Sourdough Rye Bread with Caraway and Onion

I was longing for a nice chewy sourdough rye bread with onions and caraway and a good crust the other day. So I decided to make a rye sour first.

Make rye sourdough starter

Taking 1/2 cup of regular sour dough starter, at feeding time I fed it with:

  • 1/3 cup rye flour
  • 1/3 cup water ( between 90-100°F)
  • 1/2 tablespoon each caraway seeds and dried onions
  • 1/2 of a fresh onion
  • 1 Tablespoon sprouted barley malt syrup (totally optional)

Mix it thoroughly and let sit in a warm room until it bubbles and doubles in size.

Feed the rye starter again with 1/2 cup rye flour and 1/2 cup water. Allow to double in size again. This process develops some of the flavor for a great rye sourdough bread.

You can refrigerate the starter now for later use or you can use it now. Be sure to save at least 1/4 cup to culture for making more!

Feed the starter every week with 1/4 cup bread flour, 1/4 cup rye flour and 1/2 cup water. Remove the 1/2 fresh onion after it has been in the culture for 1 week and discard.

Sourdough Rye Bread with Onion and Caraway

  • 4 1/2 cups bread flour
  • 2 cups rye flour
  • 2 Tablespoons kosher salt
  • 3 cups water between 90-100°F
  • 1 cup rye sourdough culture
  • 2 Tablespoons dried onions
  • 1 Tablespoon caraway seeds

Measure the flour and salt into one bowl. Mix well.

Measure the warmed water into a large bowl, whisk in the rye starter. Allow to sit for 5-10 minutes.

Make a well in the flour, pour all the water into the bowl and stir with a wooden spoon until all the flour is combined. Pay special attention to the bottom of the bowl.

Cover with plastic wrap – be sure to oil the underside so the dough will not stick when it reaches the top of the bowl.

Allow to double in size.

While the dough is rising, place the dried onions and caraway seeds into a small bowl and just cover then with hot water. We will fold these into the dough after they have been hydrated.

Sprinkle bread flour over the surface of the risen dough. Using a bowl scraper, scrape the dough onto a well floured surface. Pat the dough into a rectangle. Dust any sticky areas with flour as you work.

Spread some of the hydrated onions and caraway over the surface of the dough. Fold one side over 2/3’s  of the way, then the other side 1/3 so the onions and seeds are now in two separate layers. Turn the dough 1/4 turn.

The dough will be very tender and soft so work quickly.

Roll or pat the dough into another rectangle and spread any remaining onions and seeds over the surface and fold again; repeating 4 times, dusting sticky spots as you work.

For a batard, roll the dough in to a rectangle once more. Roll the short side up into a tight roll.

Dust a pizza peel with fine ground cornmeal and place the rolled batard on the peel. Cover with either oiled plastic wrap or a flour dusted linen cloth.

Allow to rise for 1 hour. During the last half hour, prepare your oven and steaming process. Follow instructions for baking bread with steam on this link.

Measure and combine flour and salt

Combine warm water and starter

Pour all the liquid over the flour

Stir well to combine

Form a ball

Cover with oiled plastic wrap; let rise 2 hours

Pat the dough into a rectangle; fold 2/3's across

Finish folding

Fold in half and turn 1/4 turn

Folding in additional onions and seeds

Second fold adding onions and seeds

Finish folding

Now you can shape it in a basket or on a peel or in a loaf pan. Let the dough rise for 1-2 hours; until doubled in size.

Bake with steam for 30 minutes or until the internal temperature reads 190°F for 15 seconds. You will notice the crust is nice and golden brown.

Remove the loaf from the oven and allow to cool completely before slicing.

Enjoy making and eating this Sourdough Rye with Onions and Caraway.

Sourdough Rye with Onions and Caraway

Finished loaves

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7 thoughts on “Sourdough Rye Bread with Caraway and Onion

  1. this is a work of art! beautiful loaf. would love to see more pictures of the cooked bread, it looks amazing! and it seems we are on the same wavelength… wonder what is fermenting in my kitchen? rye sourdough, for tomorrow’s rye bread (with caraway seeds!). just got hooked into the lovely taste of light rye sourdough bread after a short trip to Poland, where this is the most common type of loaf. onion must taste amazing in it. so interesting that you put the onion and the caraway seeds also in the rye culture!

    • I recall reading about wild yeast and how onion can carry and culture the yeast within the fermenting starter. I added it for good measure because the rye flour is so much heavier than bread flour. The taste is awesome. Adding onion and seeds to the culture also helps establish that “typical” flavor found in rye bread.
      I use round wooden bowls to raise the dough; the final loaf is huge! I’ll also post more pictures of the final bread.
      Please let me know how your bread turns out!

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