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German Farmhouse Bread

This bread is typical of those you can find in a German bakery. It uses a mixture of dark rye and white flour to give it a good texture. If caraway seeds are not to your taste you can skip them or maybe use pumpkin seeds instead.


700g dark rye flour

300g Canadian strong white bread flour

1 ladel full sourdough starter (approximately 100ml)

10g dried yeast

20 g salt

20g of caraway seeds

glug of hemp oil

1/2 teaspoon sugar

550ml warm water


In the evening prepare your sponge by mixing 500g of dark rye with 500ml of warm water and a large ladel of rye sourdough starter. Mix well, place the bowl in a plastic bag and put in a warm place.

In the morning add the remaining 200g of dark rye, the 300g of white flour, 20g of salt and the 20g of caraway seeds. Activate the 10g of dried yeast in 50ml of warm water sweetened by a half teaspoon of sugar. Stir or whisk well and leave for 5 minutes or until it has frothed up a bit. Add the activated yeast to the bowl together with a good glug of hemp oil (adds flavour and improves the texture). Mix all of the ingredients well together and then tip out of the bowl and knead for 10 minutes. Coat the inside of your bowl with a film of oil. Shape your dough into a tight ball and put back into the bowl. Place in a large plastic bag and put into a cool place for 2 hours. Now knock back the dough and place back into the bowl. Cover with the plastic bag again and place in a warm place for two hours. Using different temperatures gets all of the wild yeast in the sourdough starter active. Now shape the loaves (or loaf) according to preference and leave to prove for one hour in a warm place. Normally I would split the dough and place in two tins. To bake your loaves heat up your oven to 250C and place the tins in the oven with a small jug of just boiled water. After ten minutes remove the jug of water and reduce the temperature to 170C. Bake for a further 35 minutes or slightly longer if you make a single large loaf. Once you remove the bread from the oven make sure that you let it cool well for at least an hour before eating!