Go Back
Print Recipe
3 from 1 vote

Finnish Sourdough Rye (Ruisleipä)

Prep Time40 mins
Proving time13 hrs 30 mins
Total Time14 hrs 10 mins
Course: Breakfast, Lunch
Cuisine: Finnish,
Keyword: dairy free,, fermented,, gut healthy,, sourdough,, vegan,
Servings: 1 loaf


Loose leaven

  • 120 g dark rye starter 100% hydration
  • 180 g dark rye flour
  • 240 g water


  • 360 g dark rye flour
  • 275 g water at 85°C

Day 2

  • Loose starter as above
  • Autolysed dough as above
  • 12 g fine sea salt
  • 2 tsp caraway seeds or aniseed


Day 1

  • Begin the first stage just before you go to bed. Mix the rye starter with the dark rye flour and water to make the loose leaven. Cover and leave at room temperature overnight.
  • Next place the flour for the dough in a large bowl. Boil the kettle and pour the required amount in a jug, with a thermometer, check the temperature, you’re aiming for 85°C. now pour the water over the flour. Stir immediately with a spoon until you have a lumpy looking mixture. Remove the spoon, then bring together with your hand. If you find the dough too hot to handle, you can mix the dough in a free standing mixer. Once the dough is formed, cover and leave at room temperature overnight with the loose leaven.

Day 2

  • First thing the following morning: begin with adding a couple of tablespoons of the leaven to the dough, squeezing, pushing your hand in and twisting. Once that is incorporated add more leaven, repeating the technique mentioned previously. Next add the salt and caraway, sprinkling evenly across the dough and again repeating the technique to incorporate. Repeat with the remaining leaven. You should have a fairly soft, sticky dough. Cover and leave to rest for 1 hour.
  • once the dough has rested, have ready a round banneton basket ready, lined with a muslin cloth heavily dusted with rye flour. Dust the work surface with rye flour, then turn the dough out. roll and shape into a round, ensuring the under side is smooth. Place the smooth side down in the banneton. Press down, then dust with rye flour. No need to cover.
  • Oven 235°C fan.
  • Prove for 90-120 minutes (depending on the temperature in your kitchen) or until cracks appear on the surface of the dough.
  • Pre-heat the oven for at least half an hour before baking the bread. If you have a cloche or casserole pot, put it in as you turn the oven on.
  • When you’re ready to bake, turn the dough out onto a piece of parchment paper. Dust with a little more rye flour. No scoring is required, the beauty of this bread is the natural cracks. place in the hot cloche or pot and bake for 35 minutes, remove the lid and continue to bake for a further 15 minutes. The crust should be really dark. Cool on a wire rack. The bad news is the bread shouldn’t be sliced for 24 hours, the crumb needs to set……sorry!