100% Rye Bread Recipe

AuthorSteve Nubie
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Rye bread is a traditional Eastern European bread recipe.  It’s still popular across Russia, Germany and the Baltic states.  This was largely due to the fact that rye grains were easy to grow in bitter climates and not only grew well on farms but in the wild as well.

For this recipe we’re going to look at a rye bread made with 100% rye flour.  This was the traditional recipe used across Eastern Europe due to the fact that rye grass was hardy and easy to grow in bitter weather, and often grew in the wild. 

You should know that rye flour lacks significant amounts of gluten which cause yeast to grow and raise a loaf of bread.  The result is that you will end up with a very heavy and dense loaf of bread.  It will still have an excellent taste but don’t be disappointed if the loaf does not rise and is very dense.  You should also know that rye flour is not gluten free, it simply lacks the same amount of gluten that you find in bread flour, all-purpose flour, and wheat flour.

This rye bread recipe can be made in your bread machine using the whole wheat setting.  If you have a 100% whole wheat setting that’s even better. It has a great flavor and works really well as a foundation for an appetizer or canape and should be sliced thin.

One caution is that you will find this recipe does not coalesce into a dough ball in your bread machine like other breads made with more traditional flours.  You will have to lift the lid during the early kneading process and push the rye dough towards the kneading paddle from time to time to form the dough ball.  Stick with it throughout the kneading process.  If need be, removed the dough ball from the pan and form it into a dough ball with your hands and drop it back into the bread pan. 

INGREDIENTS:
 1 cup of water at 110 degrees Fahrenheit
 2 teaspoons of salt
 ¼ cup of canola or olive or vegetable oil
 ¼ cup of honey
 2 eggs at room temperature
 3 tablespoons of dry milk (optional)
 4 cups of rye flour
 2 ¼ teaspoons of bread machine yeast or active dry yeast
Topping:
 1 teaspoon of caraway seeds (optional)
DIRECTIONS:
1

Add all of the ingredients to the bread machine in the order indicated in the ingredients list.

2

Select the whole wheat setting for a 2-pound loaf (1-pound loaf if you have divided the recipe in half), and a medium crust. Select the 100% whole wheat setting if your bread machine has one.

3

During the kneading cycle, remember to open the lid and force the dough towards the kneading paddle with a plastic spatula. If kneading concludes and you still don’t have a dough ball, remove from the bread pan and form into your hand until you have a dough ball and drop back into the bread pan.

4

After the kneading cycle and before the rising cycle sprinkle the reserved teaspoon of caraway seeds on the top if you choose to use them.

5

When done, remove from the bread pan and let cool on a wire rack for 10-minutes. Slice thin and serve.

Ingredients

INGREDIENTS:
 1 cup of water at 110 degrees Fahrenheit
 2 teaspoons of salt
 ¼ cup of canola or olive or vegetable oil
 ¼ cup of honey
 2 eggs at room temperature
 3 tablespoons of dry milk (optional)
 4 cups of rye flour
 2 ¼ teaspoons of bread machine yeast or active dry yeast
Topping:
 1 teaspoon of caraway seeds (optional)

Directions

DIRECTIONS:
1

Add all of the ingredients to the bread machine in the order indicated in the ingredients list.

2

Select the whole wheat setting for a 2-pound loaf (1-pound loaf if you have divided the recipe in half), and a medium crust. Select the 100% whole wheat setting if your bread machine has one.

3

During the kneading cycle, remember to open the lid and force the dough towards the kneading paddle with a plastic spatula. If kneading concludes and you still don’t have a dough ball, remove from the bread pan and form into your hand until you have a dough ball and drop back into the bread pan.

4

After the kneading cycle and before the rising cycle sprinkle the reserved teaspoon of caraway seeds on the top if you choose to use them.

5

When done, remove from the bread pan and let cool on a wire rack for 10-minutes. Slice thin and serve.

100% Rye Bread Recipe

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35 Comments
  1. Reply
    LynnAnn February 11, 2020 at 5:16 pm

    I’ve had my bread maker for 31 years!
    I’ve been using this recipe in it and love the bread it makes, except, the top always falls in.
    Can you suggest why and a solution?

    • Reply
      Steve Nubie April 21, 2020 at 4:24 pm

      There are a few reasons why a bread falls. One solution is to cut back on the yeast. The fundamental problem with yeast is the activity of the yeast varies from one packet to the next. Old yeast will not rise as much, fresh yeast sometimes cause too much of a rise. When the bread rises too much, it sometimes falls or deflates. People have also run into problems when they open the lid on the bread machine during the rising and baking cycle. I’m sure you didn’t do that, but I’ve had that problem myself when I wanted to sneak a peek. Just so you know, 100% rye bread is a tough recipe. Rye flour is very low in gluten and the rise from the yeast is always a very delicate balance. Experimenting with the yeast amount might be the best way to find the best result. I hope that helps.
      Steve

  2. Reply
    LynnAnn Thomas December 24, 2019 at 3:58 pm

    Thank you!! This is JUST what I was looking for. The comments and responses too!

  3. Reply
    Dee December 3, 2019 at 10:33 pm

    Where is everyone getting corn starch? It is not even listed as an ingredient.

    • Reply
      Steve Nubie April 21, 2020 at 4:28 pm

      I have the same question. It’s not in the recipe and corn starch is not the best ingredient for bread baking in most cases. I think someone may have typed corn starch and meant corn flour.
      Steve

  4. Reply
    Darleen Andrea Stukey July 11, 2019 at 4:54 am

    Can you include the caraway seeds in the mix, or use dill seeds instead and mix them in, rather than sprinkle on top? Can you add an extra egg to make it more moist and rise better?

    • Reply
      Steve Nubie April 21, 2020 at 4:32 pm

      Yes to all of the above. You can add any seeds whenever you want and an extra egg could help the rise. If the extra egg makes the dough to “wet” add a tablespoon of flour to firm it up.
      Steve

  5. Reply
    Darleen Andrea Stukey July 11, 2019 at 4:53 am

    Can you include the caraway seeds in the mix, or use dill seeds instead and mix them in, rather than sprinkle on top?

  6. Reply
    Caryl Dyson June 6, 2019 at 8:17 am

    Made this yesterday in my new bread maker and the result was wonderful!

    • Reply
      Steve Nubie April 21, 2020 at 4:29 pm

      That’s great to hear. I work very hard on these recipes and always test them in the kitchen. Thank you,
      Steve

  7. Reply
    Doug McCloud October 18, 2018 at 2:55 am

    What’s the purpose of molasses and you use something else?

    • Reply
      Admin October 23, 2018 at 6:01 am

      Hi Doug,

      Yes, you can use honey, corn syrup or maple syrup. They all provide a source of sugar that the yeast likes so it can grow and multiply. Molasses has the added benefit of imparting a rich, brown color to the bread but it’s only for appearances. Any of the alternatives will still deliver on taste.

  8. Reply
    Ling September 18, 2018 at 2:39 am

    Pls advice .. isn’t it using Rye flour itself is actually not a gluten free flour ? Thx

    • Reply
      Steve Nubie April 21, 2020 at 4:30 pm

      Rye is low in gluten but not gluten free.
      Steve

    • Reply
      Admin September 25, 2018 at 2:18 pm

      Hi,

      Rye flour is NOT gluten free.

  9. Reply
    Ray August 21, 2018 at 6:57 pm

    Why do you show the insertion of the dry ingredient corn starch in with the wet ingredients when my machine manufacturer Zojirushi BB PAC20 says all liquids should be first?

    Also, why should we place dry ingredients in an order? Wouldn’t it be better to just whisk and combine all the dry ingredients (except the yeast) and then place that all on top of the wet in the baking pan?

    • Reply
      Steve Nubie April 21, 2020 at 4:34 pm

      Not sure where you found corn starch in the recipe ingredients. That’s typically not an ingredient in bread recipes.
      Steve

    • Reply
      Admin October 17, 2018 at 7:16 am

      Hi Ray,

      Just about any order works as long as the yeast is added last. Some dry ingredients are best added to a wet ingredient to allow it to dissolve and integrate better. This is especially true with salt, sugar, baking powder or baking soda and cornstarch. If in doubt, follow the manufacturers instructions.

  10. Reply
    Linda August 12, 2018 at 10:59 am

    Hi, do you use a normal paddle or a rye paddle in the bread maker?

    • Reply
      Admin October 17, 2018 at 7:15 am

      Normal paddle.

  11. Reply
    Roxanne March 31, 2018 at 3:47 pm

    Do I have to do the egg wash if I am not adding the seeds?

    • Reply
      Admin April 2, 2018 at 6:02 am

      Hi,
      No, you don’t have to do the egg wash if you’re not using seeds. But an egg wash gives a nice glistening look to the finished bread. However, if you’re allergic to eggs or have another reason to not use them, that’s okay. The bread will still come out looking and tasting great

  12. Reply
    Jane March 17, 2018 at 2:33 am

    Hi, is there meant to be more than the 3/4 a cup of water as the mixture was extremely dry? Had to add more a fair bit of extra water to make the dough sticky.

    • Reply
      Admin March 25, 2018 at 8:19 am

      Hi Jane,

      There is nothing wrong with this recipe. A common problem is humidity. If the flour is extra dry it needs more moisture. Adding a tablespoon at a time to get the right consistency is all that is needed. You did the right thing. Also, the other wet ingredients including the molasses and the oil should have helped. I re-baked this using thin recipe and had a good result but you did the right thing adding a bit of water to compensate.

  13. Reply
    Barb February 20, 2018 at 10:35 pm

    My husband just made this and the flavour is wonderful! Unfortunately the bread didn’t rise and is a pile of crumbly balls. He swears he followed the recipe exactly, proper measures, yeast good, water temperature. The only thing he did was use olive oil as his vegetable oil. We live in VERY dry Calgary with high altitude.

    Any suggestions?

    • Reply
      GordN October 8, 2019 at 7:20 pm

      I’m in YYC too, I’ll try this as well, unless Barb has update?

    • Reply
      Admin February 21, 2018 at 3:03 pm

      Hi Barb,

      Sorry to hear that!
      There’s no difference between olive oil and vegetable oil when it comes to a bread recipe so that’s not the problem. You could try omitting salt which inhibits yeast growth; adding an additional teaspoon of yeast, making sure you store the yeast in the fridge and that it’s recently purchased to make sure it is healthy and active. Use bread machine yeast which is more robust or fast-rise yeast which has more active yeast or shutting the machine off after the rising cycle to add more time to the rising time. You’ll have to set a baking cycle only when you turn the machine back on or the kneading cycle will tear apart the dough ball. We’ve kitchen tested this recipe and it should work. It’s possible you need to buy some new yeast and omitting the salt could give it a better chance. Selecting proper settings are also important and the wheat bread cycle is best with the proper loaf weight and crust selection. Sorry you had problems. We’re going to try the recipe again in our kitchens and assess what happens 🙂

      • Reply
        Barb February 21, 2018 at 4:53 pm

        Trying again with the changes. Will keep you posted. It had such fantastic flavour that we are going to keep trying till it works! Thanks for feedback.

        • Katie June 11, 2018 at 2:10 am

          Hi Barb, I had the exact same results as you. Have you had more success with the changes?

  14. Reply
    Debra January 6, 2018 at 12:46 am

    Hi..This looks like a fabulous recipe! Do you use dark or light rye flour?

    • Reply
      Admin January 8, 2018 at 8:46 am

      Hi Debra,

      Either light or dark rye flour is fine 🙂

  15. Reply
    Lamiaa December 30, 2017 at 9:45 pm

    Can you substitute corn starch for something else? And what would you recommend substitute it for?

    • Reply
      Admin January 1, 2018 at 1:42 pm

      Yes, you can with flour, arrowroot or a gluten-free flour like buckwheat flour or millet flour.

  16. Reply
    Dorothy B December 17, 2017 at 5:05 pm

    Can you use a conventional oven to bake this?

    • Reply
      Admin December 24, 2017 at 9:22 am

      Hi Dorothy,
      This recipe is easy to bake in a conventional oven. Put the ingredients i the bread machine bread pan in the order indicated and select the bread dough setting. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. When the dough cycle is complete butter a baking pan and let the dough rise for 30 to 45 minutes. Once the dough has risen, bake fore 30 to 40 minutes until golden brown and let rest for 10 minutes. Remove slice and serve.

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