Rye originated in the region between Turkey and Afghanistan. It looks like an extra tall wheat plant, but it is from the genus Secale cereale.
It is a cool season crop and is hardier and easier to grow than wheat. It is similar to wheat nutritionally, but breads made with rye are denser and darker and have better keeping quality than breads made with all wheat.
Rye can be used alone in a loaf or mixed with cornmeal, potato, white flour or whole wheat. Rye has a low gluten content so without the addition of wheat flour for body, rye makes a flat, crumbly, and coarse-grained loaf. Popular rye breads — such as Jewish rye, pumpernickel, Swedish rye, Russian rye — all contain some wheat flour.
Rye is high in B vitamins, expecially niacin. It contains iron, zinc, and magnesium as well as vitamin E, rutin, antioxidants, and insoluble fiber. It has a bitter-strong, earthy flavor with a pleasant aftertaste.
Rye does particularly well if leavened with sourdough because it breaks down the enzymes that create a sticky dough.
Enjoy one of these rye bread recipes
Learn how to develop a sourdough rye culture from an existing white flour sourdough starter.
Making a Rye Levain (sourdough)
Learn how to make a rye sourdough culture using only rye flour.
This Banana Rye Bread recipe makes two round hearth loaves. Save one for yourself and give the other away.
This is an interesting bread made with sourdough and old bread soaked in boiling water and coffee grounds.
Molasses and a tiny bit of cocoa powder gives this bread its rich, dark color.
This Pumpernickel Bread, like many European loaves, includes a bit of whole grain flour for texture and flavor.
This rye bread recipe makes a beautiful country rye hearth loaf to serve with cheeses and cold cuts or warm with butter.
This Five Grain Sourdough Bread is made with a rye sourdough and a multigrain soaker which gives it a delicious whole-grain flavor.
This is a beautiful bread from an original Finnish recipe. It is made with only rye flour.
Sourdough Rye made with a blend of rye and wheat flours and utilizing a long fermentation process.
Honey & Beer Rye Bread (Bread Machine)
This bread is made with a rye starter that sits for a few days in the bread machine.
Hutzelbrot is a dense, freestanding bread served in Germany usually during Christmastime. It contains dried fruit, but no sugar.
A heavy rye bread loaded with lot’s of seeds and flavor.
This rye bread is made with a sourdough pre-ferment of medium rye flour, water and a mature sourdough starter.
These beautiful loaves are made with a combination of light and dark rye doughs.
This soft, moist rye sandwich bread has a hint of mustard, a hint of onion…
This is a delicious rye bread recipe made with a rye sponge starter. The caraway seeds are optional.
An old-style pumpernickel made with stale bread, rye berries, rye chops, rye meal and bread flour.
This Old World Rye Bread is delicious served with cheeses or soups or just serve warm with butter for a special treat.
The subtle, earthy flavor of rye, the nuttiness of the pecans, and the sweetness of raisins combine …
The combination of rye flour, whole wheat flour, bread flour, and cornmeal give the bread a very good shape.
Try this Russian Black Bread recipe for a beautiful and flavorful loaf of dark rye bread.
Rye and Corn bread (bread machine) Joao (Portugal)
This rye bread recipe is from a reader who adapted the recipe from a very old handmade recipe.
This Rye Batter Bread requires no kneading. Just mix the ingredients, then turn the batter into a loaf pan to rise and bake.
Rye Bread (Bread Machine)
A simple, relatively sweet rye bread recipe you can make in your bread machine or prepare in your mixer or food processor or by hand.
This would make a great appetizer: a hearty loaf of pumpernickel bread hollowed out to become a bowl for the spread you eat it with.
Rye Bread with Beer (Jeff in New Bern, US)
Recipe for rye bread with beer from a reader in the U.S.
This Rye Fennel Molasses Cranberry Bread is not too sweet, with just a hint of fennel flavor.
This Seeded Rye Loaf has tangy undertones due to the rye levain. The seeds in the dough and on the crust provide a unique texture and flavor.
This bread, made without the help of commercial yeast, is a great accompaniment to Borscht or any other hearty soup.
As the name suggests, this Sourdough Rye Bread is made with 66 percent rye flour.
This is a wheatless bread made with a rye sourdough and rye and rice flours.
This Sourdough Rye with Raisins and Walnuts is very light in texture. The raisins and walnuts give it a wonderful flavor.
A wholesome and tasty bread made with sprouted rye berries, rye flour and all-purpose spelt flour.
Swedish Rye Bread is flavored with honey, grated orange peel, anise seeds, and caraway seeds.
The whole wheat flour enhances the flavor of this bread and when it’s combined with the rye sourdough, provides good moisture retention as well as good keeping quality.
Tips for working with sticky rye breads
- In the early stages of kneading the dough, use a dough scraper or blade, or the side of a metal spatula to work and knead the dough.
- In the later stages of kneading, use sprinkles of rye or white flour between your hands and the dough and work surface.
- If using a mixer, use sprinkles of flour with the dough hook to keep the dough from sticking to the sides of the bowl.
What is Your Favorite Rye Bread Recipe?
Do you love to bake a special Rye Bread? Share your favorite recipe and we’ll highlight it on the site for other home bakers to enjoy.
What Other Visitors Have Said
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Mini-Mounds of Ruis
A quick & easy adaptation of rye flat bread recipes , permitting assembly of ingredients in a large measuring cup. Scoops of the thick batter are evenly …
Sticky Rye Bread
The unique but complementary soluble fibers of dark rye flour and oat bran are combined with a lesser quantity of bread flour to create a flavorful, moist …
Kalevala Rye Bread
At a remote mountain retreat, near the Brazilian city of Gonçalves – MG, sparkling stars at night and cool days with bright sun are celebrated with slices …
Rye and Corn bread (bread machine)
I adapted this recipe from a very old handmade recipe for this very tasty bread that is eaten in northern Portugal with cabbage soup.
This is the order …
Daily Rye Bread
This milder, multigrain flour blend still highlights rye flour flavor but creates a bread that easily accompanies many dishes; add a tablespoon of caraway …
Rounds of Ruis
Inspired by traditional Finnish sourdough rye breads (but not by the days-long process of creating sourdough starters), this compromise maintains good …
Delicious Finnish Full Rye Bread
I had my first go at making home-made rye bread and what’s better to use than the original Finnish recipe (found in the Nordic Bakery Cookbook). The recipe …
Clayton, Bernard. New Complete Book of Breads. 2003. Simon & Schuster.
Hensperger, Beth. The Pleasure of Whole Grain Breads. 2000. Chronicle Books.
Robertson, Carol; Flinders, Carol and Godfrey, Bronwen. The Laurel’s Kitchen Bread Book: A Guide to Whole-Grain Breadmaking. 2003. Random House.