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Rye Sourdough Bread


Making your own sourdough can be daunting but it’s an immensely satisfying process…

Rye Sourdough Bread Recipe

Makes 2 loaves

Making your own sourdough can be daunting but it’s an immensely satisfying process. The main thing to be aware of is that it takes time, but it’s not particularly difficult. The best bit of kit you can buy for home bread baking is a cast iron skillet or casserole as it retains the heat really well so mimics a stone oven and, when used with a lid, helps trap steam.


For the Bread

  • 220g strong white flour
  • 40g rye flour
  • 70g sunflower seeds, soaked overnight in 110g cold water
  • 50g malted rye, soaked overnight in 110g boiling water
  • 150g rye sourdough starter
  • 10g salt


For the Rye Sourdough Starter

Day 1

  • 200g water
  • 200g rye flour
  • 100g grated apple

Day 3

  • 200g water
  • 200g rye flour


For the Bread

  1. Put all the ingredients in a bowl and mix together by hand to form a rough dough
  2. Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface until it can be stretched out thinly enough to start to see through it
  3. Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl and cover with a cloth. Allow to prove at room temperature for 1 hour
  4. Fold the dough – bring in the sides to the middle first, then fold both ends into the middle
  5. Place the dough back in the bowl (seam down) and cover again. Prove for another hour or until the dough has doubled in size
  6. Divide the dough in two and turn it over to form a ball in your hands
  7. Place each ball in a floured proving basket or bowl and cover with a cloth again. Allow to prove for one more hour or until the dough has increased by another third
  8. Preheat the oven and baking tray, skillet or casserole to 230°C
  9. Turn the dough out onto a floured peel or your pre-heated baking tray and slash the dough with a sharp knife
  10. Transfer your dough to the skillet or casserole, or leave it on the tray, and bake for 35-45 minutes until crusty and golden brown. If using a casserole, you can use the lid to trap steam and help form a crust in the first 15 minutes of baking (remove after this time). Once baked, the loaves should sound hollow when the underside is tapped.


For the Rye Sourdough Starter

Day 1-3

  1. Mix water, 35°C, with flour and grated apple in a stainless steel bowl. Pour into a 2L glass jar with a lid
  2. Place the jar in a warm place, ideally 26-30°C, for 3 days. Speed up the process by stirring once a day

Day 4

Transfer this starter base to a large bowl. Add 200g flour and 200g water, 35°C. Stir carefully with a ladle and leave for another 24 hours at the same temperature as before.

Day 5

The sourdough is now ready to use. Store it in the fridge until you’re ready to bake.

To keep your starter active, discard some daily and feed the remainder with equal parts of flour and water.

Further Information

Swedish master baker, Jan Hedh, helped develop the recipe for Peter’s Yard Original Sourdough Crispbread. His Rye Sourdough Starter uses grated apple to speed up the fermentation process.

Credit: Recipe & all associated images With Copyright Owner Permission of Peter's Yard

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