Old Fashioned Rye Rolls

These Old Fashioned Rye Rolls take me back to my childhood.  They were served at local supper clubs with a Friday night Fish Fry.

I found this recipe in a local paperback cookbook that was printed decades ago.  Most likely around the same time, I was eating these with Fish Fry!   

Course-salted old fashioned rye rolls wrapped in a white towel sitting in a woven basket.

This recipe produces a light-textured rye roll.  They are delicious on their own with a spread of salted butter.  They are also soft enough for sandwich rolls.  Thin-sliced ham works beautifully on these buns.

Course-salted old fashioned rye rolls wrapped in a white towel sitting in a woven basket.

Old-Fashioned Rye Rolls

Foodie de Froid
Servings 12 rolls
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 15 minutes
These Old Fashioned Rye Rolls bring back memories of the rolls I had as a kid! They were always served at local supper clubs with Fish Fry. This recipe is from an old community cookbook that was handed down to me.
5 from 1 vote


  • 236 ml water lukewarm
  • 2 eggs
  • 4.6 grams instant yeast
  • 1.8 grams diastatic malt powder
  • 30 grams nonfat dry milk powder
  • 28 grams butter unsalted
  • 20 grams brown sugar
  • 17.5 grams dark molasses
  • 7 grams salt kosher
  • 1 gram baking soda
  • 300 grams all-purpose flour
  • 178 grams rye flour
  • olive oil for greasing container
  • 1 egg + 1 tbsp water for egg wash
  • coarse kosher salt optional topping
  • caraway seeds optional topping


  • Combine all of the ingredients in your stand mixer. Mix on low to incorporate the ingredients. Mix on medium speed (4 o'clock position if using an Ankarsrum mixer) for 5 minutes. The dough should be smooth and elastic and pass the windowpane test.
    236 ml water, 4.6 grams instant yeast, 1.8 grams diastatic malt powder, 20 grams brown sugar, 7 grams salt, 300 grams all-purpose flour
  • Turn out the dough and transfer it to a container that has been greased with olive oil. Turn the dough over so both sides are in contact with the oil. Cover with plastic wrap and a towel. Place in a warm spot out of drafts until doubled in size, approximately 1 hour.
    Please see the recipe notes for additional options.
    olive oil
  • Once risen, place the dough back onto a lightly floured surface. Using your kitchen scale and scraper, divide the dough into 12 pieces of equal weight.
  • Roll each into a tight round. Use your hand and thumb to create friction on the counter surface to shape them. This tightens the skin of the dough so it will have the proper rise. Place the balls on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper two inches apart.
  • Cover and let them rise in a warm spot out of drafts for 45 minutes or until doubled in size. If you do not have a dough proofer, use a pan with tall sides and place a towel over that to ensure the dough does not dry out.
  • Preheat your oven to 350 °F and place a small heavy pan on the bottom shelf.
  • Whisk egg and add 1 tbsp water. Brush rolls with the egg wash, and sprinkle them with course sea salt or caraway seeds if desired.
    1 egg + 1 tbsp water, coarse kosher salt
  • Quickly yet gently score the rolls with an "X" shape on the top with a sharp serrated knife. This allows the rolls to expand further in the oven.
  • Place rolls in the oven on the middle rack. Pour 1 cup water into the preheated pan on the lower shelf to create steam. Close the door and bake for 15 minutes or until golden in color and the internal temperature reads 200 °F. Remove from oven promptly.
  • Let the buns rest for 2 minutes before transferring them onto the cooling rack. Let cool for another 30 minutes.

Kitchen Equipment

Stand Mixer
digital kitchen scale
pocket weight kitchen scale


Proofing Bread:  I recommend investing in a bread proofer if you are serious about making consistent bread.  This also becomes important if you live in a cooler climate and don't have the luxury of waiting for your bread to proof.  I purchased a Brad and Taylor folding proofer that I can store in my pantry.  This saves me counter and pantry space!
You don't need any specialized equipment to make beautiful homemade yeast bread.  I started my bread-baking journey by kneading bread with my hands and a used wood-handled dough scraper.  I picked up the scraper for a few bucks at an antique shop.  That is all I needed to turn out beautiful bread.
I've accumulated modern bread-baking tools over the past decades. ; )  I can still turn out an impressive yeast bread with my hands and an old dough scraper.  Some days I choose to do that when I have the luxury of time.  Start with a proven recipe with accurate measurements, and the rest will fall into place.
Freezing:  These keep in the freezer for up to 4 weeks.
Reheat:  To reheat, sprinkle them with water and place them in a preheated 400-degree oven for 2-4 minutes or until they begin to crisp up.  
Course bun, hot sandwich, rolls
Cuisine American, german
Calories 179


Serving: 12rollsCalories: 179kcalCarbohydrates: 31gProtein: 6gFat: 4gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0.1gCholesterol: 46mgSodium: 295mgPotassium: 143mgFiber: 4gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 172IUVitamin C: 0.2mgCalcium: 62mgIron: 1mg
Keyword hardrolls, recipe, rye, yeast
Have you made this recipe? We'd love to hear how it was!

De Froid Tip: Specialty Salt

Salt comes in many shapes and sizes.  What makes these rolls memorable is the coarse variety on top.  That is how my husband asks for them!  

This is another opportunity to broaden your cooking horizons and use your creativity.  Most specialty salt comes in small sizes.  Try them out.  If you use one more often, purchase larger-sized portions to get a cost-benefit.  

We love Maldon Sea Salt Flakes as a finishing touch on steaks.  Many top-rated steakhouses use this for a reason.  

Let’s not forget the coarse beauties on the rim of a Margarita glass.  Our guests love the Snowy Rivers Jewel Cocktail Salt.  They make a beautiful presentation.  Snowy River also has holiday colors to brighten up your party.

Have fun with specialty salts.  They’re like jewelry on your food.

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