Classic Rye Bread

This recipe is adapted from It is originally called Classic Pumpernickel Bread. Rye flour is just as good. The only challenge is that the dough ends up being very sticky, so you have to continually, gradually add the wheat flour as you knead it (no pun intended). I also like to add seeds to the wet ingredients including sunflower, flax, and sesame. Sprinkle sesame seeds on top before you put it in the oven. This bread is substantial and heavy, in part due to the mashed potatoes. If you like to bake then you should try this recipe!


1 3/4 cups (12 ounces) water

1/2 cup cornmeal

1/4 cup (3 ounces) molasses

1 tablespoon butter

1 tablespoon salt

2 teaspoons sugar

2 teaspoons caraway seeds

1 1/2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

1 tablespoon active dry yeast or 2 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast

3 cups (11 1/4 ounces) rye flour

1 cup (4 ounces) (approximately) Whole Wheat Flour

2 medium-sized potatoes, peeled, boiled, mashed and cooled (to make 1 cup mashed potatoes; you can use instant if you prefer) 

1 egg white mixed with 1 tablespoon cold water, for glaze

Makes: 2 loaves

Combine 1 1/2 cups of water with the cornmeal in a saucepan, and cook over low heat, stirring often, till thickened, about 5 minutes. Remove pan from heat and add the molasses, butter, salt, sugar, caraway seeds and cocoa powder. Stir to combine and set aside to cool to lukewarm.

Warm the remaining 1/4 cup water to approximately 110°F, and stir the yeast into it. Set aside to proof for 10 minutes.

Put the molasses mixture in a large bowl, and add the yeast and mashed potatoes. Stir in the pumpernickel and enough whole wheat flour to make a stiff, sticky dough. Turn dough out onto a floured work surface, and knead until elastic and stiff—up to 15 minutes. You can do this in a mixer attached with a dough hook if you prefer.

Place the dough in a greased bowl, turning to coat all sides, cover with plastic wrap, and set aside to rise for about 1 hour, or until doubled in bulk. Punch the dough down, knead for 30 seconds or so, and form into two smooth balls, or into loaves to fit two 8 1/2 x 4 1/2-inch bread pans. Grease the bread pans, or a baking sheet, and set loaves in pans or on sheet. Set aside to rise for 30 minutes or longer, till doubled in bulk.

Brush loaves with egg white glaze. Bake bread in a preheated 375°F oven for 50 minutes, or until it tests done.

Freshly baked rye bread arugula, spinach, egg & cheese sandwich.

1 thought on “Classic Rye Bread”

  1. I’ve baked my bread in the past…think I’ll get back to it with this recipe. Also, love the egg omelet
    with sweet potato. Keep the recipes coming! Thanks, Deca


Leave a Comment