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Finnish Rye Bread Recipe

How to Make Finnish Rye Bread

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  • Author: Maria Laitinen
  • Total Time: 4 hours 30 minutes
  • Yield: 2 loaves 1x


A dense, flavorful loaf with a distinctive tangy taste, ideal for sandwiches or as a robust side to soups.


Units Scale
  • 3 cups (360g) rye flour
  • 2 cups (240g) whole wheat flour
  • 1 tbsp (15g) salt
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) warm water
  • 2 tsp (10g) active dry yeast
  • 1 2/3 cups (400ml) buttermilk
  • 1 tbsp (15ml) molasses or dark syrup
  • Additional flour for dusting


  1. Prepare the Yeast: Dissolve the active dry yeast in 1/2 cup of warm water. Allow it to sit for 5-10 minutes until it becomes frothy, indicating that the yeast is active.
  2. Mix Dry Ingredients: In a large mixing bowl, combine rye flour, whole wheat flour, and salt.
  3. Combine Wet Ingredients: In another bowl, mix the buttermilk and molasses until well combined.
  4. Combine Wet and Dry Ingredients: Add the yeast mixture and buttermilk mixture to the dry ingredients. Stir until a sticky dough forms.
  5. Knead the Dough: Turn the dough onto a floured surface and knead for about 10 minutes. Add more flour if the dough is too sticky.
  6. First Proof: Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover with a clean kitchen towel, and let it rise in a warm place for about 1-2 hours or until doubled in size.
  7. Shape and Second Proof: Punch down the dough and divide into two parts. Shape each into a round loaf and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Cover and let them rise again for about an hour.
  8. Preheat Oven: Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C).
  9. Bake: Dust the loaves with rye flour and bake in the preheated oven for about 50-60 minutes, or until the bread sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom.
  10. Cool: Remove from the oven and let cool on a wire rack.


  • Rye flour can make the dough sticky, so don’t be tempted to add too much additional flour while kneading.
  • Molasses adds color and a slight sweetness to the bread but can be substituted with dark syrup.
  • This bread tastes better the next day as the flavors have time to develop.
  • Prep Time: 30 min
  • Rising Time: 180 mins
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Category: Baking
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: Finnish
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