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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.



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 :)



joan moldenhauer

Wednesday 25th of May 2022

Im making the light rye sourdough boule and notice the ingredients: Ingredients 250 grams (2 cups) organic rye flour 225 grams (1 1/2 cups) organic bread flour 100 grams (3/4 cup) organic whole wheat flour 250 grams (1 cup) active sourdough starter, 100% hydration "14 grams (2 teaspoons) salt" 8 grams (1 tablespoon) caraway seeds, toasted 355 grams (1 1/2 cup) water

say 14 grams of salt. When that is measured out it is 4 teaspoons but yet the ingredients say it would equal 2 teaspoons. Can you clarify this for me please Joanm


Wednesday 25th of May 2022

@Butter For All, I use a scale all the time that’s why I’m confused. I weighed out, in grams, the sea salt and then weighed out Diamond kosher salt fine grind, and came up with the same numbers but…I’ll recheck my scale and salts again thanks for the reply.

Butter For All

Wednesday 25th of May 2022

Hi Joan!

The salt I use - Redmond Real Salt - weighs 6-7 grams per teaspoon. If you have the ability to weigh ingredients, always use the weighted measurement. Volume measurements are always approximate. I add them to my recipe for convenience for those without a scale.

Happy baking!


Karen Cook

Saturday 3rd of July 2021

Hi Courtney Another delicious recipe! I have made it twice now & I struggled to shape it because my dough was very sticky. Also it was quite flat. However in my 2 yr sourdough ‘journey’ I am perfectly happy with odd shapes as long as it tastes great. Rye flour is tricky but worth persevering with I feel. Thank you so much for all of your recipes. The Dark Rye bread is very popular with my family. Going to try the Kamut loaf next. Best wishes from Scotland 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿 Karen

Butter For All

Monday 5th of July 2021

Hi Karen!

Wonderful, I'm so happy you love the taste! And yes, I agree, rye is super tricky because it's so sticky. Don't be afraid to use a generous amount of flour on your work surface, and try to build as much tension during shaping as possible. I'm wanting to do more videos, so maybe I can demonstrate the shaping process of this dough!

I think you will love the Kamut. That is a VERY easy dough to handle!

Best to you and your family,



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

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