I am trying to make marbled rye bread, but around here I can't find rye flour. All I can find is all-purpose flour, bread flour, and maybe cake flour. Is there some way I can substitute stuff to replicate rye flour without actually having any?

  • what flours do you have available?
    – GdD
    Apr 11, 2016 at 16:06
  • All purpose, bread flour, I think the local store sells unbleached as well as Cake flour if I recall correctly.
    – baker9001
    Apr 11, 2016 at 16:10
  • You're in the states I presume? Just order it in, there's no substitute for it if you want the flavor of rye.
    – GdD
    Apr 11, 2016 at 16:12
  • Dang. Alright, that's a shame. edit: Would it be a sin to make reubens on anything other than marbled rye?
    – baker9001
    Apr 11, 2016 at 16:13
  • Sure, a good whole wheat would be fine.
    – GdD
    Apr 11, 2016 at 16:21

2 Answers 2


Do you want rye bread, or do you want "the taste you may associate with rye bread?" (caraway seeds)

If you want bread that tastes like seeded rye, caraway seeds will get you 99.5% of the way there - they are rather overpowering and appear to be what most people "mean" when they say "rye bread" in my experience. They can be put in wheat bread without most people being any the wiser as to the actual grain in the flour.

If you want it marbled, mix some molasses or carob in part of the dough.

If you are not in some terribly inaccessible/inconvenient location, ordering in rye flour should be possible, though you might make sure you have checked all the markets in the area, as what a "supermarket" might not have, a "health food store" or cooperative market might. In some cases, the "baking aisle" won't have what you want, but some other aisle in the same store will (natural foods or some such.)

  • Interesting, but also immensely culturally dependent. I had never had caraway seeds on rye bread until I came to Germany.
    – rumtscho
    Apr 11, 2016 at 16:30
  • 1
    I did say "may associate." I actually don't like seeded rye, and so I don't bake it. But I've had several folks who "didn't like rye bread" that were somewhat amazed to find out that they had been eating bread with rye flour quite happily, since what they actually didn't like was the flavor of the caraway seeds. In the Northeast US, I often cannot find any unseeded rye bread available at the stores.
    – Ecnerwal
    Apr 11, 2016 at 16:34
  • Fennel seeds are also commonly used in rye bread. The taste is different, but both have liquorice notes: spiceography.com/caraway-seeds-vs-fennel-seeds. Personally I prefer the warmer flavour of fennel seeds. Apr 20, 2020 at 10:23

I, also, am unable to get rye flour where I live. I did, however, find some decent dark rye crackers in the super market. I ground a couple of these very finely and added it to regular flour. The result was pretty satisfactory. I did have to adjust the yeast as it doesn't rise anywhere near as well. As mentioned above caraway seeds will take you very far when trying to imitate rye bread. This worked great for the Reubens I was making.

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