As you develop bread-baking skills, don’t pass on rye bread recipes. This grain offers a big helping of nutrients and the tangy flavor can be a welcome change from either white bread or other whole grains.
According to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, their study found that “eating rye leads to better blood-sugar control compared to wheat. Rye bread is packed with magnesium, which helps control blood pressure and optimize heart health.” This grain’s high levels of soluble fiber can also reduce cholesterol.
A word of advice: don’t make 100% rye bread unless you want STRONG flavor. Rye also has less gluten than wheat, so it won’t raise as readily as wheat bread.
This recipe makes either one large loaf or two smaller ones. If you make one loaf, use a 9×5 loaf pan. Otherwise, you can divide the dough (2/3 and 1/3) and use an 8.5×4.5 loaf plan plus a mini loaf pan. You could also use 2/3 of the dough for a loaf and the other 1/3 to make rolls. All tasty!
2– to 3-quart mixing bowl
2-cup measuring utensil
Measuring cups, from ¼-cup size on up to 1-cup
Whisk or fork
Butter, oil or no-stick spray to coat bread pan
1 ¼ cups water, ranging from 105 to 110 degrees
1 ½ teaspoons yeast
¼ cup brown sugar
1 Tablespoon gluten (optional)
2 1/4 – 2 ½ cups 100% white wheat flour (red wheat will produce a coarser loaf)
1 ¾ cup 100% rye flour
1 ½ teaspoons salt (I recommend Himalayan pink salt)
2 Tablespoons of melted butter or oil
2 Tablespoons molasses
If necessary (typically during the winter months), use hot tap water to heat your measuring utensil and bread machine canister before preparing your bread dough. This usually takes just a few minutes once the hot water is placed in the utensil. Pour the water out before measuring your ingredients.
Place 1 ¼ cups of hot tap water in 2-cup measuring utensil. Add the sugar and stir it thoroughly to blend it with the water. Check the water’s temperature. If it’s below 105 degrees (Fahrenheit), warm 1 or 2 Tablespoons of the liquid on your stove top to boost the yeast mixture’s overall temperature (105-110 degrees); if too hot, allow it to cool for a few minutes. Once the mixture is within the desired temperature range, add the yeast and stir to dissolve it.
Allow the yeast mixture to rest for about 3 minutes. It will form a foamy “head” to indicate that the yeast is activated.
While you wait for the yeast, blend dry ingredients. In a large mixing bowl, measure flour, gluten and salt. Sift the ingredients together using a whisk or a fork.
If using butter, melt it slightly or cut into small pieces so it blends thoroughly with your dough.
Once your yeast mixture is ready, pour out the water used to heat the bread machine canister. Carefully pour the yeast mixture into the pan, using a spatula to clear the measuring cup. Carefully add the flour mixture to the canister. Pour the oil or softened/chopped butter and the molasses on top of the flour. Select your machine settings and start the mixing/kneading process.
My bread machine completes a cycle of mix/knead (10-18 minutes), rest (20 minutes), mix/knead (10-18 minutes). Observe the dough as it mixes. It should pull away from the side of the canister and form a ball. If it doesn’t, it’s too sticky. Add flour 1-2 Tablespoons at a time until it forms a ball.
Before the last part of the dough cycle completes, prepare your bread pan. If necessary, warm the pan before coating it (spraying with non-stick product, insert parchment, etc.).
Once the dough cycle is completed, gently place the dough into the coated bread pan, cover it and place it in a warm area (I use my oven, which I heat to close to as warm as 120 degrees). It will take 30-45 minutes for the dough to raise.
Once the dough is raised, place it in a pre-heated 350-degree (Fahrenheit) oven to bake for 30-45 minutes or until the crust is nicely browned. Remove from the oven and immediately place on a cooling rack. Try to give it some time to cool before you cut any slices!
Once it’s completely cooled, store the bread in a plastic bag. In summer, home-made bread quickly spoils and should be refrigerated once it’s cooled.