In a rush? You can skip straight to the Beginner Light Rye Sandwich Bread Recipe on my Tumblr or you can jump to my Just the Basics section.
I know I tend to make some ridiculous blogging goals just about every year. But this year, I’m keeping things simple. My goal for this year is to try new flours.
And so far, so good.
I tried making a light rye sandwich bread, and I’m absolutely delighted with how it came out.
I have never tried rye (or at least I can’t remember trying rye before), and I was surprised at how flavorful it was. I expected more of a muted flavor or perhaps something that tasted similar to whole wheat.
But rye bread is completely different.
I can’t quite describe the flavor, but it’s more earthy and more potent. And when seasoned with caraway seeds, it tastes a bit like an herbal tea, slightly. The salt brings out the flavor even more, so it’s sharper than white or wheat bread.
This rye sandwich bread makes for amazing tuna or turkey sandwiches. If you throw in a few pickles onto your sandwich, the sharp sour flavor compliments the rye beautifully. And I love how it toasts! With just a smidge of butter, light rye toast makes for an amazing breakfast or lunch.
Prep time: 10 to 15 Minutes
Rise time: 3 1/2 Hours to 4 Hours
Cook time: 45 Minutes
Total time: 5 Hours
Here’s what you’ll need to make this recipe:
- 8 Grams (2 Teaspoons) Dry Active Yeast
- 240 Grams (1 Cup) Warm Water
- 38 Grams (1 1/2 Tablespoons plus 1 Teaspoon) Honey
- 28.4 Grams (2 Tablespoons) Butter
- 128 Grams (1 1/4 Cups) Rye Flour
- 320 Grams (2 2/3 Cups) All-Purpose Flour or Bread Flour
- 13 Grams (2 1/4 Teaspoons) Fine Sea Salt
- 7 Grams (1 Tablespoon) Caraway Seeds
- 1 Egg
You will also need one egg white beaten with a tablespoon of water to create an egg wash. This egg wash will go over the crust to give it a beautiful sheen and color.
*If you want to try making this recipe with your own homemade bread flour, feel free to make this substitution:
- 320 Grams All-Purpose Flour
- 16 Grams Vital Wheat Gluten
The vital wheat gluten will give the bread a chewier texture, and your loaf will hold its shape better.
Here are a few basic kitchen essentials that you’ll want to have on hand to make the recipe:
- Standing Mixer with Dough Hook
- Measuring Cups and Spoons
- Kitchen Scale
- Large Container with Lid
- 9.5-inch by 5-inch Baking Pan
- Baking Brush
- Wire Cooling Rack
- Probe Thermometer
- Oven Mitts
Keep in mind that you can be a little creative with your tools if you need to be. For example, if you don’t have a standing mixer, you can mix by hand. If you don’t have a plastic container with a lid, you could use a large bowl and cover it with plastic wrap.
I have a lot of fun making light and fluffy rye sandwich bread. It’s one of my easier recipes, even though it uses a more difficult flour.
To get started, combine the warm water with the yeast and the honey in the bowl of a standing mixer (or a large mixing bowl if you want to do it by hand). Stir everything around until the grains and the honey more or less dissolves. Let sit for about 10 to 15 minutes to allow the yeast to proof.
While your yeast proofs, whisk the rye flour, the bread flour (or the all-purpose flour and vital wheat gluten), the salt, and the caraway seeds in a small bowl.
Add the flour mixture to the mixer, and then add the butter and the egg. Mix everything together on low with the dough hook for a few minutes. The dough should eventually pull away from and clean the sides of the mixing bowl. When finished mixing, the dough should feel slightly tacky, but not sticky or dense.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly greased surface and shape into a round. Place the dough into a lightly greased container. Cover and let rise until double in size, about 2 hours.
Keep in mind that I made this recipe during the middle of January, and my kitchen was about 65 degrees Fahrenheit (18 degrees Celsius) in the afternoon. This recipe uses a lot of instant yeast, so it may take you less time for your dough to double.
Not sure how to tell if your dough has grown enough? You may want to invest in a Cambro plastic container. These containers have numbers on the side so you can easily mark your dough’s growth. Better still, it has a lid so you don’t have to waste plastic wrap keeping your dough covered.
After your dough has risen, turn it out onto a lightly greased surface and gently dimple the dough into a long rectangle. If you use a Cambro container, the dough should maintain it’s square shape when you turn it out, making it easier for you to make that rectangle shape.
As you shape the dough, keep in mind that you’re going to put it in a bread pan soon, so don’t make it too big. However, don’t worry about making the shape perfect because you’ll fold it and let it rise again.
Got your rectangle shape? Great! Grab the short end of the rectangle and fold it up about 2/3 the length of the dough. It might look a bit like an uneven taco at this stage.
Then fold the top part of the dough over. It should look a little like a burrito at this point.
When you’re ready, fold both ends in about an inch or two. You’ll have a lumpy envelope shape now.
Flip that loaf over. Congratulations! You’ve just shaped your sandwich loaf.
If your loaf looks a little lopsided or if the ends shifted when you flipped it, feel free to use your hands to gently tuck things back in and even things out.
Transfer your dough to a lightly greased 9-inch by 5-inch bread pan. Cover and let rise until the bread rises slightly over the edge of the pan. This rise will be much shorter than your first one, anywhere from 45 minutes to 1 1/2 hour.
In my cold kitchen, it took about 1 hour 15 minutes to reach this stage.
If you’re not sure whether your dough has fully risen, give it a gentle poke. If the dough springs up quickly, it still needs some time to rise. If it collapses, it’s over proofed but still good for baking. Ideally, you want the dough to spring back slowly, possibly leaving just the barest hint of a fingerprint.
When your dough has fully risen, mix together the egg whites of one egg with about 1 tablespoon of water to create your egg wash. Brush this mixture over the top of your loaf. This egg wash will give your crust a beautiful shine and give your caraway seeds something to stick to.
Sprinkle additional caraway seeds over the top, and preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit (204 degrees Celsius).
Bake your loaf for about 20 minutes. Then, tent your bread with aluminum foil to keep the crust from getting too dark.
Bake your loaf for an additional 25 to 30 minutes. The bottom of the bread should sound hollow when thumped. If you have a probe thermometer, the inside of your bread should measure between 200-210 degrees Fahrenheit (93-98 degrees Celsius). The crust should be a dark rich golden color.
As tempting as it is to eat your bread right out of the oven, please allow it to cool completely before slicing into it. Your bread will continue to bake from the residual heat trapped inside. If you cut too soon, your bread will have a gummy texture.
Once cooled, feel free to slice and serve!
This bread tastes best the first 24 hours after baking. However, if will last several days at room temperature if properly stored in a sealed bag. If you’re on day three after baking and the bread seems a little dry, just pop it in the toaster – it will freshen up and taste amazing.
Just the Basics
Beginner Light Rye Sandwich Bread
- 8 Grams Dry Active Yeast (2 Teaspoons)
- 240 Grams Warm Water (1 Cup)
- 38 Grams Honey (1 Tablespoon and 2 1/2 Teaspoons)
- 28.4 Grams Butter (2 Tablespoons)
- 128 Grams Rye Flour (1 1/4 Cups)
- 320 Grams All-Purpose or Bread Flour (2 2/3 Cups)
- 13 Grams Fine Sea Salt (2 1/4 Teaspoons)
- 7 Grams Caraway Seeds (1 Tablespoon)
- 1 Large Egg
- Combine warm water, yeast, and honey in the bowl of a standing mixer.. Let sit for 10 minutes to proof.
- Whisk rye flour, bread flour, salt and caraway seed together in a separate bowl.
- Slowly add the flour mixture to the yeast mixture in the bowl of the standing mixer. Use the dough hook attachment to stir everything together.
- Add the butter and the egg to the mixture and continue to mix until the dough pulls away and cleans the side of the bowl.
- Turn dough out onto a lightly greased surface and shape into a round.
- Place round in a lightly greased container. Cover and let rise until double in size (about 2 hours).
- Turn dough out onto a lightly greased surface and shape into a sandwich loaf.
- Transfer dough to a 9" by 5" bread pan and let rise until it reaches the lip of the pan, about 1 1/2 hours.
- In a small bowl, mix together the egg white with about 1 tablespoon of water to create an egg wash. Brush over the loaf and sprinkle with extra caraway seeds.
- Preheat oven to 400° F (204° C) and bake for 20 minutes.
- Tent your loaf with aluminum foil and bake for another 25 minutes.
- Turn out loaf onto a wire cooling rack and allow it to cool completely.
- Slice, serve, and enjoy!
Secrets to Success
As a beginner recipe, my light rye sandwich bread doesn’t require any expertise to make. The only suggestion I have for this one is to just practice shaping your loaf to get it just right.
Fortunately, this recipe is pretty forgiving. I’m no expert at shaping, and despite lumps and uneven folds, my bread still comes out looking great and tasting amazing. I know you can make it too! I have complete confidence in you.
Curious about calories? I’ve crunched the numbers for you and made a nutrition label. Here’s what’s inside my beginner light rye sandwich bread.
Keep in mind that your nutritional information will vary depending on how thick you slice your bread. Thinner slices will result in fewer calories per serving while thicker ones will result in more calories per serving.
Did You Try It?
I hooked my husband on rye sandwich bread with this recipe, and I definitely enjoyed making it multiple times.
But what about you? Did you like this recipe? Do you have suggestions for improving the texture or the flavor? Feel free to comment below!
Nice recipe Jenni!
I’m even less than a novice baker and I have made this rye loaf 3 times (#4 is in the oven now :)) with exceptional results. Thank you for providing it.
Oh that’s so wonderful to hear! Thank you so much. You’ve made my day. 🙂