Sourdough Rye Bread

Rye bread is the bread of my childhood. My family lived in the Czech Republic when I was young, and I have fond memories of the loaves of dark, crusty rye bread we would buy at the local Potraviny (neighborhood grocery). They had a subtle flavor of caraway, which I grew to love. My school lunches were made on slices of this delicious bread, usually with a schmear of butter and a slice or two of salami sandwiched in between–a combination I still crave to this day (aren’t childhood memories funny like that?). As I’ve baked more and more sourdough bread, I realized that I needed to make a delicious loaf of sourdough rye bread that would transport me back. This rye bread is perfect for sandwiches. It’s perfect for toast. It’s perfect to eat plain with a little bit of butter–unsalted for me please.

Sourdough Sample Schedule: A sample schedule is often helpful when making any sourdough bread because it takes more time for the sourdough to ferment and develop. Use it as a guide and do what works for you!

  • 9-10 PM Mix leaven, let rise overnight
  • 7:00 AM Mix dough
  • 7:30 AM Stretch and Fold #1
  • 8:00 AM Stretch and Fold #2
  • 8:30 AM Stretch and Fold #3
  • 9:00 AM Stretch and Fold #4
  • 9:00-1:00 PM Bulk Rise (anywhere from 3-6 hours depending on ambient temperature)
  • 1:00 PM Pre-shape
  • 1:30 PM Shape (refrigerate at this time for 24-48 hours if desired)
  • 4:00 PM Pre-heat oven
  • 4:30 PM Bake

Working with Rye Flour

Have you worked with rye flour before? If you haven’t, here’s a little bit of information to help when adding in a whole grain flour to sourdough.

  • Rye contains a lot of micronutrients that yeast is attracted to. Adding a little rye flour to a sourdough starter can increase its activity.
  • Sourdough bread made with rye will often ferment a little faster because micronutrients in rye flour encourage fermentation.
  • Rye is most often used in combination with wheat flour to get the best benefits of both flours.
  • Bread made with rye flour will typically be a little more dense than bread made with white wheat flour.

Just like wheat is milled from wheat berries, rye flour is milled from rye berries. It has a nutty flavor and is categorized by how much of the rye kernel is in the ground flour (endosperm, bran and germ). Pumpernickel flour is the darkest type of rye flour that contains all of the ground up rye berry. It will give you the deepest rye flavor in your baked goods. In this recipe, you can choose to use a medium rye or a more coarsely ground pumpernickel flour, depending on how much rye flavor you want.

Temperature and Time

With changing seasons, sourdough can sometimes throw you for a loop. This sourdough rye bread performs best when kept at ambient temperatures between 74-76 degrees Fahrenheit. I don’t know about you but my kitchen is not always the perfect temperature for sourdough. I find that in the summer, when my house is humid and warm that sourdough bread takes less time to ferment. In the winter, it can take many more hours! Do your best to keep your sourdough in that perfect 74-76 degree temperature range to see consistent results. On cooler days I let my sourdough proof in my oven or microwave with the light turned on. This acts like a “proofing box” (just don’t turn them on!) and can help give a consistent temperature. All that said, take the time ranges in the recipe as a guide. Before beginning a recipe, check the temperature in your kitchen, and be aware of how that will affect your sourdough resting and rising times.

Adding Caraway Seeds to Rye Bread

I made many versions of this rye bread while still feeling like something was missing from the flavors of my childhood Czech bread. The bread of my childhood had the most distinct yet subtle flavor. After a little bit of digging, I added caraway seeds to my loaf of bread. The minute I took a bite I was transported back to the packed lunches of my childhood. Caraway seeds add a distinct and mild anise flavor. It is earthy and just delicious in small quantities. If you prefer rye bread without caraway seeds, you can leave it out. I found caraway seeds at my local grocery store in the spice section and add them whole while mixing the dough.

Whole Grain Rye Bread

This recipe for sourdough rye bread calls for three types of flour: rye flour, whole wheat flour and bread flour. A combination of whole grains and white flour makes the bread a little more dense than bread made with only white flour, but it also packs a whole lot of flavor and nutrition in the finished bread. Whole grains can absorb more water, which means they need more water than traditional bread dough, otherwise the bread can end up dry. I purchase my flour primarily from a local mill: Weisenberger Mill. I like using this rye flour or pumpernickel flour in this recipe. This hard whole wheat flour is delicious and I always buy my bread flour from the mill too. Using a high quality bread flour will make a big difference in your bread.

Create a Rye Leaven

In almost all of my sourdough recipes, I like to mix a leaven specifically to complement the bread I’m making. Some recipes use a stiff sourdough leaven like this Sourdough Babka. Other recipes use a 100% hydration leaven such as this artisan bread. This allows me to keep my sourdough starter small and build it up for specific recipes. For this rye bread, I use half rye flour and half white flour to mix the leaven. Rye flour has a special property of attracting the microorganisms that ferment bread. Using rye flour to build the leaven increases the activity and enhances the flavor of the bread. To a small bowl, add the rye flour, white flour, a Tablespoon of sourdough starter and water. Mix together and cover to rest overnight or about 6-10 hours until doubled or tripled in size and bubbly. If you are concerned about the rise, take a little bit of this leaven and plop it in a cup of water. The leaven should float, which tells you it is ready to use.

Mix the Rye Dough

When the leaven is bubbly, passes the float test and has doubled in size, add the leaven, water, rye flour, whole wheat flour, bread flour, salt and caraway seeds to a bowl. Mix together with your hands or a dough whisk until a shaggy dough forms. Set a timer and prepare a set of stretches and folds to the dough every 30 minutes over the course of two hours (4 times total). “Stretch and Fold” is a way for wet dough to develop the gluten strands and strength needed to rise and trap all the air bubbles in the bread as it rises and bakes.

How to Stretch and Fold Sourdough

  1. Wet your fingers
  2. Grab a portion of the dough and stretch it upward
  3. Fold the dough over and into the center of the bowl
  4. Give the bowl a quarter turn and repeat with the next section of dough
  5. Repeat this process until you return to the first portion of dough
  6. Cover and wait 15-30 minutes to stretch and fold again

Tip: For your first stretch and fold, the dough will feel elastic and weak. As you continue through the process, the dough with strengthen and tighten up typically by the 3rd or 4th fold. Instead of dense and flat dough, the dough will be smooth and jiggly.

Shaping Sourdough Rye Bread

The goal in shaping sourdough bread is to create tension and form the crust that is going to make your beautiful loaf of bread. I usually shape my bread in a circle if using a dutch oven, or in a rectangular shape if using a baking stone. To shape the bread, gather the edges of the dough and pull them up to the center, creating a circle as you go. Once the dough forms a ball, turn it over and lightly drag on the countertop while using a circular motion to create tension. Continue this circular motion until the bread is in a tight ball. Place shaped bread in a floured banneton or a floured bowl. At this point you can refrigerate the bread and bake the next day (or up to 48 hours later) or you can cover the bread and allow it to rise at room temperature before baking.

Scoring the Bread

Once the bread is ready to bake, turn it out onto a piece of parchment paper. My favorite parchment paper is from Costco, but you can find it on Amazon too. This bread can be baked after shaping and final rise. For the best score, refrigerate the dough and score it immediately after pulling it out of the refrigerator. Sourdough bread is easier to score if it is chilled and baked cold. I use a bread lame to score sourdough bread. A quick, sharp motion with a sharp lame is the best way to get a beautiful score. You can also use a very sharp knife if you don’t have a bread lame.

Baking Sourdough Rye Bread

This rye bread is only about 65% hydration, which means it is a bit easier to work with than a wetter dough (like this 75% hydration sourdough). I have found that this bread gives similar results whether baking on a baking stone or using a dutch oven or potato pot. Choose which method works best for you:

Baking Stone Method: Place a baking stone in the oven and pre-heat the oven to 500 degrees. Pre-heat for about 30 minutes to let the stone get very hot. Place the scored bread (including the parchment paper) on top of the baking stone, be careful because it’s HOT! Throw a handful of ice cubes into the hot oven and quickly close the oven door. Reduce the temperature to 450 degrees and let the bread bake for 45 minutes.

Dutch Oven Method: Pre-heat a dutch oven or my favorite potato pot in the oven at 500 degrees for about 30 minutes. Working quickly, take the pot out of the oven and place the scored bread, parchment paper included, into the pot. Put the lid on the pot and place it back in the oven. Reduce the temperature to 450 degrees and bake for 25 minutes. After 25 minutes, take the lid off the pot and bake for another 20 minutes.

Wait For It…

The most difficult part of this whole recipe…waiting for the bread to cool! If you try to slice it right out of the oven the bread will be squishy and difficult to cut. Wait a little bit until the bread has (mostly) cooled to enjoy a slice or two.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between Rye Flour and Pumpernickel Flour?

Rye flour is milled from rye berries (instead of wheat). It has a nutty flavor and is categorized by how much of the rye kernel is in the ground flour (endosperm, bran and germ). Pumpernickel flour is rye flour. It is the darkest type of rye flour, often coarsely ground that contains all of the ground up rye berry. It will give you the deepest rye flavor in your baked goods.

How long can sourdough be refrigerated before baked?

Most sourdough bread can be kept in the refrigerator for 48-72 hours before needing to be baked. The longer it is refrigerated, the more sour flavor you will probably notice. Ideally refrigerating up to 24 hours is going to give the best quality of bread.

How do I store leftover rye bread?

I store leftover rye bread on the counter for up to 24 hours. After 24 hours, slice the bread, stick it in a ziplock or bread bag and freeze for 2-3 months. When you’d like a slice, pull it out of the freezer and place it straight into the toaster. Toast from frozen and enjoy. You can also let the bread come to room temperature and then use as desired if you don’t want to toast it.

Sourdough Rye Bread

Sourdough Rye Bread

Sourdough Rye bread inspired by the rye bread I ate daily in the Czech Republic. This rye bread is made with 100% sourdough, rye, whole wheat flour and caraway seeds. It is the perfect bread for a sandwich or to eat with a bit of butter.
Prep Time 1 d
Cook Time 45 mins
Course Bread
Cuisine Czech
Servings 2 loaves

Ingredients
  

Leaven

  • 1 Tablespoon sourdough starter about 30 grams
  • 100 grams rye flour
  • 100 grams all purpose flour
  • 200 grams water

Sourdough Rye Dough

  • 200 grams leaven
  • 650 grams room temperature water
  • 200 grams rye flour
  • 200 grams hard whole wheat flour see note
  • 600 grams bread flour see note
  • 1 Tablespoon salt about 26 grams
  • 1 Tablespoon caraway seeds about 10 grams see note

Instructions
 

Leaven (6-10 hours)

  • In a small bowl, mix together a Tablespoon of starter, rye flour, all purpose flour and water. Cover and let rise for 6-10 hours until the leaven is doubled in size.

Sourdough Rye Bread (6-10 hours)

  • Mix the leaven, water, rye flour, whole wheat flour, bread flour, salt and caraway seeds with your hands or a dough whisk (affiliate link).
  • Perform a series of stretches and folds every 30 minutes for 2 hours, a total of four times. To do this, pick up the underside of the dough and fold it on top of itself, turning the bowl after each fold and picking up a different section of the dough to fold and turn. An example of this folding technique is found here (halfway through the video).
  • After two hours, cover the dough and leave it on the counter for about 2-3 hours until puffed up and risen. If you are baking in the summer or in a warm kitchen, the dough will rise faster (about 2 hours). If baking in a cold kitchen, the dough will take longer (3-4 hours).
  • Once the dough is puffed up, cut the dough in half and shape into two loaves. To shape: Gather the edges of the dough and pull them up to the center, creating a circle as you go. Once the dough forms a ball, turn it over and lightly drag on the countertop while using a circular motion to create tension.
  • Place the bread dough in a floured bread banneton (affiliate link) or a floured mixing bowl, circular/taut side down. Cover and let rise again for 2-4 hours (depending on the warmth of your kitchen). See recipe note for refrigerating the dough overnight.
  • Place a pizza stone (affiliate link) in the oven and preheat to 500 degrees. Alternatively, you can use a dutch oven or bread pot (affiliate link) and preheat the oven with the pot to 500 degrees. Turn the oven on to preheat at least 20 minutes before baking the bread.
  • Once the dough has risen, turn it out onto a piece of parchment paper. Score the dough using a bread lame or a sharp knife. Throw a handful of ice cubes into the preheated oven and place the scored loaves onto the pizza stone. Turn the heat down to 450 degrees to bake. If you use a bread pot, there is no need to throw ice cubes into the oven. Place the bread into the pot, cover it and put it back in the oven to bake. Take the cover off the pot after 25 minutes of baking and bake for another 20 minutes. Repeat with the second loaf.
  • After 45 minutes, remove the loaves from the oven and let cool before slicing and eating. Enjoy!

Notes

Hard Whole Wheat Flour: I buy my flour from a local mill. You can use any whole wheat flour, though I prefer a white wheat flour. You can also substitute all purpose flour if you don’t have whole wheat flour.
Bread Flour: If you don’t have bread flour on hand, you can substitute all purpose flour and add 3 teaspoons of vital wheat gluten. Vital wheat gluten increases the protein content of the flour, making it more similar to bread flour.
Caraway Seeds: Caraway seeds are what give this bread a traditional Czech flavor. Add fewer seeds for a more mild flavor or more seeds for a stronger caraway flavor. You can also leave the seeds out all together if you want a mild rye bread.
Overnight Rise: Once the dough is shaped, it can be covered with plastic wrap and rise for the second time in the refrigerator. Let it rest overnight or up to 24 hours. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees with the pizza stone inside. Turn out from the fridge, score and bake immediately (while still cold) for 45 minutes.
Keyword czech bread, czech rye bread, easy rye bread, homemade bread, rye, rye bread, sourdough bread, sourdough recipe, sourodugh

Rating: 1 out of 5.

Disclaimer: I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed for me to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com. As an Amazon Associate, I earn a very small amount from qualifying purchases.

Follow me on Instagram @amybakesbread, like Amy Bakes Bread on Facebook or follow me on Pinterest for more baking ideas. Please share this recipe if you enjoyed it! Post a photo and tag me @amybakesbread so I can see your bake.

One response to “Sourdough Rye Bread”

  1. Kris Avatar
    Kris

    Yesssss!! And the butter, plz don’t forget the BUTTER! 😉😜🧈🍞😋

Leave a Reply

Quick and Easy Burger Buns

I love summer. Easy living, late nights, sleepy mornings and all the in-season and fresh fruits and veggies. We love using our grill in the summertime, and while I do keep some store-bought burger buns as backup in my freezer, these quick and easy burger buns taste SO much better and only take an hour, start to finish. They are the perfect burger bun for your next grilling party or when you want dinner to taste delicious. If you have a little more time, I love these delicious brioche burger buns, but for quick and easy these buns are my go-to recipe.

Quick Yeast Risen Burger Buns

These burger buns are quick-mixed and kneaded to develop the gluten. After kneading, shape the dough into buns and let the dough rise for about 30 minutes until they are ready to bake…all of this happens in just about an hour. If you are preparing dinner and want a quick/easy/delicious burger bun, make these first! By the time your dinner is ready, these buns will have risen and baked, leaving you with the most delicious dinner.

  • 20 minute Mix/knead/rest/shape
  • 30 minute Rise time
  • 15 minute Bake

Mixing Burger Bun Dough

To make this process quicker and easier, I like to use a stand mixer to mix the burger bun dough. For large batches of dough, I prefer using the Bosch Mixer. For smaller batches of dough and when I don’t want to clean my Bosch, I will pull out my trusty KitchenAid mixer. This recipe would do well in either of those mixers, or you could mix the dough by hand, though it will take a little longer. Pour the warm water, yeast, sugar, salt, egg and oil to the bottom of a stand mixer. With the dough hook running, add the flour a cup at a time. Watch as the flour incorporates into the dough and add more after it’s been absorbed. To know that no more flour is needed, pinch off a piece of dough and roll it up into a ball in your fingers. If you can form a ball with just a bit of sticky residue left, it is ready. The dough should be tacky but not overly sticky. You can also check the sides of your mixing bowl. When the dough pulls away from the sides or is all on one side (Bosch), stop adding flour. Make sure to knead the dough for about 5-8 minutes to develop the gluten and add a little bit more flour as necessary during this process. If you choose to knead by hand, add a few minutes to the kneading process.

Does Yeast Bread Need a Bulk Rise?

Most yeast-based recipes call for a bulk rise, or first rise before shaping the bread dough. This first rise is especially important if using dry active yeast or sourdough to raise bread. A first rise before shaping the dough also can help the dough to have more flavor, better gluten development and a better crumb. The question is: how much better? For these quick and easy burger buns, we may sacrifice a tiny bit of flavor/crumb/gluten development but we get a delicious scratch-made yeast bun in about an hour. This is made possible using instant yeast. Typically, I like using a first/bulk rise in most of my bread recipes. But for burger buns, when I’m in a time crunch, I’ll take these delicious buns any day. If you would like to add a first rise to this recipe, go ahead and splash a little oil in a bowl. Transfer the dough to the oiled bowl, cover and let rise. Then proceed with the recipe as written.

How to Shape Burger Buns

Burger buns are shaped the same way as a typical roll recipe. First separate the dough into 12 equal pieces. Take each piece of dough and pull/pinch up the sides until it forms a ball. Roll the ball on the counter using your hand in a cupping shape (as seen in the video below) to seal the balls and create tension for the dough to rise. I also like rolling the ball of dough on the countertop between my two hands to create tension. After rolling the balls and placing them on a parchment-lined baking sheet, take your hand and press down on the tops of the buns just a bit to flatten them. This will help them bake into more of a burger shape than a traditional roll.

Quick, 30 Minute Rise

Allow the burger buns to rise for about 30 minutes. To accomplish a fast rise in the hot summer is easy. Cover with a dishtowel and place them out on your counter to rise. If your kitchen runs cool or you are baking them on a cold day, cover the buns and stick them in your oven with the pilot light turned on. DO NOT TURN THE OVEN ON. The heat from the pilot light and closed oven will act as a “proofing” box to help the buns to rise quickly. Once they have puffed up, remove them from the oven and egg wash before baking.

Egg Wash Burger Buns for Golden Brown Finish

Egg wash is one of those steps that I always regret when I forget! Adding egg wash to the top of burger buns makes them look so much more professional and taste delicious. For buns that only bake for 15 minutes, they help them get the brown color you look for in a burger bun while still being soft and chewy inside. Lightly beat an egg with a fork in a small bowl. Add a splash of water and whip together with the fork. Using a pastry brush (I’ve also used a paper towel in a pinch), gently top each bun with the egg wash. Sprinkle with sesame seeds if desired.

Delicious and Fast Burger Buns

Bake the burger buns at 425 degrees for about 15 minutes until golden brown on top. Let them cool completely before slicing, toasting and using for a delicious burger. These burger buns are perfect for your next summer BBQ. They hold up to ALL the toppings and make each bite of burger a little bit of heaven. I’m not sure if I like the bun or the burger better!

Frequently Asked Questions

Does yeast dough only need to rise once?

Typically yeast dough needs a first rise and second rise (and sometimes even a third rise!). Using instant yeast allows some yeast dough to cut out the first rise. Instead the dough is kneaded, shaped and then allowed to proof (or rise) before being baked. You may sacrifice a little on texture, flavor and gluten development but with a proper proofing and instant yeast, the difference is negligible for burger buns.

How do I store leftover homemade burger buns?

Burger buns can be left out up to 12 hours. After 12 hours, stick the leftover buns in a ziplock bag and freeze. When ready to use, pull out a bun and let it come to room temperature. Toast if desired, and use.

How can I encourage dough to rise more quickly?

Cover the dough and place it in an oven with the pilot light on. DO NOT TURN ON THE OVEN. Let the dough rise in this “make-shift” proofing box until ready.

Can this dough be used to make hot dog buns too?

Yes. This dough is perfect for hot dog buns. Instead of rolling the dough into balls, shape them into logs and proceed with the rest of the recipe.

Looking for another great one-hour recipe? Try out these one-hour or less yeast rolls!

Quick and Easy Burger Buns

Burger buns that take an hour from start to finish. These buns are light, tender and the perfect complement to a nice juicy burger. Life is too short for store-bought burger buns! Give these a try for your next family BBQ.
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Rise time: 30 mins
Course Bread
Cuisine American
Servings 12 buns

Ingredients
  

  • 2 cups warm water temperature of baby's bathwater
  • 2 Tablespoons instant yeast
  • 4 Tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon salt
  • 1 egg lightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 5 – 6 cups flour see recipe notes
  • 1 egg for egg wash
  • splash of water for egg wash
  • sesame seeds for sprinkling on top if desired

Instructions
 

  • To the bowl of a stand mixer add the warm water, instant yeast and sugar. Wait until you smell a yeasty smell from the mixture which tells you the yeast is active and ready to work.
  • Add the lightly beaten egg, olive oil and salt to the stand mixer.
  • With the dough hook running, add the flour a cup at a time until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Pinch off a chunk of dough. It should roll into a ball in your fingers with just a little bit of sticky residue remaining. If it doesn't, add a little bit more flour a few Tablespoons at a time until no more flour is needed. Knead the dough for 8 minutes until soft and tacky. Let the dough rest for 5 minutes to relax the gluten.
  • Lightly flour a surface and turn the dough out onto your work surface. Tip: If you'd like to let the dough bulk rise, shape the dough into a ball, splash a little oil in a bowl and lightly cover the dough with oil. Cover the dough and let rise until doubled. Then proceed with the recipe as written.
  • Cut the dough into twelve equal pieces. Shape each piece of dough into a ball. Pull pieces of the dough up into the center, forming a tight ball. You can see how I shape rolls here.
  • Place the buns on a parchment-lined baking sheet (affiliate link). Put your hand on top of each roll and lightly push down to form a wider burger shape.
  • Cover the rolls and place them in a warm place to rise for 30 minutes. Sometimes I will leave them in the oven with the pilot light on (do not turn the oven on) to encourage a good, quick rise.
  • Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • While the oven preheats, mix together the egg wash: crack the egg and add a splash of water. Lightly brush the egg wash over each bun. Sprinkle with sesame seeds if desired.
  • Bake the buns for about 15 minutes until golden brown. Allow to cool completely before slicing and enjoying with your burgers.

Notes

Flour: I prefer to use bread flour (a higher protein content) with these burger buns. If you use bread flour you will need about 5-5.5 cups of flour. I’ve also made these buns with all purpose flour (lower protein content) and they’ve turned out well. I use about 6 cups of flour when using all purpose flour.  
Keyword burger bun

Rating: 1 out of 5.

Disclaimer: I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed for me to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com. As an Amazon Associate, I earn a very small amount from qualifying purchases.

Follow me on Instagram @amybakesbread, like Amy Bakes Bread on Facebook or follow me on Pinterest for more baking ideas. Please share this recipe if you enjoyed it! Post a photo and tag me @amybakesbread so I can see your bake.

Leave a Reply

2 responses to “Quick and Easy Burger Buns”

  1. Kris Avatar
    Kris

    THE best burger buns!! Thanks for sharing!! ❤️🍔😋

  2. Shilpa Agrawal Avatar

    Perfect enough👌

Leave a Reply

Sourdough Cinnamon Sugar Babka

This Babka bread is decadent. It is filled with buttery cinnamon sugar. It is light, soft, tender and uses 100% sourdough to make a really delicious loaf of sweet bread. The sourdough has a bit of a learning curve that includes making a sweet leaven, but when you open the oven door and see two beautifully risen loaves of Babka, all the time is completely worth it. If you’ve never made a Babka before, this advanced sourdough cinnamon sugar babka recipe should make your list.

Jump to Sourdough Cinnamon Sugar Babka Recipe

What is Babka?

Babka originated in Eastern Europe and is an enriched bread dough that is usually swirled with a sweet chocolate or cinnamon sugar filling. If you’re looking for a chocolate filling, try out this one I’ve used for a swirled brioche before. It would be delicious with this recipe. Pronounced “bahb-kah,” this bread has become very popular at bakeries and in home kitchens this past year with the beautiful swirl braids and outstanding flavor. I love that this recipe gives two loaves of Babka. If I’m going to trouble with a three day sourdough recipe, I always like to share a loaf or freeze one for later (or who am I kidding…eat the day after we eat the first loaf).

Sample Sourdough Cinnamon Sugar Babka Schedule

I find it personally helpful to see a sample schedule when making sourdough because it does take longer than a traditional dough using commercial yeast. This dough is enriched with a lot of eggs, butter and sugar which takes even a bit longer to rise. 

Day 1 (Make Sweet Leaven)
  • 8 AM: Mix sweet leaven, let rise and bubble
  • 8 PM: Take 120 grams of the sweet leaven and feed it again with the measurements in the recipe. Cover and let it rise and bubble until morning.
Day 2 (Mix Babka Dough, First Rise)
  • 8 AM: Mix together Babka dough ingredients (except salt and butter), rest. Add salt, mix, rest. Add butter a Tablespoon at a time and mix using stand mixer for 10 minutes.
  • 11 AM: First set of Coil Fold
  • 1 PM: Second set of Coil Folds
  • 2 PM: Cover dough and rest in refrigerator overnight (12-24 hours)
Day 3 (Assemble and Bake)
  • 8 AM: Roll out and shape Babka
  • 8:30-3PM: Let Babka rise (the rise time will vary depending on the warmth of your kitchen, but allow for at least 6-8 hours)
  • 3-4PM: Bake Babka

Sweet Leaven

One of the unique things about this sourdough recipe is making a sweet leaven before actually making the bread. Typically with sourdough, the longer the bread rises, the more tang you will taste from sourdough. I love the tang in this recipe in my Basic Country Artisan Loaf or my no-knead sourdough loaf but in a sweet babka, I don’t want to taste the tang. Making a sweet leaven helps temper the tang and mellows the flavors, letting the sweet cinnamon be the overpowering flavor. The addition of sugar to the leaven also helps temper the sour flavor. The taste of the Babka is sweet, light and delicious when using a sweet leaven. You can create this leaven directly from your current sourdough starter and through a series of power feeds (feeding it twice in a 24 hour period before using it), have it ready to mix your Babka in just 24 hours. Sweet leaven is also fairly stiff compared to a regular 100% hydration leaven. Due to the low water content, this stiff leaven ferments slowly and helps the bread keep its texture and maintain the gluten structure. This helps the bread rise slowly to keep the sweet flavor expected from a Babka.

Enriched Dough

Babka is made with an enriched dough. Lots of milk, butter, eggs and sugar go into this beautiful loaf. One of the keys to making a great Babka is the process of incorporating the butter. Once the leaven, flour, milk, eggs, sugar and salt have been mixed together to form a dough, it is time to add the butter. This takes a somewhat thick dough and turns it into a silky, smooth and a little bit sticky enriched dough. Cut the softened butter into chunks and add it to the center of the dough hook as the dough is mixing. Plan to knead the dough for about 10 minutes. I like to set a timer and let my dough get to work developing the gluten and incorporating the butter. I highly recommend using a stand mixer for this process. It can get very sticky and is difficult to knead for the length of time required with cold hands (so the butter doesn’t melt and leak everywhere)

Coil Fold

The coil fold is a technique of picking up the dough from the middle and letting the dough fall down onto and under itself, resulting in a coil. Wet your hands with water. Place your hands under the middle of the dough and pull up. The dough will stretch up (but should not tear) and release from the bottom of the bowl. Once the dough releases, let the dough fall back under itself. Repeat the process for both sides of dough. Then turn the container and repeat the coil fold. This process of folding the dough increases tension and strengthens the strands of gluten in the dough. If you skip this step, the dough can bake up flat because it lacks structure. Watch the coil fold process below to help visualize the process.

Refrigeration

Refrigerating the sourdough cinnamon sugar babka dough overnight or 12-24 hours (not much longer than that) chills the butter, enhances the sweet Babka flavor and makes the dough easy to work with when you pull it out in the morning to shape your Babka. The dough will not double in size and may not even look like it did much rising. Don’t worry! Once it comes back to room temperature it will rise again. When you pull the dough out of the refrigerator to roll out, it will be a little stiff and hard because it is cold. This chill actually makes it easier to work with the Babka dough. Add a little bit of flour on the bottom and on top of the Babka to help roll it out. 

Babka Filling

Babka can be filled with any kind of sweet (or sometimes savory) filling. When mixing the filling, use softened, room temperature butter to mix with the dough. If the butter is too cold, it will not incorporate fully into a paste. If it is melted, it will leak all over the dough and make the Babka difficult to shape. I also love the addition of a bit of flour to the filling. This keeps the filling sticking to the dough and not falling all over your pastry mat. Mix the ingredients together to form a thick paste and set it aside. I have also made this Babka into a strawberry flavored version, using white sugar and crushed up freeze dried strawberries, that was insanely delicious. Check the recipe notes for the full substitution.

How to Shape Babka

Flour a countertop or pastry mat and roll out the dough into a large rectangle, about 14 by 18 inches. Spread half of the cinnamon sugar mixture on the dough and roll up cinnamon-roll style. Take a sharp knife and slice the Babka in half, length-wise. This will leave you with two long, open-faced pieces. Pinch together the ends and twist the dough around each other to form a swirled and braided loaf. Place into a parchment-lined loaf pan and let rise.

A Long Final Rise

I have made the mistake before with this recipe of being a bit impatient and baking the Babka too quickly. This results in a dense, gummy bread that is just not good. It can be hard to be patient with sourdough, but I promise the results are worth it. Wait until the bread has puffed up and mostly filled out the loaf tin which will take 6-8 hours. You can also lightly press the top of the Babka dough and watch as the dough springs back. If it springs back without any indentation, it needs to rise longer. If it springs back just a little and has been at least six hours, then you should be good to bake. The time will vary based on the warmth of your kitchen so it could rise faster or slower. My experience has been six to eight hours generally.

Simple Syrup

What better way to finish off a decadent bread than with some simple syrup, am I right?! To help keep the Babka fresh and moist, whip up this simple syrup while the Babka is baking. I make mine in the microwave, but you could use a pot on the stovetop as well. Mix together the sugar and water. Microwave on high in 1 minute increments until the sugar is dissolved and liquid is boiling. Stir together and let sit while waiting for the Babka to bake. The mixture will thicken as it cools. Pull the Babka out of the oven and let rest for 5-10 minutes in the pan. Then remove to a baking rack and brush the simple syrup over the top of the Babka. Use all of the simple syrup, even if it looks like it doesn’t need more.

It is hard to let the Babka cool and truthfully, I don’t always wait because it is so tempting! This Babka does slice best when it has cooled and even makes great french toast a day or two later if it lasts that long. Sourdough cinnamon sugar Babka is a showstopper recipe and it tastes even better than it looks! Enjoy!

Sourdough Cinnamon Sugar Babka

A rich and delicious cinnamon sugar babka bread made completely with sourdough
Prep Time 1 hr
Cook Time 55 mins
Rise Time 1 d
Course Bread
Cuisine American, Polish, Ukrainian
Servings 2 loaves

Ingredients
  

Sweet Leaven (feed at least twice before making the Babka dough)

  • 120 grams sourdough starter 100% hydration see recipe notes
  • 100 grams all purpose flour
  • 25 grams granulated sugar
  • 40 grams water

Babka Dough

  • all of the leaven about 300 grams
  • 620 grams all purpose flour
  • 200 grams whole milk see recipe notes
  • 4 large eggs about 200 grams
  • 50 grams granulated sugar
  • 16 grams salt
  • 200 grams unsalted butter, softened about 14 Tablespoons

Babka Filing

  • 160 grams unsalted butter, softened 3/4 cup
  • 2 Tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 160 grams brown sugar 2/3 cup
  • 2 teaspoons all purpose flour

Egg Wash

  • 1 teaspoon water

Simple Syrup for Babka

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup water

Instructions
 

Sweet Leaven (24 hours)

  • Mix together ripe sourdough starter, flour, granulated sugar and water. Cover and let sit for about 8-12 hours.
  • Take 120 grams of this new leaven and feed it with flour, sugar and water. Cover and let sit for 8-12 hours until bubbly, about doubled in size and passes the float test.

Babka Dough Day 1

  • Set the bowl of a stand mixer on a kitchen scale. Tare the scale and add all of the sweet leaven, flour, whole milk, sugar and eggs. Mix together with a spoon or dough whisk. Let rest for 10 minutes.
  • Add the dough hook to the bowl, sprinkle in the salt and mix for 6 minutes. Let the dough rest for 10-20 minutes.
  • Cut the butter into Tablespoon sized chunks. With the dough hook running, add the butter to the center of the dough. The butter will begin to incorporate into the dough. Continue adding chunks of butter until all the butter is added.
  • Knead for a total of ten minutes until the dough is smooth, sticky and silky.
  • Turn the dough out into a rectangular container (I use this 9 by 13 pan, affiliate link). The dough will be sticky. It can help to wet your hands before turning the dough out if it sticks to your fingers. Cover the dough and let rest at room temperature for 2 hours.
  • After 2 hours, wet your hands and perform one set of coil folds on the dough by lifting up in the middle of the dough and letting the sides pull up and fall under the dough. Repeat from the other direction. This is one set of coil folds. See video for how to perform a coil fold. Cover and let rest.
  • After another 2 hours, perform a second set of coil folds on the dough. Cover and let rest another hour.
  • Transfer the dough to a container, cover tightly and set in the fridge to chill overnight or 12-24 hours.

Babka Dough Day 2

  • Prepare two 9 by 5 loaf pans (affiliate link) with parchment paper.
  • The next morning, make the Babka filling. Mix together the softened butter, brown sugar, cinnamon and flour to make a thick paste. Set aside. See recipe notes for strawberry version.
  • Pull the dough out of the refrigerator. Lightly flour a pastry mat or silpat liner (affiliate link). Turn the dough out onto the mat and cut in half.
  • Lightly flour one piece of dough and roll into a 14 by 18 inch rectangle.
  • Divide the Babka paste in two. Use your fingers to spread half the cinnamon sugar mixture over the rectangle of dough. Once the dough is covered, roll the dough up cinnamon-roll style.
  • Using a sharp knife, cut the roll in half; straight down the middle of the roll the long way. This will leave two long ropes of dough. Beginning on one end, squish the ends of the dough together and then twist the dough around each other forming the Babka loaf. Push the ends of the dough together and place the Babka in the prepared loaf pan. Repeat this process with the second loaf.
  • Cover the loaves and let rise 6-8 hours, depending on the warmth of your kitchen. This bread is made with 100% sourdough and will take much longer than a traditional loaf of bread to rise. Let it rise until it has mostly filled the loaf pan and gets light and puffy.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Whisk together the egg and a teaspoon of water. Lightly brush the egg wash on top of the bread until covered.
  • Bake Babka for 50-55 minutes until baked all the way through.
  • While the Babka is baking, prepare the simple syrup for the top of the Babka. Mix together the granulated sugar and water in a microwave safe liquid measuring cup. Microwave on high a minute at a time until boiling and all the sugar is dissolved. Mix together with a spoon and let cool until the Babka is out of the oven. The simple syrup can also be made on the stovetop. Boil the sugar and water together for about 1 minute until the sugar is completely dissolved. Cool a bit while the Babka bakes.
  • Pull Babka out of the oven and let rest in the pan for about 5-10 minutes. Remove the loaves from the pans using the parchment paper and place on a cooling rack. Pour half of the simple syrup on one loaf and half on the other loaf, using a pastry brush as needed. Let it soak into the warm bread.
  • Let the bread cool before slicing and enjoy!

Notes

Sweet Leaven: I make this leaven with 100% hydration sourdough starter. If you don’t have 100% hydration starter, take a Tablespoon of sourdough starter and add equal weights of water and flour to it. Let it rise and then use it in the recipe for sweet leaven.
Whole Milk: If you don’t have whole milk, you can substitute 180 grams 2% milk and 20 grams heavy cream.
Strawberry Babka:  To make a strawberry filling, replace the brown sugar with white granulated sugar. Replace the cinnamon with 2 Tablespoons of crushed up freeze-dried strawberries. Combine white sugar, softened butter, crushed up freeze-dried strawberries and flour. Mix together into a paste and use in place of the cinnamon-sugar filling for a delicious strawberry flavored Babka.
Keyword babka, Cinnamon sugar

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Soft Sourdough Pretzels

Is there anything better than a fresh, hot pretzel? The chewy texture, salty exterior and just all around deliciousness! My husband and I both lived in Germany as kids (not at the same time and we didn’t know each other at the time). One of our favorite shared food memories are the “Laugenbrezel” (a traditional German soft pretzel) and the “Laugenbrot” which was basically a roll or bun made from pretzel dough. Top it with some melty cheese or dip the soft pretzel in some mustard and you have yourself the perfect snack or lunch. This recipe for sourdough pretzels brings us back to those childhood days and fills our kitchen with the aroma of a German bakery. Soft sourdough pretzels are being made on repeat right now because we love them so much. This recipe takes almost 24 hours start to finish (with lots of hands-off time). If you are looking for a quick and simple recipe, try these pretzel bites with sourdough discard.

Jump to Sourdough Pretzel Recipe

Sample Soft Sourdough Pretzel Schedule

Working with sourdough takes time. I find it helpful to see a sample schedule so I have a reference point for making the recipe fit in my own life. When I make soft sourdough pretzels, this is often how I do it. You may need more or less time depending on the warmth of your kitchen and how quickly your sourdough rises.

Day 1 (night): 8-10 PM: Mix Leaven the night before baking

Day 2 (morning): 8 AM Mix the dough and give it a long rise with one stretch and fold

12-2 PM: After the dough has risen and is a bit puffy: pre-shape, rest, shape pretzels and refrigerate

2-4 PM: Score and bake

Building the Pretzel Leaven

The night before you want to make the pretzels, build the leaven. Take 1 Tablespoon of ripe sourdough starter (i.e. starter that has not been recently fed and needs to be refreshed). Add 150 grams all purpose flour and 150 grams of water. Stir it up, cover it and let it work overnight. The next morning, your leaven should have doubled in size and be nice and puffy, ready to use. These pretzel use a large percentage of leaven and no commercial yeast. The recipe has been developed based on the percentage of flour and water in the leaven. If you choose to use bubbly sourdough starter instead, you may need to increase or decrease the amount of flour and water in the dough recipe relative to your leaven. 

Diastatic Malt Powder in Pretzels

One ingredient you may not be familiar with in the list of ingredients is diastatic malt powder. This can be purchased online (affiliate link) or you may be able to find it in your local grocery store. The technical explanation is that diastatic malt powder contains the amylase enzyme, which consumes the starches in your pretzel dough and creates sugars. This helps create an evenly browned pretzel and good crust. Diastatic malt powder also promotes a good rise. The yeast has “more food” from the breakdown of starches into sugars, which gives your pretzels a better rise. When working with diastatic malt powder, a little goes a long way. Typically you only want about 1/2 a teaspoon of diastatic malt powder per cup of flour. This recipe only calls for a small amount. Too much diastatic malt powder and your pretzels will overproof quickly. If you don’t have diastatic malt powder you can add a teaspoon of brown sugar to the dough.

Soft Sourdough Pretzel Dough

Once your leaven is ready, add the dough ingredients to a stand mixer and mix together using a dough hook. Every time I make soft sourdough pretzels, I wonder if I’ve added too much flour to the dough because initially it looks and feels a little stiff, almost crumbly. Don’t worry! This is normal. As you add the chunks of softened butter to the dough while it’s mixing, the dough will change from a little shaggy into the most perfect soft pretzel dough. After kneading for 5-6 minutes, let the dough rise and perform one stretch and fold about an hour into the bulk rise (you can watch a video on folding techniques here—stretch and fold is about halfway through the short video). The bulk rise time takes about 4-6 hours (remember this is sourdough and will take much longer than commercial yeast), depending on the warmth of your kitchen.

Shaping Soft Sourdough Pretzels

In the past I’ve struggled shaping pretzels. I’ve found that this dough is the perfect consistency for shaping. No extra flour is needed, just a good countertop space. Once the dough as risen, use a bench knife to cut the dough into twelve equal pieces. Let the dough rest for another 20 minutes to relax before shaping.

To shape: Take a ball of dough. Roll it out like a rope, using both hands starting in the middle and going out toward the ends of the dough. Repeat this process, leaving the middle of the “rope” larger as you taper out toward the ends. Once you have the length you want, pull the ends up and around, twisting them together and then bringing them back down to the dough. Pinch the ends into the dough and set the dough on a parchment lined baking sheet (my favorite baking sheets here, affiliate link). Repeat with the other balls of dough until you have 12 shaped pretzels. Check out this video to watch the process below.

It is also possible to shape the dough into “logs” or even rolls for a German-style “Laugenbrot” pretzel roll. These rolls may need an extra few minutes of baking time because of their thicker shape.

Refrigerate Pretzel Dough

One of the keys to keeping a good shape on the pretzels and not letting them break apart when soaking them before baking is to refrigerate the shaped dough for an hour. You just need it long enough to help the pretzels keep their shape. After shaping, stick the soft sourdough pretzels in the refrigerator on their baking sheet for about an hour. I have never kept them in the refrigerator for a longer period of time. They could most likely be refrigerated overnight and baked the next day, though I haven’t tried it yet. I wouldn’t let them sit much longer than 24 hours refrigerated before baking. If you try it out, let me know!

European-Style Soft Pretzel Flavor

To get the traditional pretzel flavor, you have one of two options before baking. Your can dip the pretzels in a lye solution or you can boil them in a baking soda bath. The lye solution is traditional and will produce a beautiful mahogany color, glossy sheen and a chewy crust. Lye is also caustic and you need to take safety precautions when using it. The baking soda method is a bit more cumbersome ie: boiling water, adding baking soda, boiling the pretzels and then baking them. Pick which method works for you. I’ve done both and both produce delicious pretzels. If I’m going for most “authentic,” I will choose the lye method.

Lye Method

Disclaimer: lye is caustic. Always use safety glasses and rubber gloves. Wear long sleeves/pants and closed toed-shoes. Use paper towel to wipe up spills and throw them away. Rinse everything that touches lye with large amounts of water. Be sure to wash your hands and arms throughout and if you do feel anything burning, re-wash wherever it burns with soap and water and rinse dry. Lye should not be around children or pets.

I bought food grade lye here (affiliate link). It comes in a large jar and you add small amounts of lye to water to dilute it which makes it safe to consume once baked. To use the lye, begin by putting on your protective gear (including protective goggles and rubber gloves). To a large bowl, add 5 cups of water and 3 Tablespoons of food grade lye. Stir together with a spatula until dissolved. Dip each pretzel in the lye solution for 15-20 seconds. Place pretzel back on the parchment-lined baking sheet to bake.

Baking Soda Method

Bring 8 cups of water to a boil. Add 6 Tablespoons of baking soda once the water is boiling. The water should be vigorously boiling, not just a simmer before boiling the dough. Taking a few pretzels at at time, place them in the boiling water for 90 seconds per pretzel. Remove the pretzels and place them on the parchment-lined baking sheet. 

Scoring/Salt

Once the pretzels have been soaked or boiled, take a bread lame and score the bottom, thicker- part of the pretzel. A bread lame (affiliate link) will help give you the perfect score but a sharp knife will work in a pinch. Sprinkle the top of the pretzel with some flaky sea salt (affiliate link) or pretzel salt (affiliate link) for the perfect flavor. Bake the pretzels at 475 degrees for 15 minutes. 

These sourdough pretzels evoke all the best memories and are just delicious. We love them dipped in mustard, covered in melty cheese or just eaten hot and plain. The crisp, chewy crust with the flaky sea salt means that these are basically devoured once they come out of the oven, though they do freeze well after they cool to enjoy a few days later. Enjoy!

Soft Sourdough Pretzels

Amy
European-style soft, sourdough pretzels made with baking soda or lye and sprinkled with flaky sea salt. Chewy, soft and delicious!
Prep Time 18 hrs
Cook Time 30 mins
Course Bread, Snack
Cuisine American, German
Servings 12 pretzels

Ingredients
  

Leaven

  • 1 Tablespoon ripe sourdough starter
  • 150 grams all purpose flour
  • 150 grams water

Sourdough Pretzel Dough

  • 850 grams bread flour see note
  • 420 grams water
  • 250 grams leaven
  • 19 grams salt
  • 3 grams diastatic malt powder
  • 68 grams unsalted butter softened

Lye or Baking Soda Solution

  • 3 Tablespoons food grade lye OR
  • 6 Tablespoons baking soda
  • flaky sea salt for topping

Instructions
 

Leaven

  • The night before making the pretzels, mix together 1 Tablespoon of ripe sourdough starter with 150 grams flour and 150 grams water. Cover and let rest overnight.

Sourdough Pretzel Dough

  • The next morning, in the bowl of a stand mixer, mix together the risen leaven, water, flour, salt and malt powder using a dough hook. The dough will be very thick, almost crumbly at first, but will come together as you add the butter.
  • Within the first minute or two of kneading, add the softened butter, 1/2 Tablespoon at a time and knead for 5-6 minutes until completely incorporated.
  • Let dough rise for 4-6 hours until puffy and just about doubled in size. After the first hour, perform one stretch and fold: reach down onto the side of the dough, pull the dough up and stretch it over the top, pushing it back down onto the other side of the dough. Rotate the bowl and repeat two or three more times as you go around the bowl. The warmth of your dough/kitchen will determine the length of rise time, though this is typically 4-6 hours.
  • After 4-6 hours, pre-shape the dough into 12 equal-sized balls, cover and rest for 20 minutes at room temperature.
  • Shape the pretzels by rolling them into a long rope. Begin rolling in the middle and then easing your way out. The middle of the "rope" should be thicker than the ends. Pull the thinner ends up, twist and press down into the pretzel. Watch this video to see how I shape my pretzels. See recipe note for pretzel rolls.
  • Place pretzels on a parchment lined baking sheet. Stick in the fridge for 1 hour.

Baking Sourdough Pretzels

  • Preheat oven to 475 degrees Fahrenheit. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • Lye Method: Put on protective goggles and rubber gloves. Lye can burn your skin or eyes. It should not be around children or pets. To a large bowl, add 5 cups of water. Add 3 Tablespoons of food grade lye (affiliate link). Stir together with a spatula. Dip each pretzel in the lye solution for 15-20 seconds per pretzel. Place pretzels back on the parchment lined baking sheet.
  • Baking Soda Method: Bring 8 cups of water to a boil. Add 6 Tablespoons baking soda. Place pretzels in the boiling baking soda water and boil for 90 seconds per pretzel. Remove pretzels from the boiling water and place on the baking sheets.
  • Score the bottom half, thick part of the pretzel with a sharp knife or bread lame.
  • Sprinkle with pretzel salt or my favorite flaky sea salt.
  • Bake for 15 minutes at 475 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Let cool or enjoy warm. For longer-term storage, freeze pretzels in a ziplock bag and re-heat when ready to eat.

Notes

Bread Flour: If you need a substitute for bread flour, use 810 grams all purpose flour and 40 grams vital wheat gluten.
Using Lye: Lye is caustic. Always use safety glasses and rubber gloves. Wear long sleeves, pants and closed-toed shoes. Wipe up any spills with paper towels and throw away. Rinse everything that touched the lye with large amounts of water and wash hands and arms thoroughly. If you feel anything burning, re-wash affected area with soap and water, rinse and dry.
Shaping: These pretzels can also be shaped into logs or rolls for a traditional “Laugenbrot” roll. Roll up into a cylinder or shape into a roll. Proceed with recipe. Add a few minutes to the baking time so they are baked all the way through.
Keyword german sourdough pretzels, homemade pretzels, pretzel, soft pretzels, soft sourdough pretzels, sourdough, sourdough pretzels

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The Best Zucchini Bread with Sourdough Discard

I had big dreams this year of planting a large beautiful garden and watching it grow all summer long. This did not happen. My big beautiful garden did not grow very well this summer (thank you bunnies, weird weather and a somewhat last-minute long-distance road trip that kept me from tending to the garden much throughout the summer). I was hoping for big, beautiful zucchini to sauté as a side to any meal, turn into our favorite zucchini boats, bake this chocolate sourdough zucchini cake or make many loaves of this amazing zucchini bread. This is the best zucchini bread with sourdough discard. It is Light, tender, fluffy and uses up some of the sourdough discard that I always seem to have lurking in the back of my fridge. Lucky for me, my local farmers market and grocery store carry lots of zucchini this time of year.

The Best Zucchini Bread with Sourdough Discard

Sourdough Discard in Zucchini Bread

If you have zucchini coming out your ears and sourdough discard taking over your fridge, this recipe is for you! I love using sourdough discard in recipes, not only for the little tang it gives but also because I’m not a fan of wasting food. This recipe uses ½ cup of sourdough discard directly from your fridge (you can also use bubbly sourdough starter) and it enhances the flavor of this delicious zucchini bread. If you don’t have sourdough starter, don’t worry. You can still make an awesome loaf of zucchini bread: Omit the sourdough starter. Add 2 cups of flour instead of 1 2/3 cups and 1/4 cup of milk to the batter. That’s it. I made both recipes side by side (pictured above) and both were delicious. You don’t need sourdough starter to make this delicious loaf, but if you have it on hand, it is the perfect way to use up some of your sourdough discard.

Wring Out the Zucchini 

Did you know that 1 cup of chopped zucchini is made up of 90% water? Because of this high water content, it’s important to wring out the zucchini a bit before adding it to the recipe. The pictures below show the easy way I do this. Take a box grater, shred the zucchini and then use a paper towel to wring the zucchini. I give it about three squeezes over my sink and call it good. This little extra step will help your zucchini bread to turn out perfectly moist and delicious.

Baking Temperature and Time

One of the tricks I’ve learned over the years I’ve been baking is to bake quickbread, like zucchini bread, at a high temperature for the first 10 minutes and then reduce the temperature to finish the longer bake time. The high heat helps activate the baking powder giving a nice lift and rounded dome shape to your loaf of zucchini bread. This zucchini bread takes about an hour to bake. I like to stick a knife or toothpick in the center to see if it’s completely baked all the way through. Depending on the temperature of your oven it may need more or less time.

Quick Mix. Long Bake. Delicious Zucchini Bread

Whatever way you slice it, this zucchini bread is delicious. It is tender, moist and perfect to gift this time of year. It is my kids’ favorite way to eat zucchini. They do eat other preparations of zucchini, though maybe not as willingly. If I only had to make one zucchini bread recipe for the rest of my life, this would be the one. It is that good! I hope you enjoy it too.