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  • Writer's pictureJenya

Fruit and Nut Dark Rye Sourdough

Delicious Baltic Dark Rye "Breakfast Bread"

Fruit and Nut Dark Rye Sourdough Bread
Fruit and Nut Dark Rye Sourdough Bread (
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This Latvian bread is one of my most favorite bread in the world and, luckily, it is quite easy to make. I would even say it's a foolproof recipe that will always turn out like it's supposed to from the first try. It is a healthier alternative for people with a sweet tooth, like me, but not any less delicious.

This bread is of mash bread variety, meaning it requires a combination of dark rye flour, malt, and boiling water to mash for 2 hours in the oven at 140-149°F before adding it to the dough. During this time, malt starches convert into sugars, giving the bread its unique color, smell, and taste. It has a little bit of added sweetness from molasses and sugar, but most of it comes naturally from the mashing process.

Traditionally Latvian dark rye bread is made with red rye malt, but I couldn't find any available in the US and ordered this barley Briess CBW Traditional Dark Malt Extract on Amazon after reading customers' reviews saying they used it to make similar bread. It worked just the same, and the bread tasted and smelled amazing. You only need 30g per loaf, so this jar will last a long, long time unless you want to try yourself in beer brewing as well. This malt is non-diastatic, which means it has been fermented and is used in bread baking for flavor and aroma. On the contrary, diastatic malt powder has not been fermented and is used to stimulate yeast growth and add volume to the bread during a long fermentation process.

Fruit and Nut Dark Rye Sourdough Bread

Although malt and dark rye flour are the stars of this recipe, the combination of apricots, plums, golden raisins, and hazelnuts makes this bread even more special. I love to get fruits and nuts and every bite, so I doubled the amount from the quantity in store-bought bread. It was a 100% right decision!

Also, I changed the look of the bread because I wanted to achieve a rustic look and to add a design on top. Typically, this bread has a very dark shiny blank surface. Creating bread designs is my favorite part, so I decided to add a classic Latvian symbol Auseklis - an eight-pointed star (The Morning Star) representing light defeating darkness. For this kind of dough, bread stencils would work best, but I didn't have one, so I scored it with a razor blade.

Fruit and Nut Dark Rye Sourdough Bread with Auseklis Scoring Design

The shape of the bread can be any, and it can be proofed in a bread pan, banneton, or on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper. I used a banneton with a liner dusted with rice flour - as I mentioned earlier, I was going for a rustic look, which turned out exactly as I had imagined.

This bread is so delicious! It is dense but soft inside and stays fresh for a long time, although I'm sure once you try it - it will be gone very fast!

Useful Tips:

  • If you discover that your oven's lowest temperature setting doesn't go below 170°F, you can still make the mash but reduce the time to 1.5 hours.

  • Cut the apricots and plums into long strips, so the sliced bread has different shapes of fruits and nuts, making it look more interesting.

  • After shaping, push all of the fruits and nuts inside so they don't get burned in the oven.

  • Use a linen liner with your banneton to create a smooth surface while proofing the dough.

  • Rice flour is the best for dusting the banneton to avoid the sticking of the dough.

The recipe has ingredients for 2 loaves, so you can bake 2 and share 1 as a gift. To make a single loaf, simply divide each ingredient by 2.

Fruit and Nut Dark Rye Sourdough Bread



Ingredients for 2 loaves:

Levain 73% hydration

  • 100 g Rye Sourdough Starter (I used Bob's Red Mill Dark Rye Flour)

  • 210 g Dark Rye flour

  • 140 g Water (bottled or filtered)


  • 170 g Dark Rye Flour

  • 60 g Malt (I used Briess CBW Traditional Dark Malt Extract)

  • 600 g Boiling Water

  • 4 g Ground Coriander


  • 370 g Dark Rye Flour

  • 200 g All-purpose Flour

  • 60 g Sugar

  • 40 g Molasses

  • 16 g Salt


  • 80 g Hazelnuts

  • 80 g Dried Apricots

  • 80 g Golden Raisins

  • 80 g Prunes

  • Rice Flour for dusting


Prepare Levain and Mash (morning 10 am)

  1. Feed 100 g of starter with 210 g bread flour and 140 g water at 85-90°F, cover, and leave it on the counter to ferment for 6 hours (at room temperature 76°F). It should be bubbly by then.

  2. To prepare the mash, first, set aside 10 g of flour and preheat the oven to 140-149°F. Then, in a glass bowl, mix 160 g Dark Rye flour, 60 g Malt, 4g Coriander, and 600 g Boiling Water. Make sure to break up all of the big lumps. Wait until the temperature goes down to 150°F and add 10 grams of the remaining flour.

  3. Cover the bowl with a lid or plastic wrap and put it in the oven for 2 hours. After that, turn off the oven, but leave the mash inside until it's time to mix the dough.

Make the Dough (afternoon 4 pm)

  1. Cover the fruits and nuts with boiling water and soak them for 10 min. Then cut the apricots and plums into long strips.

  2. Combine all of the levain with all of the mash in a large mixing bowl and mix using a whisk until the levain is dissolved.

  3. Mix in 60 g Sugar, 40 g Molasses, and 16 g Salt.

  4. Then add 370 g dark rye flour and 200 g all-purpose flour to the mixture and mix the dough with fingers until all of the ingredients are well incorporated with no dry bits left. If necessary, add a little bit of water.

  5. Add hazelnuts, apricots, golden raisins, and dried plums - 80 g of each.

  6. Cover and leave it on the counter for 2 hours.

Shape and Proof (evening 6 pm)

  1. Mist the bannetons with water and sprinkle with Rice flour.

  2. Gently take the dough out of the bowl, place it onto an unfloured surface, and divide the dough into 2 equal parts.

  3. Wet your hands and shape the dough into the final round shape. Push in any fruits and nuts that are sticking out; otherwise, they will burn during baking. Smooth the surface.

  4. Put each piece in the banneton seam side up and dust the top of the dough with rice flour. You can also use a baking pan or sheet lined with parchment paper.

  5. Place the bannetons in plastic bags and let the dough rest for 1 hour on the counter.

Bake (7 pm)

  1. Preheat the oven to 475°F.

  2. Carefully flip the dough out of the banneton into the dutch oven or a cast iron combo cooker (no need to preheat it.)

  3. Dust off the rice flour with a brush, mist the bread with water.

  4. Use a stencil if you want to add a design on the bread, or you can also score it with a razor blade (but not essential for this type of dough) and put the lid on. Bake it for 5 min at 475°F.

  5. Remove the lid, reduce the temperature to 425°F and bake for 45 min uncovered.

  6. Remove the bread from the oven and let it cool overnight before cutting.

Enjoy Baking!


Tools I used:

Endless Loaf Banneton Bread Proofing Basket Set with 2 Embroidered Linen Liners and 3 Linen Bags


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