Sourdough Steiner Brot

Sourdough Steiner Brot

This recipe for Steiner Brot (bread) is our adaption of Hans Röckenwagner's recipe in Das Cookbook.  But Röckenwagner also adds both sourdough starter and yeast to make what he calls “a slightly lighter loaf than the original Steiner.” 

History of Steiner Brot

Rudolf Steiner, who was an early twentieth-century Austrian philosopher and reformer. According to a Wikipedia post, "He founded a number of schools… [that] later evolved into a worldwide school network. He also founded a system of organic agriculture, now known as biodynamic agriculture, which was one of the first forms of modern organic farming, …his medical ideas led to the development of a broad range of complementary medications and supportive artistic and biographic therapies, [but are now] considered ineffective by the medical community. Numerous homes for children and adults with developmental disabilities based on his work…are found in Africa, Europe, and North America. His paintings and drawings influenced Joseph Beuys and other modern artists. His two Goetheanum buildings are considered significant examples of modern architecture, and other anthroposophical architects have contributed thousands of buildings to the modern scene.

But Steiner was also a vegetarian and health-food guru. And was known "for combining rye flour, honey, and water to make a bread base without any leavening agents like sourdough starter.” His recipe calls for leftover bread as part of that base, which probably improved the flavor some.

Our Adaptation

In Das Cookbook, Röckenwagner adds both a sourdough starter and yeast to make what he calls “a slightly lighter loaf than the original Steiner.” But our recipe uses only sourdough for leavening and we suggest a long, slow rise in the refrigerator overnight. This method helps the bread stay moist and fresh for several days. And we use Abigail's Oven Jewish Rye bread crumbs for the leftover bread in this recipe.



Steiner Base

  • 2¼ cups (540 g)  water
  • 1 cups (125 g) rye bread crumbs
  • 3 Tbsp (30 g) raw sunflower seeds
  • 3 Tbsp (30 g) sesame seeds
  • 3 Tbsp (30 g)whole flax seeds
  • ⅔ cup (60 g) old-fashioned oats
  • 1 Tbsp (17 g) Real salt
  • 2 tsp (2 g) honey
  • 3 Tbsp (3 g) extra-virgin olive oil 
  1. To make the Steiner base, place water, bread crumbs, all three seed types, oats, salt, honey, and olive oil in a medium bowl.
  2. Stir to combine
  3. Cover loosely and allow to soak overnight (at least 12 hours) at room temperature


  • Steiner Base (from above)
  • 2 cups (480 g) lukewarm water
  • ⅓ cup plus 1 tablespoon (100 g) active sourdough starter
  • 3 cups (375 g) all-purpose flour
  • 2½ cups (300 g) whole-wheat flour
  • ½ cup rye (61 g) flour (medium or dark)
  • ½ cup (25 g) wheat bran
  • ¾ cup (115 g ) chopped hazelnuts
  1. To make the bread dough, combine Steiner base, warm (but not hot) water, and sourdough starter in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. 
  2. Mix on low speed to combine. 
  3. Add all-purpose, whole-wheat, and rye flours, wheat bran, and hazelnuts. 
  4. Next, cover mixer with a kitchen towel (to prevent the flour from spilling out of the bowl), and mix on low speed until ingredients come together—about 30 seconds. 
  5. Switch to the dough hook attachment and knead on medium-low speed for 10 minutes. 
  6. The dough will be very sticky. Remove dough hook, loosely cover the bowl, and allow the mixture to rest for 30 minutes. 
  7. Divide dough between two 1-pound loaf pans (approximately 9” × 5” or 8½” by 4½”; preferably metal, but glass pans also work). 
  8. Roughly smooth tops, sprinkle with oat-seed topping (see below), and press on topping lightly to adhere. 
  9. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 12 hours or overnight. 
  10. Or, to bake immediately, leave dough uncovered and set aside in a warm spot to rise until nearly doubled about 1 hour.
  11. Thirty minutes before baking, preheat oven to 400°F (205°C), place baking racks in the middle of the oven, and if the dough has risen overnight, remove loaves from refrigerator and remove plastic wrap. 
  12. Bake loaves, uncovered, for 25 minutes. 
  13. Lower temperature to 325°, rotate pans from the front to the back of the oven and bake until golden brown, 40 to 50 minutes longer. 
  14. Total baking time is about 1 hour and 5 minutes to 1 hour and 15 minutes.

Oat-Seed Topping

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted, shelled sunflower seeds, 2 teaspoons white sesame seeds,  2 tablespoons old-fashioned oats


  1. To make the oat-seed topping, mix together sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, and oats in a small bowl

The recipe makes two standard bread-pan loaves, which we used, but a more extended Pullman pan would made a beautiful sandwich loaf to last a week.

What is your favorite rye bread recipe? and would you share it in the comment section below.


Darryl Alder

Author: Darryl Alder lives with his wife in Riverside Lodge, which is their home, along the Provo River in Utah. Together they adopted and raised four children, all of whom are now adults. He is a retired career Boy Scouter and outdoorsman who spent many hours over a campfire using a Dutch oven and loves sharing recipes for the kitchen and the campfire alike. You can read many of his recipes on this site by searching for Sourdough Saturday or Recipes on this blog and at

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