I love rye bread, and this is my go-to recipe when I want a rye bread for sandwiches. It’s my own creation and based on my Light Rye Sandwich Loaf which I adapted from a recipe at King Arthur Flour. I have tweaked my recipe over the last few years, increasing the amount of whole grains and making it dairy-free and vegan. It now has 33% rye flour and 33% whole wheat flour, which makes it a bit more nutritious than the original recipe. It still has molasses for color and flavor, but I replaced the butter with vegetable oil and got rid of the powdered milk.
The addition of more whole wheat flour makes for a sturdy bread that stands up well to a variety of toppings. We often use it here for meatless reuben sandwiches, and I also like to use it to make a spicier version I call a kim-cheese sandwich (kimchi and cheddar cheese). We spread the slices with a little butter or ghee, assemble the sandwich, and toast it in a skillet until golden brown. It also makes a good base for tuna salad or BBQ.
Rye flour can be notoriously sticky to work with, but I use the dough cycle of my bread machine to do the work of kneading and the first rise. Then I form the dough into a rectangle and proof in a greased 8-1/2″ x 4-1/2″ loaf pan. The dough typically takes 60 to 90 minutes to rise, depending on the room temperature, and is ready for the oven when it has risen 1″ over the rim of the loaf pan.
Be sure and let the dough rise high enough before baking to avoid the bread splitting when it expands in the oven. And let the finished bread cool thoroughly before slicing. It slices even better the next day. I freeze any leftovers, and I try and always have some of this bread in the freezer since we use it so often.
NOTE: The recipe calls for using an 8-1/2″ x 4-1/2″ loaf pan, which produces a loaf that is about as tall as it is wide. Use a 9″ x 5″ loaf pan to get a loaf that is wider than it is tall, and when proofing allow the dough to rise to the top of the pan before baking.