Gluten Free Rye Bread Recipe

We have had several requests for a gluten free rye bread recipe, but this has been a tricky one to write. Why? Well, rye contains gluten, so having gluten free rye bread is…not possible.

Quick lesson: there is no one single substance called gluten. Gluten is a group of different proteins. All wheat varieties, oats, barley and rye contain gluten – or gluten proteins at least. You don’t need to know what they’re all called (too much Latin) but suffice to say that rye will always contain gluten.

That said, the gluten in rye is a different set of proteins to the gluten in rye. As a result, it depends what you’re trying to avoid or cut out of your diet. If you are only intolerant to wheat gluten, then rye gluten should be okay.

Most importantly, if you suffer from Celiac Disease, the difference between the two is negligible. You should not, therefore, consume rye.

So, can you eat Rye on a Gluten-Free diet?

Strictly speaking, based on the above explanation, no.

Nevertheless, as rye bread is to tasty there has to be a solution which will satisfy a gluten-free diet.

That’s where ‘imitation’ or ‘mock’ gluten free rye bread can be worth exploring.

For those of you who love the dark bread taste and texture of a rye bread (very common in Europe), there are a couple of ways to recreate that look and taste. Starting with a basic gluten-free dough recipe, you then pimp it up with caraway seeds and especially cocoa powder. Yes, cocoa powder! Don’t worry, you’re not making chocolate bread, and it won’t taste sweet. Cocoa is fairly bitter and will give the bread that unique dark colour.

Rye has caraway seeds in it, but in this recipe we decided to boost this flavour. For that reason, we recommend you add some caraway seeds into a blender or grinder. You can then add a fine powder to the dough mix.

Gluten Free Rye Bread Ingredients


Take the bowl of your stand mixer and a hand whisk. Place the bread flower, sugar, yeast, salt and spices in to the bowl and whisk by hand until combined.

Using the dough hook, mix together on a low setting. Slowly add the melted butter and milk. When it is all in, turn up the speed to medium and knead for 5 minutes.

Cover the bowl with cling film/plastic wrap. Place the bowl in your usual proving place – a warm, draft-free area. Leave for about 2 hours, or until the dough has doubled in size.

Place in the fridge for 3-4 hours, or ideally overnight. The colder the dough is, the easier it is to manipulate. In fact, you can make the dough days in advance – amazingly, it will keep for up to a week!

Following the chilled period (be it hours or days), remove the dough from the fridge. Place into a flat, even surface (kitchen worktop or table) which has been heavily floured (gluten-free).

The dough will be very sticky, consequently you may find it easier to handle in two pieces, so cut the dough in half. If you want to make two smaller loves, place the other half back in the fridge for later in the week.

Shape the dough into a torpedo shape and place it on a parchment-lined baking sheet or pizza peel (paddle). Cover with plastic wrap and place it in a warm, draft-free area to rise. It won’t rise to double in size, just noticeably larger and puffy.

While the dough is rising, place a baking steel or baking stone on the middle rack of your oven and a shallow pan on the bottom rack. Preheat the oven to 450°.

When dough has fully risen, use the pizza peel (paddle) or the baking sheet and slide the dough onto the baking steel (or stone), parchment and all. Immediately pour one cup of very hot tap water into the shallow pan and close oven door. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the bread sounds hollow when tapped and is nicely risen. For a larger loaf (using all of the dough) add 5-10 minutes to the baking time. If the top is getting too dark before bread is done baking, cover lightly with aluminum foil.

Remove the bread from the oven and place on a wire rack. Allow to cool completely before slicing.

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