Here is our Homemade Traditional Rye Bread Recipe! This classic recipe will guide you through the steps to create a delicious, hearty loaf of rye bread, just like the ones from your favorite bakery, but using lots of healthy ancient grains. Perfect for sandwiches or enjoying on its own, this rye bread boasts a rich flavor and dense texture. Get ready to fill your kitchen with the wonderful aroma of freshly baked bread.

traditional rye bread recipe, easy to make

Is Rye an Ancient Grain?

Rye is considered an ancient grain. Ancient grains are those that have remained largely unchanged over the last several hundred or even thousands of years. They are grains or cereals that have been cultivated for centuries and have not been significantly modified by modern breeding practices.

Rye has been cultivated since the early Bronze Age and has a long history of use in Europe, particularly in the colder regions where it thrives better than other grains like wheat. It has been a staple crop for many ancient civilizations and continues to be valued for its hardiness, nutritional content, and versatility in baking and cooking.

In summary, rye is indeed an ancient grain, with a rich history and significant contributions to traditional diets and agricultural practices.

rye grains

Ancient Grains Rye Bread

If you want to make ancient grains traditional rye bread at home, here’s a basic recipe to get you started. You’ll need:

  • whole grain dark rye or medium rye flour (depending on your tastes)
  • whole grain spelt flour
  • quinoa flour
  • millet flour
  • amaranth flour
  • active dry yeast
  • honey or maple syrup
  • salt
  • olive oil

You can also add caraway seeds, kosher salt, cocoa powder, brown sugar, pumpernickel flour, or vital wheat gluten if you prefer different flavors and textures. Once you start making bread, you’ll learn the different nuances of a little bit of difference in ingredients and you can decide if you like a darker color, a more chewy texture, or things like that the next time you make the recipe. I would also suggest some plastic wrap or parchment paper for your work surface and cooking surface. Also, some cooking spray is helpful as well. 

You are more than welcome to use a bread machine or stand mixer with the dough hook attachment for this recipe or knead it by hand. When I use a bread machine, I take it out after the first rise and do the second rise in a bread pan, and bake it in the oven. I like the look of the loaf and pieces of bread I get from that. Homemade rye bread is incredible. You are going to love the golden brown beauty that is hearty, full of flavor, and the best way to enjoy a sandwich. Once you start making homemade bread, you won’t want store-bought bread again. Here are the step-by-step instructions for this traditional rye bread. 

a knife slicing rye bread into slices

Traditional Rye Bread Recipe

Rich, hearty rye bread recipe that will become one of your favorites. Full of fiber and nutrients and traditional ancient grains.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Kneading and Rising Time 2 hours 10 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 55 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 12


  • 1 cup whole grain rye flour
  • 1 cup whole grain spelt flour
  • 1/2 cup quinoa flour
  • 1/2 cup millet flour
  • 1/4 cup amaranth flour
  • 1 packet 2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water
  • 1 tbsp honey or maple syrup
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp olive oil


  • In a large bowl, combine the warm water and honey. Sprinkle the yeast on top and let it sit for about 5 minutes until frothy.
  • In a separate bowl, mix together the rye, spelt, quinoa, millet, and amaranth flours with the salt.
  • Add the olive oil to the yeast mixture, then gradually add the dry ingredients, mixing until a dough forms.
  • Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface for about 10 minutes, until it becomes smooth and elastic.
  • Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover with a damp cloth, and let it rise in a warm place for about 1-2 hours, until doubled in size.
  • Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C).
  • Punch down the dough, shape it into a loaf, and place it in a greased loaf pan. Let it rise for another 30-45 minutes.
  • Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the bread sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom.
  • Let the bread cool on a wire rack before slicing.
Keyword homemade bread, rye, rye bread
a hand mixing bread dough

Enjoy your homemade ancient grains rye bread as a nutritious and delicious addition to your meals!

This bread will store for a long time wrapped in plastic wrap and then put in a ziplock bag or wrapped in aluminum foil and stored in the freezer. Bread stores longer and better if it is frozen unsliced. Remember, homemade bread isn’t full of chemicals to make it sit on a shelf for weeks and months, so if you make your own, it only lasts for a day or two unfrozen. You can freeze it for up to 4 months if wrapped well in an airtight container.

Make sure to use precise measurement when making bread. It’s a chemical reaction and the bread won’t turn out well if your measurements are off. You are going to enjoy this amazing bread with a distinctive taste and earthy flavor. It’s one of our favorites. 

Is Rye Bread Heart Healthy?

Traditional rye bread can be heart-healthy, especially when it is made from whole-grain rye. Here are several reasons why rye bread is considered good for heart health:

High Fiber Content

  • Whole Grain: Rye bread made from whole grain rye is high in dietary fiber, which can help lower cholesterol levels and improve heart health. Fiber helps reduce low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, often referred to as “bad” cholesterol.
  • Satiety: The high fiber content also promotes a feeling of fullness, which can help with weight management, an important factor in heart health.


  • Vitamins and Minerals: Rye bread is rich in essential nutrients such as magnesium, potassium, and antioxidants, which contribute to overall cardiovascular health.
  • Phytonutrients: Rye contains phytonutrients that have anti-inflammatory properties, which can protect against heart disease.

Low Glycemic Index

  • Blood Sugar Control: Rye bread typically has a lower glycemic index than wheat bread, meaning it causes a slower rise in blood sugar levels. Stable blood sugar levels are beneficial for heart health, reducing the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, which is a risk factor for heart disease.

Potential Blood Pressure Benefits

  • Magnesium and Potassium: These minerals found in rye bread are known to help regulate blood pressure. Maintaining healthy blood pressure levels is crucial for heart health.

Gut Health

  • Prebiotics: The fiber in rye bread acts as a prebiotic, promoting the growth of healthy gut bacteria. A healthy gut microbiome is linked to better heart health.

Choosing the Right Rye Bread

For the maximum heart health benefits, it’s important to choose the right type of rye bread:

  • Whole Grain Rye: Look for breads labeled “whole grain rye” or “whole rye” to ensure you are getting the most nutrients and fiber.
  • Minimal Additives: Opt for breads with minimal additives and preservatives. Avoid those with added sugars or unhealthy fats.

Incorporating whole grain rye bread into a balanced diet, along with other heart-healthy foods and regular physical activity, can contribute to overall cardiovascular well-being.

For more ancient grains recipes, check these out: