not have that shape banneton bowl, would round be ok and would I need to change the bake time as a result?
    Thank you!

  90. I will make this as instructed, we love rye bread. This looks great to give it a try :D I have something else in mind as well that I would like to try with this but I will need help with the baking time and temperature. I want to make 4 demi baguettes. Thank you for any help.

  91. This was such a success! Thank you so much!

    I didn’t have any more bread flour, so I used unbleached AP, but it still came out so perfect I’m still in disbelief. Thanks so much for such a wonderful recipe.

  92. This bread has been one of my staples now, I bake one twice per week! The whole family loves it! To make it right each time, I make 2 recipes in two different bowls for two loaves. I’d like to be able to just double the recipe, but some websites say to double the levain and other say to keep the levain as is and double everything else. I’m confused. Have you done it personally and what is your advice on that? Thank you so much!

    • Hello! I’m so glad you liked the rye sourdough! I’ve successfully doubled my Everyday Sourdough bread recipe. With the rye, I simply double all ingredients, and follow recipe as written until the autolyse (initial rest) is complete. At that point I split the dough equally and proceed in two separate bowls. I do that because rye flour is stickier and such a large amount of dough at once can be difficult to work with.

  93. Do you think it would be worthwhile to try combining gluten free flours with sourdough starter and rye?

    I am not celiac but I react more to wheat flour and have almost no reaction to solid 100% rye which I don’t like that well.

    I’ve read that whole psyllium and flax can make enough of a binder to have some rising.

    Thanks for your recipe – it looks amazing! Wish Icould tolerate the wheat!

    Best regards,

    B. Maurene White, Montreal QC, Canada

  94. Made this 4 times and we love it! I adjusted it to add more WW by doubling it and decreasing BF. it turned out well. I believe wholeheartedly in an overnight last fermentation rise because it adds to the sourness and makes scoring a breeze. You nailed it though. Great bread! However I would like to know nutrition information if you have it.

  95. When you say “After those 30 minutes pass, perform a set of stretch and folds. Repeat 2 more times.” does this mean to repeat waiting 30 minutes as well? or just the stretch and folds?

  96. Greetings,
    This is the second time working this recipe & I succeeded again. I did throw some caraway seeds, dill and dried onion to enhance flavor, plus I put in what I had left of the rye flour which worked out to 2 cups.
    I also got a cast iron bread pan for Christmas and wanted a more traditional looking loaf.
    The flavor was great. It was cooked all the way through evenly.
    This is my go to recipe for rye. 2 tries and 2 wins.

  97. Hi Amanda, thanks for sharing the recipe. I bake a lot of sourdough bread, mostly a mix of whole wheat and good all-purpose flour (like King Arthur) or whole rye and AP flour. I have a couple of questions:
    – Why the honey or some other sweetener? What purpose does that serve in the recipe? I have tried adding molasses to my rye breads a couple of times in the past; don’t really like the taste that it adds, and it makes the dough a bit stickier (as if rye wasn’t already sticky enough!).
    – Why do you emphasize that the dough needs to be baked cold (if overnight retarded), and not warmed up on a counter first? I have done both actually in the past, I find that the crumb tends to be more open if I let the dough sit on a counter for about an hour first. Interested in your thoughts.

    By the way, love the way you scored your loaf, I just did mine in a similar way too, and it looks very pretty!

    • Hi Cooper! Thanks for the questions. You can use regular cane sugar if you’d like instead of a runny sweetener. It aids in the fermentation, and helps the crust achieve a darker color.

      If you leave your bread to warm on the counter, it will have a tendency to lose its shape when you take it out of the banneton. When it’s cold, it’s much easier for the dough to retain its structure which is particularly helpful for scoring the dough.

  98. Thank you for your recipe I’ve been looking for it for so long!!!
    I have a quick question:
    the 55g of sourdough starter is meant after having it fed and waited for its peak or we should start from the 55 g, and so that after feeding it we will have 165 g in total of levain?
    Thank you

  99. I have a fresh bag of dark rye in the pantry. Can I use this instead of the fine light rye you describe? Should I reduce the ratio of rye to bread flour?

    • Hi Lili! Dark rye still has the bran in tact, so it will absorb more liquid.
      I haven’t tested this recipe using dark rye, but you’d need to either reduce the ratio of rye to bread flour, or use more water.

  100. Hello and thank you for sharing this recipe. I am still just experimenting with sourdough and this was my first go at a sourdough rye bread. I subbed the honey for 20g of molasses and added 2 TBS of caraway seeds, but the flour/water ratio
    from here are perfect. A little sticky at first, but came out just as we’d like! Thank you.

    Love your about me story as well….I too found cooking and baking as as comforting, creative option during a stressful postdoc and later in a biotech career. Love your site!

  101. Hi I’m keen to try your recipe,but wondering whether to use my white bread flour starter or a rye starter? Thanks, Andrea

  102. I have a cast iron Dutch oven that has no lid (really it’s a cast iron pot that’s very deep) . My Dutch oven from Lodge has a lid but the lid isn’t certified to 500 degrees or even 430 degrees due to the plastic handle. Several questions:
    1) I could invert my cast iron skillet over the top of the cast iron Dutch oven and make a lid that way (not too stable, but it might work). or possibly make an aluminum foil lid or
    2) might it work to use my baking stone without using a Dutch oven at all? (I will have to check it’s upper temperature limits)
    3. OK to sub in molasses for the honey?
    4. Do you mist the oven with water at all as the bread is first going in or use steam in any way?

    • Hello Jean!
      I would invert the cast iron skillet over the dutch oven to make the lid. Or purchase a cast iron lid.
      You could also use your baking stone instead, and have a pan of water underneath it, using about 2 inches of water to create steam.
      This is in effect, what a lid does. You could use molasses!

  103. Love this sourdough, followed the recipe exactly.
    The only mishap was that it got burned a bit on the bottom, any suggestions?
    Still cannot stop eating it!

    • Hi Lola! So glad you enjoyed the rye sourdough. If you find your bottom getting a bit too dark, you can try moving the oven rack up one level. You can also remove the bread after it bakes in the dutch oven for 20 minutes, and bake it on a baking sheet.

      • I appreciate this question and answer–my bread is always overdone on the bottom regardless of what recipe I am using! I will try this approach today and move the bread onto a baking sheet when done with the closed dutch oven bake. Here’s hoping!

  104. I’ve tried several sourdough rye recipes. This is by far may favorite! Straightforward directions, no fussy techniques, great flavor and spring. I proofed overnight in the refrigerator and dusted the top with with caraway seeds before scoring. My whole family agrees that this is fantastic in every way!

  105. Hi, what altitude are you baking this at? I’m in Denver at >5000 feet so want to make sure I can do this with appropriate high altitude instructions.


      • I’m hoping to use freshly milled whole rye flour. Is there anything you know I should change or if it is acceptable for this recipe?

        • hi Shelley! this recipe has been tested with fine rye flour, meaning the bran and germ has been sifted out. whole rye flour will be much thirstier, as it absorbs more water than a fine rye flour. there would definitely need to be more recipe testing for me to know if fresh milled whole rye flour would produce the same results as the recipe currently read.

  106. I’m just in the middle of making this loaf and have followed the measurements to the gram, but at the moment the dough is extreeeemely sticky – to the point where i can barely stretch and fold it because half of it sticks to my hand! Is this normal or do you know why this is?

  107. Do you just put starter in from the “mother” vs. creating a new leaven from the mother to use in this recipe?

  108. I am a bit confused when you advise to take the dough from the fridge if leaving it in there overnight to parchment paper, score, then put into the Dutch oven cold. If you follow this do you mean that you DO NOT preheat the Dutch oven in the preheating oven that is at 500 F? Or do you mean place it on the parchment paper cold, score and then take the Dutch oven out of the preheated oven and place the cold dough into it on the parchment paper?

    • Hi Peter! You’ll preheat the dutch oven in the preheating oven, as the recipe reads. Then score your dough cold, and it will still be cold when you put it into the preheated dutch oven.

  109. Made this today and the rise and smell were beautiful. Used maple syrup instead of honey because that’s all I had on hand. Also did the second rise overnight in the fridge which I think led to a really wonderful “spring”. Can’t wait to taste

    • Hi Courtney! Delayed salt allows natural, or biological, development of a part of the amino acids in gluten, called cystein, to occur, which can’t happen in the presence of salt. Adding later helps the gluten network begin to form in the autolyse.

  110. I’m ready to try agsin? I never get the lightness or interior bubbles I’m looking for? But ill try again ….. yes!

  111. I have been dying to try a rye sourdough recipe. Thanks for this!

    I followed the recipe to a tee and noticed that there aren’t as many holes as a normal sourdough loaf. Is the addition of rye meant to create a tighter loaf?

    • Hi Kris! Rye does create a bit of a tighter crumb. But I also find you can push the bulk fermentation maybe farther than you think, to get more open structure like you see in the photos.

  112. This is so beautiful! I have been playing with using more rye in my sourdough experiments lately. I’m curious about the addition of honey and whole wheat flour – are they primarily for flavour or do they affect the fermentation somehow? This will definitely be my next loaf :)

  113. Oh yay!!! I’ve been looking for a Sourdough Rye Bread recipe to make! This will be my next loaf! If I want add toasted seeds & nuts do you have any suggestion of how & when to incorporate them into the dough?