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Rye and Spelt Sourdough bread

Great in a Breadmaker

Essential ingredients:

  • Rye and Spelt flours, though you can substitute other flour if you don't have those
  • water
  • salt
  • sourdough (rye flour and water, see below)

Optional ingredients:

nuts or seeds, raisins, other fresh or dried fruit, chocolate pieces, sugar, honey or for a nice dark colour: treacle , cooked squash, dried tomatoes, bacon cubes, fried onions, cooked rice, mashed potatoes (you may have to adjust the amount of liquid or add a bit more flour to get the right consistency), ... - though not all of those at once please

You need live sourdough for this. If you don’t have any you can make it this way:

add 1 cup of water and 1 cup of ryeflour to a bowl, cover it with a teatowel and leave it at room temperature. Add another ½ cup each of rye-flour and water every day until it starts frothing and smelling sour, when it is ready to use. This will take perhaps 3-5 days and it will get better and better every time you feed it when you are making bread – we kept ours alive for at least 5 years or so before we had to start again, because we accidentally added whey to the starter instead of water.

Mix the sourdough

add to the bread maker:

  • 1 ⅓ cups sourdough
  • 1 cup water (or sour milk or whey)
  • 1 cup rye flour

and mix it briefly (lumps don’t matter at this stage)

add to the remaining sourdough starter

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup rye flour

and mix it briefly

wait for some time (anything between about 3 hrs and a day depending on your other plans) before adding the remaining ingredients


  • 3 ½ cups of spelt flour (you can substitute other flour, but at least 2 cups should be wheat or closely related grains such as spelt, to ensure there is enough gluten, the rest can be anything you like including things you wouldn’t strictly call flour such as porridge oats)
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt
  • anything else you fancy or happen to find lying about (suggestions: see above)

knead well (bread machine program : dough)

wait for “some time” again (see above)

bake 1 hour (bread machine program : extrabake)

If you are in a hurry: add all the ingredients at once along with 1 ½ -2 teaspoons fast action dried yeast and put it on a whole wheat program

If you make bread more than once or twice a week, keep the sourdough starter at room temperature, otherwise it can be kept in the fridge where it will only need feeding every two weeks.

If you’re not making sourdough bread for more than two weeks, you need to replace some sourdough starter with water and flour as above every two weeks.

by : Monika Jürgens