Danish Rye bread



Makes 2 big loafs


Sourdough Leaven: 

  • 200 g sourdough/starter (the starter you keep in the refrigerator and feed every other week) 
  • 400 g water
  • 2 dl (110 g) rye flour
  • 2 dl (120 g) all-purpose flour

Berries and seeds:

  • 2 dl (135 g) flaxseeds
  • 2 dl (135 g) sunflower seeds
  • 2 dl (140 g) cracked rye
  • 2 dl (180 g) rye berries
  • 2 dl (160 g) bulgur (100% whole grain quick cooking bulgur wheat)
  • 2 dl (190 g) wheat berries (hard red spring wheat berries)


  • 1600 g water

  • 600 g sourdough leaven
  • 3 tablespoons salt
  • 1 splash food coloring (kulør) - optional
  • 2 teaspoons malted barley flour
  • 8 dl (440 g) rye flour (dark rye flour)
  • 4 dl (240 g) all-purpose flour


  • sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds or poppy seeds.


Day 1, morning: 

Feed the starter to make the leaven. The leaven will be ready to use when the leaven is bubbling and smells like beer, after about 8 hours at room temperature. Cover the leaven with a clean towel. 

Soak the berries and seeds in water in a large bow (I use to bowl because of the big amount). Cover the bowls with large plates. Let them soak at room temperature until the leaven is ready.

Day 1, night: 

Add the leaven to the soaked berries and seed. Cover the bowls with large plates. Let the mixture ferment overnight at room temperature . 

Save the leftover leaven and put it in the refrigerator in a sealed container. This will be your sourdough starter for the next batch of bread. It will keep without feeding for about 14 days in the refrigerator. *

Day 2, morning:

Add the salt, coloring and the flours to the dough and mix thoroughly, to make sure all the flour is fully incorporated, let rise for about two hours.

Add the dough to two rye bread baking forms. (I use Eva Professionel Rye Bread Tin which holds 3,3 liters).

Let the bread rise for about an hour, covered with a clean towel. The longer you let it rise, the more sour the bread becomes.

Poke a few holes with a cake tester or a knitting needle, to prevent the crust to rise and crack.

Brush the bread with water and sprinkle with your favorite seeds.

Place the baking form in a preheated oven for 1 hour 15 minutes at 350°F. 

Turn off the heat, remove the breads from the baking forms, spray with water on all sides and place them back in the oven directly on the rack for about an hour, while the oven cools.

Take the breads out and wrap them in an clean kitchen towel. This will help softening the crust. Let breads cool completely.

It's best to wait cutting the bread until the next day. 

Enjoy the bread with your favorite deli meat or cheese. 

* Feeding: Discard half of the sourdough/starter and add ½ cup rye flour, ½ cup all-purpose flour and 1 cup water. Mix well, and let ferment for about 8 hours at room temperature.

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