Soft Sourdough Rye Bread - Yudane Method

by - July 02, 2019

Soft Sourdough Rye Bread

Soft Sourdough Rye Bread

Bread made from rye flour mixture usually doesn't rise as high as bread flour.  I have tried it a few times but it just doesn't rise very tall. However, the bread still tastes very good.

Characteristic of this bread:  The texture is soft and moist on the first day and it lasts very well for 2 - 3 days.  The taste is not very sweet and it has a very mild pleasant sourness.

It is advisable to read the General Notes before baking.


For kneading, please regard the timing provided as an indication only. It is only meant as a guide.  Timing may differ depending on the brand of flour and electric mixer used. The protein content may vary from one brand of flour to another.

Some have experienced the dough breaking during the second proofing.  If that happens it is due to over kneading.  Please stop the machine and check your dough during the final cycle of kneading to ensure that you don't over knead. Every machine is different and there is always a chance of over-kneading when using a machine. You may need to adjust this timing and stop as soon as you reach the window pane stage.

The right flour plays a very important role in bread making.  Usually bread flour content around 11.5 - 13.5% protein, while high gluten flour is around 13.5 - 14.5%.  All purpose flour content less protein around 9 - 11%.  To achieve fluffy, soft and light bread, I used Japan High Gluten Flour in most of my bread baking.  Sources from here and here.

The liquid measurement given is also a guide.  It is advisable to always reserve some liquid and not add it all in one go.  This would give you the opportunity to adjust if necessary. If dough is too dry, add the reserve liquid one tablespoon at a time until the right consistency.  This is because each flour absorbs water and hydrates differently. 

Please note that the proofing timing may also vary depending on your climate and environment. The humidity and temperature at your place will influence how dough rises.  
If you are unable to judge by just looking at the dough, you can do the finger poke test:
  1. Proofing Test:
    • Lightly press the side of the proved dough with your finger.  If it bounces back immediately without any indentation, it means the dough is under proved and needs more time before baking.
    • If the indentation stays and it doesn’t bounce back, it means it has been over proved.
    • If the indentation slowly bounces back and leave a small indentation, it is ready to bake. 
    • There will be a final burst of rising once the bread is placed to bake in the oven and it is called oven spring. 
If your bread collapses or gets wrinkled on top after removing from oven, it could be because your dough over proved during the second proofing. Please proof your dough until it just reaches or is slightly below the rim of the pan.

Do also note that the baking temperature and timing provided are what works for my oven and should also be regarded as a guide only. Every oven behaves a little differently, so please adjust accordingly for your oven

A healthy starter is very crucial as advised by Baking with Gina.  It is advisable to feed your starter daily if you want your bread to rise nicely and to use the starter (levain) at its peak.  

If the mother starter is not strong, the bread dough will not rise a lot even though the starter is used at its peak.

I used more levain (sourdough starter) in my soft bread recipe to get less sourness taste. This sounds weird right? More starter will make the dough rise faster and less time needed for the dough to digest and produce acids. The acids give the sourness taste. In resulting less acids produce and bread become less sour.

If you have any questions regarding this recipe or any other post, please leave me a comment in the “LEAVE A COMMENT” link and I will reply you as soon as possible.

Recipe - Soft Sourdough Rye Bread 

Yields:  1 loaf


40g bread flour (I used Japan High Gluten Flour)
36g boiling water

Levain (150g):
22gg sourdough starter (100% Hydration)
66g bread flour
66g water

Main Dough:
110g bread flour (I used Japan High Gluten Flour)
50g rye flour
All the yudane dough (from above)
150g levain (from above)
20g brown sugar (I used organic brown sugar)
1/2 tsp salt
20g butter, room temperature
35g egg, whisked (from 1 egg and balance reserve for egg wash)
30 - 40g full cream milk (reserve 10g, if too dry add the balance)

250g loaf pan (6.5" X 3.5" X 3.5" or 16.5cm X 9cm X 9cm)  or loaf pan (8" X 4" X 4" or 20cm X 10cm X 10cm)
I used 250g loaf pan in this recipe

  1. Yudane:
    1. Add bread flour in a bowl, pour the boiling water and mix well with spatula or spoon.  
    2. Cling film and place in the fridge for at least 4 hours or overnight.  
    3. Take out from the fridge 30 minutes before using to return to room temperature.
    4. I made the yudane dough 4 hours before and left it outside instead in the fridge. It works too.
  2. Levain:
    1. Mix all ingredients in a jar and cover.
    2. Let it ferment at room temperature (approximately 28-30C) overnight for 12 hours until tripled. The total weight should be around 150g.
  3. Main Dough:
    1. Put all ingredients (except butter), including the 150g sourdough starter (levain) and yudane dough into the bowl of stand mixer. Using the dough hook, knead for 3 - 5 minutes until the dough comes together.  Add in butter and continue kneading for 10 - 12 minutes and window pane stage.
  4. First Proofing/Resting The Dough:  
    1. In the same bowl, let the dough rest for 60 minutes. Keep it covered with clingfilm or use a lid.  The dough did not rise a lot in 60 minutes.
  5. Shaping:
    1. Transfer the dough to a clean floured surface then divide into 2 equal portions. 
    2. Form each portion to a ball.  Flatten with rolling pin into a dish.  Fold right to centre and fold left overlap it.  Roll out with rolling pin into long rectangle shape. Roll up the dough like Swiss Roll until a small log is formed. 
    3. Place all dough in the prepared loaf pan.  
  6. Final Proofing:
    1. Let it proof at warm and dark place until the dough reaches the height of the pan.  It took more than 2 hours.  This one took approximately 4 hours at room temperature of 28C - 30C.   It may take longer to proof depending your ambient temperature and your starter.
  7. Baking:
    1. Fifteen minutes before baking, preheat the oven to 180C.
    2. Bake at preheated oven for 30 minutes, or until golden brown.
    3. Remove bread from oven and let them cool on rack completely before slicing.

You May Also Like


  1. Hi,

    Thanks for sharing your sourdough recipes. I experimented with the rye sourdough soft bread and have a couple of questions.

    1. Why do you need to wait at least 4 hrs before using the yudane?
    2. My dough doesn’t rise after 4 hrs to the top of the pan, any suggestions why? Besides the loaf pan size I’m not sure why it takes so long as I live in Singapore.

    Thanks i’m advance for responding.


    1. Hi Katt,

      Thank you for your questions. It is my pleasure to share.

      1. I don't have the exact answer on this as I followed the yudane method shared online. However, I believe 4 hours is to let the dough relax. Sometimes I use after 1 hour when I am running out of time. I have not found the different yet.

      2. Sourdough baking could take forever to rise. There are many reasons. It could be your starter still young or could be your pan size as well (the dough risen horizontally instead of vertically). Bear in mind too that bread made from rye flour usually will not rise very high.


  2. Hi,

    I tried to bake the rye soft sourdough bread today and stumbled on a couple of things.
    1. Wonder why you need to keep the yudane for 4 hrs before using it?
    2. After 4 hrs my dough hasn’t reached the top of the loaf tin, any ideas? I can only think of the slight variance in size of the loaf tin and the fact that I used the yudane straight away as forgotten to leave it for 4hrs. Any other thoughts are appreciated.


  3. Can i replace the full cream milk with soya milk?

    1. Hi there,

      Thank you for asking. Yes, you can.

      Cheers :)