Cuisine Fiend

seeded rye sourdough

Fri, 1 February, 2019


blonde pumpernickel

Tip: make two loaves with double the amount ingredients. This is so incredibly tasty you’ll wish it hadn’t gone quite so quickly if you bake just one small loaf.

This is a blonde Pumpernickel without the Pumpernickely crumbliness. As all rye breads it is best after a couple of days’ rest, sliced thinly, not toasted (though some will argue). The seed content will satisfy the harshest fibre-obsessed nutritionist and the small addition of white flour makes it less stodgy.

seeded rye sourdough

Rye isn’t quite the thing for gluten free diet, this little I know, but it is more digestible for those lighter affected with intolerance. Replace the white wheat flour addition with spelt and you can probably feed a sensitive stomach.

german style rye bread

I was making this alongside the Borodinsky, the true blue (black) rye because I didn’t want to waste my rye starter. We sliced both loaves in turn over a few days and the prize actually went to this seeded number: a third of Borodinsky loaf was still left after the seedy one was long gone.

seeded rye sourdough

Servings: 1 small loafTime: 4-5 hours plus overnight fermentation


  • For the ferment:
  • 50g rye sourdough starter, refreshed at 50% hydration
  • 150g wholemeal rye flour
  • 300g warm water (at about 40C)
  • For the main dough:
  • 160g ferment, from above
  • 200g light rye flour
  • 40g strong white bread flour
  • 5g sea salt
  • 50g pumpkin seeds
  • 50g sunflower seeds
  • 140g warm water
  • ½ cup of sunflower seeds, for dipping the loaf


1. If you have a rye starter in the fridge, refresh 50g of it with 50g wholemeal flour and 100g very warm water. Leave in a warm place for 12-24 hours to bubble up.

2. Mix the ferment 12-18 hours before making the bread. Disperse the sourdough starter in warm water and stir in the flour. Cover the container with cling film and keep in a warm place. It should bubble and foam vigorously.

3. For the main dough, add 160g of the ferment to a bowl with all the other ingredients (the rest can be used to bake another loaf and/or become your rye sourdough starter to be stored for another occasion) and mix well. It won’t be anything like wheat dough, not stretchy or elastic, rather resembling a brownish concrete mix or mud!

rye bread dough

4. Turn it out onto wet worktop, wet your hands too and form a rough shape of a loaf. Spread the sunflower seeds on a plate and roll the loaf in them to coat it completely.

5. Drop it carefully into a buttered loaf tin. Cover it with cling film and leave in a warm place to prove and rise up to the top of the tin. It will take between 2 and 4 hours depending on temperature and liveliness of your starter.

risen rye loaf

6. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/gas 6. Bake the loaf in the lower half of the oven for 40 minutes, turning the heat down to 190C/375/gas 5 after the first 10 minutes. Ideally, the sunflower seeds should colour only very lightly; if they are browning too much, cover the top loosely with aluminium foil.

rye sourdough with seeds

7. Turn the loaf out onto a wire rack and cool completely. Wrap in foil and, for best results, leave it until the next day before slicing thinly.

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Your comments

Anna @ CuisineFiend
Hi Eva - thank you! And by posting your comment you've reminded me that I must bake it again very soon!
5 months ago
wonderful! my new go-to recipe. It's so easy and the result was amazing. I accidentally didn't read that the starter would be enough for two loaves so I made one really big one but it's delicious and nothing went to waste! I used a combination of flaxseeds, pumpkin and sunflower seeds. I can easily see this tasting great with fennel seeds as well but I'm not a fan personally. There's no kneading, nothing complicated, it's the most straight forward recipe and simply can't go wrong. Thanks for sharing - I love it.
5 months ago
Anna @ CuisineFiend
Hi Klaus - isn't it gorgeous? Sorry if recipe confused you: description measures refer to refreshing the starter if it was dormant in the fridge; also in that case it will need 12-24 hours to wake up depending on ambient temperature. The proportions for the ferment make a large quantity of it but the rest will be your rye sourdough starter to be stored for another occasion (I've updated to clarify). If you're making just one loaf, of course you can scale it down as you did. Thanks for the comment!
9 months ago
I LOVE THIS BREAD!!! The start of the recipe is a bit confusing. It gives different measures of ferment mix in the ingredients list compared to the measures in the description. And my fermentation mix bubbled up within just 3-4 hours and then went back to what it was before. I followed the measures in the description and used the fermentation mix earlier, at the time when I realised it had gone back to its former size. Everything else was perfectly described and very easy. Most importantly, the result was excellent! Definitely make two loaves (or one big one). I love this bread!!! Thanks a lot! This is fantastic!
9 months ago

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