Rye & Wheat Sourdough

Rye and wheat sourdough with seeds

Jane Mason
I confess, I am not a fan of caraway seeds.  I think maybe I over loaded on them when I was a child, or maybe I never liked them.  
Recently, however, I have used them in cooking (rather than baking) as they are called for in my recipe for cabbage rolls (which I LOVE) and I have come to appreciate that a teeny tiny amount of caraway seeds in bread tastes delicious.
Baking time 40 minutes


  • bowls, scale, baking tray, non stick parchment, scraper


To refresh the starter

  • 130 g Rye sourdough from the vat in the fridge
  • 25 g Dark or light rye flour
  • 25 g Whole or white wheat flour (or a mixture)
  • 60 g Water

For the dough

  • 100 g Dark or light rye flour
  • 250 g Whole or white wheat flour or a mixture
  • 150 g Water
  • 8 g Salt
  • 1/2 tsp caraway seeds (really, no need for more)
  • 1-2 handfuls pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, flax seeds…or a mixture soaked overnight in plenty of cold water


Day One

  • Measure the sourdough starter into a large bowl and return any remaining starter to the refrigerator.
  • Add 25 g of the rye flour, 25 of the wheat flour and 60 g of the water. Stir and cover with plastic wrap, and leave on the counter for around 8 hours. You will know it's ready to use when it's bubbling and sweet smelling.
  • At the same time, put all the seeds (not the caraway seeds) into a bowl and cover with cold water. If it's a hot time of year, place in fridge. If not, place on counter.

Day Two

  • Drain the seeds. Place the refreshed starter and all the remaining ingredients plus the drained seeds into a big bowl and knead well by hand or machine for 10 minutes. Cover the bowl with a shower hat and let it rest for 2 hours. During that time, if you can be bothered, stretch and fold it a few times to develop the gluten.
  • Generously flour a medium sized (around 800 g) round proofing basket. Or grease a big bread pan.
  • Remove the dough from the bowl and place it on a floury work surface. With wet hands and a scraper, gently stretch and fold it and then shape it into the shape you need for your basket or tin. Place the dough in the basket or tin.
  • Cover it with a shower hat and let it rest for 3-5 hours. It's hard to do the probe test with rye but the dough will have risen a lot and will be soft to touch – your finger tip will easily leave dents in the dough.
  • Preheat the oven to 230 degrees C. If you have used a basket, turn the dough out of the basket onto a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Pop it in the oven. If you have used a tin, pop it in the oven.
  • Bake for 10 minutes and then reduce the heat to 200 degrees C and bake for a further 30 minutes.
  • Remove from the basket and let cool completely on a wire rack.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Another great recipe from the all-new, re-written Home Made Sourdough (UK edition) that comes out sometime soon!  Click here if you need to learn more about making and using a rye starter before you begin.

3 thoughts on “Rye & Wheat Sourdough”

  1. I only (so far ..) maintain an all-purpose flour sourdough starter. If I use that, can I follow theater if the recipe as written?

    1. Hi Sarah, this is a rye starter recipe which behaves a little differently from wheat. Actually a lot differently. Howver, if you would like to try this with a wheat starter, (now I am going to kind of make this up but it should work) try this:

      50 g of your starter + 50 g spelt flour + 50 g water. stir, leave on counter overnight covered.
      add the rest of the spelt and rye flour called for and add about 260 g water. you may need more (like quite a bit more – don’t worry if you do) because there is quite a bit of rye. Knead and follow the recipe!

      Let me know how it works out! And while you experiment, you can make a rye starter. I use mine more than the wheat starter, to be honest, because it’s much more active and punchy!

  2. Thank you so much. I look forward to trying this and will let you know how it goes.
    I grew my own sourdough starter 3 years ago with the recipe from Bread by Jeffrey Hamelman and have mostly been using his sourdough bread recipes, modifying my starter/liquid ratio as necessary as I maintain a stiff culture and the book has recipes using stiff or liquid cultures.

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