Everyone has their favorite type of bread, right? It’s the choice you always have at a restaurant. It could be sourdough or wheat for me it’s always rye. I’m constantly playing with and trying to perfect a homemade rye bread recipe.
Caraway Seeds or Not?
I believe that many folks who are not fans of rye bread are truly not fans of caraway seeds more than the rye flour. I could, of course, be wrong but with that in mind this bread can easily be made with or without the caraway seeds. I’ve grown to enjoy caraway seeds but for many it is an acquired taste. If you’re inclined to use this bread for peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, skip the caraway seeds. If you’re going to use it for savory sandwiches and enjoy the flavor be sure to add them.
Dark or Light Rye
There are dark and light rye flours. The difference has to do with how much of the bran and germ is removed from the flour. Pumpernickel flour is supposed to leave all that bran and germ in tact. I have a very hard time find pumpernickel flour locally. Dark rye flour will result in a denser bread with more rye flavor. Light rye will be lighter in color and taste. Use whatever you prefer. If you’re new to rye bread, start with the light and work up to the dark, perhaps.
Many dark rye breads actually get their darker color from the addition of molasses and cocoa powder. Those ingredients also add a slightly darker, bitter flavor. I often skip the cocoa powder simply because the color doesn’t matter all that much to me. Maple syrup or honey will also work instead of molasses if there isn’t any in the pantry.
New to baking bread? Be sure to check out my primer: How to Bake a Basic Loaf of Bread