Sourdough Rye Bread with Four Seeds

There aren’t many things I dislike as much as the supermarket, bleached, wheat flour breads stripped of all nutrition, texture and flavour. They taste of industrial yeast and make my guts suffer for hours after a meal. This was the FIRST EVER bread I made after months of my mum’s pleading and convincing that even the shop-bought pumpernickel does not compare to a home made loaf. Considering I knew close to nothing about baking breads and sour dough I expected it to be a complete disaster. To my surprise, it came out absolutely wonderful 🙂 This is this the bread I could eat every day – full of toasty flavours, moist, chewy with my favourite crispy crust. It is really worth all the work. Try it, you’re going to love it 🙂

Since the recipe uses a home-grown sourdough starter it is a little more time consuming and requires some accuracy. The recipe I share with you takes you step-by-step through all the stages.

1 day before baking, 10:30 PM

Sponge starter:

  • 45g *active sourdough rye flour starter
  • 100g whole grain rye flour
  • 65g lukewarm water

In a large bowl mix all ingredients, cover with plastic wrap and a towel, and leave in a warm, draft-free place.

Next, prepare the following:

  • 115g flax seeds
  • 170g lukewarm water

Place the seeds in a small bowl and cover with water. The mixture has to sit in a room temperature overnight, until a gel like substance forms and coats the flax seeds. It will keep the bread moist after baking.

The following day, 12:40 PM

  • 210g sponge starter
  • 100g whole grain rye flour (ideally type 720)
  • 400g lukewarm water
  • 20g salt

Combine all ingredients in a bowl of food mixer on medium speed until completely smooth. Cover with a towel and leave to rest in a warm place from 12:50-14:20 PM.

In the meantime, roast until lightly golden:

  • 100g sunflower seeds
  • 100g pumpkin seeds
  • 100g sesame seeds

Allow to cool in a separate bowl.


The proper dough, 2:20 PM

  • 730g sponge starter mix
  • 200g whole grain rye flour (type 720)
  • 350 whole grain wheat flour (I changed it to: 150g wheat flour, 100g barley flour and 100g dark rice flour)
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 250g lukewarm water
  • 285g flax seeds soaked in water
  • 300g roasted seeds

Measure out your flours and sift. Mix balsamic with lukewarm water (I use boiled water, never water from the tap).

Using the mixer (dough attachment) combine sponge starter dough and flax seeds, gradually add flour and water with balsamic. At the end, add the roasted seeds.


2:30PM – 2:40 PM: while the dough is resting prepare your tins (coat with oil ot butter and sprinkle with ground oats or flax seeds).

2:40 PM: divide the dough between two 9in x 5in tins, cover with plastic wrap and leave to rest and increase in volume (in a warm place) for about 3 hours.

Image5:40 PM: coat the top of bread dough with water or milk, it will add shine. Place in an oven preheated to 200°C (430°F). After 15 minutes lower the temperature to 200°C (390°F) and bake for another 30 minutes. Allow to cool for 1 hour before slicing.


…with a little bit of butter and honey. Heavenly.

* Active sourdough: in a 500ml glass jar combine 50g whole grain rye flour with 50g lukewarm water. Mix well, close the lid and leave in a warm place to ferment. “Feed” the mixture for 5 days every 12 hours, according to the following schedule (adjust the hours so that they are suitable for you, but keep the 12-routine):

  • 8 AM: feed the dough – add the same amount of water and flour (50g +50g), mix well and leave in warm place
  • 8 PM: only mix the dough and return to a warm place

Repeat these actions for 5 days after which the natural yeast should be well developed. It is not recommended to use sourdough younger than 5 days. You can store it in the fridge for up to 2 months, feeding it once a week to keep the yeast active.

7 thoughts on “Sourdough Rye Bread with Four Seeds

  1. Eileen Longo says:

    Okay, that does it—you are a bread maker—I would take bread over dessert any day( except for your magnificent chocolate cake)


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