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Mar 25, 2023

White, Whole Rye, and Whole Wheat Sourdough Bread

This White, Whole Rye, and Whole Wheat Sourdough Bread is a wonderful combination of three kinds of flour. 

White, Whole Rye, and Whole Wheat Sourdough Bread on the top of a Dutch oven.

This bread begins with an active levain (sourdough) and requires a couple of days to complete. The interior is super soft and the crust is very chewy. It makes great deli-style sandwiches.

You can play around with the whole grain flours in this bread, substituting any whole grains you like, such as white whole wheat, sprouted wheat flour, kamut, spelt, or even buckwheat or pumpernickel for the rye. 

The whole grains in this bread constitute about 35 percent of the final dough, counting the amount in the levain. Feel free to experiment with whatever blend of flours you'd like to try for the whole grains. 

White, Whole Rye, and Whole Wheat Sourdough Bread display of slices.

Rye flour can get really sticky and doesn't behave like wheat flour. If you over work it, you end up with a gummy mess. It's also difficult to create the desired surface tension on a loaf to promote a vertical rise. Yet the flavor that rye imparts is earthy and delicious. 

This formula requires just the right amount of rye to add to the flavor of the bread but still not affect the performance of the dough. I was thrilled with the results. 

This loaf tastes nothing like supermarket rye bread, which is typically flavored with caraway. This loaf tastes more like a light wheat bread with a slight earthiness.

White, Whole Rye, and Whole Wheat Sourdough Bread Loaf on a towel.

Check out the bubbles and cracks in the crust. When this loaf is cooling, you can listen to it crackle and sing. 

Making this Bread:

While this bread requires a levain (sourdough starter) that you feed the day before, you use a hybrid method for leavening the bread. In other words, there is also a little bit of instant yeast in the final dough. 

On the First Day:

Feed the levain/starter in the morning and let it rise for about 7 hours. After that, mix the final dough by hand and let it rise for about five hours, stretching and folding it every half hour for the first two hours. This dough requires no kneading. 

Next, shape the dough and place it in the refrigerator to rise over night. 

One the Second Day:

In the morning, heat the oven with a Dutch oven on the middle rack. Finally, turn the dough out into the preheated Dutch oven, score it, and bake it for about 45 to 50 minutes. 

The hardest part is waiting for it to cool before cutting into it. Remember that it is still "baking" on the inside and must finish or it may be gummy. 

Note: If you want, you can cut a little bit off the end while it is still warm and it won't hurt anything if you wait about a half hour (a little bit of delayed gratification). There's nothing like butter melting on a warm piece of freshly baked bread, right?

White, Whole Rye, and Whole Wheat Sourdough Bread slice on a cutting board.

Sample Baking Schedule:

9:00 a.m. - Mix the levain. Be sure to begin with an active levain. 

4:00 p.m. - Mix the final dough. 

9:00 p.m. - Shape the loaf and proof it in the refrigerator overnight. 

9:00 a.m. the next day - Bake the bread. 

White, Whole Rye, and Whole Wheat Sourdough Bread chunks on a cutting board.

If you prefer, you can bake this bread on a baking stone with a steam pan on the lowest rack (under the baking stone). 

There are various ways to create steam, including placing ice cubes in the steam pan, boiling water in the steam pan, or in a combination with using a spray bottle to spray the walls of the hot oven. 

You can also place an upside down metal bowl over the loaf during the first 30 minutes of baking to create and trap steam. 

White, Whole Rye, and Whole Wheat Sourdough Bread crust close up.

Note: The levain recipe makes more than you will use in the bread. You can just mix any leftover back into your sourdough starter or use it in your favorite sourdough discard recipe. You could also just try making less. 

This week, members of the From Our Dinner Table Group are sharing recipes with sourdough, including recipes to use sourdough discard. 

From Our Dinner Table Group Logo.

Spectacular Sourdough

We share Recipes From Our Dinner Table! Join our group and share your recipes, too! While you're at it, join our Pinterest board, too!

White, Whole Rye, and Whole Wheat Sourdough Bread sitting in the top of a Dutch oven.

White, Whole Rye, and Whole Wheat Sourdough Bread

White, Whole Rye, and Whole Wheat Sourdough Bread
Yield: one large loaf
Author: Karen's Kitchen Stories
Prep time: 30 MinCook time: 45 MinInactive time: 20 HourTotal time: 21 H & 15 M
This White, Whole Rye, and Whole Wheat Sourdough Bread is a wonderful combination of three kinds of flour.


For the Levain
  • 50 grams active starter
  • 200 grams all purpose unbleached white flour
  • 50 grams whole wheat flour
  • 200 grams lukewarm water
For the Final Dough
  • 270 grams all purpose unbleached white flour
  • 87 grams whole wheat flour
  • 42 grams whole rye flour
  • 310 grams lukewarm water
  • 10 grams salt
  • 1 gram instant yeast
  • 180 grams levain


  1. Feed your active starter with the flour and water, stir it to combine the ingredients. Cover with plastic wrap and let it sit for 6 to 8 hours.
  2. Mix the flour, wheat flour, rye flour, and water in a large bowl or bucket by hand until just incorporated.
  3. Let the dough rest for 30 minutes.
  4. Add the salt, yeast, and levain and mix by hand by folding and pinching the dough. Wet your hands to keep the dough from sticking. Cover the dough bucket with plastic wrap.
  5. Do four "stretch-and-fold" sets, once every 30 minutes. After that, let the dough continue to rise until the dough is 2 1/2 times its original size, about 3 hours more.
  6. When the dough is ready, gently scrape it out onto a lightly floured surface. Pre-shape the dough into a preliminary boule. Let it rest for about 15 minutes.
  7. Again, shape the loaf into a boule and place it, seam side up, into a proofing basket that has been dusted with flour. Spray the dough with spray oil, cover with plastic wrap, and place in the refrigerator overnight.
  8. The next day, preheat the oven with a cast iron Dutch oven to 475 degrees F.
  9. Remove the loaf from the refrigerator and carefully transfer it to the hot Dutch oven by turning it out onto a parchment sling and lifting it into the pot. See "how to transfer."
  10. Bake covered for 30 minutes, uncover, and bake for another 15 to 20 minutes, until the loaf reaches an internal temperature of 205 degrees F. I usually transfer the loaf to a sheet pan for the final 15 minutes to prevent burning from the Dutch oven.
  11. Cool completely on a wire rack.

Nutrition Facts



Fat (grams)

0.39 g

Sat. Fat (grams)

0.06 g

Carbs (grams)

15.93 g

Fiber (grams)

1.45 g

Net carbs

14.5 g

Sugar (grams)

0.07 g

Protein (grams)

2.87 g

Sodium (milligrams)

123.14 mg

Cholesterol (grams)

0 mg
sourdough, rye, whole wheat
Did you make this recipe?
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This is an updated post, first published June 23, 2014. At the time, I was working my way through Ken Forkish's book, Flour, Water, Salt, Yeast: The Fundamentals of Artisan Bread and Pizza. I have since finished baking every bread in the book. If you want to learn how to make artisan bread, definitely buy the book. 

P.S. In the book, Ken Forkish uses an 80 percent hydration sourdough starter. I've since just used a 100% hydration starter with great results. 

This is an adaptation of his Field Blend #2. I've cut the recipe in half and played around with the flour percentages along with the hydration of the levain. 

Would you like to comment?

  1. Awesome looking bread! I'm with you on the love for this book. I'm baking my way though from start to finish–finished the first two sections and just got my levain up to speed and ready for baking. I hope I have as much success as you've had! And that my breads look half as good as yours…

  2. I hear you! Rye is not for sissies, is it? I love the flavor it imparts to bread, but often reduce the amount in formulas because I get scared of ruining the texture or getting what I call "pancake city" ;-)

    but I think you did a great job with this recipe, your crumb looks perfect to me!

  3. HI Karen, what a great loaf of bread, looks like a perfect amount of each of the flours.

  4. Hi Karen, have you tried Tang Zhong with sourdough bread? Do you think it will make it more fluffy?

    1. I haven't tried it, but I've thought of doing it with the rye. It might gelatinize it a bit.

  5. I love all the different flour types you used in this bread!

  6. I bet this makes an amazing grilled cheese! The waiting absolutely is the hardest part!

  7. Looks delicious, as per usual. I do love caraway in rye, but I just love caraway. I've tried many experimental rye breads from artisan bakers using rye using other flavors, such as fruit. It is the new order and all those rye doughs are delicious.

  8. Beautiful loaf. I so need to do more bread...

  9. So I don’t use all the levain I made. I only use
    180 grams in final dough?

  10. Another stunning bread! Such a great crumb and flavor in this one.

    1. Thanks so much!!! This was a favorite here.


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