The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Is a Rye bread recipe possible without soughdough?

CountryBoy's picture

Is a Rye bread recipe possible without soughdough?

Is a Rye bread recipe possible without sourghdough?

Everywhere I search I see sourdough.........for good rye bread.





charbono's picture

Laurel's Kitchen has a recipe for rye bread that uses cider vinegar instead of sourdough.


Franko's picture

I just ran across something in Maggie Glezer's 'Artisan Baking' quoting George Eckrich of Dutch Regale Bakery in Houston saying that "rye bread made without sour or caraway seeds has a weak, grassy flavor that is rather unpleasant."

The biggest benefit of using sour aside from it's flavour, is the keeping quality it gives the bread.


Janknitz's picture

I make "Levy's Rye Bread" from Rose Levy-Barenbaum's book ("The Bread Bible") and it's WONDERFUL--my most requested bread.  It does NOT have a "weak, gassy flavor" and is NOT unpleasant at all.  It's not particularly sour, but it's really tasty--it has a long fermentation with plenty of time to develop good flavor and texture.   And it has great keeping qualities, too, much more so than my all wheat breads. 



pmccool's picture

the only flavor that is noticeable is caraway!  After making it the first time, I joked that it should be called "Levy's Caraway Bread".

It's good stuff but I never really could taste the rye under all that caraway.


CountryBoy's picture

Sounds interesting......




Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

in a dough are honey with a pH commonly between 3.2 and 4.5. and molasses with pH 4.5 to 5.  Also lemon or orange zest lower pH to get the best from the rye.

ryebaker's picture

there are lots of excellent recipes that use yeasted starter as opposed to sourdough. 

starter 1 pkg yeast, 1.5 cups water, 2 cups rye flour

after 1-3 days: 1 pkg yeast; 1 tbsp salt, shortening, molasses; 2 cups rye flour; 1+ cup white flour; 1 cup water. 

Knead 5 min.

bulk proof 30 min; shape and proof for 25.  Bake 45 min at 400F.

this recipe can be tweaked with  more molasses, caraway, cumin, whatever trips your trigger.

YeastyBob's picture

The following is a link to an excellent sour rye using commercial yeast.

I have made it several times & it is very good.

aneesh's picture

You might try this recipe, adapted from Berenbaum's The Bread Bible, which uses yeast rather than sourdough starter.  I have had great success with it.  Good luck!

hanseata's picture

Here's the link to my "Lübecker", a yeasted German whole grain and rye bread that I bake regularly for my little bakery. It's very tasty, and can also be made as free-standing hearth bread.

The typical German bread spices are optional, but they add just a hint of spice, and are not in any way as overpowering as in some of the (caraway loaded) Jewish ryes.


CountryBoy's picture

My thanks to everyone for sharing Rye Recipes without sourdough.

Most helpful.

Country Boy

Gorm2's picture

I found a recipe for NY Rye that is amazing.  It does not require sour.  I like it even better than sour ryes.  It has a soft but chewy crust and always receives rave reviews.  I offer it to you in its original form.  I have converted to weights for my own purposes, but do not want to give my possibly inaccurate measurements!


New York Style Jewish Rye

 By: Chef John V., A Good Cooking Recipe!


History: Both of my grandfathers were bakers.  Adolph worked for the now defunct Jersey Bakery in Hudson, NY after he sold his dairy farm. Then John, my other grandfather, worked there whenever they needed extra help or someone called in sick.  I have such fond memories of the Jewish Style New York Rye. This recipe is as close to the original as can be.  The only difference is they baked it in ovens that could inject steam during the first 10 minutes, which gave the crust its blistered look and chewy texture.


Note: This is a must have proper ingredient recipe!  You can't substitute medium rye flour without a change in texture.  Light Rye or White Rye flour is a must is as 1st Clear Flour. These are available at  Also note that flour has a different moisture content during the winter as in the summer.  So in the winter you may need to add a bit more water and in the summer a little less.  No more than a few tablespoons should do---this is a stiff dough!  For your success please remember to measure exactly as baking is a science.


Description: New York Style Jewish Rye, You won't find a better rye in New York!

Serving size: 3 - 1 1/2 pound oblong rye loaves

Preparation time: Start to finish is 3 days because you will make a sour starter


 Sour Starter--- 
1 cup warm Potato Water*
1 cup Light Rye Flour---see footnote
1 Tablespoon Yeast, instant, dry active or 1 fresh yeast cake

●      Stir to blend well, then cover with plastic wrap and let sit for 3 days at room temperature 65° - 70°F (Starter will rise and collapse).


 * Potato water---Peel and quarter 2 pounds of regular potatoes, cover with water and season with salt.  Cook like you would for boiled or mashed potatoes, drain---saving the water the potatoes were cooked in.  This is potato water; it gives bread a moist and compact texture. Save or eat the potatoes as you like.

Dough for the Bread---
2 cups warm Water, about 120°F
1 Tablespoon Sugar
1 Tablespoon Yeast
Add---starter from above
2 cups Light Rye Flour
4 3/4 cups First Clear Flour---see footnote
2 Tbsp. caraway seeds (optional)
2 Tablespoons Kosher Salt



1 cup Water
1 1/2 Tablespoons Cornstarch mixed with 1/4 cup cold water---no lumps



●      In a mixer or by hand combine 2 cups warm water with sugar and yeast, mix and let sit for 10 minutes. 
●      Add all of the sour starter and the remaining ingredients.  Mix on low speed for 2 - 3 minutes with a dough hook, then increase to medium speed and mix 6 minutes longer.  Be sure all the flour is absorbed into the dough by raising and lowering the bowl from time to time. 

Place dough in lightly-oiled (sprayed) dough-rising bucket and cover with lid or plastic wrap.  Let rise 2 hours at 70°F or until doubled in bulk.


 ●      Portion dough into three (3) - 1 1/2 pound pieces and shape into oblong loaves.  Place loaves on a parchment lined baking sheet that has been sprinkled with semolina flour or fine cornmeal.  Cover with a damp (but not wet) cloth and let rise for 40 minutes at 75° - 80°F (on top of the stove is fine).


 1 hour before baking, place a baking stone in oven.  Place a cast iron pan on the shelf below the stone (bottom shelf).  Pre-heat oven to 375°F.


 ●      Carefully remove the damp cloth, then slash each loaf 3 times across the top with a very sharp knife or razor blade about 3/4 of an inch deep.

●      Spray loaves with water.

●      Immediately place sheet on baking stone in pre-heated 375°F   oven, and place 1 ½ cups boiling water in pan below stone.  If water doesn't boil off, remove the pan after 10 minutes.  (Water will create steam and help with crust development).

●      Continue to bake for 30 minutes or until center is 180°F.

For the glaze: Boil 1 cup of water, mix the cornstarch with 1/4 cup cold water, then combine with boiled water and stir continually until thickened. Cover with plastic wrap.

●      Remove the bread and with a pastry brush, brush with the cooked cornstarch. A small amount of this glaze is enough; it's used to create a shiny surface. Cool the bread on wire racks for at least 1 hour before slicing.



White Rye Flour is milled from whole rye berries which have the bran and germ removed and is unbleached.  Medium rye is the next grade with is darker in color and if it were to be used in this bread it would make a darker loaf but not as dark as pumpernickel.


First Clear Flour is milled from spring wheat and has a very high gluten and protein content which gives this rye its chewiness.



CountryBoy's picture

Sounds great; thanks so much.

country boy

CaptainCupcake's picture

I have a recipe for sweet rye that my Grandma makes.  I am the only one in the family that has it.  He He.  If you would like to try it let me know.  I will send you the recipe.

breadman1015's picture

This is a NY-Style Rye Bread that my father taught me to make more than 50 years ago. (He was a baker in New York and Miami for his entire life).

Murry's Jewish Rye Bread
Sponge: 14 oz. Clear Flour
3-1/2 oz. White Rye Flour
13 oz. Water
2 tsp. Yeast
Dough: 1 recipe Sponge
10 oz. Clear Flour
3 oz. White Rye Flour
6-3/4 oz. Water
1 tsp. Yeast
2 tsp. Salt
1 tsp. Sugar
1/4 tsp. Rye Flavor *(see below)

Glaze:  Bring 1 cup Water to a boil. Dissolve 2 Tbs. Cornstarch in 1/4 cup cold water and
stir it into the boiling water until it thickens. Cool to room temperature before using.

Make the Sponge: In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle, proof the Yeast in the
Water for 5 minutes. Add the Clear Flour and White Rye Flour and mix, at low speed,
to form a soft dough. Cover and allow to ferment until sponge drops, about 3 hours.

Make the Dough: Add the remaining ingredients to the bowl and, with the paddle, mix
at low speed to form a smooth dough, about 3 minutes. Install the dough hook and
knead, at medium speed, for 10 minutes. Allow to bench rest for 15 minutes. Form into
two loaves, about 10” long. Brush with Glaze; Cover with plastic wrap; and allow to proof until almost double, about 1 hour. Preheat oven to 425°F. Brush with Glaze and bake with steam about 20 minutes. (195°F). Immediately upon removing from oven, brush with Glaze.


* Rye Flavor: This is generally just crushed Caraway Seeds. Or, if you like seeded Rye, also add some Caraway Seeds. I have also used KA's " Deli-Rye Flavor" with good results.

CountryBoy's picture

Many thanks breadman1015 for the wonderful help on a rye bread recipe with out sourdough..