The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Light Rye Sourdough, Take 1

droidman's picture

Light Rye Sourdough, Take 1


I had lunch with a friend in Minneapolis at an establishment called The French Meadow Bakery. I had bacon and eggs, which was served with a couple slices of toasted sourdough. The bread was like a typical sourdough, but had a hint of caraway.

It's listed on the menu as organic sourdough toast. No mention of caraway. Perhaps it was just stored next to a caraway rye. In any case, I decided that I would try to make a sourdough that has all the wonderful characteristics of a standard sourdough, but with a subtle taste of rye and hint of caraway.

I got the initial formula from Flo Makanai:

Here's my first shot.


150 g whole rye
150 g water
75 g white starter @ 75% hydration

305 g barm
610 g water
915 g flour
22 g salt
5 g caraway seeds

Barm allowed to rise overnight (approximately 18 hrs).

Dough very soft and sticky. Kneaded for 15 minutes.

Initial fermentation in greased bowl for 5 hours.

Proofed in two bannetons for 90 minutes.

Baked in 500 degree oven (my oven sucks, so it's more like 425-450) with steam pan on stone for 30 minutes.


This produced a loaf that was sourdough dense, but still had a nice open crumb. It turned out to be oddly shaped because the bread stuck to my peel when I was sliding it onto the stone. The bread is slightly grey in color, due to the rye in the barm. Flavorwise, sourness in evidence, but some of it gets swept away by the caraway. I used caraway seeds I bought from Bob's Red Mill, and they are the most intense caraway I've ever come across. I want the caraway tones to be more subtle than this.


Next Time

For Take 2, I'm going to try BRM light rye, and scale back the caraway to 3 grams.

And, one of these days, gotta try this one: Wow.


Busche74's picture

Thanks for this recipe- I will be curoius to try it.  I have been making the "Jewish-Style Rye Bread" out of Joe ortiz's " The Village Baker".  Though I love the bread and it makes fabulous sandwiches, I have been longing for a light rye that uses sourdough instead of commercial yeast.  Can't wait to try it.

Feelin Crumby's picture
Feelin Crumby

Great shot of the crumb! You've got me wantin' some rye!

Paddyscake's picture

Perfect for deli!!


blackhorse16a's picture

in this formulA? I have a 100% starter and would like to start today. Looks like a beautiful rye!



droidman's picture

Just increase the flour a wee bit, maybe 5 or 6 grams will do it (if my math is right).

AnnaInMD's picture

for the final dough 150+150+75 = 375 not 305;

starter 5 grams vs 75 maybe ?