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Sourdough Rye Boule #BreadBakers

BreadBakers#BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. You can see all our of lovely bread by following our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated after each event on the Bread Bakers home page

Today, the Bread Bakers, hosted by Karen's Kitchen Stories, are baking breads with rye. I'm excited to see everyone's rye breads!

I had initially wanted to replicate a Swedish Rye Bread that a friend gave me a couple of weeks ago; I even had her recipe. But it didn't turn out the way I wanted. Probably because I was trying to substitute too many things: sourdough starter for yeast and butter for shortening. I'll get around to making it as written, but this month is not that time. In the meantime, check out this rye bread line-up from the #BreadBakers...

If you are a food blogger and would like to join us, just send an email with your blog URL to Stacy at

Sourdough Rye Boule 

For years - I mean years! - I avoided making sourdough bread. Something about the whole harvesting native bacteria from the air to create the starter just made me start twitching with anxiety. Then a friend gifted me some starter. So, if this shelter-in-place has taught me anything, it's that I can bake sourdough bread. Don't get me wrong: the first six loaves were bricks. Like doorstop kinda bricks. You can read more about this sourdough journey: my so-called Adventures of Dough-Ba Fett.

Now that I'm about eight weeks in, with nearly thirty loaves under my belt, I have achieved delicious and beautiful consistency. Once I felt confident with my initial recipe, I started to play. I've substituted rye flour for the whole wheat, reduced my hydration even more, started preheating the oven for longer. This certainly isn't a wholly rye bread, but I think that there are some rye characteristics that come through.

Ingredients makes 2 loaves
I know there are 4 loaves in the photo. I had doubled the recipe for Mothers' Day presents!
  • 200 g sourdough starter
  • 600 g warm water + 50 g warm water
  • 600 g all-purpose flour + more as needed
  • 300 g einkorn flour
  • 100 g rye flour
  • 20 g salt
  • rice flour for sprinkling in Dutch oven
  • Also needed: banneton proofing baskets or bowls lined with floured tea towels, Dutch ovens


Place 200 g starter in the bottom of a large mixing bowl. Pour in 600 g warm water. Add in the flours and salt. Use your hands to blend everything together so that all of the flour is moistened. Let stand for 30 minutes.

Pour in another 50g warm water and gently knead the dough until the water is completely absorbed.

Now I start the folds: rotating 90 degrees four times every thirty minutes for 4 hours.

I run my hand under warm water, grab one side of the dough and pull from underneath, folding it over the top of the ball. Rotate the bowl 90 degrees and repeat. Rotate. Repeat. And a fourth time so that the bowl has completed a full circle.

By the end of the 4 hours, the dough should be billowy and increased in volume.

Lightly flour a workspace and use a dough scraper to divide the dough ball in half. Transfer the dough balls to the work surface. Lightly flour the banneton or towel-lined bowl. I used a combination of all-purpose and rye for this loaf.

Now I repeat the folds, but with dry hands to shape the boules while creating tension in the top. Or, my lovely kitchen assistant does it so I can take photos of the process.

Keep the floured side of the ball down and fold from top to bottom four times while rotating the dough. This keeps the sticky side inside. 

Flip the ball over and work the dough into a tight round. Let stand for 15 minutes. Repeat three times.

After the third shaping, place the dough ball, rounded side up, in the floured banneton.

Now you proof. I typically put the dough in the fridge and leave it there till I'm ready to bake. For these boules, I left them in the fridge for 24 hours; I've read you can leave them for 72 family has never been that patient!

Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F. Place the empty Dutch ovens (bottoms only) into the oven. When the oven reaches temperature - an in-oven thermometer is very, very helpful - let the oven stay at 500 degrees for 1 hour.

After an hour, remove the Dutch ovens and reduce the oven temperature to 450 degrees F. Lightly flour the inside of the ovens with a sprinkling of rice flour. Gently pull the dough away from the sides of the banneton and invert into the Dutch oven.

Score the top with a knife or razor blades. I have even just snipped a few vents into the top with my kitchen shears. 

Place the lid on the Dutch oven and return the pots carefully to the hot oven. Bake for 30 minutes.

After 30 minutes, carefully remove the lid and return the pots to the oven again. Bake for an additional 30 minutes.

The loaves should be firm and crunchy on the top, golden brown, and feel hollow when the bottom is tapped. 

Move the loaves to a wire rack and let cool for at least an hour before slicing! Enjoy.

And speaking about Mothers' Day, I delivered my sourdough rye boules with jars of homemade strawberry-mint jam to my mom and a couple of friends. I did keep a loaf for myself and served it on the patio with all of my favorite toppings. Who needs a fancy restaurant for Mothers' Day brunch?!? Not this girl...

Well, that's a wrap for my rye bread for this month's #BreadBakers. Next month we'll be back with breads that include corn. Thinking cap on. Stay tuned.


  1. Thanks for sharing this recipe! It's so good. Can I add best unflavored protein powder on to this recipe?

  2. This is a work of art! I bet your mom was thrilled!! And Einkorn in there. Look at you!

    1. Thanks, Karen. She was! And she loved that mint from my son's garden made it into the jam she got also.

  3. I am amazed that you have baked 30 loaves in the past eight weeks! I always thought I had a pretty good supply of a variety of flours but I'd have run out ages ago baking that many loaves.

    What a great idea for Mother's Day! Bet your mom and friends loved their homemade bread and jam. The best gifts are homemade, from the heart.

    1. OMG. You have NO idea. I have hit up local restaurant-owning friends who have turned to being pantry-stores since they are closed for business. I've halved large bags with other friends from stores such as Costco. My boys laugh that I'm a flour junkie. Pretty close.

  4. Superb results! What gorgeous loaves, I am quite envious. Love rye.

  5. Beautiful rye boule you made it perfectly yes I too in baking spree.

  6. Wow this is fantastic, new to sourdough baking and love to read your post. I never knew we can keep it upto 72 hours that is a good news to me as at times I could not bake the next day. The loaves look lovely


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