Buttermilk Rye Bread

We’ve been trying out rye bread recipes, looking for that elusive “sandwich” style rye bread that would still have that deli rye texture and flavor.  This one adapted from the “Red Star Centennial Bread Sampler" from 1981 is just right.  The buttermilk gives it a little of that tang, the texture is firm and nice, and the caraway seeds and molasses give it an old-fashioned flavor. 
This is a sticky dough, don’t be tempted to add too much flour; after it rests, the lard makes it a very easy-to-handle dough.  It’s a good choice for using your heavy-duty mixer, so you don’t knead in too much flour.  The directions for this bread are mine…to make it quicker and easier to make.  I cut the time from close to 3 hours to a little over 1 ½ hour using instant yeast and my heavy duty mixer.  Check out our mixer bread information HERE.  Remember, you can also make this recipe by hand too, the way I did for years.
We’re using ours for patty melt and Reuben sandwiches.
Buttermilk Rye Bread
  2        cups  rye flour (about 7 ounces)
  2        cups  whole wheat flour (8 ounces)
  2        packages  instant yeast -- or rapid rise yeast
  2        tablespoons  wheat germ
  1 1/2 tablespoons  caraway seeds
  1        tablespoon  salt
  1 1/2 cups  buttermilk
     1/2 cup  water
     1/3 cup  molasses
     1/4 cup  lard (or butter or shortening)
  2 1/2 cups  bread flour  (about 9 ½ ounces)
In large mixing bowl, combine all rye flour, whole wheat flour, yeast, wheat germ, caraway seed and salt; mix well.
Heat buttermilk, water, molasses and lard until warm (120-125°).  Add to flour mixture and blend at low speed until moistened.  Beat 3 minutes at medium speed.  Gradually add bread flour.
Change to dough hook and knead 6 minutes, or knead 8 minutes by hand.  Cover bowl tightly, let rest in a warm place 10 minutes.
Divide into 2 parts, (about 1# 10 oz. each).  Shape each into a loaf for 8 1/2" x 4 1/2” or 10" x 4" pans.  Place in greased pans, let rise in warm place until doubled, about 35 minutes.
Bake at 375° for 35-40 minutes until loaves read 200°-210° on an instant read thermometer.  You may have to cover the loaves with foil or parchment paper the last 10 minutes to keep it from getting too brown on top.
Remove from pans and cool on a wire rack.
Yield:  "2 loaves"
Per Serving: 95 Calories; 2g Fat (16.7% calories from fat); 3g Protein; 17g Carbohydrate; 1g Dietary Fiber; 2mg Cholesterol; 171mg Sodium.  Exchanges: 1 Grain (Starch); 0 Vegetable; 0 Non-Fat Milk; 1/2 Fat; 0 Other Carbohydrates.


  1. Looks great! I have a rye, onion, and dill bread we love but I am going to try this one for sure. The buttermilk, molasses, and lard will make a great new recipe option at our house. Thanks again for sharing. Diane

    1. Hope you like it like we do. Do you have your rye, onion and dill bread recipe on your blog?

  2. Wishing this was a bit smaller recipe so I could use my bread machine. Although, I love dark rye bread the best--especially for Reubens, cheese sandwiches & toasted with grape jelly! :-)

  3. I am concerned about the temperature of the liquids. I thought that a temperature over about 110 degrees would kill the yeast. Let me know. thanks!

    1. Karen,
      That's a good question! You are confusing adding yeast to the dry ingredients and dissolving it in water. Both methods work but the temperatures for the water are different.
      Red Star says the following: Notice the difference in temperatures.

      Yeast can be added directly to dry ingredients.
      Use liquid temperatures of 120°F to 130°F for dry yeast.

      Yeast can be dissolved in liquids before mixing with the rest of the dry ingredients.
      Dissolve 1 tsp sugar in 1/2 cup 110°F-115°F water.

  4. I buy all my flour at The Dutchman's in Cantril, Iowa. Most of their flours are commercial food service brands, they repackage larger bags into heavy plastic bags in several sizes like 5 or 15 pounds or so, and also sell 50# bags of white flours. We drive 50 miles to shop there every 3 months, because their baking supplies turn over quickly and are always fresh, plus much cheaper but much better quality than I can get at the local supermarkets.


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