Sunday, 17 July 2011

Sourdough Rye with Raisins and Walnuts

This Sourdough Rye with Raisins and Walnuts is very light in texture compared to the dense Volkornbrot (100% Rye Bread) the Mellow Bakers made last month. I liked the Volkornbrot but this bread is a nice change.

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This past week was a crazy week for me personally and professionally. When I have days/weeks like this, it’s comforting to be able to do something I enjoy as a retreat from the craziness. Baking bread is very therapeutic and I usually try to bake bread at least a couple of times a week. I was only able to fit it in my schedule once this week, but it was definitely beneficial.

I got up early Wednesday morning to make some updates to the portal I maintain for my day job. The updates needed to be made before the workday began so I was up at 4:30am. I finished the updates and since it was still early, I realized I had enough time to start the sourdough for this Sourdough Rye with Raisins and Walnuts and still be able to bake it the same day. The sourdough takes 14 to 16 hours to ripen so that would put it at 7:30pm.

I was brain dead but I managed to make it through the day. At 7:30 pm, I mixed the dough and while the dough was proofing, I went to my favorite trail to run/walk. I overdid it a bit at the trail so I was too tired to shape the dough, let it rise and bake it that night. I decided to test the limits of this dough. I put it in the refrigerator overnight.

The next night after work, I took the dough out of the refrigerator and let it warm up a bit, then I shaped it and let it proof in proofing baskets. Then I baked it and let it cool while I climbed a mountain nearby. When I got back, my taste tester came over to help me test it.  It passed the test.


Sourdough Rye with Raisins and Walnuts

Adapted from Bread: A Baker’s Book of Techniques and Recipes by Jeffrey Hamelman

Makes: 2 large loaves



  • 2 3/8 cups whole rye flour
  • 1 1/8 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon + 2 teaspoons mature sourdough culture

Final Dough:

  • 4 1/2 cups high-gluten flour
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour (I ran out of high-gluten flour so I used a little all-purpose)
  • 3/8 cup whole rye flour
  • 1 3/4 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon instant dry yeast
  • Sourdough from above (minus 1 T, 2 tsp) I used all of the sourdough so I added a little more all-purpose flour to compensate
  • 3/4 cup raisins
  • 1 cup walnuts



  1. Prepare the sourdough and let it ripen for 14 to 16 hours. I let mine ripen for 14 hours.

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  2. Mix all of the ingredients except the raisins and walnuts in a spiral mixer for 3 minutes on first speed and about 3 minutes on second until you achieve a well-developed gluten structure. Add the raisins and walnuts and mix on first speed just until they are evenly dispersed throughout the dough.

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  3. Let the dough ferment for 1 hour.

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  4. Divide the dough into 1.5-pound pieces, shape them into round or oblong loaves and place them in banneton baskets to proof for 50 to 60 minutes.

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  5. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. with a baking stone on the middle rack and a steam pan underneath. Bake the loaves for 15 minutes at 450 degrees, then lower the temperature to 425 degrees and bake for another 20 to 25 minutes. If the bottoms of the loaves start browning too quickly, you can transfer them to baking sheets to finish the bake.
  6. Remove the loaves from the oven and let them cool completely before slicing and serving.

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  7. Slice and enjoy.  

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I hadn’t anticipated liking this Sourdough Rye as much as I do. It smells wonderful (while baking and cooling) and tastes delicious. I was hesitant to add the walnuts, but I’m glad I did. The raisins and walnuts blend very well to provide a unique and satisfying experience.

Happy Baking!


This bread has been YeastSpotted. Please visit Wild Yeast to view all of the lovely breads in the roundup.


Mellow Bakers was started by Paul at Yumarama. We baked breads from Bread: A Baker’s Book of Techniques and Recipes by Jeffrey Hamelman.

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