Short notes on the composition of rye

Rye belongs to the genus Secale. This is an important food crop in eastern Europe.

Rye crop is grown in India over a very limited area in the north-western Himalayan area.

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The proteins in rye contain relatively little gluten and only produce satisfactory loaf volumes and crumb structures when mixed with wheat; often as little as 25 per cent wheat results in a substantial improvement.

Rye breads are often prepared using a sourdough process in which the dough is left to stand to allow a natural lactic acid fermentation to take place.

The bread baked in this way has a rather dense crumb structure. Dense textured product produced from a coarse rye meal is called pumpernickel.

File:Rye field.jpg - Wikimedia Commons

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Rye flour is used to produce crisp breads in which the flour is mixed vigorously with salt and water to produce a stiff dough.

In some products, yeast is added and the dough is fermented briefly before baking. The dough is baked as a thin sheet in continuous oven. The sheets are dusted with ground trimmings from earlier bakings and cut into sheets and packed.

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