Sourdough Polish Rye Bread

Blue Ribbon Winning Bread Recipe, Minnesota State Fair

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Sourdough Polish Rye Bread

This Sourdough Polish Rye Bread won first place at the Minnesota State Fair back in 2016. That tells you how delicious it was. We’re still thinking about it after all these years =) Caraway seeds and molasses flavor this rye bread to perfection.

Loving to Bake

Randy Bush created this best-ever bread recipe. His father was a baker, so naturally, Randy picked up his mad baking skills and carried on his love of bread. Randy was inspired to develop this particular bread when a friend – who was originally from Poland – said he missed the breads from home. He perfected the recipe. The response was so positive, he had to see how it would stack up against others who also baked as a hobby.

Sourdough Polish Rye Bread

Bound for Blue Ribbon Glory

Randy entered his Sourdough Polish Rye Bread in the Minnesota State Fair ‘s annual baking competition, sometimes referred to as the unofficial baking Olympics of Minnesota. Well, Randy nailed it like an Olympic gymnast because the judges voted it #1. They noted how enticing the aroma was and how truly perfect the texture was. In other words, Randy’s home-baked bread was a home run.

Pro Tip

Plan accordingly if you’re going to replicate this award-winning recipe. Randy makes his mature rye starter over the course of a few weeks, by combining a tablespoon each of rye flour and water, and adding the same to that each day for at least two weeks. You will have enough to use, plus extra to keep maturing if needed.

Do you love bread baking? Do you want to further develop those baking skills honed during the pandemic? Give Randy’s Sourdough Polish Rye Bread recipe a go. One taste and you’ll know why its worth the time and effort. And if you’re looking for more blue ribbon breads, try these biscuits or this olive nut bread.




Sourdough Polish Rye Bread

8 ounces              Mature Rye Starter (100% Hydration) or 227 grams*

4 1/2 ounces       milk, warm (1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon), or 128 grams

1                             large egg, about 2 ounces or 58 grams

1 tablespoon        molasses, or about 12 grams

11 1/2  ounces      bread flour, about 2 3/4 cups or 340 grams

1 tablespoon         Kosher salt, about 6 grams

1 package              instant yeast (.25 ounces)

1 tablespoon        caraway seeds, about 6 grams (optional)

4-5 tablespoons  egg wash (1 large egg, beaten with 1 tablespoon water)


In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle, combine the mature rye starter, milk, egg, and molasses at low speed. Install the dough hook and at low speed, add the bread flour, salt, and yeast. Mix to form a shaggy dough, about 1 minute. Increase speed to medium and knead to form a soft, smooth dough that is only slightly sticky, about 8 minutes. Form the dough into a ball; place in an oiled bowl; and cover with plastic wrap. Allow the dough to ferment until doubled, about 1 hour.

On a lightly floured surface, turn the dough out. (Do not punch down.) “Stretch and Fold” the dough similar to a 3-fold letter. Pat into a 6” wide square and tightly roll-up into a log, sealing the seam and tucking the ends. Place on a parchment (or Silpat) lined half sheet pan (or alternately place in greased 9×5-inch loaf pan). Cover with oiled plastic wrap and allow to proof until about 1-1/2 times as large, about 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Brush the bread with egg wash and make 3 cuts (about 1/2” deep) evenly spaced across the loaf. Bake to an internal temperature of 195°-205°F, about 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and transfer the bread to a cooling rack. Cool completely before slicing, about 2 hours. Makes 24 slices.

*Randy, who created this recipe, makes his mature rye starter over the course of a few weeks, by combining a tablespoon each of rye flour and water, and adding that same amount each day for at least two weeks. He says you will have enough to use, plus extra to keep maturing if needed.

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