Raisin-Pecan Rye Bread

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Raisin-Pecan Rye Bread

star rating (9) rate this recipe »
Published prior to 2008

There's something very right about the combination of rye flour, raisins, and pecans. The subtle, earthy flavor of rye, the nuttiness of the pecans, and the offsetting sweetness of raisins combine to make a bread whose flavor seems to hit all parts of your tongue and taste buds at once. This dense, moist bread is delicious spread with butter (toasted or not); or serve it with Roquefort or another assertive cheese.

1/8 teaspoon instant yeast
1 cup (4 1/4 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1/3 cup (2 5/8 ounces) cool water

1 1/4 teaspoons salt
3 tablespoons (1 3/4 ounces) brown sugar, light or dark
1/2 cup (1 7/8 ounces) medium or light rye flour
1/2 cup (1 7/8 ounces) pumpernickel
1 cup (4 1/4 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
3/4 cup (6 ounces) lukewarm water
2 teaspoons instant yeast
2 tablespoons (1 ounce) butter
1/2 cup (2 ounces) chopped pecans
1 cup (5 ounces) currants or raisins

Make the biga by stirring together the yeast, flour, and water. The dough will be very stiff and dry. Place it in a lightly greased bowl, cover it, and let it rest at room temperature overnight.

Next day, combine the biga with the remaining ingredients (except the pecans and fruit) in a large mixing bowl, or in the bowl of an electric mixer, mixing to form a shaggy, sticky dough. Knead the dough until smooth (even though it's smooth, it'll still be very sticky), then place it in a lightly greased bowl and let it rest for 1 hour; it will become quite puffy, though it may not double in bulk.

Transfer the dough to a lightly greased work surface, gently deflate it, and knead in the nuts and fruit. Shape the dough into a slightly flattened ball and place it on a greased sheet pan, or into a greased 9" round cake pan. Cover the pan with a proof cover or some lightly greased plastic wrap. Let the loaf rise for about 90 minutes, until it's puffy.

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Bake the bread for about 50 to 55 minutes (tenting it lightly for the final 15 minutes), until its interior registers 190°F to 195°F on an instant-read thermometer. Remove the bread from the oven and cool it on rack. Yield: about 16 servings.

Nutrition information per serving (1 slice, 68g): 202 calories, 10g protein, 30g carbohydrates, 5g fat, 7g fiber, 1g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 4mg cholesterol, 191mg sodium, 9g sugars, 43mg Vitamin C, 2mg iron, 22mg calcium.


  • star rating 03/11/2015
  • Estee from New York
  • This bread was fabulous. I used all rye flour (instead of rye and pumpernickel) and it was delicious. I've made it with an overnight rise and also for the 90 minutes and found no difference. I've also tried soaking the raisins in advance and found it made no difference in the final product.
  • star rating 01/23/2015
  • nikocookie from philadelphia
  • This is a dangerously good bread! I found this bread looking for a good breakfast bread to eat with morning tea. Overall this is a beautiful bread that I would definitely make again. Even with the use of whole wheat flour, this bread baked up moist and springy and not too dense. Slices well thin or thick and toasts perfectly. The currants/raisins add so much natural sweetness that I would use one less tablespoon of sugar next time, maybe even 1/4 cup less raisins. With excellent results I used: all rye flour instead of part pumpernickel, KA whole wheat flour in place of all purpose flour, 1tbs molasses in place of 1 of the tbs sugar, oil in place of butter, currants ipo raisins, 1/2 c sunflower kernels ipo pecans. I baked this in my 10 inch cast iron pan for 30 minutes uncovered and 15 minutes tented. My oven runs a bit hot.
  • star rating 10/10/2012
  • pammyowl from KAF Community
  • I have already reviewed this using wheat and rye flours, but I just attempted it using gluten free ingredients and a moist, tender result was achieved! Here is what I did; 5.5 oz. KAF GF AP flour 1/2 c. cool water 1/8 tsp. instant yeast Stir together and let sit on the counter overnight (actually, I let it sit for about 20 hours) 2 c. buckwheat flour 1/2 c. cornstarch 1 1/2 tsp. salt 1 1/2 T instant yeast 1 egg 1 tsp. baking soda 3 T. brown sugar 1 c. water 3 T. butter 1 c. raisins 1/2 c chopped pecans put ingredients in a stand mixer, beat the heck out of it for a few minutes, scrape out the batter into a 8" round cake pan. Cover with greased plastic wrap, let sit for 30-45 mn. Place in cold oven then set oven to 350. Bake for one hour, turning halfway through. Cool completely before cutting Enjoy!
    Thanks for sharing your variation with us and all our wonderful customer/bakers. Your GF tips are especiallhy helpful to all. Happy Baking! Irene @ KAF
  • star rating 05/06/2011
  • Mary.B from KAF Community
  • I carefully cut into this while it was still warm - big no no, but sometimes one has to live dangerously! This bread is just delicious. It was very easy to make, baked up picture perfect. It is not too dense, and has plenty of raisins. Wonderful!
  • star rating 05/02/2011
  • pammyowl from KAF Community
  • OMG! I can't believe how good this bread is! I knew it would be good, but not thi sgood.The recipe is easy, too. It turned out really beautiful. Next time I will double and keep one ball of dough in the freezer. Thanks, KAF!
  • star rating 03/13/2011
  • mrs_o from KAF Community
  • I'm in heaven! What a wonderful loaf! One of the best recipes I've made in my almost 40 years of bread baking. Here are the adjustments I made: * I used one cup of George Greenstein's rye sour (Secrets of a Jewish Baker) in place of the biga. I was using the rye sour in another recipe and had some extra ready to go. I wondered if the sour's very tart flavor might stand out too much in the finished loaf but I needn't have been concerned. * I increased the butter to 4 tablespoons. * I added diastatic malt powder and vital wheat gluten in amounts recommended on their packaging. * The pecans were toasted and the raisins soaked in rum overnight. * And, based on another baker's earlier suggestion, the final rise was overnight in the fridge. The loaf has a fine crumb and its texture is like satin. The taste is incomparable - superb breakfast bread. Hmm, maybe next time I'll try 1/2 cup rum-soaked raisins and 1/2 cup dried cherries soaked in amaretto and see how that turns out!
    Thank you so much for sharing your ideas with us. ~Amy
  • star rating 02/19/2011
  • Jim M from KAF Community
  • I have made this recipe twice - once from the hard bound cookbook and once from the online recipe: there is a difference in each on amounts of flour as well as cook times. The 50 minute cook time was too long. The recipe was used for round as well as long breads. These both came out very well even though finding pumpernickel flour (used rye flour to compensate) was not possible. Added sesame seeds to the top in one version and poppy seeds in another - both came out well. One approach not mentioned is to let the dough sit during the first kneeding and then let rise for a hour and put into the refrigerator and bake the next day or so. The bread gets better texture and taste from a slow cool rise.
  • star rating 03/22/2009
  • Vadim from Vancouver, BC
  • Just finished baking this one. It is definitely not a beginner's bread, so if it is your first time, don't start with it. I have some experience and I found it was a bit tricky. Taste wise it is excellent! I could not find any pumpernickel here so I just used some dark rye instead. I also did not use butter, I used olive oil. I made a mistake putting it in a glass pie plate and should have used regular one for bread I always use. As a result I had hard time proofing it and I think I would have had better result in a rectangular form. All in all, it tastes amazing and except the sticky part it is easy to make. Enjoy.