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Rye Bread with sunflower seeds


A beautifully moist sour dough rye bread in a German style, that needs no kneading


  • 150g cut malted rye grains
  • 125g sunflower seeds
  • 250g light rye flour
  • 200g rye mother (consistency of thick custard)
  • 1.5 g fresh yeast (piece the size of a small peanut)
  • 150g water at around 30C
  • 1.5 tspns salt


  1. Boil some water in a kettle. Put a jug or bowl on the weighing scales and tare to zero. Add rye grains and pour over boiling water until the grains and water combined weigh 400g. Leave for at least 1 hour (or overnight if you are organised).
  2. Repeat the above with the sunflower seeds made up to a combined weight of 200g.
  3. When you are ready to make the bread, mix together the water, rye mother and fresh yeast until blended, in a large bowl. Add the soaked rye grains and approximately 3/4 of the soaked sunflower seeds.
  4. Add the rye flour and sprinkle the salt over the top and with a wooden spoon stir it all together (or use your hands if you like!). The texture will be like a stiff, sticky fruit cake batter.
  5. Grease a 1lb loaf tin (I like to use a larger more shallow tin approx 8"x4").
  6. Scrape the dough into the tin and smooth the top.
  7. Spread the remaining soaked sunflower seeds over the top and pat gently into the mixture.
  8. Put the tin inside a large polythene bag and leave to rise for 4-6 hours at room temperature (I usually wait until the mixture has risen level with the top of the loaf tin)
  9. Bake for 20mins in preheated oven at 210C then turn oven down to 195C and bake for a further 20-30mins until loaf is golden brown and firm on top and coming away from the sides of the tin slightly.
  10. Remove from oven and leave to rest in tin for 10-15mins.
  11. Turn out and leave to cool fully before wrapping well in greaseproof paper and leaving for 2 days in a cool place before slicing. It gets moister and more flavoursome if left.
  12. Keep in fridge from day 3 onwards and it will be good for a week or more. As it is moist it is prone to moulding if left at room temperature in a warm kitchen.


I love the sunflower rye bread that I eat when I am in Munich where I go fairly regularly. This recipe is the result of many attempts and is the closest I have managed to get that comes anywhere close.

It freezes but tends to crumble a little on defrosting.

Slice thinly. I enjoy it with cream cheese.

I hope that if you try it you enjoy it.

Maureen Breeze