Dark Rye Bread

Growing up, everyone in my family loved a good pastrami on rye bread sandwich. Back then, we simply referred to this Jewish delicacy as pastrami on rye. Of course, we made our own sandwiches at home. We also enjoyed pastrami on rye bread when we traveled to New York City each summer to see my grandparents. We loved going to the Jewish delicatessens on the Lower East Side between our trips to the Bronx, to see my Mom’s mother, and our trips to Long Island, to see my Dad’s parents.

When I was diagnosed with celiac disease in 1998, I began recreating all of my favorite childhood foods, turning them into the gluten-free classics you find here today, and in my three cookbooks.

As soon as I was diagnosed, I knew I’d need to make a gluten-free rye bread. Since this low-carb bread is made with the high protein, grain-free ingredients that I’ve been using for dozens of years, we can call it a paleo rye bread as well.

You don’t have to be Jewish to enjoy this healthy bread recipe. It’s great toasted with leftover turkey the day after Thanksgiving. It’s also great for breakfast, toasted with butter, a side of eggs, and some avocado. That’s actually one of my favorite keto breakfasts, and some days I eat it for lunch instead.

This Dark Rye Bread recipe is based on my Flax Foccacia Bread recipe.

Dark Rye Bread

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Servings 1 loaf



Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 35 mins
Total Time 50 mins
Tried this recipe?Mention @elanaspantry or tag #elanaspantry!

To store this bread, wrap in a paper towel, seal in a plastic bag, and refrigerate for up to 1 week.

As you may notice, the pan for this bread is a bit of an odd size, it’s about 40% smaller than a traditional sized loaf pan. Originally, I baked this bread in a glass luminarc loaf pan. That was discontinued. I switched to a Magic Line loaf pan, that too was discontinued. I’ve now found and tested a new replacement for these loaf pans. I’m recommending the Fox Run loaf pan, which is not as good as the previous two pans, but good enough. The reason I don’t love it, is that the sides are not as high as the other loaf pans, and the loaf is not as tall as the ones I made in the previous pans.

Whatever you do, don’t bake this bread in a regular, traditional sized loaf pan. Because there is only enough batter for the smaller sized loaf pan that is called for in this recipe, it will only partially fill the pan and you will have a very short loaf that is not tall enough to make proper sandwiches.

Here are some of my other easy low-carb bread recipes:

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paleo cooking from elana's pantryGluten-Free Almond Flour Cookbook

It is THE BEST Keto, Paleo, Gluten-Free bread I have ever tasted. Just incredible!!!


127 responses to “Dark Rye Bread”

  1. I started to make this Rye bread from your Paleo Cooking from Elana’s Panty. The recipe here is slightly different than the book.

    The batter was very tight and not batter like. I used Anthony’s Organic Flaxseed Meal – ultra fine powder. I am wondering if this was the issue for the tight batter – more like a dough.

    Based on this recipe, I added 1/4 cup of water to help with consistency.

    The bread didn’t rise as much as I hope for. My pan was 8 in by 3 in. Just a little bigger than recommended.
    Plus the flavor is not good.

    Not sure why this did not turn out as expected. I am an experienced baker of grain free and gluten free items.

    I will try again with different flaxseed meal. Any recommendations?


    • Brenda, thanks for your comment and happy to help you troubleshoot this. First, use the recommended pan as that will make all the difference. Second, use a flaxmeal that is not an ultra fine powder. I think you’ll love the results for this recipe when utilizing the above tips :-)

  2. Made this and love it. Do you have
    Any suggestions as to what other seeds would go well with caraway in this recipe? I would love a bit more texture.

  3. Hi,
    I was getting pretty discouraged on finding a good tasting traditional bread substitute and then I happened upon your recipe and thought I would give it a try. The taste and texture is absolutely amazing. Unfortunately, I only had a regular loaf pan so my loaf was short. But I still enjoyed every single bite. I will be ordering a proper loaf pan. Thank you so much for the recipe.

  4. Elana ☀️
    I did a modification to this recipe that is worth sharing!
    I have to admit that I used to be a baker, now diagnosed with celiac disease ;-)
    Added :
    1/2 cup of coconut flour,

    1 egg,
    1 tbsp oil,
    1/4 cup of water
    *Instead of caraway seeds I used: 1/3 cup of soaked and drained chopped seeds(mix of sunflower and pumpkin) and 1/8 cup of poppy seeds.
    The bread even raised a bit, is a bit less dense and super delicious!
    I am having a lot of fun trying your recipes!

      • Hi Elana,

        This bread is fantastic and has meant that I have been able to continue enjoying Russian foods that simply must be accompanied by rye bread (including borsch). I recently tried something on a whim – added a couple of teaspoons of instant coffee granules to the water in the recipe – and the bread ended up looking properly dark, just like Russian rye loaves. :)

  5. Elana, this bread hit the spot! I have been gluten intolerant for years, and now trying to heal from some other inflammatory and annoying gut issues we need not discuss, so haven’t been able to have even traditional gluten free bread. Rye is my absolutely favorite, and you got the flavor and texture in here better than any store bought gf bread I’ve ever had. I do miss that traditional crust of the true Jewish rye… but you should know, I’m a tough critic… my dad owned a popular Jewish bakery on the upper west side for many, many years. I grew up with fresh rye, challah, kaiser rolls in the house every day. Nobody’s bread will ever compare. However, considering how little I am allowed to eat right now, and having lived without rye bread for so many years as it was, your recipe made me so happy. Literally smiled as I ate it. Thank you!

    • Marilyn, thanks so much for letting me know this bread hits the spot! What was the name of your Dad’s bakery? My grandparents owned a kosher butcher shop on Long Island :-)

      • Royale Bakery, 72nd and Broadway =) I love when I bake things that make my house smell like the bakery… so many memories <3 My neighbor also really loved this btw! Thank you again for sharing your talent, your stories and your love for healthy, yummy food xo

        • Marilyn, I lived on 72nd and Broadway around 1993 and I remember a couple of remaining kosher shops still hanging on at that time :-)

  6. Can this recipe be made with an egg substitute such as flax egg, and still rise without falling in the middle? A family member cannot tolerate eggs.

    • Al, thanks for your comment! I haven’t had egg substitutes work in my recipes. I have one egg-free baked good and it’s in my second book, Gluten-Free Cupcakes that you might interest you:



  7. Hi I am allergic to almonds so cannot use that flour. . I heard that sunflower flour is a good sub for it. Do you think it will work one to one?

    • Cathe, thanks for your comment! I’ve tested sunflower flour in a few of my recipes and the results were not very good. I haven’t tried that in this recipe, so not sure :-)

  8. Dear Elana,
    I have made this Dark (I made a light using golden flax seed meal) Rye Bread last night. It is THE BEST Keto, Paleo, Gluten-Free bread I have ever tasted. Just incredible!!! And even as from all the BREADS I have ever tasted, I absolutely think that it is one of the best ones.

    Love your recipes and thank you for sharing them with us!

    Best Regards,


    • Aleksandra, thanks for your lovely comment and for letting me know this is THE BEST Keto, Paleo, Gluten-Free bread you have ever tasted!

  9. I just made this successfully in an 8″ foil pan. I added 1/3 more of everything, like 1 more egg, and added 1/3 more to all ingredient. It came out perfect and rose past the top. a perfect square slice. Just a little math will do it. Baked about 10 minutes longer too.

    • Donna, that’s great to hear! I often create my bread recipes in smaller pans which helps the ingredients cook all the way through :-)

    • Now I can’t wait to try. i’ve only be3n low carb and some keto for two months…but lost a lot of weight the natural way and off all insulin…been taking for 28 yrs…now no more

      • Bobbi, thanks for your comment and big congratulations! Amazing that you are making such progress on low-carb! I hope you’ll keep me posted :-)

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