Homemade Light Rye Bread

Light, soft inside, crusty crust, homemade rye bread, with or without caraway seeds.

  • Yield: Makes 2 loaves


  • 2 packages active dry yeast
  • 2 1/2 cups of warm water (just barely warm to the touch)
  • 2/3 cup molasses (regular unsulphured, not blackstrap)
  • 5 cups bread flour
  • 2 cups rye flour
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 2 Tbsp caraway seeds (optional)


1 Dissolve the yeast in the warm water with the molasses. Put yeast mixture into a large metal bowl.


2 Add caraway seeds, salt, vegetable oil, cocoa powder, 2 cups of rye flour and then 2 cups of bread flour, mixing into the yeast mixture after each addition with a wooden spoon.


3 Add more bread flour, a cup at a time, until the dough is not so sticky and it is too hard to mix it with the wooden spoon. At that point, spread a half cupful of flour onto a large, clean, flat surface and put the dough onto the surface.


4 Knead the dough by pressing down with the heel of your hand, stretching it, turning the dough a quarter-turn, pulling the dough back toward you and then pressing and stretching again. Knead additional bread flour into the dough until it reaches the right consistency. Knead for 5-7 minutes, or until the dough is smooth and elastic.

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5 Spread some vegetable oil around a large bowl and place the dough in it, turning it so it gets coated in the oil.


Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a damp cloth. Let rise at room temperature until it has doubled in size, about an hour and a half.

6 Gently press down on the dough so some of its air is released.

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7 Knead the dough a few turns and then divide it by cutting it in half with a sharp knife.

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8 Shape each half into loaf. Place dough loafs into either oiled bread loaf pans, or onto a flat baking sheet or peel that has been sprinkled with corn meal, depending if you want to cook the loaves in pans or directly on a baking stone. Cover with plastic or a damp cloth.

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9 Let rise again, this time not doubling in volume, but rising by about half of its volume, about 45 minutes, half as long as the first rising. The dough should be peeking over the top of the loaf pan if using a loaf pan.

10 If you are using a baking stone, place the stone in the oven. Preheat oven to 350°F for at least half an hour before baking.

11 If baking on a stone, score the dough a few times on the top of the dough right before putting it in the oven.


12 Put dough in the oven. If you have a mister, mist the dough with a little water the first 10 minutes of baking. Bake for 40-50 minutes, or until done. The bread should sound hollow when tapped.

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  • ChantalE

    Easy, hands on and a dee-lice recipe for my fav bread! I add my Epicure (I sell these products) seasonings for a variety of blended seasonings.
    Thank you for sharing!
    Chef ChantalE


  • Judy

    I’ve made this recipe 7 times in the past year. It’s delicious! I don’t use the cocoa, so a little more flour. Sometimes, when forming the loaves, I roll the dough out & spread it with minced onion then roll it up like cinnamon rolls & cut it in half to form the two loaves.


  • Gwynneth

    Nice enough bread but I would say it is more of a medium to dark rye rather than a light rye like I was looking for. Judging by the picture I was expecting something much lighter. I used regular cooking molasses (no sulphur and not blackstrap) and my dough was much darker than the dough shown in the photos. I wanted a light rye for Reuben sandwiches but think this might not be what I am looking for. I think it will be great with baked beans though.


    • Elise Bauer

      Thanks for the feedback Gwynneth. I’ve only produced a light colored rye bread with this recipe. Don’t know why yours turned out darker.

  • Julie

    I have made this several times since I saw it a few years back. It’s a go-to winner!Also makes excellent dinner rolls.


  • Lois

    This is just the best rye bread, we love it without the seeds and cornmeal, but that’s just our preference. Thanks so much for sharing, rye flour was not the easiest to find in AZ. I finally found some but will bring along with my white flour that always bring


  • Carolyn

    I made this bread this morning and my husband and I just sat down to critique. I did not alter from the recipe.
    Our findings:
    The bread has a good flavor, although it is not the traditional rye bread you would find in the bakery or in the store. It is more related to a pumpernickel bread, due to the molasses & cocoa used. We both agreed I made 2 nice loaves of a pumpernickel / rye bread.
    Next time I make rye bread, I will not use molssss or cocoa, and will use organic all purpose bread in place if the bread flour, and I will use 3 cups of all purpose, 1 1/2 T salt, instant yeast, a 450 degree oven for a crusty outside, along with a few other tweeks, and have a shallow pan of hot water in the oven on the bottom rack, which gives rye bread that chewy texture.

    In conclusion, this is still a nice tasting bread, however I will make the more traditional rye in the future. It is just as easy, and with using instant yeast, you don’t have to proof it….. less kneading..

  • Michelle C

    I halved the recipe since it’s just me and hubby, and I have limited storage space in my tiny apartment. Turned out pretty well! It seemed a bit bitter, and I think it might have been because of the cocoa. However, I also did use blackstrap molasses since that’s what was on hand, and it could be the culprit also. Good texture, didn’t seem terribly sweet compared to other rye breads I’ve tried. I think next time, I will try to reduce or eliminate the cocoa, and cut back on the molasses just a bit. If that doesn’t work, I’ll stop being a cheapo and buy some different molasses. Overall, good recipe. I just need to tweak it to suit my tastes.


    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Michelle, my guess is that the bitterness is coming from the blackstrap molasses. That type of molasses can be strong and a bit bitter.

  • merilee beck

    I have been trying to get rye bread right….havent been able to until this recipe. I really like it! Could someone tell me how much onion I would add to this recipe to get an oniony rye bread? I’ve been trying onion rye too but cannot get an onion flavor no matter how much I use…dried, fresh or dried reconstituted.


    • Emma Christensen

      Hi, Merilee! I’d try using 1 large yellow onion, diced and sauteed until caramelized. Cool it to room temperature, and then add it to the dough after you finish Step 2. Let us know how it turns out!

  • Tami

    Love this recipe! I have made it about 10 times now. The molasses is perfect… everything is perfect!


  • Elisabeth

    I agree with those saying too much molasses. I was hoping for a more traditional rye bread but I got molasses bread with caraway seeds. Maybe that’s more to do with my expectations than the recipe.

    I did appreciate how easy this was and that the bread looks great! It just wasn’t what I was looking for but I plan to tweak for more rye and less molasses.


  • Tami

    We love this exactly how it is written! I do not go by the cooking time… I use the tap test. I find 30 to 35 minutes is suitable. I have made this several times and it is ALWAYS a hit! For those who say less molasses… nah… we even add a little more. This is my husbands favorite and it is the one that turned me from a rye hater to a rye lover. I again made this tonight to go along with dinner… but dinner went into the fridge. We instead ate full a boule of it along with Jarlsberg cheese and fruit. We have a hard time finding rye flour here…and got our local Publix to order in some for us. Now to store the case of rye we had to buy (freezer???). I have MS and can not stir easily. I start it out in the mixer and finish off by hand. Last few stirs bother me but the kneading is therapeutic for me. I find …here in Florida… that the rise time is only about an hour. No matter, it still is awesome! I do not have a fancy oven with a mister. I do mist the boule with a bottle every 2 minutes for the first 10 minutes. I do not mist when I do in a loaf pan because we do not want a thick crust for sandwiches.


  • Bob

    Very good recipe. (I halved the recipe). I reduced the molasses slightly and omitted the cocoa powder. I opted for a free form loaf on my bread stone and baked for 43 minutes. Applied mist for the first 10 minutes


  • Patti

    Barely one star. Way too much molasses, and 40 mins at 350 burned both loaves.
    Should have been described as sweet almost rye bread. No rye taste or smell. Sorry, this one won’t be repeated in my kitchen.


  • Lauren

    Very good bread. Nice flavor, and I like the advice about misting it in the oven, which produces a crunchier crust. If there were any more molasses, it would be too sweet for me, but it tastes wonderful and bakes up well.


  • Barbara T

    Great flavor but a bit sweet for our taste. The bread I usually make uses 1/2 tsp sugar to proof the yeast and nothing more. I hope reducing the molasses does not change it too much. Good recipe though. Thanks


  • Nicole

    What type of molasses? tks

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Nicole, good question! I would use a regular unsulphured molasses, not blackstrap which can be a bit intense and bitter. I’ll clarify that in the recipe, thanks!

      • Tami

        I use Grandma’s Molasses. Easy to find in most grocery stores. I grew up in Maine and it was the only molasses used, my mother (would now be 94) only used that. We lived in NW Ohio for a couple of years when I was a child and I remember how she complained about the local molasses there. I am now in Florida and can only find Grandma’s in small bottles… but I remember my mother buying it in gallon jugs.

  • Kathy

    Best bread EVER! Thanks for the great recipe!


  • Ruxandra Horvath

    Hi guys, can you please tell me in grams how much yeast do I need? “2 packages active dry yeast” Thank you!

    • Emma Christensen

      Hi, Ruxandra! Emma here, managing editor for Simply Recipes. 2 packages contains about 14 grams of yeast. Enjoy!

  • John R

    I grew up on this bread. George was my father. In the 1960’s, he used to have an old steel bread pail that he would clamp to our kitchen stool. It had a hand kneading crank. He did the initial rise in the pail, always placed a suitable distance from our wood stove. Late in the evening, we (he most often) would form it into loaves for the final rise before baking. This was the bread he made most often.


  • Gracie

    First time making rye bread and was looking for a good and easy recipe. All the comments on this bread said this is the go to rye bread. IT WAS AMAZING, super soft on the inside. Never had such great results from a home made bread recipe. Made this bread originally for my husband because I don’t like rye, but I’m devouring it!


  • W. Mataxas

    In the ingredient list, 2 cups rye flour
    1 tablespoon salt were struck out, but in the instructions they appeared to be used. Which is correct? Ingredient list or instructions. How did anyone successfully bake this bread with those errors?

    • Emma Christensen

      Hi, W! You probably accidentally clicked on the boxes next to the the the salt and the rye flour, which crosses off the item and places a check mark next to the ingredient — this is our “shopping list” feature. Try reloading the page, which should clear any check marks or crossed-off items. Thanks!

  • Claudiu

    What happens if I skip the molasses and the cocoa? I don’t like sweet bread and don’t really care if it’s deep dark. I’ve been buying mestermacher breads but recently they labeled them as not nut free, so I have to find (or bake) an alternative.

    • Elise Bauer

      HI Claudiu, I haven’t tried skipping those ingredients so don’t know what to tell you. If you do try it that way, please let us know how it turns out for you!

      • Kara

        Unsweetened cocoa is not sweet, and the molasses really isn’t that sweet either.

  • Maria Luz

    I made this bread during the weekend, using sourdough instead of commercial yeast. I was doing only half recipe, since there is only two of us (husbnd and I).
    What I did was to mix 2 tbsp of sourdough with 200 g white wheat flour + 60 g rye flour (50/60% of all the flour I meant to use), together with 295 gm water (100% water I meant to use), and let it rest it overnight. The following morning I added 113 gms molasses, 120g white wheat flour + 50g rye flour, 1/2 tbsp salt, 30 gms sunflower oil, 15 gms cacao powder, and a handful of kummel seeds. I kneaded and proofed it for some 2 hours.
    The bread came out beautiful and so so delicious… we love it!
    I am going to be making it again, for sure.
    You can see pictures of it at https://www.flickr.com/photos/marialuzfernandez/35715867541/in/dateposted/

  • Nicholas

    I made this bread for the first time on Saturday. It turned out great! It tastes good on its own, but toast it and add some butter and it is almost decadent. :)
    Only thing I might change next time is the amount of cocoa powder. My loaf came out almost looking like pumpernickel bread. I might try to reduce the amount to about a tablespoon, or less.


  • Kris

    I want to make rye bread….I thought the hardest part was to find caraway seeds….OMG WHERE can you get RYE flour? never heard of it….I have a Breadman Ultimate machine that I got from QVC several years ago….I live in a small town in the Ga mts …Thanks for any help…

    • Emma Christensen

      Hi, Kris! If you can’t find rye flour at any of your local stores, I’d just order it online! I like Bob’s Red Mill, which is available through Amazon. Arrowhead Mills and Hodgson Mill are also both good brands, and also both available through Amazon. Good luck with the bread!

    • Nicholas Kozloski

      I spent quite a bit of time looking for caraway seeds in the grocery store, then it dawned on me. I found them in the seasoning section of the store.

    • Fred Nielson

      I am lucky we have a Winco’s market nearby. They have rye flour, bread flour and many other hard to find flours. And they are in bulk!

    • Tami

      You are in GA? I am in Florida and it is hard to find rye flour here. Do you have a Publix there? We have to get our local one to special order it for us. There a 6 packages to a case. Each package contains about 4 cups. Our Publix lets us reserve the amount of pack out of a case that we need/want. If you do have to buy the whole case of 6 packages… they usually expire about a year later (search the sides of the package for dates). You can also freeze the rye flour for longer keeping…or use it in other recipes…. though after having this bread you will use it up that flour quickly!

      • Jude

        I find rye flour easily. Even in walmart. They carry all off flours like Bobs. He makes such flours like Almond, coconut, etc. .

    • Lenore

      I had my daughter-in-law buy some rye flour when she went to visit her mom in Pennsylvania. She actually brought 4 bags back.

  • Eve

    This is a yummy and easy recipe, especially if you have a stand mixer. I increased the rye flour to 3 cups and lessened the white to 4 cups. Would put more seeds in next time but it is delicious. Thank you for sharing!


    • Barbara

      Eve I also have MS like another reader on here.(So we wind up kneading bread. Go figure!) I have been waiting for someone to bring up a stand mixer. Kneading for any length of time is taxing. I’ve been using my mixer more and more. Did this bread compare to other breads you’ve made in a stand mixer? Anything to look out for? Thanks for being the one to bring up a mixer!So it’s really Thank You for sharing!

  • ami

    I’d love to make this bread but is there anything I can replace molasses with? Where I live it’s pretty hard to find.

    • Elise Bauer

      Good question. Sometimes people in Europe can find Golden Syrup which they use to replace molasses in recipes.

      • Sandra

        Liquid honey works good also

  • Lois

    I just made this for the first time today. I felt the need to redeem myself after the horrible pumpernickel I made last week. (I think the recipe had some issues ). What a relief to find a recipe that not only works, but is the best rye I’ve ever had. Thank you so much for this. I will be making this many times in the future, I’m certain.


  • Rey

    Rey. I,m a new kid on the block My light rye was a humdinger

  • Sharlene

    I have made this bread multiple times now, it always turns out great! So delicious with ham and Swiss grilled , makes great rubens or is just as fab toasted with butter. My Dad says it’s always the star when he makes sandwiches with it. Truly a new favorite, thank for sharing your great recipe George!


  • Christian Zamoro

    This is my go-to Rye Bread. I add a Tablespoon of Vital Wheat Gluten as you mention in your post.

    This is a great site. Just discovered it 6 months ago. This is a great great website.

    Thank you for adding step-by-step photos on your website and writing in a clear, beautiful and friendly manner. You are impressive and provide a great service to the general public.


  • Lynda Skinner

    Thank you so much, this is by far the best rye bread recipe that I have made…fantastic! I have been making bread for a long time but have had trouble with rye bread. The smell of my house right now is divine, can’t wait till breakfast to toast some up! Thanks again

  • SteveInVa

    Made this tonight, and I just have to say “WOW”! Easy recipe, and delicious bread! We doubled the caraway seeds to give it more of a true rye bread taste. You don’t really taste the molasses….until that little aftertaste.

    Definitely will make this again – Thanks for the recipe!!

  • red elvis

    made this last night in Thailand, used coconut oil instead of veg oil. came out nice. used sunflower seeds as a substitute. best rye (and most straight forward) out there. thank.

  • Josh

    I made this bread last night and it was GREAT. I baked it on a pizza stone and it got a little crowded since the loaves rose so much. They ended up rather large (so much for rye not wanting to rise). I used organic rye and vital gluten flour and the crumb was excellent.

    My only “complaint” (if it can be called that) is that the rye flavor was a little muted, but keep in mind I’m used to sourdough ryes (Bay Area). I will say that next time I make this I’m doubling the 2 Tbs. of caraway seeds. My “bread sense” also is that 2 packages of yeast is a little much. If you knocked off a teaspoon, it would still be fine. My loaves rose VERY fast, and I wasn’t using the fast acting stuff.

    I’m going to try out another recipe this week with dark rye flour. This recipe has inspired me to make more bread and specifically more rye. I’m very intrigued about the malted barley extract. One recipe I was looking at for Russian rye is that you burn (or over-caramelize) sugar to give it a smoky flavor.

    Great bread! Love it! Will make it again! The peanut butter was a winner, too…


  • Angela

    Should also mention that Grandma’s bread was seedless.

  • Angela

    Okay, so I seem to be getting closer. Any thoughts on a german rye bread? My grandma always made one when I was a kid and I don’t have the recipe! The crust was a deep brown and chewy. The inside was lighter and dense. It was always the best bread. When I dated a guy from Cleveland in college, there was a bakery there called Michael’s that sold “grandma’s bread”. I would love to be able to recreate at home.

    • Lenore

      Here’s the German Rye bread that I make. Hope you like it. I did realize that the pan should be 9X5.
      German Dark Rye Bread (From Hodgson Mill rye flour bag)

      • 2 pkgs.yeast (4 ½ tsps.)
      • 2 cups warm water (95-110◦F)
      • ¼ cup brown sugar
      • ¼ cup molasses
      • 3 ½ cups rye flour
      • 3 Tbsps. cocoa powder
      • 1 Tbsp. caraway seeds (optional)
      • ¼ cup butter, melted
      • 2 tsps. Salt
      • 2-1/2 to 3 ½ cups bread flour (divided)

      1. In a large bowl, combine warm water, yeast & brown sugar.
      2. Let sit about 5 minutes until bubbly.
      3. Add molasses, cocoa, rye flour & caraway seeds.
      4. Beat well, then let sit for 10 minutes.
      5. Mix in melted butter & salt.
      6. Mix in one cup bread flour.
      7. Stir in enough remaining bread flour to make soft dough.
      8. Knead 8-10 minutes until smooth & elastic.
      9. Place in an oiled bowl, turning once to coat.
      10. Cover with a damp cloth or plastic wrap & allow to rise one hour, or until doubled.
      11. Gently knead to work out air bubbles.
      12. Form into log and place in a greased 9X5 loaf pan.
      13. Cover again, and allow to rise for another hour, or until nearly doubled.
      14. Bake in preheated 400◦F oven for 25-28 minutes, or until nicely browned and the center of the loaves reads 190°F when measured with an instant-read thermometer.
      15. Immediately remove from pans and cool on a wire rack.

  • Ellen

    I tried using a bread maker (dough function only) to kneed the dough (busy mom). i cut the recipe in half but found i needed 1.5 cup pumpernickel flour instead of 1 cup. I was out of rye. by accident I Discovered a flawless wonderful bread. We now use this as our standard sandwich bread. I make it by hand 2 loafs at a time, but in a pinch for time it works wonderful in the bread machine (kneeding only) with the modifications. Thank you George for a perfect loaf of bread.

  • Sally Smith

    I have been looking for YEARS for a simple rye bread recipe that actually works, and I have found it. I am very, very happy and excited to have found this recipe. Thank you, George, for your years of bread making & this delicious recipe. It is PERFECT. By the way, I made it in my Kitchen Aid mixer – all mixing and kneading – and it turned out so beautifully! Also baked it using the convection feature on my oven – 350 for 30 minutes – and I recommened baking bread that way. The texture is divine.


  • Zach

    thankyou for this recipe it is a very good one.

  • Edwin Eversole

    I initally read the recipe, then modified it. Being the good rye bread connisuer I was intially excited. Here’s what I did. I put in 2 cups of Rye, a cup of wheat and 4 cups of bread flower. Nothing else changed. I baked it here in Colorado and it came out perfect.
    Try it with red chili and beans, let it crumble ito the chili man is it good!
    Thank you sir! Nice recipe.

  • Kristen Yaun

    I love baking a variety of breads, and this rye bread with molasses and cocoa really intrigued me so I had to give it a try. This is now one of my favorite recipes! Mr. George really knows what he’s doing and send him the compliments! I ended up making a grilled Swiss cheese with the rye bread and it is phenomenal!

  • Paul

    Excellent loaf, thanks. I bunged everything in a bread machine and ran it through the kneading cycle, then let it rise a third time in the baking tins. The result was moist with an excellent texture and flavour.

  • MARY

    I am curious, if i use a baking stone and preheat it, how do I transfer the risen loaf on to the stone, without losing the rise in the dough? I have made this recipe a few times and love it. I do add a little lemon juice to the recipe.

    You transfer the loaf to the stone with a pizza peel or a flat baking sheet that has been sprinkled with cornmeal. The cornmeal behaves like little ball bearings to help the dough slide off the peel onto the stone. ~Elise

    • Tami

      If you do not have a peel or flat baking sheet, turn a cookie sheet or baking pan upside down. Put your cornmeal onto it… then your loaf after the second knead but before the second rise. Use a spatula edge (I turn the spatula upside down to coax it off without lifting it) when transferring.

  • Ronna

    Fantastic Rye Bread, I will divide into four loaves as this recipe made 2 huge ones. Thanks for the wonderful recipe George!!!!

  • Psydad

    I made this bread last night and I had a ton of fun! :) I did a few things differently though.
    I used the spent grain from a friend’s home brew – he made a wonderfully dark porter, so the grains were deep black and chocolaty. So, I didn’t use the cocoa powder. Used two cups of the beer grains. Ran them in the food processor for about 2 – 3 minutes to grind them fine. Then I only used 1/2 cup of molasses. The total rye flour was 2 1/4 cups and the bread flour came out to about 6 cups. I baked the two loaves on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper for about 30 – 35 minutes at 350 degrees. I brushed extra virgin olive oil on the loaves about 10 minutes before I took them out. What a delicious bread! I made them like French bread – long loaves with the three diagonal slashes – the crumb of this bread is awesome! Not too heavy, not too light, nice and dark color and the hint of chocolate from the roasted malted barley.
    Eighteen stars! ;) Thanks for the wonderful recipe!


  • Sarah

    Maybe a stupid question, but I’d like to be sure…since the recipe makes two loaves, I’d like to make one with caraway and one without, so when would be a good time to add the seeds? Obviously after the dough has been divided, but when exactly would you recommend? Thanks!

    Great question Sarah, don’t know what to tell you. Your guess is as good as mine. ~Elise

    • Connie

      I would say work the caraway seed into the dough after you have divided it. This will require a little extra kneading, but should work. I have seen recipes where the seeds are added just before panning. I have just made a half recipe of this bread and it is almost baked and it is a huge loaf – can’t wait to try it!

  • Andrea

    I just made this bread and it is wonderful! I did use a bread machine – only for the mixing, kneading and 1st rise – and wanted to report the results: I added all the wet ingredients first, then dry, then yeast on top. I did add some gluten as per other comments. After the 1st rise, I took it out of the machine, shaped it and let rise again, then baked on a baking stone. It is a lovely bread, perfect texture and taste, and so easy!
    Thanks – I’ll make this again and again!

  • Brisbanite

    Fantastic recipe – thanks so much for sharing. The beautiful dark colour but very light texture reminds me of MALT BREAD I had on occassion as a child. I will adapt this recipe further to use liquid Malt instead of Molasses next time.

    I used an electric mixer with dough hook, and also used fresh yeast (30 grams). I also weighed the flours and used 550g plain white flour and 200g organic rye flour.

    10 mins on knead setting, paused for 5 then another 6 mins when the dough just started coming away from the sides of the bowl. Let it rise for 1.5 hours, divided it, shaped (without additional flour – but oiled hands) and let loaves rise for another 2 hours before slashing and baking.

    I didn’t bother with the misting.

    Perfect result with 2 very big light loaves.

  • Betsy

    This was so moist and flavorful. Made Ruebens with it and husband said it was the best he’d ever had.

  • Julie

    I didn’t find this tricky to make at all, (but I make bread a lot). It was VERY tasty!!! Highly suggest, excellent with ham and cheese!

  • george Luchak

    Does anyone on this site have a recipe for Deli Hard rye or dark rye. When I was kid growing up in NYC, my Grandmother used to send me to the deli for it. She always stated to get the HARD rye. From what I recall, there were two choices that the German Deli offered, the hard dark or the soft. Raleys, here in California, carried, a few years ago, what they called a european rye, which approximated what
    I recall from my youth, similar. It was a hard, crusty rye on the exterior, and light on the interior. You could make a meal out it, with butter and some coffee. Incidently, my grandmother lived to 98, so it must have had some medicinal qualities? I havent tried Greenstein’s Jewish rye yet, but I’m thinking this may have been the lighter variety as mentioned above. All replies welcomed.

  • Jamie

    Thank you so much for this recipe! I love rye bread and mine came out perfectly! I think I will try adding some gluten next time like you suggested. This is definitely a recipe I will keep!

  • Ty Thomas

    Wow! Have tried several rye recipes and been unhappy with the results. Was a little skeptical about the cocoa powder but went with it any. Did use 1TBSP Gluten for 1 loaf.

    Absolutely delicious. Great texture. Great for sandwiches, toast, etc. Definitely a keeper.

  • Jim

    What a great recipe! I halved it and made one loaf. I was hoping to find a recipe for a light rye but I didn’t expect it to taste so much like the Swedish Limpa I used to get from a local Swedish bakery. It really is wonderful and so easy to make. I did find that the rise time were even quicker that indicated here but the results were excelent. I am anxious to make some more and give it to friends. Thanks

  • seta

    I’ve just made this bread and it was fantastic!! I was only gonna taste a slice but had to help myself to some more. It’s perfect alone or simply spread with butter. Thank you so much for sharing your recipe George, and for the beautiful photos Elise.

  • ben

    I baked it at 500 degrees for 30 min, using preheated, covered cast iron dutch oven (lodge logic) and it turned out great! (the covered dutch oven technique ensures a lower temp inside the dutch oven (than the 500 outside) but keeps the humidity high- like the professional ovens )

  • Bill

    You could easily convert this recipe to an almost no-knead recipe just by adding more water and following the method of almost no-knead.

    Why do that? It will rise much, much more and result in a better tasting bread.

    Just a thought…

  • Cindy

    YES! The PUUURRRRRRRRFECT recipe for rye bread. I’ll be having mine with pastrami, pepper jack cheese and spicy brown mustard. Sound good? Yes it is! Can’t wait to throw this into the oven and smell it baking. Makes my mouth water just thinking about it.

  • Doreen Boles

    I used the basic rye bread recipe but cut it in half. Because of a disability I cannot knead by hand any more, so I put all the dry ingredients in my bread machine, along with dehyudrated onion and dill weed. Then I added the wet ingredients and let the machine go on the Manual Cycle for 50 minutes. After that I took it out, punched it down and put it in a oiled bowl for about 45 minutes. Took it out, punched it down and put it in a loaf pan. Let rise for 45 minutes or so. I baked it at 375 degrees for about 20-22 minutes. It is delicious. It’s crusty on the outside and light and moist on the inside. It would make a good sandwich, that’s for sure. It’s the first rye bread recipe I’ve ever tried that came out beautifully. I will definitely make it again.

  • Dan

    I made this last night …. WOW.

    Came out enough for 3 loaves in my little Calphalon pan so I did one in the pan, one on pizza stone and put one in the fridge to wait until the others are gone.

    Also – if you don’t have bread flour, I made it with whole wheat instead but let it sit in the refrigerator overnight with plastic over top to let the stuff meld together better. Really worked well. Like I said, 3 loaves, and SO solid. Makes a great grilled cheese. :) Cheddar or Provolone, you’re set.

  • Meagan

    Carol- 1 package of yeast is 2 1/4 teaspooons.

    I cut this recipe in half and it made an amazing loaf. I normally do not like rye bread but this was amazing with honey on top! I baked mine dutch-oven style and got a nice crust and it rose beautifully. It was very soft and flavorful. Thank you so much for this recipe!

  • Carol Stahl

    Hi Wonderful tutorial! I can’t wait to try it, I’ve never made Rye bread before! I did have a question though…what is the dry ingredient measurement for ‘2 packages of active dry yeast’? In Tblsp. maybe? We bake in big quantities and keep our yeast in one big canister. Thankyou! ~Carol

  • Katie

    This was a great recipe. I am learning how to make bread. I have tried one other recipe. But I will stick with this one forever. I love the Grandpa demonstration photos.
    Beautiful bread. Thank You.


    I have to tell you I never made rye bread before and this recipe is so easy I couldn’t believe it. The house smells wonderful. Very good rye and crust to boot. So good I’m making my 2nd batch now and will put in bread pans. First ones I made round and no problems at all, perfect. Just one question, how can I make this bread to come out lighter in color if possible?

    Molasses is one of the things that makes the bread so dark. You might try substituting honey and see how it turns out. ~Elise

  • Rocky

    Many thanks for a fabulous recipe. It made two huge loaves – picture perfect. Only thing I did differently was to make a corn starch glaze so it would look more like a bakery loaf and give it the chewy shiny crust. And I topped it with more seeds. We like caraway in this house.
    This one is a keeper, so is George!

  • deebee

    Great post. The photos were a great deal of help for a first-timer like me! It was much easier to make than I expected, and my bread came out just perfect, thanks to the well-written direction and tips. Even just with plain butter on the still warm bread is already yummy! This recipe is for keeps!

  • Gretchen

    Hi, Just a quick question. The packets of yeast I use are 11g each. Is that the same weight as the yeast packets in the US?
    I would very much appreciate any help. I want to make sure I am making it right because mine does look bigger than the pictures may indicate.
    The caraway adds a sensational flavour too.

  • Gretchen

    This bread looks soooooo tasty. My mouth is watering…
    The pictures and instructions were nice and clear.

    I tried making it this afternoon and mine rose VERY quickly and looked a lot bigger than Georges’ bread in the photos.
    I used Instant yeast; is that the problem?
    I’d appreciate any suggestions. Ta,G

  • Jerry Starr

    Excellent bread. The photos were wonderful and made the entire bread making experience very enjoyable. Wonderful bread.

  • Jennifer

    Originally from Montreal, I now live in Shenzhen, China, and was getting desperate for some nice, heavy bread like we have back home. Most of what we get here is soft, white and basically tasteless, except for the abundance of sugar.

    I decided to try out this recipe and imported everything I needed from Hong Kong. I think it came out great, keeping in mind that I’m a novice bread baker. The only negative was my oven – a cheap and temperamental domestic model that runs a lot hotter than the temperature on the dial. I reduced the temp from 350 to 300, but the bottoms of my loaves still burnt. The center of the loaves were also slightly too moist but OK.

    I’m toying with the idea of getting a bread machine…. or would a pizza stone prevent the bottom of everything I baked from getting burned?

    BTW, this bread tasted wonderful with Maille dijon mustard slathered on it.

  • RK

    There’s a sandwich place in my town that makes about 20-30 different kinds of fresh bread every day and they put them through a slicer for you, so i get so lazy and just depend on them for my freshly baked bread fix, but this has tempted me to bake it. Do you still cut the slits in it if you’re doing it in loaf pans, or only if it’s on a baking stone?

    and nothing suits rye better than deli turkey, crispy bacon, and avocado slices (and mayo and tomato for those who enjoy them as sandwich additions)

  • Susan

    Just like my grandma used to bake. That cocoa really does add a nice backtaste that mixes well with the rye. My mom and I discovered (by accident!) that the best spur-of-the-moment spread for rye bread is sour cream with salt and pepper.

  • Alley

    Hmmmm I have wanted to try(again)to make some
    rye and/or pumpernickle bread! Thank you for inspiring me.I was raised on rye, pumpernickle, zweibach etc. One favorite, braunschweiger on rye bread. No butter, just the meat spread. Add some thin sliced dill pickle and it’s heaven!
    This site is wonderful. Thanks again.

  • El Cocinero Loco

    Thanks George, you’ve just given me the most splendid idea.

    I generally don’t use water in bread, but rather I maintain a liquid yeast starter of King Authur malted barley flour and unbleached unbromated flour. The original yeast was a bread yeast but I’m moving a decidely different direction; culturing Belgian and Irish ale kraussen.

    Crystal Malted Barley Flour instead of Molasses. It’s relatively simple to convert starches to crystalline forms if you get your hands on a good fully modified malted barley. It’s just an issue of milling the kernels and sifting the flour from the husks. Husks are beautiful though. I am in love with their enzyme content. Those enzymes can do all kinds of crazy stuff. The idea here is the molasses flavour can be simulated by burnt-roasted undertones. With skill you can achieve all kinds of cool tastes ranging from raisin bread without raisins or prune bread without prune or even chocolate without cocoa.

    Rye Flour is good stuff. If you have the source for it purchase whole rye kernels either modified or malted or neither. Grind the rye up and it the husks are good for you. It’ll give the finished product a real rustic appearance and texture.

    When making textured breads or those with flavours I tend to steer away from strong olive oils, but here I have a distinct hunch that it’ll bring out the fruitiness of the yeast and balance the bitter rye. I save pure olive oil for pizza dough. I will make a mention though that if y’all intend on oil and water. Add the salt to a small pan of water along with the oil and give it a boil. Under normal conditions oil and water do not mix but when agitated with a short boil they undergo an emulsification. Let it stand and cool, but don’t disturb it too much otherwise the oil could come out of solution.

    Othertimes it is good to boil your water to release any volatiles. Chlorines and alkalines for instance will be drawn out by a rigorous boil. This will help the overall palatability of a bread by making it less astringent. It will also help your yeast.

    Caraways. They are the bomb. I love’em. Boy are they strongly flavoured though. Lately I’ve been milling my caraway seeds and making a flour out of them.

    Something I want to try is milling lentils for legume flour and implementing an increase of protein and essential oil content of my loaves.

  • Erica

    Thanks so much for posting this – I’ve tried so many rye recipes that really let me down, but I gave this a shot this afternoon (though I made rolls rather than loaves) and it came out perfect! I’m so happy that I’ve finally managed to make GOOD homemade rye!!

  • Elaine

    I am now eating a piece of the Pumpernickle bread that just finished baking and it is wonderful.To Rosalind who was wanting a bread machine recipe, I would definitely see if your local library has a copy of Bread Machine Magic. That is one of the ways I can determine if I want to purchase the cookbook. Also, be sure to use the vital wheat flour. I have made this recipe previously, but it is much improved. I used Bob’s Red Mill brand, which gives instructions as how much to add. The package indicates 1 Tbsp. per cup of flour. Good luck!

  • Elaine

    Great post, as always. After reading, I decided to break out the bread machine and make Black Forest Pumpernickel, from the Bread Machine Magic cookbook. My Mom swears by that book and she bakes at least 2-3 loaves per week, so I guess she should know! I am trying vital gluten flour for the first time and am hoping it helps the bread rise better, as I have found when I use any type of flour other than bread flour, it is the loaves are a bit on the short side. ;~) We shall see. And thanks again for your wonderful blog, love the pix as well as the recipes.

  • Elise Bauer

    Hi Kevin – thanks for the heads up on AYearInBread.com, let me know when you are live, okay?

    Hi Rosalind – Alas, George does not have a website. But he does occasionally appear on this site; the quince jelly recipe is his. Regarding making this in a bread machine. Some instructions I found on the rye flour package were simply to follow the instructions of the specific bread making machine, and to use the “wheat bread” setting. Hope that helps.

    Hi Chigiy – Cocoa, I know, who would have thunk? Apparently it is used for the color, to help make the bread dark. You can’t really taste it.

    Hi Josh – George usually adds extra gluten, but we didn’t have any. So instead, we used bread flour in place of all-purpose flour, and upped the proportion of bread flour to rye flour. Bread flour has more gluten in it than all-purpose flour. The result was delicious, so it all worked out.

  • mac

    Very nice photos. Now all you need to do is cure some salmon (gravlaks), slice it thinly and put it on top with a bit of mustard.


  • Josh

    This is great. I haven’t had great luck with rye, I find it usually needs some vital gluten flour and it usually disappoints. I’ll be going to buy rye flour in a few minutes. I’m all for caraway and, on the rare occasion, dill.

    And Jonathan, I find that rye (and this rye especially) would be great with a grilled veggie sandwich with a strong dose of mayo and excellent mustard.

  • Rosalind

    I would love to know how to make George’s Light Rye Bread in a Bread Machine.
    How can I find out how?
    Does George have a web site?

  • jonathan

    Hmmmmm…….I wonder what kind of sandwich would taste great on this rye? *thinking*…….*thinking*….got it. How ’bout the Reuben recipe you posted a few months back?

    In my world, rye bread make everything taste better. Even peanut butter.

  • lydia

    Thanks for the tutorial (and the wonderful photos)! Rye bread is one of the trickier breads to learn how to bake — the dough can be dense and sticky. However, it’s worth the effort to be able to taste a rye that’s still slightly warm from the oven. (By the way, I’m with your dad. No carraway.)