Total Time
2hrs 55mins
Prep 20 mins
Cook 2 hrs 35 mins

Rye bread is a hearty staple in German homes. This recipe makes a delicious rustic loaf with a thick, crunchy crust and soft, flavorsome interior. I've given easy directions for making it using a KitchenAid stand mixer. Adapted from a recipe by Sunset Breads (1995)

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Combine starter, rye flour, and one cup of the water in a large bowl; stir to blend; if you'd like an extra-sour flavor, cover mixture with plastic wrap and let stand in a warm place 6-24 hours (I let mine go six hours) until bubbly and sour, even boozy, smelling.
  2. Combine yeast and remaining water in small bowl; let stand about 5 minutes until foamy; stir into sourdough mixture; add whole-wheat flour, 1 3/4 cups of the all-purpose flour, salt, sugar, and caraway seeds; stir (in KitchenAid stand mixer on low speed) until dough comes together.
  3. Knead 9-10 minutes (in KitchenAid stand mixer on speed #2) until dough is smooth and springy; add more all-purpose flour, a tablespoon or two at a time during the kneading process as necessary to reduce excess stickiness (this particular dough will remain somewhat sticky); cover and let rise about 1 - 1 1/2 hours in a warm place until doubled.
  4. Punch down dough and knead a few strokes to release air; shape into a round loaf and place on a baking stone or a greasing baking sheet; cover loaf lightly and allow to rise about 30 minutes until almost doubled.
  5. Cut a couple small slashes about 3/4" deep on top of loaf; spray loaf with water and bake at 425° for 9 minutes, spraying loaf after 3, 6, and 9 minutes; reduce oven temperature to 400° and bake another 20-25 minutes until loaf is browned and sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom; transfer finished loaf to cooling rack.
  6. NOTE: If you opt to let your starter and rye combination stand for several hours, you can get by without the additional yeast ~ Just plan on increased rising times.
Most Helpful

5 5

Absolutely delicious! I made it as directed, allowing the rye/sourdough starter to steep for 12 hours. I was using my new clay baker, and I love the way the crust came out in it! Next time I make it, I will skip the dry yeast and allow it to rise for a longer time. Admittedly, I should have let it rise longer, but I was so eager to try it! Thanks, Deb, this is fantastic bread, and I'll definately make it again soon!!

5 5

OMG Great sour dough rye flavor. I did not have any wheat flour so I just used white & rye. I let the rye & starter proof over night and still added the yeast. We are at 4000 ft elevation so I let the dough rise 3 times. I love this bread. I want to try in in a loaf pan for easier slicing for sandwiches. But the basic recipe is wonderful!!!

5 5

Very good rye bread. I quadrupled the recipe and baked it in loaf pans. I let the sponge sit for 12 hrs. I proofed my starter before hand so I didn't use the dry yeast. I got very good rise both in the bowl and in the loaf pan, although there was very little oven spring. I didn't spray the loaves because we don't like hard crust, in fact I brushed the top with butter when it came out of the oven. I will make this again.