The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

German Sourdough Rye

GermanFoodie's picture

German Sourdough Rye

Sourdough is as old as humankind, or at least that is what I would like to think. This is how bread baking must have started: let a bowl with hydrated flour stand somewhere, and magically it rises at some point. It took mankind until the 17th century to figured out what organism actually worked that magic.

As fickle as a sourdough starter can be at times, the taste it conveys to a loaf of bread is unsurpassed. Tangy, rich, moist, and in this case perfectly complemented by the dark rye flour, which is at the same time sweet and tart. Give me a slice of sourdough rye with butter and some cheese and I am in Heaven.

I typically “feed” my sourdough starter, fondly referred to as “Hermann”, the day before I intend to make the dough. This treatment ensures that its taste is at its best, its freshest. “Hermann” is a 100% rye starter, so my sourdough rye bread has a LOT of dark rye in it.

The original recipe, which I found on, called for 250 g of cooked potatoes, but I have also used flax seed, pumpkin seeds (pictured) or sunflower seeds.

Basic Sourdough Rye Bread

700 g rye sourdough starter
250 g dark rye flour
400 g bread flour
300 g water
20 g salt
10 g gluten
10 g malt, dissolved in water
(10 g yeast, optional)
(250 g cooked potatoes or seeds, optional)

Preheat the oven to 200 C or 400 F. From the ingredients work up a dough, let rise until doubled (preferably retard over night). Divide dough into two equal parts, form boules and place them in proofing baskets. Proof until visibly doubled. Turn baskets onto baking sheet lined with a greased sheet liner. Bake for about 45 – 60 minutes or until the internal temperature is at least 200 F and the thermometer shows no signs of wet dough on it. Let cool completely before cutting.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

How long did you preheat your oven???  :)  

The dough reads rather stiff before the cooked potato is added.   I read 65% hydration with rye and bread flour.  Did leaving out the potato and subbing seeds force you to add water?   

Again, beautiful!

GermanFoodie's picture

is at about 100% hydration and the dough itself therefore rather wet and pliable. Adding the potato or anything that will bind a little water actually helps with the texture. Oh, and thanks!!! :)