Chewy Semolina Rye Bread

star rating (8) rate this recipe »
Recipe photo

Chewy Semolina Rye Bread

star rating (8) rate this recipe »
Published prior to 2008

This recipe comes from Christine Heyn of South Hadley, Massachusetts. She writes, "I am a Baking Sheet reader and would like to share this delicious sandwich bread recipe with you. My family just loves the Italian bread I make with King Arthur flours using semolina and Special bread flour. I decided to try combining semolina with Rye Blend and Special to make a hearty sandwich loaf. I hope you like the results as much as we do and will share it with your readers."

We love this bread -- the dough is very easy to work with, the texture is soft (but chewy), and the taste is delicious. The only change we made was to reduce the yeast by a bit, to keep the dough from rising so quickly.

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (9 ounces) water
1 tablespoon (3/8 ounce) sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons (5/8 ounce) olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons (3/8 ounce) dried minced onions
1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
1 1/2 tablespoons (3/8 ounce) vital wheat gluten
1 cup (4 1/4 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached Special Bread Flour
1 cup (4 ounces) Rye Flour Blend OR 1 cup (3 1/2 ounces) pumpernickel
1 cup (5 3/4 ounces) semolina
2 teaspoons instant yeast

water, egg wash or Bread Shine
1 tablespoon Artisan Bread Topping (optional)

In a large bowl, or in the bucket of your bread machine, combine all of the dough ingredients. Mix, then knead -- by hand, mixer or bread machine -- till you've made a smooth, slightly sticky dough. Allow the dough to rise, covered, for 1 hour.

Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled work surface and let it rest, covered, for 10 minutes. Shape it into one large oval loaf, or divide the dough in half and shape each half into a 7- to 8-inch log. Transfer the loaf or loaves to a greased or parchment-lined baking sheet, cover with a proof cover or lightly greased plastic wrap, and let rise until doubled in bulk, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

Spritz the loaf with water, or brush it with an egg wash (made by beating together 1 egg and 2 tablespoons water) or Bread Shine, then sprinkle with the seed topping, if desired. Bake the bread in a preheated 400°F oven for 18 to 22 minutes (for the large loaf) or 15 to 18 minutes (for the small loaves), until the crust is golden brown and the internal temperature registers 195°F to 200°F on an instant-read thermometer. Remove the bread from the oven, and cool it on a wire rack. Yield: 1 large or 2 small loaves, about 32 slices total.

Nutrition information per serving (2 slices, 41g): 104 cal, 2g fat, 3g protein, 18g complex carbohydrates, 1g sugar, 2g dietary fiber, 201mg sodium, 93mg potassium, 1mg iron, 9mg calcium, 69mg phosphorus.

This recipe reprinted from The Baking Sheet Newsletter, Vol. XIII, No. 2, Winter 2002 issue.


  • star rating 12/08/2014
  • mrmoran from KAF Community
  • One word: Phenomenal. Seemed like an unusual combination, but since I'm on a quest to bake great rye-flour breads, I gave it a try. Followed the recipe to a T, and it produced delectable bread that has, today, been toasted at breakfast, made into sandwiches at lunch, and accompanied KAF's terrific tomato soup at dinner. Just as delicious as you want a home-baked bread to be. Thanks so much!
  • star rating 04/17/2012
  • Britt from Ark
  • This bread was just OK for me. Somehow I expected a more toothsome/crusty bread, with the word chewy. It is, oddly enough, quite chewy, but also very soft. I just prefer a more airy, crusty bread. This bread is denser, soft, and for me, took longer to rise than the stated time. However, if you are into this thing, the recipe is easy to follow and makes a decent soft loaf with some whole grains. I would also add seeds to the bread (rather than just on top next time). The onion flavor was subtle for me, which gives it versatility.
  • star rating 10/05/2011
  • alma722 from KAF Community
  • I just read my comment (10-3-2011) and the rating is wrong. It should be a 5 star. I am making this bread as I type!
  • star rating 10/03/2011
  • alma722 from KAF Community
  • I made this bread this weekend. My usual rye loaf is made with a sponge. This was great and quicker. I bake all my breads in a cloiche as I did this one. My husband likes only my rye bread and Italian bread. This loaf is 3/4 gone and there are only two of us!
  • star rating 10/29/2010
  • anne_meanders from KAF Community
  • My husband and I really enjoy this bread. The texture is dense but not heavy, crust is there but not tough. It's super for sandwiches, can handle spicy mustard, good ham and swiss cheese, but it's also excellent for toasting. I just finished a slice, toasted, with butter and cinnamon sugar! Yum! This recipe is a keeper for sure!
  • star rating 11/01/2009
  • Liane from Arlington, MA
  • Wonderful! I didn't have any AP, so I just added an extra 1/2 Tbsp of gluten, and my very picky toddler is on his third piece! Not a usual kid-pleasing type of bread, but it's so tasty!
  • star rating 07/15/2009
  • Ben from IL
  • This is very unique. I enjoyed the texture and flavor and it is very easy to make. I used my bread machine to knead the dough, which is always a nice time saver.
  • star rating 05/12/2009
  • Yvonne from Mariposa, CA
  • Soft, chewy and delicious. This is a keeper and one of our favorites. After I made the first loaf, I omitted the onions as I thought it overpowered the great bread flavor. It has come out flawless every time...and I am fairly new at making bread!