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Top Eastern European Rye Bread Recipes

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While Serbians, Croatians, Bulgarians and Romanians prefer corn-meal or white-flour breads, other Eastern Europeans, especially Poles, Lithuanians, Russians, Ukrainians and Slovaks, love rye bread. The coarser and darker, the better. With the staggering variety of ryes -- from sourdoughs to buttermilks to cracked rye meals -- one could conceivably enjoy a different rye bread every day of the week in these cultures. And here are Leftover Rye Bread Recipes.

1. Black Bread Recipe

Rye Bread on Cooling Rack
Annabelle Breakey/Photodisc/Getty Images
This recipe for black bread is baked in a special lidded pan known as a pullman pan. Compare Prices. It's so named because it resembles a Pullman railroad car. Black bread calls for a rye soaker prepared 24 hours ahead of time, a rye soaker made 15 hours in advance, and a sourdough starter you've made a week ahead. So planning definitely enters into this one, but it's so worth it. Enjoy hearty rye breads with soup, as toast or even in stuffing, or sweet or savory bread pudding like Mushroom Bread Pudding. Really!

2. Buttermilk Rye Bread Recipe

Polish Buttermilk Rye Bread
© 2008 Barbara Rolek licensed to About.com, Inc.
The desired tang in this rye bread recipe is achieved through buttermilk instead of a sourdough starter. That really shortens the prep time.

3. Light Rye Bread with Caraway Seeds Recipe

Polish Light Rye Bread with Caraway Seeds
Barbara Rolek
Rye breads would be too heavy if made entirely of rye flour, so the addition of all-purpose or whole-wheat flour lightens the loaf. This simple recipe doesn't require a starter. It goes great with this Dill Pickle Soup Recipe.

4. Polish Sourdough Rye Bread Recipe

Polish Sourdough Rye Bread
© 2008 Barbara Rolek licensed to About.com, Inc.
This rye bread recipe calls for a sourdough starter. It takes two days to ripen, so plan accordingly. Many people are familiar with white sourdough breads but don't realize some deli ryes are made with a sourdough, too. Brushing with egg white before baking gives this bread a nice shine.

5. Easy Russian Rye Bread Recipe

Easy Russian Rye Bread
© 2009 Barbara Rolek licensed to About.com, Inc.
This easy Russian rye bread recipe requires no starter and it is ideal for the Lenten fast because it uses no eggs. It's moist but very dense because all rye flour is used. The extra yeast keeps it from becoming like a clay pigeon. To lighten the loaf and give it a crunchier texture, all-purpose flour and rye meal can replace some of the dark rye flour.

6. Russian Sourdough Rye Bread Recipe

Russian Sourdough Rye Bread
© 2008 Barbara Rolek licensed to About.com, Inc.
The sourdough starter for this Russian dark rye bread needs to be started 4 to 5 days ahead of baking day. This hearty bread is meant to accompany a main-meal soup and, maybe, some chunks of pickled herring. Or try it in a grilled cheese sandwich with Eastern European flair!

7. Easy Lithuanian Dark Rye Bread Recipe

Lithuanian Easy Dark Rye Bread
© 2009 Barbara Rolek licensed to About.com, Inc.
There is no sourdough starter in this easy recipe for Lithuanian dark rye bread or rugine duona. Rye is a common grain in Lithuania and it shows up in a myriad of breads, porridges and other dishes. This bread is a dense but moist loaf that calls for dark rye flour lightened with whole-wheat flour.

8. Easy Russian / Latvian Rye Bread Recipe - Rizhsky Khleb

Light Pumpernickel Rye Bread
© Barbara Rolek licensed to About.com, Inc.
This is an easy rye bread recipe that requires no starter and no eggs and, even though I make mine with pumpernickel dark rye meal, it turns out to be a light-colored loaf that is ideal to accompany soups and stews or for sandwiches, toast, and even croutons for soup.

9. Easy Onion Rye Bread Recipe

Easy Onion Rye Bread
© Barbara Rolek licensed to About.com, Inc.
This easy rye bread recipe requires no starter or eggs and one that I've made even easier by using instant onion soup mix.

10. Recipes for Leftover Rye Bread

Chef Michael Laiskonis' Rye Bread Ice Cream
© Michael Laiskonis, used with permission.
Don't throw away stale or leftover rye bread. Turn it into something brand new like crisp, garlicky croutons, savory bread pudding, dessert torte or even rye ice cream.

11. Junior's of New York Club Rye Onion Loaf Recipe

Junior's of New York Club Rye Onion Loaf Bread
© 2013 Mark Ferri
This rye bread recipe is perfect for sandwiches and is from the iconic New York deli named Junior's.

 

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