Rye Sourdough

Mmm sourdough.


This dough was wetter than the last sourdough I made, which is supposed to result in a larger crumb structure.


This is also sort of a no-knead recipe, in the sense that the “kneading” that you do is really just stirring with a spoon.


The smell from this bread is incredible. The aroma of the rye, molasses, fennel seed, and caraway seed just complemented each other so well. It kind of tastes like something you can get in a Scandinavian country.


I also used a different scoring pattern (and actually remembered to score it before putting it in the oven). This scoring pattern is supposed to help it rise upwards, and it was noticeably taller than my previous sourdough.

I also managed to get bread “ears” (Ok, one and a half ears). It is the overhang of crust (also known as grigne or gringe) formed by properly kneading, shaping, scoring, and baking the dough. Once I get the hang of scoring and a sharper knife maybe I’ll actually get proper ears. One day.

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I also underbaked my bread a little ): probably by a minute or two. Nothing that can’t be solved by a quick pop in the toaster! This bread tasted amazing dipped in olive oil.

I adapted the recipe from here. I changed the water content since my sourdough starter was noticeably wetter than his, and just aimed for a general 75% hydration (see notes). I also omitted the anise seed and orange zest as I didn’t have any.


  • 350g water
  • 70g sourdough starter (see how to make this from a previous post. This recipe assumes a 100% hydration starter.)
  • 245g rye flour
  • 245g bread flour
  • 44g molasses AKA black treacle if you live in the UK like me
  • 8g fennel seed
  • 3g caraway seed
  • 12g salt


  1. Mix starter into water. Add molasses and seeds, and mix.
  2. In separate bowl, combine the flours and salt.
  3. Gradually add the dry ingredients into the wet, stirring between additions. Stir until well incorporated.
  4. Cover with plastic and let rest for 15 mins. Mix, and then rest for 15 mins. Mix again, and then rest for 15 mins. Mix for a final time.
  5. Let rise for 12-14 hours.
  6. Stretch and fold and shape (see how to here). Let rest for 15 mins before putting in a proofing basket for 1-1.5 hours.
  7. Score the dough. Bake in a preheated 250°C (475°F) oven for about 45-50 mins, or until your dough reaches an internal temperature of 93°C (200°F). Tap your bread from the top and bottom. It should sound hollow if it’s done. Let bread cool before cutting.


  • Determine your hydration level by calculating the weight of your water as a percentage of the weight of your flours used.
  • This dough is wet and difficult to handle. Oil your surface. Using a bench scraper will help you greatly. Wet all utensils (like your hands or the scraper) to prevent the dough from sticking to it.
  • I found the fennel taste to be a little too strong for my liking, but it could be because I’m not used to it. Adjust according to how strong your fennel seeds are/your personal preference.
  • This recipe can be adapted to an instant yeast version. Follow the instructions here.
  • To score your dough properly, make sure to use a sharp knife! Slice with quick movements without hesitation to avoid dragging the dough. Cut about 1/4 – 1/2 inch deep.

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