Rye and Caraway Bread is a very delicious full flavoured bread that is ideal for Danish-style open sandwiches. It is easy to make and even better to eat. I like to serve it simply spread with a little butter with soups and salads.
My love of caraway seeds started early, as my Mum would make seed cake or sometimes just seed buns. These were little sponge cakes filled with these aniseed-flavoured seeds, and I couldn’t get enough of them. Those are the same flavours you can enjoy in this healthy and delicious Rye and Caraway Bread.
What is Rye Flour?
Rye flour is made from the rye grain. Rye is a grass-like plant that is closely related to wheat, it grows particularly well in harsher conditions About 65% of the rye is harvested in eastern Europe (Russia, Poland, and Germany) due to its adaptation to harsh winters and poor soils. In these regions, rye flour is usually mixed with wheat flour for the production of traditional breads. Rye flour is often used for the production of sourdough starters and artisan breads. Bread made from rye has a darker colour than wheat bread and has a dense crumb and a distinct mildly acidic flavour.
What are Caraway Seeds?
Caraway Seeds are not actually seeds at all! They are actually the fruit of the caraway plant and contain a seed inside. The caraway plant is part of the same family as carrots and parsley. However, the caraway seeds or fruits have a distinct aniseed flavour and have been used in both medicine and cooking since Roman times and probably before.
Caraway seeds are included in many European recipes such as sauerkraut, caraway seed cake, Hungarian goulash and in the cuisines of Norway and Sweden where it is most often used in bread.
What can I substitute for the caraway?
If you don’t like the flavour you can simply leave the seeds out of the bread altogether. Many rye breads are made without caraway and are just as good. If you do like aniseed but don’t have any caraway, you can substitute fennel or dill seeds.
Can I freeze the Rye and Caraway Seed Bread?
Yes, you can freeze the bread. I recommend that you cut it into slices and open freeze these on a flat tray. Once they are frozen store them in the freezer in a sealed bag or container for up to 3 months. You can thaw individual slices or pop the bread into the toaster direct from the freezer.
How long can I keep Rye and Caraway Bread?
You can keep rye bread for nearly a week before it spoils, especially if you can keep it moist. Wrap the loaf in a tea towel and then put it into a large plastic bag and the bread will retain it’s moisture and chewy texture.
Why I love rye bread!
My introduction to rye bread was in a small restaurant in Perth, called Timothy’s. The bread was served in thin slices and covered with sweet pickled herring. This restaurant was a favourite place for our family to eat as we all love fish and seafood and the menu was full of these delights.
Later when I moved to Glasgow, I took every opportunity to eat at the Danish Food Centre in St Vincent Street where they had an amazing smorgasbord buffet including many types of herring and rye bread. I even had my graduation dinner there and was devastated when it closed.
How to make Rye and Caraway Bread
Follow the simple instructions for a perfect result every time.
Put the dry ingredients in a bowl
- Add the rye flour, strong white bread flour, salt, yeast and most of the caraway seeds into a large bowl
- Add the treacle and most of the water and bring together with your hands or the dough hook of your mixer.
Knead the dough
I use my stand mixer and dough hook to knead this loaf, If you use the dough hook you can knead for a slightly shorter time 5- 6 minutes. If kneading by hand, put some oil on your work surface and knead for about 10 minutes until smooth.
Leave to prove (rise)
- Lightly oil a bowl and put the dough inside.
- Cover with a tea towel or plastic wrap and leave in a warm place for 2 hours until double in size.
- Knock back the dough, to release the air and fold over a few times.
- Shape the dough into a round and place it on a baking sheet.
- Cover and leave for another 2-3 hours double in size.
- Brush with a little water, slash the top of the bread with a lame or sharp knife, and sprinkle over the remaining caraway seeds.
Bake the Bread
- Bake in a hot oven for 30 minutes until till deep golden brown.
- Cool completely on a wire rack before slicing.
How do I serve Rye and Caraway Bread?
Serve this delicious, slightly sweet dense loaf in slices. Serve it in the traditonal way topped with cold meats and pickled fish, or simply butter the bread and serve with soups or salads.
More Bread Recipes from Farmersgirl Kitchen
More Bread Recipes
- Olive Garlic Spelt Bread – Tin & Thyme
- Easy White Bread Recipe – Apply to Face
- Gluten-Free Wholemeal Bread – Gluten Free Alchemist
Rye and Caraway Bread
- 250 g rye flour and a little extra for dusting and a little extra for dusting
- 250 g strong white flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 7 g packet of fast action yeast
- 20 ml black treacle
- 1 tbsp caraway seeds
- 300 ml water
- a little olive oil for kneading
- Place the rye and strong white flour in a bowl and mix together.
- Add the salt to one side and yeast to the other
- Add the treacle and most of the water and mix together to create a soft dough, add a little more water if it is too dry.
- Put some olive oil on your work surface and put the dough on top
- Knead the dough for about 10 minutes until it is smooth and slightly stretchy (it won’t be as stretchy as an all wheat flour loaf)
- Oil a bowl and put the dough in the bowl and cover with cling film or a tea towel, leave to rise for two hours until doubled in size.
- Once the bread has risen, bring it back to the work surface and fold it in on itself to knock the air out of it.
- Shape into a round and place on a flour dusted baking sheet, Cover again and leave to rise for 2-3 hours until doubled in size again
- Brush with a little water and sprinkle with a few extra caraway seeds, then slash with a knife.
- Heat the oven to 220 C and bake for 30 minutes
This bread keeps really well, I was still eating it 6 days later and it still tasted fresh and good.