The Lechasseurs' Recipes

Only the "keepers"

New York-style rye sourdough

This is my version of a New York rye bread with its distinctive caraway flavour. New York rye bread is usually rounded and slightly lighter than other rye breads. I've added white flour to make it a more typical dough, If you like, you can replace the caraway seeds with dill seeds.


340 g/2 1/2 cups white strong/bread flour, plus extra for dusting
200 g/1 1/2 cups dark rye flour
5 g/1 teaspoon caraway seeds
11 g/2 teaspoons salt
27 g/1 oz. sourdough starter
325 g/325 ml/1 1/3 cups warm water (30-37°C/86-99"F)

1x 800-g/14-lbs. long proofing/dough-rising basket
Makes 1 x 800-g/1 3/4-lbs. loaf


1 In a small mixing bowl, mix the white flour, rye flour, caraway seeds and salt together thoroughly. This is the dry mixture.

2 Add the sourdough starter to a large mixing bowl. Add 3/4 of the warm water and dissolve or break up the sourdough starter with your hands.

3 Add the dry mixture to the sourdough starter. Stir the mixture slowly with your hands until it comes together and there are no dry bits at the bottom of the bowl.

4 If the mixture doesn't come together and it seems a bit dry, add all of the remaining water. The dough should be slightly sticky it is still a bit dry, add more water and remember to record how much you used for next time,

5 Cover the mixture with the small mixing bowl that had the flour mixture in it. Leave to stand for 10 minutes,

6 Knead the mixture 10 times

7 Turn the ball of dough over in the bowl and make a finger mark in the dough (to indicate the first knead).

8 Cover with the small mixing bowl and leave the dough to rest for 10 minutes.

9 Repeat steps 6-8 another 3 times:

10 Cover the dough and leave it to rise overnight in a cool place (not in the fridge).

11 The next day, gently punch down to de-gas the dough.

12 Dust a long proofing/dough-rising basket with rye flour.

13 Remove the dough from the bowl, using a light sprinkding of flour so the dough does not stick. Shape the dough with your hands into a long loaf.

14 Coat the top of the dough with flour and place seam-up into the floured proofing/dough-rising basket.

15 Allow to proof for 2-6 hours or until the dough has nearly doubled in volume Cover if a skin starts to form

16 Place the dough in the tridge for 30 minutes to stabilize it.

17 Preheat the oven to 250°C (500°F) Gas 9. Place a deep roasting tray at the bottom of the oven and a baking sheet on the middle shelf.

18 Turn the dough out onto a floured peel.

19 Slash the loaf with a sharp serrated knife or a larmé with a design of your ownchoice.

20 Slide the loaf onto the preheated baking sheet in the oven. Pour a cup of water into the hot roasting tray and lower the temperature to 220°C (425 F) Gas 7.

21 Bake for 30-40 minutes until golden brown

22 Tap the loaf on the bottom. If you hear a hollow sound, it is ready. If you are not sure, return it in the oven for a further 10 minutes

23 Allow the loaf to cool on a wire rack

Making the dough: 50 minutes
Letting the dough rise: 8-12 hours
Knocking back and shaping the dough: 10 minutas
Final proofing: 2-6 hours
Resting in the fridge: 30 minutes
Baking: 30-40 minutes
Cooling: 30 minutes