rye kernels

Rye flour, from ground rye kernels, is used to produce rye bread as well as sourdough.

Rye Flour

What is Rye Flour?

Rye flour is the powder milled from whole rye berries or grains from rye grass.


Rye is very prevalent in Europe, and is still to this day the most popular flour used in Germany. It was brought to Europe from Asia during prehistoric times and used widely during the Middle Ages as a bread and alcohol grain. Rye prefers poor, sandy soils and can grow under mixed weather conditions. This is why rye was preferred over wheat in the colder climates, as wheat prefers warm and dry weather.


Rye flour is used to produce rye bread as well as sourdough bread. Both have a very distinctive flavor which comes from the slightly sour taste the rye flour provides. Rye flour has a different taste and texture compared to wheat flour. In addition, the carbohydrates in rye flour hinder the gluten’s ability to form the “gluten matrix” properly, resulting in a lower loaf volume. This results in a denser loaf of bread being produced. Some formulas often call for a 50-50 blend of rye and wheat flour to help increase the strength of the gluten.

There are light, medium, and dark varieties of rye flour. The main difference between each is the amount of bran left in the flour after processing. The more bran left in, the darker the flour. The nutritional content also increases with more bran present, as the bran layer contains the most nutrients. However, the functionality may be slightly hindered as the bran is not ideal for gluten formation. Wheat flours can be added to help improve gluten strength in that case.


Protein: 13%, Carbohydrates: 80%, Fats: 7%


It is more nutritious than wheat flour due to the presence of more bran in the finished flour.