Sourdough Flaxseed Rye Bread – Leinsamenbrot


Each movement of the serrated knife shoots sesame seeds in all directions, but it’s a minor annoyance that is easily justified. Baking releases the fragrance of the sesame seeds onto the crust and makes a noticeable difference. I should’ve done the same thing with the second loaf.

Inside, the flaxseed aroma is more subtle but thoroughly permeates the sour boule. Lightly toasting a slice wakes up the flaxseeds in the same way your oven does the sesame seeds on the outside.

I used dark rye flour instead of medium rye so these came out denser and more deeply browned than intended in the original recipe. I’ll stick with the dark rye when (not if) I make another batch.

recipe adapted from Jeffrey Hamelman’s Bread: A Baker’s Book of Techniques and Recipes
Yeastspotting at Wild Yeast Blog
Bake Your Own Bread

German Sourdough Flaxseed Rye Bread

makes two loaves, about 1 1/2- to 1 3/4-pounds each


For the Rye Sourdough:

Ingredients Volume Ounces Grams
medium or whole rye flour 3 cups 12.8 363
water 1 1/4 cups 10.2 289
sourdough starter about 2 tbsp 0.6 17

For the Flaxseed Soaker:

Ingredients Volume Ounces Grams
whole flaxseeds 5/8 cup 3.2 91
water 1 1/4 cups 9.6 272

Rye Sourdough and Flaxseed Soaker Directions:

  1. Make the rye sourdough. Pour the water over the sourdough starter and stir to dissolve. Add the rye flour and mix until thoroughly hydrated.
  2. Make the flaxseed soaker. In a separate bowl, stir together the flaxseeds and water.
  3. Cover the bowls and let stand at room temperature for 14 to 16 hours.

For the Final Dough:

Ingredients Volume Ounces Grams
all of the rye sourdough
all of the flaxseed soaker
medium or whole rye flour 1 1/2 cups 6.4 181
high-gluten or bread flour 2 3/4 cups 12.8 363
water, lukewarm 1/2 cup 4.2 119
salt 1 tsp 0.6 17
instant yeast 1 1/2 tsp

Flaxseed Rye Bread Directions:

Mix. In a large bowl, mix together all of the final dough ingredients. Continue mixing until thoroughly hydrated and a shaggy ball of dough is formed.

Knead for 4 to 5 minutes. The dough will have weak gluten development and may be very sticky.

Desired Dough Temperature. 80ºF / 27ºF

Bulk Ferment #1. 30 to 45 minutes at 80ºF / 27ºF  (slightly warmer than room temperature)

Divide. 2 pieces

Shape. tight boules or ovals

Final Proof. 50 to 60 minutes at 80ºF / 27ºF


Preheat Oven. 460ºF / 240ºC

Moisten the loaves and gently press sesame seeds on top (optional, but highly recommended).


Steam. 1 cup of boiling water poured into a heavy steam pan, preferably cast iron.

Bake for 15 minutes at 460ºF / 240ºC, then lower the heat to 440ºF / 225ºC and bake for another 35 to 40 minutes.

Cool. Let the loaves cool completely for a few hours before slicing, preferably overnight.