When I started baking breads for A&B Naturals, I searched online for some interesting rye breads. A recipe that really intrigued me was made with an intermediate dough, with a batter-like consistency, and just poured into a loaf pan – no shaping involved!

At The Fresh Loaf, my Frisian Rye post sparked a bit of a controversy – a Dutch user protested this were not a “real fries roggebrood”: a pumpernickel-type bread, dark, and very slowly baked.

North Frisian Islands

But the Frisian region stretches along the North Sea coast from the Netherlands to Germany and up to Denmark, and there is really no such thing as ONE authentic Frisian Rye.

A quick search on Google shows several different recipes, all with different amounts of rye, wheat, seeds, and what not. I was never able to find the original recipe again, but the guy who had posted it said he was from Frisia – so he should know!

Whether real authentic or not – this Friesisches Schwarzbrot tastes great! Over the years I tweaked the formula quite a bit to achieve a nice, thin crust and satisfying crumb.

Amrum – my favorite North Frisian island

The North Sea coast is lovely, dotted with islands, with white sand beaches and dunes, and definitely worth a trip – whether on the Dutch, German or Danish side. Close to Hamburg, this was a popular destination for our family vacations.

Fortunately, it’s not sooo different from Maine, so I won’t get homesick!

A typical sea coast resident – whether in Germany or in Maine!



100 g rye meal
26 g whole wheat or rye mother starter
200 g water, lukewarm

Intermediate Dough:
all starter
100 g rye meal
100 g whole wheat flour
150 g water, lukewarm

Final Dough:
all intermediate dough
100 g whole wheat flour
6 g salt
10 g honey
8 g molasses
25 g flax seeds
25 g sesame seeds
25 g sunflower seeds, toasted
50 g water, lukewarm (or more, as needed)
sunflower seeds for topping


Sunflower seeds, sesame and flax seeds for a nice crunch

Stir together all starter ingredients in medium bowl. Cover, and leave at room temperature to ferment overnight.

The intermediate dough is very liquid

In the morning, using a large spoon or Danish dough whisk, mix together all ingredients for intermediate dough until well combined. Cover, and leave at room temperature for 6-8 hours, until its visibly risen and puffed.

Wow – hyperactive intermediate dough!

In small bowl, soak flax seeds in the water for final dough (longer soaking makes them better digestible).

In the evening, using a large spoon, dough whisk (or mixer with paddle attachment on low speed), mix together all final dough ingredients for a few minutes, until well combined – dough will have the consistency of thick pancake batter.

This is what the dough looks like after mixing

Fill dough up to 3/4 in lightly oiled medium sandwich loaf pan (9-inch), smooth with wet rubber spatula, and sprinkle with sunflower seeds. Cover pan with aluminum foil (you will use it as cover for baking, later) and refrigerate overnight.

Ready for a cold night in the fridge

Remove dough from refrigerator 2 hours before baking. The bread will have risen a bit, but not much.

Preheat oven to 450ºF/230ºC.

The dough is puffed, but has not risen much

Place bread (covered with foil) in oven, reduce temperature to 425ºF/220ºC, and bake for 15 minutes. Remove aluminum foil and bake for another 40 minutes (rotate180 degrees after 20 minutes, if bread browns uneven). Internal temperature should be at least 200ºF/93ºC.

Freshly baked Frisian Ryes

Remove bread from pan. Mist bread with water while hot (optional – this softens the crust a bit), and let it cool on wire rack.

To avoid a gooey mess on your bread knife, be patient and wait at least for 12 hours to cut into your bread – and it will have developed its full aroma, too!

Even if it’s hard to resist – wait at least 12 hours before slicing!

BreadStorm users (also of the free version) can download the formula here.


  1. No more rye in the final dough? Breads like that always taste great and your two-step preparation sounds interesting. I never get around to worm that into my timetable.


  2. No, it's half rye/half whole wheat. I'm not the greatest fan of 100% rye bread (having been force-fed with it – “Schwarzenbrot macht Wangen rot” – as a child). I have some breads that need 3 day ahead planning, and I don't always keep it in mind, either, but I like the short hands-on preparation. And it tastes really good!


  3. Hi Karen,
    I know American wheat en rey is different from Dutch / European. The hydration of this bread is 100%. Mostly I take 10% less water when I make an American recipe. What do you recommend for this bread?
    Have a nice weekend,



  4. Marion, I think I didn't change the water amount in my adaptation of the original German recipe. I would just try it out, the consistency should be very soft and sticky. Since you don't shape it and bake it in a loaf pan, small differences shouldn't matter too much.
    Have a nice weekend, too!


  5. I made this bread yesterday, just doubled your recipe and ad 50 gr less water because I didn't soaked the seeds. Everything went very well till it came out of the oven. It was flatter after baking the before.
    Any idea what went wrong?
    My hubby loves the taste, especially the little 'hint' of sour.
    I prefer it without that 'hint'.

    We intend to go to Hamburg and the Ilands, but always( if we have time )the weather is bad. No 30 degrees 😦
    But maybe in the future…


  6. Marion, can it be that the bread was a bit overproofed? You said it was higher when you put it in the oven, but than deflated somewhat
    Another possibility could be the oven temperature was not quite high enough. With my new oven I have to raise the temperature all the time, otherwise is it too low.
    I hope you will have nice weather for your trip!


  7. Karin, I have to write and tell you that after almost 25 years of marriage to my Berliner (originally from Bremen), I have finally found the Brot Rezept of his dreams. It bakes perfectly every time (especially with my happily fed starter). I am a big fan of your blog, but for us this recipe–if you'll excuse the expression–takes the cake! Herzlichen Dank!


  8. Neile, you made my day! I'm very happy that this bread, one of my favorites, works so well for you and your husband. Perhaps you would like the Cecilienhof-Vollkornbrot, too – I based the method on the Friesische Schwarzbrot (it's on this blog).


  9. Hi Karin,

    So now it’s 2 years into making this recipe every 10 days or so—it’s as brilliant as ever! But now a crisis: I cannot find rye meal anywhere. Amazon sold Bob’s Red Mill but they are out of stock and don’t know when it’s coming back. Even Bob himself is out of it! Any sources you can share, or even substitutes?? Thanks so much!


    1. You just made my day! That bread is a favorite of mine, and I‘m happy that you like it, too.
      You can buy rye meal online in very good quality at NYBakers, Stanley Ginsberg‘s (author of „The Rye Baker“) store.
      If you bake rye breads more often, you might consider making your own coarse grind. I used to buy rye meal, but now I grind rye kernels in a grain mill (Mockmill 100), just the amount I need for a recipe.


      1. Thanks so much for answering this so promptly, Karin, and for the good advice. I am considering the grind-it-myself option but in the meantime NYBakers will be perfect. One question: which is the better option for this recipe, NYBakers Bay State Fine Rye Meal or Medium Rye Meal?


  10. Not sure how I logged in under a different identity but I wanted to let you know that this is Neile, the person who wrote you 2 years ago to thank you for giving me the recipe I’d been searching for to make my German husband even happier that he’d married me 😉

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.