Two-Fifths Sourdough Rye Beer Bread

29 Feb

This recipe is an adaptation from Veronika at  It uses the no-knead method and allows the gluten which is very weak in rye breads to develop slowly.  I decided to add some dark beer to give it an extra kick and also used First Clear flour instead of Bread or AP flour.  I ended up keeping the dough in the refrigerator for an extended period since I ran out of time to let it rise completely at room temperature.  I think this ended up creating an extremely sour sourdough rye which is not for the faint of heart.  If you want a more mellow tasting bread, I suggest you follow the directions below.

All in all, the bread turned out fairly well with a nice crispy crust and chewy, moist crumb.  The beer definitely added another flavor profile which makes this bread ideal for a nice sharp cheese and beer.



5 oz. water (90 degrees F.)

3 oz. Rye Flour (I used medium grade from KAF)

2 oz. First Clear Flour (you can substitute Bread flour or High Gluten flour)

2 oz. Refreshed Starter (100 % Hydration White Starter or Rye or Whole Wheat)

Final Dough

7 oz. Dark Rye Flour

10.5 oz. First Clear Flour (or Bread flour or High Gluten)

2 Tsp. Salt

1 – 2 TBS Caraway Seeds (more or less depending on your preference.  I used 1.5 TBS)

12 oz. Dark Beer


Prepare the starter and let it sit out at room temperature for 5-8 hours until it is nice and bubbly and ripe.  You can use it immediately or put it in the refrigerator overnight until ready to use.

Mix the starter with the room temperature beer and break it up.  Next mix in the flours and salt until the dough comes together and is still sticky. You don’t need to over-mix the dough as it will now sit covered with some plastic wrap for 18-20 hours at room temperature.  (This is the point where after around 8 hours I put it in my refrigerator).  After 18-20 hours the dough should be nice and puffy and ready to turn out on an either a lightly floured work surface or lightly oiled one.  Do several stretch and folds and then put the dough in your floured banneton or bakers couche for its final journey which should take around 1.5 – 3 hours.

When the final dough is nice and puffy and passes the finger poke test, prepare your oven for hearth baking.

Pre-heat oven with baking stone (I use one on bottom and one on top shelf of my oven), to 500 degrees F.

Slash loaves as desired and place empty pan in bottom shelf of oven.

Pour 1 cup of very hot water into pan and place loaves into oven.

Lower oven to 450 Degrees and bake for 25 – 35 minutes until bread is golden brown and internal temperature reaches 200 degrees.

Shut the oven off and leave the bread inside with the door slightly open for 10 minutes.  This will help dry the loaves out and keep the crust crunchy.

Let cool on cooling rack and enjoy!

This post has been submitted to the Yeast Spotting Site here:

7 Responses to “Two-Fifths Sourdough Rye Beer Bread”

  1. Veronika March 1, 2012 at 3:23 am #

    Hey there, and I am really glad you liked the recipe enough to adapt it for yourself!

    I have to admit that I have never baked bread with beer, but I have heard that speeds the fermentation up. I don’t drink beer, but now I am curious to try to bake with it if it imparts deeper flavor on the bread.

    Regarding leaving the dough in the refrigerator – I tend to make this bread overnight, so I would mix it in the afternoon or evening, and leave it out on the counter till late the next morning. Now, I study from home so I am actually at home to bake it the next morning, but it would work well with regular office-hours job (if that’s what you have) too – just mix it Friday afternoon and bake Saturday after sleeping in!

    However, I have successfully retarded all-wheat no-knead bread overnight on top of some 6 hours fermentation – how long did you leave it in the fridge for if you don’t mind telling? (Not that I ever minded the bread getting very sour so I may be a very subjective judge of that…)

    • mookielovesbread March 1, 2012 at 6:40 pm #

      Hi Veronika,
      Thanks for getting back to me. I almost always retard my dough in the refrigerator, but I usually don’t leave it out at room temperature for more than 2 to 3 hours. I believe I left the dough out at room temperature, around 70 degrees F. for 5-6 hours and then I left it in the refrigerator for at least 12 -14 hours. I think it was a combination of the long fermentation and the dark beer I used that gave it such a sour taste. Don’t get me wrong it tastes pretty good, but I think the crumb would have been more open also if I had maybe followed your fermenation schedule closer. I will certainly try this again and maybe add some chedar cheese as well next time. thanks again for the inspiration.
      P.S. I liked your last post regarding the cheese bread. I do love to add cheese to bread as what can really be much better than that!

      • Veronika March 2, 2012 at 11:56 am #

        You are very welcome, and hm, I suspect the really sour flavor is a result of beer rather than the really long retardation – as my recommendation is for that time at room temperature! Either it’s the beer (which would not surprise me), or it is the combo of that and rye. Most traditional rye recipes I’ve encountered suggest an 18-20 hour sourdough fermentation as normal – but it could be that Scandinavians tend to like their rye bread very sour, too.

        As to cheese – cheese is wonderful, and more so in or on bread, or both! If bacon is an argument against being vegetarian, cheese would certainly be the one against being vegan – for me, anyway. But who am I kidding, I am a carnivore at heart! 😀

        • mookielovesbread March 2, 2012 at 12:48 pm #

          Bacon and cheese is a can’t miss combo!
          Have a great weekend.

  2. Russ March 1, 2012 at 11:01 am #

    Do you mind sharing your sourdough starter recipe? I use Peter Reinhardt’s, and it may be my local yeasties are boring, but sour bread continues to elude me. It sounds like your starter is much wetter than mine which is more like dough, not “bubbly” but simply rises. Oh, and your bread sounds fantastic. My next loaf will be either your corn flour bread or your previous multi grain bread. Thanks!!

    • mookielovesbread March 1, 2012 at 6:49 pm #

      Hi Russ,
      I am very happy you enjoy my posts and I would love to see some of your own results with my recipes.
      As far as the starter goes, I always start with my Peter Reinhart stater which is similar to yours I believe. I usually use the following formula to refresh my starter: 3.5 – 3.7 oz. starter, 6.8 oz. water and 10.5 oz. AP flour. I adapted this from his Whole Wheat starter formula and find it works great in any recipe requiring a stiff starter.
      For a recipe like the one in question, I tried to follow the original recipes directions which called for a 100% starter that also used part rye flour. I simply took 5 oz. water, 3 oz. medium rye flour and 2 oz. First Clear (you can use bread or high gluten flour) and 2 oz. of my active and recently refreshed white flour starter (stiff) and mix together for a couple of minutes. I then leave this at room temperature for 6-7 hours (usually overnight) and then either use it right away or refrigerate it and use it within a day or 2. I hope this helps.
      Feel free to ask any other questions and I will be glad to try and help you.

      When making the sour dough recipes, in general you have 2 choices. One you can refresh you starter and use part of it the very next day in your recipe or you can take your 1-3 day old starter and use a piece of it to create a new refreshed starter for your recipe of choice.


      • Russ March 2, 2012 at 11:05 am #

        Thanks Ian!!!!! Have a good weekend.

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