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Homemade Rye Bread: a simple recipe for a classic rye loaf

Total time: 2H 40
Difficulty: Low
Serves: 10 people
By Cookist
Warm water
1/2 cup
1 tbsp
Active Dry Yeast
1 1/2 tbsp
whole milk, room temperature
1 cup
2 tsp
2 tbsp
Bread flour
1 to 1 1/2 cups
Whole wheat flour
1 to 1 1/2 cups
dark rye flour
1 1/2 cups
whole caraway seeds
2 tbsp

Freshly baked bread is one of life's great joys and this easy recipe for homemade rye bread is sure to become a new favorite. Rye bread has a long history. It's been made and enjoyed by people across Europe since the Middle Ages. It's made from rye flour, whole wheat, and bread flour, as well as caraway seeds which help give the bread its characteristic flavor.

Rye bread is soft and light with a delicious crusty exterior, and it's perfect as sandwich bread, for toast, or as a side dish for your favorite soups, salads, and stews. Rye bread is healthy, hearty, and oh-so-tasty – if you enjoy baking bread at home, be sure to try this easy rye bread recipe!

What is Rye Bread?

Rye bread is a delicious type of bread made from rye flour, as well as other standard flour like whole wheat and bread flour. Compared to sourdough, it's softer and moister. Rye bread also uses yeast where sourdough is made from sourdough starter.

Dark ryes get their color from the addition of molasses. Rye flour contains less gluten than AP or bread flour, and it also ranks lower on the glycemic index than white bread.

How to Make Homemade Rye Bread

Making rye bread isn't very different from making any other type of bread. First, mix the water, honey, and yeast in the bowl of your stand mixer and leave it for 5 to 10 minutes. Pour the milk, salt, oil, bread flour, whole wheat flour, rye flour, and caraway seeds into the mixer and knead it until a dough starts to form. Once the dough begins to come together, turn the speed up to medium-high and knead for 8 to 10 minutes. It should be smooth and not sticky by this point.

Grease a large bowl with oil (either olive oil or vegetable work best), then put the dough in the bowl. Cover it with a clean damp towel and leave it in a warm place for 1 ½ hour or until it doubles. After it's doubled, take it out and shape the dough into a loaf, and place it on a baking sheet. Cover and let it rise for another hour, then bake the loaf at 425F for about 30 minutes or until it's golden brown. Let it cool before slicing and enjoying!


How to Serve Rye Bread

Rye bread is great at every meal. You can enjoy it on its own with a generous pat of butter, jam, honey, or nut butter at breakfast or as a snack. Homemade rye bread is great as sandwich bread or served as a side with soup at lunchtime, or you can have slices on the dinner table to soak up the gravy from a roast chicken or stew.

Tips for Making Homemade Rye Bread

Rye bread is very healthy. It's full of B vitamins and fiber and will keep you feeling fuller longer compared to white bread.

The water should be between 110 and 115F. If it's too hot, the water will kill the yeast and if it's too cold, the yeast won't activate.

Use a very sharp knife to slash your dough.

Be sure to add some water or ice cubes to the oven when baking your bread. This creates steam and will give your loaf a gorgeous thick crust.

Rye bread is made with caraway seeds. You can also use fennel, anise, or other do a mix of your favorites.

To make a marbled rye loaf, make the dough as outlined below. Make a second dough following the same instructions, but add 1 to 2 tablespoons of molasses. Once both doughs have doubled, cut them into 4 equal pieces. Stack the doughs, alternating between light and dark. Flatten them down the roll the dough, and shape into a loaf, seam side down. Let double in size, then bake for 20 to 25 minutes at 350F.

How to Store Homemade Rye Bread

Let the loaf cool completely before placing it in a breadbox or storage bag. Keep your rye bread at room temperature and enjoy it within 4 to 5 days.

Can You Freeze Homemade Rye Bread?

For long-term storage, you can freeze homemade rye bread. Let it cool completely then slice it. Wrap the sliced bread in cling film and place it in a plastic freezer-safe bag. Frozen rye bread will last up to 3 months.

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Old fashioned brown bread

How to Make Homemade Rye Bread

Pour the water, honey, and yeast into the bowl of a stand mixer and leave it for 5 to 10 minutes.

Pour the milk, salt, oil, bread flour, whole wheat flour, rye flour, and caraway seeds into the bowl of the stand mixer. Knead on medium-low until a dough begins to form.

Set the speed to medium-high and knead for 8 to 10 minutes. The dough should be smooth, not sticky, and come away from the sides of the bowl easily.

Oil a large bowl and transfer the dough to the bowl. Cover with a clean damp towel and leave it in a warm place for 1 ½ hour or until doubled in size.

Punch the dough down. Place it on your work surface. Leave it for 5 minutes, then shape it into a loaf and place it on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Cover and let it rise for another hour or so until doubled.

Once the dough has nearly doubled in size, preheat your oven to 425F. Slash the top of the dough. Place a small oven dish on the bottom shelf and add in some water or ice cubes. Bake the bread for 30 minutes or until golden brown.


Compared to other types of flour, rye flour has a much lower gluten content. This means it'll take longer to rise.

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