Jeffrey's Sourdough Rye Bread

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dairy free, whole grain
Recipe photo
Hands-on time:
Baking time:
Total time:
Yield: 1 loaf

Recipe photo

The technique for this recipe is inspired by Jeffrey Hamelman's book Bread: A Baker's Book of Techniques and Recipes. We love the bread for its full sourdough flavor and keeping quality. Because of the high percentage of rye in this recipe, we suggest you familiarize yourself with this particular grain before getting your hands into the dough; it can be a little finicky if you're unprepared. Additionally, you'll need a stand mixer for this recipe in order to mix the dough as effectively and thoroughly as it needs to be mixed.

Jeffrey's Sourdough Rye Bread

star rating (5) rate this recipe »
dairy free, whole grain
Hands-on time:
Baking time:
Total time: Overnight,
Yield: 1 loaf
Published: 06/30/2014





1) To make the starter: Mix all of the ingredients together in the bowl of an electric mixer. Cover and let sit for 14 to 16 hours at room temperature.

2) To make the dough: Add the remaining ingredients to the bowl. Using the dough hook, mix and knead for 3 minutes on first speed, and about 2 minutes on second speed; the dough will be shaggy, and won't look kneaded.

3) Cover the dough and let it rest for 30 to 45 minutes; it won't rise significantly.

4) Gently deflate the dough, shape it into a ball, and place it into a stoneware bread-baking bowl, or onto a parchment-lined or lightly greased baking sheet.

5) Cover the loaf and let it rise for 50 to 60 minutes in a warm place.

6) Preheat the oven to 450°F.

7) Slash a cross onto the top of the bread, to allow for expansion.

8) Bake the bread for 15 minutes, then lower the oven temperature to 425°F, and continue baking for 20 to 30 minutes, until the loaf's surface is golden brown.

9) Remove the bread from the oven and, after 5 minutes, transfer it to a rack to cool completely. The baked bread should rest for 24 hours before slicing, for best quality.

10) Store bread at room temperature, loosely wrapped, for up to 5 days or so; freeze for longer storage.

Yield: 1 loaf.


  • star rating 05/03/2015
  • Georg from Winston-Salem, NC
  • Great recipe. It provides the taste, crust, and crumb that I grew up on in New Jersey. Directions are clear enough even for an inexperienced bread baker like me to succeed. Minor comment: I use the recipe as printed in the KAF catalogue for July, 2014. On your website, a phrase has been added to this recipe describing it as "whole grain". Is the "KAF medium rye flour" called for in the recipe really "whole grain"?
    Georg, you are correct that the medium rye is not completely whole grain. I will pass on your comments. Barb@KAF
  • star rating 07/20/2014
  • Patty from Lyons
  • I purchased the round, uncovered bread baking bowl and used it for the first time to make this bread. I followed the directions, rising and baking the loaf in the bread making bowl, but it stuck securely to the bottom of the pan after baking. I could not get it out in one piece. I am an experienced bread baker and have several other clay bakers that I routinely use. I usually pre-heat the bakers and carefully add the dough to the hot pan, and it never sticks. Once, I did let a no-knead bread rise in the baker, but I greased the baker first. (It did not stick.) In spite of my baking problems, I liked the flavor of this rye bread, but I doubt I'll try it again. I added caraway seeds - what is rye bread without caraway? Personally, I think that for a rye bread, the sourdough flavor will not come through the strong flavor of rye and (in my case) caraway seeds.
    I'm sorry that this bread stuck in your new bread baking bowl. We do recommend that you oil the bowl before each use and sprinkle a coarse grain on the bottom (such as cornmeal, rice flour, or semolina) to prevent sticking. You may want to sprinkle generously the first few times you use the bowl. Barb@KAF
  • star rating 07/15/2014
  • spud14901 from KAF Community
  • My sourdough starter is about two months old. It smells and tastes very sour. I made this recipe twice with the same results. There was no sourdough taste. It taste like a rye bread. I used KA Medium Rye Flour and KA Unbleached Bread Flour. The second time I made it I used a cup (yes a cup) of fed sourdough starter for the sponge. I followed the recipe exactly the first time and except for the huge increase in volume of starter I followed the directions again. The bread looks great and taste like a nice rye bread but no sourdough taste. So it must be my starter? The only question I did have is if the bread is supposed to be covered during the baking or not.
    If a more tangy flavor is what you are after try doing longer cooler rises. The second rise could take place in the frig and overnight. Do not allow the second rise to take place in the bread baking bowl or similar vessel due to risk of thermal shock. Line a pot or a bowl of like size with a large piece of parchment. Cover and rise in the frig. While the oven is preheating, gently lift the dough that is cradled in the parchment and place into a baking bowl or crock. Follow the recipe as written. You have the option of covering or not covering. If you cover, remove the lid during the last 10-15 minutes so the loaf can brown. Enjoy! Elisabeth@KAF
  • star rating 07/13/2014
  • Ilene from Somerville
  • I think this bread has lots of taste. It took awhile to make as I had to wake up the starter and go from there. I used KA Perfect Rye flour and my family thought it was delicious. The recipe in your catalog said nothing about how to store during the 24 hours you wait before eating it. Mine looks like the picture. It isn't a huge loaf, but it's not a lot of flour either. I'll make it again.
  • star rating 07/10/2014
  • Helen from Florida
  • This was a failure for me. I used another company's whole grain rye because I couldn't get KA's locally and I baked it in the cloche covered baker. I followed the directions, having to add a little flour to get it to shape into a ball, but it wasn't too dry. I preheated the oven, put it in with the lid, took the lid off after 15 min. when I turned down the temperature. It only rose to 1 1/2" and the flavor is not good, I think it needs salt. The short knead and first rise time concerned me, perhaps pictures in a blog would help. I probably won't do this one again. I realize that it may have been the flour or me just not seeing what the dough needed, but I've baked a lot of bread, including artisans and sandwich rye, and I used a stand mixer.
    Rye flours can vary quite a lot in how finely or coarsely they are ground, which has a big impact on how much liquid they absorb. This may have contributed to your difficulties with this recipe. We do appreciate the feedback and encourage you to call our Baker's Hotline at 855-371-2253 for help in troubleshooting this or any recipe. Barb@KAF

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