Sift Magazine

We’ve been getting calls for a couple of weeks now, asking when our next issue of Sift magazine would arrive. Happily, the wait is over: Sift’s fall 2015 issue is now available, and we wanted to tempt you with a preview of some the wonderful recipes, smart writing, and beautiful photos inside.

Sift magazine via@kingarthurflour

Our table of contents gives you an idea: we visit a treasure trove of dessert heavens in Brooklyn, with Erica Patinkin and Agatha Kulaga of Ovenly; then go to check out a tailgating party outside Brewers’ stadium in Milwaukee.

We take a trip to Washington State to learn about developing custom wheat varieties for farmers, then head to one of the oldest grist mills in the country, Gray’s in Rhode Island. They’ve been milling grain since the 1600s, and are still grinding white cap flint corn.

What to make with that cornmeal, and what to bake it in? Check out our recipes to bake in cast iron, as well as the collector’s gallery of cast iron cookery.

sift fall 15 via@kingarthurflourTime to take it back on the road. We take a couple of laps around the Northeast to pay homage to a collection of wonderful diners.

Sift magazine via@kingarthurflour.comThen we take a swing over to Salem, MA to visit Andy and Jackie King at their bakery. This dynamic husband and wife duo met at culinary school, and have made a life for themselves on baking amazing artisan bread.

Sift Magazine via@kingarthurflourWhich gets us to thinking about lunch, and what kind of portable treats we can cook up for taking to work and school. Such scholarly ideas, in turn, send us on a field trip …

Sift magazine via@kingarthurflour… to do some research, of course. About pie. Emily Hilliard, who writes Nothing in the House, a blog about pie (and who also happens to work at the Smithsonian), shares some of her amazing recipes with us, as well as delving into pie’s place in our history.

There’s much, much more in Sift magazine’s fall issue. Read about Hot Bread Kitchen, an amazing place where baking is the key for women to overcome language or economic barriers and make their way, while sharing their unique bread recipes with an eager, and hungry, audience.

Sift magazine via @kingarthurflourOur bread board feature is Apple and Spice and Everything. Baked, that is. You’ll also find recipes that make the most of farm stand and CSA offerings. Tips for taking better food photos. Answers to baking questions.

Sift magazine fall 15 back-coverEvery page has something to enjoy, including our own employee-owner Brian Barthelmes’ illustration on the back. It’s whimsical, fun, tasty-looking, and makes us a little bit hungry.  Be on the lookout for your copy of Sift at your local newsstand, bookstore, or grocery store. Or buy it from us (the shipping is free). Lets bake some beautiful things together this fall.

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Waffle tips

When was the last time you made waffles?

A long time ago, huh? And why is that?

Oh, because they’re too much fuss on a weekday, when everyone’s buzzing around the kitchen slapping PB on toast and standing in line for their turn at the Keurig.

And then Saturday rolls around, and you’ve got a million things to do, starting with hitting the gym… Sunday, blessed Sunday, is a day of rest. A bagel and cream cheese is your upper limit of effort in the kitchen, so there you have it: the weeks go by, and NO WAFFLES.

Which is a shame. A well-made waffle is every bit as pleasurable as a perfectly flaky Danish pastry, or sumptuous eggs Benedict. Add whipped cream and fruit, and you’re approaching fancy hotel $22 breakfast levels.

So, why don’t you make waffles more often?

Because you have to drag out the waffle iron, that’s why. And it’s in the back of the cupboard, behind the Tupperware and your old electric eggbeater, and who wants to move all that stuff and then put it all back, just to make waffles?

I’m with you. My 39-year-old waffle iron sits unused in the pantry, buried under a haphazard landslide of other seldom-used gear, awaiting its once-a-year-or-so appearance. In fact, it’s usually my husband, Rick, who finally retrieves it; waffles were one of the things he became “expert” at during his bachelor days.

I recently found myself craving a waffle. Maybe it was a couple of food porn waffle pictures I saw on Instagram recently. Or maybe I’ve simply grown tired of the daily glass of almond milk mixed with Ovaltine. At any rate, I thought I’d turn this craving into a blog post – because between me, Rick, and many years of sporadic though happy waffle making, we have some waffle tips to share with you.

P.S. After making a couple of batches of absolutely delicious, crunchy/tender waffles, I’ve rearranged my shelves for easier access to the iron. Because it will surely be making more regular appearances from now on.

Waffle Tips via @kingarthurflour

Waffle tip #1: Add a bit of spice.

Waffle batter is a simple combination of eggs, butter/oil, milk, flour, salt, and leavening. It’s a blank palette, awaiting your favorite spice. I love both vanilla and cinnamon; add a touch of nutmeg for doughnut-like flavor.

How much should you add? For a typical waffle recipe, I’d add 1 teaspoon vanilla, or 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, or 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg. Want to add all three? Go right ahead! Allspice and ginger give waffles a winter holiday flavor, while lemon oil or extract is perfect for summer – especially if you’ll be topping the waffles with fruit.

Waffle Tips via @kingarthurflour

Waffle tip #2: Warm your liquid ingredients.

Why? Two reasons. First, if your recipe calls for melted butter, stirring it into cold buttermilk will coagulate it, leaving you with little nuggets of solid butter which refuse to become one with the batter.

Second, liquid ingredients blend together more easily and completely when they’re all around the same (warm or room) temperature. Consequently, when you add them to the dry ingredients, you won’t have to stir as long to make a smooth batter.

Think of waffle batter as you would pie crust or biscuit dough: the less handled, the less gluten development, the more tender the end result. Don’t beat your waffle batter; for light and tender waffles, stir just to combine.

Waffle Tips via @kingarthurflour

Waffle tip #3: Separate the eggs and whip the whites before adding them to the batter.

This seems like an unnecessary step, on the face of it. Won’t the egg whites just lose their air when the waffle batter is flattened and baked in the iron?

As it turns out, no. Above, at left, is a waffle made without whipped egg whites. On the right, one made with whipped whites. The difference is fairly subtle, looks-wise, but when you eat them side by side, waffles made with whipped whites are noticeably lighter.

One caveat: more isn’t better. Whip whites only until soft peaks form (as pictured above); they shouldn’t be insubstantial and cloud-like, but should mound in the bowl. Too-stiff whites won’t blend easily with the other ingredients (see tip #2, above).

Also, make the waffles ASAP, once you add the egg whites. This isn’t a batter you want to stow in the fridge overnight, or let “season” on the counter while you fry the bacon. The whites will gradually deflate.

Waffle Tips via @kingarthurflour

Waffle tip #4: Unless your waffle iron is reliably non-stick, grease it before using.

This may seem like a no-brainer, but I made the mistake of thinking my ancient iron must be “seasoned” by now, and wouldn’t need to be greased. WRONG – as the picture on the right graphically proves.

Rick swears the best bet is to brush the iron with melted butter; I prefer vegetable oil. Either way, we find that a simple spritz with a can of non-stick vegetable oil spray doesn’t do it. When using an older iron, take the time to use a pastry brush to paint all the nooks and crannies with the fat of your choice.

Waffle Tips via @kingarthurflour

Waffle tip #5: Figure out ahead of time how much batter to use for each waffle.

A scant 3/4 cup batter in this deep-pocket 7″ Belgian waffle iron, enough batter to completely cover the surface of the iron, makes a perfectly round waffle. Some waffle irons will ooze batter from the sides if you fill them completely; not this one.

My shallow-pocket, standard American iron needs 1/2 cup batter for each 5″ square waffle; so the amount of batter you use will change, iron to iron. Take the time right up front to learn your iron’s optimal capacity, and from then on you’ll make perfectly round waffles.

Waffle Tips via @kingarthurflour

Waffle tip #6: Don’t lift the lid until the iron stops steaming.

How do you know when your waffle is done? Some irons tell you via a light or a beep; with some, you just have to guess. A good clue is to NEVER open your iron until steam has stopped seeping out its sides.

I ignored that advice (above) to prove the point, opening the iron while it was still steaming. The waffle looked lovely, but was completely stuck to the top plate. After giving it a couple of additional minutes in the iron, it slipped out easily.

Waffle Tips via @kingarthurflour

Waffle tip #7: Serve with room temperature or warmed butter.

A cold pat of butter atop a hot waffle will just sit there. Unlike pancakes, most waffles don’t have much interior to keep them warm; as soon as they’re out of the iron, they cool quickly. Using room temperature or even slightly warmed butter will give you a better melting-butter-and-syrup eating experience.

Waffle Tips via @kingarthurflour

Waffle tip #8: Keep finished waffles warm in the oven.

You’re not baking just a single waffle, right? Most recipes make 5 to 7 waffles. Unless you’re going to sit down and eat the first one, then make the rest later, keep the finished waffles warm and crisp in a 200°F oven. Placing them right on your oven’s rack will prevent sogginess.

Waffle Tips via @kingarthurflour

Now, tell me again why you don’t make waffles more often?

Looking for a good waffle recipe? I highly recommend The Best Waffles Ever, which includes a “secret ingredient:” a touch of cornmeal/cornstarch, for extra crunch. Does your favorite waffle recipe have a secret ingredient? Share with all of us in comments, below.

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Six Great Breads and Spreads

The power of fresh, warm bread to bring people together is ageless. The magical alchemy of yeast, liquid, flour, and salt creates one of the most enchanting, delightful aromas known to man: the smell of baking bread.

Here we present six great breads and spreads that show them off; together they create greater satisfaction than either can manage on its own. In the premiere issue of Sift magazine, we paired a panoply of excellent breads with equally flavorful spreads. We hope these combinations will inspire you to do some matchmaking of your own.

Great breads and spreads via @kingarthurflour

Olive and Onion Fougasse, with Creamy Artichoke-Zucchini Dip

Fougasse is a fancy-looking flatbread that’s really quite easy to make. The slashes in the bread create more crust, for those who appreciate the tear, crunch, and chew of a flavorful artisan bread. That sturdiness will serve you well, for swiping through a bowl of artichoke dip.

Great breads and spreads via @kingarthurflourAsiago Ciabatta with Garlic and Shallot Confit

Who doesn’t love cheesy bread? Garlic and shallot confit is the perfect companion, as well as being quite useful in its own right. Use it instead of red sauce on your next pizza; put a spoonful in the pan as you’re searing up your next batch of garden zucchini or spinach, or use it to punch up your filling next time lasagna’s on the menu.

Great breads and spreads via @kingarthurflour

Dipping Sticks with Hummus

Salads are all very well and desirable, but when you need something sturdier to dig into (and don’t we all, from time to time?), put together some bread sticks and buzz up a batch of our simple hummus while the dough is rising.

Great breads and spreads via @kingarthurflour

Raisin-Pecan Rye with Cider-Cinnamon Spread

Upper left: Ever since we first tasted PJ’s raisin-pecan rye, we’ve been in love. The affair only gets better with a schmear of another heartthrob, our boiled cider cinnamon spread.

Cheddar Pull-Apart Bread with Hot Popper Dip

Lower left: This one’s for sharing, too;  the recipe can be made as bubble bread for a crowd, or in a pretty half-moon-shaped layered loaf in a pan. Either way it’s a wonderful treat to have with friends and warm hot popper dip.

No-Knead Harvest Bread with Blue Cheese Spread

Lower right: Bread goodness can be as simple as stir and wait, plop into pan, and bake, with our no-knead harvest bread. The catchy combination of earthy blue cheese spread with a touch of honey and herbs is the perfect accessory.

There’ll be a Bread Board feature in every Sift magazine, and our next issue is right around the corner. I’ll be back soon to tell you about our fall issue of Sift, going on sale August 25. While you’re waiting, click through to the recipes above and mix up some water, yeast, and flour!

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Bake A Better Boxed Lunch

As many of us watch the seasons changing, it’s a harbinger of changes not only to wind and weather but to schedules as well.

Back to school, back to work, back to backpacks and briefcases and boxed lunch.*sigh*

Boring old boxed lunch.

A slab or two of deli meat between the last two crusts of bread, and maybe a granola bar tossed together in a flash. Sure, your stomach will stay fed but your soul will be hungry for more flavor, more beauty, more home-baked goodness.

Oh, did I say “you”? Believe me, I’ve made some pretty poor lunchbox choices in my day. I mean, milk chocolate chips count as dairy, right?

Happily, you and I are better bakers now and have an arsenal of terrific recipes for filling up our tummies, hearts, and souls. Let’s check out the recipes in the photo above, and chat a bit about how a few little changes can really elevate your noontime nosh.

Boxed lunches are an excellent way to add small portions of nutritious and delicious items in your diet. By cutting down on the size of your servings, you not only eat less but you can eat a greater variety of items. This keeps your taste buds awake and excited about what’s coming next.

Lunch box bento via@kingarthurflour

I use a standard stackable bento box to make my lunch today. Bento boxes have become wildly popular and widely available in the States over the last few years. More on this later.

On the left we have some Cabot cheddar cheese and turkey salami on a bed of lettuce, cradled with a few gherkin pickles. Add some homemade crackers for stacking: Gluten-Free Almond Flour Crackers.

I have to say, I’m completely addicted to this cracker recipe. It’s so customizable: you can make cheese crackers, chili pepper crackers, French herb, anything that tickles your fancy. With a grand total of five ingredients, you can whip up a batch in the evening after dinner and they’ll be done and cooling before an episode of NCIS is over.

Now, let’s take a look at the right-hand side of our luscious lunch…

Lunch box bento via@kingarthurflour

First, you’ll see that a good portion of this side is fruits and veggies. As much as we love baked goods, don’t forget your “5 a Day.”

Notice the colorful ruffled papers? To help control portion sizes, you can use cupcake/muffin liners, silicone cups, or even tasty greens as a wrapper. I’ve found that paper liners also help control moisture, so that your freshly washed grapes don’t turn your cookies soggy.

Speaking of cookies, a little baked sweet is nice to finish off your meal. Try baking drop cookies using our teaspoon cookie scoop, to get smaller cookies. You can easily pack two instead of one, making your boxed lunch fuller and more satisfying. Joy’s Brown Butter Cookies with Chocolate Chips and Pecans certainly satisfies my lunchtime sweet tooth.

Breakfast Bento via

Of course, your lunchbox doesn’t have to be filled with lunch items, now does it? Breakfast for lunch or dinner is a big hit around our house, so why not pack yourself a hearty meal using your early morning favorites?

The boxed lunch above happens to be gluten free as well as pleasing to the eye and taste buds. A few silver dollar-sized pancakes, some fresh Vermont maple syrup, and healthy whole almonds give you sweetness and crunch. Our No Bake Energy Bites provide protein and whole grains; add some sweet red grapes for a refreshing finish.

Notice the pretty little white dish of syrup? While you can pack your boxed lunch with plastic containers (and I do so, too, to prevent spills), why not pack an extra container for serving? A little bit of beauty from a dish, spoon, napkin, or straw can really make the difference between having a dull dinner or a magnificent meal.

I mentioned at the beginning of the post that I was using my bento box for packing my lunches. “Bento” has become rather synonymous with fancy lunch in the past few years. However, true bento eating is quite specific in regards to proteins, rice, fruits, etc.

To learn more about authentic Japanese bento and to see some more lunch ideas, one of my favorite sites is Happy Little Bento. Just like the title says, it’s all about making lunchtime happy!

We hope you’re inspired with our boxed lunches. Please share your ideas, tips, and tricks for baking a better boxed lunch in the comments. Oh, and if anyone has successfully packed a cream puff for lunch, I NEED to know!

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4 Aces Diner

The fall issue of our baking magazine, Sift, is launching in just a matter of days. It will be on newsstands and available for online purchase on August 25! Packed full of delicious recipes and photos from writers and photographers all over the country, reading the magazine is like going on a foodie road trip.

As a matter of fact, one article in the issue DID engender a little road trip, as we stopped and enjoyed meals at classic diners along the East Coast. Easily identifiable by their barrel-shaped roofs, there are still quite a few original buildings up and thriving: holding on to that historic shape and serving up classic dishes for new generations to discover and enjoy.

I was inspired by the journey. So my friends and I took a visit to our local diner, which has been feeding the masses for over half a century. One of those friends just happens to be Julia Reed, who artfully photographed our brunch date.

Having breakfast or lunch at the 4 Aces Diner is a little like stepping back in time and eating in a different era. That’s probably due, in part, to the rich history that surrounds this quirky diner.

4 Aces Pick Ups -3

You can still see the shape of the original building, where the smaller roof lands, on top of which a larger shell was built.

Built in the early ’50s, the building originally rested up the hill from its current location. Back then, it was a classic 1952 Worcester diner car (#837), with a “rail car” shape.The remainder of the building is a wooden outer shell built around it back in the ’80s, providing extra seating, storage, and office space for the management.

Stepping into the front door, and taking a seat at the bar, you can tell you’re sitting in the original building. The signature rounded roof, with its recessed lighting and stainless steel backsplashes, is clearly visible.

Inside the original diner car.


Ordering lunch.

Leann Briggs, who co-owns the diner with her brother, Steven Shorey, grew up in the area and has been coming to the diner as a patron her entire life, before buying the restaurant first in the ’90s, and then again in 2011.

4 Aces Diner via @kingarthurflour

“My brother and I appreciate the community and the people,” said Leann. “I think we’ve had such great success because (the diner) has been a fixture in the community since back in the ’50s. I’d like to think the food had a little something to do with it, too.”

4 Aces Diner via @kingarthurflour

Serving a wide variety of items, with everything from Bubble and Squeak and breakfast burritos to BBQ burgers and classic Reubens, there are many ways to satisfy your dining desires. There’s also an expanded weekend specials board, offering higher-end options, that keeps the line flowing out the door from opening until closing time.

4 Aces does their best to use local ingredients and products whenever possible. In fact, they proudly use King Arthur Flour in all of their baking, including their mouthwatering homemade doughnuts, fried up daily.

4 Aces Diner via @kingarthurflour

Undoubtedly, the item that brings the 4 Aces Diner the most recognition is their wide array of Benedicts. There are typically 4 to 6 on the menu, with more offered on the daily specials. On National Eggs Benedict Day (April 16), the staff goes all out, offering over a dozen different appropriately-themed items on the specials board.

Homemade muffins

If you’re captivated by the history and lore of historic diners like these and the magical, homey communities they create – not to mention a great meal! – look for our feature about Northeast diners in the fall issue of Sift.


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Tips for Better Biscuits

Better biscuits are ahead. If you’ve ever salivated over flaky, lofty biscuits – the sort that pull apart into buttery layers at the slightest tug – you’ve come to the right place.

Although biscuits might look as if they require a lot of technique and practice, they’re quite simple to make properly. Armed with a few useful tips (and a light touch), you’ll be impressing your friends with your baking prowess in no time.

Today we’re focusing on texture: How to make biscuits that are light and airy. We’ll talk about some of our collective favorite recipes here at King Arthur Flour and how to ensure success with each one.

A word of advice: Start with good ingredients. Biscuits, like many breads, only use a few ingredients so you’ll really taste each one. Choosing good-quality butter, milk, and flour will pay off in the flavor of the end result.

Most of our recipes can be easily adapted to accommodate mix-ins. With blank canvas recipes, play around with adding grated cheese or chopped fresh herbs. If you want to get more adventurous, meats (like finely chopped ham or diced cooked bacon) and vegetables (like chopped shallots or diced bell peppers) are delicious options. Add-ins should equal about 1/3 the amount of your dough. Any more than that and you risk weighing down the biscuits and losing the lofty, flaky texture.

Biscuit Tip 1: Use cold ingredients

In our world, flaky is a good word. To achieve perfect, separate layers in your biscuits, you need to start with very cold fats (usually butter or shortening). When you cut in your fat, you leave it in small pea-sized lumps. Those lumps get coated in flour and melt during baking into layers. If your fats are too warm, the lumps will melt and form a homogeneous dough, resulting in dense, leaden biscuits.

Tips for better biscuits via @kingarthurflour

It can be difficult to prep your butter without warming it with your fingers. A neat trick to help with this is to use an egg slicer. I have an inexpensive plastic version that slices through very cold butter easily. It cubes the butter into tiny pieces and protects it from the heat of my fingers.

Put this tip to use in our Easy Self-Rising Biscuit recipe. Using only three ingredients, this recipe is particularly simple because it starts with our Self-Rising Flour: a blend of soft-wheat flour and baking powder with a touch of salt. Self-rising flour has a creamy taste and lighter-than-air texture, and yields an ethereally light biscuit. It saves you some mixing, since the baking powder and salt are already incorporated.

Tips for better biscuits via @kingarthurflour

Biscuit Tip 2: Be gentle!

So your ingredients are chilled, you’re hungry, and you’re ready to make biscuits. As you start mixing and stirring, be sure to use a light and gentle touch. Every time you touch, knead, and fold the dough, you’re developing the gluten. The more you develop the gluten, the tougher and more prone to shrinking the biscuits will be.

Tips for better biscuits via @kingarthurflour

For example, our Biscuits for Breakfast recipe instructs you to knead your dough a few times to bring it together into a square. This is no joke! You want to handle it as little as possible: A few folds will make a cohesive dough. You’ll still see chunks of butter and sprinkles of flour, and that’s a good sign. A smooth, homogeneous dough is not what you want.

Tips for better biscuits via @kingarthurflour

Biscuit Tip 3: Stay fresh

When baking lofty, airy biscuits, you need some way to encourage them to rise. Most often, baking powder acts as the leavening agent. Your baking powder helps the layers puff up beautifully.

Baking powder tends to be an ingredient that sits in your pantry for months. Over time, it will lose its efficacy so it’s very important to check that your baking powder is fresh. You can test the freshness by mixing a small spoonful of baking powder with 1/4 cup of hot water. The baking powder should bubble vigorously. If it doesn’t, you need to replace it with a new can.

Biscuit Tip 4: Sharpen up

Tips for better biscuits via @kingarthurflourMany recipes, like our Savory Cheddar Cheese Biscuits, use a biscuit cutter to slice out rounds of dough.

For non-drop biscuits, it’s crucial to use a sharp-edged circle (a biscuit cutter, cookie cutter, or sharp-edged drinking glass) to slice your dough. In a pinch, a drinking glass with thin sides will work. If you don’t have any of those tools, you can always use a knife or bench scraper to cut your biscuits into squares instead of circles. Getting a clean slice on the edge of your dough will result in a nicely-shaped biscuit with well-defined layers. If you smoosh the sides of the dough, your biscuits will be sloped on the sides and misshapen.

To cut out your dough properly, press straight down instead of twisting. Dip the cutter in flour repeatedly to keep it from sticking. Transfer the circles of dough carefully to your baking sheet without pressing on the sides.

Place the biscuits closer together (about 1/2-inch apart) on the baking sheet to help the biscuits rise taller.

Biscuit Tip 5: A secret for beginner bakers

Tips for better biscuits via @kingarthurflourIf the idea of cutting in butter and carefully kneading dough makes you nervous, we’ve got you covered with our Never-Fail Biscuit recipe. All you do is stir together self-rising flour, salt, and cream and drop spoonfuls of the dough onto a baking sheet.

If that sounds too good to be true, we assure you it’s not. It’s an aptly named recipe, and will not let you down, regardless of skill level.

With these five simple tips, you’ll have a mouthful of warm, flaky biscuits in no time. Just don’t forget to slather them with plenty of butter (and maybe some fresh homemade strawberry jam).

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5 tips for making rye bread

Have you ever wanted to bake a loaf of rye bread, but felt too daunted to give it a try? These tips for making rye bread will leave you feeling dauntless in no time.

Baking rye bread uses all the same basic techniques you’d use when baking a standard all-purpose flour loaf. You just need to manage your expectations: if you understand how rye flour dough acts – which is different than dough made with all-purpose or bread flour – you’re more likely to be happy with your results.

Whether you want to make nut-and-fruit studded pecan-raisin rye; a light, caraway-studded sandwich loaf; dense pumpernickel bread for hors d’oeuvres, or richly flavored sourdough rye, we have the recipes you need; and after reading this post and practicing with a few loaves, I guarantee rye bread will daunt you no longer!

Chewy Semolina Rye Bread via @kingarthurflour

Tip 1: What kind of rye flour should I use?

White/light rye, medium rye, dark rye, or pumpernickel – what’s the difference? Let’s compare these rye flours to wheat flour.

White or light rye (they’re the same flour, different names) is the rye equivalent of all-purpose flour. It’s milled from the center (endosperm) of the rye berry, but doesn’t include the oily germ at the very center, nor the fiber-rich bran that forms the berry’s outer skin.

Medium and dark rye are also milled from the center of the rye berry, and neither includes the germ. However, as the miller “scoops” the center out of the berry, and gets closer and closer to the outer bran layer, the color of what s/he mills darkens: the closer to the bran, the darker the flour. Dark rye flour has been milled closer to the bran than medium.

And how about pumpernickel, a.k.a. whole rye flour? It’s rye’s version of whole wheat flour, including bran, endosperm, and germ: the entire rye berry.

Which should you choose? White/light rye, without any trace of bran, will give you the lightest-colored, highest-rising bread. As you go from white to dark to pumpernickel, your bread will become slightly darker, and will naturally rise slightly less. The Caraway Rye Bread pictured above is made with about 28% pumpernickel flour; as you can see, its color is a rich, warm light brown. And, since its rye flour is supplemented with all-purpose flour, its texture is light, as well.

How to make Chewy Semolina Rye Bread via @kingarthurflour

That’s unbleached bread flour on the left; pumpernickel on the right. Note pumpernickel’s slightly purple hue; this very slight blue-spectrum tint is a trademark of dark rye or pumpernickel.

Tip 2: White flour + rye flour = the highest-rising rye breads.

For high-rising rye breads, use “white flour” – unbleached all-purpose or unbleached bread flour –  in combination with rye. The extra protein in either of those wheat flours balances the lack of gluten-forming protein in rye flour – as does vital wheat gluten, a couple of tablespoons of which can be added to rye flour dough to help it rise.

Rye bread made with 100% rye flour will be dense and heavy; think some of those all-rye breads you find at artisan bakeries, the ones sliced off an enormous loaf and sold by the pound. If you’re looking for a lighter, softer sandwich bread, bread or AP flours are your best friend. And the higher percentage of rye flour in your recipe, the more you should lean towards higher-protein bread flour.

How much white flour should you use? The more white flour in the loaf, the higher it’ll rise and the lighter its texture will be. So this is entirely up to you and your tastes. Experiment with different percentages of white flour/rye flour until you find the bread texture you like the most.

Let’s make a sample loaf of rye bread: Chewy Semolina Rye.

Like most recipes, our Chewy Semolina Rye Bread is a combination of rye and wheat flours: in this case, pumpernickel, bread flour, and semolina, a coarse flour milled from high-protein durum wheat.

In a large bowl, or in the bucket of your bread machine set on the dough cycle, combine the following ingredients:

1 cup + 2 tablespoons lukewarm water
1 tablespoon sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons minced dried onion
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 tablespoons vital wheat gluten, optional; for higher rise
1 cup King Arthur Unbleached Bread Flour
1 cup pumpernickel flour or Perfect Rye Flour Blend*
1 cup semolina
2 teaspoons instant yeast

*So, what’s this Perfect Rye Flour Blend? A handy combination of white and medium rye flours, pumpernickel, and unbleached bread flour, with the flavor and color of rye, and the rise of bread flour. Think of it as training wheels for rye bread bakers!

Mix, then knead — by hand, mixer or bread machine — until you’ve made a smooth, slightly sticky dough.

How to make Chewy Semolina Rye Bread via @kingarthurflour

Tip 3: Rye dough isn’t as supple as wheat dough.

If you’ve never made rye bread before, you’ll be surprised by the dough’s consistency, especially if you’re making a loaf that’s at least 50% rye flour. The dough is more clay-like than elastic (left, above); this is fine. Don’t try to “knead it into shape.” It will never become as “supple” as a typical wheat-based dough. Even when fully kneaded (right, above), it probably won’t form a smooth ball; you’ll need to shape it into a ball prior to its first rise.

Shape the dough into a ball, place it in a lightly greased bowl, cover the bowl, and let the dough rise, covered, for 1 hour. It should become nice and puffy. If you’re using your bread machine, simply let it complete its dough cycle.

How to make Chewy Semolina Rye Bread via @kingarthurflour

Tip 4: The more rye in your dough, the more slowly it will rise.

The loaf above is only about 28% rye flour, so it rises vigorously. Breads that include a greater percentage of rye may take hours to rise, both in the bowl, and once they’re shaped into loaves.

Your mission, should you choose to accept it: relax.

Chewy Semolina Rye Bread via @kingarthurflour

Some rye breads, like our Westphalian Rye, rise for up to 24 hours!

OK, back to our Chewy Semolina Rye.

How to make Chewy Semolina Rye Bread via @kingarthurflour

Gently deflate the dough, and shape it into an oval loaf; place the loaf on a lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheet.

Or shape the dough into an 8″ log, and place it in a lightly greased 8 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ bread pan.

Note: I’ve made a double batch of dough here, so I can try both types of loaf: free-form, and sandwich loaf.

Cover the loaf with lightly greased plastic wrap, and let it rise until it’s very puffy, about 60 to 90 minutes.

Towards the end of the rising time, preheat your oven to 400°F with a rack in the center.

Spritz the loaf with water, and sprinkle it with the seeds of your choice, if desired.

How to make Chewy Semolina Rye Bread via @kingarthurflour

Tip 5: Seeds and rye bread are natural partners.

Whether you’re kneading caraway seeds right into the dough or sprinkling Everything Bagel Topping on top, as I’ve done here, seeds are responsible for much of rye’s typical flavor.

A rye loaf made without seeds won’t deliver that signature “deli rye” flavor you’re probably looking for. Full-flavored caraway, fennel, and/or anise seeds complement rye’s inherently mild taste. As does our Deli Rye Flavor.

Chewy Semolina Rye Bread via @kingarthurflour

Sourdough starter is another natural companion to rye flour. Try our Sourdough Rye Bread, and you’ll see what I mean.

How to make Chewy Semolina Rye Bread via @kingarthurflour

Now, while it’s not usually as critical to slash rye bread before baking as it is, say, baguettes, I still like to do it. Slashing bread keeps it from tearing (often along the side) as it bakes by giving the rising dough a path for expansion. And while rye doesn’t usually have the oven spring (i.e., the degree to which it rises in the oven) that white bread does, the slashes do ensure an even upward rise.

Plus they look nice.

Bake the bread for 25 to 30 minutes, tenting it with aluminum foil after 20 minutes to prevent over-browning. When the loaf is fully baked, a digital thermometer inserted into its center should register 190°F.

Remove the bread from the oven, and place it on a rack to cool. If it’s in a loaf pan, turn it out of the pan onto the rack. Cool completely before slicing.

Chewy Semolina Rye Bread via @kingarthurflour

See what I mean about looking nice? Slashes give the loaf artisan panache.

How to make Chewy Semolina Rye Bread via @kingarthurflour

And here’s my sandwich loaf. Notice that whole-grain color, from just a relatively small amount of pumpernickel. The more rye flour you use, the darker your bread will be.

But for truly dark pumpernickel, the kind you see at the grocery store, most professional bakers have a secret:

Chewy Semolina Rye Bread via @kingarthurflour

Caramel color, a dark powder added to dough that gives the resulting bread rich chocolate color – like that in this Dark Pumpernickel-Onion Loaf.

So many rye breads, so little time! From light, soft sandwich rye to dark, dense loaves perfect for the smorgasbord, which kind of rye bread is your favorite? Tell us in comments, below.

Do you have a rye bread question you don’t see answered here? Call our Baker’s Hotline. We’ve got devoted rye bread bakers who’ll be happy to help.

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