Seeded Rye Bread

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I found a lovely recipe, by Anna Olson on Foodnetwork which I just had to try out.  This is a Seeded Rye Bread.  Of course rye flour doesn’t have any gluten, so a loaf made with just that would turn out rather like a house brick. So this recipe uses strong white bread flour as well to give a good amount of gluten. It has lots of seeds as well.  In the original recipe it also called for some cookie wheat berries, which I didn’t want to include, so I left them out.

The recipe makes two loaves for 2lb loaf tins( 9×5 inches).  It takes a long time to make, since a starter needs to be left for at least 14 hours before actually using it in making the eventual dough.  But that doesn’t require much effort, you simply have to wait that amount of time.

I guess this could be done by hand, but I wouldn’t recommend it as the dough is very heavy to work with and it is also very sticky indeed.  So I used my  stand mixer, which coped admirably.

Also the original recipe used a levain to create the rye starter. But since I didn’t have that I opted to use yeast and honey instead, which worked just fine.

I must say that I am very pleased with how the loaves turned out.  I loved the flavour and texture.  The deep flavour is simply wonderful and as you eat the bread you encounter the crunch of the seeds as well.  This is a loaf I shall make many times over.  It is not, for me, an every day loaf.  But it is one that I will make and freeze, in slices, to use just when the fancy takes me.

Seeded Rye Bread

Seeded Rye Bread – Video 

For the rye starter:

  • 300g (2 1/2 cups) rye flour
  • 310ml(1 1/3 cups) lukewarm water
  • 4g (1 tsp) instant yeast
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp ground cardamom.

Pre soaked bread:

  • 140g( 3 cups) day old bread, cubed, soaked in boiling water and cooled to room temperature.

For the main dough:

  • 750g(5 cups)Strong white bread flour
  • 180g(1 1/2 cups) rye flour
  • 8g(2 1/4 tsp) instant yeast
  • 120ml(1/2 cup) instant coffee
  • 80ml (1/3 cup) of the water from the soaked bread above
  • 30ml(2 tbsp) molasses
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 150g ( 1 cup) sunflower seeds
  • 150g (1 cup) pumpkin seeds
  • 40g(1/4 cup) flaxseeds
  • 1 egg mixed with 2 tbsp of water (for egg wash)


  1. In a large bowl place the 300g of rye flour with the yeast, black pepper and cardamom and mix together.
  2. Add the water and honey and mix to combine everything until fully combined into a very sticky mass.
  3. Sprinkle with a little rye flour and cover with plastic wrap and leave at room temperature for at least 14 hours.
  4. Place that started, after 14 hours, into the bowl of a stand mixer.
  5. Squeeze the water from the soaking bread, and add that bread to the bowl.
  6. Mix the yeast into the bread flour and the salt into the rye flour and add both to the bowl as well.
  7. Mix around a little, with the dough hook attachment, to spread the yeast and salt out a little.
  8. Add the coffee, saved water and molasses to the bowl and start the mixer on a low speed.
  9. Mix on that speed for 5 minutes.
  10. Add the sunflower, pumpkin and flax seeds into the bowl and mix again, on slow, for 10 minutes.
  11. The dough should be fully combined but still very sticky.
  12. Cover the dough(I transferred to a different bowl for this) with plastic wrap and leave to rise for 30 minutes.
  13. Tip the dough out onto a floured work surface.
  14. Sprinkle flour over the top of the dough too.
  15. Press the dough down and form into a log.
  16. Divide into two equal pieces.
  17. Flatten each piece into a rectangle and the roll up into a sausage shape, about the length of the loaf tin.
  18. Place in a greased loaf tin and then cover with a clean towel and leave to rise for 1 hour.
  19. Preheat the oven to 180C/160C Fan/350F.
  20. Brush egg wash over each of the risen loaves of dough.
  21. Sprinkle a few more seeds over the top.
  22. Use a serrated knife to cut a line along the centre of the dough, to allow it to open and spread a little in baking.
  23. Place both tins in the oven and bake for about 1 hour, until the temperature reaches 94C/202F, or test with a skewer.
  24. Tip out onto a wire rack, the bottom of the loaves if tapped should sound hollow.
  25. Allow to cool completely before slicing and enjoying.

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