Featured Image - Sourdough Rye Bread

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Sourdough Rye Bread is a wonderful recipe that our youngest daughter took to the county fair and won Best Bread with. It’s a hearty bread full of flavor from molasses, caraway seeds, and cardamom. I love serving this bread with corned beef or on a Reuben Sandwich.

Allow Bread to Cool Before Slicing

(Post modified with new photos on 3/2/24.)

As a 4-H cooking mom, I always insisted that our daughters made some type of bread to take to the county fair each year. I believed that every girl (and boy, if I would have had any) needs to know how to make homemade bread, going through the kneading process, and having the true satisfaction of serving their family a delicious bread from oven to table.

I still believe this is one of the best lessons learned at home and hope to teach my grandchildren the process of baking bread when they get older.

A few of those 4-H breads slipped by barely noticed. Others did really well. Grand champions, even. And some of those recipes included sourdough, which always gave me a small tickle when the judge asked our daughters about the natural yeast and fermentation process. See some of our winning 4-H Recipes Here.

Rye Sourdough Bread

One of those winning recipes was this Sourdough Rye Bread. You’ll see why it did so well when you slice into a piece and taste it. It’s really quite wonderful.

 

More Winning Bread Recipes

 

Ingredients for Sourdough Rye Bread

(See the full recipe at the bottom of this post.)

  • “fed” or active sourdough starter
  • warm water
  • instant yeast (optional)
  • molasses
  • caraway seed
  • kosher salt
  • ground cardamom
  • dark rye flour
  • all-purpose flour
  • egg wash (optional)
  • bread seasoning (optional)

 

Instructions for Making This Recipe

Ingredients for this Recipe

Gather all your ingredients so that you have everything close at hand on the counter or table.

 

Prepare the Dough

Mix Together Sourdough Starter, Water, Molasses, Instant Yeast and Seasonings

In a large mixing bowl, combine active sourdough starter, warm water, molasses, caraway seed, instant yeast (optional), salt, and ground cardamom.

If your sourdough starter is good and active, you may opt to refrain from adding the instant yeast. Sometimes whole wheat doughs have a harder time rising, and because of this, the added yeast may help you with a faster rising time. Another aid, especially when working with whole grain flours, is to add vital wheat gluten to the dough. Again, this is optional, but especially helpful when you are working with a particular timeframe for baking your bread.

Add Dark Rye Flour and All-Purpose Flour to the Sourdough Mixture

Stir in the whole grain dark rye flour plus 1 cup of the all-purpose flour.

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and begin kneading the dough, adding in the remaining all-purpose flour as needed. Knead for 5-6 minutes until dough is smooth and elastic.

If preferred, you may use an electric mixer with a dough hook to knead the bread for the same amount of time, using enough flour to make a nice, firm dough.

Allow Dough to Rise until Doubled - First Bulk Rise

Place kneaded dough in a large greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Allow to rise until it has nearly doubled, about 1.5-2 hours.

If you opt not to use the instant yeast, you’ll want to go through a stretch and fold process of the dough during this rising time to build the natural yeast, about every 40-45 minutes. See my recipe for Tangy Sourdough for further explanation about this process. 

 

Form Loaves

Form Dough into Two Small Loaves or One Large Loaf

Once the dough has nearly doubled, gently deflate and shape into one large round loaf or two smaller loaves. Place on a sheet of parchment paper and cover with plastic wrap that has been sprayed with baking spray. Let rise for 60-90 minutes.

Another option at this point, is to form the dough into an oblong loaf and place it in a greased loaf pan. For this recipe you could use one oversized loaf pan or a Pullman loaf pan. Or 2 standard loaf pans or even a cocktail sandwich loaf pan. Cover and allow to rise until nearly double. Bake in 400° F oven on a middle rack for 30-35 minutes until baked through. 

Place baking stone on a middle oven rack and preheat oven to 400° F.

 

Prepare Dough for Baking

Slash a Cross in Center or Dough - Brush with Egg Wash and Sprinkle with Bread Seasoning

When ready to bake, make two slits crisscrossed on the top of each loaf.

In a small bowl, whisk together 1 medium egg and a tablespoon of water to make an egg wash. Brush the top of each loaf with egg wash and sprinkle with bread seasoning mix, such as Everything Bagel. (This step is optional.)

Baking One Large Loaf on Baking Stone

Spritz the loaves with water to create steam in the oven. Using a pizza peel, slide loaves on parchment paper onto the hot baking stone.

Bake in a preheated oven for about 25-30 minutes, until nicely browned, and internal temperature tested with a digital thermometer reaches 205-210°F.

You may also do a knock test to check for doneness, by tapping your knuckle on the top of the loaf. If it has a hollow sound, the bread should be fully baked. 

Transfer Baked Loaf to a Wire Cooling Rack

Remove loaves from oven with a pizza peel and cool on a wire rack for at least two hours before slicing.

Slice Cooled Bread with a Serrated Bread Knife

Once cool, you may slice the bread on a cutting board with a serrated bread knife. To store, place bread in a plastic freezer bag for up to a week at room temperature. Or store in freezer for up to a month. When ready to use frozen bread, allow the bread to return to room temperature inside the bag before opening to ensure that the bread has retained full moisture.

This recipe makes 1 large loaf or 2 small loaves and will serve approximately 12-16 people.

See more Sourdough Recipes Here. Browse Bread Recipes Here.  View more Winning 4-H Recipes Here. 

 

Featured Image - Sourdough Rye Bread

Sourdough Rye Bread

Here's a wonderful recipe that our youngest daughter took to the county fair and won Best Bread with. It's great served in a Reuben Sandwich.
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Rising Time: 3 hours 30 minutes
Total Time 4 hours 25 minutes
Serving Size 16

(As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.)

Ingredients 

  • 1 cup sourdough starter ("fed" or active)
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons molasses
  • 2 teaspoons caraway seed
  • 1 teaspoon instant yeast (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon vital wheat gluten (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 cup dark rye whole grain flour
  • 1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 medium egg + 1 Tablespoon water (for egg wash - optional)
  • 4 teaspoons bread seasoning (like everything bagel - optional)

Instructions

  • Gather all your ingredients so that you have everything close at hand on the counter or table.

Prepare the Dough

  • In a large mixing bowl, combine active sourdough starter, warm water, molasses, caraway seed, instant yeast, kosher salt, and ground cardamom.
  • Stir in dark rye flour plus 1 cup of the all-purpose flour.
  • Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and begin kneading the dough, adding in the remaining flour as needed to make a nice firm dough. Knead for 5-6 minutes until dough is smooth and elastic. (If desired, you may use an electric mixer and knead with dough hook for the same amount of time.)
  • Place dough in a large greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Allow to rise until it has nearly doubled, about 1.5-2 hours.
  • (If you opt not to use the instant yeast, you’ll want to go through a stretch and fold process of the dough during this rising time, about every 40-45 minutes.) 

Form Loaves

  • Gently deflate the dough and shape into one large round loaf or two smaller loaves. Place on a sheet of parchment paper and cover with plastic wrap that has been sprayed with baking spray.
  • Another option at this point, is to form the dough into an oblong loaf and place it in a greased loaf pan. For this recipe you could use one oversized loaf pan or a Pullman loaf pan. Or 2 standard loaf pans or even a cocktail sandwich loaf pan. Cover and allow to rise until nearly double. Bake in 400℉ oven on a middle rack for 30-35 minutes until baked through. 
  • Allow the dough to rise for 60-90 minutes, until nearly doubled. Place baking stone on a middle oven rack and preheat oven to 400℉.

Prepare Loaves for Baking

  • When ready to bake, make two slits crisscrossed on the top of each loaf.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together 1 medium egg and a tablespoon of water to make an egg wash. Brush the top of each loaf with egg wash and sprinkle with bread seasoning mix, such as Everything Bagel. (This step is optional.)
  • Spritz the loaves with water. Using a pizza peel, slide loaves on parchment paper onto the hot baking stone.
  • Bake in a preheated oven for about 25-30 minutes, until nicely browned and internal temperature tested with a digital thermometer reaches 205-210°F. (Or test for doneness by tapping your knuckle on the top of the loaf. If it has a hollow sound, the bread should be fully baked.) 
  • Remove loaves from oven and cool on a wire rack. Makes 1-2 loaves that will serve up to 16 people.

Nutrition

Calories: 88kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 0.3g | Saturated Fat: 0.04g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.1g | Sodium: 148mg | Potassium: 75mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 1IU | Vitamin C: 0.1mg | Calcium: 10mg | Iron: 1mg

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