Easy Overnight Dark Rye Bread |

Easy Overnight Dark Rye Bread

This overnight rye bread is an easier version of a northern European classic, made with whole grain spelt and rye flour, cocoa, and oats. This dense bread is not at all dry and makes a nice alternative to light loaves, with a stronger flavour and slightly chewy texture.

Course Breakfast
Cuisine Vegan
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Rising Time 12 hours
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 1 loaf


  • 3 cups / 400 grams whole spelt flour
  • 1 cup / 150 grams rye flour
  • 1/2 cup / 60 grams rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup / 25 grams cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon dry yeast or a pea-sized piece of fresh yeast
  • 2 cups / 500ml room temperature water
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup or honey


  1. In a large bowl, combine the spelt, rye, oats, cocoa, and salt. Add the dry yeast to the dry ingredients as well if that's what you're using.
  2. If you're using fresh yeast, stir it into the water with a fork to dissolve it before adding it to the flour mixture. Add the water and maple syrup/honey to the dry ingredients and stir to combine. The dough will seem wet and shaggy looking, but that's good. Cover the bowl with a lid, cutting board, or plastic wrap and let it sit for 12-15 hours at room temperature. It will at least double in size during this time.
  3. In the morning, grease* a 30 cm / 12 inch bread pan or line it with paper. Scrape the dough into the pan, and then press it down evenly with wet hands. Sprinkle flour overtop and cover with a clean dish towel. Let the dough sit for 1-2 hours at room temperature.
  4. Heat the oven to 200C / 400F. Once the oven is hot, place the bread on a middle rack and bake for 40-45 minutes. The crust will be hard and sound hollow when tapped once the bread is done baking. Remove it from the oven and place the pan on a metal rack to cool for 20-30 minutes before removing it from the pan to cool completely. The loaf will keep well for a week at room temperature, stored in a bag or plastic wrap.


• To make this bread with a sourdough starter, simply stir in 1/2 cup / 140 grams of your starter to replace the commercial yeast. It will take an additional few hours before baking, but it depends on the heat of your home. I usually mix it about 24 hours before baking. Follow the other directions as written. This is my standard now when making this bread and the results are virtually identical. You will get a more sour flavour and a more noticeable oven spring using a starter.
* If you grease the pan, it might seem like your bread is stuck to it. Don't worry, it's likely that just the very top of the loaf is sticking slightly to the very top of the pan (where it might not have been greased) and all you have to do is gently lift with your fingers or a butterknife. The bread should pop out of the pan easily if you pull the sides slightly and tap on the bottom. I've made this bread several times and haven't had any problems getting it out of the pan.