8 Jan '13

Our daily rye

A basket of dark rye bread

We love bread. Nothing beats the aroma of bread baked daily from our ovens.

Not just any bread though – it has to be dark rye bread. Dense, chewy, sweetly nutty and wholesome – it’s the only bread we use for our sandwiches.

So many breads are stripped of their natural nutrients – bleached, overloaded with salt, preservatives and sugar. The wheat has been so processed and all that is left is a white, fluffy pillow filled with air and not much else.

But not rye bread. It’s hard to refine rye, so rye bread tends to be less processed than breads made with other grains and retains its natural goodness.

The health benefits of rye are widely documented. Rye bread has low GI so keeps you feeling fuller for longer and can be especially healthy for type 2 diabetics.  Like other whole grains it may help reduce heart disease, and bowel disease. And if you suffer from wheat intolerance, it’s a great alternative.

Nordic people prefer bread to be gutsy, satisfying and full of flavour and rye is the bread of choice in Finland and many Scandinavian countries where you can choose from 20 to 40 different rye breads.  Sometimes it is made with 100% wholemeal rye flour (dark rye bread), sometimes it is mixed with white wheat flour to give a lighter colour and higher rise.

Rye also makes wonderful flatbreads, crispbreads and bread rolls and you can find Miisa’s recipes in The Nordic Bakery Cookbook, reviewed here.

Why not start this new year by discovering the taste of rye.