In the past, rye (Secale cereale) was seen as a weed in more desirable wheat crops. However, because it has the ability to grow in areas too wet or too cold for other grains, it became a traditional part of cuisine in Northern Europe and Russia, followed by colonial America.
Unlike other grains, rye contains a high level of fiber in its endosperm, not just in its bran. Because of this, breads and crackers made with rye flour have a lower glycemic index than products made from wheat and most other grains, making them a good choice for diabetics and people who are trying to stabilize their blood sugar levels for other reasons.
Slow Cooker Rye Bread RecipeWho knew you could make bread in a slow cooker? This method combines a little of the manual labor of bread making with the ease of a bread-making machine.
• 3/4 cup warm water
• 1 tablespoon honey
• 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 2 teaspoons caraway seeds
• 2 teaspoons fennel seeds
• 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
• 1 3/4 cups all-purpose organic einkorn flour, plus more for dusting
• 3/4 cup rye flour
1. In large bowl, whisk together water, honey and yeast; let stand until foamy, 10 minutes.
2. Stir in salt, seeds, oil and flours. Form into ball and turn out on lightly floured board. Knead for 5 to 10 minutes, or until smooth, adding more flour as needed to prevent sticking.
3. Place dough ball in lightly oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise for 1 hour.
4. Turn out dough and knead for 1 to 2 additional minutes, forming ball. Place dough on sheet of parchment paper and place in 4-quart slow cooker.
5. Cook on high for 2 to 21⁄2 hours. Lift bread out and cool on wire rack for at least 1 hour before slicing and serving.
Looking for more whole grain recipes for baking? Check out Baking With Whole Grains to whet your appetite.
Karen K. Will is editor of Heirloom Gardener magazine, and co-author, along with Editor-in-Chief Oscar H. Will III, of Plowing With Pigs and Other Creative, Low-Budget Homesteading Solutions (New Society Publishers, 2013).