How to cook rye
For tender, but chewy berries, bring a pot of water to a boil with a pinch of salt. Add the rye berries, reduce to a simmer, and cook upwards of 60 minutes. Drain any excess water and serve. Soak rye berries overnight to reduce cooking time.
Rye flakes and cracked rye both cook similar: 1 cup rye to 3 cups liquid. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook for 15 minutes; stirring occasionally. Cracked rye may need a bit more time, taste and adjust time as needed.
How to use rye
Rye is traditionally used in breads but the whole berries can be used like wheat berries: in salads, as a base for grain bowls, or in casseroles/soups/stews. Rye has a bit more earthy flavor than wheat, so use accordingly.
How to store rye
Rye, whether the whole grain or flour, is best stored in airtight containers in a cool place. Whole berries can be stored up to a year in the freezer or 6 months in the pantry. Rye flour is best stored in the freezer and will last up to 6 months. If the grains or flour have a rancid smell when you open the bag, toss and buy fresh.
Rye is another type of grass akin to wheat and barley, which is why it’s treated in a similar manner. Rye berries are slightly slimmer with a greenish hue. The flavor is more pronounced than wheat, with an earthy taste that can harken a bit of sourness.
Rye makes a good substitute for wheat berries and rice in salads, and even heartier dishes. I use the flakes and flour most, but the berries are a great option as well. Whole rye can be cracked and makes an excellent risotto or porridge. I like to mix rye flakes and berries with other grains for a multi-grain porridge.
Flour: With rye flour, it’s important to look at the color. The lighter the flour color, the more bran was taken out in the milling process. I like to find dark rye, which I also find has a truer rye flavor. Even though it’s similar to wheat, rye doesn’t contain the same amount of gluten. Rye is better as an added flour, especially in breads.