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Light Rye Sourdough Boule With Caraway Seeds

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A soft and chewy sourdough boule made with the perfect percentage of rye flour for flavor and workability. #starter #bread #boule #sourdough #caraway #traditional #baking #rye #heirloomgrains #realfood #wisetraditions


Rye can be a tricky and sticky flour to work with.

Here I’ve paired traditional rye flour and classic caraway with protein rich bread flour and a little whole wheat to give you a light and lofty loaf that is exceptionally easy to work with. If you are new to working with rye flour, and you want to make the perfect Light Rye Sourdough Boule then this is the place to start!

Caraway, a Classic Bread Spice

Caraway seeds have a sweet and spicy flavor and an interesting cultural and culinary history. They have been used in bread for centuries and as a flavoring for sweet or savory cuisine. To get the most from your caraway seeds make sure to toast them lightly in a hot dry frying pan. Remove the seeds from the pan when they become fragrant and let them cool before adding them to your recipes.


A soft a fluffy crumb makes this Light Rye Sourdough a wonderful bread for toasting or sandwiches!


My Light Rye Sourdough Boule is a perfect bread for toasting and buttering or holding the irresistible Rueben ingredients – hot corned beef, tangy sauerkraut, Russian dressing, and melty Swiss cheese!

Before you get into this recipe, make sure you are prepared.

Start with my in depth sourdough guide Demystifying Sourdough. In this guide you will lean about the history of sourdough, the health benefits of baking with sourdough, popular terminology, my tool recommendations, and how to start your own starter from scratch.

Next, get that starter in tip-top shape by following my feeding directions in How To Feed Your Sourdough Starter For Successful Baking.

And finally, learn how to ferment and shape the perfect sourdough boule by watching the video in my recipe How To Bake The Perfect Sourdough Boule In Your Dutch Oven.


A Soft and lofty loaf of Sourdough Rye bread.


Now the only thing left to do is get the recipe for this delicious Light Rye Sourdough Boule!


A soft and chewy sourdough boule made with the perfect percentage of rye flour for flavor and workability. #starter #bread #boule #sourdough #caraway #traditional #baking #rye #heirloomgrains #realfood #wisetraditions


A soft a fluffy crumb makes this Light Rye Sourdough a wonderful bread for toasting or sandwiches!

Light Rye Sourdough Boule with Caraway

Yield: 16
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes

This sourdough rye bread is light and fluffy with the classic sourdough tang and chew! 



  1. In a large glass or ceramic bowl mix all the ingredients into a shaggy dough. Let the dough rest for a minute or two.
  2. Start the stretch and fold process using a dough whisk or wet hands. Let the dough rest for 10 minutes between each stretch and fold. 
  3. Stretch the dough at least 5 times to build up gluten. 
  4. Cover the bowl and let the dough ferment at room temperature (65-70℉) overnight (8-12 hours) or until at least doubled. I personally like to let the dough ferment overnight to help break down the whole grain and hard to digest proteins.
  5. After the inital fermentation the dough should be filled with gas and at least doubled, if not trippled in the bowl. Using the same stretch and fold technique, deflate the dough in the bowl doing a loose "preshape". Set the dough aside to rest for 5-10 minutes before shaping.
  6. Lightly fllour your work surface and turn the dough out on the flour. Shape the dough into a nice tight boule as demonstrated in this video. Let the dough rest seam side down on the board.
  7. Place the dough seam side up in a floured banneton for the second rise. Cover the dough and let it double. This step can be done either at room temp for a quicker turn around or the dough can be retarded in the refrigerator for up to 48 hours for future baking.
  8. Once you are ready to bake, preheat your oven to 450° with a covered Dutch oven inside. Alternatively you can bake on a baking stone or in an open cast iron pan. 
  9. Cut a piece of parchment that will over hang the circumference of the boule. Turn the shaped and proofed dough out onto the parchment. Score the dough and place it in the hot Dutch oven with the lid on.
  10. Bake covered for 25 minutes. Remove the lid and continue baking for 15 more minutes. 
  11. Remove the boule from the oven and let it cool completely on a cooling rack before slicing. 


Looking For More Rye Recipes?

Try my Dark Rye Sourdough Bread with Molasses and Caraway!

A basket and platter with two little loaves of dark sourdough rye bread.


A bowl of soft chocolate chip cookie dough halva bites make the perfect healthy treat!
Raw Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Halva Bites - Raw Tahini, Raw Honey, Raw Cacao and Salt
Take a bite of this super soft, buttery cake with a crispy praline topping!
Buttery Maple Praline Coffee Cake - Made with Yogurt and Sprouted Whole Wheat Flour - Refined Sugar Free


Thursday 15th of April 2021

If retarded in the fridge overnight, can the dough go directly into preheated Dutch oven without being brought to room temperature first? Might the cooking time need extended while covered in this instance?

Butter For All

Monday 19th of April 2021

Hi Jan,

If the bread is complete proofed out of the fridge then the baking time adjustment should be negligible. Maybe and extra 5 min at the max.

Hope you enjoy the recipe!

Chuck Panarella

Saturday 23rd of January 2021

The bread tasted really good. The loaf was heavy and the crumb a little dense. When I add dried onion, caraway seeds and dill so I need more water? Thanks, Chuck

Margie Jones Hodges

Tuesday 8th of December 2020

I meant to say, should I have added more water....thanks

Margie Jones Hodges

Tuesday 8th of December 2020

I really wanted this to work, but nothing came together! I weighed everything exactly but after mixing my initial dough it was so heavy and dry. The inital stretch and those that came after were like stretching playdo. I have no idea what went wrong. It did rise and quite a bit, but the baked loaf was dense, no holes. I weighed it, heavy! Should I have added more flour? My starter was in great shape and I also made a basic sourdough loaf after that turned out great. Any advice would be appreciated. Thank you

Butter For All

Wednesday 9th of December 2020

Hi Margie!

I'm so sorry to hear it. Rye flour can be so tricky, and with sourdough there is ALWAYS the possibility that you will need to adjust flour or water depending on environmental factors, flour quality, or starter hydration.

If the dough was dry, then definitely follow your instinct and add more water until you get the right "feel". The ingredients add up to 2.6 pounds so I wonder if some water was mistakingly left out? You also want to make sure the bread has doubled on the second rise after shaping, that is the most crucial time to watch it closely so you bake it at the right time. Over or under proofed bread will be more dense.

Thanks for leaving your feedback! I really hope you will try it again!


Anna Young

Sunday 6th of September 2020

I am a Sourdough bread maker and wanted to try your recipe for Rye Sourdough. I fermented the bread for 10 hrs in a cool oven with the light on. I covered the dough with a towel. The dough at this point was firm, dense and very shapeable. After 10 hrs, the dough was wet, very sticky! I could not shape the dough at all. I am not sure what happened. Any thoughts? Should I have let it rise at room temp instead of the oven with the light on? Anyhow, I decided to place the dough into a loaf pan, cover with plastic and do an overnight rise in the refrigerator. I am not sure what temperature to bake this and for how long. . .Any thoughts would be appreciated. Thanks in advance!

Butter For All

Monday 7th of September 2020

Hi Anna,

I hope I'm getting this comment in in time! It sounds like it over-proofed. Or your starter is leaning a little toward the sour side. Did it double in the oven on the first proof? Did it double in the loaf pan?

I would probably go for room temp proofing from now on. Sometimes the extra warmth is not needed, especially with rye. I would bake for 30-35 min at 400℉. Please let me know what happens!


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