Marilyn's Whole Wheat And Rye Sourdough Bread

This moist and flavorful bread contains warm spices that add a background aroma to all sorts of beautifully decorated loaves and rolls. If you're a liverwurst-and-onions aficionado, try it on this bread, slathered with hot-sweet mustard. Heaven!

30 mins
25 to 30 mins
3 hrs
1 large loaf, 3 normal loaves, 4 mini loaves, or about 24 rolls
Marilyn's Whole Wheat And Rye Sourdough Bread


  1. Combine the yeast, milk, starter, sugar, salt, cardamom, and seeds. Stir in the rye flour and beat until the batter is smooth.

  2. Add the whole wheat flour, then the unbleached all-purpose flour, a cup at a time, stirring well after each addition. When the dough has formed a shaggy mass, turn it out onto a lightly floured counter.

  3. Knead the dough and add just as much flour as you need to keep the dough from sticking to the counter. The dough should be a little tacky, but not sticky.

  4. Place the dough in a greased bowl. Cover with a damp towel or plastic wrap and let rise until it has doubled in bulk, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

  5. Gently deflate the dough and place it on a lightly floured counter.

  6. Shape as desired; you can make one huge loaf, three normal loaves, four mini loaves, or about 24 rolls.

  7. Cover the loaves and let them rise for about 45 to 60 minutes, or until they're puffy.

  8. Preheat the oven to 400°F.

  9. If you've made loaves, slash them a couple of times across the top; this will help them rise evenly in the oven. Bake the bread for about 25 minutes, or until it's nicely browned and sounds hollow when thumped on the bottom; its internal temperature should be about 205°F. Remove from the oven, and cool on a rack.

  10. Store, well-wrapped, for 3 days on the counter. Freeze for up to 3 months.

Tips from our Bakers

  • Don’t have any starter? Here’s a recipe for homemade sourdough starter. If you're making it from scratch, you'll need to feed it for 5 to 7 days before it’s ready for baking. Want a head start? Purchase our classic fresh sourdough starter – it’ll be ready for baking about 24 hours after it arrives at your door. Looking for tips, techniques, and all kinds of great information about sourdough baking? Find what you need in our sourdough baking guide.

  • This recipe comes to us from Marilyn Mulgrew of Rochester, New York.
  • If you feed your starter first, the dough will rise a bit more quickly.
  • You can also reserve a small amount of dough and roll it into long, thin strips that can be snipped with scissors to form a stalk of wheat to decorate the top of each loaf.