Rye bread, with its slight tang, has a flavor profile all its own. Whereas "white bread" has become a term synonymous with "ordinary" or "plain," "rye bread" promises all the complexities of a heartier grain.
Rye breads would be too heavy if made entirely of rye flour, so the addition of whole-wheat flour lightens the loaf. Sometimes rye breads are made with a sourdough starter, but this simple recipe foregoes a starter, which can take weeks to produce. If you don't like caraway seeds, omit them from the recipe without any loss in flavor.
Makes 2 large loaves
Prep Time: 2 hours
Cook Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours, 10 minutes
- 2 cups milk, scalded
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 package active dry yeast
- 1/2 cup lukewarm water
- 4 cups rye flour
- 2 1/2 cups whole-wheat flour
- 2 tablespoons caraway seeds (optional)
- 1 beaten egg white for egg wash
- In a heatproof large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, pour scalded milk over butter, sugar and salt. Stir and cool.
- Dissolve yeast in lukewarm water.
- Add softened yeast and 3 cups rye flour to the milk mixture. Using the paddle attachment of your stand mixer, or by hand, beat thoroughly. Add the remaining rye flour and beat again until flour is thoroughly combined.
- Scrape dough out into a clean, greased bowl, cover and let rise in warm place until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour, or follow this Quick Tip to cut the rise time.
- Scrape dough back into clean stand mixer bowl and, using the dough hook, knead in the whole-wheat flour and caraway seed, if using, until dough is smooth. Alternatively, the kneading can be done by hand on a well-floured surface.
- Divide the dough in half and shape into 2 oblong or round loaves. Place loaves on parchment-lined or greased baking sheets. Bread can also be placed in greased 9-inch-by-5-inch loaf pans or 9-inch round pans. Cover and let rise in warm place until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.
- Meanwhile, heat oven to 450 degrees. Brush the loaves with beaten egg white and bake for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake 35 to 40 minutes longer or until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center of the loaves registers 190 degrees.
- Remove from the oven and cool on wire racks. Store in an airtight container or slice loaves and freeze.
- Note: If a more tender crust is desired, brush loaves with melted butter 5 minutes before removing from the oven.