How to Make Rye Bread in a Bread Machine

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Are you wondering how to make rye bread in a bread machine?

We know, we know, it sounds impossible. A good loaf of rye can be hard to come by.

If you’re a Seinfeld fan, you’ll know that sometimes the only guaranteed way to get your hands on one is to wrench it out of an old woman’s grasp or to hook it with a fishing rod.

It’s a little tricky to make. Rye, after all, behaves very differently from your usual white grain, and that can seem like a major problem to coax the dough into something edible.

Even easy-to-use home bread machines aren’t always designed for ryes, and that makes the whole process seem much worse than it needs to be.

Familiarizing yourself with how rye dough works will give you a huge advantage. Understanding its chemistry will allow you to use a bread machine when creating perfect, dense loaves of any kind of rye you like.

Let’s start by looking at some of the key features of rye, what ingredients you’ll need, and some basic rye bread machine recipes. That’s all you’ll need to become a pro.

What Is Rye?

how to make rye bread in a bread machine

When making bread, we’re always choosing between two main kinds of grain: wheat or rye.

As you can probably guess, rye bread is made from rye grain, which is similar enough to wheat to allow for cross-pollination but requires its own specific cultivation process when turning the grain into flour and eventually bread.

Loaves of rye are typically denser, darker, and more flavorful than those made from other kinds of grain. So much denser, in fact, that it’s difficult to get them to rise on their own.

Rye gluten just isn’t strong enough to expand while still maintaining the basic wheat structure, which normally creates the air pockets that give bread the right lift.

Most rye bread machine recipes, then, require workarounds to make sure that “pure” rye has enough support to actually rise in the oven/machine.

Health Benefits of Rye Bread

bread machine rye bread

Rye bread provides all kinds of health benefits that make it preferable to wheat: it’s less fattening, satisfies longer, reduces inflammation, adds important fiber to your diet, and helps manage glucose levels.

Because rye is slower to bake, the final loaf will retain more of the grain’s natural properties and adding seeds and other proteins into the bread can help you get even more of a health boost.

How To Make Rye Bread in a Bread Machine

So how to get rye to rise like wheat bread? One of the most common ways is to mix rye and wheat grain together to form a combination bread that will rise as it should.

Most bread makers are built for wheat-based breads. Bread machines work by combining instant yeast with water, and doughs like rye are so naturally moist that the yeast can activate too early, which can leave you with an underbaked dough pudding instead of a crunchy loaf of rye.

make rye bread in bread maker

You’ll want to keep this in mind as you start building your recipes.

The most important thing to remember is this: the darker the flour, the heavier the bread will be, and the less it will rise as it bakes. The greater the rye-to-wheat ratio, the slower the bread will take to bake and the denser it will be.

Keep this in mind as you decide on the kind of bread you want to make and add more all-purpose flour if you want a puffier loaf.

Of course, there are all kinds of rye varieties. First, let’s look at a very basic rye bread machine recipe that’s great for beginners.

Dark Rye Bread Machine Recipe


  • 1 ⅛ cups water
  • 2 tablespoons molasses or honey
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ cups rye flour
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar (packed)
  • 2 teaspoons machine bread yeast

Notice we have an almost even ratio of flour, which means we’ll get a really dark bread that has enough flour to give it a nice rise.

This recipe also contains more sugar than others, and that, too, will help the bread rise. It’s all about providing enough support for the bread’s structure.


With most rye bread machine recipes, adding ingredients in the correct order is the only difficult part. With almost any variation, you can just use the Basic setting on your machine and let it do the work.

Refer to the manufacturer’s suggestions when it comes to the order you should add your ingredients in.

If your machine gives you more variety, select the loaf size (most recipes are designed for 1 pound to 1 ½ pound loaves) and the crunchiness of the crust you want.

You may have to try several loaves to find the consistency, color, and size that you most enjoy. Once you’ve mastered the basic texture, you can add nuts, seeds, onions, and other seasonings.

Take a look at our guide to the best bread machines on the market (for Rye and more!)

Next Steps:

Place your ingredients in the pan of the bread machine, adjust your settings, and punch Start.

Once the first rise is finished, remove the bread from the pan and place it in another cooking pan to cool and rise. Cover it with a light cloth and shape it as you see fit.

If you prefer learning by video, check out this basic rye bread in the bread maker recipe:

Light Rye Bread Recipe


  • 1 cup water
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon butter or vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons caraway seed
  • 2 cups bread flour
  • 1 cup rye flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons bread machine yeast


For this easy light rye bread recipe we pulled from Hamilton Beach, all you need to do is put all the ingredients into your bread machine as listed above, in that order. Next, you will choose the basic bread cycle since this recipe is for a 1.5-pound loaf and medium crust color. Press start. When your homemade rye bread is done, remove it from the machine and let it cool for 10 minutes before slicing it.

Related Reading – Hamilton Beach 29885 Bread Maker Review

Caraway Rye Bread

This Caraway rye bread recipe can be made in your bread machine at home. Prep time only takes about 10 minutes, and this homemade rye bread recipe yields just one loaf.


  • 1 ¼ cup lukewarm water
  • 2 tablespoons dry milk powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons molasses
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • ¾ cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 ¾ cups bread flour
  • ¾ cup rye flour
  • 1 ½ tablespoons caraway seeds
  • 1 ¾ teaspoons active dry yeast


Making rye bread in your bread machine at home is relatively easy to do because you just have to make sure to add the ingredients in order and the quantities listed. For this rye bread recipe, add all the ingredients listed above to your bread machine in the order as they are listed. This is the order that the manufacturer suggests.

Once you have added all your ingredients to the machine, select the grain setting and the 2-pound loaf size and push start. Remember, the actual cook time and serving size depend on the specific bread machine model you are using.

You can find the complete recipe and nutrition facts for this rye bread recipe at AllRecipes.

Swedish Rye Bread

Another favorite is Swedish rye bread. This yeast bread is slightly sweet and contains orange zest, giving it a brighter flavor. It can be made in a bread machine or by hand. Swedish rye bread is sometimes known as Swedish Limpa. It makes a great sandwich bread and is ideal for toast.


  • 1 ¼ cups warm water
  • 1 tablespoon softened butter
  • ½ tablespoon salt
  • ¼ cup honey
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons anise seed
  • ½ teaspoon caraway
  • Orange zest
  • 1 ½ cups bread flour
  • 1 ½ cups rye flour
  • 1 packet rapid rise yeast
  • Butter


For this bread machine recipe for Swedish rye bread, you will add all these ingredients into the machine in the order listed above. Make sure that the yeast does not touch the liquid. You will then use the setting on your bread machine for white bread and a light crust. Once your homemade bread is baked, remove the bread pan, and transfer your loaf to a rack for cooling. You can then brush the top with some melted butter for added flavor.

Why Do You Use Caraway Seeds In Bread Machine Rye Breads?

Rye bread typically includes caraway seeds and is often a staple ingredient. They are rich in fiber and are known to aid in digestion. However, caraway seeds are also an acquired taste for some. It is the main seed included in many rye bread recipes.

The flavor is a combination of fennel seeds and cumin and gives the rye bread its distinct spicy but sweet flavor. If you don’t like caraway seeds, they can be substituted for fennel seeds.

How Do You Keep Rye Bread from Cracking on the Top?

When your dough is too dry, a crust can form before it has time to rise. This will cause the crust to break and crack, and the air will be let out of the bread. Be sure you follow the recipe and manufacturer’s instructions carefully to help avoid small issues like this when baking bread.

How Can You Keep from Getting Holes and Tunnels in Your Homemade Rye Bread?

If you include too little yeast, your bread won’t sufficiently rise. In contrast, too much yeast may cause your bread to rise and then collapse. Watch your dough as it rises and bakes. This is easy to do when you have a bread maker with a large viewing window.

What Bread Machine Should I Purchase to Make Homemade Bread?

The bread maker you choose is dependent on the kind of bread and other recipes you want to make. However, we do suggest the Zojirushi Home Bakery Virtuoso Plus Breadmaker. It allows you to choose the crust you want, and it has several pre-programmed settings for homemade bread recipes.

See More – Zojirushi Home Bakery Virtuoso Plus Review

Top Bread Machine Rye Bread Tips

Try adding a little bit (1 tablespoon) of caramel coloring or cocoa powder to get a rich chocolate color for pumpernickel bread or dark rye loaves.

After you’ve mastered this basic rye bread recipe, venture out and try one of the other rye bread recipes we included above. You can then find other superb rye bread recipes online that give you more texture, density, and thickness and adjust according to your tastes! There’s no need to fear rye, so give it a try!

Have you tried bread machine rye bread yet?

4 thoughts on “How to Make Rye Bread in a Bread Machine”

  1. It says “Once the first rise is finished, remove the bread from the pan and place it in another cooking pan to cool and rise. Cover it with a light cloth, and shape it as you see fit”

    Should it be … it in another cooking pan ….cover it with a light cloth…leave to cool and rise? When do you shape it as you see fit? Also, if this is the 2nd rise…it still needs to go back into the machine to bake, right?

    • I believe once you take it out if the machine and shape it, you are meant to bake in an oven. In this case, I have used the “dough” setting. When I use the bread settings, I don’t touch it till it’s finished.

  2. I don’t want to use sugar. I want to use honey instead. Do I have to adjust measurements or just switch out the sugar and use honey?

  3. So when I cut and pasted the recipe I made it easier (for me) to follow. I need everything “spelled out” so I don’t make any mistakes. I came up with:


    1. Place your ingredients in the bread machine’s pan
    2. Adjust your settings
    3. Punch START.

    Once the first rise is finished

    4. Remove the bread from the pan
    5. Place loaf in a cooking pan suitable for the oven
    6. Shape it as you see fit.
    7. Cover it with a light cloth
    8. Leave it to cool and rise second time.
    9. Preheat the oven
    10. Put pan/loaf into oven to bake

    Not totally sure where the “Shape it as you see fit.” should go. As Step 6 or after Step 8? Doesn’t Step 5 “Place loaf in a cooking pan (suitable for the oven)” basically determine a loaf shape? Wouldn’t “shaping as you see fit”mean, using perhaps a cookie sheet, rather than a pan? Or am I way off base? The loaf my parents purchased was brown but not dark brown, extra tall, very dense (so pickled herring wouldn’t make the bread soggy) and a sour rye. But sourbread is to complicated for me.


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