Rye bread (extremely simple and delicious)

My friend Pete Owen Jones cannot eat wheat.  He LOVES rye bread and pronounced this bread "dsklfdoiinrj" because he had a mouth full of it at the time.

There is a popular misconception that you have to get complicated about rye flour.  Not so.  You don't need sourdough, you don't need molasses, you don't need oil.  You just need the usual four suspects (flour, water, salt, yeast) to make a completely simple, lovely rye loaf.

Rye does not have the same kind of gluten structure as wheat.  That means many people who are intolerant to wheat, like Peter can eat rye pefectly easily.  That also means you do not need to knead rye flour the way you have to knead wheat or spelt.  Don't expect this dough to transform at all.  It is not going to get silky and elasticy like a wheat dough.  The result, nevertheless, is a lovely, soft textured, crispy crusted, delicious and satisfying bread.  Good with ham.  Good with cheese.  Peter likes it best with butter and home made wild cherry jam.

Peter's jam made with wild cherries he picked himself. YUM.

Simple rye bread

300 grams of light rye flour
3 grams dry yeast (or 1.5 g instant yeast or 6 grams fresh yeast)
250 grams of warm water
6 grams of salt

Put the flour in a bowl and make a well in it.  Put the yeast in the well and pour on 1/2 the water.  Let it rest for 15 minutes.  Put the rest of the water in and the salt and mix all of this together with a wooden spoon. Give it a good stir to make sure all of the ingredients are well mixed.  You won't have to knead it but give it some welly in order to ensure your yeast and salt are evenly mixed in.  It will be kind of like trying to stir porridge or mud pies.  Satisfying.  Messy.  Adjust the water (ie add more if necessary) so that you have a soft, sticky dough.  It should not come away clean from the bowl, but be much softer - you can easily press your fingers into it.

Wet your hands thoroughly and scrape it all out of the bowl.  Mould it into a little brick and gently place it in a greased baking tin.  It can come about 2/3 of the way up the sides.

Leave it, covered with a damp tea towel or cling flim for two hours or so until it has risen visibly and come to the top of the tin.  There will be little holes on top and that is normal:  these are the air bubbles bursting through the top.

Dust it with flour or spray the top with a plant sprayer and sprinkle some seeds on the top.

Bake it in an oven that you have preheated to 200 degrees C (400 degrees F) for 45 minutes.  If you would like to, take it out of the tin and just sit it on the shelf in the oven for the last 5 minutes so the whole thing gets nice and brown.

Beautiful 100% rye loaf

113 Responses to “Rye bread (extremely simple and delicious)”

  1. Susie

    21. Feb, 2012

    I wish mine came out like yours. It looks so beautiful its making my mouth water.. so much longing do I have for a typically British nutty slice of toast with jam or cheese..but it ain't happening. I got very excited as I was making this recipie and it rose really fast. I thought 'tow hours raising time??, it will be through the roof by then. I used fresh yeast 6 grams. I followed the recipie to the T.. but sadly the loaf cooked lovely on the outside but even after an hour's cooking at 200, it would not cook inside. It was porridge. It wouldn't cook no matter what I did. Sadly it ended up in the bin. I think definately there is something about Swedish flour that is drastically different. There is only onbe grade of Rye in the shops so all I can think is that it could possibly be too heavy. I will just have to look at the picture of your loaf and imagine what it would have been like and drool.

  2. robin

    07. Oct, 2012

    Hi - some thoughts...have just made some using part rye flour and part white bread flour - this lightens the loaf. Go for a firm dough and knead it well then allow to rise (about 2 hours) then make two baguette-type loaves and cook as above for about 30 minutes. Luvverly!!

  3. virtuousbread

    08. Oct, 2012


  4. Eddie

    26. Jan, 2013

    Hi, could I make this in a bread making machine?

    Regards Eddie

  5. virtuousbread

    28. Jan, 2013

    Hi Eddie, that is a great question and the honest answer is, I have no idea. As I don't have a bread machine I cannot even test it for you. Give it a try? The only difference is that you don't have to knead it so I suggest you mix it by hand and then put it in the machine and let it do a rise for a few hours and then bake it? What can go that badly wrong??! Let me know!

  6. Mimi

    07. Mar, 2013

    Hello, your recipe sounds like just what I am searching for, however I am in the U.S.A., can you convert the measurements for me to ounces? I don't want to use the "scientific" conversions because they go into 0.XXXXXXXX. Thank you.

  7. Caromien

    11. Mar, 2013

    Mine came out flat but delicious, I tried to increase the dough to 500g for the 2nd one and it was a disaster, it looked done on the outside but was completely pasty and underbaked on the inside after an hour, it went straight to the bin :(

  8. Caromien

    11. Mar, 2013

    Mine came out flat but delicious. I tried to make a 2nd one and increased the flour to 500g, adjusting the water and yeast and baking time. It was a complete disaster that went straight to the bin. It looked done on the outside but was pasty and undercooked on the inside :(

  9. virtuousbread

    13. Mar, 2013

    Hello! I confess I have no idea (given I live here!) but if you google "how much is xx grams in cups" I am sure you will find it!

  10. Casseda

    14. Mar, 2013

    I have a slow rise(24hr) Artisan bread recipe, which makes fabulous crusty bread. but have never made it with lots of rye flour. I am trying rye flour today---and it does not look good!! I am using locally grown great organic rye flour from Vancouver Island. My question for you is---what is "light rye" which you mention in your recipe. Maybe that is your secret to the nice looking loaf which deserves praise.

  11. virtuousbread

    14. Mar, 2013

    Hi there, oof. rye is really really different from wheat. Absorbs more water, different gluten structure. Does not require any kneading (unless mixed with wheat) and gives a totally different result in dough and bread form! Light rye is like white wheat - the bran and some germ is seived off. Dark rye is like whole wheat. If you have never worked with rye before - you may be in for a surprise (not sure if good or bad). Let me know how it works but you may want to look in "recipe" section of the site for a rye recipe and read a bit about rye (just search rye) for some info. I love rye but it is totally different from wheat!

  12. Gwen

    23. Mar, 2013

    I have been looking for a 100% rye bread for a long time. I mixed this one together and am about half way through the rising now. There is a great web site for conversions just for cooking. It is traditionaloven.com. It is very specific down to even the types of flour. For instance 300 grams equates to 2.94 cups of rye flour or 2.5 cups of wheat flour. So be sure to use the measure conversion for rye.

    300 grams rye flour = 2.94 cups
    3 grams of dry yeast = 1.06 tsp, 1.5 grams instant yeast =. 48 tsp, and 6 grams fresh yeast = 2.12 tsp. 250
    250 grams of water = 1.05 cups (this did not seem like nearly enough)
    6 grams salt = 1.05 tsp

    I ground my own flour from organic rye berries - so I'm not sure if that is light or dark rye flour. I let my bread machine mix the sticky gray dough, then scooped it out into a greased pan. Wish me luck. I did two things wrong, so if I am not successful, I will correct and try again. I used 1 tsp of rapid yeast and probably should have used .5 tsp. Also since I usually just make bread in a bread machine, I do not have proper bread pans. So I used a glass bread pan.

    Farmer in Nebraska

  13. virtuousbread

    25. Mar, 2013

    Hi Gwen! How did it go? Please let me know, I am dying to!

  14. virtuousbread

    25. Mar, 2013

    ps dark rye is like whole wheat - ie it has the bran and the germ. light rye is like white wheat, the bran and the germ are extracted.

  15. Mona

    08. Apr, 2013

    Hi, just found this blog while searching for volkornbrot recipes ( that really dense, moist German/nordic bread that weighs like a brick). I just bought a bag of dark rye flour in bulk, to make that volkornbrot, but man, what a process! So many steps, and something like 24 hours to wait to ferment etc. So I decided to look for a much easier way to use the rye flour and will try your recipe out. Any success stories using the dark rye flour?

  16. virtuousbread

    08. Apr, 2013

    Hi Mona

    yes, this recipe works just as well with dark or light flour. However, if you really want a "pumpernickel" experience, try the recipe for Danish Rye (just look for it on the site, you will find it). It is wonderful....

  17. Mona

    10. Apr, 2013

    Thanks so much! I will definitely give this a go with the dark rye flour.( I did google Danish rye, but the process involves using sourdough starter, plus 18 hours to rise/ferment,plus another 24 hours wrapped up in cloth after baked....too time consuming for me...i'll just stick with your recipe,and buy the volkornbrot when I get the craving) :)

  18. Mona

    10. Apr, 2013

    Thanks a lot! Will give it a go :-D

  19. Nicola

    15. May, 2013

    Hi, I tried this today (actually did the Leicestershire rye bread, but it's the same except with spices added, right)? I used instant yeast and I only had dark rye flour. I followed the instructions - let the yeast rest 15 minutes and let it rise for about 2 1/2 hours. It rose a tiny bit and got little holes on top. However, it didn't rise anywhere near as much as you described. I thought it would rise more in the oven, but it didn't. It came out heavy like a brick! (Tasted good, though)

    Any ideas how I could make it rise more? Was it because it was dark rye instead of light? Maybe I didn't mix it enough?

    Also, by the way, I weighed the ingredients and then put them into measuring cups/spoons. Here are my equivalents:
    300 g (dark) rye flour - 2 1/2 cups
    1.5 g instant yeast - just under 1 teaspoon
    250 g water - 1 1/4 cup
    6 g salt - 1 tsp

    Does that make sense?


  20. virtuousbread

    15. May, 2013

    Dear Nicola

    thanks for you message! The usual issue with rye is that the dough is simply too dry. I see you are in Canada? The rye in North America is really different from the UK (I know that because I am in Mexico city at the moment and I am baking with American rye). I find it needs much more water. The dough should be really REALLY soft - so soft you can barely pick it up. You scoop it and shape it with wet hands but the imprint of the hand holding the dough should certainly be left in the bottom of the dough - that is how soft I mean! So use the same ingredients but up the water content and see how you do. This should do the trick. Rye has such a bad repuation but made well it is truly light and lovely! Let me know how you get on!

  21. Nicola

    16. May, 2013

    Thanks for your reply! Actually, I am in Seoul, Korea, but I was using American dark rye flour (Bob's Red Mill). I thought it was very soft (I left handprints), but I guess not so much that I almost couldn't pick it up. I'll try again in a few days and let you know what happens.

    Also, I used a Pyrex glass bread pan, not a tin - does this make a difference?

  22. Rachel

    26. May, 2013

    Hi - I left a message on your other rye page last night, as I was sitting watching a loaf made with this recipe do nothing...!
    Update, I hate binning food, so made a sort of yeast starter, with another 10g of instant yeast, half a teaspoon of honey, about 150g rye flour and rather a lot of warm water. Wetter than the original, bearing in mind your comments above. Left them both overnight and the starter was lovely & spongy this morning, while the loaf was still doing nothing. So I squidged them together, plopped the mixture back in the loaf tin & left them another hour or so. Bingo!
    My mistake was turning it back into the tin, as there was far too much dough and it spilled over both before & during baking. But it is delicious and light and crispy.
    Maybe the recipe just needs more instant yeast and even more water if instant yeast is used.
    Thanks for a great resource.

  23. virtuousbread

    26. May, 2013

    Thank you for your comments and suggestions - you are too right - I have to edit the recipe to mention the problem with instant yeast! What an oversight. Truly - thanks indeed!

  24. Nicola

    27. May, 2013

    Any idea of the total proportions of instant yeast and water you used, Rachel?

    I have tried it a couple more times (after sieving the flour to get out the heavy bran and make it lighter): the first time with lots of water - it rose really well but then fell as soon as I put it in the oven. The second time with less water (but more than the recipe) - it hardly rose at all....

  25. Rachel

    04. Jun, 2013

    Tried again today, as above but with 10g of instant yeast and nearly a mug of warm water, plus half a tsp of honey in the well to encourage the yeast.

  26. Rachel

    05. Jun, 2013

    Hm, well it looked and tasted perfect, but it is clearly still fermenting in the tummy & producing quite spectacular wind. Could be a dangerous weapon in the wrong hands!
    So - next batch I'll mess about with the proportions again & report back, meanwhile only follow my previous suggestion if you have a hot air balloon to fill, or an enemy to humiliate.

  27. virtuousbread

    17. Jun, 2013

    hi there, sorry for delay. yes too much yeast will do that to you which is why i call for so little and a long rise. If you cut down on the yeast and really get it bubbly with some of the flour and the water (and warm it if you feel it helps) and then stir in the rest of the flour it may take longer but you won't have too much yeast in the mix (which is bad for you). I made some sourdough rye the other day - it was about 17 degrees - and it took 20 hours to rise. Just a cold, damp day....great bread though.

  28. Craig

    18. Jun, 2013

    Hi, found your site while looking for a better Ciabatta recipe.
    I have a cafe and bake all the breads, I've been self teaching, experimenting for a couple of years.
    I made a rye loaf recipe that I find very successful
    150g rye (light)
    300g white flour
    1 tsp salt
    300mls warm water
    1 tsp sugar
    7 grams yeast dried
    75mls oil (i've been using soya bean)
    mix sugar yeast and water leave to sit 5 minutes
    Mix into flours and salt in a mixer with a dough hook for 1 minute add oil mix a further 3 minutes (if doing this by hand allow more mixing time) Leave to double in size, turn out onto floured bench, knead for 3 minutes shape into an oblong, leave to rest 10 minutes bake 25 minutes in a moderate to high setting.
    I find this to have a much nicer texture to white or wholemeal, a little more elasticity, softer and a slightly better keeping quality.

  29. virtuousbread

    18. Jun, 2013

    thank you for that!

  30. marie

    19. Jun, 2013

    Hi, sounds great, can you freeze this bread?

  31. marie

    19. Jun, 2013

    Hi this sounds lovely, does it freeze well?

  32. virtuousbread

    19. Jun, 2013

    It freezes beautifully - as does all bread, actually!

  33. Natty

    24. Aug, 2013

    Hi, I am a complete bread novice and due to a food allergy I've decided to try my hand at baking my own bread. Rye is okay but wheat is out, which rules out a LOT of rye recipes.

    Have you got any tips for a rye bread newbie? I have done homemade GF bread but it is far too cake-like and not nearly as satisfying as rye.

    Also, I am currently living in North America, so according to previous comments I'll need to add more water? Do you know approximately how much extra I'll need to add?

    Cheers :)

  34. Adam

    25. Aug, 2013

    Hi there! I really want to try this! But i have a question - is the loaf tin used a 1lb or a 2lb tin? Don't wanna go making it in the wrong one and burning/undercooking it ;)

  35. virtuousbread

    27. Aug, 2013

    Hi there, it is a one pound tin!

  36. virtuousbread

    27. Aug, 2013

    Hi Natty and thanks for the message. There is a recipe for rye on the website - look here: http://www.virtuousbread.com/bread-and-conversation/easy-recipe-for-rye-bread-part-2/ and click on the link for the earlier post with the recipe - but read both! The water content depends on your flour. Some flour is more absorbent than others. You want a really really soft dough - when you pick it up to shape it, you should leave a hand print on it when it sits on your hand. If it does not, it's too dry. Be patient. it will rise - but sometimes slowly - and don't cut into it until a day or 2 after you have baked it - it's just too soft!

  37. Natty

    27. Aug, 2013

    Thanks. I made it a couple of days ago and while it tastes lovely and is quite moist it didn't rise more than 1 cm after four hours. The yeast I used is best before next March and works fine when I make GF pizza dough but after reading the other post I checked it and it is instant dry yeast. I did add a tsp of castor sugar, though... but I also squashed it into the loaf pan. Lesson learnt, I'll be more gentle next time. I also used my stand mixer with dough hook attachment; would that have made a difference? Thanks!

  38. Alisa

    27. Oct, 2013

    I am so happy that I found this blog! Most rye bread recipes include white or wheat flour. I have discovered that it is so much more delicious and nutritious without the white flour.

    I now only use rye flour and shape them into about 36 rolls. After I let them rise for an hour they are all sticking together, which is good. The last few times I didn't do this
    ( I was too impatient to let the dough rise) and the result were extremely hard crusted rolls that were too difficult to even bite into !
    My questions are:
    1. Is it necessary to preheat the oven ?
    2. How do I know when the rolls are ready i.e. cooked inside? Sometimes I think there are ready but then when we cut into them, they are not cooked inside.

    Hope you reply whenever you can and thank you so much for your tips. Thanks !

  39. Alisa

    27. Oct, 2013

    I forgot to add an important thing. Since they are rolls, is the cooking time less and at what temperature in celsius? It seems that preheating the oven creates a hard crust. We prefer a softer crust but want the rolls to be cooked inside.
    Do you have any suggestions? Thanks !

  40. Diane

    01. Dec, 2013

    Thank you so much for this recipe - one of the few 100% rye ones. This is the very first time I've made bread and it worked perfectly and is delicious. I had to use a lot more water than stated but thanks to your excellent description of the consistency I obviously got it right. Thank you! Would adding seeds into the dough itself work?

  41. virtuousbread

    04. Dec, 2013

    Dear Diane

    yes! you can add seeds (or nuts/dried fruit) directly to the dough but soak it overnight in water first so that it is nice and soft and does not pull moisture out of the dough. I am so pleased the recipe works for you and thanks for writing. Send photos! we love photos!

  42. virtuousbread

    04. Dec, 2013

    Hi ALisa

    sorry for the delay in responding. I don't always catch comments. First, thanks for writing and second I am pleased you like the recipe. When you make rye, remember it is often at it's best 1-2 days after you bake it - the dough is so wet. Secondly, when you make buns of any kind, you want to put the heat right up so that they cook through and go brown quickly - giving you a nice crust that is thin and provides a good look and a good ratio between it and the "crumb" (the inside). So, I would bake the buns at 220 degrees for 20 minutes or so. They should sound hollow when you tap them. You can also use a probe thermometer and you want it to get to 98 degrees C inside your buns! Let me know!

  43. Alisa

    05. Dec, 2013

    Hi Jane. No need to apologize for the delay in responding. You answered all my questions on another page from this blog:

    I have learned from your wonderful advice to bake rolls at a high temperature of 220 C but it seems that 20 minutes is not enough. I bake them for 35 minutes in a cold(not preheated) convection oven.
    The finished product is delicious

    Thank you & Happy Holidays !!

  44. Allie

    02. Jan, 2014

    I tried the rye bread recipe twice, the first time it didn't rise at all, so I increased the water and this time it did rise. The problem is it didn't cook in the center. I was wondering if you have any suggestions.

  45. Allie

    04. Jan, 2014

    I have tried the bread recipe twice and the first time it didn't rise. I followed suggestions in previous postings and added more water and the center didn't cook. Any suggestions?

  46. virtuousbread

    04. Jan, 2014

    Dear Allie

    Firstly, I am glad your bread rose. !/2 way there. Now, to baking - do you know if your oven is up to temperature? Often ovens are off by 5-10 degrees and this makes a huge difference. Borrow or buy and oven thermometer and have a check. If it is off, get the engineer to calibrate it. If it is on and you know your bread is not baking through, simply bake it for longer next time. If it gets too brown, cover it with foil or grease proof paper. Another 10 minutes should do the trick!

  47. Allie

    04. Jan, 2014

    Thanks I will give it a try, sorry about the two comments. I was having computer problems and the first didn't show until I added the second.

  48. evie

    18. Feb, 2014

    I went ahead and attempted this bread. The first time it didn't rise but the taste was good. The second time I added more water. After baking, however, it sunk a little in the middle and was much more gummy inside. (I couldn't wait to slice it but I did wait until it was cooled down.) It was still flat but a little taller (1.5 inches). I am wondering how to get that "domed" shape of the bread in your picture; I am also wondering if I put too much water the second time. The second time I tried to aim for a "gluten free" bread consistency where it is easy to stir the ingredients together, but not wet enough to pour. Is this too much water? I am dying to understand the perfect consistency of the dough so I can make a loaf that looks like yours! And I wish it has a rounded top and not flat or sunken in like mine! I cannot eat wheat either, and I wish I can master this recipe so I can have it the rest of my life!

  49. virtuousbread

    19. Feb, 2014

    Hi there, please keep persevering. Rye needs to be wet but NOT as wet as gluten free. You should be able to pick it up. If you make it too wet by accident, bake it at 180 degrees for about an hour or it will not cook through before it burns. As re "domed" that is a fluke of the camera. Rye gluten is not stretchy and rye will never dome like wheat. It's flat on the top - truly! And remember - it's best on day 2. Just be patient....let me know how it goes!

  50. evie

    20. Feb, 2014

    Hi, thanks so much for the reply. I tried again today, but it didn't rise. ( I did switch a brand of flours) I am going to try to add some sweeteners next time perhaps that would help. Would something more sour/acidic besides water work better? I noticed that you baked with wine! Can I add some vinegar? I am totally new to baking so I have no idea! I tried baking gluten free and nothing ever came out except one bread loaf but it was full of starches and xanthan gum which give me problems. I have one more question, if after stirring the mixture together to form a dough, I realize that the dough is too stiff, do I just pour water over the dough? I find it hard to evenly distribute the extra water I am adding when it is already stirred into a lump. Can I knead it a TINY bit? I will keep trying, hopefully I will finally get this. Thanks so much for your help.

  51. Peggy

    14. Mar, 2014

    Help. Ok I have tried this twice. Both times the bread rose to the top of the bread pan however upon baking it seems to flop.

    What am I doing wrong? Argh.

  52. virtuousbread

    14. Mar, 2014

    OK - hmmm.....when you cut into your bread is the crust intact and then there is a gap beneath the crust and then there is the rest of the crumb (the insidey bit?). Does a cross section look like that? It sounds as if you are actually letting it rise for too long! It can be tricky to judge any bread - over rising results in the bread collapsing either before it goes in the oven or actually in the oven because it's not always easy to spot. Under rising leads to the bread splitting and being rather denser than it should be. Try this: cover the dough (in the tin) and put it in the fridge over night. Turn on the oven and put the dough straight in the oven from the tin. Have a good look at it before you put it in and if the bread is perfect you know what it "should" look like. Even photograph it so you can compare! Let me know how you get on!

  53. dan

    22. Mar, 2014

    hi just made dark rye bread with sun flower seeds very delicious

  54. Maureen

    09. Apr, 2014

    I can't wait to try this recipe. It's just what I have been looking for. An aside: did Peter ever live in Whistler BC. He looks familiar.

  55. virtuousbread

    09. Apr, 2014

    Dear Maureen, let me know how it goes and no, I don't think Pete ever lived in BC!

  56. Zach

    15. Apr, 2014

    Can I use beer in place of water? ( at room temp )
    Thought it would maybe improve the flavor and come out with a distinct taste. Let me know if this would work.
    I am trying to make wheat free bread and I hope this will work to give me something to make a sandwich with.

  57. Zach

    15. Apr, 2014

    You won't have to knead it but give it some welly in order to ensure your yeast and salt are evenly mixed in.

    what do you mean by welly ?

  58. virtuousbread

    16. Apr, 2014

    yes you can use beer!

  59. virtuousbread

    16. Apr, 2014

    sorry! it means you need to make an effort!

  60. Marcel

    18. May, 2014

    Hi. I live in Belgium and I have bought some wholegrain rye flour (type 130) from a local organic shop.

    The rye originates from France. Would you know if this is the same as UK rye or is it more like the American variety (i.e. needing more water).

    Just before I found this site, I tried to make some bread using the standard quantities of 500gr flour (rye) and 300ml water, but the dough is very heavy, not at all sticky as you describe, hence my question.

    Thanks in adavance

  61. S. David Pullara

    19. May, 2014

    Thank you for this simple recipe! I've been making it for a few months now using Bob's Red Mill Dark Rye Flour and it's been delicious, even when didn't turn out quite right. It doesn't rise as much as in the photo but I suspect it's because it's dark rye. So I've been making slightly larger loaves, yesterday making one using 50% more ingredients and it turned out well. I typically add 40g of ground flaxseeds and 3-4 tbsp blackstrap molasses, which imparts a yummy flavor.

    As mentioned, the amount of water is critical to how it will turn out. With my early loaves the bread rose but then fell to half its size when taken out of the oven, while others didn't rise at all. I think this was because the dough was too wet or too dry, respectively, and at first I missed the part about using *warm* water.

  62. virtuousbread

    21. May, 2014

    I am so pleased you like it! There is a knack to making rye and it's all in the texture - thank you for persevering because it is SUCH good bread (and lasts a long time). We always have some in the house (and freezer!). Thank you for writing. Jane

  63. virtuousbread

    21. May, 2014

    Hi there, with rye, I would not stick to any standard!!! Different flour is simply different! I would use much more than 300 g water for 500 g flour. Keep adding water until you have a VERY soft dough - so soft that you can hardly pick it up. Even if you have to scrape it into the tin, it will rise and make good bread (but if it's that soft, bake it more like a cake - at 180 degrees C for about an hour. The point is there is no standard. More water (within reason) will make much nicer, softer, less brick like rye. And remember because the dough it so wet, the bread is damp. Best leave it for 24-48 hours before you cut into it! Jane

  64. Marcel

    22. May, 2014

    Hi. I tried another loaf with more water and it came out much better, thanks.

    Next time, I will make it even more "sticky"

  65. Sophie

    17. Jun, 2014

    I tried this and it came out simply lovely! At first I thought the dough was way too wet and muddy so I added some more and more rye flour (yes, I don't have a weighing machine :) .
    What a success. Thanks a lot for the nice recipe. 100% rye bread. Simple and yummy.

  66. Diane

    04. Jul, 2014

    Hi. I haven't made this bread yet, but plan to. My question is, what about making it sourdough? Would I just add starter and decrease the amount of water? Or will it not work sourdough?

  67. virtuousbread

    04. Jul, 2014

    it absolutely works with sourdough. I use 160 g of refreshed rye sourdough starter, 240 g rye flour, 140 g water (plus more if necessary) and 5 g salt! Bake at 230 for 10 mins and 200 for 30. Wait 1-2 days to eat. yum.

  68. Ruth

    07. Jul, 2014

    Thank you for your recipe, however, there has to be some measurement issues here, I followed your recipe step by step, excited because it is 100% rye and no other flours! the consistency of porridge continues the length of the entire recipe! it's so watery that will not hold shape or rise at all...
    I'm so disappointed, I am hoping to see photos on the stages of this bread, perhaps I can see what to look for.
    Your bread looks fantastic, is that double the recipe?

  69. virtuousbread

    11. Jul, 2014

    Hi there

    Hm...sorry to hear you got porridge so I have to ask - are you sure you are measuring correctly? Are you scales accurate? I weigh everything on a digital scale...Sorry, had to ask. I ask because I find I always have to add more water to my dough - certainly I never need to cut back. The loaf in the photo is exactly the recipe as written - it's a 550 (or so) gram loaf. Have a read here: http://www.virtuousbread.com/bread-and-conversation/easy-recipe-for-rye-bread-part-2/ and reference the earlier post too (you will see the link in the post I sent you above). I hope they help!

  70. Matthias

    29. Jul, 2014

    the bread looks absolutely amazing and I am very keen to try to make this bread myself. The bakeries here do not sell 100% rye (closest I found was 95%) so home-made it is! I do like to know if this bread can be made by just forming a roll or clump with the dough and putting it in the oven, as I do not have a bread-shaped tin, or would you recommend getting one?

  71. virtuousbread

    29. Jul, 2014

    Hi there

    sadly with 100% rye you need to put it in something to rise! the gluten is very weak and it won't hold it's shape otherwise. You will get very flat, very dense pancakes!

  72. Susan

    21. Aug, 2014

    Hi there, I'm interested in trying this recipe. Please can you advise 4 things? 1 - Is this recipe good for people that normally suffer from bloatedness after eating bread (wheat intolerance)? 2 - Do you know the gas mark of the oven for 200 degrees C? My oven works on gas mark 1 to gas mark 9. 3 - While waiting for the second day to eat the bread, do you wrap it in foil? 4 - How long will the bread last when it's been cut into (2, 3, 5 days)? Sorry for so many questions and thanks in advance for your response.

  73. virtuousbread

    21. Aug, 2014

    Hi there, here are the answers!

    1. yes
    2. I do not, but I am sure google can tell yoU!
    3. Let the bread cool and I just wrap it in a tea towel and put it in a bread crock
    4. 4-5 days and it's still great!

  74. Ssplash

    01. Sep, 2014

    Hi, I made the bread and it looks great. Thank you so much for the recipe. I also have a few questions :)

    1. The taste is a bit too bitter though, and I'm used to rye bread and its different varieties as it's the only bread I eat. Do you have any suggestions? I let it rise 3 hours and then put it in the fridge overnight. Could it be the amount of time rising?

    2. Also, would increasing the amount of flour increase the amount of all the other ingredients proportionally ? What about baking time? How long for say 500gr of flour?

    3. If we wait for that day or two before eating it, what's the best way to keep it? Wrapped up in a cloth, in the fridge or in cling film? Thank you so much. You've made my day!

  75. Ssplash

    01. Sep, 2014

    About the questions above, I forgot to say that the flour is dark rye flour and the yeast is fresh. Thank you!

  76. virtuousbread

    01. Sep, 2014

    Hi there

    I am glad you liked it. Here are your answers:

    1. I don't think the bitterness is from the rising. I think it is the flour. Rye, like all flour, varies enormously in flavour. Try a couple of different brands until you find one you like.
    2. Indeed, increase proportionally. Baking time is more or less the same because the loaf does kind of begin to bake itself. However, if it feels too soft and squashy, leave it in the oven for a little longer

    3. I wrap mine in a cloth and put it in a bread tin. I never refrigerate it but when I bake I usually bake 6 or so at a time and freeze them when they are entirely cool. They freeze beautifully!

    I am so glad I made your day! Thank you for writing. Jane

  77. Ssplash

    01. Sep, 2014

    Thank you, Jane. This is really helpful :) Cheers

  78. virtuousbread

    01. Sep, 2014


  79. Ewout Arentsen

    05. Sep, 2014

    Thanks for the amazing recipe! Just working on my 3rd loaf and really enjoying them!

    Might you have some advice for additives to add to the bread, that work well with rye? Like spices?

  80. virtuousbread

    05. Sep, 2014

    So pleased you like it! Try adding a teaspoon of ground coriander or cinnamon or a half teaspoon of ground cumin or cardamom. Whole cumin seeds or caraway or fennel seeds are also lovely!

  81. Jigger

    07. Sep, 2014

    Hi, I noticed a lot of people commenting on the fact that their bread did not cook on the inside, just wanted to make sure that you are cooking it at 250 Celsius which is 480 Fahrenheit, or 500 is close enough till the top is nice and brown - about a half hour, then you can lower the heat to about 200 Celsius which is about 400 Fahrenheit for another 10-15 minutes this should cook your brad and it should crack on the top, let it sit till the next day for best results

  82. Brian

    28. Sep, 2014

    1) Your recipe is fantastic... simple and to the point. I have used it a few times, multiplied the quantities, added carraway for flavour, sunflower and flax seeds and will continue to play around with this recipe.
    2) A sliced loaf has been in my freezer for almost a week- will check it out sometime.
    3) It's a mystery to me how the dough rises without added sugar.
    4) With one exception, my breads are straight topped-> the exception was a hill, similar to your illustration.
    5) Like other people, I found the bread to be too wet, so have adjusted baking time to an hour, then let the bread rest for another 15 minutes to 'dry'.
    6) The doughs I have made till now, have been very sticky , so have been baked in metal forms lined with paper. My next experiment will be to add more rye flour, for a firmer dough which can be shaped.
    7) Members of my [retirees] club loved the bread ... I will give them the recipe [translated into Hebrew] with a link to this site.

  83. virtuousbread

    30. Sep, 2014

    Hello Brian! Thank you for your comment. I am so pleased you like it. As re your Q3, bread does not need sugar to rise. The yeast eats the sugars in the flour. Additional sugar is not necessary and that is great news for people who are watching their sugar intake. But when you buy bread, read the label or ask the baker. Good bread for everyday eating just does not have sugar! Celebration bread, of course, usually does (along with enriching items like eggs and milk and fat). 100% rye is mostly flat topped only because rye gluten is not stretchy so it won't usually dome the way bread with wheat (or other stretchy gluten grain flour) will dome. Be careful of adding more flour - you may get a brick. The feature of rye is the stickyiness. I usually let the loaves sit around for 2 days (wrapped in a cloth) before cutting them open. They settle and dry out a little. And I slice it really thinly too. I am so pleased you like it! Jane

  84. stephanie

    24. Oct, 2014

    Can't wait to try your recipe, can you make it into rolls?

  85. virtuousbread

    24. Oct, 2014

    Hi there, you can but it's a little trick because the dough is so soft. If you put a little bit (like 30-40%) wheat in the dough it is easier to shape into rolls. Or you can have kind of flattish "buns" that are super tasty but not round!

  86. Phoebe

    25. Oct, 2014

    Can you please post a picture of what the dough is supposed to look like? I tried this last night, and it rose well. I accidentally forgot about it and left it to rise overnight. When I baked it this morning, the outside was burning while the inside was still very wet. I'm not sure what kind of rye I used, I think it was light. I haven't tasted it yet.

  87. virtuousbread

    29. Oct, 2014

    Yes, next time I make it I will put a photo of the dough on the site! It could be, though, that your's just over rose. Try again and see!
    Also, check oven temp - a major culprit in bread drama!

  88. Neil

    04. Nov, 2014


    Thanks for the recipe. Like others who have commented I followed it to the letter, twice. I used digital scales also but on both occasions it came out with the middle undercooked and still doughy. The first time I don't think my oven was hot enough, I had it at 180 fan. But even after an hour of cooking I left it in for a further 15/20 mins and it was still the same. Second time round I put it up to 205 degrees C, and cooked for about an hour with the same result. I even left it a full day and it was still the same. The oven is 2 months old so it's definitely not that either. I thought I might have been using too much water but I stuck to 250ml. I used fast action yeast but still only used the 1.5g you suggested. Any ideas?

  89. Kris Hughes

    06. Nov, 2014

    Just a note to say that I tried the recipe Craig posted to this discussion in June 2013, and it is excellent! I was sceptical about the amount of oil in requires, but it helps the bread keep longer, and makes the rye dough nice and easy to deal with.

  90. virtuousbread

    08. Nov, 2014

    Hi there, I am sorry to hear that. Firstly, as it says in the recipe, don't even cut into it for 1 or 2 days. rye is good for 4-5 days. So, if you are cutting into it when it is fresh, that's a bad idea. Rye has to settle. If you have been waiting, you can try putting the bread in at 230 degrees for 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to 200 and bake for a further 30. Rye is not wheat however so don't expect it to be dry like wheat bread is! Any rye that you buy from a shop that is dry is probably a rye/wheat mix with very little rye. It's just different and you may not like it! Try the baking instructions and WAIT! let me know how it goes!

  91. Shery

    11. Nov, 2014

    I was so excited to find this recipe. I was recently diagnosed with a wheat allergy and desperately needed some real bread. Store bought "gluten free" is just not for me.

    I'm in the states and my first attempt converting the measurements was a flop. Bread deflated in oven. But not all was a loss because the flavor was great. The next day I purchased scales and proceeded just increasing the water to 300 g. Success!!! I can now have a fantastic alternative to wheat bread. Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!

  92. virtuousbread

    13. Nov, 2014

    Huzzah!!!!! So pleased. Thanks for letting us know. I love rye bread too. I think it is my very favourite. My VERY FAVOURITE rye is with fennel seeds and raisins. YUM/

  93. Fred Kopfler

    25. Nov, 2014

    This recipe was just what I was looking for -- 100% rye. My first try was a flop, but we are eating it anyway. The loaf did not rise. I used 3 cups of Hodgson Mill whole grain rye flour. I used a packet of Fleischmann's RapidRise Instant Yeast. I added half a cup of water with the yeast. Then another half cup with the 1 tsp. salt. This did not seem to be enough water since there was still some dry flour. I added another half cup and got a good dough, but it did not stick to the bowl, but came away cleanly. It did not rise in 2 hours in a warm room. I baked it anyway and it is soft and doughy in the center and the crust -- top and bottom -- is hard as a rock. The yeast was active because before adding the second cup water the initial water and yeast in the well in the flour had foamed up. Any suggestions of what I can try?

  94. virtuousbread

    26. Nov, 2014

    Dear Fred

    thanks for this. OK, a couple of things:

    1. Can you get any other brand of rye flour. I particualrly don't like Hodgson Mill. For some reason, the bread is always really sticky on the inside and it is REALLY dry. If you can try a different brand, I think you will find a difference.

    2. If it did not rise, just leave it longer - seriously

    3. If it is wetter, it will rise more - you should have to scrape it off the side of the bowl. Clean = too dry

    4. Do proof the instant (rapidrise) yeast when you are baking rye - for a good 10 minutes to get it really active

    Let me know!

  95. Kayla

    03. Dec, 2014

    Could I make this recipe in a bread machine?

  96. virtuousbread

    12. Dec, 2014

    I am not sure - never tried it. WOrth a try?!

  97. Ellen

    29. Dec, 2014

    We have rye berries we grew ourselves, in Portland, Oregon, and found your recipe when looking for ways to use them. We tested the recipe by making a 1/3 sized loaf in a fruitcake pan. We ground 1 cup flour (100 g) from whole berries using our burr coffee grinder on extra fine. We used 1 g dry yeast. Thank you for so vividly describing what the dough should look like, as I kept adding water until the dough turned sticky. We used 125 g water total. The dough filled the pan about halfway. It rose for 3 1/2 hours and got up to the top of the pan. We baked it at 400F for 30 minutes, removed it from the pan and baked 10 minutes more. Waited one day to eat any. Perfect! We'll definitely try this again with a full sized loaf, if we have enough rye.

  98. virtuousbread

    05. Jan, 2015

    Thank you SO MUCH for this. I love your message and am SO THRILLED that your bread turned out so well. I love the fact that you grow rye berries. I am living in Mexico City at the moment and the rye is diabolical. I have to buy a dreadful US brand (there is no mexican rye) and every time it is disappointing. Sigh. I miss good flour! Have a great time baking, Jane

  99. Sarah

    13. Jan, 2015

    Hearing so much about the difference in quality between UK rye and American rye, I'm wondering if anyone CAN recommend a brand of rye I they like in the U.S. I've seen and know of Bob's Red Mill and Arrowhead Mills [this is the one I've tried a few times - it doesn't have great rise, but I don't mind the flavor, etc.]. Any other recommendations?

  100. Frances

    23. Feb, 2015

    This is the best bread I have ever made or eaten. I am besotted by it! It is made even better by the fact that we have bought a milling machine (from Germany) and now mill our own rye grains. So the bread is extra fresh and 'singing'. Thank you for putting this online!

  101. virtuousbread

    24. Feb, 2015

    I am so pleased!!! Thank you for your message.

  102. Jules

    01. Mar, 2015

    I substituted half the rye flour for seeded and granary flour and I must say It came out beautifully - if a bit flat (I think my bread tin was a bit big!). And it was thoroughly delicious - couldn't wait 2 days to cut into it though! It was gone in a couple of hours! Thankyou for such a simple recipe :-)

  103. Jardine

    02. Mar, 2015

    I am in my 80s and this is the first time I have managed to make any, ANY, yeast bread successfully. Soda bread I can do but yeast... ?

    What a great recipe!

  104. virtuousbread

    03. Mar, 2015

    Terrific! I am so pleased to hear that. I just love that recipe too!

  105. virtuousbread

    03. Mar, 2015

    I am so delighted!!!!!!!!!

  106. Sophie

    24. Mar, 2015


    I tried this recipe last night, it only seemed to rise maybe 2cm over 3 hours, so not to the top of the pan, and i'd put oats on the to to stop the dough sticking to the smallish bag (which it didnt even get close to!) i'd used to cover, so couldnt see the small holes you mentioned in the recipe, luckly my other half is an ex baker so was able to tell me by sight and by proding it slightly!
    It seemed to bake nicely and the crust is lovely! but its really soft inside, have i just been too eager and cut into it too soon??(did that this morning while leaving to cool overnight) or does it need a longer bake?? (bits of the inside rolls into little balls as I cut it!)
    Due to a wheat intolarence this recipie is awsome for me! so glad i found this website!!
    As a first attempt at baking bread i'm fairly pleased, i just did a plain one as the recipe said and its seems a bit bland so maybe ill experiment a bit next time!!

  107. virtuousbread

    24. Mar, 2015

    Hi Sophie, how lovely to hear from you. Sometimes rye can take as much as 5 hours to rise so just be patient and let it do its thing. Or pop it in the fridge for 8 hours or so (all day or overnight). Rye does get gummy, partly because that is it's nature (the enzymes in the rye are different from that in wheat) and so either leave it for 2 days before cutting into it (that's what I do) or if you found yours is a little too "wet" bake it for a little longer - say another 10 minutes, covering the top if it's getting too brown. I am so pleased you like it! And remember if you have properly made bread with wheat you should not get a tummy ache. Make sure the wheat bread is made with excellent quality stone ground flour and that it rises for at least 3 hours (two hours first rise, 1 hour second rise) so use very little yeast! That way the gluten is all chewed up and easy to digest. Having said that, my fave IS rye but wheat sometimes makes a nice change!

  108. Patricia Wallner

    25. Mar, 2015

    I have been baking with sour dough starter for several months now, it's amazing. So far I've only tried 1/2 spelt and 1/2 rye flour bread but I want to try pure rye flour. I noticed that you mentioned 160gr refreshed starter to 240 gr. rye flour which is much more starter than I've used with the 1/2 spelt bread. Does rye take more starter? Can't wait to try it!

  109. virtuousbread

    25. Mar, 2015

    Dear Patricia

    Sadly there is no easy answer to that: it just depends what recipe you are using. The main point is that there is a trade off between the amount of starter you use and its performance. Starter is great - it contains very well fermented flour which is easy to digest. If you could make a bread just out of starter that would be marvellous. Too much starter = poor performance. Too little starter = poor performance. Rye can take more starter than wheat because rye is a different grain with different enzymes. However, if you tried to make a wheat loaf with that much starter it would possibly pretty ugly and because that is a wee bit too much starter for wheat. Have a look here to read more and let us know how you like the recipe! http://www.virtuousbread.com/bread-and-conversation/how-do-i-use-my-refreshed-sourdough/


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