Naturally Leavened Whole Wheat-Rye Bread
This recipe makes one good-size loaf (about 1-1/2 pounds). I measured as I weighed, and although your ingredients will differ from mine, if you prefer measuring by volume you should still get good results. Bread is relatively forgiving. I've included timing that will get you a loaf from the oven in time for dinner.
Recipe type: bread
Makes: one large loaf
What You'll Need
  • 50 grams (about 3½ tablespoons) starter
  • 350 grams water (1½ cups + 1 tablespoon)
  • 300 grams (2¼ cups) whole wheat flour
  • 100 grams (3/4 cup) all-purpose flour (you could also use bread flour)
  • 75 grams (1/2 cup) whole rye flour
  • 7 grams salt (2 teaspoons)
What To Do
  1. 8:00pm (the night before): Measure the starter into a large, airtight container (I use a 2 quart Cambro for 1 loaf or 4 quart for 2). Add the water and stir to dissolve the starter. Add all the flour and the salt and mix well with one hand, squeezing the batter between your fingers to mix everything well. It will be quite wet and sticky. Cover with the lid and let rise at room temperature (65-75F) for 18 hours.
  2. before first rise
  3. 2:00pm (the following day): Your dough should look like this--about 50% volume increase with lots of lovely air bubbles developing in the dough.
  4. after first rise
  5. Now it needs a "turn," or folding. Use your wet hand to moisten a smooth surface, then turn out the dough using a dough spatula to ease it from the container. Pull and stretch the dough to the right and fold it back over to cover about two-thirds of the dough mass. Do the same from the left, then the top, then the bottom. (Once you have practiced this a few times this step won't take you more than two minutes.) When you are done you will have something that looks like this:
  6. folded dough
  7. Cover the dough with a towel or your container and let it relax for 15 minutes. While it rests, line a bowl with parchment strips in two directions to make a sling, then dust with a little rice flour (all-purpose will do, too).
  8. prep bowl for rise
  9. Using either your moistened hands or a bit of flour (I prefer the former), cup your hands over the dough and draw it against the surface a few times to tighten the surface and form a compact ball, then transfer it seam-side down into the bowl. Cover the bowl and let rise for 3 hours.
  10. 5:00pm: Preheat your oven to 500F with a pizza or terra cotta stone in the lower third of the oven. Identify a large, oven-proof metal bowl or pot that will fit over the stone and bread, the rim resting flat against the stone. (This will trap in steam to aid it springing your dough to its loftiest height as it bakes. I use a large Calphalon pot.)
  11. 5:30pm: Slash the dough in whatever manner you like using a double-edge razor blade, a dough lame, or a small serrated knife.
  12. scored loaf
  13. Use the parchment paper to lift the dough from its bowl and carefully slide it (with paper underneath) onto the hot stone. Immediately cover the bread with the pot or bowl, close the oven, and reduce the heat to 450F.
  14. Bake for 25 minutes, then carefully remove the HOT pot or bowl and let the bread continue baking until it is very brown, about 20 minutes longer.
  15. in oven, top off
  16. Remove the bread to a rack to cool until you can't stand it any longer, then slice using a serrated knife, load it up with butter, honey, jam, or your favorite condiment, and chomp down.
Recipe by Jennie Schacht {fork & swoon} at