The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Ordering Rye Flour

Abbey's picture

Ordering Rye Flour

  Okay, I am really poor. I'm getting ready for a rough winter as both my boyfriend and I have seasonal jobs and haven't found any jobs to replace the ones we will loose come winter. Unemployment for us would be minimal to say the least, so we are trying to stock up on some goods now while we have money. I would like to pursue baking through winter and am trying to master Rye breads right now. My question is if anyone can recommend mills for buying bulk rye flours. Offordability is important but I'd preffer to pay a little more and get a GOOD rye flour. I don't even know where to start with this, tried searching the web and got a bunch of unrelated sites.

  I've been trying to get straight the confusion of types of rye flours, and if I am not mistaken "Pumpernickle" or "Medium" Rye flours will have the most of the whole grain still in it? Thus more rye flavor? (I like a strong rye flavor)

And how does everyone do the ordering of bulk flours; do you ever order from overseas or is that too crazy expensive? Is it most desirable to find a local mill or are there certain mills in the US that produce more desirable rye flours?

Thanks for any help and/or redirection to other threads!


LindyD's picture

I think you would be best served by visiting your local library and reading Jeffrey Hamelman's Bread, a Baker's Book of Techniques and Recipes, specifically pages 43-49 and 188-193, which thoroughly discuss rye flours.

Rye is not handled the same as wheat; Bread offers some great advice on baking with rye as well as some great formulas.  

You can purchase very good rye in the U.S. and probably many of the food coops or health food stores in your area will sell bulk.  Visit them and ask about the mill they use.  Purchasing from overseas will not be affordable since  you'll be paying very, very high shipping charges in addition to the flour cost.  Plus, it's not necessary.

BTW, Arrowhead Mills makes a very nice organic whole rye flour. 

What types of rye breads do you plan on baking? Do you have a mature sourdough culture on hand?  

Abbey's picture

Thank you! I will check the library. Yes, I am begining to understand how different rye dough is compared to wheat, but all the discussions I have found on TFL about the flours still kinda confuses me. :)  I will check our Co-op and see what they have to say.

I've been playing around with an Apricot Rye and a Caraway Rye recipe from a book by Paul Hollywood. I am on the verge of starting a sourdough culture, haven't quite gotten to it, but eventually I would like to be baking a very strongly flavored sourdough rye. I like rye breads that have a high percentage of rye flour and taste accordingly, beyond that I would like to bake many types. I've progressed to the point where my ryes have a good soft and airy crumb but still don't rise very high (mostly just sideways).

I tend to try a lot of different recipes but lately I have been focusing on the Apricot Rye and Caraway Rye, trying to get those down before moving on (since that is what many people here suggest). But today I baked the Raisin Rye from the Laurel's book; I finally got a good high rise but it was a bit too much of a rise and the loaves look like pop-overs. :) Still tasty though! 

Thank you again, I will be looking up Jeffrey Hamelman's book!


sphealey's picture

We have had several discusions of rye flour types over the years here at TFL; here is a fairly short thread that is reasonably complete:

If you search for "rye flour" and "pumpernickel" you can find other discussions as well, some of them quite extensive ;-)


alabubba's picture

I love this place, I know they sell 5lb cloth sacks, because that's how I roll, I also know that if you call and talk to them that they are extremely nice and since they grind there own, they might be able to pack larger bags for you.

I also know that you should check around your area for grist mills. Bobs Red Mill is a couple hours away near Portland. If you get down that way.

Abbey's picture

I will try to contact them and see if something could be worked out. I like their site, they seem like a good resource, with some character too. ;)

And I did not know Bob's was located near Portland! Shows how oblivious I am, I will check them too. Maybe we can take a roadtrip and fill the car with flour!

Thank you for the suggestions.


P.S. Any thoughts on milling your own flour? Has anyone found it more economical to buy a home mill and just buy bulk rye berries to grind your own flour? I haven't compared prices at the store between rye flour and whole rye berries, but I will next time I am there.