Dark Rye, Light Rye, White Rye, Wholemeal Rye....and just plain Rye
We frequently receive questions about rye flour. "What's the difference between dark rye and wholemeal rye?", "Is rye flour wholemeal?" for example. Hopefully this short and simple article will be just the thing to clear up what you need to know about rye flour nomenclature. Thanks to a conversation with Andrew Wilkinson of Gilchester for some of the details.
There are 4 styles of rye flour:
- Wholemeal rye / whole rye. This is the whole, ground rye grain with nothing added or removed and is the most commonly found rye flour and should be used wherever the recipe simply calls for "rye".
- White rye. Wholemeal rye but with all of the bran removed. Not very commonly used, good in biscuits.
- Light rye. This is any rye where some of the bran/middlings or semolina has been removed to make a lighter (but not white rye). It can also be produced by adding bran to white rye.
- Dark rye. Originating in Ukraine, it is rye flour containing over 100% of the original bran. That is, bran has been added: typically from the bran extracted to make light rye meaning that none of the bran is wasted in making the two styles.
Unless the recipe expressly says to use one of the other styles, it is almost always referring to wholemeal rye. A bag labelled "rye" or "wholemeal rye" will be ideal for the job.