Free Recipe Rye Sourdough

 Free Rye Sour

I keep calling this Sourdough Rye, “Free Rye” because it is the Rye recipe on my recipe page of my site There it is called Sour Rye. It is a light Rye recipe with a high ratio of bread flour to Rye. It is an easy Rye to start with when new to sourdough baking. This wonderful baker named Britta inspired me to revisit this recipe because she is having a sourdough baking class and the two recipes on the page listed above are to be featured. Britta has sent me pictures of her bread baked with the San Francisco Starter using the Two Day Super Sour recipe that comes with the starter. Her sourdough looks terrific:

Britta's Bread

When she starts a bread blog I will link to it so you can see what she is up to with her classes etc.

Here is Sour Rye revisited. I increased some of the ingredients to make a larger batch, these two loaves weighed in at 3 lbs 8 oz each! and are hefty loaves.

Free Sour Rye:

Have your starter vigorous and feed it the day before mixing. Next day mix together in dough mixer:

  • 3 cups vigorous starter at 166% hydration(Danish Rye starter is best for this recipe but any starter will do)
  • 2 cups of warm water
  • 1 cup strong black coffee – cooled
  • 3 Tablespoons Oil
  • 1/4 cup Blackstrap molasses
  • 3 Tablespoons Caraway seeds
  • 2 Tablespoons dehydrated Onion Flakes
  • 1 Tablespoon Onion powder
  • 5 teaspoons non – iodized salt
  • 2 cups Rye flour – 7 oz
  • 11 cups of bread flour (at 4.5 oz per cup) -49.5 oz

This recipe including the molasses as liquid is 64 % hydration.

Follow the directions for mixing, proofing and baking, same as the Basic White Sourdough at:

Here is a picture journal of the Free Sour Rye:

This is how the dough looked after autolyse, you can see it is still sticky:

Rye dough after autolyse

Dough poured out

Pour out the dough when it is done proofing which takes around 6 hours.

Shape the loaves into boules if you want round loaves. I like to use baskets with around an 8″ diameter rim. I had one with an interesting design. I floured it very heavily, and with a little encouragement, the dough came out when it was time.

dough waiting to be put in the baskets

Both loaves are in there proofing baskets and ready to be put to sleep in the refrigerator overnight. I covered them with plastic bags before putting them in the fridge.

dough ready to proof

Next morning they had risen pretty well:

dough next morning

The first loaf was three hours proofing before going into the oven, here is what the basket looked like when the dough came out:

Use decorative baskets

Here is the first loaf:

See the design?

Here is the second loaf with the first loaf already sliced by it:

second loaf

I put the wine glass by the loaves to give you some idea of how large the loaves are:

Breads with wineglass

Here is a closeup of the crumb of the first loaf:

closeup of crumb

The loaf on the right was tucked under the other loaf because it already had it’s end cut off:

Two Sourdough Rye loaves

I baked these loaves ten minutes longer than the directions for a 2 lb loaf. Altogether they were baked for 40 minutes each and I turned the oven down to 400 degrees after the first fifteen minutes (450 degrees to start) under the steaming lid. Free Sour Rye, try some! It’s terrific! Moist, chewy and with a wonderful crust, thick, crusty….


3 Responses

  1. Thanks for this great picture guide to the Free Rye Recipe! It was a great reassurance to see how sticky the dough is supposed to be. That gave me the courage to LEAVE it sticky (and not dump cup after cup of flour into it) for my baking class. The Free Rye turned out great, except I forgot the salt! (Chatting with the class too much!) So far I have been using either linen or cotton cloth to line my baskets, but your photos give me the urge to try it without the cloth. Any hints so that I don’t have my dough stick to the bowl?
    Thanks so much for all the helpful information you give us through this blog and your web site on sourdough baking! I’ve learned more from you in two weeks than I had in two years of sourdough experiments (on my own.) Truly, Britta

  2. Great looking rye breads.
    Question. The proofing basket on the right… is that a proofing basket or just a plain old wicker basket? I’ve seen the one on the left at a cookware store but I have never seen one like the more ornate basket. It sure makes a pretty loaf. If it’s not sold as a proofing basket, you sure had a good idea to turn it into one.

  3. Hi, Sourdough Starters!

    My name is Shannon and I’m the editorial assistant at I am very impressed with the quality of your posts and to that end, I’d like to invite you to be a part of our newly launched Foodbuzz Featured Publisher program. I would love to send you more details about the program, so if you are interested, please email me at


    Shannon Eliot
    Editorial Assistant,

    P.S. Your photos are great. I might actually overcome my intimidation and give rye a try!

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