Can You Make Dough From Rye Flour?

Rye flour is commonly used in baking to create yeast-leavened breads or flatbreads, which tend to vary in shape, taste, texture, and color in comparison to breads made with all-purpose flour.

But is it possible to make dough out of rye flour? The answer to this question is: yes! 

Can You Make Dough From Rye Flour?

As mentioned, this flour is used to make dough for certain kinds of breads- including the well-known rye bread- but it can also be used to make pizzas!

With this in mind, we are going to be taking a closer look at rye flour, rye bread and take a glimpse at how to go about making rye pizza dough. Let’s get started.

What is Rye Flour?

Rye flour is the general term for flour that is produced by the process of milling rye grain.  There are a range of different rye flours that are made through this process via different degrees of grain grinding and the purification of the rye itself. Let’s now take a closer look at these varieties of rye flour.

  • White: This flour is the rye equivalent of all-purpose flour and contains only the grains milled from the center of rye berries, otherwise known as the endosperm. This does not include the oily germ that can be found right in the very center of the grain, nor does it include the bran- which is rich in fiber- from the outer skin of the rye berry. As it is not made with the entirety of the grain, white rye flour does not contain a fair amount of the original nutrients that are to be found within the rye kernel.
  • Light: Also called “cream” rye flour, light rye flour is almost exactly the same as white rye flour, though it contains small traces of bran.
  • Medium: Much like white and light rye flour, medium rye flour is milled from the center of the rye berry, though it also does not include the oily germ. The difference comes from the color of the flour, which is darker. This is because as the berry center is scooped out, the outer bran layer becomes closer during the milling process. As the harvesting process gets closer to the bran, the flour will be darker. 
  • Dark: This flour is milled even closer to the outer layers of bran during the draining process, making it particularly dark in color. 
  • Pumpernickel Flour: Also known as whole rye flour, pumpernickel flour uses the entire rye berry during the milling process, including the oily germ, the outer bran layers, and the endosperm. This makes it the rye flour equivalent of whole wheat flour. 

Rye Bread Facts

When it comes to rye bread, there are a few key differences that separate it from bread made from regular dough. Let’s have a look at some of the rye bread facts

  • More Rye Means a Slower Rise: When there is more rye within your dough, it will rise much slower. It can even take hours to rise, and that goes for when the dough is both in the bowl and when it has been shaped into a loaf. There are certain rye breads- such as the Westphalian Rye- that can take a whopping 24 hours to rise, so keep this in mind if you want to bake some of your own. 
  • Combining Rye Flour With White Flour: If you want to create a rye bread that is high-rising, consider combining white flour- bread flour that is all-purpose or unbleached bread flour- with rye flour. Rye bread can be a bit dense, so this is also an idea if you want a lighter bread with the benefits of rye. 
  • Rye Dough Is Not As Supple As Wheat Dough: The consistency of rye dough might be a little bit of a surprise if you haven’t used it before. Whilst wheat dough tends to have a soft and supple feel, rye dough is more similar to elastic, with an almost clay-like consistency. Don’t be concerned if you can’t get rye dough to form a perfectly smooth ball, as it’s likely never going to get that super smooth texture due to this consistency.  

Rye Pizza

Rye pizzas are a fun and interesting way to change up your standard pizza, so let’s take a look at how to make your very own rye pizza dough. First, let’s look through the ingredients that you will need before you get started:

  • One cup of rye flour
  • One teaspoon of salt
  • One package (around 0.25 ounces) of package active dry yeast
  • Two and a half cups of unbleached, all-purpose flour
  • Two tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • One and a half cups of water (divided)
  • One teaspoon of brown sugar
  • Two and a half cups of all-purpose flour

To start off, combine your rye flour and salt together with two cups of all-purpose flour together in a mixing bowl. Mix them up as well as you can with a wooden spoon or spatula. 

Pour half of your water into a microwave-safe bowl and heat it for around thirty seconds in the microwave. 

Take out the warm water and stir in the brown sugar. 

Continue to stir until dissolved, then add in the yeast and stir that in as well. 

Allow the water, sugar, and yeast mixture to stand for around 10 minutes. 

Pour the liquid mixture into the flour and salt mixture. 

Now, do the same with the remaining cup of water by pouring it into a microwave-safe bowl. Heat it for thirty seconds, then remove it from the microwave and stir in some olive oil. 

Once properly stirred, pour the olive oil and warm water mix over the flour mixture. You should now have your rye pizza dough mixture!

Begin to knead the rye pizza dough. If you find that it is too sticky, add in more all-purpose flour. It should become to get somewhat smoother and start holding together more. 

Keep kneading dough until the dough is smooth. Shape the rye pizza dough until you are able to create a ball with it before placing it in a bowl. 

Once done, cover the bowl with a towel that has been dampened. 

Allow the rye pizza dough to rise until it grows to about double in size, which should take about an hour.  If it still isn’t completely done after an hour, let it rise a little longer.

When it has risen, mash the rye pizza dough back down and transfer it over to a lightly floured surface. 

The rye dough will then be ready to be shaped or rolled into your chosen shape before being decorated with a tomato sauce base, your favorite pizza toppings and baked in the oven to create the perfect rye pizza dough!

Final Thoughts

As you can see, rye is definitely capable of forming a perfectly good dough, Whilst the texture is not exactly the same as dough made from all-purpose flour, it offers a delicious alternative with a wide variety of textures and consistencies thanks to the different kinds of rye flour available.

If you are looking for something a bit different for your bread or pizza, consider using rye dough.

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Kathryn Sewell

Hi! I'm Kate and I have been baking and cooking for as long as I can remember. I like to share the most interesting tips and recipes I try here on What Kate Baked for you to enjoy. If you have a favorite recipe you'd like to share send it over on social.

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