Some time ago I ran across a recipe for rye sandwich buns. I’ve eaten lots of rye bread before, but I don’t think I had ever had a rye bun or roll of any kind. So I was intrigued, and printed the recipe out and added it to my “must try someday” folder. Some time later, when I finally got around to making the buns, they turned out all right but they weren’t exactly all that great. I was still hooked on the idea of making rye buns, but now I was on a mission to make them better.
After trying a couple of other recipes, with similar results, the answer finally occurred to me. I’ve already got a great bun recipe with Moomie’s Famous Burger Buns, so why not start there and modify it to use rye flour? My first attempt convinced me I was on the right track. The rye version of that classic recipe made buns that were moist, tender and oh so flavorful. I tweaked the recipe a bit until I was happy with it, and now I can share it here.
In my mind, rye bread is forever linked with barbecue. In the white-bread days of my youth, our local restaurants served German style rye bread with their barbecue and to me that was about as exotic as bread could get. I loved the bread – and the barbecue. It helped that my mother was a big fan of rye bread and also occasionally served it at home for sandwiches. Bread fan that I am, I confess that on more than one occasion I ate rye bread all by itself, since I liked it so much. What’s not to like about a really good rye bread, maybe slathered up with a little butter or margarine?
I call these ‘light rye’ buns because the percentage of rye is around 30%, which gives them a subtle rye flavor without being overpowering. Since I grind all of our whole grains using our NutriMill grain mill, I use freshly ground whole grain rye flour for this recipe. Whole grain rye flour is usually sold as dark rye flour. You can also use light or medium rye flours as well, which are a bit lighter because they have had some of the bran and germ removed.
Top these buns with caraway seeds for a classic flavor combination, or get creative and use sesame or poppy seeds. You can also leave off the seeds and just enjoy the subtle flavor that the rye flour gives to these buns. Whichever way you make them, it’s all good!
Light Rye Sandwich Buns Print This Recipe
Adapted from a recipe at Ellen’s Kitchen
1 cup water (8 oz)
2 tbsp olive oil
1 cup rye flour (about 3.75 oz)
2-1/4 cups unbleached bread flour (about 9.5 oz, I use King Arthur brand)
1 tbsp vital wheat gluten flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp instant yeast
seeds for topping (optional)
(additional bread flour as needed)
1. Place all ingredients in the bucket of your bread machine. Select dough cycle, press start. Add additional bread flour if necessary if dough is too wet. Dough may be sticky but should form a ball. Allow machine to complete its cycle.
2. Dump risen dough onto a lightly floured surface or silicone rolling mat. Divide into 12 equal sized pieces.
3. Take each piece, and roll into balls. Place on a greased cookie sheet or baking pan, equally spaced apart. Cover and let rest for 20 minutes. (If dough sticks to your hands, dip them in water or spray with a cooking oil spray)
4. Flatten each ball into a bun shape. Pieces of dough should be touching each other.
5. Cover, let rise 40 to 45 minutes. If using seeds for a topping, brush tops with water or egg white and add now before baking.
6. Preheat oven to 375ºF.
7. Bake buns for 12 to 15 minutes until golden.
8. Remove to wire racks to cool.
Nutrition (per serving): 169 calories, 28 calories from fat, 3.2g total fat, 17.6mg cholesterol, 202.5mg sodium, 120.3mg potassium, 29.9g carbohydrates, 2.5g fiber, 4.4g sugar, 5.4g protein, 11.2mg calcium, <1g saturated fat.