Bread Recipes, I Am The Lady Who Likes To Bake

Rye Sourdough Bread Recipe

I mentioned in one of my previous posts that I make my own bread. Somebody mentioned that they’ll be interested in knowing what kind of bread I like.  in Germany, I go for the heavy dark bread packed with grains and nuts. In Poland, we eat whatever bread my parents have. In the Netherlands, it’s the bread I make myself.
I am sitting here, eating a sandwich made with homemade rye sourdough bread and it’s delicious. I think it is my very favourite. It is relatively easy to make, but does take some time. Like, around a week- but you don’t have to do much. And the only ingredients? Rye flour (but you can mix it with wheat), water, salt.. do you see there is no yeast in this recipe?
First, you need to make the sourdough. You need:
500g rye flour
500ml water
Take 100g flour and 100ml water and mix it in a big jar- it should have a closing lid. Put it into a warm spot. The mixture will be rather dull looking and grey, but please give it a chance.
The next day, add 100g flour and 100ml water. Repeat this for 3 more days. This is what I call “feeding” the sourdough.
Around day two, a miracle should happen: bubbles will appear. This means that your sourdough is working! Now I said there is no yeast in this recipe. This is not entirely true. There is no baker’s yeast, no instant yeast, but also no fresh yeast that you can buy in the shops. However, the yeast you need is in the air. I think this picture shows my sourdough around day 3. 
For me, yeast is something magical: you add it to dough and the dough gets bigger! Sourdough is even more awesome, especially with children- instead of buying the magical mixture, you can make it yourself! I often joke that sourdough is like a home pet, you need to feed it.
Once you have the 5-day old sourdough, you’re ready to make your first bread. You will need:

Sourdough Bread
The simpliest sourdough bread.
Write a review
3190 calories
659 g
0 g
17 g
113 g
3 g
1255 g
9658 g
18 g
0 g
10 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
Amount Per Serving
Calories 3190
Calories from Fat 146
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 17g
Saturated Fat 3g
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 7g
Monounsaturated Fat 3g
Cholesterol 0mg
Sodium 9658mg
Total Carbohydrates 659g
Dietary Fiber 71g
Sugars 18g
Protein 113g
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
  1. 500g sourdough (but remember to put 2-3 spoonfulls aside for the next bread!)
  2. 500g rye flour (you can also use 250g wheat and 250g rye flour)
  3. 200-250ml warm water
  4. 1 tablespoon salt
  5. Carraway seeds (optional)
  1. First, measure out the sourdough. Add flour (or flours), then the water, and the salt. Mix. Kneading will be difficult since the dough is rather sticky, but just do your best. Allow dough to rest. I then put it into a form and let it rise.
  2. Sourdough needs more time to rise than bread made with yeast. What I do is I make the dough in the morning, then let it rise during the day, and if that isn't enough, I put it in the fridge and bake the bread the next morning. The dough should grow twice the size.
  3. When the dough has risen enough, put it into a pre-heated oven, 230 centigrees. After 15 minutes, change the temperature to 200 centigrees and bake for another 30 minutes.
  1. Try experimenting with temperatures, rising times, and forms.
The European Mama
My bread wasn’t perfect. It was a little too chewy, a little too humid. But the taste was perfect. This recipe may look complicated, but it is easier than you think!

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  • Reply iievina September 18, 2013 at 9:32 am

    Sounds great, I think I’ll try it! By the way, is caraway the same as “kümmel”? Its a must in any Latvian dark bread but impossible to find in the North German breads.

    • Reply The European Mama September 18, 2013 at 10:20 am

      Hi Ilze, thank you! It is great and not at all so complicated as it sounds. Yes, carraway is Kuemmel- the first time I didn’t use it and felt something was missing, but this time I remembered to add some. I think in Poland some breads are with and others are without carraway. In Slovakia, they served bread with carraway and I love it!

  • Reply Ace CB September 19, 2013 at 8:24 pm

    Thanks for posting this recipe! I love sourdough, I’m excited to give this a try.

    • Reply The European Mama September 19, 2013 at 8:34 pm

      You’re very welcome, Ace! It was actually you who gave me the idea to write this post!

    • Reply Michel en Karen September 25, 2013 at 10:42 am

      I found your blog from the PATH group on FB and im really interested in making my own sourdough starter to make american style english muffins but i am finding conflicting info online. Some recipes call for adding yeast and some not…and if i want to make use a mix of whole wheat and white should i just use normal volkoren bloem and tarwe bloem or do i have to use bread flour? (which i havent been able to find here)

    • Reply The European Mama September 25, 2013 at 11:07 am

      Hi Michel and Karen thank you for commenting! I am glad that you’re interested in making your own sourdough- and I haven’t heard of muffins made with sourdough- would you share the recipe? I know the advice is conflicting. I guess it depends on the recipe. For example, for this bread you need a lot of sourdough, 500g- you need slighly less when the sourdough is older (around 300-350g), and rye sourdough is a very powerful one, so for this you don’t need yeast. For bread recipes that call for 2-3 spoonfulls of sourdough, then I would use yeast to help it rise a little. The recipes I find call for yeast but no sourdough, but I am not an expert on this. Also, check if this is rye sourdough or wheat, because they could behave differently.I do use volkoren bluem and tarwebloem from Albert Heijn, but you can buy bread flour in Biowinkels (there you can also find more interesting flours such as spelt, rye, buckwheat, rice- and sometimes bread flour). Of course bread flour is better, but I don’t use it because I can’t find it either- my Biowinkel is small, so you’d have better chance of finding it at EcoPlaza. It works just fine with all purpose flour though (but shhh, don’t tell anyone I said that)! Hope that helps!

  • Reply Michel en Karen September 25, 2013 at 12:00 pm

    Thanks! English muffins are more similar to bread rolls than real muffins…i know the name is misleading. The recipe i found is here . So i suppose ill follow her recipe (with yeast) except ill try it with normal flour first and then see if i can find breadflour at ekoplaza if it doesnt work 🙂 – Karen

    • Reply The European Mama September 25, 2013 at 5:55 pm

      Hello, yes I actually googled English muffins to see what they are! Thanks for sharing the recipe, try it and see what will happen- if you’re happy with the results, that’s great! Oh and please come back and share how it went!

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    I am very glad I happened to find this site. About a year and a half ago a Polish lady gave me a bread recipe and a jar of starter. After making the bread several times, the starter began going bad and I had to throw it away. That’s too bad because the bread is so wonderful. I have lost touch with this lady. If I give you the recipe, will you be able to help me decide if the recipe will work with my own homemade starter? I will appreciate any help you can give me. Best regards from Betty in New Hampshire, USA

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