Wholegrain rye bread with sunflower seeds

Wholegrain bread with a water roux (‘Kochstück’; a boiled flour mix)

A little more effort and difficulty, but the taste makes up for everything; presented as a Twitter recipe

A water roux, like other pre-ferments and preliminary stages, serves to increase the “dough yield” (proportion of water relative to the total amount of dough). Rye meal and sunflower seeds are used for the water roux in this recipe.


  • Sourdough: 12h ripening
  • Kochstück: 10 minutes preparation, at least 4h cooling
  • Main dough: 30 minutes preparation, 90 minutes fermentation
  • Baking time: ca. 70 minutes (10 at max. temperature + 60 with falling temperature)

Ingredients sourdough

  • 260g wholegrain rye flour
  • 260g water (ca. 30 °C)
  • 26g starter (rye sour)

Prepare the sourdough

  • Mix the water, flour and starter well in a bowl
  • Let the dough mature in a closed bowl for about 12 hours at room temperature

Ingredients water roux

  • 300g water
  • 75g rye meal (medium or fine)
  • 75g sunflower seeds
  • 2g salt

Prepare the water roux

  • Boil the water in a small saucepan
  • As soon as the water boils, add the flour, seeds and salt
  • Stir constantly and simmer until the mass thickens (consistency of a solid mash)
  • Put in a sealable bowl and let cool for at least 4 hours

Ingredients main dough

  • 350g water (ca. 30 °C)
  • 750g wholegrain rye flour
  • 20g fresh yeast
  • Entire sourdough
  • Entire water roux
  • 22g salt
  • 125g sunflower seeds
  • Oil (for brushing the bowl)
  • Margarine (for greasing the baking tins)
  • Rye meal or flour (for flouring the baking tins)
  • Water (for wetting the loafs)

Prepare the main dough

  • Put the water, flour, yeast, sourdough and the water roux in a large bowl; knead for 4 minutes on the lowest level
  • Add salt and knead for another 4 minutes on the next higher level
  • In the meantime, brush a large, sealable bowl with oil
  • Put the dough in the bowl and roughly shape it into a round shape; ATTENTION: the dough is quite sticky because of the high amount of water


  • Bulk fermentation: cover and let the dough mature for about 35-40 minutes; after 15-20 minutes, fold once all around from the sides to the middle
  • In the meantime, grease and flour two baking tins (dimensions: approx. 22 x 12 x 7 cm)
  • Divide the dough into 2 portions and shape into an elongated shape to match the baking tins
  • Brush the loafs with water, roll them all around in the sunflower seeds and place them in the molds
  • Final proofing: cover the loafs with a damp kitchen towel and let ferment for 1 hour


  • Preheat the oven to 240 degrees upper/lower heat approx. 1 hour before baking
  • Put the molds in the oven and bake for about 10 minutes at 240 degrees
  • Then lower the temperature to 210 degrees and bake the bread for another 60 minutes
  • After 30 minutes, turn the molds 180 degrees in the oven and cover with aluminum foil
  • Turn the finished bread out onto a wire rack and let it cool down for at least 2 hours

Tips & tricks

  • If the dough is too sticky during processing, it can be difficult to remove from the kneading bowl. To avoid that, the amount of water in the main dough can be reduced by 100g.
  • This bread is ideal for freezing.

Note: This recipe is based on the “Sonnenblumenkernbrot” from the book “Brot” (Teubner, p. 151; see Books) but has been significantly modified compared to the original, especially with regard to the amount of water used.