The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

rye-wheat bread German style

harrygermany's picture

rye-wheat bread German style

This is a top rye-wheat bread, easy to make (after a recipe of Elkecarola at

The trick with this fantastic bread is, that it has a sourdough (SD) made from wholemeal. So the SD is a soaker as well, which binds a lot of liquid and thus makes the bread juicy.

rye-wheat bread   2 loaves of ca 850 g each; hydration 73%

700 g rye-sourdough (made from wholemeal) See below!
400 g rye flour
400 g all-purpose wheat flour
450 g water
25 g salt
1 pouch (7 g) dry yeast or 21 g fresh yeast
(The recipe also works without any added yeast, but the yeast makes it success proof and quickens the prove.)

700 g rye-sourdough (made from  wholemeal by a 3-stage-build):

day before:
* 1. stage rye SD:
50 g rye SD starter
50 g rye wholemeal flour
70 g warm water
stir and keep warm (77°F) for 5 hours
in a bowl closed by a lid. Choose a bowl of about 4 liters/1 gallon.

(directly afterwards)
* 2. stage rye SD:
90 g rye wholemeal flour
70 g warm water
add to the SD, stir and keep for 12 hours or longer with 70°F.

backing day:
* 3. stage rye SD:
190 g rye wholemeal flour
230 g warm water
add to the SD, stir and keep for 3 hours with 95°F.

(The 95°F you can achieve by the lamp in an electric oven (control!).
Or by an hot-water bottle under a quilt. Do not heat over 105°F.)

!!! Take away 50 g SD as starter for the next bake !!!

* Mix all ingredients (rye-sourdough, rye flour, all-purpose wheat flour, water with solved yeast, salt) and knead well (by mixer ca 7 minutes, by hand longer).

* Let the dough rest 20 minutes. (cover and keep warm)

* Knead short by hand. Let the dough rest 5 minutes.

* Shape two loaves, give them surface tension and place them in floured dough rising baskets. Cover with a cloth.
Let the loaves rise in a warm place until volume has doubled. This might require 60-90 minutes (with yeast) or up to 5 hours (no yeast).

* Very carefully place the loaves on a baking sheet with baking paper.

* Start baking with 480°F for 15 minutes. Steam once within the first 3 minutes.
(To steam, use a fresh flower spray, spray hot water against the hot inner walls of the oven. Don't hit the electric lamp!)

* Turn down the heat to 400°F and finish baking in another 50 minutes.

* Let the loaves cool down uncovered on a grate.

That is one of my standard breads. We have it every day together with 3 other kinds of bread.
It goes with honey and jam as well as with sausage and ham. It is a tasty allround-bread.

Waiting for your questions and criticism


harrygermany's picture


most of you do not have a rye sourdough starter.
You can take a wheat sourdough starter or create your own rye sourdough starter.

In short:

1. day:
Mix in a bowl with a lid
100 g rye flour and
100 g warm water.
Stir and keep in a warm place for 24 hours.

2. day:
100 g rye flour and
100 g warm water.
Stir and keep in a warm place for 24 hours.

3. day:
100 g rye flour and
100 g warm water.
Stir and keep in a warm place for 24 hours.

4. day:
100 g rye flour and
100 g warm water.
Stir and keep in a warm place for 24 hours.


Keep 100 g of your bubbling sourdough in a twist-off-glass in the fridge. That is your starter now.
Feed every week once with 2 tablespoons of rye flour and a little water.
Stir well.
In my country people give names to their sourdoughs and treat them like pets!

With the rest of 700 g sourdough bake a rye-wheat bread.

By the way: Rye flour needs acid to be ready for baking.
The sourdough has the acid.
For a bread with rye flour turn 30-50% of the rye flour sour in a sourdough.
A wheat-rye bread 30%, a pure rye bread 50%.


Everyone is a stranger somewhere -
so don´t give narrowmindedness or
intolerance no chance nowhere.

goetter's picture

If I named all of my starters I'd never remember their names!  Let's see: there's the 125% hydration rye wholemeal well-water starter, the 100% hydration rye wholemeal city-water starter, the 100% hydration white AP well-water starter, the 60% hydration white AP well-water starter, and the 60% hydration white AP city-water starter.

The first rye started life as "Steve," yes, but Steve has since had so many children that I'm reduce to calling them all "Hey, you."

No obsession here, no, certainly not.

buns of steel's picture
buns of steel

Thanks for posting this Harry.  I'm new here (in Canada) but I really enjoy a german rye hearthbread I buy at a German gourmet food shop that is a 2 hour drive away.  I'm hoping this will be something like it.  If my memory serves me correctly, I think their bread they call Holzofenbrot, it is baked in huge loaves, in a wood fired oven, then they cut it into large slabs and sell by weight.  Do you possibly know the type of bread I'm talking about, I think that word might just mean it's wood fired.  The crumb is light but dense and uniform, not wet but moist, hard to describe, crust very dark.


I'll look forward to baking your bread when I get the chance, I ran out of rye on the weekend, and I have to finish baking the Springerle first. ;)


As for naming the "pets", my husband mocks me enough when we are trying to leave for vacation and I have to feed the starters before we can leave.