I love making bread. I also love eating bread. I wish bread were like leafy greens and the more you eat, the healthier you are. Alas, that is not the case. Generally, bread made from white flour is high on the glycemic index which will make your blood sugar spike quickly. Although, I’m not diabetic, high glycemic foods are not the best choice for anyone.
According to the Physician’s Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM), rye and pumpernickel bread are better choices. If you do a Google Scholar search for rye bread, you’ll also see studies done on rye grains and insulin response. In addition to rye bread being a healthier option, it’s also quite tasty.
We’ve been trying a few different brands from our local health food store, but I wanted to try baking some myself. I perused my favorite bread source, King Arthur Flour, and found a recipe for Double Light Rye. I needed to tweak the recipe a bit to make it vegan, but other than that all the ingredients were common to my pantry. I opted to buy rye berries and grind the flour myself. Not only would this ensure freshness, but I could grind just what I needed.
Here’s my adaptation of Double Light Rye bread. It took a bit longer to rise than the oatmeal bread I usually make, but it was light, moist, and delicious. I used cashew milk in place of the water/powdered milk called for in the original recipe. I love how cashew milk works in yeast breads.
This recipe still has a lot of white flour, but it was a good place to start. I’ll continue to look for more recipes with a higher rye to white flour ratio or maybe try whole wheat flour in place of the white
This recipe also makes lovely dinner rolls.
Double Light Rye Bread
A vegan adaptation of KAF’s light, moist, sandwich rye bread.
Mix all of the ingredients together just until everything is moistened. Cover the bowl, and let the dough rest for 15 minutes; this gives the flour a chance to start absorbing the liquid, which will make the dough a bit less sticky to knead.
Knead the dough for about 7 minutes in a stand mixer, or 10 minutes by hand. It’ll be quite sticky; rye flour does have that propensity. But it should also be smooth, and feel elastic.
Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover it, and let the dough rise for 60 to 90 minutes, until it’s nicely puffy, though not necessarily doubled in bulk.
Gently deflate the dough, and divide it in half. Shape each half into a log.
Lightly grease two 9″ x 5″ loaf pans; two 8 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ loaf pans, or one of each. The smaller pan will make a loaf that “mushrooms” a bit; we prefer 9″ x 5″ pans here.
Settle the shaped dough into the pans. Cover the pans, and let the dough rise for 60 to 90 minutes, until it’s crowned about 1″ over the rim of the smaller pan, and is about even or slightly over the rim of the larger pan.
Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 350°F.
Bake the loaves for 35 to 45 minutes, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of one registers at least 190°F. If the loaves seem to be browning too quickly, tent them loosely with aluminum foil.
Remove the bread from the oven, and after 10 minutes turn it out of the pans onto a rack to cool.
Cool completely before slicing. Store airtight at room temperature for 5 days or so; for longer storage, wrap and freeze.
The original recipe calls for water and powdered milk. I used cashew milk because I love the way it works in yeast breads.