Healthier Dark Rye Bread Recipe Suggestions
I make Dark Rye bread at home in my bread machine, and I find that there are ingredient substitutions to make your recipe healthier while preserving the flavor and texture of the bread. I think two keys to a quality healthier Dark Rye bread recipe are white flour replacements and sweetener substitutions. Let me explain how I like to do it, because I have gotten some good results using these techniques.
When I make healthier versions of Dark Rye bread dough, I always try to sub out some of the refined white flour with a healthier flour. I recommend finding a high protein white flour from a local organic market and mixing this flour in with whatever white flour you are using in your dough mixture. I wouldn’t try using this high protein flour only, but if you swap some of your white flour out in this way, you can seriously up the protein content of your Dark Rye bread.
I had to play around with a lot of different flour mixtures until I found the right proportions for my bread machine. I would start by substituting about a quarter of your standard white flour with high-protein flour and then seeing whether you like the results. I get different results with different bread machines, so realize there will be some trial and error involved.
Since Dark Rye Bread is a sweet bread and calls for molasses, I recommend using black strap as a partial replacement for regular molasses. I like black strap because it is rich in potassium and minerals. Black strap adds a slightly licorice-y flavor, but it is less refined than regular molasses and much healthier. As a start, I would use one tablespoon regular molasses and one tablespoon black strap, and then play around with the proportions until you find a combination you like. I have made Dark Rye bread using black strap only, and it comes out with a flavor that is still sweet but slightly more bitter than the traditional version.
Another trick for a healthier Dark Rye bread is to add small amounts of milled flax seeds to your dough mixture. I like adding flax because it is rich in omega-3’s. I would choose milled or finely ground flax seeds because these fold in well with the dough mixture and they don’t alter the texture or flavor of the bread. I wouldn’t add more than a couple of tablespoons, however, because too much flax can make the bread gritty and slightly sour.
I suggest playing around with some of these ideas, because there are some smart ingredient swaps out there if you are making machine baked Dark Rye bread and want a healthier recipe.