Swedish Rye Bread

This Swedish Rye Bread recipe is sized for a personal or mini loaf — roughly a 3″ x 6″ pan or 6″ round pan.  Double the recipe for a 4″ x 8″ loaf, and triple it for a 5″ x 9″ loaf pan.  This is a nice, light rye with a touch of orange — a trademark of Swedish ryes.

ALMOST Rye Bread:  Rye flour is very hard to find many places. If you can get anise or caraway seed — both of which are easy to bring back from a trip to the US or Canada if you can’t get them locally — you can substitute whole wheat flour for the rye and few people will notice the difference.  Even without anise or caraway seed, and using whole wheat flour instead of rye, this is a good bread!

Read 5 Tips for Baking Bread on a Boat for important keys to success or, if you’ve never made yeast bread or want a detailed step-by-step tutorial, check out Yeast Bread Making 101.

Swedish Rye Bread Recipe

Makes one mini loaf

1/2 cup orange juice OR 1/2 cup water plus 1 teaspoon grated orange peel

1 teaspoon yeast

1 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon molasses

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1 cup white flour (approximately)

1 tablespoon softened butter, margarine or canola oil

1/2 teaspoon anise or caraway seed

1 cup rye or whole wheat flour

A light rye with a hint of orange -- designed for a personal loaf, but easily doubled for a full loaf.

Mix orange juice, yeast, salt, molasses, brown sugar,  and 1/2 cup of the white flour.  Cover and let sit 10 minutes to proof.  (See Tip #3 in 5 Tips for Baking Bread on a Boat).  If it proofs well, proceed.

Add the butter, anise seed and rye flour and mix well.  Add in more of the white flour to make a stiff dough.

I really like using a plastic bowl (like the ones I recommend in Equipment for Hand Mixing) as the dough will neatly come away from the sides of the boat when you have added enough flour as shown in the photo above.  The dough won’t do this as nicely in a glass or metal bowl.

A light rye with a hint of orange -- designed for a personal loaf, but easily doubled for a full loaf.

The photo at right, in contrast, shows the dough sticking to the sides of the bowl as not enough flour has been mixed in.

If the dough is coming away from the sides of the bowl cleanly but there’s still extra flour in the bottom of the bowl, you’ve added too much flour.  You can use a little of it as you knead, but excess amounts really should be discarded.  While you can work them into the dough, you shouldn’t as the dough will be too dry and won’t rise nicely.

Knead the final flour into dough, being careful not to add so much flour that the dough becomes dry.  Knead until dough becomes smooth and elastic.  Rye flour does not develop gluten nearly as rapidly as wheat flour, so it takes a bit of kneading — and you have to be really careful not to add too much flour.  It’s better to have it a little sticky on your hands!

Put dough in oiled bowl and turn so that dough is completely coated with the oil.  Cover with a plastic bag or a towel.

Let rise until doubled, then punch dough down.

Let rise until doubled again, then form into loaf and place in greased pan.

NOTE: you don’t have to bake this in a loaf pan — you can use a cookie sheet, casserole, cake pan or whatever, as long as the bread won’t overflow it when it rises.

Cover and let rise until almost doubled.

Preheat oven to 350, and bake about 30 minutes.  Bread is done when brown (slightly darker than just “golden”) — if you tap on the top with a finger, it will sound hollow when done.

Remove from oven when done.  Remove the bread from pan as soon as possible if you like a crunchy crust (if you leave the hot bread in the pan, steam will soften the crust where it’s in contact with the pan).

Allow to cool at least until you can touch it before slicing it (my husband has tougher hands than I do, so he gets to cut the first slices — we can never wait!).

If you have a bread knife or serrated knife, it won’t crush the loaf as much as a regular blade will.  With any knife, use a gentle touch so as not to crush the loaf.

This bread — particularly in this small loaf size — is great for baking in a Dutch oven on the stove top if you don’t have an oven.  See directions for Baking Yeast Breads on the Stove Top.  Better yet, use the Omnia Stove Top Oven — a double batch is perfect in it!

However you bake it, enjoy!

Want more boat-friendly recipes? Check out The Boat Galley Cookbook with over 800 recipes or get a free PDF sample of it with 30 recipes:


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  • Candy on Facebook
    Posted at 10 November 2011 Reply

    I am glad I read this AFTER I ate dinner-or I would be tempted to make a loaf tonight! LOL

    It sure sounds great!

  • on Facebook
    Posted at 10 November 2011 Reply

    Maybe for tomorrow night?

  • Candy on Facebook
    Posted at 10 November 2011 Reply

    That sounds like a winner!

  • on Facebook
    Posted at 11 November 2011 Reply

    Sounds sooo good!

  • Darlene Burnett Price
    Posted at 19 July 2014 Reply

    Since I bake all our bread at home and can’t regulate the temp on boat, maybe this would be a good win!

  • The Sea and Sailors
    Posted at 20 July 2014 Reply

    I like it!

  • Diane Ericsson
    Posted at 11 May 2016 Reply

    Swedes call it Limpa Bread. Amazing stuff! I’ll try this recipe next time I make it.

  • The Cynical Sailor & His Salty Sidekick
    Posted at 11 May 2016 Reply

    Yum – one of my favorite types of bread 🙂

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