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Polish Sourdough Rye Bread Recipe - Chleb Zwykly na Zakwasie

The smell of this bread reminds me about my Polish grandmother. In the scent of this bread is enchanted a sheer joy of happiness of a careless childhood. :


Makes 2 loaves

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes


  • Sourdough Starter:
  • 4 tablespoons medium rye flour
  • 3 tablespoons warm milk
  • Bread:
  • 4 cups medium rye flour
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 package (2 1/4 teaspoons) instant yeast (not rapid rise)
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 2 1/2 cups warm water
  • 1 tablespoon caraway seeds


  1. To make the starter, in a small bowl, mix together the 4 tablespoons rye flour and milk. Cover with plastic and set in a warm place to ripen for two days or until it smells pleasantly sour.

  2. In a large bowl, combine the rye and white flours, salt, yeast, butter, water and starter. Knead 7 minutes by machine or 10 minutes by hand. Place in a clean, greased bowl, cover with plastic and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.

  3. Punch down dough, knead 1 minute and divide in half. Shape each half into a round on 2 parchment-lined baking sheets. Cover with oiled plastic and let rise 30 minutes or until almost doubled. Heat oven to 400 degrees.

  4. Brush risen rounds with egg white and sprinkle with caraway seeds. Bake 35-40 minutes or until instant-read thermometer registers 190-195 degrees and bread sounds hollow when tapped. Cool on a wire rack.