How to Make Rye Bread Recipes

Mom learned how to make rye bread recipes when I was growing up. This type of bread was favored largely due to my German heritage. I remember having rye loaves in long loaf shapes but mainly in round loaves. I am sure we ate rye bread in many ways, but my memories are of a slice of rye bread with good butter spread on it.

You can learn how to make rye bread recipes from all rye flour or a blend. You can make a light rye or dark rye bread. It also comes with seeds like caraway or without seeds. Many people are annoyed with the seeds and prefer not to have them. I think they add to the texture and flavor. Rye breads can be made with yeast or from a sour dough recipe.

When I learned how to make rye bread recipes, the Pumpernickel rye bread recipe became my favorite. This traditional German rye is from the Westphalia region and is made with a coarsely ground rye. It traditionally is made by combining whole rye berries and rye flour. And is made with a sour dough starter. As this delicious dark rye bread took hold here in the United States, many things about making this recipe changed including the ingredients and the way it is baked.

After doing research on the original rye bread recipes from Germany, I found a lot of information which was very new to me. Besides being ALWAYS made with sour dough the “old world” pumpernickel bread recipes contained no ingredients like chocolate for coloring. Instead of coloring the bread it is baked for almost an entire day which gives the bread a very dark color. (I do believe, like the vinegar, buttermilk or sour cream in the devil’s food cakes, that the acid from the sour dough aids in making a dark rich color while baking.) The OLD recipes produce very heavy and dense bread unlike the lighter American versions.


  • 1 Package dry yeast
  • 2 Tablespoons lukewarm water
  • ½ Cup freshly boiled and sieved potatoes
  • 2 Cups sour milk, scalded and cooled to lukewarm
  • ½ Teaspoon sugar
  • 2 Teaspoons salt
  • 5 ½ Cups sifted rye flour
  • 2 Tablespoons caraway seeds
  • 1 ½ Cups sifted purpose flour
  • Melted shortening 

Soften yeast in lukewarm water; add potatoes, milk, sugar, salt and 3 cups rye flour.

Beat mixture until smooth; add the caraway seeds and remaining rye flour mixing thoroughly.

Brush surface with the melted shortening, cover and rise in a warm place until double in bulk. (About 1 ½ hours)

Turn dough onto a (all purpose) floured board; knead enough white flour into the dough to make it stiff enough to hold its shape in one large loaf. (You can divide into two loaf pans) 

Place on a greased baking sheet sprinkled with corn meal or flour. 

Cover and let rise until double in bulk; brush top with cold water.

Place a pan of water in the bottom of oven to create steam. 

Bake in a preheated oven at 400F degrees for about 50 minutes.


How to Make Rye Bread Recipes like this Pumpernickel Bread RecipeHow to Make Rye Bread Recipes like this Pumpernickel Bread Recipe
  • ½ Cup cornmeal
  • 3 Cups rye flour
  • 1 Cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 Package active dry yeast
  • 1 ¾ Cups water divided
  • ¾ Cup molasses
  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • 2 Teaspoons sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon salt
  • 1 ½ Teaspoons caraways seeds crush slightly
  • ½ Ounce baking chocolate in small pieces
  • 2 Medium potatoes, boiled, peeled and mashed
  • 1 Egg white mixed with 1 tablespoon water

Combine 1 ½ cups of the water with cornmeal in medium size saucepan.

Cook mixture over low heat stirring until thickened about 5 minutes.

Remove pan from heat and add molasses, butter, salt, sugar, caraway seeds and chocolate.

Stir until mixture is well blended; pour into large bowl and set aside to cool

Warm remaining ¼ cup water slightly; stir in yeast and let stand 10 minutes.

Add the yeast and mashed potatoes to mixture in bowl; blend well.

Stir in rye flour and 1 cup whole wheat flour; dough should be stiff.

Turn mixture out on whole wheat floured surface.

Knead continually adding more wheat flour to hands and dough; scrape surface often of sticky dough.

Knead dough until elastic about 15 minutes; place dough in greased bowl.

Cover with plastic wrap and towel; set in warm place to rise about 1 hour or doubled.

Punch dough down and knead about 1 minute; shape dough into 2 smooth balls.

Place balls on greased baking sheets; cover again and let rise until double in warm place.

Brush loaves with egg white mixture.

Bake in preheated oven at 375F degrees for 50 minutes or until sound hollow when tapped. 


German Rye Bread RecipeGerman Rye Bread Recipe
  • 2 Packages active dry yeast
  • 1 Cup warm water
  • 1 Cup scalded milk cooled
  • 1 Tablespoon salt
  • 2 Tablespoons melted butter
  • 1 Tablespoon molasses
  • 2 Tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 Cups light rye flour
  • 3-4 Cups whole wheat flour

Dissolve yeast in warm water; add milk, salt, melted butter, molasses, sugar and rye flour.

Add whole wheat flour 1 cup at a time while mixing until dough becomes stiff.

Knead dough on floured surface until smooth and elastic.

Place in greased bowl, cover and let rise until double; punch down, shape in ball and place on greased tray.

Let rise in warm place until double; bake at 350F degrees for 30 to 35 minutes.


  • 2 Packages dry yeast
  • ½ Cup warm water
  • 3 ½ Cups liquid (Milk, water or mixed)
  • 2 Cups raisins
  • 2 Cups rye flour
  • 1 Cup rolled oats
  • ¼ Cup honey
  • 2 Tablespoons caraways seeds
  • 5 to 6 Cups flour (All purpose)
  • ¾ Cups molasses
  • ½ Cup vegetable oil
  • 4 Teaspoons salt

Dissolve yeast in warm water.

Combine yeast mixture, liquid, raisins, rye flour, oats, honey and caraway seeds.

Add enough all purpose flour (about 2 cups) to make batter like sponge consistency.

Let rise until fluffy; stir in molasses, oil and salt.

Add enough additional all purpose flour (1 cup at a time) to make a workable dough.

Knead dough until soft and elastic; divide dough into 3 parts.

Shape each part in round loaf and place on greased baking sheets.

Cover and let rise in a warm place about 1 hour or until doubled in bulk.

Preheat oven to 375F degrees.

Bake 10 minutes at 375F degrees.

Reduce heat to 350F degrees and bake another 35 to 40 minutes.

Cool on wire rack.


  • 3 to 3 ½ Cups flour (All purpose)
  • ¼ Cup brown sugar
  • 2 Package dry yeast
  • 1 Tablespoon salt
  • 1 Tablespoon caraway seed
  • 2 Cups hot water
  • ¼ Cup molasses
  • 2 Tablespoons softened butter
  • 3 Cups rye flour
  • Cornmeal

Combine 2 cups of the flour, brown sugar, yeast, salt and caraway seeds in a large bowl.

In a saucepan heat water, molasses and butter to 120F degrees.

Add water mixture gradually to the flour yeast mixture while beating on high speed.

Stir in rye flour and enough of the remaining all purpose flour to make a soft dough.

Turn dough out onto floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic; cover and let stand 20 minutes.

Divide dough in half; shape in 2 long narrow loaves; place in greased baking sheet sprinkled with cornmeal.

Cover loaves with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

To bake remove plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place 15 to 20 minutes.

PREHEAT OVEN to 400F degrees.

Brush loaves with water; bake 40 minutes or until done.


  • 2 to 2 ½ Cups flour (all purpose)
  • 2 Cups rye flour
  • 2 Teaspoons salt
  • 2 Packages dry yeast
  • 1 Tablespoon caraway seeds
  • 1 Cup milk
  • ¾ Cup water
  • 2 Tablespoons molasses
  • 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil

Heat milk, water, molasses and oil to 120F degrees.

In a large mixing bowl combine 1 ¾ cups flour, salt, yeast and caraway seeds.

Add milk mixture to flour yeast mixture beating until well blended.

Beat in 1 cup rye flour or enough to make a thick batter beating on high for a couple minutes.

Stir in remaining rye flour and enough all purpose flour to make a soft dough.

Turn dough out onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic.

Cover with a towel or bowl and let stand 20 minutes; divide dough in half.

Shape into 2 round loaves; place on greased baking sheets.

Cover trays and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk 30 to45 minutes.

PREHEAT OVEN TO 375F degrees; bake 35 to 40 minutes.


  • 1 Package (13 ¾ ounces) hot roll mix
  • ¾ Cup rye flour
  • 1 Egg separated
  • ¼ Cup molasses
  • 1 ½ Teaspoons caraway seeds

Prepare hot roll mix according to package direction adding rye flour, egg YOLK, molasses and caraway seeds.

Let dough rise 45 minutes; punch dough down and shape into round loaf.

Place loaf on greased baking sheet; let rise again until doubled 45 minutes.

PREHEAT OVEN TO 375F degrees.

Beat egg WHITE and brush bread loaf; bake 40 minutes or until bread is browned.

› Rye

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