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Buttermilk Rye-Whole Wheat Bread

I’m in a better mood today.  Cat pictures did help, thanks.

I decided this bread was worth taking pictures post-baking.


I love rye bread.  I especially love rye toast.  I extra especially love rye toast when the bread has caraway seeds throughout the loaf.


This recipe is from Bernard Clayton’s New Complete Book of Breads, and is one of the few rye bread recipes that doesn’t require a starter.  I usually decide the morning of that I want to bake bread, so I haven’t had a chance to actually make a starter and use it yet–but someday I will plan ahead and make a sponge.

Isn’t sponge kind of a gross word?  It makes me think of “corpus spongiosum”, which, if you have any knowledge of anatomy, is not something I should ever talk about on a food blog ever again.


Buttermilk Rye-Whole Wheat Bread (makes one loaf)

  • 1 C rye flour (I used medium-ground rye flour)
  • 1 C whole-wheat flour
  • 1 pkg dry yeast (2 1/4 t)
  • 1 T wheat germ
  • 1 T caraway seeds (I was generous)
  • 2 T salt
  • 1 C buttermilk (milk + vinegar for those of us admittedly bad at planning ahead)
  • 3 T molasses
  • 2 T vegetable oil
  • 1-1 1/2 C all-purpose flour

Combine the dry ingredients and mix well, then set aside.

Next, add the buttermilk, molasses, and vegetable oil in a small saucepan and heat until hot but not boiling.  Pour into the flour and mix for three minutes at medium speed with the flat beater of the mixer.

I love how specific Mr. Clayton is with his direction.  Makes it easy to follow for a non-professional baker such as myself.

Gradually add the all-purpose flour until the dough no longer sticks to the sides of the bowl while mixing (you’ll need to switch to the dough hook here).  It’s okay if it still sticks to the bottom–less flour is more here.  Knead for eight minutes.

Place the dough in a greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap, until it doubles in size (about an hour).

Punch the dough down and shape into a loaf.  Place in a greased large loaf pan and cover with plastic wrap again until it doubles in size (an hour and a half).  Twenty minutes before baking, preheat the oven to 375 degrees, and bake on the middle rack until dark (dark dark) brown.  It should sound hollow when tapped on the bottom.


I was afraid I burned it because the top was so dark, but it turned out to be just right.  I think next time I would actually take this loaf out of the loaf pan and bake for a few minutes directly on the rack so the sides and bottom could get a little crustier, too.


I’m all about the crust on rye toast.


Cool, slice, toast, and butter.

Like I said, I love rye bread.  Much more exciting toast.


Here’s to another busy week.  With all my overtime last week (and getting a cold), I didn’t work out once last week.  It felt great at the time, but now I feel lazy and ready to get back into it.  Also, I really miss running outside.  I know that some people do it during the winter (and props to those who do) but I don’t have that many warm workout clothes plus the sidewalks are still covered in snow plus I don’t really like being cold.  As soon as it hits 40-50 degrees, though, I can manage…and I can’t wait.

I think I’ve gotten bored of doing the same Insanity workouts over and over, so I may switch to P90X for a while to switch it up a little (a friend gave us her copies of a few different workout DVDs–I didn’t go buy them all!).

Also, I managed to snag a photo of Henry attempting to groom Emerson (and Emerson barely tolerating it), but it was super dark and I didn’t want to turn the flash on, so sorry about the exposure.  Aren’t they adorable?


This picture makes me think of Henry out at the club.  Too cool for school, man.


Here I go anthropomorphizing my cats again.  Have a good night and an amazing week!

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  1. Averie @ Averie Cooks

    Gorgeous rye bread! Saw it on FG and I have always been scared to make rye b/c everyone makes it sound so hard…but you make it totally do-able. The only thing I dont have on hand is the wheat germ. Do you think it’s imperative?

    1. Lauren Zietsman

      No, I’m sure you can skip it!

  2. Alexandra

    This load looks incredible! I love a good rye bread, and caraway seeds are really just the perfect complimentary flavor. And btw, every recipe I ever make using buttermilk should actually read milk + vinegar… it works, so why not?
    Your cats are too cute! Love that b&w photo!

  3. Nuts about food

    I promise you, once you start running you warm up immediately and it turns out to be much more pleasant than running in the summer or warmer months. I just wear a sweatshirt, gloves and earband and after about 15 minutes I actually want to take my gloves off! That is why I just cover my ears: I get too hot with a hat on. Then again, we don’t have snow on the ground most of the time, so that is a help. But it does get really cold.

    1. Lauren Zietsman

      you were so right. it wasn’t so bad!

  4. Susan

    I do love a good bread that makes excellent toast … and I concur. Rye with caraway seeds is just killer!

  5. Kathy-Lee

    Lovely! I made this bread and it tastes AH-MA-ZING!
    I rarely eat bread (I’m a low carber but mostly because I can’t taste bread or bread doesn”t seem to have a taste often, especially white bread) but if I crave bread, then it has to be high quality and taste. great
    And this bread satisfies my cravings! Rye and Caraway is a match made in heaven as well as rye and anise (ever tried it?)
    This bread tastes incredible toasted and I admit that I ate two slices toasted with hummus and apple slices on top!
    Thank you! This is a keeper!

    1. Lauren Zietsman

      I’ve never tried rye and anise but I LOVE anise so I might have to seek something out… :)

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