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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. 


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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!


Lynn Maxwel

Thursday 23rd of July 2020

I’m a seasoned bread maker, however... you need to explain step #4 foot me as it is very confusing. I’ve read it many times, to myself and my family members. We’re all confused. I guess I need a simplified, separate versions of leveling methods please. My son is making traditional Montreal smoked meat this weekend and I plan to make this recipe for the sandwiches. I’m going to do the traditional steamed bread with hopefully this recipe. Thanks in advance! Lynn

Butter For All

Thursday 23rd of July 2020

Hi Lynn,

I'm so sorry for the confusion. There are two different methods for fermenting this bread. Eitherin the refrigerator or overnight at room temp. So I'm saying "If you plan to shape the bread and then let it do a second ferment in the refrigerator, let the dough ferment at room temperature until at least double before shaping and refrigerating. (The first method) Alternatively, you can ferment the dough at room temperature overnight and then shape it, let it rise again at room temperature, and bake it. (the second method). I agree, These directions are really confusing and not worded well. I appreciate you taking the time to leave me a note. I'll also edit the original recipe!

Hope the bread works out for you!


Amy-Grace Enzer

Monday 18th of May 2020

How long would you reccomend I leave the dough to rise again following bulk fermentation and shaping?

Butter For All

Tuesday 19th of May 2020

Hi Amy-Grace!

I can't tell you for certain, it depends on your starter, you want it to double but not overproof. Mine usually doubles in 2-4 hours after shaping.

Hope that helps!


Friday 10th of January 2020

Your light sourdough rye with caraway looks like the bread I grew up with from TTK bakery in Manchester, NH Mum bought the loaf with no caraway seed. The crust was flaky, really flaky, and she called the bottom of th loaf, "the linoleum." My Bacia would hold the load against her chest and saw off the linoleum with a large knife. TTK is no longer in business —long gone — and I would like to try to duplicate that bread. Any suggestions? My bread making is limited to a weekly load of oatmeal/molasses bread for my lunch sandwiches. Thank yu.

Butter For All

Saturday 11th of January 2020

Hi Lois.

What a nice story. Thank you for sharing! Interesting that the crust was flaky, now I want to know how to make a flaky crust! My first thought is butter - Try using melted butter while shaping the loaf... I'll look into it further!

Happy Baking,


Patrick Stevens

Monday 6th of January 2020

This bread is great just made a loaf over the weekend. Will make again, think it is going to pair perfect with my house made pastrami and kraut. Having a Reuben social in a few weeks, and i think this is going to complete it. Thanks for the recipe.

Butter For All

Tuesday 7th of January 2020

Hi Patrick!

Wow, a Reuben social, that just sounds incredible! So glad my bread recipe made the cut! You are very welcome :)

I'd love to see your sandwiches if you want to share pics!!!