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Delicious Homemade Rye Bread doesn’t get much simpler than this bakery style artisan bread. Caraway and rye flour gives the bread its distinct flavor. And guess what? No machines required! You can make this bread by hand!
Slices of both light and dark rye bread on a table.

Rye is one of our family favorites, but we can never find it in our local bakeries. It is a bread that is full of flavor and brings an interesting twist to sandwiches. Classic sandwiches using rye bread are pastrami on rye, tuna on rye, and corned beef on rye, but you could use rye in a variety of different sandwiches to bring out a new flavor. Or you can go the route of my children who just devour it plain. Seriously, who would have thought little kids would love rye bread so much?

This recipe is super simple to put together, gives some great bread making techniques, and makes a lovely light rye. I’ve also included instructions for a dark rye that has cocoa powder and molasses in it if you’d like to try your hand at that.

How to make Bakery Style Rye Bread:

The key to making great bakery-style bread at home is all in the method. Bakeries use steam ovens to get that wonderful chewy crust. You can create your own steam oven by placing a shallow pan of water in the oven with your bread. The water will evaporate in the heat, filling your oven with steam.

Using a baking stone or pizza stone is vital to creating both the perfect crust and the perfect crumb. Bakeries use fancy ovens of the masonry variety. See, the oven in your house cooks using radiated (the flame or the electrical elements) and convected heat (the air moving around the oven. A convection oven has fans to assist in the circulation of the air). A masonry oven is able to use conduction on top of convection and radiated heat. Masonry ovens utilize stone, just as their name suggests. Stone retain heat really well. When you put a loaf of bread directly on a hot stone, the stone transfers its heat to the bread through conduction. So when you use a pizza/baking stone, you are literally adding a third heating method into your oven. Isn’t that awesome? There’s your science lesson for the day!

Rye Bread with a few slices at the end of it stacked on top of each other.

Don’t have a mixer? No problem! Watch the video below where I show you how to make this bread by hand! No machines required. It’s THAT simple!

This recipe first appeared on The Stay At Home Chef on January 30, 2013

Rye Bread with a few slices at the end of it stacked on top of each other.
Delicious Homemade Rye Bread doesn't get much simpler than this bakery style artisan bread. Caraway and rye flour gives the bread its distinct flavor. And guess what? No machines required! You can make this bread by hand!
Prep Time 1 hour 45 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 15 minutes
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons instant dry yeast
  • 2 cups warm water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons caraway seeds
  • 1 1/2 cup rye flour
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons cornmeal for dusting

Cornstarch Wash

  • 1/4 tsp cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup water
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the yeast, water, salt, caraway, and rye flour. Add in all-purpose flour 1 cup at a time, adding more if necessary to form a dough ball that doesn't stick to the sides of the bowl. Dough should be soft, not stiff, but should hold together on its own without being overly sticky.
  • Transfer to a lightly greased large bowl. Cover with a dish towel and let rise until double, about 1 hour.
  • Shape it into a loaf by stretching the dough from the top center of the dough ball over the edges, and then underneath. It should look and feel like you are holding the loaf with two hands and are pulling the dough inside out with your thumbs. Give several of those pulls with your thumbs until you have a nice looking little loaf.
  • Dust a pizza peel or wooden cutting board with cornmeal. Put the loaf on the prepared board and let it rise for another 40 minutes.
  • Preheat a pizza/baking stone in the oven to 450 degrees. Place a shallow pan on the rack below the baking stone.
  • Dissolve the cornstarch in the 1/4 cup water. Microwave for 45 seconds. Brush the cornstarch liquid on top of the loaf and cut several parallel lines on the top.
  • Bake the loaf directly on the stone. When you put the loaf in, pour a tall glass of water into the shallow pan below. It'll pop and sizzle and steam, so watch your hands. Close the oven door and bake for 30 minutes.
For a dark rye add the following ingredients to the dough:
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3 tablespoon dark bootstrap molasses
All other ingredients and instructions remain the same. 


Calories: 1950kcal | Carbohydrates: 408g | Protein: 59g | Fat: 7g | Sodium: 3528mg | Potassium: 1152mg | Fiber: 33g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin C: 1.9mg | Calcium: 170mg | Iron: 22.8mg
Course: Bread, Side
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Rye Bread
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James Ducroiset
December 26, 2019 7:53 pm

Added weights and ratios, made the process much more consistent and repeatable, I also only had active dry yeast so I made the modifications where necessary. 1.5 cups dark rye flour – 156 g 3 cups all purpose flour – 360 g Warm water- 426 g – creates 83% hydration with the rye flour ratio of 30% 1.5 tsp salt 1 tsp sugar – added to water to proof yeast 1.5 Tbs yeast – active dry 1.5 Tbs caraway seeds 1. Proof yeast in warm water and sugar – 7 to 10 minutes 2. Mix rye, caraway, salt, and half… Read more »

March 19, 2020 12:48 pm


August 10, 2020 6:56 pm

James, your variation has about 50 ml less water. This worked better for you?

Alan Reinhart
July 4, 2020 6:14 am

4 stars
Ok – but do NOT pour COLD water in to make steam. BOIL the water first so it is at 212 degrees and will not shock the pan so much

Helen B
April 27, 2019 12:30 pm

5 stars
This bread is heavenly. I will try it in a loaf pan to use for traditional sandwich bread. Thank you!

April 1, 2019 12:47 pm

5 stars
Very good.. I followed the recipe as written and it was delicious.. I used a cast iron skillet to bake it in. And it came out perfect! Will definitely make this again :))

May 10, 2020 12:33 pm
Reply to  Julie

What a great idea! I have a cast iron skillet but not a pizza stone. We love rye bread but the only time I made it the loaf pulled apart during baking and was too heavy. I like the idea of the water in the pan on the shelf beneath the bread. I’ll try and get back to you on my results. PS: I used to have a pampered chef pizza stone but gave to my daughter, as the stone smelled rancid from the oils….even though I followed the directions to clean (supposedly shouldn’t use soap, just a damp sponge… Read more »

May 11, 2020 10:18 am
Reply to  Missy

I made this bread using a cast iron skillet as one of the other reviewers used. It worked great and the bread was delicious! My husband loved it and he loves rye bread. Next time I will try the dark rye version. I definitely give this recipe 5 stars! So easy with the Kitchen Aid Mixer I’ve had for 38 years.

December 10, 2018 7:32 pm

5 stars
OMG ! thanks ! I just made it … and I think it is the best bread i’ve tasted in my hole life, I mean this is good ! so tasty, moist, the crust just hard enough, make great sandwiches, with smoked salmon you roll on the ground!

Patricia Harris
October 6, 2020 3:27 pm

5 stars
I’ve been searching for a good rye bread since quarantine began! I’ve tried all kinds of recipes and this is by far the easiest and best-tasting. It’s my husband’s fave, too, so that’s a good thing. I’m not too crazy about the shape and think I’m going to try it in the black iron skillet next time as others have suggested. I think it might make it higher rather than wider! Over all–love this!

June 13, 2020 3:32 am

5 stars
Great flavour. Followed the recipe but found the measurements did not produce a “dough”. I converted to grams as your metric option. Just added more flour until I obtained the dough consistency. Cooked in a covered Dutch oven. Will make again.

Karen G
May 19, 2020 9:23 am

Would this work in a Dutch oven! Waiting on rye flour to make this!

October 14, 2020 7:09 am

I love your receipts and have made several which turned out great I especially like the rye bread but I have a correction for you it is not called bootstrap molasses it is BLACKSTRAP molasses

October 1, 2020 4:53 pm

4 stars
This loaf is delicious, but every time I make it, I end up adding almost double the amount of all purpose flour, and the dough is still so sticky I can barely get it out of either bowl. It makes the loaf completely deflate when I try to form it into a loaf and transfer to the oven, which leads to some pretty dense bread. I have no idea if I’m doing something wrong. I even went by grams instead of cups (which, by the way, your grams listing for the regular flour is off).

August 18, 2020 4:07 pm

5 stars
This bread is awesome! My husband said it’s the best rye bread he has ever had!

I still cannot seem to get the dough from being sticky. I added 3 cups of flour but did not want to add more. Is it okay to add more? I’m using unbleached AP flour. Thanks for a wonderful recipe!

August 19, 2020 12:06 pm
Reply to  Elizabeth

Yes, it is always ok to add more flour if the dough is still feeling sticky. There are so many factors that go into how much flour is needed (like temperature, humidity, etc.), that it is best to go by feel rather than sticking to the amount called for.

August 3, 2020 2:57 pm

5 stars
Very good bread. Thank you! It is hard to believe that there is no oil nor egg.

June 27, 2020 8:05 pm

5 stars
Yummy! This was my first attempt at rye bread, and it was very easy to make. I love that the recipe doesn’t call for milk. The only ingredient that I didn’t have was cornmeal, so I just used bread flour. I know it’ll be even better next time now that I have one successful bake under my belt. Oh, and I almost never watch videos that accompany recipes, but I’m glad that I watched this one. Seeing the correct consistency of the dough was super helpful.

June 19, 2020 2:15 pm

5 stars
I made a small loaf (half quantity) initially to see what it would be like. I wish I had made it using the full ingredients as it was fabulous. I was a little concerned as it was a little sticky but needn’t have worried as the final result looked and tasted amazing.. A real winner. Thank you.

Nisa S
July 29, 2020 3:09 am

I made this today (half portion). I didn’t have all purpose flour so I used bread flour. I had to add 1/4 cup of bread flour because the dough is too sticky. Perhaps its something to do with the humidity here in Singapore. I followed the recipe for 30 minutes baking time and it was a bit brown on the top (I forgot I have reduced the quantity to half). Overall it is a brilliant recipe. Will definitely make again. Thank you

June 19, 2020 2:12 pm

I made a small loaf (half quantity) initially to see what it would be like. I wish I had made it using the full ingredients as it was fabulous. I was a little concerned as it was a little sticky but needn’t have worried as the final result looked and tasted amazing. I didn’t have cornmeal so used a mixture of cornflour and polenta to coat it. A real winner. Thank you.

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