June 08, 2013

Ruisleipäset - Small Rye Bread

To be honest, I get quite fed up with the bread selection at the supermarkets and most bakeries here in Australia. It's mostly sliced bread (toast) or white bread rolls and loafs that is on offer. There are wholemeal varieties available, but I am not too fond of the taste of commercial bread. It often has a distinctive flavour (raising agent, perhaps) and it doesn't have the proper bread texture I am used to. Any rye bread available tends to be the German type, which is often quite dense.

Hence, every now and again, I resort to baking my own rye bread. Fortunately most health food stores in Sydney carry rye flour and you may be able to buy fresh yeast from some smaller bakeries. I do prefer fresh yeast, but dry yeast works ok too.

The bread I made this time is very simple and reminds me of the rye bread I had in Finland. It is mostly rye, but has some wheat flour mixed in for a softer texture. Treacle (dark syrup) and salt are the only flavouring it needs. Served with a slice of cheese or melted butter, it was a much needed hearty breakfast on a slow Saturday morning.

Small Rye Bread
(Makes about 20)
(Recipe adapted from here)

500ml warm water (42C)
220g rye flour
10g dry yeast

2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon treacle (dark syrup)
165g rye flour (+50g)
130g plain wheat flour

1. Mix the yeast with flour, then stir with water. Leave, covered, for half an hour.

2. Add salt and treacle and add the flour, stirring continuously. Turn the dough to a floured surface and lightly knead to form a soft dough. You may need to incorporate an extra 50g flour here. Divide the dough into equal sized pieces and roll each piece into a ball. Transfer the portions to baking sheets lined with baking paper. Flatten each ball to a disk, about 2 cm thick, and prick with a fork. Cover the sheets with clean tea towels and leave to rise well. 

3. Preheat the oven to 200C. Sprinkle the bread with little water just before baking. Bake the breads for about 10 minutes or until the base has browned and sounds 'hollow' when tapped. Cool on a wire rack, covered with a tea towel, before serving.


  1. Ihanan näköiset! Olen täällä pari kertaa tehnyt ruisleipää ja yleensä olen onnistunut mutta etsin vielä parempaa ohjetta.Näitä voisinkin kokeilla...

  2. The bakery I go to does really good rye, but I've never seen cute little ones like these!

  3. That looks so tasty! I love rye bread, I buy a supermarket brand and toast it twice so it crispy, and chewy and delicious, then spread it with wholegrain mustard & top with a poached egg.
    Sheer. Heaven.
    Janie x

  4. Hello, this sounds like something I'd like to try making. I've never made my own bread before. About how long would you recommend to leave the bread to rise before placing it in the oven?

    1. Hi Roxy

      Good to hear you are keen to give this a go. It's difficult to say how long you need to leave the bread to rise, it depends on so many things, how warm your kitchen is, etc. It could take anywhere between half an hour and an hour.


  5. Maria, this is a lovely bread! I like the shape too, not too large, just perfect for one serving; the image of the bread with that cheese reminded me how I used to live on these rye crackers years ago with cheese, except these are so much better!

  6. These are too adorable. I have such a weakness for rye bread... I'd probably eat a whole plateful of these before realising I was full!

  7. I love rye bread but I never tried to make one at home! This will definitely change!! :) Many thanks for this beautiful recipe!
    xox Amy

  8. I love rye bread; going to the supermarket in Helsinki and figuring out which dark loaf I would buy was always a highlight for me. I recently tried to make a rye starter to recreate the experience, but it didn't quite work out for me....I may have to give it another go though with this recipe for inspiration.

  9. Kyllä tuollaiset kelpaisi aamulämpimäisinä täällä Turussakin, vaikka meillä on leipomo tuossa nurkan takana!

  10. Can't remember how often I've asked my Finnish friends for a recipe, but they always told me it was too difficult to make!
    This recipe looks far from difficult, so I'm definitely going to give it a go this weekend.
    Thanks Maria, your blog is a joy!

  11. I bought some rye flour a couple of weeks ago to make some rye crackers but maybe I'll have to give these a go. There's nothing like the homey smell of bread baking in the middle of winter.

  12. I made these today....yum!! I have never made rye bread before and found these very easy.To go with them I made your Tomatoey Salmon Soup, another yum!! Kiitos Maria!

  13. i made them today and they came out super good and tasted yum!!!


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