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Authentic Danish Rye Bread Recipe 

  • without starter

This easy Authentic Danish Rye Bread Recipe is as straightforward to make as it is irresistibly delicious. Full of deep flavors and lots of seeds, it’s the simplest rye bread recipe ever. No starter, no weeklong proofing, and no time wasted. Just delicious healthy rye bread ready to slice thickly and load up with all your favorite bread toppings…or make it simple with a generous spread of almond butter or your butter of choice. 

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What is rye bread

Rye bread simply means it’s bread made with rye flour. Traditionally Danish and Scandinavian rye bread is made with lots of crunchy seeds and a deep almost earthy flavor thanks to dark rye bread. To add to the rich flavors and to give the bread a hint of sweetness it’s sometimes made with beer (as it is in this recipe). However, if you prefer not to bake with beer, you will find easy substitutions listed as well. 

Easy Traditional Danish rye bread or rugbrød recipe

Rugbrød, as it’s known in Denmark, is eaten every day in almost every single household in Denmark. It’s a much-beloved bread full of healthy nutrients. Why? Firstly, it’s packed with seeds, grains, and cracked rye kernels Danish rye bread is a healthier alternative to regular white bread. Secondly, it’s moist and deeply flavoured.

How to eat traditional Authentic Danish Rye Bread 

Most Danes eat a thick slice of rye bread as an open-faced sandwich topped with butter, cheese, and sliced peppers, or a traditional pate.

Here’s 3 of my favorite vegan and dairy-free sandwich toppings for rye bread sandwiches are:

Ingredients to make Authentic Rye Bread without starter

This easy authentic Danish Rye Bread is full of flavor and it’s surprisingly simple to make. And you can use a mixer, or just knead by hand to bring the dough together.

  • 4 dl cold water 
  • 1½ dl buttermilk 
  • 1 dl dark beer, like Guinness 
  • 15 g Yeast
  • 1 tsk. Dark Syrup
  • 15 g salt
  • 175 g rye kernels, cracked 
  • 75 g linseed 
  • 125 g sunflower seeds 
  • 425 g dark rye flour 
  • 2 tbsp neutral vegetable oil for greasing the baking tin 

Tools 

A baking loaf tin (3 liters)

Topping 

20g poppy seeds 

How to make easy rye bread

Note: the dough needs to rest for 24 hours in the refrigerator

  • Firstly: In a large mixing bowl or dough mixer, mix water, buttermilk, and beer. Whisk in the yeast until it’s dissolved and leave the mixture for 1-2 minutes to let the yeast wake up. 
  • Secondly: Now, add syrup, salt, cracked rye kernels, linseed, sunflower seeds, and dark rye flour and combine. Knead the dough or mix in the dough mixer for 8-10 minutes. 
  • Thirdly: Now, grease the baking loaf tin with vegetable oil. Add 2/3 of the poppy seeds to the tin and shake it gently to coat the sides of the tin with poppy seeds.
  • Fourthly: Pour the rye bread dough into the greased baking tin (there should be 1-2 inches to the top of the tin to allow the bread to rise as it rests and bakes). Use a wet spoon or spatula to smooth the top of the dough and drizzle the rest of the poppy seeds on top. Cover the bread with clean plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator to rest for 24 hours.

Rest and bake

  • Firstly: After 24 hours in the refrigerator, remove the rye bread from the refrigerator and leave it to acclimate at room temperature for 2 hours. 
  • Secondly: Preheat oven to 190 degrees Celsius and bake the rye bread for 1 1/2 hours.
  • Thirdly: Once the bread is baked, remove it from the oven and allow it to cook for 5 minutes in the tin. Next, turn the tin first on one side, then the other side to allow the bread to release from the tin. Gently remove the rye bread from the baking tin. To check if the bread is properly baked, tap on the bottom of the bread. If it sounds hollow the bread needs to go back into the oven and bake for 10 more minutes.
  • Fouthly: Now, for the best part: Once the bread is baked, leave it to rest and cool on a cooling rack.

Tip: wait until the rye bread has cooled completely before cutting it into thick slices.

Tips and tricks to baking rye bread without a starter 

Refrigerate overnight – you can completely forego the need to use a starter by letting the dough rest for 24 hours in the refrigerator. This gives the yeast time to slowly activate and allows the same process to begin and flavors to develop as using a starter would. It’s just much simpler and eliminates the need for a weeklong fermentation process.

Beer – adding a dark beer to the dough helps with the baking process. And it also adds an extra depth of richness and flavor. But if you prefer not to use beer, you can substitute the beer with water and 1 extra tablespoon of dark syrup. Now, it won’t give the bread the same deep dark flavor, but the bread will still be very tasty.

How to store rye bread – Rye bread should be stored in a bread jar in a cool cupboard. But please note that storing rye bread in the refrigerator will make the bread dry out and hard. 

Yeast – I always use quick rise or instant yeast to help the buns rise faster and become extra fluffy. You can use active dry yeast, but the buns may take a little longer to rise. But if you’re using active dry yeast I would let the dough rise 30-minutes longer.

Yeast baking instructions and tricks 

Instant yeast – or quick-rise yeast makes for the best fluffy bread. The fresh yeast makes the bread rise faster. To help activate the yeast quickly, you can dissolve it in a little water and sugar.

Activate dry yeast – if you’re using active dry yeast you need to add a little liquid and let the yeast dissolve, which is known as “proofing”. When the yeast is proofing it awakens. This process happens when the dry yeast is activated, making it bubble a little. And once the yeast bubbles, that lets you know the yeast is ready to use.

No matter what type of yeast you use, you need to make sure it’s added to a liquid that’s between 105 and 115 degrees F. You can also add a little sugar with either yeast to help it get activated more quickly.

Vegan rye bread option 

  • 4 dl cold water 
  • 1½ dl soy yogurt 
  • 1 dl dark beer, like Guinness 
  • 15 g Yeast, or 2 tablespoons
  • 1 tsk. Dark Syrup
  • 15 g salt
  • 175 g rye kernels, cracked 
  • 75 g linseed or flaxseed 
  • 125 g sunflower seeds 
  • 425 g dark rye flour 
  • 2 tbsp neutral vegetable oil for greasing the baking tin 

Tools 

  • A baking loaf tin (3 liters)

Topping 

  • 20g poppy seeds 

Frequently asked questions about authentic Rye Bread

Can I replace the beer in rye bread?

Yes. The beer adds an extra depth of flavor and a hint of sweetness. To replace it, simply use water and add 1 tablespoon of extra dark syrup.

Is rye bread a healthy bread?

Yes. Rye bread is full of seeds, and grains and contain far more nutrients than regular white bread. It’s also believed to help digestion. Moreover, Rye bread is rich in iron, potassium, calcium, soluble fiber, and zinc as well as is a good source of vitamin B.

What is Rye Bread?

Rye bread is a dark type of bread made from rye flour. It generally contains more nutrients than white bread and has been linked to many health benefits.

Is Rye Bread good for weight loss?

Studies have found that people who ate high-fiber food such as rye bread made from whole grain rye lost more body fat and overall weight than those who ate corresponding foods made from refined wheat.

Rye Bread FAQs

How to store rye bread?

Rye bread should be stored in a bread jar in a cool cupboard. Storing rye bread in the refrigerator will make the bread dry out and hard.

Is rye bread good for diabetics?

Rye bread is considered a good option for diabetics as it’s full of nutrients and fibers that take much longer to break down in the body. And because it is made up of bigger molecules than wheat, it takes longer to break down in your system and that also helps keep the blood sugar level stable.

Can you freeze rye bread?

Yes. Rye bread can easily be frozen and defrosted later. It’s juicy and delicious after defrosting.

Authentic Rye Bread without starter

This easy Authentic Danish Rye Bread Recipe is as straightforward to make as it is irresistibly delicious. Full of deep flavors and lots of seeds, it’s the simplest rye bread recipe ever. No starter, no weeklong proofing, and no time wasted. Just delicious healthy rye bread ready to slice thickly and load up with all your favorite bread toppings…or make it simple with a generous spread of almond butter or your butter of choice. 
Course Baking
Cuisine Danish
Keyword Bread
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 1 bread
Author Simone – Munchyesta.com

Equipment

  • 1 3liter Baking loaf tin

Ingredients

  • 1.6 cups (4dl) Water
  • ½ cup (1½dl) Buttermilk or soy yogurt for vegan version
  • cup (1dl) Dark Beer such as Guinness
  • 2 tsp (15g) Yeast
  • 1 tsp Dark Syrup or maple syrup
  • 2 tsp Salt
  • cups (175g) Cracked Rye Kernels
  • 9 tbsp (75g) FlaxSeeds
  • ½ cup (125g) Sunflower Seeds or Pumpkin Seeds
  • cups (425g) Dark Rye Flour
  • 2 tbsp Vegetable Oil neutral flavor, for greasing the baking loaf tin

Topping

  • 3-4 tbsp Poppy Seeds

Instructions

  • Note: the dough needs to rest for 24 hours in the refrigerator
    In a large mixing bowl or dough mixer, mix water, buttermilk, and beer. Whisk in the yeast until it’s dissolved and leave the mixture for 1-2 minutes to let the yeast wake up. 
  • Now, add syrup, salt, cracked rye kernels, linseed, sunflower seeds, and dark rye flour and combine. Knead the dough or mix in the dough mixer for 8-10 minutes. 
  • Now, grease the baking loaf tin with vegetable oil. Add 2/3 of the poppy seeds to the tin and shake it gently to coat the sides of the tin with poppy seeds.
    Pour the rye bread dough into the greased baking tin (there should be 1-2 inches to the top of the tin to allow the bread to rise as it rests and bakes). Use a wet spoon or spatula to smooth the top of the dough and drizzle the rest of the poppy seeds on top. Cover the bread with clean plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator to rest for 24 hours.
  • After 24 hours in the refrigerator, remove the rye bread from the refrigerator and leave it to acclimate at room temperature for 2 hours. 
  • Preheat oven to 190 degrees Celsius and bake the rye bread for 1 1/2 hours.
  • Once the bread is baked, remove it from the oven and allow it to cook for 5 minutes in the tin. Then turn the tin first on one side, then the other side to allow the bread to release from the tin. Gently remove the rye bread from the baking tin. To check if the bread is properly baked, tap on the bottom of the bread. If it sounds hollow the bread needs to go back into the oven and bake for 10 more minutes.
    Once the bread is baked, leave it to rest and cool on a cooling rack.

Notes

Note: the dough needs to rest for 24 hours in the refrigerator
Tip: wait until the rye bread has cooled completely before cutting it into thick slices.
Yeast baking instructions and tricks 
Instant yeast – or quick-rise yeast makes for the best fluffy bread. The fresh yeast makes the bread rise faster. To help activate the yeast quickly, you can dissolve it in a little milk and sugar.
Activate dry yeast – if you’re using active dry yeast you need to add a little liquid and let the yeast dissolve, which is known as “proofing”. When dry yeast is activated it will bubble a little and this lets you know the yeast is ready to use.
No matter what type of yeast you use, you need to make sure it’s added to a liquid that’s between 105 and 115 degrees F. You can also add a little sugar with either yeast to help it get activated more quickly.

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