Light Rye with Caraway Seeds – Steaming bread in your Dutch Oven!

Light Rye with Caraway Seeds – Steamed!

Steaming bread in your Dutch Oven is easy and we'll show you how,but first, you should read my notes in the sourdough page at this site on building a starter and leaven before you begin if you do not already have a mature starter. You will need to have a starter and active leaven before you get going on any sourdough recipe, or! you can substitute the starter with an active yeast (8gms) if do not wish to develop a starter. It will not be a sourdough recipe but still a very nice loaf. If you like rye bread, this light rye recipe will be one of your favourites for sure!
Prep Time 1 hr 30 mins
Cook Time 35 mins
resting time 1 hr
Total Time 3 hrs 5 mins
Course artisan, bread
Cuisine American, French
Servings 10 slices


  • Dutch Oven, Measuring Cup, Mixing Bowl, Thermometer, Scale, Scoring Knife, Banneton Basket or Proofing Bowl, Wooden Spoon. 6" cake pan


  • 200 gm white organic flour
  • 120 gm light rye flour
  • 30 gm whole wheat
  • 50 gm spelt flakes
  • 10 gm caraway seeds
  • 90 gm active leaven
  • 280 gm water warm


  • Mix all your flour and seeds together, if you would like a little pepper, perhaps a ½ – 1 tsp. of crushed pepper can be added as well. Mix well and add 225 gm of your water 24-28 degrees (warm). Mix well so all flour is absorbed, saving remainder for kneading in the bowl.
  • Now we let the mixture sit and develop gluten before adding salt, this is called autolyze; autolyze lessens the time needed to knead or fold and stretch your dough as it begins to develop the gluten during this stage. The dough temperature should be between 23- 28 degrees to develop gluten’ & simple sugars so once you add the water keep it in a warm spot. A common trick is turning the oven light on and placing your mixing bowl with dough inside oven, or you can simply buy a bread proofer. The temperature should be monitored as you do not want it too hot or too cold. Let the mixture sit for 30 minutes.
  • Now add your leaven, mix well with your hands, then let it sit for another 30-60 minutes; making sure to monitor dough temperature, keeping it between 23 – 28 degrees. If you are using the oven by turning on the light on, make sure you monitor as it can get to warm. Now add your salt by sprinkling it evenly over your dough; then add 20 gm warm of water ( 24-28 degrees) and mix well with hands. This is now considered to be the end of the autolyze.
  • Continue to add the remaining water in 15 -20 gm’s in allotments; folding the dough back onto itself repeatably until it starts to be sticky again; essentially you are kneading the bread, continue to do this until all your water is gone. Let the dough sit in the same warm spot for another 30 – 45 minutes allowing it to settle and ferment.
  • Kneading! I sometimes feel like just getting the kneading process over with and resort back to the traditional method of kneading the bread for a good 10 minutes until the dough is nice and elastic. You can sprinkle flour on to the dough while kneading to keep it from being too sticky, but don’t overdo. Once finished let the dough sit in the same warm spot for another 2hrs allowing it to settle and ferment, this is bulk fermentation process.
  • OR
  • You can stretch and fold the dough. To stretch and fold, grab one corner of dough start pulling up as much as the dough will allow then fold dough back onto itself, rotate 90 degrees and do the same until you complete a few circles; typically, this is done 3–4 times at regular intervals, I use 15 – 20 minutes in between each F&S. On 3rd or 2nd last Fold & Stretch is a good time to add inclusions as this will help distribute them nicely through the dough. In this recipe you could add some walnuts if you like, myself I feel the caraway seeds are plenty. After folding and stretching is complete let the dough sit until its risen by at least 50 per cent; this should take a couple of hours, and will depend on the climate you are in.
    stretching dough
  • Take the dough out of your container; place on a lightly floured countertop. Fold the dough back on itself. Turn the dough over with a dough knife; sprinkle a little flour on top; and tighten up by pushing in on the bottom and rotating at the same time. Let the dough sit for 15 – 20 minutes (bench rest).
  • Flip the dough over seam side up and place on parchment paper dusted with cornmeal; place in forming a bowl. Now you can stitch the bread; Stitching is taking a small piece of the outside part of your dough and pulling it back to the middle of the dough; applying a little pressure so that it sticks to itself. This procedure tightens up your dough into a nice ball, which makes for a better rise. You can now add some garnish at this point as well, seeds, nuts, rosemary whatever you fancy. Leave in a warm spot (oven w/ light on) or just throw some tea towels over container; monitor rise you are looking for a slight rise, as long as you have been gentle after bulk fermentation; be patient and catch it on the rise then cover and place in the fridge for the night. Try finger test, if it springs back gently it is ready. The dough will sometimes continue to prove in the refrigerator.
  • Next day, preheat oven to 550 degrees F and place the Dutch oven in to for 45 minutes. In the meantime, you can now easily score your loaf with a scoring knife, if not available just use a shape knife. Scoring allows the dough to open up on your cuts during its oven rise. From here my go-to method is now steaming see my page on this site for steaming bread.
  • The Coles notes on steaming are; pour 50 ml of hot water in Dutch Oven; then take the bottom of a cake pan (6”) place upside down, be careful not to burn hands. Now place dough in parchment paper on top of the cake pan and return to oven at 550 for 5 minutes then turn down oven to 450 for 30 min. Take out and baste with olive oil; return to oven uncovered for 5 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and let sit on a grid or rack for 1 hr before cutting.
  • Or use the traditional method & Take the Dutch oven out and place dough in the Dutch oven along with the parchment paper. Take a spray bottle and give it a couple of sprays of water; this helps in keeping the crust soft, place lid back on & place in oven for 5 minutes; then turn down the temperature down to 450 degrees for 30 minutes; again, these times will vary as ovens vary. Take out of the oven and remove lid. The loaf sould be golden brown at this point. Pour a little olive oil over top and use a brush to spread over the top of the loaf; this aids to a nice soft crust. Place back in the oven uncovered for 5-10 minutes until golden brown; if not place back in oven until golden brown. Remove from oven and let sit on a grid or rack for 1 hr before cutting. Enjoy!
    dough dutch oven



You can also use the full cake mold for this recipe. it makes for better sandwich bread. 
tip: when kneading bread, add a tablespoon of cold butter in the dough, it not only adds to the flavour but helps keep the dough from getting too sticky.
Keyword Artisan Bread, Baking Sour Dough Bread in a Dutch Oven, cooking ideas with bread, rye bread recipe, steaming bread