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Rye bread

April 4, 2011

I’ve often been complaining about the Danish’ habits of eating rye bread and openface sandwiches (smørrebrød) and of the aspect of the brick formed rye bread they always are having for lunch either in their lunch boxes or in the lunch restaurants they used to have across town.

There is a lot of culture around this Rye bread. They even call the women confecting the openface sandwiches for “openface sandwiches virgins” as if it will add an extra dimension to the taste of the sandwich ! Like the Cuban cigar rolled on the thigh of cuban women !

Then again may be it’s only a reference to the age of the women making the sandwiches. Anyway….

I’ve always told the children that in the middle age they used to build houses with rye bread bricks until they discovered they could eat then.

I saw once an exhibition from an old water mill – where they used to make different kind of flours – where they explained that they used the coarsest rye bread as plates. The sauce from the food were to soften the bread slices plates until they became chewable.

After reading a couple of tweets from Clotilde and Esterelle I realized that they shouldn’t be left alone disappointed with Ikea’s shake’n’bake-rye-bread-build-yourself-packages. So here is my version of a rye bread.

Ironically I’m now publishing a simple recipe for a simple rye bread that can be modified and adapted.

Simple rye bread


  • 3 dl sourdough (I write a post later on how to make sour dough with honning, some sour milk product and salt)
  • ½ l rye seeds, cut over or cracked
  • 7 – 8 dl water
  • ½ l wheat flour
  • 1 tablespoon syrup
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • 1 dl lin seeds
  • 1 ½ dl sunflower seeds
  • Butter for the form and/or the bread when baked
  • Eventually poppy seed / oat / sunflower seeds  to sprinkle on the top before baking.


  • Mix thoroughly all the ingredients together until all the flour lumps are gone.
  • You can take some of the dough to keep you sourdough going.
  • Put the dough in a large greased rectangular mold (or 2 small).  In stead of  greased you can covered the mold with a sheet of baking paper.
  • Cover and let stand for 12 hours (until the dough has reached the edge of the mold)
  • Prick holes in the bread with a needle (i.e a meat needle). At least 20 holes – allowing the bread to “breathe” letting out the damp. If you forget to prick holes, they will be air pockets between the bread and the crust
  • Bake 75 minutes at 200 c / 390 f
  • Once the bread is out of the oven, take it out of the mold and butter the crust – it will become smoother.
  • Allow it to cool down for 4 hours before eating


  • If you want a softer crust you can come the bread in a plastic bag just before it’s cold. The moisture will then soften the bread.
  • Too little flour will make the bread fall together when baked
  • Too much flour will make it hard and dry.
  • You can try with different type of flour – but remember to adapt the quantity of water to the type of flour used.

You can enjoy the bread as is with butter, charcuterie, cheese….or toast it till it’s crispy.

(At the risk of paraphrasing Apocalypse Now) I love the odor of toasted rye bread in the morning !

2 Comments leave one →
  1. April 4, 2011 1:37 pm

    Wonderful, thank you Régis! I’ll try it soon and report back.


  1. Sourdough – The genesis of a stable symbiotic culture « The Lovefarm

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