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Rye Bread

A delicious whole-grain, high protein bread with a taste of rye and sunflower seeds.

This recipe is based on the bread of my grandmother, Harriet Weaver. This is a great bread to toast with jam and butter or make savory sandwiches! I like to start this bread at night and then bake it in the morning.

Plan Do Eat
Rye BreadRye Bread


  • 1 quart milk (I like to use whole milk)
  • 1/4 cup butter (unsalted)
  • 1 Tbsp salt
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 packets of yeast
  • 1 cup raw sunflower seeds (unsalted)
  • 2 cups white (winter) whole wheat flour
  • 2 cups rye flour
  • 4 cups bread flour

Prepare Dough

  1. Heat milk to scalding in a heavy pot (little bubbles will form on the sides of the pan - about 160°F).
  2. Add butter, salt, and sugar and stir to melt and dissolve. Transfer to a large mixing bowl and let the mixture cool to room temperature.
  3. Add the yeast, stir and let sit for a few minutes. Then add flours and seeds by each cup until totally incorporated.
    At some point, you will want to stop stirring and knead in the flour. Do this until the dough is "satiny".  It may take a little more or less flour.
  4. Cover and let sit at room temp (65-70°F) for 8-15 hours.
  5. After this long rise, punch down and see if you need in a little more flour (1/4 to 1/2 a cup).
  6. Divide dough in half and knead each half into a ball. Place each ball onto a baking tray with parchment and let rise for another 60-90 minutes. 15-20 minutes before baking, score the top of each loaf (no more than 1/2 inch deep) with a large hashtag (see picture).

Baking Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 450°F and put an empty oven proof dish (like a cast iron --not glass--) on the bottom shelf of the oven.
  2. When even is ready, heat 1/2 cup of water to boiling. 
  3. Place risen bread in oven with plenty of headspace to rise more. Then quickly, with an oven mitt on, pour the water into the cast iron and gently (and quickly) close the door to the oven. The steam will create a wonderful crust on the bread.
  4. After 15 minutes, turn the oven down to 350°F and bake for another 30 minutes.
  5. Take out and let cool on racks.  Let loaves completely cool (like 5-6 hours) before covering.

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