The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Rye Flour Substitute

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leslie c's picture
leslie c

Rye Flour Substitute

I just made the Dan Lepard walnut bread recipe last night. I loved it!! The one downside: my partner doesn't like rye grain, rye flour or anything to do with rye at all. I thought she wouldn't notice because it was a small part of the recipe, but soon as she had a slice, she identified some "weird flavor" she couldn't quite recognize, and I'm pretty sure it was the rye. She's apparently got some kind of radar for the stuff. So, I was wondering if there's a good substitute for rye flour? I was thinking I could probably just use extra whole wheat flour or extra white flour, but I really like the darkness of the rye. I was wondering if anyone would have any other suggestions for other flours I could use in place of rye? Thanks!

mcs's picture
mcs

...use buckwheat flour.  It'll give it the dark color, add some flavor (nothing like rye of course) and is just as challenging as rye flour.  It'll throw your partner's radar for a loop.

-Mark

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Do a pancake test...

Make up some pancake batter and leave out some of the flour.  Then divide into different bowls and play "mad scientist taste experiment."  Give enough of each different flour to make up a variety of pancakes.  Don't forget to combine ww with rye also (it might be this combo that is "weird" and) don't forget the nuts, some with and some without.  Then have her pick out her favorite or the weird one.  Then you might have future decisions easier when you know what combo she approves!  :)

 

nicodvb's picture
nicodvb

rye is unique:-)

Buckwhat may remind rye for its color, but contrary to rye (that is sweeeet) I find buckwheat quite bitter. Maybe I had bad luck every time i bought buckwheat flour, who knows, but I invariably ended up dropping it.

leslie c's picture
leslie c

Do you really think rye is sweet? I have always found it to be very harsh. I don't really like rye bread myself, but in smaller amounts I have no problem with it, and in fact, I love some types of bread with rye (pumpernickle!!). 

And to the person who suggested trying to hide it, rename it or talk her through her weird dislike, I don't think that wwill help this time--she didn't even know there was rye flour in the bread until after we started examining the ingredients, trying to identify the "weird" flavor.

I don't want to cater everything to her tastes, but I also don't want to bake for myself alone, or produce loaves of bread she just won't eat. That will produce waste...  Anyway, thanks for all your suggestions!

nicodvb's picture
nicodvb

I find rye tasting quite sweet. Sometimes I keep some rye flour in the mouth to feel this sensation. Rye is rich in pentose sugars, much richer than wheat flour.

Yerffej's picture
Yerffej

Rye is,  in fact, quite sweet.  Like most everything else in the baking/cooking world it is your technique that determines the final flavor of many things.  A 100% rye bread baked in a long slow oven will yield a noticably sweet bread.  There really is no substitute for rye but Mark's suggestion of a little buckwheat will help with the "darkness" that you are looking for.

Jeff

clazar123's picture
clazar123

You might both be surprised at what she likes and what she doesn't like. I suggest adding more fun and conducting the taste test blind folded so there is no visual input ("ick-brown pancakes"). It may also be the color and texture that is triggering either food memories or food training. A good example of this for me was with apples and peanut butter. I love apples and I love peanut butter but the thought of combining them (at the time) sounded absolutely gross to me. Then someone asked if I liked caramel apples and esp the kind rolled in peanuts. A big affirmative there! She told me that apples and peanut butter tasted just like that. Duh! A light bulb moment. Sometimes we have to overcome our expectations of what a food is (triggered by our senses,memories,training or even associations) and try it. Sometimes we have to liken it to something we already know or like in order to compare it when we finally do try it.

I also discovered that re-naming it helps. My kids hated "mashed potatoes" (weird kids) but they LOVED "Smashed potatoes". Same with Beef Stew-it became "Meat with Vegetables". Same recipe just re-named.They couldn't get enough.

Have delicious fun!

 

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

Whole wheat , besides the buckwheat are all contenders but - rye is rye.

mcs's picture
mcs

If someone comes up to me and says, "I don't like rye, but I'd like something with a lot of flavor and NOT a sourdough or white bread," they're going to get my bread with buckwheat in it as a suggestion.  It's my most popular non-white loaf bread.   Some people just don't like rye, just like some people don't like the flavor of whole wheat or sourdough.  Buckwheat tastes different enough that someone who has an aversion to rye, may find it enjoyable.  If the threadstarter (leslie) substituted something that was similar to rye, I suspect the partner would dislike it just as much as the rye.

 -Mark