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Homemade Rye Sourdough

Super-Easy Rye Sourdough

Slice and enjoy.jpg

Anyone can bake their own delicious rye sourdough with this super-easy recipe.

Follow these easy step-by-step instructions to start making rye bread from a dehydrated sourdough starter. Once you have made your first loaf, steps 1-3 become redundant and future loaves use one cup less of flour, including feeding your starter.

You can make it 100% rye if you wish – your dough might need to be slightly wetter and it might need to be baked for a little longer. You can experiment with other flours as well, as long as your starter is fed 100% rye, and your bread dough is at least 2/3 wholemeal rye.

Prep Time: 10minutes 
Active Time: 55minutes 
Resting time: 12hours 
Total Time: 13hours  5minutes 
Course: Bread, Breakfast, Snack
Keyword: bread, Rye, sourdough
Yield: 1 loaf
Author: Sharon Erdrich
Cost: $5.00


  • 1 large mixing bowl
  • 1 stiff spatula
  • 1 bread pan OR
  • 1 Dutch oven or covered casserole dish
  • Baking paper


  • 1 sourdough starter
  • 4 cups rye flour preferably organic
  • 1 cup wholemeal wheat, spelt or rye flour optional
  • 1 tsp salt sea or uniodised
  • 1-2 cups water ideally filtered
  • 1-2 tsp dried herbs or seeds optional


  1. If starting from a dehydrated starter, first mix with double its volume of filtered water.

    rye 1
  2. Let it stand until it has absorbed the water.

    rye 2
  3. Add 1 cup of RYE flour and enough water to make a wet paste. Mix and let stand until it becomes active. How long this takes will depend on the room temperature. Once active, you will see bubbles forming and rising to the surface.

    rye 3
  4. Divide your starter in half. Put one half into a large glass jar. Add a whole cup of rye flour and enough water to make a wet paste. Mix well. The jar should not be more than half full. Put the lid on and place in the refrigerator.

    rye 4
  5. Put the other half of the starter into your mixing bowl and add 1 cup of rye flour and enough filtered, luke-warm water to make a wet paste. Cover and let sit until the starter is active (you will see bubbles).

    rye 5
  6. Add 1 cup of rye flour, 1 tsp of sea salt, plus 1 more cup of flour of your choice.

    rye 6
  7. Mix well, adding water as you go to get a stiff but wet dough.

    rye 7
  8. This dough is sticky and not kneadable. It’s about right when it just holds together as you stir it with your stiff spatula or wooden spoon.

    rye 8
  9. Line a loaf tin with baking paper. I like this pyrex one because it’s not too big. Scrape your dough in, spread it out evenly.

    rye 9
  10. You can also use an oven-proof casserole dish with a lid. Your loaf will be round and not so deep, but will bake well.

    rye 10
  11. You can also make small loaves using different oven-proof dishes.

    rye 11
  12. Either cover with its own lid or place inside a larger oven-proof container with a a lid. Leave to rise all day or a good 12 hours overnight.

    rye 12
  13. When the dough has risen (by at least 50%), put into the oven with the lid on. Bake at 200oC for 55 minutes.

    rye 13
  14. Remove the lid and return to the oven for 5-10 minutes to brown on top.

    Turn out onto a cooling rack and remove the baking paper. Preserve this to wrap your cooled loaf in.

    rye 14
  15. Your loaf will slice more easily when it’s cold. I also recommend an electric bread slicer or knife.

    rye 15
  16. When making your next batch, remove the rye starter from the refrigerator, fill the jar with water and stir until well mixed. Put ¼ to ⅓ into a clean jar, add a cup of rye flour and mix well. Cover and return to the refrigerator.

    rye 16
  17. Make your loaf with the remaining starter by adding 3 cups of flour, 1 tsp of salt and enough water to make a sticky dough. Proceed from step 7 above.

    rye 17


One day I made too much dough because I’d added too much water so had to add more flour. Instead of making a larger, heavier loaf (which would not rise as successfully), I put the extra dough into a small round oven-proof dish and inverted an identical sized one to create the lid. This worked really well too!
If you are going away and do not use your starter for a while, the water tends to separate and can start to go dark. it will smell very sour. Simply pour this water off, add fresh flour and water and start over. For prolonged absences, you can also freeze your starter (though I prefer to dehydrate it).



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