Soaked Rye Sourdough


Normally in the mornings I will drink 2 glasses of water to kick start my body, and then pour a third. The third is for feeding my starter. I’ve found that getting into some sort of routine like this helps to keep it active and alive. My own starter (now 17 months old) is very active and it is possible for me to start a loaf in the morning and have it ready for 6pm the same evening. See my sourdough information page to answer any further questions on sourdough or how to start one yourself.

I came up with this recipe when I was just about to feed my starter yesterday morning. I hadn’t made a sourdough for a few weeks due to having to study for university exams… I saw that my Rye flour was soon to reach it’s best before date so I decided to use it up. A ‘soaker’ refers to soaking the flour before baking in hot water in order to enhance flavour, activate enzymes and help aid digestion. This is a very light loaf and small amount of rye in this recipe is really there for another level of flavour.

Remember since this is sourdough that it will take much longer than a normal loaf and depends on the activity of your starter and climate conditions.

You will need:

50g Rye flour200g sourdough starter (80% hydration)
400g Strong white bread flour
15g salt
140 ml water plus 50ml freshly boiled water

How to do it:

1. Boil the 50ml water and mix with the Rye four to form a thick paste. Leave to cool for 5 minutes.
2. Pour your starter, flour and salt into a large mixing bowl along with 100 ml water. Now add your soaked Rye flour and mix everything together. You may need to add more of the water or you may not, it depends on your type of flour and each person will have a different experience, just add enough until you have a rough dough which comes away from the sides of the bowl. You can add more water than the stated amount if you’re feeling confident.
3. Coat the a worktop with olive oil, tip the dough onto it and knead fr 10-12 minutes or until you have a smooth ball of dough which pops back when lightly pressed. Proof for between 5-12 hours. This depends on your starter, the main thing is to let it rise until it has at least doubled in size.
4. Knock back the dough on a lightly floured worktop. Shape the dough how you like-be it a boule, cob or in a tin. Leave it to proof again for 2-3 hours or until doubled in size. Towards the end preheat your oven to 230°C/210°C fan.
5. Right before putting the bread in throw some cold water into the base of the oven to create steam. Bake the loaf for 30-35 minutes or until a nice golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom.


Beautiful crumb structure we have there! This loaf can be made without a sourdough starter if you don’t fancy the sound of it (if not why not!?) or if you, more understandably, don’t have the time. Just replace the starter with 100g flour, 100g water and add 10g yeast and only use 10g salt.

And here’s the baker’s percentage table:

Starter Final Dough Total Formula
Ingredient Grams (g) % Grams (g) % Grams (g) %
80% hydration starter
Rye flour 50 11.0% 50 9.0%
Strong white flour 110.8 100% 400 89.0% 510.8 91.0%
Water 89.2 80% 190 31.0% 279.2 50.0%
Salt 15 3.3% 15 2.6%
Total 200 180% 655 134.3% 855 153%

Thanks for reading,



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