Simple rye sourdough loaf


This morning we had no bread for breakfast, discounting toast soldiers to go with a soft boiled organic egg. Have you tried toast soldiers with your soft-boiled egg? I had forgotten how good they can be, however, store bought toast bread can’t hold a crust to home-made rye flour sourdough. I made a loaf today, it turned out very nicely, so I thought I’d bring some bread to the Sunday edition of Angie’s fiesta Friday, the virtual feel good party over at the Novice Gardener’s – I bring warm crusty bread to the party!  If you leave out the whey powder it will be a vegan loaf. Hearty, tasty, great with cheese and chutney and lower on sugar than recipes I have seen from the US (where some of my recipe books use up to 1/4 cup of sugar for 3 cups of flour, which seems bizarre).

The loaf below has a satisfying texture, and it bakes up with a good crust, it goes well with cheese and tomatoes, a ploughman’s lunch, or a soup of some kind

Rye flour sourdough loaf

Dry: 200g semolina flour, 200g white flour or wholemeal if you have it handy which I didn’t, 600g rye flour

Leavening; 2 packets instant dried yeast, 1 pack sourdough starter *,  I used Bio Vegan Seitenbacher Sourdough Starter, but as this is a global type of blog you are going to have to use what you can find in your local grocery store

Wet: 750 ml warm water

Salt: 15g

Agave nectar:  1 teaspoon, you could add sugar of course too, but I like the idea that the yeast will have easily accessible fluid sugars to work with in the nectar which is why I used that instead

Whey powder: optional but if you have some handy add in 1 heaped tablespoon, helps the bread rise nicely by feeding the yeast, that is my theory at least.


  • Mix all dry ingredients, add in dry yeast, mix the sourdough starter with the warm (not hot!) water and bring together to form a soft dough. You may need more water to bring it together. Use your kitchen aid if you need kneading help.
  • Leave to double in size, knead again, leave to double in size again, knead again and separate into two loaves.
  • Slash the tops of the loaves and paint with water, then sprinkle with nut and seed mixture if you have one handy, I have a mix with pumpkin, sunflower, linseed, sesame seeds etc. that happened to be ready to sprinkle on top
  • Switch on oven to 200°C and place a pan of water in the oven if you don’t have a steam injection oven, this helps the breads rise better in the meantime leave the breads to rise for 15 minutes
  • Bake at 200°C for 10 minutes, then lower the temperature to 180°C for 35 – 40 minutes, bread is finished when it sounds hollow when you tap the bottom

Remove from oven and cut a slice, slather with butter and honey and serve to appreciative audience. Else hold off, and wait till cool, chop some tomatoes, some Basil and rub into the top of the slices of bread, sprinkle with salt and dribble some high quality olive oil over the top.

Heaven on a plate! Enjoy and let me know if you do!





* if in the US you could try this German brand Seitenbacher – 10 packs for 24.78 $

24 thoughts on “Simple rye sourdough loaf

  1. Gorgeous loaves of bread Polianthus! I’ve never made sourdough before, but buy a beautiful locally made bread that is quite similar… it has caraway seeds through it, which you come across slightly randomly and get a fabulous hit of spice. Something so nourishing about this type of bread. Thanks so much for bringing this along to the FF table this week!

    • Dear Margot – thanks very much for your lovely comment, these are really easy to make, caraway is a classic addition too, and goes really well with sourdough and cheese 🙂 – happy monday Poli

    • Really? – how nice to hear that the bread is inspiring 🙂 – so many different things from all around the world that we all want to try, let me know how you get on if you ever do get round to it, there is so much to cook and so little time! have a wonderful week 🙂 Poli

    • Hi Anna – I didnt used to make it either, but it is so easy and delicious, you can of course only prove the dough once as is recommended in many fast recipes, proving it 3 times though makes for a springier inside and finer crumb, so I think it is worth doing that. If you do give it a go let me know 🙂

  2. Hoorah, fresh crusty bread! I didn’t know you can buy sourdough starter in a packet, and here I was trying to keep my poor Patrick alive, ish. 😛
    This is a gorgeous loaf, and without a huge number of additions (which seems to be in a few rye / pumpernickel recipes?). Thank you for bringing it to Fiesta Friday!
    Ps, I’m still chuckling at the story of your morbid date with the pilot, and I thought lawyers and accountants knew how to have fun!

    • yes you can – at least in German speaking countries, that is what you get for living here, sourdough in packages and crap customer service. I will post about that in a moment still fuming….simple loaf, almost no additions – simple and plain which is how I like it. PS ah the morbid date, I spent years working as a scientist I like having fun with silly experiments, a guy I dated for many years spent our first date drawing the formulas for nitroglycerine on napkins 🙂 I guess I am a nerdy kinda gal…

  3. Beautiful loaves Poli!!– I didn’t know you could get sour dough started at a store either! I thought you had to nurse along a batch at home to have it at the ready. I’m going to look… and the only place I’d heard of “toast soldiers” before here, was my son-in-law who grew up in Hong Kong eating them! funny. Pretty post! thanks.

    • Hi Rhonda – oh I guess you can make them at home too and fight your way along, the store bought option is so much easier 🙂 – in this case I go for pre-made materials. I am not a patient person, and getting a starter started and then coddling it for 9 days, means spontaneous breadmakeing is not an option :). Let me know if you find a sourdough starter, as said you can order on amazon or I would have thought trader joes might stock it? Or maybe a local bakery will sell you some? Toast soldiers is such an English thing, I guess that is why they would have been known in HK too 🙂

      • My sister has sourdough starter living in her kitchen– but she is really a super cook. I don’t think I could nurture it sufficiently (thinking back on what I do to houseplants!)– I will look for store bought starter…

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