Rye Whole Wheat Sourdough Bread
This moist and flavourful bread contains warm spices that add a lovely yet subtle aroma and flavour to these loaves. Hearty enough to stand up to liverwurst and onions, or corned beef, but is just as good simply toasted with butter to accompany breakfast, or warmed in the oven to serve with dinner.
Caraway seeds are one of those things that you either love or hate. You can leave out the caraway and anise seeds in this recipe if you don’t like them, but they really do add to the character of this bread. I recommend that you take a chance and go ahead and add them. In my mind, caraway seeds are what makes it authentic rye bread. And they are pretty subtle in the bread. Have I convinced you? If not, then leave them out. You will still have a very nice light rye bread.
Makes 2 long loaves or 3 standard size loaves.
I brushed to tops of the loaves with an egg/milk mixture, then sprinkled them with sesame and poppy seeds, and a bit of cornmeal. The topping is entirely optional and up to you. See how much the loaves have risen in the picture on the right.
They baked up to a nice golden brown. This bread is a denser texture than your typical white bread. That’s what makes it stand up nicely to whatever you want to put on it. If you can’t wait, enjoy a slice or two hot from the oven, slathered with butter. Mmmmm … heaven!
This moist and flavourful bread contains warm spices that add a lovely yet subtle aroma and flavour to these loaves. Hearty enough to stand up to liverwurst and onions or corned beef, but is just as good simply toasted with butter to accompany breakfast, or warmed in the oven to serve with a pasta dinner.
- 1 tablespoon yeast (optional, see notes)
- 1 3/4 cups lukewarm milk
- 2 cups sourdough starter, fed or unfed
- 1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom or coriander
- 1 tablespoon caraway seeds
- 1 teaspoon whole anise seeds
- ¼ cup cooking oil (canola)
- 2 cups dark rye flour
- 1 cup Whole Wheat Flour
- 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 cups All-Purpose or Best for Bread White Flour
- 1 egg beaten with 2 Tablespoons of milk for brushing top of loaves
- sesame seeds and/or poppy seeds and/or cornmeal for decorating top of loaves
- Combine the yeast, milk, sourdough starter, sugar, salt, cardamom, seeds, and oil. Let stand for 10 minutes to soften yeast. Stir in the rye flour and the whole-wheat flour, and beat until the batter is smooth. Beat with a mixer on medium - low speed for 5 minutes.
- Change to the dough hook if you have one. Otherwise, do the rest by hand. Add the unbleached all-purpose flour, a cup at a time, stirring well after each addition. Depending on humidity and various conditions in your kitchen, you may need a little more flour than is called for. When the dough comes together around the dough hook with none sticking to the bowl, let the machine knead it for another 5 minutes, adding flour as needed to keep the dough together. Then turn dough out onto a lightly floured counter. When doing this by hand, once it gets too stiff to stir, turn out onto your counter and knead the last cup or so of flour in by hand.
- Knead the dough for 10 minutes, adding just as much flour as you need to keep the dough from sticking to the counter. The dough can be a little tacky - more so than white bread dough, but shouldn't be sticky.
- Place the dough in a greased bowl in a warm place. Cover with a damp towel or plastic wrap and let rise until it has doubled in bulk, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
- Gently deflate the dough and place it on a lightly floured or oiled counter.
- Shape as desired; you can make two long loaves on a cookie sheet, or three normal loaves in loaf pans. Grease the pan(s) and dust with cornmeal. Make a few deep slashes diagonally across the tops of the loaves if you like.
- Cover the loaves and let them rise for about 45 to 60 minutes, or until they've almost doubled in bulk.
- Beat an egg with 2 Tablespoons of milk and brush the tops of the loaves with this. Sprinkle sesame seeds on top. You can also use poppy seeds and cornmeal if desired. It's for looks only.
- Preheat the oven to 400°F.
- Bake the bread for about 25 minutes, or until the bread is nicely browned and sounds hollow when thumped on the bottom. Remove from the oven, and cool on a rack.
- Store, well-wrapped, for 3 days on the counter. Freeze for up to 3 months.
(1) I usually make this recipe without the addition of yeast, and just relying on my sourdough starter to leaven the dough. Make sure your starter is active, meaning nice and bubbly. Simply leave the yeast out and proceed with the recipe as written. It will take a little longer for each rise; about 2 to 3 hours each time, but it comes out every bit as good. However, if you are rushed for time, then use the extra yeast and it's a breeze!
(2) If you want to increase the sourdough taste, simply add an extra rising by punching down the dough in the bowl after the first rising, then leaving in the bowl and letting it rise again in the bowl. Then punch down and shape into loaves for the last rising. This is a matter of preference and is up to you.
(3) Depending on the consistency of your sourdough starter, a little more or less flour may be needed to achieve the smooth elastic consistency of bread dough.
(4) Since I make my own Greek yogurt, I use whey in place of milk in this recipe, and add ½ cup of instant milk powder. You can do the same with water and milk powder if you like.
(5) It sounds like a lot of work, but really it isn't any more than any other yeast dough. The only difference is the use of sourdough starter, and deciding how much sour taste you want. I have made it both ways, and I prefer less of a sour taste, so now I only let it rise once in the bowl and once in the pans.