Rye bread with sunflower seeds

A new favourite! This rye bread with sunflower seeds is amazing – rye sourdough, malt and toasted sunflower seeds give this bread its delicious flavour. While sunflower seeds usually only have a very mild taste, toasting them evokes a wonderfully nutty flavour. Additionally, they are a great source of Vitamin E, copper, vitamin B1, magnesium and selenium.

Sunflower seed bread
Sunflower seed bread

The recipe is from the book “Rustikale Brote aus deutschen Landen” by Gerhard Kellner.

Rye bread with sunflower seeds recipe

Sunflower seed sourdough
Sunflower seed sourdough


  • 16g rye sourdough starter
  • 392g dark rye flour
  • 166g wholewheat flour
  • 100g sunflower seeds plus more to sprinkle
  • 15g salt
  • 3g dried yeast
  • 1 tsp malt extract

3 tasks for the day before baking (approx. 16 hours before baking)

  • Sourdough
    In a bowl, combine 160g dark rye flour, 160g water and 16g rye sourdough starter.
  • Sunflower seeds
    In a pan, dry-roast 100g sunflower seeds to unlock the nutty flavour, mix with 8g salt and pour over 100g boiling water.
  • Scalded rye flour
    In a bowl, combine 232g of dark rye flour, 7g of salt, then pour over 232g of hot water, combine and cover the bowl.

How to make rye bread with sunflower seeds

  1. Combine the sourdough, sunflower seeds and scalded rye flour from the day before with 166g wholewheat flour, 3g dried yeast and 1 tsp liquid malt extract.
  2. Knead for 15 minutes.
  3. Cover the dough with the bowl or, if the the dough is still in the bowl, cover it with cling film, and rest for 30 mins at room temperature.
  4. Prepare a bread baking tin (ideally approx. 23 cm x 11 cm x 9.5 cm, but a slightly larger tin like this will work as well) by brushing it with melted butter and scatter sunflower seeds into the tin (bottom and sides).
  5. Knead the dough once more before placing it into the tin, levelling it out and sprinkling more sunflower seeds on top.
  6. Cover with cling film or a damp kitchen towel.
  7. Proof at room temperature for approx. 3 hours, until the dough has visibly risen and almost reached the edge of the tin.
  8. 1/2 hour before baking, preheat the oven to 250°C.
  9. Place the tin on the 2nd rail from the bottom and bake for 15 mins at 250°C.
  10. Then reduce the temperature to 180°C and bake for a further 45 mins.
  11. Take the loaf out of the tin and cool on a wire rack