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Light Rye Sourdough Boule With Caraway Seeds

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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!

A collage of loaves of bread with text overlay.

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 cut loaf showing the soft and fluffy crumb.

My light rye sourdough boule is a perfect bread for toasting and buttering or holding the irresistible Reuben 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 learn 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 loaf of sourdough rye bread.

Now the only thing left to do is get the recipe for this delicious light rye sourdough boule!

A finished sourdough boule with text overlay.

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 five times to build up gluten. 
  4. Cover the bowl and let the dough ferment at room temperature (65 to 70℉) overnight (8 to 12 hours) or until at least doubled. I like to let the dough ferment overnight to help break down the whole grain and hard-to-digest proteins.
  5. After the initial fermentation, the dough should be filled with gas and at least doubled if not tripled 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 to 10 minutes before shaping.
  6. Lightly flour 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 temperature 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°F 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 overhang 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.



Monday 17th of July 2023

My dough was very stiff each time I folded it. It did triple in size after the long rise but still feels stiff and a bit dry. What did I do wrong?

Thanks, Barbara

Butter For All

Monday 24th of July 2023

Hi Barbara!

You probably just need to adjust hydration. It's always ok to add a little extra water or flour to any recipe. In this case, 25-50g of water would have helped the dough be more pliable and in turn rise faster. Some whole grain flour, like rye, will require extra water. It really depends on the flour itself so it's not something I can account for ion the the recipe. Just know, you can always tweak sourdough hydration without any issues.

Happy Baking!



Tuesday 4th of July 2023

I love how you provide 'metric' and American measurements for ingredients.

Thank You !!!


Tuesday 20th of June 2023

Hello again.

I misstated my location not the river Calapooia, the mountain range, the school or other landmarks.

It should be the land of the Kalapuya

Thanks for sharing your knowledge.


Tuesday 20th of June 2023

Hello Courtney,

I recently had a vacation in Yachats with my partner. We purchased a loaf of Sourdough Rye with Caraway Seeds at Bread and Roses. It was delicious. I've been baking sourdough bread for several years. My partner put in a request for to bake something like the loaf we got on the coast. I plan on giving your recipe a try once it's cool enough to bake again this fall.

David, Living in the land of the Calapooia

Butter For All

Saturday 1st of July 2023

Hi David!

I think you'll really like this recipe. It is one of my best sellers at the farmer's market. The texture is perfect for toasting and making sandwiches. I'd love to hear how it goes when you bake it up.

Thanks for the nice note!



Tuesday 21st of June 2022

Nice beautiful light , great tasting bread Will make it again Just use patience, it is worth it !!! I am 69, and just learned how to make sourdough last year, It’s all about how it “feels “ Keep baking A new sourdough gal… Annelie

Butter For All

Wednesday 29th of June 2022

Hi Annelie!

I'm so happy to hear this bread recipe was a success for you! Sounds like you are a natural :)



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