Rye is a wonderful, earthy grain which also is naturally rich in the types of yeasts which do well in sourdough cultures. The breads in this section are all raised using a rye starter, which is a very potent and workable starter from a breadmaker's perspective.

Breads made using a rye starter always have the signature flavour of the rye itself, whether they are made entirely using another grade of flour or not. Rye carries itself very well and is unmistakeable in any bread.

Full Rye Sourdough

Written by Warwick Quinton. Posted in Rye starter breads

Full Rye Sourdough


Full Rye Sourdough, like a select few of the breads I'm currently making, has been part of my bread family for many years. 

The thing about most rye bread is that it's usually blended with wheat, because rye flour has only 5% protein. Which makes a lovely bread, of course, but most bakeries steer clear of making breads with 100% rye flour because it's very difficult to get a decent rise out of them. 

I have been playing with rye flours and rye meals for twenty years now, and I've learned how to get the best from the grain. It takes a lot of time and plenty of patience. And a fair bit of water. But that's all I'm saying.

I don't add any colouring to my full rye either. It looks lighter than other rye breads because that is the natural colour of rye. Most rye breads get their colour from either malt flour or molasses. Real rye is not dark brown at all - it's kind of a browny grey. I suppose the marketers and bakers think it's not too pretty - but I think it's gorgeous, and it's earthy tone should be shown off. In keeping with the whole idea of 'keeping it simple', my full rye contains only rye, water and salt. The deep, rich flavour comes from a 72 hour fermentation and a very slow mix. 

Classic rye bread is sweet and sour - like life, I guess. It also has quite a soft mouth feel, so it is best with soft, salty toppings like salmon or sardines. It's also delicious with avocado, hommus, ripe brie, blue cheese, or tahini. Of course, rye with nutella is a lovely, naughty treat. 

The Full Rye weighs in at 1kg and also 500g. It's the only bread I bake in a tin, due to rye's need for guidance. It's a wayward grain, I guess. Give it a good home and it'll be just fine. 

Rye, Oat and Barley Sourdough

Written by Warwick Quinton. Posted in Rye starter breads

 Rye, Oat and Barley Sourdough Bread

Rye, Oat and Barley Sourdough has become a regular member of my sourdough bread family these days. It is a 'porridge bread', meaning that it contains a porridge, or 'soak' of barley grain and rolled oats.

Have a look at the porridge bread section of this website for more information about this technique. It creates a grainy bread that is soft, moist and sweet. 

The porridge is combined with a light rye dough, and enriched with a touch of wholewheat. The resulting bread is quite special - and very nutritious. Barley is an ancient grain, being beneficial for human gut flora while also containing many B group vitamins. Oats are said to lower cholestol.

Because of it's grainy exterior, this bread must be baked in a slow woodfired oven, giving it a thick, soft and very flavoursome crust.

Enjoy it with a salty matured cheese, or some tangy strawberry jam.   

Light Rye Sourdough

Written by Warwick Quinton. Posted in Rye starter breads

Light Rye Sourdough Bread


Light Rye Sourdough is one of my very favourite styles - it has been following me around for over twenty years now, and comes from the classic pain de campagne  - literally 'bread of the country'. It contains about 25% rye flour, blended with wheat, which gives the bread a sort of earthiness which only rye can do.

Rye grain has about half the protein of wheat, meaning that a rye bread has a lovely soft mouth feel. It is very digestible, and goes well with all types of toppings. It lends itself especially well to smoked salmon or bratwurst, cream cheese and/or berry jam.

Traditionally, the pain de campagne is shaped in a miche or cob shape, though I prefer to mould mine as a cylinder or batard, for ease of use and consistent slice size. It weighs 750 grams, and keeps moist for over a week out of the fridge.