If you've come across a recipe that uses rye flour instead of wheat flour, you may be a little confused about what the difference is and why you should use it. After all, it's much more likely that you have normal flour in your pantry. Does baking with rye really make that much of a difference, especially when you'd like to avoid a store trip? Rye actually does differ from all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, and some other flour blends. Fortunately, you can get it kosher, non-GMO, vegan, certified organic, stone ground, and even varieties perfect for bread baking. Let's take a closer look at what it is and what delicious things you can make with it!
What is Rye Flour?
King Arthur Baking explains that this flour is "milled from rye kernels (also called rye berries)" and that it, "has a fresh, nutty flavor that distinguishes it from the wheat flour."
It is produced by the milling of rye grain, and comes in a few different variations. There's white rye flour, sometimes called light rye flour, medium, and dark.
Arrowhead Organic Rye Flour
"In white...the bran and germ are completely removed, and the flour contains only the starchy endosperm of the rye kernel," King Arthur Baking notes. Meanwhile, medium rye has more bran than white rye, and dark is usually milled from all of the bran, germ, and endosperm.
In addition, you can get pumpernickel flour, which includes all of the bran, germ, and endosperm of the rye kernel. This whole grain rye tends to make rye bread and other baked goods that are heavier than those made with other flour. Organic whole grain also contains much more dietary fiber, making it perfect for the deli junkie who also wants to feel full after eating a lot of carbs.
What Can You Make With It?
This flour can make all sorts of goodies! Using it, any home baker can make flatbreads and yeast-leavened breads, bread, muffins, tarts, sourdough recipes like sourdough rye bread or a sourdough starter, and so much more.
If you've got a bread machine and everything else your bread recipe calls for, you're good to go. It might take some practice to make the perfect loaf, but that's half the fun, right?
Just a quick note: although it might seem like it at first glance because it's not white wheat or whole wheat, rye is not gluten-free. People on a gluten-free diet can't have wheat, barley, or rye.
Otherwise, give this nutritious flour a chance! With brands like King Arthur's, Arrowhead mills, and Bob's Red Mill Organic Dark Rye Flour, it's hard to go wrong with this low cholesterol alternative to standard flour. Grab some from Amazon or your local grocery store, and get baking!
Products featured on Wide Open Eats are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.