Rye Caraway Bread

I was trying to figure out a rye bread that was both soft but had the flavor I was searching for. I was looking for inspiration online, and was rather scared at some of the ingredients. I saw both instant coffee powder and cocoa powder used to give the brea “the dark color” you see in marble rye bread. But rye bread isn’t necessarily dark brown bread. It’s darker than a whole wheat bread, but not by much. Caraway seeds are a must. Make sure to buy seeds that are “less bitter” on the packaging. They can be hard to source. I found it odd I couldn’t find them in bulk but could find every other spice/herb. So with that said…buying the caraway seeds did pop up the cost (a tiny jar was $4.49 and is enough for about 3 or so loaves of bread). I could see where one might say that buying the bread is far cheaper. But….the advantage is the bread is so fresh when made by hand.

This recipe I made both traditionally, and in my bread machine. I wanted to see how it would turn out and then comparing it.

Bread machine on left, traditional on right.

The winner this time was traditionally made (not in a bread machine). 

It came out very nice, and just looked perfect.

I weighed all the flours instead of scooping, read the notes below on wether or not to add in more flour while kneading. This is important.

Rye Caraway Bread


  • 1¼ cups water (110° F)
  • 1½ tsp molasses
  • 2¼ tsp (1 packet) dry active yeast
  • 1 Tbsp olive or avocado oil
  • 210 grams bread flour (1¾ cups)
  • 107 grams dark rye flour (1 cup)
  • 2 Tbsp vital wheat gluten
  • 1 Tbsp caraway seeds
  • 1½ tsp fine sea salt


In a stand mixer add the water, molasses, and yeast. Let sit for 5 minutes.

Put on your dough hook.

Add in the oil, sea salt, caraway seed, flour, rye flour, and vital wheat gluten.

Start on low, until everything is mixed in, then turn up to medium and let it knead for 5 minutes. The dough should be elastic and smooth, not sticky (see notes below on this).

Lightly oil a mixing bowl, transfer dough to it, and flip to coat. Cover with plastic wrap.

Let sit till doubled, about an hour. Due to our cold house, I often use a heating pad on low.

Punch down, recover and let sit for 15 minutes.

Sprinkle flour on a clean work surface, knock out the dough and shape into a loaf. (I rolled mine up)

Lightly oil an 8×4″ bread pan and place the bread dough into.

Lightly spritz a clean piece of plastic wrap with oil, cover the pan gently.

Let rise for about 40 to 60 minutes, until it has crowned up nicely (like a mushroom).

Meanwhile preheat oven to 350°F in the last 15 minutes.

Bake for about 30 minutes, or until golden brown.

Remove and knock out onto a cooling rack.

Bread Machine Directions:

Add your ingredients as your bread machine dictates. My Zojirushi machine starts with liquids at the bottom, and ends with the yeast on top, not touching any moisture.

Bake as a normal loaf of white bread.

Makes 1 loaf.


Flour is a subjective thing. The humidity, the brand, everything can change a loaf of bread. I found I added in at least ½ cup more flour to achieve the right dough, add visually, a Tablespoon at a time, mixing it in, then adding more as needed.

If you were hand kneading, you would feel it needed more flour, due to sticking to your hand.

With a bread machine you must keep an eye on it as the machine starts its kneading cycle. Add in till the dough looks smooth. I think for this recipe to work in the machine, I need to dial it more in. It was ugly looking because I tried to spread the dough out after it ended kneading. It still tasted good, but was far denser. It just didn’t rise as much. Now part of that is my machine makes up to a 2 pound loaf, and this recipe is far smaller, so it didn’t “fill” the bread pan like a normal recipe would have. So yes, more for me to work on. If you have a traditional bread machine, that does ¾/1/1½ pound loaves, I think it would have risen better.