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5 from 1 vote

Sourdough Rye Bread

Sourdough Rye Bread is perfectly soft and chewy, with a deep golden crust and wonderfully complex flavors! It’s a great homemade bread for sandwiches, toast, or just snacking on.
Prep Time25 mins
Cook Time50 mins
Resting Time8 hrs 30 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Servings: 12 slices (1 loaf)
Calories: 165kcal


  • 50 g (¼ cup) (1/4 cup) bubbly, active starter
  • 365 g (1½ cups +1 tsp)warm water
  • 20 g (1 tbsp) honey
  • 106 g (1 cup) whole grain rye flour or light rye flour
  • 400 g (3 ⅓ cups) bread flour
  • 9 g (1½ tsp) kosher salt
  • 3 tbsp caraway seeds


  • Make The Dough. Whisk the starter, water, and honey together in a large bowl. Add the flour and salt. Squish everything together with your hands until all of the flour is absorbed. Cover with a damp towel and rest for 30 minutes.
  • Add Caraway. After the 30 minute rest, add the caraway seeds and work in the seeds with your fingers. Then work into a smooth ball. 
  • Bulk Rise. Cover the bowl with a damp towel and let rise overnight at room temperature. This will take about 6 to 8 hours (at 70oF, 21oC). The dough is ready when it no longer looks dense and has doubled in size. Optional: Stretch and fold the dough. About 30 minutes into the bulk rise, stretch and fold the dough for added structure and height. Begin by pulling up on the edge of the dough as high as you can stretch it without tearing and fold it in the middle of the dough. Continue doing this around the outside of the dough until you have completed one complete circle. Repeat this technique 2 to 3 times, space about 45 minutes apart. 
  • Shape. After the bulk rise, remove dough from bowl and place onto a lightly floured surface. Shape into a round. Start at the top and fold the dough toward the center. Turn the dough slightly and fold over the next section of dough. Repeat until you have come full circle. Flip the dough over and let rest for 5 to 10 minutes. Meanwhile line an 8-inch bowl with a towel and dust with flour. With floured hands, gently cup the dough and pull it toward you in a circular motion to tighten its shape. Using a bench scraper, place the dough into the bowl, seam side up.
  • Second Rise. Cover the bowl and let rest for 30 minutes to 45 minutes.. The dough is ready when it looks puffy, and has risen slightly but has not yet doubled in size. Nearing the end of the rise, preheat the oven to 400oF.
  • Score. Place the parchment over the dough and invert the bowl to release. Sprinkle the dough with flour and gently rub the surface with your hands. Using a bread lame, or the tip of sharp knife score the dough. I keep it simple and do 4 cuts, but you can get creative! Use the parchment paper transfer the dough to your dutch oven. 
  • Bake. Bake the dough on the center rack, in a preheated 400oF oven,  for 20 minutes, covered. Remove the lid and continue to bake for 20-30 minutes. Optional: Remove from oven, and remove the loaf from the pot and bake the crust for an additional 10 minutes to crisp the crust. (My crust is always dark at this point, so I skip this step). Transfer to a wire rack. Cool for 1 hour before slicing. 


  • Make sure your starter is active before you start. Drop a small piece in a bowl of water to see if it floats. It it does, then it’s ready! If not, then it may need 1-2 more feedings. 
  • Measure your flour using a kitchen scale . You can use measuring cups but for best accuracy it’s better use a kitchen scale and weigh out your flour. This ensures you don’t overmeasure, which can result in dense rolls. You can read my post on How To Measure Flour here.
  • Use a large mixing bowl! This dough will expand quite a bit. So the bigger the better.
  • Use a damp towel. You don’t want the dough to dry out on top creating a film that will prevent the dough from rising. 
  • Use the stretch and fold technique. Since this bread uses rye flour, it doesn't rise as high as other breads without a little extra help. For extra height and structure in the bread, use the stretch and fold technique described in the instructions. 
  • Storage: The loaf is best consumed within a week, stored in a plastic bag at room temperature. Otherwise freeze for up to 3 months.


Calories: 165kcal | Carbohydrates: 34g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 293mg | Potassium: 87mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 5IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 18mg | Iron: 1mg