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Marbled Rye Bread

Marbled Rye Bread

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Makes 2 loaves.
By Dennis W. Viau; modified from several Internet recipes.

Marbled rye is simply two bread doughs—one made with light rye flour and the other with dark rye flour—rolled into a single loaf. Finding both rye flours in the same store might be a challenge. I found only the dark flour; so for the light flour I substituted whole wheat. It worked fine and, also being whole grain, was just as healthy.


2½ cups (590ml) warm water (110°F/43°C); I used 1 bottle (12 oz.) of lager beer and 1 cup of potato water
1 packet (sachet) yeast (2¼ teaspoons); either instant or active dry will be okay
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 cups (20 ounces/567g) bread flour
2 tablespoons sugar; can be reduced to 1 tablespoon
1 tablespoon salt
The follow ingredients are use separately in the two doughs:
11/3 cup (51/3 ounces/150g) light rye flour; whole wheat flour can be substituted
11/3 cup (51/3 ounces/150g) dark rye flour
2 tablespoons cocoa powder or instant coffee
4 teaspoons caraway seeds
Optional: 1½ tablespoons vital wheat gluten


Combine the warm water, yeast, and a pinch of sugar in a mixer bowl. Stir to dissolve and let rest for 5 minutes. The yeast should foam on the surface.

Add the oil, bread flour, remaining sugar, and salt. Combine in a stand mixer or by hand until a smooth batter forms. This is a sponge. Let rest 10 minutes, then divide the batter into equal halves.

Into one of the halves add the light rye flour (or whole wheat flour), half the caraway seeds, and optional: ½ teaspoon vital wheat gluten. This will add more protein to the dough, resulting in more gluten and a higher rise to the dough.

Into the other half add the dark rye flour, cocoa powder (or instant coffee), the remaining caraway seeds, and optional: 1 tablespoon vital wheat gluten. This dough gets a little more gluten because there is less in the dark rye flour.

Knead both the doughs until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. They should be moist and slightly sticky. While one dough was kneading in my stand mixer with a dough hook, I needed the other by hand.

Transfer the doughs to lightly oiled or buttered bowls. Lightly butter the top and then cover with plastic wrap or a damp kitchen towel. Let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about an hour or longer.

Deflate the doughs and then divide each in half. Roll each half into a rectangle about 14 inches (36cm) long and as wide as your bread pans. Place a rectangle of dark dough on top of the light dough and roll tightly into a loaf, pinching together the final seem. Place the dough, seam side down, in a greased or lined (with parchment paper) bread pan. You can roll a loaf with the dark dough on the outside, but I found this to stick in the bread pans. If doing so, line the pan with parchment paper.

Cover the loaves with plastic and allow the dough to rise again until doubled in bulk, 45 minutes to an hour.

Heat oven to 375°F (161°C). Slit the top of the loaves and bake 40 to 45 minutes until golden on the outside. I use a digital thermometer. When the internal temperature rises above 190°F (88°C), the bread is done.

Transfer the loaves to a wire rack and cool thoroughly before slicing.