How To Make a Hearty Rye Bread Recipe (Bread Machine)

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Sneak Peek: Learn how to make a Hearty Rye Bread recipe that lets your bread machine do the hard work of mixing and kneading. Shape by hand and bake the loaf in your oven to ensure a predictable outcome.

hearty rye bread--slicedPin

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One of my readers taking my FREE bread machine email course asked for a dense rye bread recipe at her husband’s request.

Five Reasons To Make This Hearty Bread

  1. Dense and sturdy by design
  2. Perfect for sandwiches or toast
  3. Caraway seeds are optional
  4. Slightly chewy glazed crust
  5. Bake in your conventional oven after kneading in a bread machine

HEADS UP! Start this recipe the day before you want to bake it. The extra time equals more flavor.

Happy Bakers Speak Up

“First time trying this rye bread, followed the recipe but left out the caraway seed as I don’t like them, turned out phenomenal. I did take the bread course first so I understood better what to expect and check. Absolutely will be adding this to my regular bread making. Love it. ” —JACQUELINE

Recipe Inspiration

Since I didn’t have one, I started experimenting with rye bread with the same enthusiasm my young grandson displayed after discovering he could turn lights off and on.

With the pandemic in full swing, regular flour, not to mention rye flour, was scarce. So, this project was challenging and expensive.

Finally, after too many tunnels and ugly cracks, I found a winner with the side benefit of lots of tasty toasted cheese-on-rye-bread sandwiches. I hope my reader’s husband likes this bread and that you will, too, when you have time to try it.

Three Requirements for This Rye Bread

This recipe solved three of my biggest challenges with rye bread. First, I couldn’t be happy until I could bake a loaf that would satisfy these requirements.

1. A dense but consistently fine texture without a lot of holes or tunnels

2. A loaf that wouldn’t burst or crack in an irregular pattern on top despite deep slashes before baking

3. A round loaf or boule that bakes up high enough to make nice slices for sandwiches

Please keep reading to find out my solutions to these challenges.

But first, let’s talk about rye flour and what makes it different from wheat flour.

Seven Characteristics You need to know about rye flour

  1. It’s high in fiber.

One slice of rye bread itself has about two grams of fiber, which is not too shabby for bread. “Its high-fiber content makes it a heart-healthy grain good for lowering blood pressure and cholesterol,” Sussi says. “Its slow transit time [in your digestive system] and ability to be only partially digested is beneficial for gut health.”

2. Rye flour prolongs freshness. A homemade loaf of rye bread will stay fresh for about three days. I’ve read that European bakers used to add small amounts of rye flour to many of their loaves simply as a preservative. Bread made with 100% rye flour will reportedly keep for weeks.

3. Rye is not gluten-free. Rye flour is high in gliadin but low in glutenin, so it has a lower gluten content than wheat flour. However, it also contains a higher proportion of soluble fiber, which will impact any bread that contains rye flour.

4. Rye bread dough spreads horizontally as it rises instead of vertically. While the flat shape doesn’t affect the taste, it won’t make for a great sandwich shape or a pretty loaf. The higher the percentage of rye flour in your recipe, the more it will spread.

5. Rye flour makes bread dough sticky, so a bread machine is ideal for mixing this recipe.

rye dough mixing inside of the bread machinePin

“Because of the sap-like gum that appears naturally in rye, and because of its water-binding capacity, rye doughs will always feel moist and sticky when you test them with your finger. This makes it easy to add too much flour during kneading, so be careful not to add more than a tablespoon or two more than the measurement given in the recipe.

The Bread Lover’s Bread Machine CookbookBeth Hensberger
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6. The center of the bread should reach 200˚-207˚F (93˚C) when baked. Use a quick-read thermometer, if possible. Baking rye bread thoroughly is crucial. If you don’t check and take it out too soon, your bread will likely be doughy and sticky in the middle.

7. Allow plenty of time for rye bread to cool before slicing or wrapping it. Allow more time for rye bread because of its high moisture content. Cool for at least one hour. Some say three hours.

three Solutions to common problems with rye bread

1. How can I avoid getting holes and tunnels in my rye bread?

Use a bread machine to mix and knead the dough. You don’t have to worry about over-kneading, which is easy to do with a stand mixer. You also don’t have to worry about under-kneading, which is tempting when doing it by hand.

using hands to press out the doughPin

As you press the dough into a flat circle, before forming the dough into a ball, first press all the air bubbles out. This process is more straightforward if you let the dough rest for 10-15 minutes after taking it from the bread machine.

2. How do I keep free-form rye bread from flattening out while baking?

rye bread shown after second rising in a small OXO mixing bowl--done to reduce the possibility of blow-outsPin

Use a container like a mixing bowl or round casserole dish with steep sides to force the dough to rise upward during the second rise instead of spreading outward. You could call it “Paula’s modified version of a proofing basket or banneton.”

When you dump the dough onto your prepared baking sheet before baking, use your hands to push the dough to the middle and upward. (See video.)

Quickly slash the loaf on top. Then, immediately place the prepared loaf into your preheated oven before it has time to spread out.

3. How do I keep rye bread from cracking unpredictably on top?

Even though I slashed the top of my rye bread with a sharp knife, many loaves would crack and “burst out” in other places while baking. It must be a common problem because I see it in many pictures of rye bread online.

The solution:

When using a proofing basket, banneton, or steep-sided bowl for the second rise (as seen above), place the bread dough ball into the bowl with the smooth part of the dough on the bottom.

dough in a 2 qt pyrex pitcher during 2nd rise--smooth side is downPin
When using a proofing basket, banneton, or steep-sided bowl for the second rise (as seen above), place the bread dough ball into the bowl with the smooth part of the dough on the bottom.
dough after it is turned out of the bowl.Pin
The dough that was previously at the bottom of the bowl is smooth.

Use olive oil to lubricate a glass or plastic bowl so the dough can slide out on its own. It’s less of a floury mess than a banneton and gives the crust a wonderful flavor and sheen.

When the dough has doubled in size, turn the bowl over and let the bread fall onto the cookie sheet. If it won’t slide out, use a skinny spatula to loosen it on the sides. (Use more oil next time, and make sure you don’t miss any spots.)

Now, the dough ball will be smooth on top, like in the picture above. Next, make decorative cuts with a sharp knife or lame to help steam escape and give your bread some expansion cracks.

If you are unclear about how to do this, watch the video.

Ingredients and Substitutions

ingredients needed for rye breadPin
  • WATER: Use spring water if you have it. Otherwise, tap water is fine. I do not heat the water in this recipe. Cool water (not ice cold) is the best. Heating the water is unnecessary, as we do not need to dissolve the yeast.
  • MOLASSES: Molasses is traditional in rye bread and adds an essential dimension to the flavor. However, it is optional in this recipe. Leave it out or substitute two teaspoons of sugar.
  • SALT: I use table salt or sea salt, sometimes Kosher salt. If using Kosher salt, increase the amount by 1/4 teaspoon.
  • RYE FLOUR: I chose Stone-ground dark rye flour for this recipe for a not-so-scientific reason. It was available. Light or medium rye flour will probably work, too, but I have not tested them.
  • ALL-PURPOSE FLOUR: I chose all-purpose flour since my marching orders were for a dense loaf. Typically, I use unbleached flour, but the last time I bought some (pandemic in progress), I could only find bleached flour. It worked fine.
    If you prefer, you can use bread flour for a slightly lighter texture.
  • CARAWAY SEEDS: Caraway seeds are another traditional but optional addition. Interesting fact: In the United States, bread labeled as “rye” nearly always contains caraway unless explicitly labeled as “unseeded.” If you don’t like caraway seeds, try making your own rye bread.
  • YEAST:  Instant or bread-machine yeast (same thing) does not need to be dissolved. I use it in all my bread machine recipes. You can now substitute active dry yeast without dissolving it first. Just be aware that the uptake may be a little slower, but it will get there. Allow more time for rising or use more yeast (at least 1/4 teaspoon more).

What equipment do I need?

Don’t get me wrong. You can make bread without these things. But they are an essential part of my arsenal. These tools are helpful, especially if you want to make bread following this recipe (and many other recipes on this website).

Note: You can see all of these things and more in my Amazon store. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

equipment need to make bread by this recipePin
  • BREAD MACHINE: I use the dough cycle in this recipe (and almost all of my bread recipes), so you don’t need a fancy machine.
    Note: I don’t recommend doubling this recipe. The dough is dense and sticky. A double recipe would likely over-stress your bread machine.
  • DIGITAL SCALES: Weighing the ingredients precisely, especially the flour, matters in your success with this recipe. If you don’t have scales, see this article about measuring with measuring cups. In short, don’t be a scooper.
  • SILICONE BAKING MAT: If you plan to make a lot of bread, getting some of these is a good idea. Use them to roll out the dough. They keep the floury mess in a tiny area. If you make a free-form loaf, like Ciabatta, you can leave the shaped dough on the mat (brush off extra flour) and transfer it to a baking sheet.
    • Clean-up is a breeze. Put the mat in your dishwasher or wipe it off with a wet cloth.
  • WATER SPRAY BOTTLE: Water is vital in this recipe. Instead of using flour to handle the stickiness, you will spray your mat or countertop with water and your hands. It works like magic.
    • No water sprayer? Set a water bowl next to your work area and sprinkle the water on the mat.
  • BENCH SCRAPER: This is a handy tool—especially for bread makers. Use it to manipulate your dough. Spray it with water just like you do your hands. These are available in plastic or metal with a nice grippy handle. The latter is my favorite.
  • 2-QUART MEASURING PITCHER: My secret for making a rye loaf that doesn’t burst on top is a glass or plastic bowl with at least 1 1/2 quarts of liquid. The straighter the sides, the better. Try a 2-quart batter bowl. My favorite is the smallest OXO plastic mixing bowl of the three-piece set.
  • A LAMÉ OR SHARP KNIFE: A lame is a unique tool designed to hold a razor blade. Use it to slash the top of an unbaked loaf. A sharp knife or a new single-blade razor will do the job.
  • FLAT COOKIE SHEET: Because this is a “free-form” bread, you will want a flat cookie sheet so it will brown evenly all over. If all your cookie sheets have rims, flip one over and use the bottom.
  • COOLING RACK: Rye bread requires a long cooling period. A cooling rack is a must to avoid a steamed bottom. If you are a baker, you will find many other uses for it.

Four Ways To Make a Rye Loaf with a Lighter Texture

  1. Use less rye flour compared to wheat flour. For example, if the recipe calls for 2 cups of bread flour and 1 cup of rye, decrease the rye flour to 1/2 cup and increase the bread flour by 1/2 cup.
  2. Use light rye flour instead of dark rye flour. Dark rye is whole-grain flour. Light rye does not contain bran or germ. It’s comparable to the difference between whole-grain wheat flour and white flour.
  3. Use bread flour instead of all-purpose flour. All-purpose flour generally contains less protein and less gluten than bread flour and whole-grain flour.
  4. Add vital wheat gluten for additional rising power. Start with two tablespoons to three cups of flour. You may have to add some water—start with one tablespoon at a time.
comparison of rye bread with gluten and without glutenPin
Left: Rye bread without gluten Right: Rye bread with gluten

Because I wanted a loaf of hearty and dense rye bread, I didn’t add any extra gluten.

How To Make and Shape a Hearty Rye Loaf

mixing the bigaPin
1. Combine water, rye flour, and yeast the day before.
bubbling biga the next morningPin
2. The biga should be bubbly the following day.
dough will be elastic but sticky when kneaded correctlyPin
3. After kneading, the dough will be elastic but sticky. Resist the temptation to add more flour.
perfectly kneaded rye breadPin
4. Let the dough finish rising until the end of the DOUGH cycle or when it has doubled in size.
transferring dough from bread machine to the wet work surfacePin
5. Wet your work surface and your hands. Remove dough from the pan onto a wet surface.
shaping dough into a ball.Pin
6. Knead dough into a ball. Let rest for 10 to 15 minutes. Then, use your fingertips to mash dough into a flat circle, pressing out all air bubbles as you go.
folding after pressing out the air bubblesPin
7. Fold the edges of the dough toward the center and press down to stick. Keep repeating this until you have a round ball.
dough ball is prepared for second risePin
8. Drop the rounded dough ball into a well-greased bowl with the smooth side down.
allowing the dough to risePin
9. Cover and allow to rise until double the original size. Preheat the oven to 425˚F.
inverting bowl of doughPin
10. Turn the bowl of risen dough upside down onto a prepared cookie sheet.
dough dropping out of proofing containerPin
11. Be patient and allow the dough to drop onto the baking sheet. Loosening the dough from the sides of the bowl with a thin spatula may help to release the dough.
using a serrated knife to make slitsPin
12. Make quick, sharp, deep slashes across the top of the loaf.
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13. Make sure the dough reaches 200˚F on an instant-read thermometer (paid link) before you pull the bread out of the oven.
Baked Rye bread cooling on a rackPin
14. After baking, move the baked rye bread to a wire rack for at least 1 hour before slicing.

Happy Bakers Speak Up

“Another winning recipe, thank you! Loaf turned out perfectly. thank you for including great step by step instructions to follow. Loaf is almost gone and searching for the next recipe to try.”LYNNE


FAQ about making this rye bread recipe

What is the best way to store this bread?

Freeze whatever bread you can’t eat in 4-5 days. I like to slice it first, put waxed paper or sandwich paper between each slice, then wrap it in plastic wrap. Drop the sliced loaf into a plastic bag to help prevent freezer bread.

Does rye bread always have caraway seed?

No. However, it is a popular and traditional addition to rye bread. One of the best reasons to make this bread yourself is so you can add as little or as much caraway seed as you like.

Parting Thoughts: If you are a novice baker, I hope you have beginner’s luck with this recipe. I would consider it an intermediate skill level for a home bread baker. If you want something super easy, try my Crusty French Bread. Cracked Wheat Berry Bread is a fun way to get more whole grains into your diet. It’s also a great one to share with neighbors and friends.

Recipe Help at Your Fingertips: For questions or suggestions, email Paula at If you need help, I’m happy to troubleshoot via email (faster than leaving a comment). Attach pictures and as many details as possible for the best advice.

Glazed bread machine rye loafPin
Yield: 10 slices

Hearty Bread Machine Rye Bread Recipe

This dense and hearty rye bread boule is flavored with molasses and caraway seed. Make a “sponge” the night before in your bread machine, then add the remaining ingredients the next day. This simple step will give you a better texture and more complex flavor.

Rate this recipe

(5 stars if you loved it)

5 from 32 votes


Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
Additional Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
Total time: 3 hours 15 minutes



  • cup (151 g) water, cool
  • ½ cup (53 g) dark rye flour
  • ¼ cup (30 g) all-purpose unbleached flour
  • 1 ¼ teaspoons instant or bread machine yeast


  • ½ cup + 1 tablespoon (128 g) water
  • 2 teaspoons molasses (not blackstrap)
  • ½ cup (53 g) rye flour
  • 2 cups (240 g) all-purpose unbleached flour
  • 2 teaspoons caraway seeds, optional
  • 1 ½ teaspoon table or sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil

Glaze (optional)

  • 1 large (50 g) egg


Mixing the sponge:

  • Add 2/3 cup (151 g) water, cool, 1/2 cup (53 g) dark rye flour, 1/4 cup (30 g) all-purpose unbleached flour, and 1 1/4 teaspoons instant or bread machine yeast to the bread machine pan in the order given.
  • Choose the DOUGH cycle. Let the sponge mix for about 5 minutes. Use a small spatula to clean the flour out of the corners. Unplug the machine and let sit overnight or for at least 10-12 hours.

Mixing the dough:

  • Add 1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon (128 g) water, 2 teaspoons molasses (not blackstrap)1/2 cup (53 g) rye flour, 2 cups (240 g) all-purpose unbleached flour, 2 teaspoons caraway seeds, optional, and 1 1/2 teaspoon (1 ½ teaspoon) table or sea salt, (but the olive oil) to the sponge you already mixed the day before. Select the DOUGH cycle. After about 5 minutes, add the olive oil.
  • When the DOUGH cycle completes, pull the rye bread dough out of the machine onto a surface you have sprayed with water. (I like to use a silicone baking sheet so I can also bake on it, then throw it into the dishwasher.)
  • Wet your hands and manipulate the dough to form a rough ball. Allow to rest for 5-10 minutes.
  • Press the dough into a large circle approximately 9-10 inches in diameter being careful to push out all the air bubbles.
  • Fold the edges to the middle and press to secure. Keep folding the dough toward the middle to make a tight ball.
  • Use 2 teaspoons olive oil to wholly and thoroughly coat the inside of a round (1 1/2 to 2-quart) container with high and steep sides. (More details are provided in the post.)
  • Place the ball of dough with the smooth side down into the oiled container.
  • Preheat your conventional oven to 425˚F(220˚C).
  • Cover loaf with a tea towel or a cheap plastic shower cap. Allow to rise until double the original size.
  • Prepare a cookie sheet by covering it with a silicone mat, a piece of parchment paper, or sprinkle it with semolina or finely-milled cornmeal.
  • Remove cover and use a thin spatula to carefully loosen dough from the edges of the bowl.
  • Carefully turn the bowl upside down and let bread gently fall onto a cookie sheet. The smooth side of the ball should now be showing.
  • (Optional) Whisk 1 large (50 g) egg in a small bowl. Use it to glaze the loaf. Sprinkle with Kosher salt. Work quickly so your loaf won’t have a chance to spread.
  • Make three to five slashes across the top with a clean single-edge razor blade or a very sharp knife. They should be at least 1/2-inch deep. Repeat the same slashes if necessary to make the slits deep enough.
  • Without delay, place bread into a hot oven before the dough has a chance to spread out. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until a quick-read thermometer reads 200˚F (93˚C) and the rye loaf is nicely browned.
  • Move the loaf to a cooling rack to cool for a minimum of 1 hour. Slicing into the loaf sooner can result in a gummy texture.


To bake in a pan:
Use a non-stick 8½ x 4½ inch loaf pan. Bake for 30 minutes at 350˚F.


Serving: 1 | Calories: 162kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 16mg | Sodium: 359mg | Potassium: 115mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 26IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 16mg | Iron: 2mg

All images and text ©️ Paula Rhodes for Salad in a

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    I had high hopes for this bread, and the final product totally exceeded all that I expected. I couldn’t believe that I made this, and eagerly began sharing slices of it with people! The molasses lends a rich flavor without pronounced sweetness, the crumb is close but light, the crust is show-stopping when scored and then given the egg wash. And the taste is divine! Hearty, moist, with an evident yet not overwhelming rye flavour. It smells great when it is cooking.
    After many repetitions of baking hard, flat, sourdough rye disks (the dogs love them as toys, but they are the only ones!), this is the loaf that I’ll be going back to when I want some rye. Thank you for a terrific recipe.

    1. Hi Jane,

      What a nice review. Made my day! Rye can be tricky, so I’m glad this recipe worked out for you.

  2. 5 stars
    I was reluctant to try a rye bread because they seemed so complicated but this recipe is so easy and delicious! I have made multiple times now and it turns out great, I cook it in a cast iron Dutch oven.

    1. Hi Janet,

      Thank you returning to leave a comment and 5-star rating. Rye can be tricky so congratulations on mastering that skill. I bet baking it in a Dutch oven made a beautiful crust.

  3. 5 stars
    Another winning recipe, thank you! Loaf turned out perfectly. thank you for including great step by step instructions to follow. Loaf is almost gone and searching for the next recipe to try.

    1. Hi Lynne,

      Thank you, thank you. I hope this comment will encourage others who haven’t tried this recipe yet.

  4. Randy Smith says:

    5 stars
    Hello Paula! Thanks so much for this wonderful recipe and ALL of your hard work. I would like to try baking the rye bread in a loaf pan. Should I let the dough rise in my 2-QUART MEASURING PITCHER as per the recipe or should I let it rise in my loaf pan?

    1. Thank you for your kind words, Randy. Let the dough rise in the loaf pan. Good question.

  5. Daina Janitis says:

    5 stars
    I’ve tried almost every one of your 66 recipes, I think, and with double-bladed bread machine I got at an auction, they’re turning out even better. The rye, though, is something that tugs at my heart. My late parents were Displaced Persons from Latvia- and they traveled many miles to get rye flour and other strong milled grains near Toronto in the 1950s and 60s. This past June, three of my nieces- daughters of all my late siblings, asked if I would go to Latvia with them – their old Auntie at 78 still speaks the language and they trusted me to introduce them to the countryside and its values. There, in a peasant culture, bread is not just a foodstuff- it’s the work of hands in cultivating the grain, trusting the various leavenings and enjoying it with a strong sense of family tradition. We even found stalks of rye woven into our midsummer crowns! At our first lunch in Riga, I had potato pancakes but my niece had just a basket of the homemade bread with Latvian butter. (At the Central Market, you buy butter according to its %fat content – bliss!) And our favourite granola? – with rye bread crumbles and cranberries.
    YOUR rye bread recipe is the best I’ve found. That overnight “biga”, the use of all-purpose flour instead of our wonderful Canadian bread flour, and the molasses- just right. However, for my household, adding 2 Tbsp. of buttermilk powder to the machine tipped the taste to perfection.
    Thank you for the respect you have given to homemade bread again- and for the brilliance of your directions.
    P.S> – an what do Latvians eat with beer as their snacks? – not chips or peanuts. They slice stale rye into “fingers, fry it quickly on both sides, then rub it with raw garlic and sprinkle with salt. I tried spritzing with oil and air-frying instead – not too bad!

    1. Hi Daina,
      What an interesting letter. You trip to Latvia sounds like the trip of a lifetime. I can only imagine how much your three nieces enjoyed it. The food sounds incredible. I also like the sound of Latvian snacks. That’s a great use of stale bread–an idea that all of us breadmakers need tucked up our sleeve.

      Thank you for your kind words about my website and especially the rye bread. I can’t wait to try the buttermilk powder. Sounds like the perfect flavoring considering what else is going on in that recipe.

  6. Jacqueline says:

    5 stars
    First time trying this rye bread, followed the recipe but left out the caraway seed as I don’t like them, turned out phenomenal. I did take the bread course first so I understood better what to expect and check. Absolutely will be adding this to my regular bread making. Love it. Thank you Paula

    1. HiJacqueline,
      I’m so excited that this recipe worked for you. I’m with you on the caraway seeds. Using them only affects the taste–nothing else. Thanks so much for the 5-star rating and taking the time to come back and leave a comment.

  7. 5 stars
    my bread dough is on the second rise as i type this. everything was spot-on with is recipe… EXCEPT, that dough needed way more flour!! it was too sticky to get it off the silicon mat even with wet hands and a wet spatula. and forget about making it into a tight ball. whew! it was a mess! i ended up trying to knead in about .5 C all-purpose flour just so I could manipulate the dough. any suggestions?

    1. Hi Marcus,
      Yep, rye flour can be challenging! You could try chilling the dough after the DOUGH cycle completes. This would enable you to shape the dough more easily. The dough will need a bit more time for the final rise so it can warm up.

      1. Hi Paula! I’ve made this rye bread several times…I think I finally have it down! 🙂 I add 1TBS flour at the 5 minute mark and the dough is perfect when it comes out of the bread machine pan; still sticky but not so much that I can’t work with it. Also, I accidentally put 2 TBS olive oil in instead of 2tsp the first time I made it. The bread turned out so soft, I’ve made that change every time now. I took it to church with some soften butter….they loved it! thank you!

        1. Marcus, Your tip about the olive oil is quite interesting. I’m going to try it myself the next time I make this recipe. Thank you for sharing what works for you with everybody.

  8. 5 stars
    Finally made a great rye bread thanks to you. My sponge wasn’t bubbly like in the photo. Substituted Brown sugar and honey for molasses, and baked in 9×3 bread pan. thanks to ‘Salad in a Jar’ for the great recipe. It’s a keeper.

    1. I like your substitutions. Thumbs up for making a loaf you enjoy!

  9. I really appreciate how you included all the conversions on the recipe! It makes putting everything together so much easier.

    1. Thank you, Anna. What an encouraging comment!

  10. Stephanie says:

    5 stars
    Paula – love this bread! Could I use this recipe to make a loaf?
    Would really love square slices.
    Thank you,

    1. Stephanie,
      Yes. I would love to see a picture if you try it (paula at

  11. Satsuma Manda says:

    I’m trying this recipe now but am wondering if there is a way to use the bread machine for the entire process, rather than finishing the recipe in the oven.

    Thank you for the recipe

    1. Hi Satsuma,

      This recipe has not been tested for baking the bread in a bread machine. Results may be unpredictable. Of course, you’re welcome to try it. Who knows? You might get lucky and produce a decent loaf, especially if you’re not too picky about the crust, the texture, and the appearance.

  12. Hi Ms Rhodes.
    I’m a beginner bread baker from Asia.
    Regarding to one of the ingredient “caraway seeds” for the rye bread, if thereS any substitute or similar substance we can use to replace it (such as poppy seeds, sesame seeds, …)? Please kindly advise because caraway seeds is not common in the north Asian pantry or grocery stores.

    1. Hi Martha,
      You might try dill or anise seeds. Are those available?

  13. I finished making a second batch of the Hearty Rye Bread with great results. Your meticulous instructions and a couple suggestions by your follows helped make the process and baking a pleasure. I used more whole wheat flour (freshly ground) for a hearty loaf. The sponge rested for 16 hours to insure assertiveness of taste. Your suggestion on two teaspoons of caraway makes a difference this time, any less tends to fade. As for the molasses, only had the unsulphered blackstrap on hand without any reservations. I leaned toward the “hearty” all the way. One point though on the kneading–before the final rest, the texture may have improved with more folding over and pressing. Yet slicing so easy with few crumbs. I do need a new bread knife to fully do justice to your recipe. Thank you Paula.

    1. Hi Connie,
      Freshly ground whole wheat sounds terrific. I guess you only do the amount you need for one recipe? Or do you make a lot when you do it? Interesting observation about the kneading. Thank you so much for your detailed comment. I’m sure it will be helpful to others who try this recipe.

      About the knife, I have a new favorite you might check out. (Nevermind that I already have five serrated bread knives.) Check out this one: I really like it.

  14. 4 stars
    My bread machine had been sitting idle for at least 10 years before I got the urge to make rye bread for the first time ever and found your incredible recipe designed for us occasional bakers who need encouragement. The stay-in-place lifestyle did have an impact too the last 2 years. Before beginning, I had all the ingredients surprisingly! Although I preferred to get whole wheat flour (freshly ground at our local health store in Altadena). The results were great, could have been a bit more moist (otherwise 5 star). Husband loved it too. Now I have freshly ground whole wheat and am beginning my second batch & will add carraway seeds. Thus, the results will be different. I’ll let you know. Thank you for ensuring success with your baking experience.

    1. Hi Connie,

      I’m sorry your bread was a little dry. Did you check the dough as it mixed to make sure it wasn’t too dry or too wet? Did you use water instead of flour when handling the dough? Many people tend to use too much flour when shaping the dough because rye flour can be sticky by nature. The other thing that can cause dryness is overbaking. Did you use a quick-read thermometer so you could tell precisely when the bread was baked through? I hope this is helpful if you make this recipe again. Caraway seeds will be delicious added to this bread. Let me know how your next batch turns out.

  15. 5 stars
    I just made this bread for the second time, OUTSTANDING. The crust is so crunchy, the inside is as soft as a babys ass. I just love it. I recieved a breadmaker for christmas and i’ve been tearing it up, but this by far the best. If you havn’t made a pumpernickle yet please statrt soon.Sorry ain’t checked yet lazy ass.

    1. Great to hear from you, Mark. High five on the rye bread. I haven’t made pumpernickle yet. I need to work that into my schedule.

  16. Hi Paula,

    Just cut into this loaf of Rye bread! YUM! Thank you, Paula! This reminds me of the Bohemian Rye we used to get (can’t anymore). It’s gonna be good for the corned beef panini tonight.

    Thank you!

    1. I wish I was eating dinner at your house, Cherie. Those paninis sound delicious! Thanks for your affirming words.

  17. Paula,

    Thank you so much for a great recipe, and the help you offered to make this the best rye bread I’ve ever eaten. I made it in a bread pan, and it came out perfectly sized for sandwiches. I added 1/4 cup rye flour and reduced the white flour by the same amount. I also added 2 tsps of gluten to ensure a full rise. I did have to bake it for over 40 minutes to get the proper temperature, but the biggest problem was waiting 3 hours to taste it. 😁

    1. High Five!!!! I’m so glad it turned out good for you.

  18. 5 stars
    This turned out to be the best rye bread I’ve ever had. The texture is firm, and the rye taste outstanding! I switched a 1/4 cup of rye flour to make it more rye tasting, which worked out perfectly.

  19. The video shows adding all the ingredients to the bread machine and then running the dough cycle. The recipe calls for a sponge, let sit overnight, and then run the cycle with all the ingredients. Is there much difference in taste and consistency if you do it either way. Letting a sponge sit overnight isn’t a problem, and I would guess the preferred method for taste, but curious of the results using each method.

    1. Hi Al,

      Yes, you are right on all counts. I inadvertently left that part out of the video. What was I thinking? I’ll blame it on Covid and the cabin fever that was going on back then.

      Your bread will be better if you make the sponge the night before. However, you may not care about having the “best” so it’s OK to skip it. I always make the sponge because it is hardly any trouble–just have to think of doing it. I plan to redo the video.

      1. Paula, Do you substitute 2 tablespoons of vital wheat gluten for 2 tablespoons of flour in this recipe?
        I recently made your whole wheat bread and love it.
        Thank you.

        1. No, not in this recipe. The recipe is designed to use Vital Wheat Gluten–it’s not optional. But it’s optional in the whole wheat bread, so you have to make adjustments if you use it. Does that make sense? Hope this answers your question. Glad you liked the whole wheat bread.

  20. The pictures and video are great for a novice. However, the pictures match the recipe, but the video shows the bread being baked in a pan. I would prefer to use a pan, as I want this for sandwiches. Is the time and temperature for baking the same as on a cookie sheet?

    1. Hi Al,

      To bake in a pan, use a non-stick 8½ x 4½ inch loaf pan. Bake for 30 minutes at 350˚F. I will add this to the notes in the recipe. Thanks for asking.

  21. Do you put the sponge in the fridge overnight or at room temperature?

    1. Hi Don,

      I leave it on the counter overnight. If you find you don’t have time to make bread the next day, then you can refrigerate the sponge for 3-4 days.

      Hope this helps.

  22. 5 stars
    I have been looking for hearty, crusty, flavorful bread recipes. This one definitely fit the bill. I’m not experienced at breadmaking but just followed all the directions and my loaf turned out great! I live in a dry state so I had to add a little extra water. I left out the caraway seeds because I’m used to European rye bread that doesn’t have them. I’m very happy with the results!

  23. 5 stars
    Thank you so much for this recipe – it is exactly what I was looking for. Have made 3 times and turns out perfect every time. I too do not like that airy dough that is full of preservatives that you buy at the store. This is just great!

  24. I made this bread today and it was delicious. Thank you for walking me through the process, that was a great help.
    It is the second of your recipes I tried (first being the oatmeal sunflower bread, which also turned out very well). I used honey as I didn’t have molasses, and I used ordinary light rye flour, and anisseed in stead of caraway. My bread was a slightly flatter bread than yours, but it was crusty and delicious, and the change of the ingredients probably had nothing to do with the flatter result.
    Thanks for the great recipes and all your work trying out the best methods. I can’t wait to make more delicious bread!

    1. So glad to hear this Lisca. Your substitutions sound just right. Rye bread wants to flatten out and will do so at the first opportunity. That’s why I let mine rise in a bowl with straight-up sides. When I dump it out, I hurry like crazy to slash it, glaze it, and put it in the oven before it can flatten out too much.

      Thanks so much for writing.

  25. We loved this recipe, in fact, all your bread machine recipes I have tried,
    have turned out great! Thanks for the great recipes.

    1. Yay! I’m so excited that it turned out good for you and you liked it. Rye bread is a new adventure for me but after many batches of not-so-great rye bread, I was jazzed about this one.

  26. I am not a fan of airy, white sandwich breads that are typical of bread machine recipes and had put my bread maker aside in favor of no knead recipes for more rustic breads. The bread from this recipe falls in between but it is hearty enough to upgrade it from sandwich bread.
    Next time I will probably change the flour ratio to use more rye, but it worked quite well as is. I did my second rise in a well floured banneton and had no issues with sticking. I then baked the loaf on parchment paper in a preheated Dutch oven for the allotted time and temperature, removing the lid for the last 5 minutes. Very happy with the results!

    1. Hi Carol,
      I so glad you let me know that this recipe worked for you. I, too have ventured into “no-knead recipe land.” It’s a good bread. But the bread machine has its own merits.

      I think your plan to increase the ratio of rye to flour is a good one if you want an even heartier bread. The current recipe is just about the limit for my family. That’s the cool thing about making it yourself, right? Customize all you want.

  27. Paula I finished my rye bread this morning. Started it yesterday and it is awesome. It turned out really well for my first try. Thanks for a great recipe.

    1. Hi Cathy,

      I’m SO GLAD to hear this. This is a more advanced recipe, so I say, “Congratulations!”