Rye flour is a powder ground from the grain called ‘rye’.
How dark a rye flour is depends on how much bran is removed when the rye is being milled — more bran milled into the flour means lower protein, lower fibre, lighter colour and less-strong a taste.
Some of the types of flour milled from rye are: Pumpernickel (the whole grain is ground), Dark Rye Flour, Medium Rye Flour, Light Rye Flour and White Rye Flour (if you see “bolted” on a package of Light Rye Flour, it means that the bran and germ have been removed through sifting.)
Rye has a distinct taste to it, which you either like or you don’t. Many people, though, are passionate about their rye bread, especially Eastern Europeans. They love its heady, slightly sour taste. Rye flour is a bit hard to work with when making doughs, as the flour has more carbohydrate gums in it than wheat flour, making it stickier to work with — but don’t make the mistake of continually adding more flour when kneading. As it is very low in gluten, it is usually used in combination with wheat flour or gluten flour so that the dough will have enough strength to rise. The bonus though, for those who like the taste, is a dense and moist loaf of bread.
If you have a white bread recipe that you want to try swapping rye flour into, you can swap in up to 40% of Light Rye Flour, 30% of Medium Rye, or 20% of Dark Rye. If you are trying to introduce your family to rye flour, you may be better starting with the Light Rye Flour to get them accustomed to the taste — on the other hand, maybe one bite of dark, strong Pumpernickel and they’ll fall in love.
Whether you’re a rye-lover or a rye-hater, you’ll agree that nothing will approach its taste, but you can try other non-wheat flours for different tastes.
1 cup rye flour = 6 oz = 150 g