Overnight Sourdough Rye Bread


Fresh out of the oven!

This is a bread that needs a LOT of time!  The finished result, with its tangy sourdough flavour, is well worth it.

Begin by preparing the starter the evening before.  We used our rye starter, The Rye of SourOn, but a regular starter can be used as well.

Overnight Sourdough Rye Bread

Overnight starter:
1 cup sourdough starter
2 cups warm water
2 1/2 cups rye flour

  1. Mix the ingredients in a large bowl.  Cover and let stand overnight in a warm place, such as the oven with the light on.overnight.sourdough.rye.sliced


Overnight starter
1 cup milk
3 Tbsp butter
3 Tbsp sugar
2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water
3 cups rye flour, or 2 1/2 cups rye flour, 1/2 cup flax meal
3 – 5 cups all purpose flour
1/8 cup crushed sunflower seeds, to coat top of loaves (optional)
(place roasted, salted sunflower seeds into a slide lock freezer bag and crush with a rolling pin)

The night before: prepare overnight starter

The next morning:

  1. Pour the milk into a saucepan and scald.  Add the butter to melt, then stir in salt and sugar. Set aside to cool for about 10 minutes.
  2. Sprinkle yeast over warm water and let stand for about 5 minutes.
  3. Stir yeast and cooled milk mixture into the overnight starter.  Stir well.
  4. Mix in optional flax meal and rye flour.  Beat thoroughly until batter is smooth.
  5. Cover lightly and set in a warm, draft free place to rise until almost doubled in size; about 30-40 minutes.


    Shaped loaves after rising.

  6. Stir down dough.  Add all purpose flour, a little at a time, until a medium stiff dough begins to form.  Turn onto a floured surface and knead in more flour, as needed.  Continue kneading for another 8-10 minutes, or until soft and elastic.
  7. Divide dough in half, cover lightly and let rest for 10 minutes.
  8. Prepare baking sheet or loaf pans.
  9. Shape the dough into loaves.  Place crushed sunflower seeds onto kneading surface and press tops of the loaves into the seeds before placing on the baking sheet/into loaf pans.
  10. Cover lightly and let rise for about 1 hour in a warm, draft free place.
  11. Preheat oven to 375F.  Bake for about 45 minutes.  Note: if the bread is a golden brown at 30 minutes, tend with foil to prevent further browning.
  12. Place baked loaves on cooling racks.



Basic Sourdough Rye Bread

The following is the Rogers Basic Rye Bread recipe, modified into a sourdough version.

We have never used lemon juice in bread baking before, but the packaging for our rye flour recommends it as a conditioner for no-additive flour.  In fact, the packaging is very enthusiastic about the use of lemon juice in bread baking! 😀

We did not use the optional caraway seeds.

This time around, I decided to use our pizza stone.  It’s been ages since I used it, and I wanted to see how it worked for bread baking.  The stone cannot be oiled, so the surface is dusted with only corn meal to prevent sticking.

Basic Sourdough Rye Breadsourdough.rye.prep

1/2 cup warm water
1 tsp molasses
1 Tbsp Yeast

  1. Dissolve yeast and honey in warm water and let stand for 10 minutes.

2 Tbsp molasses
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 Tbsp salt
1 cup water
1 cup rye sourdough starter
1 Tbsp lemon juice
3 cups rye flour
2 1/2 – 3 1/2 cups all purpose flour

Optional: 1 Tbsp caraway seeds
Optional: egg wash (1 egg beaten in about 1 Tbsp water)

Note: honey can be used in place of molasses

  1. In a large bowl, mix molasses, oil, salt, optional seeds, warm water, lemon juice and starter.  Add the yeast mixture and mix well.
  2. Add the rye flour and beat with an electric mixer on low for 2 minutes, or by hand for about 200 strokes.
  3. Add all purpose flour by the half cup full until a stiff dough is formed.
  4. Turn the dough onto a floured surface and knead thoroughly, adding more flour as needed.  Knead for about 5 minutes, or until dough is smooth and elastic.
  5. Form the dough into a ball and place into a greased bowl, turning the dough to coat all sides with oil.  Cover and place in a warm spot to rise until doubled; about 1 – 2 hours.
  6. Punch down the dough and divide into two pieces for regular sized loves, or four pieces for mini loaves.
  7. Lightly knead and shape the pieces into loaves and place onto prepared baking pans.  Cover and let rise for about 20 minutes.  Score the loaves with a sharp knife.  Add optional egg wash.
  8. Place in centre rack of oven preheated to 350F.  Bake for about 40 – 45 minutes for regular sized loaves or about 25-30 minutes for mini-loaves.
  9. Allow finished loaves to cool on rack.


Sourdough Cornmeal Muffins

It’s been a while since I posted a recipe!

Last night, I decided to do another recipe I haven’t made in a long time.  Normally, I would have done a double recipe, but I didn’t have enough cornmeal left.


Here is a recipe for:

Sourdough Cornmeal Muffins
adapted from The Sourdough Cookbook by Rita Davenport


1 cup flour
1 cup cornmeal
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1 egg
1/2 cup sourdough starter
1/4 cup oil
1 cup milk

  • Prepare tins for 12 muffins and set aside.
  • Preheat oven to 400C.
  • In a large bowl, mix try ingredients together.
  • In a medium bowl, beat egg, then stir in remaining ingredients.
  • Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and stir until just moistened.
  • Divide batter into 12 muffin cups (about 3/4 full each).
  • Bake 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown.
  • Remove from muffin tins.  Serve hot.



They’re good cold, too!

If they last long enough to become so. 😀

Excellent with a nice cup of rooibos tea!


Sourdough Cornmeal Pancakes

It’s been ages since I’ve made these, and they are absolutely my favourite pancake recipe, ever.  They’re just a bit of a PITA to make. 😀

The original recipe called for sour cream.  I substituted yogurt “cheese”, which my daughter described as “sour cream 2.0 – like sour cream, but MORE”. 😀  I was out of yogurt cheese, but I still had some of our homemade yogurt, so I quickly made some.  It took two batches to get the amount I needed for a double recipe, and I also have some whey for our next bread baking.

So I’ll start with instructions on how to make small batch yogurt “cheese” for a sour cream substitute.

About 1/2 cup yogurt
2 coffee filters
fine sieve/strainer that will fit over a measuring cup
2 cup measuring cup

  1. Place the strainer over the measuring cup.  (If yours has a heavier handle like mine does, you might need to have something next to it to prop it up.)
  2. Line the strainer with 1 coffee filter
  3. Pour in the yogurt.  Let sit to drain long enough that, when you pull the coffee filter inwards, then let it fall back again, the yogurt stays behind cleanly.  About an hour or so.  You will find the outer edges are thicker and the middle is still soft.
  4. Draw edges of coffee filter in and lift out the yogurt.  Place the second filter into the strainer.  Gently roll the yogurt into the new filter, so that the softer middle is mostly on the bottom of the filter.  Leave to drain until desired thickness.
  5. At this point, if you want it to drain faster, or want a thicker “cheese”, fold the filter sides over the yogurt to completely cover it.  Place a small, flat object (I used one of the many tiny dishes in my collection) over the filter, than add a weight, such as a can of beans, on top.
  6. When at desired consistency, remove from coffee filter, place in a sealed container and refrigerate.
  7. Reserve the liquid for bread baking.

The 1/2 cup of yogurt will yield about 1/3 cup yogurt “cheese”, depending on how long you let it sit to drain.

And now… on to the pancakes!

This recipe is modified from “Cornmeal Pancakes” in The Sourdough Cookbook by Rita Davenport.


The amounts pictured here is for a DOUBLE recipe of Sourdough Cornmeal Pancakes.

Here is the ingredients list for a SINGLE recipe.

1/2 cup cornmeal
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp sugar
1 egg
1/2 cup sourdough starter
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup sour cream (or thick yogurt or yogurt “cheese”)
1 1/2 Tbsp vegetable oil


Sourdough Cornmeal Pancakes

  1. In a medium bowl, combine all dry ingredients, then set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, beat the egg, then mix in milk and starter.
  3. Add egg mixture to the dry ingredients and stir until just moistened.
  4. Fold in oil and sour cream or sour cream substitute.
  5. Preheat and oil frying pan.  Cook 1/4-1/2 cup of batter per pancake for a minute or two, each side.

Note: kitchen chemistry!  When the wet and dry ingredients combine, the acidic sourdough starter and sour cream/yogurt cheese will react to the baking powder and baking soda, causing it to bubble up.  The batter will still be very thick, but light and fluffy at the same time.  Be gentle with it, to keep those bubbles for light and fluffy pancakes!

I like these with nothing but a bit of melted butter on them, but of course you can top them with whatever you want.

I hope you enjoy these as much as we do!

The Re-Farmer

Sourdough Banana Bread Muffins

While my husband and I ended up being away for far longer than expected, our daughters did some baking.  Along with the now regular baking of 4 loaves of sourdough bread, they made sourdough banana bread muffins with chocolate chips, modifying a recipe they found for banana bread online.

It was a marvelous treat to come home to!


Sourdough Banana Bread, with muffin variation


3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter
2 brown bananas
1 egg
1 cup starter
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp soda
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup nuts, chips, etc.

  1. preheat oven to 350F
  2. cream butter and sugar
  3. add banana, egg, vanilla.  Beat like hell.
  4. slowly mix in starter.
  5. mix in flour, soda and salt
  6. stir in your choice of nuts, chocolate chips, etc.
  7. pour into greased loaf pan
  8. bake for 60 minutes or until inserted toothpick comes out clean.

For muffin variation, add paper liners to 20 muffin cups.  Fill 3/4s full with batter and bake for 20 minutes, or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Sourdough Bread Variation: Cheese and Olive Roll

Today, we made another variation of the Quick and Easy Sourdough Bread recipe.

For the last while, we’ve been making a Black Olive and Cheddar variation that has been so delicious.  With today’s bread baking, I did two loaves this way.

The other two loaves were made into rolled loaves.  The other change was that I used the liquid from our yogurt “cheese” making.

I also made another technique variation, by accident. 😀


As I usually do when using sourdough, I pre-measured all the ingredients, using a doubled recipe.  At this point, the only change is the type of liquid.

Following the recipe, I added the yeast, starter, sugar, salt and 4 cups of flour into the liquid, mixing well.  It’s been a while since I’ve made it, as my younger daughter has been the enthusiastic bread baker for the last while.  The batter seemed thinner than usual, but so was the starter, and that was what the recipe said, so I went with it.  When it was well mixed, I covered the bowl and set it aside in a sun spot, then headed out for a quick run into town with my younger daughter to get some unexpected necessities.

While we were gone, my older daughter chopped up a can of black olives and shredded some Old cheddar cheese for me.

While out and about and chatting, I mentioned what I’d done with the bread so far, then realized…

I’d forgotten to double the quantity of flour.  It should have been 8 cups, not 4! 😀

No worries.  I knew that doing it this way would result in a sponge, and I was good with that variation.

This is what it looked like when we got back, about an hour later.


Look and that beautiful chemical reaction!  So bubbly. 😀

Normally, after rising, the soda is kneaded into the dough with 1 cup of flour.  Since I was working with a sponge, I stirred in 2 more cups first, then added the soda with the 3rd cup of flour.  By the 4th cup, I was mixing it in by hand and continued to knead in more flour, little by little, in the bowl until it was thick enough to start kneading on the table.

I didn’t add much more flour after that.

After well kneading the dough, I divided it in half and set one part aside.  With the remaining half, I cut it in half again for two loaves.  With each piece, I kneaded them a bit before rolling them out into rectangles.  Leaving an edge all around, I spread out some chopped olives and shredded cheese.


Typically, I would have brushed melted butter on the dough, first, but I didn’t feel like melting any butter, so I just used the cheese and olives alone.  After rolling the dough up, I pinched the seams to seal them and tucked the ends under before placing the rolled loaf into an oiled baking pan.  I started preheating the oven in between shaping the two loaves.

When the rolled loaves were done and waiting to go into the oven, I took the rest of the dough and kneaded in the olives and cheddar, as we have been doing normally for the past while.  The moisture of the olives does require adding a bit more flour as it’s being kneaded in.


With these loaves, I slashed the tops so they wouldn’t split while rising in the oven.  I also rubbed the tops with oil (I’d forgotten to do that with the rolled loaves before putting them in the oven).

They took about 35 minutes to finish baking.

Despite my pinching the seams to seal the rolls, cheese still managed to escape and overflow on one side of each loaf, just a bit.


Oh, did they ever turn out wonderful!

As of this writing, 1 1/2 loaves are already eaten.  It was basically supper! 😀

Oh, they were so good!

My daughters have asked me to keep doing these rolled loaves from now on.  They are liked even better than just kneading the olives and cheese into the dough.

While I was waiting on the loaves to bake, I posted a couple of pictures on my Facebook page.  A friend of mine asked me if I were interested in some whey in the spring, if she has any left over.

Of course, I said yes!

I have awesome friends.

As for the use of the yogurt liquid instead of water, there wasn’t a huge taste difference; the olives and cheese overpower it, really.  The texture was finer, though, and the bread moister and lighter.

This variation was a definite success!

The Re-Farmer


An excellent post for sourdough aficionados!

Random thoughts

Debbie, at Stopping To Get My Bearings  asked about how I made the loaves in the prior post.

Hopefully this is organized enough.  It’s more of some notes and thoughts than a precise recipe.

I’ve found that sourdough bread–or any bread, for that matter–is somewhat difficult to turn into a precise recipe because of the imprecise nature of the ingredients, the kitchen environment and the things used to bake the bread.

  • I measure flour by volume knowing the amount of flour actually in the measuring cup depends on how tightly the flour gets packed in the measuring cup.
  • I live in the desert.  When I spent some summers at my grandparents’ house in (humid) Ohio,  I needed more flour than I expected to get the dough to “feel right”.
  • The altitude makes a difference.  I was used to making bread at around 1200 feet (375 meters) above sea level. …

View original post 1,787 more words

Quick Sourdough Chocolate Cupcakes

When we were living in Victoria, BC, and had made our first sourdough starter, this recipe from The Sourdough Cookbook was one of our favorites.  Not only was it chocolatey and delicious, it was one of the few things we could bake in our wonky PMQ oven.  We couldn’t bake a cake, because it had hot and cold spots so bad, parts of it would be raw and parts overcooked, but we could manage cupcakes and muffins.

We didn’t bake very often at all while living there.

Last night, I gave Sir Sour Alot a new home in one of our giant Tupperware Thatsa Bowls.  Since there is so much room in there, I fed it more than usual so that there would be lots left over after my daughters baked bread today.  With the larger amount of starter, it will be good to be able to use it for multiple things, all in one day.  They made 4 loaves of black olive and cheddar bread today.  While the first pair of loaves was baking, I started to pre-measure the ingredients and prepare the pans.  That way, when the second pair of loaves came out, I could quickly start mixing the batter while the oven got to temperature (the bread recipe calls for the same temperature, but with glass loaf pans, we reduce by 25F, so it was already pretty close).

Here is the recipe;


Quick Chocolate Cupcakes
(from The Sourdough Cookbook)
preheat oven to 400F and pre-measure the ingredients.

1/2 cup sourdough starter
1 egg
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup softened butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup cocoa powder (sifted)
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt

  1. Grease 16 muffin cups, or line with paper liners; set aside. (note: I prepared 18 muffin cups)
  2. Place all ingredients into a large bowl – do not mix until all are combined.
  3. Beat with electric mixer on high speed for 2 minutes.
  4. Fill prepared muffin cups 2/3 – 3/4 full with batter.
  5. Bake in preheated oven for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into a cupcake comes out clean.
  6. Remove from muffin cups and cool on rack.

The recipe then says to put frosting on them, but I don’t think we have ever bothered! 😀

When I started mixing these today, the batter was MUCH thicker than I expected.  Almost a dough, rather than a batter.  I think perhaps the sourdough starter was thicker than when we’d made it before.  I ended up adding extra milk to it.  It still was really thick, but it turned out wonderfully, anyways.

The recipe said 14-16 cupcakes, but I filled 18 muffin cups (I had three tins with 6 muffin cups each), so they were a bit on the small side.  They turned out very light and airy.  So much so, the first one I tried to photograph didn’t work out because, when I started to break it open with my fingers, the inside was so delicate, the slightly crispier outside just crushed it!  So I got another one and very carefully used a knife to cut it open.  😀

These have a rich chocolate flavour, but are not too sweet.  So you taste chocolate, not sugar.

As for the sourdough, you don’t really get a “sourdough” taste, but there is definitely something there that’s different.  It adds a depth and complexity to the flavour that is quite nice, and of course, it adds to that light and fluffy texture.

Very delicious.

And, judging from how many are disappearing with the girls upstairs, they might not last until morning.

Ah, well.  I guess I’ll just have to make more…  Oh, the tragedy. 😉

The Re-Farmer

Our Pot Overfloweth

We need a bigger pot for Sir Sour Alot!

This is what I came out to, this morning.


No, that is not a ladybug on the counter in the bottom right of the photo.  It’s an Asian Lady Beetle.  And they are EVERYWHERE this year!

Since transforming Sir Sour Alot, we have been using it about every other day, feeding with just flour, water and a bit of sugar, as usual.

Yesterday, I boiled potatoes for supper and kept the water I drained for bread baking.  Because using potato water when baking bread is delicious.

Since I had as much potato water as I did, after I poured out enough starter for a doubled recipe of bread, I figured I’d use some of it to feed the starter instead of plain water.  I’d measured out 2 cups of starter, which left very little behind, so I added about 2 1/2 cups flour and maybe 2 cups of potato water, with about a tablespoon of sugar, to feed it.

There are pretty standard amounts.  I’ve added as much as 3 cups of flour into this container when there was nothing but dregs left after use.  I’ve had it over flow only once before, when the container was placed on the stove, where it was warmer.

While we were working on the bread last night, we noticed that Sir Sour Alot had started to overflow.  Clearly, it liked the potato water!  I stirred it down and figured it had already reached its peak expansion for the night.

Boy was I wrong!


Not only did it overflow the pot and the bowl under it, it went down the counter, all the way to the floor!

We need a bigger container.

We don’t boil potatoes all that often, but when we do, I plan to treat Sir Sour Alot with some potato water in the future (not to be confused with “rich potato water”, which is potato mashed into the water).  It obviously really does well with it!

The Re-Farmer