Author Topic: Rye breads  (Read 40 times)

Offline Delmonico

  • Deputy Marshal
  • Top Active Citizen
  • *
  • Posts: 25162
Rye breads
« on: October 12, 2019, 11:16:07 pm »
Rye breads

Rye bread if one hasn't already noticed is popular in northern and central Europe.  This is partly due to a climactic event that started in the late 13th Century.  After a centuries long very warm period over most of Europe an event started that lasted till the late 19th Century called the Little Ice Age. 

Without going into detail, much of Europe was colder and wetter than normal, a condition that was not good for the strains of wheat in common use at the time.  However these conditions are good for rye which became the main grain crop of these areas as well as being used heavily in the Northeastern part of the English Colonies that would be called New England.  The problem with rye flour is it does not contain a lot of gluten, this can be overcome in two ways.

The easiest way is to add gluten in the form of white wheat flour, this is the most common way rye breads are made today.

After the Civil War more wheat was grown in the United States because of both climate change and improved strains of wheat. A lot of rye bread recipes were modified to use modern yeasts coming on the market, and part white flour, these are the easiest types to make in camp. These can have different amounts of white flour in them, but half white flour, half rye flour makes very good rye bread with good rye flour. Rye flour also makes stickier dough than wheat flour but with practice this no problem.

Rye flours come as dark rye and light rye, to avoid being confusing the term dark rye is rye ground with the bran on it like whole wheat, light rye has the bran removed.

It also comes in what is called stone ground, which is better described as coarse ground, to be labeled stone ground it has to have had one pass under a stone roller, stone ground did not always mean it was coarse ground since true stone ground can be fine sifted and what doesn't pass through reground.

The fine ground rye is scarce, I have a local source for it, and I can get it in both dark and light, the light in the fine ground giving the best loft.

Some rye bread recipes use seeds in them, most often caraway or anise or fennel. These are not needed if they are not desired, but I like them in my rye bread. 

There are many types of rye bread that were brought over from Europe by immigrants; I am doing some Americanized versions to what they changed with the times. This is not intended to cover all types of rye bread but to give some ideas for some to make in camp.

The amount of yeast in my recipes varies, by using a little yeast it works slower, the more yeast the faster it works.

Basic rye bread

2 ? cups warm water
2-6 teaspoons yeast or 1-3 packages yeast (1 package of yeast is 2 ? teaspoon)
2 tablespoons sugar/ honey
1 teaspoons salt (optional)
2 tablespoons lard
1-2 tablespoons caraway seed (optional)

7-9 cups flour a ratio of around half rye half all purpose is what I use.
When making rye bread I mix all the ingredients together with the exception of the white flour, this forms a nice sponge which I let work for a ? hour to an hour depending on time factor and temperature. When this is working well I mix in the needed white flour to be able to knead it well without excessive stickiness. This is allowed to rise till doubled; it is then made into loaves or rolls, allowed to rise again and baked 25 -45 minutes in a moderate to hot oven (375-425F).

The rest of these breads will finish as the above bread.


Czech style rye bread

This is exactly the same as the basic recipe but it always uses roller ground rye flour and caraway seed. This is to honor the Czech immigrants who brought roller mill flour making into my area in the 1870?s; to me it is not proper to call it that without that type of flour. A small point friends of Czech descent and I consider important.


Austrian Type Rye Bread

Perhaps a loose term, but years ago I was able to sample a loaf of rye bread by a co-worker made in a local bakery in his home town in northern Austria. I was able to duplicate it from the sample and my co-worker was surprised and approved of it.

2 ? cups warm water
2-6 teaspoons yeast or 1-3 packages yeast (1 package of yeast is 2 ? teaspoon)
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoons salt (optional)
2 tablespoons lard
1-2 tablespoons fennel seed
7-9 cups flour a ratio of around half rye half all purpose


Pumpernickel Bread

Use stone ground rye for this bread, it?s traditional.

2 ? cups warm water
2-6 teaspoons yeast or 1-3 packages yeast (1 package of yeast is 2 ? teaspoon)
? cup molasses
1 teaspoons salt (optional)
2 tablespoons lard
1-2 tablespoons of caraway seed
7-9 cups flour a ratio of around half rye half all purpose


Swedish or Limpa rye

This is often considered Christmas bread, it is sweet and the orange peel would indicate the same because that?s when oranges would have been easiest to obtain.

2 ? cups warm water
2-6 teaspoons yeast or 1-3 packages yeast (1 package of yeast is 2 ? teaspoon)
? cup molasses
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoons salt (optional)
2 tablespoons lard
1-2 tablespoons of anise seed
1-2 tablespoons grated orange peel, fresh if possible
7-9 cups flour a ratio of around half rye half all purpose


Deli style rye
2 ? cups warm water
2-6 teaspoons yeast or 1-3 packages yeast (1 package of yeast is 2 ? teaspoon)
2 tablespoons of sugar
1 tablespoon of cocoa powder
1 teaspoons salt (optional)
2 tablespoons lard
1-2 tablespoons caraway seed (optional)
4 cups rye flour (any type)
4 cups all purpose flour

Blacken the sugar in a pan then add the water to the pan with the blackened sugar and dissolve it.
This is an exceptional bread to make Reuben sandwiches with.


Sourdough Rye Breads


Now we get into the more traditional way of making rye bread and getting a good rise without using the added white flour.  This is using sourdough, the lactic acid in the sourdough changes the structure of the starch in the rye flour to act similar to gluten.  This will not work with a weak starter, the starter has to be fairly acidic and have a robust strain of yeast to make this process work. If you are a fan of rye bread this method will ruin you for the rye bread using a lot of white flour and raised with regular bread yeast.

If your starter is fed with white flour you will have to build a rye based starter, this is simple, take a little of your starter and put it in another container and feed it up with rye flour. This will actually help make a stronger starter than the wheat based one.  Let this work a couple of days before starting the rye bread.

For the double loaf of the other breads I start with 4 cups of starter since it's about half flour anyway.  To that I add the sugar, the seeds and enough rye flour to make a sponge, this can be any of the previous recipes and add the orange peel of the Swedish type at this time.  Stir well and cover and allow to work at least 12 hours, but 24 is better.

The dough should have risen well and be soft and spongy, at this time add the lard and knead in enough more rye flour to make a stiff dough, continue kneading until the dough has got very smooth and workable, if it is stiff but very sticky due to humidity then at this point I use a little all purpose flour to make the dough handle better. 

At this point the dough can be formed into loaves or rolls and covered and allowed to rise again till doubled.  This will take from a couple to maybe 12, depending on the strength of the starter and the temperature. 

When done rising just bake as one would the yeast based bread.

Now this may sound complicated as well as long and drawn out but the results are well worth it.  The nice thing is when the loaves are formed and has risen enough to bake but you can't do it, there is normally not a problem for several hours and the results on texture and flavor are well worth the extra time and effort.



Pictures are Czech Rye, Sweedish Rye and Swedish Rye with venison,  Sharp Cheddar and brown mustard.
Mongrel Historian


Always get the water for the coffee upstream from the herd.

Ab Ovo Usque ad Mala

The time has passed so quick, the years all run together now.

Offline Delmonico

  • Deputy Marshal
  • Top Active Citizen
  • *
  • Posts: 25162
Re: Rye breads
« Reply #1 on: October 12, 2019, 11:17:13 pm »
The dark deli rye.
Mongrel Historian


Always get the water for the coffee upstream from the herd.

Ab Ovo Usque ad Mala

The time has passed so quick, the years all run together now.

Offline Delmonico

  • Deputy Marshal
  • Top Active Citizen
  • *
  • Posts: 25162
Re: Rye breads
« Reply #2 on: October 12, 2019, 11:19:54 pm »
 The sourdough Pumpernickel with 100% rye flour, a bit dense but awsome flavor, this batch was allowed to work and ferment over 3 days and was the best yet.
Mongrel Historian


Always get the water for the coffee upstream from the herd.

Ab Ovo Usque ad Mala

The time has passed so quick, the years all run together now.