Easy sourdough rye bread recipe - Sourdough&Olives (2024)

It’s about time I bake something with more rye, don’t you think? Most of the bread you find among the recipes on this blog contains mainly wheat flour.
For some strange reason, wheat flour seems to have a higher “status” than rye when it comes to baking. Besides, it is good for your health if you replace some wheat with rye
Despite that, bread baked with wheat flour seems to have a leading position on blogs (mine included), sourdough forums, and Facebook groups.
It’s weird because one of the most important reasons for baking with sourdough starter is that you get bread that tastes more.
I think you’ll agree with me when I say that sourdough rye bread tastes more than wheat. Still, most people seem to favor wheat bread.

Why is that?

One reason can be that it’s hard to bake bread with airy crumb if you bake with rye flour. Wheat flour is superior when it comes to that thanks to its high gluten content.
You also have to be more careful when kneading a dough with rye flour than with wheat flour. You can overwork it. Something that is quite hard with wheat dough.
Sometimes you don’t want bread that tastes too much, for example, if it is to be served to food.
Or perhaps some people just don’t like rye bread. What do I know?

Easy sourdough rye bread recipe - Sourdough&Olives (1)

I know one thing.

I like rye bread, and I think there are many of you who do the same.
So let’s start baking some great bread with a lot of rye.
When I say a lot, I don’t mean all rye. We will add some wheat flour, but only 40%. That gives you bread that is not so dense like bread baked only on rye tends to be.
If you don’t use your dough mixer, there’s no risk that you will overwork the dough. A few stretch and folds will be enough.


As I mentioned earlier, I used both rye and wheat flour for this recipe.
The Protein content is 12.5% for the wheat flour and 8.5 for the rye.
The hydration is 75%. You may have to adjust that figure if you’re using stronger flour.
I’ve used my wheat starter (coaxed with some rye), but feel free to use a rye starter if that’s what you have available.
All ingredients were mixed, except the salt. After that I let the dough rest for an hour. I say rest and not autolyze. According to the hardcore sourdough aficionados, the starter is added after the autolyze. And I don’t want to mess with those guys.
After the rest, I added salt and performed the first stretch and fold.
I have described that process earlier in this recipe. Here you can also find an excellent video showing how to do.

Easy sourdough rye bread recipe - Sourdough&Olives (2)


Try to find a warm place for the bulk fermentation, preferably 78ºF/25ºC. That can be tricky if you are living in the northern hemisphere at this time of year. I use to place the dough in the oven with the lamp lit. That works fine, but you have to be a bit careful. It can be too hot, so I use to open the lid now and then and check the temperature with a thermometer. I let the dough ferment for 4 hours.


The time required for the final rise depends on many factors. The surrounding temperature and the strength of the starter are just two of many. You can let it ferment at room temperature or in the refrigerator depending on taste and how much time you have. Fermentation in cold temperature takes longer of course, but it also gives more taste to the bread. The end result can be quite sour though, so if you don’t like that, you should consider letting the dough ferment at room temperature.
It’s almost impossible to give advice about the time required for the final rise. Therefore I have stopped doing that. Instead, I encourage my readers to observe and touch the dough. The finger poke test gives you a hint when it’s time to bake. I have described the test in an earlier recipe, and you can read about it here.

Easy sourdough rye bread recipe - Sourdough&Olives (3)


Preheat the oven to 480ºF / 250ºC. I have used a baking stone for the bread on the pictures, but you can also use a dutch oven with good result. If you don’t have any of those items, It’s OK to use an oven sheet.
Always score the loaf before baking. Otherwise, you may end up with some interesting but undesired forms on your bread.
Always use steam in your oven when baking bread. It doesn’t have to be anything advanced. An extra preheated oven sheet that you can pour some water on before you close the oven lid is OK. Steam prevents the surface from drying out and gives the crust a more pleasant color.
This bread needs about 35 minutes in the oven. You may have to lower the heat during the last 10-15 minutes.

Easy sourdough rye bread recipe - Sourdough&Olives (4)

This is not a fancy or spectacular bread. It’s just an ordinary, hearty sourdough rye bread. The kind of bread I want for breakfast. Like my best sourdough bread, It’s quite easy to bake. I just have to bake this more often.

Easy sourdough rye bread recipe - Sourdough&Olives (5)

Easy sourdough rye bread recipe - Sourdough&Olives (6)

Easy sourdough rye bread recipe

This recipe for a sourdough rye bread is quite simple. But it will give you bread with lots of taste and character from the rye.

Print Recipe Pin Recipe

Prep Time 5 hrs

Cook Time 45 mins

Total Time 5 hrs 45 mins

Cuisine Bread

Servings 2 loaves


  • 300 gram sourdough starter 100% hydration
  • 600 gram water
  • 350 gram Wheat flour 11.5% protein content.
  • 500 gram whole rye flour 8.5% protein content.
  • 20 gram sea salt


  • Mix all ingredients except the salt. Make sure that all flour is hydrated. Let the dough rest for an hour.

  • Add salt and perform one stretch and fold. Perform 3 sets of stretch and folds in total during bulk fermentation, spaced out by 30 minutes.

  • Let the dough rest for 4 hours at a temperature of 78ºF/25ºC.

  • Lightly flour your work surface and dump out the dough. Divide it into two pieces with your bench knife. Flatten the dough gently with your hands. Form each piece of dough to a bâtard There's a link to an excellent video showing how to form a bâtard in the recipe notes

  • Let the loaves rise until they pass the the finger poke test. The time required depends a lot on ambient temperature so don't look at the clock.

  • Preheat your oven to 480ºF / 250ºC with two oven plates. One to bake the bread on and one just below. If you have a baking stone or dutch oven, use them.

  • Score the loaves in your preferred pattern and place them in the oven. Pour some water on the plate below and bake each loaf in 35-45 minutes.

  • Let the breads cool on wire racks.


For those who prefer to use a stretch and fold technique instead of running the dough into a dough mixer, you may findthis videohelpful. You can also look at one of myprevious recipes.

Maurizio from The perfect loaf has made an excellent video showinghow to form a bâtard.

Keyword sourdough bread

Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Easy sourdough rye bread recipe - Sourdough&Olives (2024)


What happens if you add olive oil to sourdough bread? ›

Does olive oil make dough softer? Yes - adding olive oil to sourdough bread will result in a softer crust and crumb. The oil as a lipid coats the flour and inhibits the gluten network resulting in a softer, tighter crumb and softer crust. This can be a desirable outcome if you do not like tough, chewy sourdough crusts.

What is the secret to good sourdough bread? ›

Top 10 Tips & Tricks for Making Sourdough
  • Use your sourdough starter at its peak. ...
  • Moisten the surface of the dough before baking for more rise. ...
  • Handle with care: be gentle with your dough. ...
  • Use sifted flour to make your sourdough less dense. ...
  • Soak your flour beforehand for a lighter loaf. ...
  • Just add water for softer sourdough.

What is the difference between sourdough and rye sourdough? ›

Wheat sourdough possesses creamy coconut notes from lactones, while rye is less creamy and more tropical banana and pineapple-like with an additional citrusy / orange aftertaste. Rye sourdough produces an extra buttery taste and roasted malty popcorn flavor, though t is poorer in spiciness notes in comparison to wheat.

How to make sourdough bread more holey? ›

If I want holes in my bread, I stretch and fold the dough every 60 minutes or so during the bulk fermentation of a sourdough bread and every 30 minutes or so during the bulk fermentation of a bread with added yeast.

How much olive oil to add to sourdough? ›

  1. 125 grams active sourdough starter.
  2. 40 grams olive oil.
  3. 300 grams warm water.
  4. 450 grams flour.
  5. 10 grams salt.
Oct 23, 2023

Does olive oil stop dough from rising? ›

The oil will not absorb into the flour or the gluten that forms as a result of the fermentation process. All that oil does is give your dough a coating of elasticity. Aside from providing a barrier for your dough throughout the proofing phase, this will not prevent your dough from rising.

What makes sourdough bread more flavorful? ›

There are two main acids produced in a sourdough culture: lactic acid and acetic acid. Acetic acid, or vinegar, is the acid that gives sourdough much of its tang. Giving acetic acid-producing organisms optimal conditions to thrive and multiply will produce a more tangy finished product.

What is the best flour for sourdough bread? ›

Whole wheat flour is an excellent choice for creating a sourdough starter due to its nutrient-rich composition and potential for fostering a robust microbial community. However, it's important to note that the quality of whole wheat flour can vary between brands.

Why do you put baking soda in sourdough bread? ›

Baking soda or bicarbonate of soda can be used in sourdough bread to create a less sour loaf. Added after bulk fermentation, but before shaping, it can help to create a lighter, more fluffy loaf of sourdough.

Which bread is healthier rye or sourdough? ›

As long as they're made with whole grains and have limited or no added sugar, both rye bread and sourdough bread are healthy bread options. Sourdough bread may be even healthier than regular bread because the fermentation makes certain vitamins and minerals easier for our bodies to absorb.

Is rye sourdough anti inflammatory? ›

Rye bread has been linked to many potential health benefits, including weight loss, reduced inflammation, better blood sugar control, and improved heart and digestive health.

What is the healthiest sourdough bread? ›

“The whole-grain sourdoughs have more fiber, protein and micronutrients, making them more filling and healthier for you overall,” says Natalie Rizzo, registered dietitian and nutrition editor at TODAY.com. When choosing a sourdough loaf, look for ones that have whole wheat, spelt or rye, Rizzo adds.

How do you make sourdough bread lighter and fluffier? ›

Keeping the lid on for the first part of baking allows steam to expand between the gluten fibers to rise the bread and create a fluffy loaf. Step 4: Remove the lid and bake for an additional 12-14 minutes or until the crust is crispy and golden brown. Once you take the lid off, the bread likely won't rise anymore.

Why is my homemade sourdough bread so dense? ›

One of the most common mistakes is having a dough temperature that's too low for the starter to feed on all the flour in the dough, resulting in a crumb that's dense, with fewer openings. "Starter is happiest and most active at around 75 degrees. If it's a lot colder, the process will be much slower.

What happens if you add olive oil to dough? ›

Olive oil makes pizza dough softer, adds flavor and improves the texture and crispiness of the finished pizza crust. As a kind of fat, olive oil changes the chemistry of your pizza dough recipe by affecting the formation of gluten bonds and helps with browning and crisping in the oven.

What does olive oil do to dough? ›

In this case, the use of oil is essential as it helps to keep the crust softer for a longer time after baking, avoiding an unpleasant chewy or tough consistency. As defined earlier, any oil is a liquid form of fat.

Does olive oil change the taste of bread? ›

Indeed, the olive oil is responsible for much of the flavor in the focaccia bread, and this bread proves why olive oil is the perfect choice for more savory baking recipes. For best results, chill it in the fridge overnight or up to 24 hours after the first rise.

Is it OK to put olive oil on bread? ›

Eating bread with a quality extra virgin olive oil is a simple and effective way to enjoy its health benefits. Extra Virgin Olive Oil is a healthy substitute for butter in many recipes. The polyphenols in extra virgin olive oil are a key component of their health benefits.

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