100% Rye Bread

"From "Homemade Rye Bread According to Kristina" translated by duonyte on Food.com from the Lithuanian language. I've modified it keeping the same proportions in the final bread. It's a very good, dense bread that I love."
photo by Red_Apple_Guy photo by Red_Apple_Guy
photo by Red_Apple_Guy
Ready In:
9hrs 15mins
2 standard loaves


  • Sponge

  • 1 cup sourdough starter (liquid starter made with equal volumes of rye flour and water-250g)
  • 4 cups whole grain rye flour or 523 g whole grain rye flour
  • 3 cups lukewarm water or 684 g lukewarm water
  • Final dough

  • 6 tablespoons sugar or 75 g sugar
  • 2 tablespoons table salt or 18 g table salt
  • 3 tablespoons molasses or 42 g molasses
  • 2 tablespoons caraway seeds or 12 g caraway seeds
  • 4 cups whole grain rye flour or 523 g whole grain rye flour


  • Refresh a portion of your sourdough starter using equal parts rye flour and water. This will give you a rye starter that you can maintain like your other starter if you wish.
  • This dough is very sticky and cement-like. I find that frequently dipping spoons, scrapers and your fingers into water helps reduce the mess that this dough loves to make.
  • Make the sponge using a cup of the refreshed starter, the 3 cups of water, and the 4 cups of flour. Let this ferment, covered in a 70F to 80F area for 4 hours or until it doubles in volume. I use a clear, straight sided container to know when the fermentation is complete.
  • After fermentation, place the sponge into a large bowl and add the sugar, salt, molasses and caraway. Add the rye flour a portion at a time until all is well mixed. Cover and let rest for 20 minutes.
  • Scrape the dough onto a wetted counter. Traditional kneading is not possible. Using a wetted bench scraper and wet hands, just fold and mix as well as you can for a few minutes.
  • Divide the dough in half and form two balls of dough.
  • Spray two 8" x 4" bread pans (standard loaf pans) with oil and line with parchment paper. I spray the parchment paper as well.
  • Preheat your oven to 375°F.
  • Press the dough into the pans, smoothing with wet hands. Seeds or white flour can be added to the surface if desired. Cover with oiled plastic wrap. and let rise in a 70F to 80F area until the loaves rise about 30% (about 2- 3 hours).
  • Bake for 45 minutes or longer until the internal temperature is 200°F I rotate the loaves in the oven after 20 minutes of baking.
  • Remove the loaves from the pans and cool on a rack thoroughly before slicing. The taste improves with time and the bread will last for several days or more at room temperature.
  • Slice thinly - enjoy.

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My wife and I live just outside of Atlanta, GA. Two daughters live in town, one with my two grandsons. My son is living in California. I'm a retired environmental manager at a manufacturing facility. My Mom and Dad would have loved this site. Dad was a huge collector of recipes and was in the food industry. Mom was a terrific cook as well. Another influence was a roommate at the Universtiy of Arkansas that was an excellent cook. Today I enjoy barbecuing and grilling year round and cooking in general. My latest adventure is in bread baking. I'm loving it and going to school on it right here on the bread forum. I'm active in a terrific church and also love fly fishing and fly tying.
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