Sourdough Rye Bread

While this bread machine bread isn't "authentic" sourdough, it makes a wonderfully textured, high-rising, great-tasting loaf, thanks to King Arthur Whole-Grain Bread Improver. Want to bake a round loaf (as pictured above) instead of baking in your machine? See "tips," below.

12 mins
3 days 3 hrs 20 mins
one loaf
Sourdough Rye Bread  - select to zoom
Sourdough Rye Bread  - select to zoom
Sourdough Rye Bread  - select to zoom
Sourdough Rye Bread - select to zoom


Prevent your screen from going dark as you follow along.
  1. To make the starter: Weigh your flour; or measure it by gently spooning it into a cup, then sweeping off any excess. Combine the milk, yeast, and flour. The mixture will be thick. Cover with plastic wrap and place in a warm (at least 70°F) place for three days, stirring occasionally. The mixture will thin out slightly.

  2. To make the bread: Place all the ingredients into your bread machine bucket in the order recommended by the manufacturer; this recipe is appropriate for 1 1/2-pound to 2-pound machine. Program for basic or white bread, and press start.

  3. Check the dough about 10 minutes before the end of the final kneading cycle; it should be soft and smooth. Adjust the consistency with additional flour or water, as needed.

  4. When the machine completes its cycle, remove the baked bread, and cool it on a rack.

  5. Store bread in a plastic bag for 3 days on the counter; or freeze for up to 3 months.

Tips from our Bakers

  • Don’t have any starter? Here’s a recipe for homemade sourdough starter. If you're making it from scratch, you'll need to feed it for 5 to 7 days before it’s ready for baking. Want a head start? Purchase our classic fresh sourdough starter — it’ll be ready for baking soon after it arrives at your door. Looking for tips, techniques, and all kinds of great information about sourdough baking? Find what you need in our sourdough baking guide.

  • You'll need to make the starter three days before you plan to bake the bread, or substitute 1 cup of your own sourdough starter if you wish.
  • If you like the look of a more rustic loaf, use the bread machine's dough cycle. Once the cycle is complete, remove the dough from the pan of the bread machine and form it into a round loaf. Place in a greased 9" round pan or ceramic baker, cover, and let rise for 45 to 60 minutes. Preheat the oven to 400°F. When the loaf is almost doubled, slash the top and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until nicely browned and hollow-sounding when thumped on the bottom. Remove from the oven and cool on a rack.