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Jun 23, 2014

White, Whole Rye, and Whole Wheat Sourdough Bread

White, Whole Rye, and Whole Wheat Sourdough Bread

This White, Whole Rye, and Whole Wheat Bread just begins to push my patience on the amount of rye flour I can manage before getting frustrated. 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.

Is this too much bread geek talk?

White, Whole Rye, and Whole Wheat Sourdough Bread

Mr. Kitchen actually said, and I quote, "this bread has a stronger flavor, which is really good. I never would have liked this until you started to make bread."

Well, thank you very much!

White, Whole Rye, and Whole Wheat Sourdough Bread

This bread begins with a fed 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. It tastes nothing like supermarket rye bread. It tastes more like a light wheat bread with a slight earthiness.

White, Whole Rye, and Whole Wheat Sourdough Bread



100 g active starter
400 g all purpose unbleached white flour
100 g whole wheat flour
400 g lukewarm water

Final Dough

540 g all purpose unbleached white flour
85 g whole wheat flour
175 g whole rye flour
620 g lukewarm water
21 g salt
2 g instant yeast
360 g 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-folds," 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. Divide it into two and pre-shape it into two preliminary boules. Let them rest for about 15 minutes.
  7. Again, shape the loaves into boules and place them into proofing baskets that have been dusted with flour. Spray the bread with spray oil, cover with plastic wrap, and place in the refrigerator overnight. 
  8. The next day, preheat the oven with two cast iron Dutch ovens at 475 degrees F.
  9. Remove the loaves from the refrigerator and carefully transfer them to the hot Dutch ovens by turning them out onto parchment slings and lifting them into the pots. 
  10. Bake covered for 30 minutes, uncover, and bake for another 15 to 20 minutes, until the loaves reach an internal temperature of 205 degrees F.
  11. Cool on a wire rack. 
For more details on the steps for this bread, check out this post.

This White, Whole Rye, and Whole Wheat Sourdough Bread is adapted from the Field Blend #2 recipe in Ken Forkish's Flour Water Salt Yeast: The Fundamentals of Artisan Bread and Pizza.

I've now baked 13 of the breads in the book, and have 6 to go. It's an official obsession.

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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.


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