culinary review

Crispy Hard Rye Bread Thins

Last Modified: 12/28/12
First Published: 12/26/12
Views: 704
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Views: 704

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General Info
Servings: 40
Total Cost: $1.23
Cost Per Serving: $0.03
Total Calories: 2,136
Calories/Serving: 53
Anise Seed 1/2 Tablespoon 3.35 Grams $0.12 12
Flour, Dark Rye * 550.00 Grams $0.56 1,783
Flour, White Unbleached All Purpose 3/4 Cups 3.19 Ounces $0.10 341
Yeast, Instant, Fast Rising 1 1/2 Teaspoon 12.00 Grams $0.43 0
Salt, Table 1 1/2 Teaspoon 9.00 Grams $0.01 0
Water 2 Cups 454.00 Grams $0.00 0

This very thin hard bread made primarily with rye flour is really nice to make open faced sandwiches with (ham and mustard, liver pate & pickles, or sharp white cheddar & fig marmalade all are nice toppings). You can also break these breads up in small pieces and serve as crackers with some cheese or dip.

When making these, it's important to roll them as thin as possible, so make sure to use plenty of flour and a clean, floured rolling pin. We baked these plain, however you could also brush the breads with an egg wash thinned with water or just some oil and then sprinkle on some sesame seeds or sea salt before baking if you want to add some additional flavor and texture.


  • 1/2 tbsp mortled anise seeds
  • 550g Rye flour

  • 3/4 cup Ap white flour

  • 1 1/2 tsp dry instant yeast

  • 1 1/2 tsp salt

  • 2 cups water

Combine the anise seeds, rye flour, white flour and yeast. Mix well, add the salt and combine. Add the water and work the dough a few minutes until it comes together. Either use a large wooden spoon or a mixer. The dough is rather sticky, so it's easiest not to use your hands here.

Cover the bowl with a towel or plastic and let rise for about 1 1/2 hours.

At this point, scrape the dough out on to a floured surface, and knead it for a minute or two by hand, adding some flour if it's too sticky. Divide the dough in two, cover the one piece with a towel and cut the other piece in about 20-30 pieces depending on how large you want your breads. Generally it's easier to roll out smaller pieces, so if you're making these for the first time, then it might be better to go smaller.

Once you have your dough cut up, then place a piece on a floured surface, sprinkle some flour (rye is traditional, however you could go with white ap flour too) on top and then roll out until it's as thin as you can possibly get it. You must however, also be able to transfer the rolled out dough, so make sure it doesn't get stuck on your table. Place the thin dough on a parchment covered sheet pan, cover with a towel and repeat with the remaining of the dough. Once you have a full sheet pan, allow the breads to rest for 10 minutes, before baking in a 500 degrees F oven for about 5-6 minutes.

If you decide to knead out all the dough (it's quite a lot, so you could save some dough in a oiled plastic bag in the fridge and knead out later), then you'll need a lot of sheet pans, so it's easier to only devote two or three sheet pans, and then once one pan comes out of the oven, you transfer the baked breads to a cooling rack, let the sheet pan cool for a few minutes, and then distribute fresh rolled dough on it before resting and baking.

Once the breads come out of the oven, they may be more or less crispy, depending on how thin you were able to roll them. If the breads are a bit chewy and not crispy enough, then you can dry out the breads further by lining them up on sheet pans and drying in a 180 degree oven for about one hour.

Keep the hard breads in cookie tins for optimal freshness. That way they don't get soft over time and they stay nice and crispy. These breads should keep nicely for several weeks, if not months, so it's a great bread to have around.