If baking whole grain sourdough bread is one of (or your only) bread baking goal, you’ll find it’s not complicated to develop a starter. It just takes time.

You will also find that a whole grain starter has a stronger flavor than a starter developed from all-purpose flour. If you’re new to sourdough bread baking, it may take some time to find the right mix of grains and exact starter flavor/intensity to suit your taste. Trust me when I say it’s well worth the time it takes to explore your options and zero in on your preferred flavor.

Here’s the super simple sourdough starter recipe:

½ cup flour (any variety)

1/3 cup water (use filtered water or allow your water to sit on the counter overnight so the chlorine evaporates)

Don’t skimp on the water or your mixture will be too dry and not ferment properly.

In a small bowl, thoroughly mix the flour and water. Do NOT use a metal spoon. Silicone or wood is preferred.

Once mixed, place the flour/water in a glass container. A quart jar works very well. Wide mouth is ideal but regular mason jar works, too.

Cover the jar with either a paper towel or cheesecloth secured with a rubber band or the jar ring. I use a screen that fits inside my jar lid. You just have to keep the jar open so the fermentation can progress.

Allow the mixture to sit for 24 hours.

The next day, Day 1, you may or may not see some bubbles forming in the flour/water mixture. Either way, mix another ½ cup flour and 1/3 cup water and stir it into the jar.

On days 2 and 3, remove (pour out) ½ cup of the mixture. Place it in a container (my favorite is a pint jar) and cover it so it doesn’t dry out before you can use it. Mix ½ cup flour and 1/3 cup water; stir it into the starter.

Day 4: by now you should be seeing bubbles in your starter. You may also detect a “fermented” odor coming from the jar. It’s time to “feed” the starter 2x/day, as close as possible to every 12 hours.

Day 5-7, “feed” the starter 2x/day, removing one-half cup each time and using the same ½ cup flour and 1/3 cup water to replace it. On day 7, the starter will be ready to use to bake bread.

The amount of starter you use in your bread recipe will vary according to the amount of flour and size of the loaf you’re making. Watch for more information on how to modify a bread recipe to convert it to a sourdough bread recipe.

Also, know that you will achieve the best baking results with sourdough bread by implementing these two practices:

  1. You can bake sourdough bread in a regular bread pan. It will rise beautifully and may give you a larger loaf than you achieved with commercial yeast. However, you will have a somewhat tougher crust. I don’t know the science behind this, but the crust is better if there’s a source of steam during the baking.
  2. To resolve this crust issue, consider investing in a bread cloche. The cloche cover traps steam as the bread bakes, giving a crispy crust. Cloche price ranges start at around $50 on up to $360+. The main feature is a tight seal, which traps the steam.



It still seems amazing to me that, within a couple of weeks, I’m hooked on sourdough. That was the last thing I expected to happen when I set out to explore what sourdough was all about.


My hesitation was rooted in a lack of information. The only sourdough breads I had ever consumed were served in restaurants. While they were tasty enough, they couldn’t hold a candle to the breads and other baked goods I’m making now.


Here are some sourdough facts I never knew. They may help you decide if you want to try your hand at baking with sourdough.


  • The “yeast” that initiates sourdough fermentation is found in the flour.
  • Sourdough starter isn’t limited to using in bread; it can be used in baked items such as cookies, cake, pastries – anything that contains flour.
  • Fermentation processes the starter’s flour, making it easier to digest. It also reduces the sugar spike regular bread causes when we eat it.
  • Sourdough starter has two ingredients: water and flour. Use filtered water so nothing used to treat tap water affects the fermentation.
  • Sourdough bread keeps at room temperature far longer than regular bread. My sourdough bread sat on the counter for one week without any molding issues.
  • Why the longer shelf life? Bread baked with a sourdough starter has its own culture of microbes – good bacteria – which fight off bad bacteria, the kind that brings on mold.
  • While it takes 12-14 days for your initial starter to be ready for baking bread, for the rest of the starter life its refrigerated and “fed” 1x/week.
  • Why do you need to feed sourdough starter? Once fermentation begins, the yeast must have something to “feed” on, the flour. Unless it’s fed, it will eventually die off.
  • What does “feeding” involve? Mix water and flour then add to the starter and stir it into the starter. It takes about 5 minutes to complete this.
  • Isn’t all this “feeding” pretty inconvenient/time consuming? No and no. When you start developing your own starter, you’ll feed it 1x/day for 7 days. For an additional 5 days, you feed it 2s/day. Regular feedings – 12 hours apart – are best. If you miss a feeding or fall behind on the time, it’s okay. Just don’t make that a habit.
  • Don’t use a metal bowl to mix feedings or house your starter. The fermentation is an acidic reaction and will eat through the toughest metals. The metal will dis-color and the starter will take on an unpleasant metallic taste.
  • Don’t use a metal spoon to stir feedings or when handling starter. Either wooden or Teflon spoons or Teflon spatulas are recommended.
  • Flour and water used in sourdough starters can be measured by weight or volume. Weight is highly accurate; volume will be most convenient.
  • While all-purpose flour works fine, bread flour is preferred by some bakers because it has extra protein in it.


If you decide to enter the sourdough arena, don’t be discouraged with the time it takes to get a starter established and learn how to use it. I assure you the final products are well worth the effort.


You will also learn that every baker has some of their own unique takes on creating/using starters. Explore what works best for you – and enjoy!

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  • Author: Loretta


There’s nothing “sour” about this delicious bread which produces one two-pound loaf! Make sure your sourdough starter has “worked” for at least a week; 12 days is ideal. From start to finish, this recipe takes close to four hours. Three hours are necessary for the rising time.

It makes a large loaf, so use a 9×5 loaf pan for a beautiful loaf of bread. It can be baked in an 8.5×4.5 loaf pan, too. Just know the dough may push out over the side of the pan.

The bread is very soft, moist and tasty. You will not taste anything “sour.” The main reason I use sourdough is to take advantage of consuming a fermented grain.

Since the baking temperature is high, the crust becomes quite dry. You can modify this by brushing the baked loaf with melted butter or olive oil. If you don’t use butter or oil, the crust will soften to a great degree within 24 hours.

As part of the method for this recipe, I use my bread machine to knead a portion of the ingredients for 15 minutes before adding the sourdough starter. This helps develop the gluten in the grain, contributing to a higher rise. You don’t have to complete this step but leaving it out may affect your final rise.

In the bread machine, you want the dough to ball up like this:

When you place it in your bread pan for the rise, it should look like this:

When it’s ready to go into the oven, it should be raised up like this – use a 9×5 bread pan to avoid having it come over the side of the pan:



33 2/3 cup flour

1 c water (filtered is ideal)

¾ teaspoon salt

3 T sugar, honey or maple syrup

3 T butter or oil

1 ½ c sourdough starter (leave out overnight at room temperature)



Place 2 cups flour, 1 c water, salt, sweetener, and butter/oil in the bread machine canister. Mix/knead for 15 minutes. Monitor the mixture throughout this time to ensure that the dough isn’t too sticky. It should pull away from the sides of the canister and form a ball of dough within the first 5 minutes. If the dough doesn’t ball up, add 1-2 T flour at a time until it reaches the desired consistency.

Once the 15-minute mix/knead cycle is completed, add the sourdough and remaining 1 cup of flour. Monitor the dough to ensure that it pulls away from the sides of the canister to form a ball within 5-10 minutes of mixing. If it’s too sticky, add flour 1-2 T at a time to reach the desired consistency. If you haven’t used enough flour, it will fall over the sides of the pan as it rises (ask me how I know).

This dough will be somewhat sticky when it’s ready to go into the bread pan. However, you don’t want it to stick to your fingers when you handle it. If necessary, gradually add more flour to reach the desired consistency.

Place the dough in a well-coated loaf pan. Brush or spritz the top of the dough with butter or olive oil to help keep it from drying out while it rises. Place the pan in a warm location (oven with the light on is ideal) and put a towel over the top of the dough. Monitor the rise; don’t allow it become more than two inches above the side of the loaf pan, as it may fall when you bake it. It should rise to some degree during the first 15 minutes of baking.

Once the dough reaches a satisfactory rise, preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Bake the loaf for 35 to 40 minutes, monitoring the browning of the crust. Once it’s baked, immediately remove from the pan and place on a cooling rack. Once the bread is cooled, store in either a refrigerated bread keeper or bag it and store in the refrigerator.




  • Author: Loretta


After making several batches of sourdough bread, researching and reviewing numerous recipes, here’s a recipe that works for me. It’s an adaptation of my original bread machine bread and contains some commercial yeast. It doesn’t have a strong sourdough taste, but it is a high-rising, softly textured loaf.

If you’re just starting to learn how to develop a sourdough starter, it will take 7 days before it’s ready to use in a bread recipe. Here’s a summary of the sourdough starter process:

Key points: 1) Don’t use metal mixing spoons; wooden or silicone are needed. 2) When you “feed” your starter, mix the flour and water, then add to starter and mix it in well. 3) Refrigerate the starter removed at each feeding. It can be used right away in baked goods such as muffins, pancakes, etc.

Day 1: To begin the starter: Mix ½ cup flour and 1/3 cup water (filtered or let chlorine evaporate overnight)

Place the mixture in a clean quart jar or glass container. Cover the top with either a paper towel or cheese cloth. Your starter will sit at room temperature for up to 12 days.

Day 2: Your starter may or may not be “working.” If there are no bubbles, allow the starter to sit another 24 hours. If you do see bubbles on day 2, add ½ cup flour and 1/3 cup water, mix well.

Day 3: By now (48 hours after first mixing) you should see bubbles starting to form in the starter. Remove ½ cup of the starter and refrigerate it. Then add ½ cup flour mixed with 1/3 cup water.

Days 4-5-6 – Feed your starter 1x/day by removing ½ cup starter and replacing with ½ cup flour mixed with 1/3 cup water.

Day 7: You can remove ½ cup starter and use in a bread recipe or other types of recipes. Feed the starter as usual.

Day 8-12: You can begin feeding your starter 2x/day. By day 12, you will have an active, healthy starter. Refrigerate it and feed it no less than 1x/week. You may use a portion of this starter to begin a second starter, using the same feeding method and time frame.



Sourdough white bread:

1 cup water, warmed to between 105 to 110 degrees (Fahrenheit)

1/3 cup milk

3/4 teaspoon yeast

½ cup sourdough starter (at room temperature)

1/3 cup sugar, honey or maple syrup

3 ½ – 3 ¾ cups all-purpose or bread Flour

1 1/2 teaspoons salt (I recommend Himalayan pink salt)3 tablespoons of melted butter or oil


Using hot tap water, warm measuring cup for the liquid and bread machine canister. Use hot tap water for the 1 cup water; dissolve your sweetener in the water. Add the milk.

Check the temperature of the liquid. You want it to be between 105 and 110. If it’s less than that, warm it up. If it’s over 112 degrees it will kill the yeast, so cool it down.

Once your liquid is in the desired temperature range, dissolve the yeast in it. Allow it to sit for 3-5 minutes.

While the yeast is activating, measure and mix the flour and salt. Prepare the butter/oil. Butter can be melted or chopped.

Remove the hot water from your bread machine canister; add the yeast mixture, flour mixture, sourdough and butter. Mix/knead cycles (2 of them) should be no less than 10 minutes and not longer than 15 minutes. Between these cycles, allow the dough to rest for 20 minutes.

Coat an 8.5×4.5 bread pan; gently shape the dough and lay it in the pan. Cover with a light cloth and allow it to rise in a warm place (oven is ideal) for 30 minutes. You can allow it to raise for up to 45 minutes.

Bake at 350 for 35 minutes and enjoy!


If you’re looking for a recipe for 100% sourdough, no commercial yeast, stay tuned – my test loaves are in the oven!



If you’re one of the folks who has asked me if I have any experience with sourdough breads, I have great news: I’ve finally identified what seems to be simple method/recipe for creating a sourdough starter and using it.


Part of my research included finding out why it might be worth the effort to learn how to make sourdough bread. Turns out, sourdough bread and baked goods offer quite a few health benefits.


Creating a sourdough starter involves fermenting grain, a common practice that originated in Egypt around 1,500 B.C. Sourdough bread was the only type of bread available until baker’s started using yeast obtained from beer brewers a few centuries ago.


If you’re a health buff, you may know that fermented foods have been found to be highly beneficial in nearly any diet. Fermented foods included yogurt, kefir, pickles, sauerkraut and sourdough.


In addition to the unique flavor fermenting adds to bread, it also helps degrade the phytates found in grain. Phytates occur naturally in grain, but they make grain more difficult to digest and cause the healthy minerals in the grain more difficult to absorb.


Through fermentation of sourdough, researchers know that the phytate content of sourdough bread may be reduced by as much as 50%. That makes sourdough easier to digest and more nutritious than regular yeasted breads. Other studies indicate that sourdough bread may be better for blood sugar control because it appears that the fermentation process may modify the structure of carbohydrate molecules.


If you’ve successfully navigated all the scientific aspects of sourdough bread and are still interested in learning a simple, nutritious and tasty way to make sourdough, here are some beginning tips. I will develop recipes that include use of a bread machine, stand mixer and knead-by-hand methods. As I learn more I’ll keep sharing!


To help answer questions you may have:

  1. You can use different types of flour to make sourdough, including white, all-purpose flour.
  2. In initiating and feeding your starter, use filtered water to ensure no chemicals interfere with the fermentation process.
  3. Do NOT use metal utensils to stir your starter. In decades past, wooden spoons were commonly used. I am currently using a silicone spoon. Silicone works well because the dough doesn’t stick to it.
  4. If your house is fairly cool, as ours is over winter, turn the light on in your oven to help create a consistent temperature over 70 degrees (Fahrenheit). The light will warm the oven to 90 degrees after a couple of hours. Turn it off and warm the oven again after a few hours (this is only necessary for about 5 days).
  5. Once it’s properly fermented, store the starter in the refrigerator. To use it in a bread recipe, remove it from the refrigerator and allow it to warm to room temperature before using it.
  6. Also note that you will bake sourdough bread at a high temperature – 400-450 degrees (Fahrenheit). You may want to use either a baking stone or a Dutch Oven for the baking process.


Next week, look for a recipe and pictures of my first sourdough loaf!


Did you know there’s one simple tool that could revolutionize your bread baking forever?

that tool? It’s a digital thermometer.


If you’re thinking that the last thing that you need in your kitchen is another tool, no worries. Digital thermometers are generally about the length of an everyday spoon and less than 2 inches wide.


When it comes to cost, some digital thermometers cost as little as $5.

So how will this simple tool make help you improve your bread baking? By verifying the temperature of the liquid used to dissolve your yeast. At a temperature range between 105- and 110-degrees (Fahrenheit), yeast thrives and produces a light, high-rising loaf of bread. Once your liquid falls within this temperature range, you can be certain your yeast won’t be killed by liquid that’s too hot. You’ll also know that it’s warm enough to start working in your dough once you’ve combined all the ingredients.


If you use an instant-read thermometer, it will take you about two seconds to check the liquid temperature. If you opt to use a less expensive model, it may take up to 10 seconds. The step adds very little time to your bread baking process and contributes greatly to the quality of your loaf.


So, what kind of digital thermometers should you use in baking bread? There are numerous types to consider.


  1. The least costly digital thermometer that I’ve come across, $5.49, will work just fine for this task. Since it’s being used for a few seconds each time, it’s likely to last for many years.
  2. Higher priced digital thermometers range from $10 to more than $30. The one I currently use cost $13 and has worked just fine for the past two years. If I find I need to replace it, I will try the less costly option to see how it holds up.
  3. Instant-read thermometers are very convenient, but much more costly. Prices often begin at the $80 range. While the convenience is nice, it’s not necessary to accomplish the task of verifying the liquid temperature.


If you’ve never used a digital thermometer in your kitchen before, you may find that you like it and can justify paying a higher price for one. It’s all a matter of personal preference.


Whichever model you select, I highly recommend implementing the practice of checking your liquid’s temperature, especially if you’ve struggled to produce satisfactory loaves of bread. This step, in combination with the use of a bread machine, took my bread baking results from disappointing to amazing.


And what role did the bread machine play? Since the mixing and kneading take place in a canister, you can warm the canister before placing your ingredients inside it. This helps maintain that ideal temperature range you set up by checking your recipe liquid. Your bread dough will start at an ideal temperature range and remain there until it’s baked in the bread machine or, you prepare it for the final rise to bake in your oven.


If you decide to bake the bread in your oven, warm your bread pan before coating it and placing the dough in it. Complete the final rise inside your warmed oven (just don’t leave the oven on during the rise time) or in an area where you can manage the temperature to help keep it warm (90-100 degrees is ideal).

Homemade Stuffing Mix


Homemade Stuffing Mix

  • Author: Loretta


Stuffing mix is often a welcome side dish, especially during cooler weather. This homemade stuffing mix recipe is as easy as adding herbs to your favorite white bread recipe (or using the Bread Machine Herbed Bread recipe found at and cubing or shredding it with a grater to make stuffing mix.


If you use my Herbed Bread recipe, you can follow the recipe or choose the herbs you prefer. And Herbed Bread isn’t just useful for making stuffing. It is a tasty addition to nearly any soup or delicious all by itself with plenty of butter!


To dry my herbed bread, I sliced it, placed it on a baking sheet and baked it at 350 degrees (Fahrenheit) for 30 minutes. If you wish, you can cube the bread, then dry it in the oven. Set your oven temperature at 350 degrees and bake it for about 15 minutes. Check on the cubes during the drying time to ensure they aren’t getting too crispy.


After drying the bread (with whichever method you prefer), allow it to thoroughly cool before storing it. Once mine cooled, I broke it up in small pieces and simply stored it in a wide-mouth canning jar ad found a place for it in my pantry. It needs no refrigeration. Once dried, it should keep for up to a year (maybe longer, but it’s not likely to last nearly that long).


If you shred your dried bread with a grater or food processor, you can also store it at room temperature. Just make sure your seal is tight, so it doesn’t collect any moisture.



1 loaf dried Herbed Bread, cubed or shredded

(find herbed bread recipe at

1/3 cup minced onion

½ teaspoon black pepper

¼ teaspoon salt

1 Tablespoon dried parsley flakes (optional)

1 ¼ cups water or chicken broth

3 cups stuffing mix

3 Tablespoons butter


If preparing the stuffing on the stove top, saute the onions in the butter until they are soft. Continue with the recipe instructions.


The herbed bread can be dried or fresh. If using a fresh loaf, cut it into 1-inch cubes. When the loaf is fresh, gradually add water/chicken broth as it will require less liquid.


Prepare onion; blend pepper, salt and parsley flakes. In large bowl, mix the bread and liquid well. If the bread seems too dry, gradually add more liquid ¼ cup at a time until it’s well moistened. Blend in remaining ingredients.


If preparing as stove top stuffing, use low heat to warm the stuffing mix. Allow it to cook for 10 minutes, stirring every few minutes. If necessary, add 1 to 2 Tablespoons of water to keep it from sticking to the pan. Once it’s thoroughly heated, it’s ready to use.


To bake the stuffing as a side dish on its own, preheat the oven at 350 degrees (Fahrenheit). Bake in a covered dish for 30 minutes; stir it at 15 minutes to ensure its evenly heated.




  • Author: Loretta


If you’ve been thinking (as I did) that adding herbs to your bread might be complicated or challenging, I have great news! It’s as easy as measuring the herbs you like and adding them to your dough.


I’m completely serious. That’s all there is to it. If there’s anything complicated about making herbed bread, it may be in selecting the herbs you want to use.


This recipe has a four-herb combination that reminds me of the seasoning in stuffing. My recipe calls for dried herbs. If you use fresh herbs, double the amounts you add. Regardless of dried or fresh, you’re going to love this bread! I recommend that you consider cubing drying thick slices to use as stuffing mix. Or seasoned breadcrumbs.


If you already have a favorite two-pound loaf bread recipe just add the herbs in the amounts listed here. You’re going to love this bread!




1 cup water, warmed to between 105 to 110 degrees (Fahrenheit)

1/3 cup milk

1 1/2 teaspoons yeast

¼ cup sugar, honey or maple syrup

3 ½3 ¾ cups all-purpose or bread flour

1 1/2 teaspoons salt (I recommend Himalayan pink salt)

1 teaspoon sage leaves

1 teaspoon thyme

1 ½ teaspoons oregano

1 ½ teaspoons basil leaves

3 tablespoons of butter or oil


If necessary (typically during the winter months), use hot tap water to heat your measuring utensil and bread machine canister before preparing your

bread dough. This usually takes just a few minutes once the hot water is placed in the utensil. When you’re ready to use them, pour the water out.

Place 1 cup of hot tap water in 2-cup measuring utensil. Add the milk and sweetener of your choice. Mix well.


If you’re using refrigerated milk and sweetener, it will significantly cool your water. Use a digital thermometer to test the mixture’s temperature. If it’s too cold, it can be heated to the proper temperature. If it’s too warm, allow it to sit at room temperature until it reaches the 105-110 degree temperature range. If too cold, you can warm it (I prefer stovetop) to desired temperature.


Once the mixture temperature is in the appropriate range, dissolve the yeast in it, by stirring thoroughly. Allow the yeast mixture to rest for 3-5 minutes. It will form a foamy “head” to indicate that the yeast is activated.


While you’re waiting for the yeast, mix your dry ingredients. In a large mixing bowl, measure flour and salt. Blend the ingredients well.


If using butter, melt it just till it’s soft enough to easily blend into the bread dough or cut into small pieces.


Pour out the warm water in your bread machine canister (if you warmed it). Carefully pour the yeast mixture into the canister, using a spatula to clear the measuring utensil. Slowly add the flour mixture. Pour the oil or melted butter on top of the flour. Select your machine settings and start the mixing/kneading process.


Once the initial kneading/mixing is complete, allow the dough to rest in the bread machine pan until the second kneading cycle is completed.


Before the second cycle completes, prepare your bread pan. If necessary, warm the pan before coating it (spraying with non-stick product, insert parchment, etc.).


After the second kneading cycle is done, gently place the dough into the coated bread pan, cover it and place it in a warm area (I use my oven, which I

heat to near 80 degrees). It will take 30-45 minutes for the dough to raise.


Once the dough is raised, place it in a pre-heated 350-degree (Fahrenheit) oven. Bake it for 30-45 minutes until the crust is nicely browned. Remove from the oven and immediately place on a cooling rack. Try to give it several minutes to cool before you cut any slices!


After the loaf is thoroughly cooled, store the bread either in a plastic bag or bread-keeper. In summer, homemade bread quickly spoils and should be refrigerated or frozen once it’s cooled.


Unless you plan to use it within 24 hours, always store homemade bread in the refrigerator. Use a plastic bag or consider investing in a bread keeper.


Since homemade bread is a somewhat rare commodity today, you may have family and/or friends who will appreciate receiving a homemade loaf.

Depending on how many people make it to your “homemade bread gift list,” you may need to produce multiple loaves in short order. Within 8 to 10 hours, you can make at least 6 loaves of bread using my “streamlined” method.

Step 1: Inventory your ingredients. Make sure you have enough flour, sugar, and yeast on hand to make as many loaves as you need. Here’s a typical ingredient list for 6 2-pound loaves of bread:

  • Flour – an average of 3 ¾ cups per loaf = 22.5 cups. A five-pound bag of flour will make an average of 5 loaves.
  • Sugar – generally, a recipe for this loaf size will not call for more than ¼ cup of sugar per loaf. For 6 loaves, you’ll need 1 ½ cups of sugar. If you use another sweetener, multiply the amount for one loaf by 6.
  • Yeast – my recipe for a 2-pound loaf calls for 1.5 teaspoons of yeast. To ensure you have enough yeast to make multiple loaves with your recipe, multiply the yeast amount by the number of loaves you’re making.
  • You’ll also need salt and either butter or oil in your recipe.
  • Depending on your recipe ingredients, you may need milk and/or some additional ingredients (i.e., potato flakes to help keep the bread soft).
  • If necessary, measure out each ingredient so you can verify that you have what you need.

When baking multiple loaves, it helps to assemble all your ingredients in one place to speed measuring activities. You may also consider measuring all dry ingredients one or two days before you’re ready to bake. You can combine flour and salt but keep sugar and yeast amounts separated until you’re ready to use them.

If possible, set up an area close to your oven where the final rise can be completed. Once you start baking the loaves, the area around your oven should be warmer than the overall room temperature, which means the dough will rise more quickly.

To keep track of what stage each batch of dough is at, you can set timers (I use both the microwave and an old dial-type timer) so you don’t forget to put the dough into a loaf pan or into the oven. You’ll also want to time the bake time for each loaf (generally 30 minutes). A sheet that lists “Loaf 1,” “Loaf 2,” etc. can also help. Before you begin, estimate the time each batch of dough will be ready to put in a loaf pan and the time you expect it will be ready for the oven. This can help you accurately track each batch of dough since you’ll be able to work on other things as the process progresses.

It will be helpful to set up an area where each loaf can thoroughly cool before you bag it. If you don’t have enough cooling racks to accommodate all the loaves, you can suspend the loaf between two objects, with each edge of the loaf (set them up lengthwise) on boxes, pans, even plates. Just make sure heat can escape from the bottom of the bread, or it will become soggy.

Bag each loaf as soon as it’s cool. You can decorate the bag with stickers, ribbon, even wrapping paper if you like. Since homemade bread has no preservatives, be sure to store the loaves in a cool location (equivalent to a refrigerator) until you share them. You may also consider including a note about how to store the bread to keep it from spoiling.

Happy baking!




  • Author: Loretta Sorensen
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: Just under 2 hours
  • Total Time: 49 minute
  • Yield: 1 1-pound loaf 1x
  • Category: Bread
  • Method: Bread Machine


Whether you enjoy this dark, delicious bread over the holidays (it pairs wonderfully well with cheese or cream cheese) or as a menu staple, you’ll love both the flavor and ease of baking found in this recipe!


If you’ve used rye flour in the past, you know the loaf doesn’t raise as high as a loaf of white bread. That’s because the gluten structure in rye bread is different than the gluten structure of wheat. This is the reason a loaf of rye bread doesn’t raise as high as a loaf of white bread.


This recipe combines dark rye flour with white all-purpose flour to help produce a nice light loaf. Using the white flour also moderates the taste rye flour adds to the loaf. If you prefer a strong rye flavor, use the dark rye flour, which is made from the whole rye grain. Light and medium rye flour contain less of the rye grain, but still produce a tasty loaf of bread.


Molasses is also available as mild or full flavor. Using the full flavor will result in a darker, stronger flavor bread.


You may eliminate the maple syrup or use sugar as a substitute. For my family’s taste preference, we enjoy the flavor the syrup adds. It also contributes to the nice brown appearance of the bread.


If you don’t have caraway seed on hand, this bread is still very tasty and wonderful without it!


Choose your preferences and enjoy this lovely rye bread!





1 cup + 2 Tablespoons of water

1/3 cup molasses (either mild or full flavor)

¼ cup maple syrup (or regular syrup)

1 ½ teaspoons active dry yeast

Dry ingredients:

2 Tablespoons butter

1 ½ teaspoons salt

1 cup rye flour (choose dark, medium or light)

2 ½ cups all-purpose flour

3 Tablespoons cocoa

1 ½ teaspoons instant coffee granules

1 Tablespoon caraway seed (optional)


We will reserve the molasses and add it once all the other ingredients have been added to the bread machine.


Warm the water to a temperature range between 105 and 112 degrees (Fahrenheit) Blend syrup with the water and check to make sure the liquid is still at least 105 degrees. Once the temperature range is correct, blend the yeast with the liquid. Set aside as you prepare the dry ingredients (allow it to sit at least 5 minutes).


Measure and blend flours, salt, cocoa and instant coffee granules. Reserve caraway seed to add during your bread machine’s final mix/knead cycle.


Place yeast mixture into the bread machine canister. Add flour mixture and melted or chopped butter. Set your machine to a cycle of 15 minutes mix/knead, 20 minutes rest, 15 minutes mix knead. In the final 5 minutes of the last cycle, add caraway seed.


Once the final bread machine cycle is complete, you can either bake the bread in the machine or place the dough into a bread pan and allow it to raise for 30-40 minutes.


Once the bread has risen (it will rise to near the top of the bread pan), bake it in a pre-heated 350-degree (Fahrenheit) oven for 35 minutes. When the bake time is complete, remove the bread and place it on a cooling rack for approximately one hour. If you can’t wait for it to cool, it’s perfectly okay to slice and enjoy it while it’s warm!



I recommend that you warm your utensils – especially the container used for the yeast mixture and your bread canister – to help boost yeast action. You can also use white wheat flour instead of all-purpose flour. White wheat is a whole grain flour that looks like regular white flour and produces a nice, light loaf while still giving ample nutrition. You can also use all organic ingredients, which also contributes to the overall healthy content of the loaf.

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