5 tips for making rye bread: how to bake your best rye loaves ever

Have you ever wanted to bake a loaf of rye bread, but felt too daunted to give it a try? These tips for making rye bread will leave you feeling dauntless in no time.

Baking rye bread uses all the same basic techniques you’d use when baking a standard all-purpose flour loaf. You just need to manage your expectations: if you understand how rye flour dough acts – which is different than dough made with all-purpose or bread flour – you’re more likely to be happy with your results.

Whether you want to make nut-and-fruit studded pecan-raisin rye; a light, caraway-studded sandwich loaf; dense pumpernickel bread for hors d’oeuvres, or richly flavored sourdough rye, we have the recipes you need; and after reading this post and practicing with a few loaves, I guarantee rye bread will daunt you no longer!

Chewy Semolina Rye Bread via @kingarthurflour

Tip 1: What kind of rye flour should I use?

White/light rye, medium rye, dark rye, or pumpernickel – what’s the difference? Let’s compare these rye flours to wheat flour.

White or light rye (they’re the same flour, different names) is the rye equivalent of all-purpose flour. It’s milled from the center (endosperm) of the rye berry, but doesn’t include the oily germ at the very center, nor the fiber-rich bran that forms the berry’s outer skin.

Medium and dark rye are also milled from the center of the rye berry, and neither includes the germ. However, as the miller “scoops” the center out of the berry, and gets closer and closer to the outer bran layer, the color of what s/he mills darkens: the closer to the bran, the darker the flour. Dark rye flour has been milled closer to the bran than medium.

And how about pumpernickel, a.k.a. whole rye flour? It’s rye’s version of whole wheat flour, including bran, endosperm, and germ: the entire rye berry.

Which should you choose? White/light rye, without any trace of bran, will give you the lightest-colored, highest-rising bread. As you go from white to dark to pumpernickel, your bread will become slightly darker, and will naturally rise slightly less. The Caraway Rye Bread pictured above is made with about 28% pumpernickel flour; as you can see, its color is a rich, warm light brown. And, since its rye flour is supplemented with all-purpose flour, its texture is light, as well.

How to make Chewy Semolina Rye Bread via @kingarthurflour

That’s unbleached bread flour on the left; pumpernickel on the right. Note pumpernickel’s slightly purple hue; this very slight blue-spectrum tint is a trademark of dark rye or pumpernickel.

Tip 2: White flour + rye flour = the highest-rising rye breads.

For high-rising rye breads, use “white flour” – unbleached all-purpose or unbleached bread flour –  in combination with rye. The extra protein in either of those wheat flours balances the lack of gluten-forming protein in rye flour – as does vital wheat gluten, a couple of tablespoons of which can be added to rye flour dough to help it rise.

Rye bread made with 100% rye flour will be dense and heavy; think some of those all-rye breads you find at artisan bakeries, the ones sliced off an enormous loaf and sold by the pound. If you’re looking for a lighter, softer sandwich bread, bread or AP flours are your best friend. And the higher percentage of rye flour in your recipe, the more you should lean towards higher-protein bread flour.

How much white flour should you use? The more white flour in the loaf, the higher it’ll rise and the lighter its texture will be. So this is entirely up to you and your tastes. Experiment with different percentages of white flour/rye flour until you find the bread texture you like the most.

Let’s make a sample loaf of rye bread: Chewy Semolina Rye.

Like most recipes, our Chewy Semolina Rye Bread is a combination of rye and wheat flours: in this case, pumpernickel, bread flour, and semolina, a coarse flour milled from high-protein durum wheat.

In a large bowl, or in the bucket of your bread machine set on the dough cycle, combine the following ingredients:

1 cup + 2 tablespoons lukewarm water
1 tablespoon sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons minced dried onion
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 tablespoons vital wheat gluten, optional; for higher rise
1 cup King Arthur Unbleached Bread Flour
1 cup pumpernickel flour or Perfect Rye Flour Blend*
1 cup semolina
2 teaspoons instant yeast

*So, what’s this Perfect Rye Flour Blend? A handy combination of white and medium rye flours, pumpernickel, and unbleached bread flour, with the flavor and color of rye, and the rise of bread flour. Think of it as training wheels for rye bread bakers!

Mix, then knead — by hand, mixer or bread machine — until you’ve made a smooth, slightly sticky dough.

How to make Chewy Semolina Rye Bread via @kingarthurflour

Tip 3: Rye dough isn’t as supple as wheat dough.

If you’ve never made rye bread before, you’ll be surprised by the dough’s consistency, especially if you’re making a loaf that’s at least 50% rye flour. The dough is more clay-like than elastic (left, above); this is fine. Don’t try to “knead it into shape.” It will never become as “supple” as a typical wheat-based dough. Even when fully kneaded (right, above), it probably won’t form a smooth ball; you’ll need to shape it into a ball prior to its first rise.

Shape the dough into a ball, place it in a lightly greased bowl, cover the bowl, and let the dough rise, covered, for 1 hour. It should become nice and puffy. If you’re using your bread machine, simply let it complete its dough cycle.

How to make Chewy Semolina Rye Bread via @kingarthurflour

Tip 4: The more rye in your dough, the more slowly it will rise.

The loaf above is only about 28% rye flour, so it rises vigorously. Breads that include a greater percentage of rye may take hours to rise, both in the bowl, and once they’re shaped into loaves.

Your mission, should you choose to accept it: relax.

Chewy Semolina Rye Bread via @kingarthurflour

Some rye breads, like our Westphalian Rye, rise for up to 24 hours!

OK, back to our Chewy Semolina Rye.

How to make Chewy Semolina Rye Bread via @kingarthurflour

Gently deflate the dough, and shape it into an oval loaf; place the loaf on a lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheet.

Or shape the dough into an 8″ log, and place it in a lightly greased 8 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ bread pan.

Note: I’ve made a double batch of dough here, so I can try both types of loaf: free-form, and sandwich loaf.

Cover the loaf with lightly greased plastic wrap, and let it rise until it’s very puffy, about 60 to 90 minutes.

Towards the end of the rising time, preheat your oven to 400°F with a rack in the center.

Spritz the loaf with water, and sprinkle it with the seeds of your choice, if desired.

How to make Chewy Semolina Rye Bread via @kingarthurflour

Tip 5: Seeds and rye bread are natural partners.

Whether you’re kneading caraway seeds right into the dough or sprinkling Everything Bagel Topping on top, as I’ve done here, seeds are responsible for much of rye’s typical flavor.

A rye loaf made without seeds won’t deliver that signature “deli rye” flavor you’re probably looking for. Full-flavored caraway, fennel, and/or anise seeds complement rye’s inherently mild taste. As does our Deli Rye Flavor.

Chewy Semolina Rye Bread via @kingarthurflour

Sourdough starter is another natural companion to rye flour. Try our Sourdough Rye Bread, and you’ll see what I mean.

How to make Chewy Semolina Rye Bread via @kingarthurflour

Now, while it’s not usually as critical to slash rye bread before baking as it is, say, baguettes, I still like to do it. Slashing bread keeps it from tearing (often along the side) as it bakes by giving the rising dough a path for expansion. And while rye doesn’t usually have the oven spring (i.e., the degree to which it rises in the oven) that white bread does, the slashes do ensure an even upward rise.

Plus they look nice.

Bake the bread for 25 to 30 minutes, tenting it with aluminum foil after 20 minutes to prevent over-browning. When the loaf is fully baked, a digital thermometer inserted into its center should register 190°F.

Remove the bread from the oven, and place it on a rack to cool. If it’s in a loaf pan, turn it out of the pan onto the rack. Cool completely before slicing.

Chewy Semolina Rye Bread via @kingarthurflour

See what I mean about looking nice? Slashes give the loaf artisan panache.

How to make Chewy Semolina Rye Bread via @kingarthurflour

And here’s my sandwich loaf. Notice that whole-grain color, from just a relatively small amount of pumpernickel. The more rye flour you use, the darker your bread will be.

But for truly dark pumpernickel, the kind you see at the grocery store, most professional bakers have a secret:

Chewy Semolina Rye Bread via @kingarthurflour

Caramel color, a dark powder added to dough that gives the resulting bread rich chocolate color – like that in this Dark Pumpernickel-Onion Loaf.

So many rye breads, so little time! From light, soft sandwich rye to dark, dense loaves perfect for the smorgasbord, which kind of rye bread is your favorite? Tell us in comments, below.

Do you have a rye bread question you don’t see answered here? Call our Baker’s Hotline. We’ve got devoted rye bread bakers who’ll be happy to help.

PJ Hamel
About

PJ Hamel grew up in New England, graduated from Brown University, and was a Maine journalist before joining King Arthur Flour in 1990. PJ bakes and writes from her home on Cape Cod, where she enjoys beach-walking, her husband, two dogs, and really good food!

comments

  1. "harvey stromberg"

    How about some secrets and tips for making a New York Jewish Rye? I’ve been working on it for years and mine is pretty good but not perfect. My baseline recipe is from “Secrets of a Jewish Baker” by George Greenstein. I substitute some bread flour in place of the First Clear (Common) flour and add vital wheat gluten.
    I always use lots of caraway seeds and sprinkle a mix of caraway seeds & pretzel salt on top.

    Reply
    1. Steve Rosen

      PJ, what’s the trick to keep a free formed loaf from spreading into an oval slice. I make a hard crusted Jewish “Corn Rye” so I don’t want to use a loaf pan. I start with a two day onion poolish. The final dough is 21% Rye flour with 54% hydration. My final loaf always collapses and doubles in width so I loose the round sandwich slice shape. I do include vital wheat gluten (1Tbs per pound of dough). I could use some help with this shapping challenge. Is there a specific way to form the loaf to support the round cross section?

    2. The Baker's Hotline

      This can be discouraging but with a couple tips, you may be well on your way to a beautiful looking rye bread. A dough that is particularly wet that is in its final rise should be proofed in a lined brotform or bowl or basket of your own. Just be sure to line it with a tea towel that has been floured to prevent sticking. The brotform or bowl provides the support the dough needs so it can rise up rather than out! Be watchful for a dough that may be over rising. That may also be the cause of a dough that spreads out rather than up during the bake. Be sure to carefully load onto a parchment lined peel and then carefully loaded into your oven on a baking stone. Your oven should preheated to the proper temperature. If you do not have an oven thermometer it is well worth the investment. Trust me (us!). I am not sure if you are using any yeast other than a starter for leavening, but you may want to add some to help with the rise. A teaspoon may be all it needs for springier loaf. Please take a look here for some tips on shaping the dough. Good luck, Steve! Elisabeth@KAF

    3. Joel Ratner

      While trying out various rye bread recipes in a quest for the perfect New York Jewish rye, I finally settled on a few techniques which work great. Here they are:

      For the recipe:

      add 2 – 3 T red wine vinegar to your dough – this gives the final product the “bite” it needs so it doesn’t taste flat.

      Caraway seeds – 2 T plus (for anyone objecting to the seeds, just use the crushed caraway)
      Crushed caraway – 2 T

      Baking technique, with apologies to purists and the no-knead community:

      Place a 3 1/2 qt. cast iron Dutch oven w/o the cover (must not have any plastic parts and must handle 500F) into the oven. Heat the oven to 500F and allow the Dutch oven to heat up for 1 hour.

      Place dough on a 24″ piece of parchment paper.
      Remove the Dutch oven and place on a surface which can withstand the heat.
      Lower the parchment paper/dough into the Dutch oven and place cover on top.
      Place in the oven and bake for 30 minutes.
      Remove cover, and bake until crust is as desired – 10 – 30 minutes depending on how you like it.

      The trick is in the size of the Dutch oven. The dough will likely be a bit much for the oven and will push up a bit, then rise more once in the hot oven. A 7 qt. Dutch oven is way too big, as the rye dough will have ample room to spread out – you’ll get a much lower loaf in the end. I’ve never tried the 5 qt. size, but that could be interesting.

      Your rye bread will sing.

    4. Mary Harbison

      I am from Philadelphia and have tried to bake pretzels for years following many recipes. I think an answer to your question is the in the salt. recipes say to add salt and most of us believe table salt is what they are talking about. I started using pretzel salt which is a huge crystal salt from package included with frozen department pretzels bought at Publix, Winn Dixie Etc. So instead of mixing table salt into the mix as most recipes say to do. I add the huge solid crystal salt into the second kneading. That way the salt is not evenly distributed but remains a salt crystal in the dough. From my minor understanding of bread baking, salt actually kills the yeast so why add it to the first rise.

  2. SilentJake

    This is fantastic information, PJ!
    I’ve never been able to achieve a high-rising rye loaf, so I find this article very useful. Thank you for breaking down the process and explaining the important tips. Looking forward to my next rye loaf! 🙂

    Reply
  3. James

    Thank you so much for this! I live in frankfurt, germany, and rye is very common here. So far, I’ve only ever substituted it in pancakes (it makes a very rich flavored pancake), but now I’ll give some bread a shot.
    (Fun fact: the stem “pumper” in Pumpernickel comes from an old german word that implies that you’re a bit gassy. Apparently from the belief that the bread would lead to such a state.)

    Reply
    1. Susan

      My favorite is a 100% wholegrain sourdough rye bread that’s been fermented for 12 hours, giving it a wonderful sour flavor. No seeds for me, although it does contain 100 grams of cooked barley or rye berries. The recipe is from eastern Europe.

  4. rockycat

    My goal is to have a rye bread that tastes like New York. My favorite recipe is the one from Artisan Bread in 5 ( http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/5621/jeff-hertzbergs-delistyle-rye ), making sure I use the cornstarch glaze and adding a generous amount of your Deli Rye Flavor. I use almost the maximum amount suggested for the amount of flour in the recipe. I bake it as a 2-lb. oval, adding extra baking time, rather than a 1-lb. loaf. I find that that size loaf gives me much better sized slices for sandwiches, a must when my SO went to all the trouble of home curing tongue or pastrami.

    The reviews for this bread have been outstanding and it’s won a first at the State Fair. I’m sure the Deli Rye Flavor is what makes the difference.

    Reply
    1. robin19378

      I use that same recipe and love it. Closest we can get to home-made NY deli style rye bread. Don’t forget Bubbie’s pickles — the best. I can get them at Whole Foods. The kosher pastrami from Costco (only sold in some stores) is excellent but maybe not as good as home-made which I’ve never had.

  5. Amy

    High-rising light ryes are fine, but I prefer the dense, dark variety. The only thing keeping me from experimenting with the Westphalian rye recipe is that extra-long baking time: I don’t want to have to leave the oven on that long. I’m thinking, though, that since it’s essentially a long, slow steaming, it would do well in a slow cooker. Anyone tried it?

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Amy, we do have a bread recipe that calls for pumpernickel flour (whole rye) that is baked in a slow cooker. Feel free to use the instructions for our Slow Cooker Boston Brown Bread recipe to guide your baking method for other rye recipes if you like. Happy experimenting! Kye@KAF

  6. Judy

    I happened to make the boule version of the semolina rye bread this past Monday, and it was delicious! The dough was on the wet side. Since I live in a humid climate, I was wondering if a wet dough is intended or should I cut back on the water a bit? I know this isn’t a high riser, but it seemed perhaps flatter than the picture.

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      If your dough seemed like it was the right consistency when you were kneading it–not too wet, not too dry–then the wet inside texture is likely a result of under-proofing. This means that the dough was not allowed to rise for quite enough time. Try using our blog called The Bread Also Rises to learn some tips for mastering how to tell when a bread has finished proofing. I hope this helps with your next loaf! Kye@KAF

  7. Leah

    Can a medium rye flour be used in place of the Perfect Rye Blend or pumpernickel flour which aren’t readily available here? Are any adjustments needed additionally, if I make that flour exchange?

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Leah, medium rye should work fine in this recipe in place of the Perfect Rye Blend, although this blend is a mixture of different varieties of rye flour and bread flour, so for recipes that only call for the blend, you might want to add some bread flour as well. Barb@KAF

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Julia, you could use another cup of bread flour instead of the semolina flour, but it won’t offer quite the same flavor, texture or color. Barb@KAF

  8. Karen

    I bought some white rye flour, and am looking for recipes that use it. The complicating factor is that I’m allergic to wheat, millet, quinoa, corn, coconut, almonds,and garbanzos, as well as gluten. This excludes so many things that even “gluten-free” recipes contain. Now that I have the rye flour, how do I use it in a gluten-free loaf?

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Karen, rye is not considered a gluten-free flour, so I would check with your doctor to be sure this flour is safe for you to use. If you don’t have a problem with rye flour, I think you could substitute part rye flour into this Gluten-Free Bread recipe. This recipe calls for our Gluten-Free Flour, which does not contain any of the ingredients you listed as problematic. Barb@KAF

  9. Martin Sala

    Dear Rocky Cat – T he only way to get NY Kosher-style rye is to use a rye sour-dough starter. I worked on this for 25 years and finally got it right. My late cousin John Brodziak said “It tastes >>better<< than Al Cohen's" (the Gold-Standard from Buffalo, NY). Write me at salama@msala.us and I'll tell you how I do it! Martin (http://msala.us)

    Reply
  10. Susan McAndrew

    I have tried rye a number of times over the years, using your deli rye flavor (in higher proportions than the directions call for!), different types of rye flour, and the large rye bread pan you sold some years ago. It always turned out tasting good, but, unlike most homemade bread, not better than what I can buy in my local bakery–and that was quicker! I will try again with some of these suggestions because I absolutely love rye bread. And I love to bake bread.

    By the way, the one I liked best was a rye version of your no-knead bread.

    Reply
  11. Irv robinson

    I want to thank you for this fantastic rye flour baking tips article. I have had decent success using pumpernickel flour in making rye bread and using rye flour also, but I didn’t know what I was doing. I now feel comfortable to make changes to what I was doing thanks to your excellent article. Thanks so much.

    Reply
  12. Gertie_CO

    I made my very first “rustic” bread – indeed, the very first loaf of bread of any kind in a long time today. I used rye flour and bread flour from KAF (and used KAF recipe). Easy, and delicious! But my question is, when do you put the seeds on top, and how do you keep them from falling into the slashes? Also, what kind of knife do you use to slash the top?

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Put the seeds on top right after you shape the bread. Moisten the top with a damp towel or spray bottle, then roll in the seeds. Let the bread rise and slash right before you put it in the oven. We use a lame, or razor to quickly cut the bread. At home, you can use a very sharp serrated knife, but try not to drag it through the dough. That will create jagged edges and potentially deflate the dough. Happy baking! Laurie@KAF

  13. Helen

    Every time I bake a rye bread (it’s 50% rye flour, 50% oat flour) it’s comes out from the oven undercooked, wet or moist in middle. I bake it 30 min.in casserole with lid on, and 30 min. without lid. Please help!
    Helen

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Helen, neither rye flour or oat flour will develop gluten the way wheat flour does, so you’re bread is likely not rising much at all. A dense bread like this will need to be baked until it reaches at least 205-210 degrees internal baking temperature. In addition, because rye flour has a higher amount of amylase enzymes that are very active during baking, it’s necessary to slow down the amylase enzymes or the structure of your bread will be gummy. This is why rye breads often contain a sourdough element; the acidic nature of sourdough helps slow down the amylase enzyme activity during baking and thereby protects the structure of the bread. You may find this blog series on Jewish rye bread helpful, as it discusses many of the characteristics of rye flour. Barb@KAF

  14. Lindsay Hoppe

    OMG THANK YOU FOR THIS.

    I was making “Black Bread” from the Game of Thrones cookbook and the recipe calls for almost half rye flour. When I first felt the dough, I was concerned. And then it just barely rose. The recipe was bad, and didn’t call for enough rising time (after reading your article I realized this). I gave it more time to rise (although it did not rise very much) and then baked it and it turned out amazing!

    Reply
  15. OgitheYogi

    I have a question about slashing rye bread, the last loaf I made was 3 cups bread flour and 2 cups rye, I slashed the bread before baking but during the baking process very little to almost no expansion happened to the slashes, they remained pretty much the same size as when I first did it before baking. What am I doing wrong, am I not cutting far enough down or did I mess up my hydration, or not enough yeast? There was minimal expansion but a good rise which was also confusing!

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Hi Ogi, when you say “There was minimal expansion but a good rise which was also confusing!” did you mean the loaf rose well in the oven, but the area where the loaves were slashed did not open up? If this is the case, it might well be that you did not cut the loaf deep enough and it sealed back up, rather than opening. It’s also important to put the loaf in the oven when it still has some rising power, otherwise you’ll see minimal expansion in the oven. Rye bread tends to ferment more quickly than other types of bread, so try to keep the rising time for both the bulk rise and the shaped rise to an hour or less each. This will help assure that your loaf will get a good jump in the oven. It’s hard for me to say if the hydration needs adjusting, but work towards developing a smooth, supple dough rather than a very stiff or very wet dough. Steam is also very helpful during the beginning part of the bake to allow your loaf to fully expand. Check out this blog post for some tips on how to add steam to your rye bake. For more help with your rye baking, please give our Baker’s Hotline a call at 855-371-2253(BAKE). Barb@KAF

  16. OgitheYogi

    Thank you so much for your response, I think I ended up overproofing the bread during the second rise! The bread did not rise in the oven but stayed the same size as when I put it in (it did rise a lot outside the oven). My kitchen was very hot that day around 84 degrees and I let the dough rise for almost an hour which was too much for that temperature. I am still learning how to adjust the proofing time to the house temperature, the type of flour and all the other factors.

    The slashes did not open up at all bc I overproofed the bread and it had no rising power left by the time it went in the oven!

    Is there a general rough rule for how to adjust proofing time depending on house temperature? I live in Texas and its summer so things are really tricky at the moment!

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Hi, one thing you may want to try is starting with cooler water on a very hot day. Instant yeast does not need warm water to activate it, so you can control your dough temperature by beginning with cooler water, which will help slow down the rise time a bit. 80°F is a good dough temperature for rye bread, so you might try using 70°F water when you mix the dough, which will help adjust for the warm temperatures in your kitchen. When I test my loaf to see if it’s ready to go in the oven, I like to poke the top of the loaf and see that the indentation fills up slowly, but leaves a small print. Remember, rye flour doesn’t develop gluten the way wheat flour does, so you’re not likely to see a huge rise, but the slashes should definitely open up and the loaf expand somewhat in size. Barb@KAF

  17. Ann

    To keep a free form loaf from spreading, I build a dam around the loaf with wadded up tin foil rope… Seems to do the job..

    Reply
  18. Satyna Krebs

    Thanks for these many insights into rye bread. I’m trying my first one today! I didn’t know you have bakers that can be reached. That’s great news. Wish me luck.
    Warm regards on a cold Alaskan day, Satyna

    Reply
  19. Linda

    I can not find rye bread I checked in two different states up until a month ago I could find it in any grocery stores what’s the problem here why can’t I find any

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      There’s no shortage of rye that we’re aware of, Linda. Perhaps it’s just coincidence or perhaps your local stores have been finding that rye breads don’t sell quite as well there. It may help to speak with the manager(s) in your local store(s) to voice your interested–customer request can be surprisingly persuasive sometimes. Either way, it sounds like homemade rye bread is calling your name…Mollie@KAF

  20. Liz Farley

    I have been trying to make Swedish rye bread with fennel,anise, orange rind and raisins. My loaves aren’t rising, but are spreading. My dough has been sticky on the first rise and rather firm and not sticky on the second rise. I’d like to know just how sticky it should be. I used 1 1/4 cup whole grain rye flour and 1 3/4 cup bread flour.

    Liz

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Hi Liz, rye dough does tend to be rather sticky and wet, although less so after the first rise. I would be careful to limit your rising time to 50-60 minutes for the first rise, and about the same amount of time for the shaped rise. If the dough tends to flatten out during the shaped rise, you could allow it to rise upside down in a bowl lined with a well-floured cloth, and then gently turn it over onto your baking sheet or parchment when it’s time to bake. Another option is to allow the shaped loaf to both rise and bake in a well-oiled Dutch oven, lined with parchment paper on the bottom. This method will support your loaf throughout the rising and baking time and help prevent spreading. A 3-4 quart Dutch oven is typically a good size for a 2 lb. loaf. You can place the risen loaf and Dutch oven into a preheated oven and remove the lid after 20 minutes and continue baking without the lid until done. You might also like to check out our version of Swedish Limpa bread. Barb@KAF

  21. Astrid

    I’ve tried making a 100% rye sourdough bread (using a starter) and each time, other than the first, something goes wrong and I don’t know why. Today’s batch was not fully baked in the middle even though it was in the oven for an hour and 20 minutes. I baked it at 350 degrees. Should I keep it in longer? Bake at a higher temperature? Put less in the bread pan (I filled it about 2/3 full)? Lower the temperature and bake longer? Any help you can give will be much appreciated.

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Hi Astrid, it’s a little hard to say what went wrong without knowing what recipe you followed, but it does sound like starting with a higher baking temperature and then reducing it part way through the bake may be helpful. Check out our Vollkornbrot recipe for an example of this type of baking. I would, however suggest a slightly different baking routine. Try baking at 470° for 15 minutes and then reducing the baking temperature to 380°F for about 1 1/4 hours. Typically in this type of recipe the rye flour is allowed to “sour” overnight, and then the dough is mixed the following day. Rye flour requires gentle kneading and won’t really develop gluten, so mix on the lowest speed in your stand mixer for about 10 minutes. Rye flour ferments very quickly, so typically the rising time is rather short and the dough temperature a little warmer (84-85°F) than for wheat based recipes (78°F). As you can see, 100% rye flour recipes require some different techniques throughout the process. For more help with this type of recipe, please give our Baker’s Hotline a call at 855-371-2253(BAKE). We’d love to talk rye with you! Barb@KAF

  22. Daniel Thompson

    Great article. I started baking my own bread last month with great success. I thought I’d try a mix of rye and white this time. Glad I read this and gave my rye bread sufficient time to rise!

    Reply

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