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Wholemeal loaf on rye starter

Wed, 28 June, 2017


Whole grain sourdough

This is mainly aimed at those people who harbour pots and tubs of weird gunk in their fridges. They are not your regular folks: they will refuse to join a weekend outing because they need to feed a new starter. They turn the central heating on in late spring to keep the starter cupboard, formerly known as airing cupboard, warm. They get up at the crack of dawn to give the dough the first stretch and fold. They keep a collection of razors and scalpels in their kitchen drawer and they call bubbles: ‘air pockets’.

People who bake bread and go about it properly, rather than spout nonsense about fermenting and gut health.

Wholemeal sourdough loaf

If you want to make this from scratch, be my guest but it’s really more of a last resort option for when you have only rye starter on the go – it being easier to handle and less capricious than the wheat one – and there’s only so much Borodinsky you can eat in a week.

Wholemeal loaf on rye starter

Servings: 1 small loafTime: 18 hours


  • For the rye starter (you won’t need the whole amount for the bread):
  • 100g dark rye flour
  • 200g very warm water (at 40C)
  • For the main dough:
  • 80g rye sourdough starter
  • 350g warm water
  • 500g wholemeal flour
  • 8g fine sea salt


1. The starter needs 4 days to develop; it can stand in the fridge for another day or two before you make the bread, but bring it back to room temperature before using.

2. In a large jar or a plastic tub with a lid mix 25g dark rye flour with 50g very warm water (at 40C, basically VERY WARM to the touch). Keep in the warmest place in the house you can find (airing cupboard does well). For four days every 24 hours add another 25g of rye flour and 50 g of warm water. You should get a bubbly starter – bubbles are the sign of life here, it doesn’t significantly expand.

3. Scoop up 80g of the rye starter – stir it well if it separated – and disperse with the warm water in a bowl. Add the wholemeal flour and the salt. Knead by hand or in a standing mixer with a dough hook attachment; it should be soft but not sticky.

Wheat sourdough on rye

4. Transfer it to a buttered loaf tin, cover with cling film or place in a plastic bag and leave in a warm place for 12 – 18 hours until well risen to the rim of the tin.

Whole wheat sourdough

5. Bake in an oven preheated to 230C/450F/gas 8 for 15 minutes, then turn the heat down to 200C/400F/gas 6 and bake for further 35 minutes. Turn it out onto a wire rack and cool completely before slicing – it’s actually best on the next day.

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Hello! I'm Anna Gaze, the Cuisine Fiend. Welcome to my recipe collection.

I have lots of recipes for you to choose from: healthy or indulgent, easy or more challenging, quick or involved - but always tasty.


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