Dark Rye + Spent Grain Sourdough

Monsoons finally hit here in Santa Fe which really helped cool the house down. I hadn’t baked bread recently because cranking the oven to nearly 500’F for almost 2 hours when it’s already 85’F in the kitchen just wasn’t appealing. I decided my first loaf back was going to be a hearty rye and spent grain sourdough!


Using the lazy sourdough method is actually quite simple. The real key to this method is that you can use your unfed starter straight from the fridge without the need to make a levain. There’s also no autolyse which saves about 30 minutes.

Schedule: Here’s a link to the lazy sourdough method.

The exact schedule I used is at the bottom of this post.


This recipe makes two loaves. Simply divide all the ingredients in half if you only want one loaf.


  • 900g bread flour
  • 60g dark rye flour
  • 40g spent grain flour
  • 750g filtered water @ 88’F
  • 200g unfed starter straight from fridge (100% hydration)
  • 22g sea salt
Some nice venting on the smaller loaf


After mixing the dough, I performed 4 stretch and folds within the first 2 hours. I let the dough bulk ferment at room temperature for a total of 7 hours. I normally would have gone with 8 hours but it was still 78’F in the kitchen toward the end of the day which caused the dough to ferment much faster.

Once the dough had doubled, I shaped the loaves and put them in bannetons that I liberally dusted with rice flour, poppy and sesame seeds. I put the bannetons in vegetable bags and then placed them in the fridge for a 17 hour cold proof.

One hour before baking I started preheating the oven, with dutch ovens inside, to 450’F. When it was time to bake, I took the loaves straight from the fridge and placed them in the preheated dutch ovens, gave them a quick score and then put it in the oven.

I baked the loaf at 450’F for 20 minutes covered, then removed the lid of the dutch ovens and baked for an additional 30 minutes.


These loaves came out looking amazing. The color of the crust is exactly what I look for in a loaf of bread. The poppy and sesame seeds give a really nice attractive look as well.

The crumb picked up some great color from the addition of the spent grain and dark rye flours. I probably could have added a little more of each but I’m very happy with how this turned out.

As I’ve stated before, I’m a fan of slightly tighter crumbs so I can slather the bread with jam or dunk it in soup and not have it fall apart. This is the exact crumb I got in these loaves.

My Baking Notes

  • Ambient Temperature @ mixing: 74’F
  • Mixed @ 12:50pm on July 27th
  • Dough was 85’F at mixing
  • 4 stretch and folds in first 2 hours
  • Started proof @ 8:00pm on July 27th (~7 hour bulk fermentation at room temp which got to 76’F)
  • Preheated oven @ 11:15am on July 28th (~17 hour cold proof)
  • Out of fridge and into oven @ 12:15pm

One Comment Add yours

  1. mm says:

    Mr. O’Brian,
    Hello fellow “sourdougher”. A term I made up for us crazed sourdough home bakers that keep inventing new methods and recipes to enhance our bread. And you sir are a master in this game of bread.

    I have made a few tweaks of my own using your Rye Spent sourdough recipe and it has now become my go to rye fix when I crave it. I made it using fresh Spent that came right out of the brewery down the street from me. It was delicious. I didn’t even make it into floor instead I just added right into the dough and it made a tight crumb moist not gummy with a hard crust. Definitely something I would suggest for those not wanting to make their Spent into flour.

    My next current experiment is to use the new starter I made feeding it with Rye and the fresh Spent as a feed and see how the loaf will turn out. 🤞

    Thank you for your inspirational vibe.
    Happy baking. mm


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