Danish-Style Rye Bread

This is as close to proper Danish rye bread as I’m apt to ever manage. Mr Misky says there’s no call for buying the imported German stuff anymore because the bread from this recipe is better. Well, in my opinion that pretty much says it all. When Mr Misky likes – I like it. If you make it, I hope that you will, too.

A word of warning is needed here for anyone who thinks this is like American-style deli rye bread. It’s not; it’s not light in texture or colour. It’s heavy, dark, and very strong on flavour. It’s what Danes use for their open-face sandwiches. We often eat it with a bit of butter served with soup, too.


100g strong bread flour
300g rye flour
234g water or strong coffee at room temperature
100g warm water (for yeast)
4g Dry Active Yeast
1 tablespoon Malt Syrup (or 1/2 T Dark Syrup)
½ teaspoon caraway seeds
1/8 teaspoon fine ground black pepper
10 g salt


Measure flours, pepper and caraway seeds into a large bowl. Make a well in the centre of the flour, add 100g water into the well and then gently stir in the yeast. Wait for 15-20 minutes until the yeast activates and foams. Then add the rest of the water/coffee, the malt syrup. Stir and mix completely with dough hook.

Your dough should be very soft – if it is the slightest bit stiff add some more liquid. Wait for 5 minutes, and then add salt. Mix well. Scrape the dough into a ball in the bowl.

Grease a 500g/1 lb bread tin.

Wet your hands and pick up the dough.  Shape and smooth it gently until the dough fits the length of the bread tin. Put the dough in the greased tin, enclose it in a plastic bag secured with an elastic band or clothes peg, and leave to rise in a warm location until the dough peeks above the top of the tin (2-4 hours). Don’t bother pressing the dough into the corners of the tin or try to smooth it out, as it will do this itself as it rises. When it’s ready, you’ll see little holes all along the top of the dough.

Preheat the oven to 190C/Fan 160C/Gas 5. Cover the tin and dough with an oiled sheet of foil. Bake for 60-mins and then lower temperature to 170C/Fan 150C/Gas3 for 25-30 minutes.  Wrap the loaf in a clean (non-fluffy!) tea towel, and allow it to cool completely. Transfer to a plastic bag so the crust remains pliable and soft. Rye is easier to slice 1-2 days after it has been baked.
This recipe is loosely based on one at the Virtuous Bread website.


17 Comments Add yours

  1. emilydev9 says:

    That’s perfect, Misk – I think I can do that. Thanks so much!

    1. Misky says:

      You’re very welcome, Emily! 😀

  2. mydearbakes says:

    Wow, this is such a wonderful bake! It’s brilliant! =)

    1. Misky says:

      Thank you, and a warm welcome to you!

  3. Glenda says:

    Hi Misky, It certainly looks lovely. Did you use water or coffee?

    1. Misky says:

      Depends what I have handy, but if I have leftover coffee in the pot, I use that. We like the slightly sour-bitter taste of it.

  4. MIsky your loaf looks wonderful. It’s been ages since I made a 100% rye, and i agree, so much better than the imported German stuff. (They must have the world wide monopoly on packet rye bread?)

    1. Misky says:

      I think a lot of it is just called ‘German’ when in fact it’s made elsewhere. I suspect more people understand what German rye bread is, rather than calling it Danish rye or Swedish rye or Norwegian rye … and they’re all pretty much the same. 🙂

  5. Tandy says:

    I have to try the coffee in my next loaf of rye!

    1. Misky says:

      It’s very common in Scandinavia. Dan Lepard also uses it in one of his rye bread recipes.

  6. Oh, Misky.. I would sincerely love a thick slice of this slathered in butter right now.. warm, mind you 😀

    1. Misky says:

      It is very tasty!

  7. Joanna says:

    I am just eating another slice right now. It is a good recipe, I dropped the salt to 8 g for my taste and my blood pressure but I love the taste of coffee enhanced rye with the little kick of pepper and caraway all mixed up in there. It tastes quite different from the 100% rye I make usually which uses a rye starter, maybe I should try making thst one with coffee ?

    1. Misky says:

      Would the acidic coffee play nicely with your sourdough starter-creatures? This is one of the reasons that I haven’t tried it; I feared Sedders might choke and fall over dead. I’d love to know if you’re successful with it.

  8. sallybr says:

    Jumping to say hello straight from Zeb Bakes…

    I intend to try this recipe soon, well – as soon as I can get to it, which usually means a few weeks down the line 🙂

    But your description (as well as Joanna’s) made me think this is exactly the type of bread I love to have for lunch. I am thinking a tiny spread of butter, radishes sliced ultra thin, and a little salt… hummmmm…..

    1. Misky says:

      Hi Sally, yes, that sounds like a perfect combination for Danish rye bread. Keep the bread sliced thin, and you’ll be very authentic. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by for a read and comment.

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