Introduction: Ryebread

This is an instructable about the very dark, robust type of ryebread that is very popular here in Denmark.

It is a healthy alternative to white bread, containing lots of fibres, and being more dense and compact, which saves space in the lunchbox.

We here in Denmark traditionally have rather fat and unhealthy foods, but one thing we do have, which is suitable for the modern way of living healthy, is this ryebread.

I did however find, when I went to Seattle last year, that at least most Americans do not know about this high-fiber type of bread., which seems to have mostly american users, with a strong focus on health, seemed like a perfect place to introduce it.

I have been eating this type of bread my whole life, and therefore I'm used to it, so this is also a test to see if anyone who is not used to it, will actually find it tasty.

This instructable will be a recipe for a very basic type of ryebread.
It will be of a somewhat simple, somewhat quick-to-do, somewhat healthy, and somewhat tasty type.
The reason for this is that you can tweak and change the recipe in a thousand ways, and I am hoping that some of you will come to like it, and experiment with it, until you find the combination YOU like the best. I will have a list of possible extra ingredients and combinations at the end of the instructable.

Step 1: Ingredients and Tools

For this basic recipe we will be using the following ingredients:

- 3/4Liters/0.2Gallons Water
- 35g/1.3oz Yeast
- 225g/8oz Rye
Grains. chopped / broken
- 225g/8oz Wheat Grains. whole / cracked
- 75g/2.6oz Syrup, dark*
- 35g/1.3oz Salt
- 450g/16oz Rye Flour, coarse
- 225g/8oz Wheat flour

* Normal sugar can be used as a substitute.

Note: I'll be using wheat bran, as I forgot wheat grains, whoops... :(

We will also be using these tools:

- Big Bowl for mixing
- Something to stir with
- Forms for the bread*
- Scale
- Measuring Cup

* For a good form, use one for wheat bread, or a ceramic casserole, whatever you like.
Just remember to grease it if it does not have anti-stick-coating.
I used 2 forms, but the breads came out too small, so this recipe is for 1 bread.

Step 2: Yeast in Water

Dissolve the yeast in hand-warm water.
Surely part of baking 101, but I will just note it anyway.
If the water is too cold or warm to yeast will die, and the bread won't rise, giving a rock-hard result.

So feel the water with your hand or wrist. It has to be comfortably warm, not too cold for a bath, but not as hot as you probably like it when taking a bath ;)

Step 3: Mix It All In

Just add in the rest of the ingredients, but do not start with the salt.
The salt might inhibit or kill some of the yeast, if mixed in too early.

After mixing the ingredients, check if the thickness of the dough is as it should be.

A nice way to test it is to place the spoon upright in the middle of the dough. If it tilts slowly, its perfect.

Adjust the dough with a little rye flour or a little water.

Step 4: Rising

Put the dough in the form(s). Remember to grease them if they do are not coated with teflon or the alike.

Soak and wring a towel so that it is just damp. Cover the form(s) with it, and leave for 12 hours.

Step 5: Baking

Preheat your oven to 170C/338F.
Place the bread in the lower half of the oven, and bake for 1:15 hours.

To get the bread out of the form, either use a butterknife, or turn the form upside down, and let cool a bit. Then shake the form until the bread lets go.

If the bread is not crusty on the sides, place it without the forms in the oven for 10-15 minutes.

Leave the bread to rest for 6-12 hours (Actually, it's hard to slice until it's a day old).
If the crust is too hard, cover it with a damp towel, otherwise, cover it with a dry one.

That's it, now you have some healthy grainy bread. Hope you like it!

Step 6: Variants

Here is the fun part. You can add all kinds of extra ingredients, or replace some of those already in the bread, with alternatives.

For extra texture:


    Sunflower seeds
    Pumpkin seeds
    Sesame seeds


    Chopped Hazelnuts
    Chopped Almonds



Studies have shown that the oils from seeds are only partly digested, so they "don't count as much" as oil from nuts.

For different taste and consistency:

    Replacing wheat flour with coarse wheat flour
    Using only rye flour
    Replace the wheat flour with brans, or just add brans to the mix
    Using beer or milk instead of the water
    Add yoghurt
    Add grated carrots
    Replace yeast with sourdough

Actually, "REAL" ryebread is made by using only rye flour (replacing the wheat flour with same amount of rye flour), and is made on sourdough, not yeast!

Also, for a super healthy, super dark, super grainy superbread, add the 4 types of seeds, replace the wheat flour with different brans, and replace the syrup with artificial sweetener.

For a more "light" kind of bread, use 50/50 rye and wheat flour, add carrots, 1½ cups of mixed seeds, and a small cup of chopped nuts.

I usually just mix in the extra ingredients "on the feel", but if there is something you would like to try and you would like some concrete guidelines, let me know in the comments.
Then I'll find and translate a recipe with the ingredients you would like.