Swedish Rye Bread

by Lu
swedish rye bread

Soft, buttery, easy to slice, citrus-y loaves for rye lovers. My roommate said, “This tastes like bread you get in a restaurant.”

swedish rye breadswedish rye bread
Happy fourth of July! Of course, on this super American holiday, I’m posting a recipe for Swedish rye bread. Oh wellsss. There are enough food bloggers building American flag cakes with strawberries and blueberries today. So here’s something brown. And really meant for winter baking. But delicious nonetheless.

swedish rye breadswedish rye bread

Swedish Rye Bread

Rating: 51

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 2 loaves

Swedish Rye Bread


1 and 3/4 cups warm water
1 tablespoon (I package) active dry yeast
Pinch of light brown sugar
1/4 cup unsulfured molasses
1/4 cup (packed) light or dark brown sugar (I used raw coconut sugar)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 tablespoon salt (I used Himalayan pink salt. You can use sea salt or kosher salt too.)
2 teaspoons caraway seeds
Grated zest of 1 orange
2 and 1/2 cups rye flour (I used Arrowhead Mills organic rye flour)
2 and 1/4 to 2 and 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose or bread flour
Melted butter, for brushing (about 1/3 tablespoon)


  1. In a large mixing bowl, stir 3/4 cup of the warm water with the yeast and a pinch of sugar. Let stand at room temperature for 10 minutes or until foamy.
  2. Stir in the remaining 1 cup water and all the other ingredients until a soft, shaggy dough just clears the sides of the bowl.
  3. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until soft and springy, 1 to 3 minutes for a machine mixed dough and 4 to 7 minutes for hand mixed dough. Dust with more flour 1 tablespoon at a time, just enough to prevent sticking.
  4. Shape the dough into a ball and place it in a lightly greased deep container. Flip once to coat with oil and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise at room temperature until double in bulk, about 2 to 2 1/2 hours, but no more.
  5. Grease or line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Without working the dough any further, divide it in half and shape each half into an oval loaf. Place them side by side on the parchment paper, several inches apart. Lift the sides of each loaf up and pull them together down the center, then gently flip over seam side down. This creates a well rounded loaf.
  6. Brush both loaves with melted butter. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature until double in bulk, about 2 hours.
  7. Preheat oven to 375°F. Using a serrated knife, slash the loaves with 3 diagonals, no more than 1/4 inch deep. Bake on the center rack for 25 minutes, rotate the baking sheet, and bake for another 5 minutes.
  8. Remove the loaves to a cooling rack.


Recipe barely adapted from Beth's Basic Bread Book


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Allison Priddy September 24, 2017 - 6:57 pm

I really enjoy the flavor of this recipe, and it’s easy to make. I’ve baked this recipe twice, and it tends to flatten out like biscotti. How can I get more height to the loaves?

Lu April 14, 2018 - 3:08 am

Hi Allison,

Is the dough fully risen before it goes in the oven? If it’s not, it could be the yeast or the temperature. Try putting it somewhere really warm, like next to a heater, on top of the fridge, or even over a bowl of hot water.

Judith Gilbert August 28, 2017 - 6:23 am

I’M making your Swedish Rye bread this morning. I am confused, ingredients say 1+3/4 cup warm water. Then direction says stir 3/4 cup of warm water. Shouldn’t that read 1 3/4 cup warm water?

Lu August 28, 2017 - 8:48 am

Hi Judith,

The rest of the water (1 cup) goes in with the rest of the ingredients in step 2, after the yeast has bloomed, but I can see how that’s not entirely clear. Thanks for pointing it out! I’ll update the instructions. Hope it comes out well for you!

Emily July 7, 2015 - 8:04 am

daring to be different -love that! Bread is perfect for all of those summertime sandwiches!


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