Rye bread made without yeast. A rye soda bread recipe that will make you fall in love with rye flour.



I have a quick love letter to write today, and I hope you’ll indulge me.

It’s part love letter, but really, I want to let you know which cookbooks I use in my kitchen several times a week. If you reach for a cookbook on a weeknight, or if you reach for a cookbook more than once a week, it’s a good sign.

I have a coffee nook in my kitchen, well, I’m a tea drinker, so I should call it a tea nook, but it was clearly designed as a coffee station. Anyway, since I have no need for a coffee maker, espresso machine, or any of those other coffee tools in my nook, I keep a small selection of cookbooks on the counter.


It’s well-thought-out; it’s the books I love the most and use the most. Not just beautiful books that inspire me, it’s incredible books that make me want to get in the kitchen and cook that very instant. Often, the pages have food splatters and can be a bit sticky, but that’s even better for me.

The cookbooks that I use the most are written by Heidi Swanson from 101cookbooks.com. I first discovered her when I moved to California, and upon first meeting, I believe I told her that she taught me everything I know about California cuisine.

Heidi taught me how to shop at and how to love farmer’s markets, and she taught me about Deborah Madison and all the other great chefs in California that are paving/had paved the way for eating REAL food. Because of Heidi, my top factor when choosing food is where was it produced and how was it produced.

I reach for her cookbooks after every farmer’s market haul. Her stuff is vegetarian, yes, but it’s the most flavorful, unique vegetarian food I’ve ever had that makes you never miss the meat, honest!

In full disclosure, my husband and I are part-time vegetarians. While most people do ‘meatless Monday’ and take one day off each week from meat, we actually only eat meat one day a week or so. It’s not uncommon for us to call instant pot mac and cheese with a salad a Monday night dinner, and enjoy a my orzo pasta salad with feta or my pesto tortellini salad later in the week. Our one meat day might include my honey garlic chicken thighs.

But did you notice a theme? My vegetarian meals rely heavily on pasta. Not Heidi’s.


Heidi’s recipes are inventive and far from your standard vegetarian recipes. I own all of her books, and I cook from them often.

Super Natural Every Day is the one I grab the most, though I am working my way through the very beautiful Near & Far.

Her dish called Otsu is something I make for company, especially company that has food allergies. Plus, it’s my belief that she invented baked oatmeal, and the world is a much better place for it.

More details about this rye bread made without yeast:

Today, I’m sharing with you her recipe for rye bread. It doesn’t have any yeast, and is technically a rye soda bread. It bakes up so crunchy, crusty, and beautiful that it took my breath away the first time I made it years ago.


As I baked this rye bread recipe for possibly the one-hundredth time to photograph this for you, it still took my breath away when it emerged from the oven.

I can’t help but run my finger over the indentations made with the knife before baking–that’s where the real CRUST emerges.


Soda bread made without deep slashes is now dead to me–this is the only way forward.


Honestly, I can’t believe I get to count Heidi as one of my friends. She inspires me so much. A woman who can make bread with just 4 ingredients that tastes this good is an angel.

I keep rye flour in my house now to make this rye bread whenever I have soup or stew on the stove. It comes together so quickly, and serving homemade bread with a meal makes me feel like I’ve got my life together.


For some strange reason, my daughter isn’t that into carbs, unless gnocchi is involved, and she frequently licks the butter off bread and leaves the bread.

However, she loves this rye bread. The dark color scared her at first, so I served it with the dill butter that Heidi recommends in the book, and it sold her. Most commonly, I serve it with salted European-style butter.


Is rye bread gluten free?

No, it’s not. I wanted to answer that question, because I know it will come up.

It’s important to me that Camille learns to love bread and carbs, because there are so many B vitamins in whole grains. I am so grateful this rye bread recipe helps me accomplish that goal.

Rye flour can be a tough sell when it comes to whole grains, but I’ve been working it into my pancakes for two recipe, and I’m considering adding some to my small batch crepes recipe, too.

Ok, onto the recipe now. I hope you love this homemade rye bread recipe made without yeast. It will quickly go into your Fall rotation for serving alongside soup, and I’m sure it will find its way out again for St Patrick’s Day since it’s technically soda bread.

Yield: 1 small boule

Rye Bread


Homemade rye bread made without yeast.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes


  • 2 1/3 cups (9.75 ounces) rye flour
  • 1 3/4 cups (8 ounces) all-purpose flour
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons fine sea salt
  • 2 cups (475 mL) buttermilk


  1. Preheat the oven to 400, and ensure a wire rack is in the middle position. Line a small baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Sift the flours, baking soda and salt into a large bowl.
  3. Make a well in the center of the flours and pour in all of the buttermilk at once. Stir just until a dough forms.
  4. Scoop the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead for about 30 seconds to bring it together.
  5. Using your hands, press the dough into an even flat disk.
  6. Sprinkle the top of the dough disk with about 2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour.
  7. Next, make 4 deep slashes into the dough, about two-thirds of the way through. Be careful not to cut all the way through.
  8. Bake for 30 minutes, and then move the dough to the top rack of the oven. Bake for another 20 minutes to crisp up the surface.
  9. Let cool on a wire rack completely before serving with salted butter.

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Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 228Total Fat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 2mgSodium: 723mgCarbohydrates: 46gFiber: 4gSugar: 3gProtein: 8g

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