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Making Rye Bread, from the Ground Up!




Emerson and Ellery trailing through the rye

Emerson and Ellery trailing through the rye

Baling rye the old fashioned way

Baling rye the old fashioned way


Usually each week I try and have a photo of one of the recipes I’m sharing. Well, for this week, we’re going back to the source for the rye bread recipe. Farmer Bruner came by yesterday and baled the field of winter rye he planted late last fall. He planted it as an annual grass so it won’t become rye flour. But it’s rye nonetheless.  I stopped tilling the garden to watch the whole process.

So today I’m sharing 2 photos: the first is my granddaughters Emerson and Ellery walking through the rye just a few weeks ago. It was a beautiful blue green. When it grew taller and pale, it was time to mow it down, thresh and bale.

When you think of our high-tech, digitalized, mobile world, it’s refreshing to see how some folks still harken back to the old days

Homemade rye bread

I tore this recipe out of a magazine a while back. Seeing Farmer Bruner on his old tractor baling his rye made me want to bake a loaf.

When I make it, I’ll omit the caraway seeds. But if you like the flavor, go for it.


2 packages (1/4 ounce each) active dry yeast

2 cups warm water (110° to 115°), divided

1/4 cup packed brown sugar

Up to 1 tablespoon caraway seeds – optional

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

2 teaspoons salt

2-1/2 cups rye flour

2-3/4 to 3-1/4 cups all-purpose flour, divided


In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in 1/2 cup warm water. Add brown sugar, caraway, oil, salt and remaining water; mix well. Stir in rye flour and 1 cup all-purpose flour; beat until smooth. Add enough remaining all-purpose flour to form a soft dough.

Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.

Punch dough down; divide in half. Shape each half into a ball; place in two greased 8-in. round baking pans. Flatten balls to a 6-in. diameter. Cover and let rise until nearly doubled, about 30 minutes. Bake at 375° for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown.



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