For this–my first real food post on my new food blog–I’m sharing a recipe for Easy Rye Quick Bread that is so crazy fast, moist, and flavorful that you won’t believe it until you make it and taste it.
Before I get to that, however, I just want to let you in on the plans I have for this blog. In future posts, I’ll discuss my favorite recipes, baking equipment, tools, and techniques to assure your baking success. I’ll have recipes for many of the breads you’ve eaten and some you’ve never heard of; cakes of every kind; special occasion and everyday cookies and bars; and sweet and savory pies. I’ll share my baking background and the stories that explain why I love baking so much. I‘ll throw in some history of ingredients and recipes and give shout-outs to the fabulous bakers who inspire me and from whom I’ve learned so much.
You’ll notice that I include the weights of many ingredients in my recipes. Our OXO food scale is one of the most frequently used pieces of equipment in our kitchen. For those of you who have never weighed your ingredients, you may think it’s being unnecessarily fussy. But I weigh ingredients for three reasons: 1) weighing ingredients is more accurate and produces more consistent results than using volume measurements, 2) using a food scale with a “tare” function is faster than using measuring cups because you just weigh everything right into the mixing bowl, and 3) cleanup is faster because you’ll find you won’t spill as much, you’ll use fewer spoons and spatulas, and you don’t have to wash messy ingredients like shortening, molasses, and honey out of your measuring cups. I include both ounces and grams for folks who own a scale that doesn’t have both measurements.
So, back to the recipe for this easy rye quick bread. A couple of nights ago, Joe made beef and barley soup for dinner and I wanted some good rye bread to go with it. Since there wasn’t enough time before dinner to make a yeasted rye bread I pulled out this recipe which went perfectly with the soup. I baked it in a 4-cavity pan (each cavity is 5-3/4” X 3”), but you can substitute two regular 8” X 4” pans if you don’t have four mini pans. I love using mini pans because the cute little loaves are perfect for a small family and/or for gift giving. We ate most of one loaf that night, then right after dinner I gave away two loaves, and we had the last of the first loaf and some of the fourth loaf with our dinner of tuna casserole the next night. This bread stays moist and fresh longer than most breads because of the yogurt and honey in it so you can keep it in a plastic bag on the counter for a few days, but do freeze tightly wrapped loaves for longer storage.
The very first thing to do when you make this bread is start the oven so it has plenty of time to get up to temperature. Next, line the mini loaf pans by cutting a piece of parchment for each one that’s long enough to cover the width of the pan bottom and continue up both sides; I cut mine about 7” X 4-1/2”. Then cut a narrower strip to run in the opposite direction; mine were about 9-1/2” X 1-1/2”. Spray the empty pan lightly with non-stick baking spray, lay one strip in and lightly spray just the bottom of it, then put the other strip on top of it and lightly spray again. Set the pans aside.
Mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl, toss the small pieces of butter in, and cut the butter into the flour as though you are making pastry, then stir in the seeds. In a medium bowl, lightly beat the eggs, then whisk in the yogurt, milk, and honey. Now you’re ready to mix it all together then plop it into the prepared pans, scatter the seeds on top, and get it in the oven.
No matter what kind of bread pans you’re using, first set them on a larger baking sheet before you put them in the oven. This is called double panning and isn’t something you’ll normally have to do, but with the long baking time for these loaves, it will prevent the bottom of your bread from burning.
When you pull this bread out of the oven you’ll want to try it right away, but be patient and set the pans on a cooling rack for 15 minutes so the bread can firm up a bit. Then tip the loaves out of the pans and carefully peel off the parchment. Put them back on the rack to finish cooling for an hour or so.
Then throw caution to the wind, cut a thick slice, slather it with lots of butter, and enjoy this great bread with soup and/or cheese and/or sausage and/or beer.
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- 4 cups (15 ounces, 424 grams) rye flour
- 1 cup (4-1/4 ounces, 120 grams) all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt or 2 teaspoons of regular table salt
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 4 ounces (8 tablespoons, 1 stick) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
- 3/4 cup (3-1/2 ounces, 100 grams) roasted & salted sunflower seeds
- 2 tablespoons (1/2 ounce, 16 grams) sesame seeds
- 2 tablespoons (3/4 ounce, 22 grams) whole flaxseed
- 2 large eggs
- 2 cups (454 grams) plain whole-milk yogurt (not Greek yogurt)
- 1/2 cup (4 fluid ounces) whole milk
- 2 tablespoons mixed seeds (sunflower, sesame, flax)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Spray four mini loaf pans with non-stick baking spray, line them with parchment, and spray the parchment.
- Mix flours, salt, baking powder, and baking soda.
- Cut butter into the flour mixture with a pastry cutter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
- Add the seeds to the flour/butter mixture and stir well to distribute them.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, yogurt, milk, and honey.
- Make a well in the center of the flour mixture, pour in the yogurt mixture; stir well to combine (batter will be sticky).
- Spoon the batter into the pans, smoothing the tops; evenly distribute the mixed topping seeds on top of the batter.
- Set the pans on a larger baking sheet, and bake until the loaves are slightly cracked and golden brown, about 1 hour. (A toothpick inserted into centers should come out clean.)
- Let the bread cool in the pans set on a cooling rack for 15 minutes, then turn out onto the rack and cool completely.