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So Rye

A bit of prep time for the starter and sourdough leaven. Times vary, small print applies, your leaven can go up and down depending on temperature.

I use 400g of leaven for this recipe, so I make 485g and take 85g for the next time I'm baking (and store it in the fridge).

Step 1 - The Rye Leaven


Starter - 25g

Water - 200g

Wholemeal Rye Flour - 260g

I leave the leaven at room temperature for about 10 hours in summer and 16 hours in winter to give it time to come to life. You could control all year round in a fridge if you want to be more precise.

Step 2 - The Rye Dough

Rye Leaven - 400g

Water - 250g

Whole Rye Flour - 150g

Strong White Flour - 250g

Salt - 10g


1. Weigh out the ingredients (keep the wet and dry ingredients sepearate)

2. Mix the leaven and water until smooth (no lumps, dry bits etc)

3. Mix all the ingredients except the salt. Don't leave any dry flour bits. 4. Leave for 30 minutes.

4. Mix in the salt, leave for 30 mins

5. Kneed 1 (I do 3 mins) - leave for 30 mins

6. Kneed 2 (3 mins - on the second one I start to stretch the corners and fold them back in to see how the dough is coming together) - Leave for 30 mins.

You can keep going with these steps until you have a good stretchy dough - so it doesn't break off on the folds.

7. Create a bed of rye flour. Shape the dough into a ball on it. You may be able to see the joins in the dough, flour that side and put it inot the proving basket.

8. Leave somewhere warm for 1.5 hours (check to see if it has risen. It might not double in size because of all the rye).

9. I improvise a dutch oven with a big creuset turned upside down (with the nob on the lid removed) especially if your oven is not properly sealing anymore (commercial ovens seal the steam more effectively). Put that in the oven to pre-heat at pretty much it's highest temperature (or as high as it will go before complaining - 220-240C is good).

10. Gently roll out the risen loaf from the proving basket and onto the dutch oven lid. Bake for about 45mins. You can experiment with the finish / consistency by taking the loaf out of the dutch oven after abourt 30 minutes. But either way you want to hear a hollow base when you tap.

I hope you enjoy it.