Total Time
1hr 5mins
Prep 15 mins
Cook 50 mins

A good bread that gets along well with cheeses and corned beef or pastrami. I started with a recipe from King Arthur Flour web site and made many changes over time. It now bears little resemblance to the original recipe.

Ingredients Nutrition

  • sponge

  • 1 cup sourdough starter (133 gm flour, 133 gm water)
  • 1 13 cups black coffee (room temperature, 298 gm)
  • 2 cups stone ground rye flour (261 gm)
  • Dough

  • 2 teaspoons salt (table, 14 gms)
  • 14 cup molasses (57 gm)
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour (131 gm)
  • 2 cups bread flour (267 gm)
  • 12 cup water (scant 1/2 cup, luke warm, 105 gm)


  1. Using a proofed 100% hydrated starter, make the sponge in a large bowl.
  2. Cover and let sit on counter for 5 to 12 hours at room temperature. Longer times means a more sour bread.
  3. Add the dough ingredients to the sponge and mix well.
  4. Cover and rest for 20 minutes.
  5. Knead by hand for about 5 minutes adding water or flour to keep the dough tacky, not sticky (not actually coming off on your hands).
  6. Place in a bowl that has been sprayed with oil and cover to let rise. I have a spot that averages 80 F for this and it's ideal.
  7. Stretch and fold every 40 minutes and return to rising, covered.
  8. When 1.5 times it's original volume, (2 to 3 hours depending on temperature) divide and form 2 loaves (freeform or 8 x 4 pans). If freeform, use a rising baskedt or a floured, cloth covered colander.
  9. Rest for 1 hour 30 minutes at 80 F or until it increased in size by 1.5 times.
  10. Preheat oven and a pan on the bottom of the oven for water to generate steam. As loaves are placed in the oven, add 2/3 cup of hot water to the pan.
  11. I invert the loaves onto parchment, score and set on a baking stone, but a sheet pan can be used.
  12. Bake at 375 for about 50 minutes until 205 F internal temperature. I rotate the loaves after 15 minutes and remove the steam pan at that time.
  13. cool on racks.
Most Helpful

Made this today and love it. Used malt extract in place of molasses. Very light and soft crumb, mopped up the lamb shank stew juices beautifully. Thanks!

atmt_51 July 25, 2015

I want to make this bread for my husband who is on a low salt diet. But when I started to do the math, 167 mg per slice, 28 slices, approx4700 mg. You start with 10,000 mg of salt. Am I missing something?

larmartwn March 24, 2015

excellent bread recipe. I rested the sponge overnight. The bread stays soft with an excellent texture. I will make this recipe often and share with friends

BK J. February 13, 2015