The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Need Clarification on Rye flours

cake diva's picture
cake diva

Need Clarification on Rye flours

Some recipes I've wanted to try call for distinct grades of rye flour, i.e., medium, dark, light.  I've gone to various groceries, upscale and otherwise, and found only rye flour, with no indications of the grade inside.  Am I looking in the wrong places?

sphealey's picture

This thread:

     Rye Flour

has a discussion of the different types.  Bob's Red Mill is you best source to start out with.  At least in the midwest most mid- to high-end grocery stores carry it, but sometimes it is in the "health food" area rather than with the baking flour.  However, even the best-stocked grocery stores usually don't carry more than one type of rye, so you might have to order from their web site.  They have a nice catalog they will send you too.

King Arthur is another source for different ryes, although they don't have as many types as BRM.  Be aware that BRM pumpernickel is a coarse-grind cracked rye with berry fragments about 1/16" in diameter (closer to the German definition I think); King Arthur pumpernickel is a very coarse grind flour.


suave's picture

Your best bet is probably a local co-op.  Some Whole Foods stores have good bulk food sections, but some don't.  In both cases you're more likely to find darker grinds.

Oldcampcook's picture

In the Whole Foods here in Tulsa, they only carry an organic rye in bulk.  99 cents a pound which is cheaper than buying it in the box at wallyworld.  BTW, I buy most of my fresh spices at WF because they are, for the most part, cheaper than wally.

cake diva's picture
cake diva

Thank you all for your insights.  It appears that in the SW Ohio area, one can only purchase dark rye off the shelves, even WF.  It appears I would have to order the light and medium grades online.

Thanks again!

plidov's picture

If you're willing to mail order, and get a larger amount - you might try Heartland Mill for some other options (  Some of their products often are only available in 10lb bags.  Here's a description of what they are offering (I'm thinking of ordering the first).

Stone Ground Rye Flours

Whole Rye Flour ("Rye Graham Flour")

Our Whole Rye flour is stone ground and contains the entire rye berry. This full-flavored flour is ideal for dark rye breads and for the production of natural rye starters and sours. While this is not the same as conventional "Dark Rye," it can often be substituted for dark rye flour in rye bread formulas and will yield superior results.

Light Rye Flour

We mill our Light Rye flour from the same high quality grain as we do our Whole Rye flour. As with Golden Buffalo wheat flour, we remove only the coarsest bran to create a flour with finer texture and lighter flavor and color. We recommend this as the primary rye flour in lighter rye breads. While Heartland's Light Rye is lighter than our Whole Rye, it is best used to replace conventional "medium rye flour."