Ola Rokita

Hi! I am Ola and I want to share with you my simple baking recipes that can change your life and how you feel.
[Read more >>>]

Rye Bread made with a Starter

Ola Rokita11 May 2018Comments (6)


rye bread

My favorite rye bread is made using very few ingredients. Three in fact. Specifically, spring water, rye flour, and a pinch of salt. As a result, yeast is not necessary, at least the commercial kind.

In short, the combination of water, flour, and the air will ferment together to produce wild yeast you can then use to bake a fantastic loaf of bread.

Rye flour is the best flour for making a starter

To make an excellent starter I recommend using rye flour type 720 or rye flour type 2,000. Rye flour has a strong flavor and it will give your bread a wonderful nutty flavor.

It will take you about 3 days to make a strong and active starter, so you can bake your rye bread on the fourth day.

Make sure to feed your starter regularly

Once you have an active starter, you will need to feed it once every 24 hours by repeating the steps below, or leave it “dormant” for a maximum of two weeks in the fridge.

You can store your starter in the fridge

If you need to leave your starter to rest in the fridge, watch out for a black film forming on top. When you notice a black-colored film, your starter might have gone bad. Sometimes if you catch it in time and scrape it off the top, you might be able to salvage it.

Here’s how to make your own wild yeast, or as many call it, a Starter!


Keyword Rye Bread, starter


  • 3 cups rye flour
  • 3 cups spring water at room temperature


  1. Day one: Get a 1 liter jar. Pour a cup of spring water and add a cup of rye flour. Mix it well together, cover it with a cloth, and let the mixture stand for about a day (12 to 24 hours) on a counter, at room temperature.

  2. Day two: Pour out half the mixture, add another cup of water and another cup of flour. Mix it, cover it, and let it sit on the counter for another day.

  3. Day three: By this point you should see some bubbles forming at the top of the mixture. And once again, pour out half the starter mixture, add a cup of water and a cup of flour. Cover the jar, and let it sit on the counter for another day.

  4. Day four: Your starter should be good to use and you can begin using it to make a simple bread without commercial yeast.

Once you have your starter ready, you’re ready to make your rye bread!


Once you have a starter that’s at least three days old, take a cup and a half, pour it into a mixing bowl and add the following ingredients:

Keyword Rye Bread


  • 1 cup rye flour
  • 1.5 cups wheat flour type 550 or all-purpose flour
  • 1.5 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup spring water
  • 1-2 tsp salt (depends on your preference)
  • 1 tbs extra virgin olive oil for greasing the walls of your baking dish


  1. Combine the ingredients and mix them all together.

  2. Grease two loaf-pans with some olive oil and pour the mixture into the baking dish. Fill it only half way to allow for the dough to rise. If the dough is very sticky, wet your hands and gently brush the surface with wet fingertips.

  3. Cover the pans with a dish cloth. Let the dough raise until double in size. In some cases this might take 5-6 hours depending on the strength of the starter and temperature in the room.

  4. Warm up the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit (about 200 Celsius) and bake the bread for 30 to 35 minutes.

Also, if you want to make your rye bread even more nutritious, add some sunflower seeds, flax seeds, or even pumpkin seeds to the mixture. These seeds will not only add texture to your bread, but also add some crunch and extra flavor. Enjoy a warm slice with some butter.

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Daniel Gozin June 6, 2021 at 11:27

I have read your interesting articles and made some polish bread with wroclawska 500. It came out every nice. I’d like to make your Rey bread with starter but wonder if one cup of water is enough for four cups of flour.


Ola Rokita June 7, 2021 at 23:20

Thanks Daniel for your note. Happy to learn you liked using the Wroclawska flour. To make the Rye bread with a starter, one cup of water and one cup of starter should be enough. If you find your dough needs extra hydration, add an additional half a cup of water. If you find the dough too moist, make sure to wet your hands when folding the dough. Rye flour is a bit sticky so it can be messy to work with it.


Tracy Wagner March 26, 2023 at 10:38

I have a gluten sensitivity and am new to making my own bread… I have been looking for flour that is grown and processed in Europe… I’ve read that it is better tolerant for someone with gluten sensitivity… can you tell me a simple type of flour and bread recipe for every day bread?


Ola Rokita March 26, 2023 at 14:43

Hi Tracy, thanks for reaching out. Hope that using European flour can help your sensitivity.

My recommendation, and one of the simplest breads to make is one very similar to pizza dough. However, instead of using flour type “00”, I use wheat flour from Poland type 550 “Luksusowa”.

Here’s how to make it:


1.5 cup spring water (lukewarm)
4.5 cups + 2 tablespoons of wheat flour (Polish “Luksusowa” Flour)
1 packet active dry yeast (0.75 oz) or (20 grams)
1 tbsp sugar
2 tsp salt
1 tbsp olive oil


In a saucepan, warm up a cup and a half of spring water until lukewarm.

Add sugar, and about 2 table spoons of flour to the water. Mix it with a whisk, and add the yeast.

Mix it all together and let the mixture rest for about 5 minutes, until the yeast is activated.

Once you see the yeast working, pour the mixture into a stand mixer bowl and add 4.5 cups of flour and salt.

With a dough hook, knead the dough for about 10 minutes, until a smooth ball starts to form and the walls of the bowl are clean.

Add one tbsp of olive oil, and knead the dough for another 3 – 5 minutes, until the olive oil is absorbed into the dough.

Let the dough rest for about one hour or, when doubled in size.

Divide the dough into three parts. Wrap the other portions using food wrap and store them in the fridge for up to 5 days so you can make more bread later in the week. Take one portion and shape it into a ball and place it onto a lined with parchment paper baking sheet. Or place it into a lined with parchment paper loaf pan. You can also bake it inside a dutch oven, also lined with parchment paper, if you want a super crispy crust.

After shaping it, let your bread rest on the kitchen counter, covered with a clean dish towel for about 45 minutes to an hour.

In the meantime, preheat the oven to 375 degrees (190 Celsius). Bake the bread for about 35 minutes depending on how dark you like it. If baking inside a dutch oven, bake covered for 35 minutes, then for another 10-15 minutes uncovered.

Once you make this bread, you can also expand the recipe to add seeds or some rye flour for added flavor. Eventually you can also make a bread using a starter, which has a wonderfully rich flavor. But for now start simple. 🙂

Keep me posted on how it turns out.

Cheers and happy baking,


Kath Arbour December 25, 2023 at 20:26

I live in Lindsay Ontario. How do I find a store that sells the polish flour? Any help would be appreciated.
Thank you


Ola Rokita December 31, 2023 at 19:22

Hi Kath!

Since you live in Ontario, you have many options, but unfortunately most of them are in Mississauga. I know that’s about 1.5 hours away, but maybe when you make a trip to Toronto at some point you can pick up a few kilos of the flour. Starsky Fine Foods has a large selection of different flours and other Polish foods.

Sorry that there’s nothing closer.



Leave a Comment

Next post: