Steph's Rye Bread

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Steph's Rye Bread

star rating (6) rate this recipe »
Published prior to 2008

Stephanie Stone, a member of our Baker's Store and catalogue teams, is a regular participant in the New York City Marathon; her training sessions are often fueled by this bread, which she comments on as follows:

"This recipe is based on one in Bernard Clayton's New Complete Book of Breads. My father is a rye bread fanatic who grew up in a Jewish household in Albany, N.Y. and has yet to find a rye bread that compares to the great bakery stuff he ate growing up. This bread has gone through many variations and taste tests -- several times I've even driven to my parents' summer home in Lake George, N.Y. with my starter and ingredients and finished it there -- and the following version is the one he likes the best."

2 cups medium rye flour
1 tablespoon instant yeast
1 tablespoon 5-Seed Baking Blend*
1 1/2 cups water

all of the sponge (above)
1 cup water
1/4 cup molasses
1 tablespoon 5-Seed Baking Blend*
1 egg
1 tablespoon salt
2 cups medium rye flour
2 cups first clear flour
2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour

1 tablespoon (or more, to taste) 5-Seed Baking Blend*

*Or your favorite seeds or blend of seeds (caraway, sesame, poppy, etc.)

The Sponge: Mix the above ingredients in a large bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let stand at least 2 hours or up to three days. The longer it stands, the more flavor it will develop.

Mix all of the ingredients (except the seeds for the topping) until the dough is a shaggy mass that no longer adheres significantly to the bowl. Turn it out onto a well-floured board; it'll be fairly sticky and soft throughout the kneading process, but knead it until it's smooth and supple. Place in a well-greased bowl, cover and let rise until doubled in size, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

Punch the dough down, shape into two round loaves, and place on a lightly greased pan. Let stand, covered, for 30 minutes. Brush loaves with water or egg white, and sprinkle with seeds. Bake at 45O°F for 30 to 40 minutes, or until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of the loaf registers 190°F to 200°F. remove the bread from the oven, and cool it on a wire rack. Yield: 2 loaves.


  • star rating 03/20/2015
  • member-kdcbelle1 from KAF Community
  • Excellent! Used KA Harvest Grains blend for the seed mixture, let the sponge sit for 2 days, added a little rye bread improver with the final addition of flour. I made 2 round loaves, topped with the Harvest Grains and baked on my baking stone at 450 which seemed a little hot. The bread seems to keep well and is still tasting good after several days. I wonder if 450 the correct temp for this bread?
    Rye breads are generally baked at a high temperature. This is the correct temperature for this recipe, but you may want to double check if your oven is reading accurately with an oven thermometer, and be sure to preheat your stone for a full hour before baking. Barb@KAF
  • star rating 03/05/2015
  • Monica from B town
  • I made this recipe as directed but didn't have first clear flour and couldn't find it locally. I used rye flour per the recipe and bread flour instead of AP and clear flour. I added 4 tablespoons vital wheat gluten and added a little extra water during kneading to get the consistency right. It took a loooong time to rise, but it was worth it. Tasted great and had a great texture. I took it to church and everyone loved it. I will be making it again.
  • star rating 02/09/2015
  • ecmbestcooker from KAF Community
  • This recipe is perfection; delicious, and oh so easy to prepare. I baked half in KAF's round cloche and half in KAF's Hearth Bread Pan. Both worked very well and made beautiful loaves, though my personal preference is the cloche baker. To me, the true test of any bread recipe is the next-day texture and taste, and this bread rates a 10+, plain or toasted, and a must for Reuben sandwiches. Thank you KAF for your continued top of the line products and first-rate cheerful availability for all of my baking questions. Wouldn't want to bake without your help.
  • star rating 01/30/2015
  • Wendi from Vermont
  • I have been making this bread for years which has wonderful rye flavor. I have made it with and without the Rye Bread Improver... delicious, beautiful color and lovely rye flavor. It is a tad on the sweet side because of the molasses. I am happy to see it posted as I know it is an older KAF recipe.
  • star rating 03/29/2010
  • Kathy A. from Orem, Utah
  • I made this bread for the first time yesterday. The only ingredient substitution is that I used KAF Rye Bread Improver, 1 tablespoon per cup of flour (not in the sponge) and also decreased each cup of flour by the 1 tablespoon. We prefer the long, oval loaves and I formed the dough into 2 oval loaves and placed on semolina dusted parchment lined baking pan. Baked at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes. The bread turned out perfect at a final internal temperature of 195 degrees. My one comment and question is that the bread tastes a little bit too sweet, probably from the amount of molasses being used. Do you have a recommendation for decreasing the amount of molasses, but including or increasing the amount of other liquid? Thanks.
    Kathy - You could replace the molasses with the same amount of honey. Omitting the molasses will change the appearance of your bread. It will not be as dark in color as most rye breads are. You could also cut the molasses in half and increase the water by a few T. Elisabeth @ KAF
  • star rating 04/29/2009
  • Signe from California
  • i think the final raising should be more than 30 minutes i followed directions and bread split at bottom someone who has more experience would probably know better than I what to do bread tastes wonderful, but split at bottom sides to expand I know the recipe states 30 minutes, but you should always test a rising loaf to amke sure it is ready for the oven. Risng time will vary depending upon the local environment. Always do a dimple test. Frank @ KAF.