Caraway Rye Bread

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Yield: 1 large loaf or 2 smaller loaves

Recipe photo

This seeded light-colored, soft rye bread is delicious for deli sandwiches — corned beef on rye, anyone?

Caraway Rye Bread

star rating (70) rate this recipe »
Hands-on time:
Baking time:
Total time:
Yield: 1 large loaf or 2 smaller loaves
Published: 02/21/2013


Tips from our bakers

  • Don't throw away that dill or sour pickle juice! It's a great substitute for the water in this recipe. Depending on the saltiness of the juice, you'll want to cut back the salt in the recipe to 3/4 teaspoon to 1 teaspoon.


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Note: Thanks to reader feedback, as of February 22, 2013, changes have been made to this recipe to create a less sticky dough, one easier to work with and shape; and to ensure the bread doesn't sink in the center after baking. The amount of water has been reduced from 1 1/4 cups to 1 cup; and the amount of rye flour has been decreased from 1 1/4 cups to 1 cup, with the amount of all-purpose flour increasing from 2 cups to 2 1/3 cups. In addition, the sugar has been decreased by 2 teaspoons. Thanks, as always, for your good feedback.

1) In a medium-sized mixing bowl or the bowl of your stand mixer, combine the water, sugar, rye flour and yeast, mixing to form a soft batter. Let the mixture rest for 20 minutes; this allows the rye flour to absorb some of the liquid, making the dough easier to knead.

2) Add the remaining ingredients, and mix and knead the dough together — by hand, mixer or bread machine — until it's fairly smooth. The nature of rye dough is to be sticky, so don't be tempted to add too much flour.

3) Place the dough in an oiled bowl or large (8-cup) measure, cover, and let it rise until noticeably puffy, 60 to 90 minutes.

4) Gently deflate the dough, knead it briefly, and shape it into two smooth oval or round loaves; or one long oval loaf. Place them on a lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheet.

5) Cover the loaves, and let them rise until they're noticeably puffy, about 90 minutes. Towards the end of the rise, preheat the oven to 350°F.

6) Just before they go into the oven, spritz the loaves with water, and slash them about 1/2" deep. The oval loaves look good with one long, vertical slash; the rounds, with two or three shorter slashes across the top.

7) Bake the loaves for 35 to 40 minutes, or until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center reads 205°F to 210°F. The single, larger loaf will bake for 45 to 50 minutes. If the bread appears to be browning too quickly, tent it lightly with foil after 25 minutes of baking.

8) Remove the loaves from the oven, and transfer them to a rack. While still warm, brush them with melted butter, if desired; this will keep their crust soft.

Yield: 1 large loaf or 2 smaller loaves.


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  • star rating 04/12/2015
  • member-kdcbelle1 from KAF Community
  • Great tasting bread. I added some of the KA Deli Rye Flavor, about 1 tsp, next time I'd add a little more. The pickle juice sounds interesting. Added 1 1/2 TBL caraway seeds which wasn't too much. I made 2 loaves but I think 1 large loaf would be better. The 2 smaller loaves didn't seem to rise as much as I'd like but definitely tasted great. I mixed everything in my bread machine on the dough cycle where it rose beautifully, then shaped and baked in the oven on the KA baking stone. The taste is wonderful and I'll definitely make this one again. I used pumpernickel and the KA First Clear Flour.
  • star rating 04/12/2015
  • Annette from Richmond, VA
  • Mine came out looking like a lumpy asteroid with a tough crust and about half the size of what is shown in the photo. I was very careful about following the instructions but I could not get the top smooth during the two rises. There were so many holes and large open cracks in the dough that I did not make a slash. The taste was good but it is not sandwich bread.
    Sounds like the dough could have used some more liquid to make the dough softer and smoother. Dry dough has a much harder time rising than a wetter, more sticky dough. MJR @ KAF
  • star rating 03/28/2015
  • Tabitha from Jacksonville, NC
  • This was the perfect rye, much lighter than anything I could buy at the store. I hand-kneaded it, very sticky but that was to be expected. I wonder if anyone else had the problem I had when I slashed the top before putting it in the oven because it completely deflated. I just kept it on my stove top and let it rise again, then baked it. It threw my time frame for dinner off by 45 minutes but it was worth it.
  • star rating 03/24/2015
  • Jenny from Estero, FL
  • I make this bread entirely in my Sunbeam bread machine without making any changes to the recipe. I use basic, 1.5 loaf size and light crust settings. I usually add caraway seeds but ran out of them recently and used flaxseeds! This is the most delicious rye bread. Very moist but slices without breaking apart. Slice and store it in the freezer and take out slices, as required. Definitely a keeper!
  • star rating 03/14/2015
  • member-cmarias from KAF Community
  • There's no doubt that this is a great-tasting, easy recipe. I used the pumpernickel and first clear flour options and substituted part of the water with dill pickle juice as suggested. The flavor is light, perfect for sandwiches, but next time I'll add KAF "deli rye flavor" to step it up a notch. I made a batch and a half so it produced 2 good-sized loaves. Going for a crispy crust, I put one of the loaves in a 4.25 qt.covered ceramic baker and the other in a 4qt.covered cast iron baker. Neither crust was super-crispy, but I didn't spritz them before baking as I didn't think that it was necessary with the covered bakers. Hmm. Next time I'll bring out the spritzer! It is interesting to note that the cast iron baker produced a higher rise but that the bread browned a little too much at the end where it was touching the sides.Another "hmm"....Use a larger pan next time!!
  • star rating 03/01/2015
  • Sue from Athens, NY
  • This is the first rye bread I've made that actually tastes like fresh from-the-bakery rye. I used medium rye flour and King Arthur bread flour and low fat sour cream. I only used 2 cups of bread flour. More than that and the dough would have been too dry. Kneaded just a few times and let it rise for about 1 1/4 hours. Deflated it and kneaded it a few times again, shaped into one large loaf and let rise for about 40 minutes. One long slash down the middle and baked for 50 minutes. This recipe makes exactly the type of rye bread I've been looking for.
  • star rating 02/03/2015
  • Ritik from KAF Community
  • Very good recipe, to make it non- dairy, I added soy sour cream , and because it does not contain a lot of fat, I added 2 T. spoons of olive oil, the result was good. Next time, I also reduced yeast in half, but added 1 cup of not fed starter, plus non dairy sour cream, olive oil, but I also had to reduce amount of white flour, I was adding little by little, to form smooth ball, and added a small handful of sprouted sunflower seeds,the result was over any expectations, perfect round light loaf.
  • star rating 02/02/2015
  • Geri from Southington, CT
  • Wonderful flavor. Easy to prepare.
  • star rating 01/31/2015
  • Janet from Wallingford, VT
  • I just made this bread and am so pleased! Such a nice texture and a more mild flavor, a touch of sweetness and no bitterness. This is going to be a really nice sandwich bread. The only thing I did different, is in the initial mixing.....I dumped all the ingredients in a bowl and turned on my mixer just a minute or so, long enough to only mix it up. Then a splash of oil on my hands and counter, I rolled it around about 3-4 times and rounded it up and put a bowl over to cover. Waited 5 minutes, then folded in the edges left over right, right over left, and repeated once more, covered with a bowl and waited 5 minutes. I did this 4 times. I got the idea from the pizza video in a KAF a email I got a few weeks ago and so far, this technique has worked wonderfully on every recipe of bread I have tried. The dough ends up so perfect, springy, soft, supple. And it worked on this rye bread too. Oh it is such an easy way to knead bread! Thank you KAF!!
  • star rating 01/24/2015
  • GG from McHenry, IL
  • I am making this in the bread machine now. At the 5 minute mark, the dough is perfect. I added the gluten but didn't have any pickle juice. Hoping for the best to go with soup tonight on a chilly January night!
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