I am a patty melt enthusiast. They’re one of my go-to restaurant orders. The whole combo of a juicy burger, melty cheese, fried onions and marble rye bread is THE BEST. So naturally, I needed to create a delicious sourdough marble rye bread recipe, to bring our homemade patty melts to the next level!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
This bread is super soft, while being strong enough to make a good sandwich. It’s really flavorful, without being overpowering. Since it has a lower percentage of rye flour compared to white flour, it’s a good way to dip your toe into rye breads if you’re unfamiliar or skeptical. You can’t go wrong with this sourdough marble rye!
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Tools & Equipment for Sourdough Marble Rye
- Kitchen scale
- Mixing bowls, a variety of sizes
- Measuring spoons
- Wooden spoon or spatula
- Bowl scraper
- Parchment paper
- Loaf pan
- Pastry brush
- Bread lame
Ingredients for Sourdough Marble Rye
- Ripe sourdough starter: read through the recipe and decide when you’ll need to feed your starter, to have it ripe by the time you mix your levain!
- Rye flour: I like this one and this one
- White bread flour, or all-purpose works too
- Vital wheat gluten: I use this one
- Onion powder
- Fine sea salt
- Caraway seeds
- Granulated sugar
- Dry milk powder
- Olive oil
- Filtered water
- Black cocoa: it gives the bread it’s stark color contrast! I use this one
- Egg, optional, for egg wash
The Process: How to Make This Recipe
Make your levain
The evening before you want to begin your bread, mix together 50g ripe sourdough starter, 100g rye flour and 100g unfiltered water. Cover lightly and leave on the counter at room temp for 12 hours.
Mix your dough
When 12 hours have passed, check your levain for readiness: it should be bubbly throughout (though the top may just have a handful of visible bubbles), have risen, and have a mild sour aroma. If these signs aren’t present, leave it for 30 minutes and check again. If the bubbles are popping and the levain is deflating, it is overripe.
To a large mixing bowl, add the entire levain, the remaining rye flour, the bread flour, wheat gluten, sea salt, onion powder, caraway seeds, sugar, olive oil, milk powder and remaining water. Mix thoroughly, using a bowl scraper to make sure everything is incorporated.
Divide the dough in half and move half to another bowl. To one bowl, add 1/2 Tbsp rye flour and 1/2 Tbsp black cocoa. Mix well, until the dough is a uniform color. Cover the dough lightly and place in a warm spot on the counter for bulk fermentation.
Set a timer for 30 minutes, and when it goes off, perform a set of stretch and folds on each dough. Repeat for two more sets of stretch and folds at 30 minute intervals, and then let the dough sit for 2 hours and 30 minutes, for a total of 4 hours in bulk fermentation.
If you’re new to stretch and folds, here’s more information.
After four hours in bulk fermentation, assess the dough: it should be puffy and risen, with small bubbles present. It will still be somewhat sticky and fragile.
Lightly oil a loaf pan and set aside.
Lightly flour a clean work surface or a piece of parchment paper. Scrape out your light dough onto your work surface, and gently spread it to a rectangle about 10 in by 7 in.
Scrape out your dark dough directly on top of your light dough, and spread it out, leaving a border of light dough around all the edges.
Starting with one long end, roll the dough into a log. Some people can get probably get their bread to form a really perfect swirl: mine usually comes out a touch abstract, as you can tell from the photos!
Tuck the ends of the loaf under and transfer to the prepared loaf pan. Lightly cover with plastic wrap and set in a warm place on the counter to proof.
Proof for 3 hours, until the bread is quite puffy and has risen substantially in the pan. Toward the end of the proofing time, preheat the oven to 425 degrees Farenheit.
Bake Your Sourdough Marble Rye!
If you want, beat an egg with a tablespoon of water and lightly brush over the top of the loaf with a pastry brush.
Use a bread lame to very lightly score the top of the loaf.
Bake for 15 minutes at 425 degrees, then decrease the heat to 350 degrees. Bake for 20 more minutes. Remove the loaf from the pan and place directly on the rack for 5 more minutes, then remove to a cooling rack.
Allow to cool completely before slicing!
Alternatives & Frequently Asked Questions
How Should I Serve & Store Sourdough Marble Rye?
Sourdough marble rye is perfect for patty melts, Reuben and Rachel sandwiches…or any other sandwich you can dream up! It also makes excellent toast, with just butter… don’t ask how many slices I ate while taking pictures of this loaf!
Sourdough marble rye will last a few days at room temp, in a plastic bag or bread box. It freezes well and should last several months in the freezer.
Do I Need The Black Cocoa? Or The Wheat Gluten?
I do highly recommend these ingredients, and here’s why:
The black cocoa gives the darker dough it’s color, giving the bread it’s sharp contrast. I have attempted this with just regular cocoa powder, and while it does work, the color contrast is not nearly as strong. Check it out below:
You may also notice that the loaf on the left has substantially less rise than the one on the right, which brings us to the wheat gluten! Since rye flour has low gluten content, it makes breads tender, without as much structure and rise as white breads. This isn’t a bad thing, but I wanted this bread to be tall and strong enough to hold a lot of sandwich ingredients-which is where both the wheat gluten and the milk powder come in. Basically, you could omit them both: your bread will still taste awesome, it will just be much more tender and fragile, with less rise.
- 50g ripe sourdough starter
- 100g + 15g dark rye flour, separated
- 100g + 160g lukewarm filtered water, separated
- 250g white bread flour (or all-purpose)
- 1 Tbsp vital wheat gluten
- 3/4 tsp onion powder
- 1/2 Tbsp caraway seeds
- 10g fine sea salt
- 1 Tbsp granulated sugar
- 1.5 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 Tbsp dry milk powder
- 1/2 Tbsp rye flour + 1/2 Tbsp black cocoa powder
- 1 egg, optional, for egg wash
- Mix together 50g ripe sourdough starter, 100g rye flour and 100g water. Lightly cover and leave at room temp for 12 hours to ferment.
- After 12 hours, check levain for readiness: it should have risen, be very bubbly throughout, and have a mild sour aroma. If these signs are not present, leave to ferment for 30 more minutes and check again.
- To a large mixing bowl, add entire levain, remaining rye flour, bread flour, gluten, onion powder, caraway seeds, salt, sugar, olive oil, milk powder, and remaining water.
- Mix all ingredients together until mixed thoroughly. The dough will be somewhat sticky, but it should not be runny. Scrape the sides of the bowl to incorporate all ingredients.
- Remove half of the dough to another bowl. To one of the bowls, add the 1/2 Tbsp rye flour and 1/2 Tbsp black cocoa powder. Mix until the dough is a uniform color.
- Cover the bowls and set in a warm place on the counter for bulk fermentation.
- Set a timer for 30 minutes. When it goes off, wet or lightly oil your hands and perform a set of stretch and folds (on both doughs). Repeat with two more sets of stretch and folds at 30 minute intervals, and then leave the doughs to sit for the remainder of bulk fermentation, 2 hours and 30 minutes more.
- After four hours have passed, check the doughs for readiness: they should be puffy and visibly risen and have a lot of small bubbles, especially on the bottom (it's okay if the top isn't bubby, as long as it's puffy). If your kitchen is cold, fermentation may take longer. Leave the dough for 30 more minutes and check again.
- Grease a 8.5x4.5 or 9x5 loaf pan and set aside.
- Lightly flour a clean work surface or a sheet of parchment paper.
- Scrape out the light dough onto your work surface and spread the dough out into a rectangle, about 10 in x 7 in or so.
- Add the dark dough directly on top of the light dough and spread it out, leaving a small border.
- Starting with one long side, roll the dough up. A bowl scraper can be helpful in rolling if your dough is sticking. Once the dough is all rolled into one log, tuck the ends under and transfer to the loaf pan.
- Cover the loaf pan with plastic wrap and place in a warm place on the counter.
- Leave on the counter to proof for 3 hours.
- At the end of proofing time, the dough should be risen substantially in the pan. Toward the end of the proofing time, preheat the oven to 425 degrees Farenheit.
- If desired, beat egg with 1 Tbsp water and brush onto the loaf. If desired, very lightly score the top of your loaf with a bread lame (it may very well crack if you don't).
- Bake for 15 minutes at 425, then decrease oven temp to 350 and bake for 15 more minutes. Remove loaf from the pan directly to the oven rack and bake 5-7 minutes more. When finished, your loaf will be browned, have a crisp crust, and sound hollow when tapped.
- Remove to a cooling rack and allow to cool completely before slicing.
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Did you make this recipe? How did it turn out? Let me know in the comments!
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