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Rye Dough

Rye dough uses freshly ground rye flour with water, eggs, milk, yeast and salt to make loaves, flatbreads, rolls etc. Unleavened rye dough is also used to make crisp flatbreads. This variety of bread is very popular in Denmark, Norway and Germany due to its high nutritional value and unique taste.

How to Make Rye Dough?

Pure rye dough contains only rye flour, water, milk or water, salt and yeast which is combined together to make a sticky dough. To add texture, chefs may use whole or crushed rye grains in the dough. Depending on the consistency of the flour, light or dark dough is produced. Light has lower rye bran content while dark dough has a higher rye bran content coloring the dough. The dough may also contain caramel or molasses, spices like cumin, coriander, fennel, aniseed, cardamom, coffee and cocoa for coloring and flavoring, resulting in darkly colored bread. Generally, most chefs prefer to use sourdough yeast starters to prove the dough, make it softer and moister. As rye dough is difficult to knead and shape into loaves, chefs may add a small amount of wheat flour to the dough to provide consistency and texture.

Popular Rye Dough Breads

Black breads are a popular part of German cuisine. The dough is proved with a sourdough starter but it is allowed to ferment for a longer period of time. This colors it dark brown resulting in a moister texture, and a unique taste. For example, German-style pumpernickel and Vollkornbrot use whole rye flour along with crushed rye grains to make rye dough.

Danish rugbrød is a very popular rye bread made with rye dough that is combined with rye flour and cracked rye grains. Seeds like pumpkin, caraway, and poppy may be added to the dough for taste.

Combination rye and wheat flour dough is usually used in South Germany and Switzerland to make Vollkornbrot with sunflower seeds. In England, a wheat/rye dough combination is used to make maslin bread, rye and Indian bread or thirded bread. Marble rye is also made by combining rye flour with white flour to produce soft sourdough bread.

Rye crisp breads are also produced by baking the same dough for without any leavening agent. This type of bread is very popular in Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Finland, Estonia, Germany and India and is given many different names.

Nutritional Value

A single cup of rye flour contains 415 calories. The total fat content of dough made from a single cup of rye flour contains 3.4g of fat, 1.3mg of sodium, 88g of carbohydrates and 934.4mg of potassium.

Rye Dough Trivia

Rye flour does not have the same consistency as that of wheat flour. It has a very low glutenin content. As a result, kneading the dough does not create the same slinky soft texture that is seen with wheat flour. The dough is also very dark in color, sticky and cannot be shaped as uniformly as a wheat dough loaf. Rye flour is also very high in pentosans which make up more than 7% of its weight. Pentosans are very good at absorbing water and swelling up. As a result, when rye dough is made, the flour can absorb endless amounts of water resulting in a dough that has a cement like consistency and sticky texture.