Sourdough rye bread

This recipe first appeared in the September 1975 issue of The Australian Women's Weekly, in a decade when sourdough bread was not commonplace, showing The Weekly was well and truly ahead of its time. You will need to start the recipe 3 days ahead; however the end result is well worth the effort. And once you've got your sourdough starter it will keep in good condition for 2 weeks.

  • 30 mins cooking
  • Makes 2 Item
  • Print


Sourdough rye bread
  • 4 teaspoon (14g) dried yeast
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 4 3/4 cup (675g) plain (all-purpose) flour
  • 3 cup (750ml) lukewarm water
  • 1 tablespoon caraway seeds
  • 4 cup (375g) rye flour
  • 3 teaspoon fine salt
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoon plain (all-purpose) flour, extra
  • 2 teaspoon n (7g) dried yeast
  • 1 teaspoon n caster (superfine) sugar
  • 1 1/4 cup (310ml) lukewarm water
  • 1 1/2 cup (225g) plain (all-purpose) flour


Sourdough rye bread
  • 1
    Make sourdough starter 3 days ahead. Combine yeast, sugar and the water in a large bowl. Cover; stand 10 minutes or until bubbling. Add sifted flour; stir to combine. Cover; stand, unrefrigerated, for 2 days before using. After 2 days the starter should have a pleasant mild sour smell and have small bubbles on the surface - a sign that it's active.
  • 2
    To make the bread on the third day, stir yeast with 1 teaspoon of the sugar and 1 teaspoon of the plain flour in a small bowl. Add ½ cup of the water, stand in a warm place for 15 minutes or until mixture starts to bubble
  • 3
    Sift remaining flours and sugar with salt into a large bowl; return hulls in sifter to flour. Stir in caraway seeds. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients. Combine yeast mixture, remaining lukewarm water, oil and ¼ cup of the sourdough starter. Add to dry ingredients; mix to form a dough. You may need an extra ¼-½ cup lukewarm water, if the mixture is too dry; this is because flour varies in its moisture content.
  • 4
    Turn the dough onto a floured surface; knead for 8 minutes or until smooth and elastic. Place in a large oiled bowl. Cover; stand in a warm place for 30 minutes or until doubled in size. Punch dough down with your fist. Turn onto a floured surface.
  • 5
    Divide dough in half. Shape each portion on a well-floured surface into a 7cm x 30cm (2¾-inch x 12-inch) oval-shaped loaf. Gently lift each onto a lightly oiled oven tray. (You may need to place them diagonally on the trays to fit.) Cover trays with clean tea towels; stand in a warm place 15 minutes or until dough has risen.
  • 6
    Meanwhile, preheat oven to 250°C/480°F.
  • 7
    Dust a little extra flour over the top of each loaf. Using a small, sharp knife, cut seven shallow slashes, about 3.5cm (1½-inches) apart, across the top.
  • 8
    Bake bread 30 minutes or until hollow sounding when tapped on the base. Transfer to wire racks to cool.