I’ve been on the hunt to create the perfect recipe for sourdough rye bread with caraway seeds. I finally figured it out!!! Light and fluffy, but full of rye flavor!

I love rye bread! Every time I go out for breakfast, I ask for rye toast. I love rubens. I love everything about rye bread. Unfortunately, my family is not a huge fan…except on St. Patrick’s day! Any time I can put this delicious corned beef on rye, they will gobble it up!

So I went on a quest to make the most delicious, fluffy, soft sourdough rye bread. I think I figured out the perfect formula, so I wanted to share it with you today – just in time for St. Patrick’s Day!

How to make sourdough bread with caraway seeds

Once you’ve learned how to make basic sourdough bread, it’s pretty easy to play around with the recipe and adapt it. One thing I’ve tried to stick to is never adding more than 30% of my total flour weight as whole grain flour.

I’ve tried it with 100% and it was….well….not great. It was SO dense and not really enjoyable. So stick to 30% whole grain flour and you can’t go wrong.

Step 1 Weigh and combine sourdough rye bread ingredients

Just like regular sourdough bread, this recipe takes almost no ingredients! Add freshly fed sourdough starter, regular flour, rye flour, salt, water, and caraway seeds to the bowl. You can mix it with a Kitchen Aid dough hook for about 5 minutes. Alternately, stir it with a wooden spoon and then finish by working all the dry flour in with your hands, kind of kneading and working it until it’s all combined.

Step 2 Stretch and folds

Every 30 minutes for the first 2 hours, do a series of stretch and folds on the dough. Because you don’t knead sourdough, you still have to develop the gluten to give the bread structure. You do that through stretch and folds.

Simply stretch the dough, and then fold it over. Turn the bowl 1/4 turn and repeat. Do this 4-8 times until the dough is tight and will not allow you to do it any more. You can also watch this video to show you how. Repeat that process every 30 minutes.

sourdough rye bread rising

Step 3 Long rise

You’ll want to allow the dough to rise for 8-12 hours. Sourdough is not an exact science, so the rise time really depends on the temperature of your home.

I often make this dough about 2 hours before bedtime and then let it rise all night long. You could also make it as soon as you wake up in the morning and then let it rise until bedtime. Either one will work well!

Step 4 Shape into loaves

Divide the dough in half (or thirds if you are using loaf pans). This video shows how to shape a loaf.

There’s a couple ways you can shape these loaves. I included pictures of a round loaf as well as a long loaf and they were from the same batch. I have a round banneton and a long banneton, so I used those.

I’ve also used a small mixing bowl with a floured tea towel to line it. That works just fine! You could also shape the loaves and put them into loaf pans. That way they are super easy to cut into sandwich slices!

Step 5 Put in fridge or allow to rise

At this point, you can allow it to rise for around 2 hours and then bake it, or you can pop them in the fridge and then bake them sometime in the next 2-3 days. I love the long extra rise in the refrigerator. It develops the flavor more, and also allows that sourdough culture to keep eating up the carbs and gluten!

Step 6 Bake

Cast Iron Dutch Oven Method

Preheat your oven to 450 degrees with your cast iron pan and lid inside the oven. After it has preheated for about an hour, turn the sourdough loaf over onto parchment paper. Score the top and then slide the parchment paper and loaf into the cast iron pot and put the lid on. Cook 20 min, remove lid and cook for another 10-20 min (depending on how dark you’d like it).

Metal Loaf Pan Method

Preheat your oven to 450 degrees. Score your loaves. Cover the loaf pan with another loaf pan. Secure the loaf pans together with metal binder clips to keep the steam trapped inside. Bake for 20 min, remove top pan and cook for another 10-20 min (depending on how dark you’d like it).

sourdough rye bread with caraway seeds

How to store your sourdough rye bread with caraway seeds

Just like all sourdough bread, you’ll want to store it in an airtight container. The only bad thing about that is that the exterior that started kind of hard and crackly gets a bit soft when stored this way. But it does keep it super fresh!

If you have a big enough glass or plastic container, you could use that. I mostly store my sourdough in a 1 gallon or 2 gallon zip top bag.

When I put it in, I kind of roll it to make sure all the air is out of the bag and then seal it. The air is actually what causes it to get stale, so I try to keep as much of that out as I can!

You can also make a few loaves and store some in an airtight container or zip top bag in the freezer. When you pull it out and slice it, you’ll think it was made fresh that day!

sliced bread from above

How long will the sourdough rye bread last?

I find that with most of my sourdough, it lasts well for about 3-5 days. With three big kids, plus my hubby and I, it doesn’t usually last that long around here! But unlike storebought bread that has preservatives in it, sourdough bread will begin to mold after about 5 days (quicker in a humid environment).

Where to get the unusual ingredients

I searched and searched for caraway seeds in so many stores around me and just struck out. Since I couldn’t find caraway seeds locally, I picked them up on Amazon. They came quickly and tasted great. I wish I had done that to begin with!

My brother in law owns a sourdough bakery in Michigan, so he passed along the light rye to me, but here’s the kind I will probably buy in the future once I run out. I may even try this bread with a nice dark rye sometime. Yum!

Do you love rye bread? If you do, I hope you’ll try this recipe!

Sourdough Rye Bread with Caraway Seeds

I've been on the hunt to create the perfect recipe for sourdough rye bread with caraway seeds. I finally figured it out!!! Light and fluffy, but full of rye flavor!
Servings 2 900g loaves (approx)

Ingredients
  

  • 180 grams freshly fed sourdough starter
  • 650 grams all purpose OR bread flour
  • 400 grams light rye flour
  • 760 grams water
  • 25 grams salt
  • 20 grams caraway seeds

Instructions
 

Mix ingredients

  • Just like regular sourdough bread, this recipe takes almost no ingredients! Add freshly fed sourdough starter, regular flour, rye flour, salt, water, and caraway seeds to the bowl. You can mix it with a Kitchen Aid dough hook for about 5 minutes.
    Alternately, stir it with a wooden spoon and then finish by working all the dry flour in with your hands, kind of kneading and working it until it's all combined. 

Stretch and folds

  • Every 30 minutes for the first 2 hours, do a series of stretch and folds on the dough. Because you don't knead sourdough, you still have to develop the gluten to give the bread structure. You do that through stretch and folds.
    Simply stretch the dough, and then fold it over. Turn the bowl 1/4 turn and repeat. Do this 4-8 times until the dough is tight and will not allow you to do it any more. Repeat that process every 30 min.

Long rise

  • You'll want to allow the dough to rise for 8-12 hours. Sourdough is not an exact science, so the rise time really depends on the temperature of your home. 
    I often make this dough about 2 hours before bedtime and then let it rise all night long. You could also make it as soon as you wake up in the morning and then let it rise until bedtime. Either one will work well!

Shape into loaves

  • Divide the dough in half (or thirds if you are using loaf pans).  This video shows how to shape a loaf.
    There's a couple ways you can shape these loaves. I included pictures of a round loaf as well as a long loaf and they were from the same batch. I have a round banneton and a long banneton, so I used those. 
    I've also used a small mixing bowl with a floured tea towel to line it. That works just fine! You could also shape the loaves and put them into loaf pans. That way they are super easy to cut into sandwich slices!

2nd rise

  • At this point, you can allow it to rise for around 2 hours and then bake it, or you can pop them in the fridge and then bake them sometime in the next 2-3 days. I love the long extra rise in the refrigerator. It develops the flavor more, and also allows that sourdough culture to keep eating up the carbs and gluten!

Bake

  • Cast Iron Method:
    Preheat your oven to 450 degrees with your cast iron pan and lid inside the oven. After it has preheated for about an hour, turn the sourdough loaf over onto parchment paper. Score the top and then slide the parchment paper and loaf into the cast iron pot and put the lid on. Cook 20 min, remove lid and cook for another 10-20 min (depending on how dark you'd like it).
    Loaf Pan Method:
    Preheat your oven to 450 degrees. Score your loaves. Cover the loaf pan with another loaf pan. Secure the loaf pans together with metal binder clips to keep the steam trapped inside. Bake for 20 min, remove top pan and cook for another 10-20 min (depending on how dark you'd like it).Metal Loaf Pan Method

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