Sourdough Rye Bread
This sourdough rye bread recipe uses only rye flour. The final result is very similar to German pumpernickel.
Makes: 1 loaf
For the starter
  • 1 cup of rye flour
  • 1 cup of water
For the refreshment
  • 1 cup rye flour
  • 1 cup water
For the bread
  • 450 g (16 oz) rye flour
  • 380 g (13 oz) of starter
  • 90 g (3½ oz) water
  • ½ tsp salt
Make the starter
  1. Mix the rye flour and water in a large bowl. Cover and place in a warm place for 36-48 hours.
Refresh the starter
  1. Add the rye flour and water to the frothy starter. Mix well, cover and leave in a warm place for 24-48 hours.
To make the loaf
  1. Place the flour in a large bowl. Add the salt and mix well.
  2. Weigh out the starter and the water. Mix well, then add to the flour. Mix to a slightly sticky dough.
  3. Knead the dough for 5 minutes. Form into a ball, place into a lightly-oiled bowl, cover and leave in a warm place overnight.
  4. Turn the dough out and form into a brick shape. Place into a greased loaf tin (20cm x 11cm x 10cm, 8" x 4" x 4"), cover and put in a warm place for 4-5 hours to rise.
  5. Cover the loaf tin with a lid or aluminium foil. Bake at 170°C/340°F fan oven, 190°C/380°F conventional oven for 1 hour.
  6. After 1 hour turn the oven temperature down to 150°C/300°F fan oven, 170°C/340°F conventional oven and continue baking for 30 minutes.
  7. Leave the loaf to cool for 10 minutes before removing from the loaf tin and leaving to cool on a wire rack.
This is a dense bread which has a rich and slightly sweet flavour. You could make it as an alternative to German pumpernickel and it goes just as well with smoked cheeses and meats.

Place any leftover starter in a jar with a loose-fitting lid and store in the 'fridge. Feed from time to time with equal volumes of rye flour and water.

Weighing the starter and water gives more control over the ratios of the ingredients in your dough and is always recommended.