Old Fashioned Rye Bread

This isn’t a bread machine recipe nor is it batter bread. While the recipe is time consuming to make the results are excellent, some of the best rye bread you will ever bake. Sliced rye bread is good for almost any type of sandwich, excellent toasted with cream cheese spread on it or buttered and eaten with homemade cheese soup. Grilled cheese sandwiches made from it are amazing. The dough can also be formed into sandwich or hamburger buns.

Rye bread was a staple in Europe from the middle ages on because rye was one of the grain crops that grew well in the northern, colder areas. When the Danes and Saxons settled in England they introduced rye. Some rye breads, such as pumpernickel, contain no wheat flour, and must be baked very slowly. The results produce dense bread that hasn’t risen. The addition of wheat flour with the rye flour in the dough allows the loaf to rise.

The following recipe is American rye bread. It is not as dark or dense as European style rye breads. The molasses adds color and sweetness. Caraway seeds are traditional in many rye breads but can be omitted.

A batter rye bread recipe can be found on my blog at https://dwittopinions.wordpress.com/2012/04/27/rye-bread-recipe/.


  • 2 packages of dry yeast (2 ¼ teaspoon per package)
  • 2 ½ cups of very warm water (about 105 degrees F.)
  • ¼ cup of molasses
  • 4 teaspoons of salt
  • 2 tablespoon of shortening
  • 2 ½ cups of rye flour
  • 1 tablespoon of caraway seeds
  • 5 ½ cups of all purpose flour


Heat the oven to 400 degrees F., 20 minutes before baking the loaves. Butter cookie sheet

Sprinkle yeast into 1/4 cup very warm water, stir in 1 teaspoon of molasses. Stir until the yeast dissolves. Let stand, undisturbed in a warm place free of drafts, until bubbly and double in volume, about 10 minutes.

Combine remaining water and molasses with salt and shortening in large bowl.  Stir in yeast mixture, rye flour and seeds.  Add enough flour to form soft dough.

Turn the dough out on a floured surface.  Knead until smooth and elastic, adding flour to keep it from sticking.  Place the dough in a large buttered bowl, turn to butter the top of dough. Cover and rise 1 hour in a warm place free from drafts or until double in size.

Butter large cookie sheet, sprinkle with cornmeal.

Punch dough down, turn out on to a floured surface.  Knead a few times and let rest 10 minutes.  Divide dough in half.  Knead each half.  Shape into loafs and place at least 4″ apart on sheet. Shape into rounds or long loaves.

Let the loaves rise again in a warm place.  About 45 minutes.  Brush the tops with water.  Bake in 400 degree oven 35 minutes or until browned and hollow sounding when tapped.


If you want darker bread add some cocoa or instant coffee to the dough.

Diced and sautéed onions can be added instead of the caraway seeds.

You can bake the loaves in standard well greased loaf pans.

Like all bread doughs the forms it can take are only limited by your imagination.


About dwittopinions

A great grandmother living in the middle of the United States. My interests include art, needlework, reading, history, politics, and cooking.
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