Ren’s Polish Honey & Rye Loaf

This delicious recipe is from Wild Honey and Rye by Ren Behan, and it gives its name to the book itself.

Read my review of Wild Honey and Rye here, and enter my giveaway to win your own copy.

Honey and Rye Bread on Kavey Eats (2)

Find out about how Ren came to write the book, and the creative process involved, here.

Honey and Rye Bread on Kavey Eats (3) Honey and Rye Bread on Kavey Eats (1)

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4.25 from 4 votes

Honey & Rye Loaf (Chleb Żytni Z Miodem)

I have to confess that I am not a regular baker of bread, though it is a skill I would love to incorporate into daily life. I particularly like sourdough breads and most Polish bread begins with a zakwas, or sourdough starter. This simple honey and rye loaf, however, is for times when I just want to use store-cupboard ingredients. It is particularly good with butter, twaróg (Polish soft cheese) or cream cheese and honey, but it is equally good when served with eggs, and it can be toasted. I like to use a mixture of rye and white bread flour, and I also add a sprinkle of caraway seeds, as is traditional in Polish baking; the caraway seeds are optional. ~Ren Behan
Servings 1 loaf
Author Ren Behan


  • 125 ml / 4fl oz / ½ cup lukewarm water
  • 125 ml / 4fl oz / ½ cup lukewarm whole milk
  • 2 tbsp runny honey
  • 7 g (1 packet) fast-action yeast
  • 250 g / 9oz / 2½ cups rye flour, or use wholemeal or spelt flour , plus extra for dusting
  • 250 g / 9oz / 2 cups strong white bread flour
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 tsp caraway seeds (optional)
  • 1 tsp vegetable oil, for greasing


  • Mix the water and milk together, add the honey and stir until dissolved. Tip in the yeast, whisk and leave to stand in a warm place for 10 minutes. 
  • Put the flours and salt, and caraway seeds if using, into a large bowl. Make a well in the centre and stir in the liquid yeast mixture until the dough comes together. 
  • Dust a work surface with rye flour. Tip the dough onto the surface and knead it for 10 minutes. Shape the dough into a ball. 
  • Grease a clean bowl with oil and put the dough into the bowl. Cover with clingfilm (plastic wrap) and leave in a warm place until the dough has roughly doubled in size. This may take up to 2 hours. 
  • Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas Mark 6.
  • Tip the dough out onto the work surface, knead it briefly, then shape into an oval loaf and place on a large oiled baking sheet. Slash the top with a sharp knife and bake for 45 minutes or until it is golden brown all over. 
  • Leave the loaf on a wire rack to cool before slicing.

Honey and Rye Bread on Kavey Eats (4)

A selection of savoury and sweet recipes from Wild Honey & Rye:

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Honey and Rye Loaf on Kavey Eats (pinterest)

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Kavey Eats received a review copy of Wild Honey and Rye by Ren Behan (RRP £20) from publisher Pavilion Books. Recipe extracted with permission from Pavilion Books. 

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41 Comments to "Ren’s Polish Honey & Rye Loaf"

  1. kaveyeats

    Really good, lovely flavour, dense but not too dense, nice flavour from the rye but not too strong as it’s only half rye flour. Very well balanced!

  2. Ceri Jones

    This recipe caught my eye too. What can be better than bread with delicious toppings! I’ll have to have a go at this soon, great baking skills kavey!

  3. Nadia

    I love bread in general, but especially sourdough! So this bread sounds right up my street! Would love a slice topped with butter and jam 😀


    We love sourdough too, so it’s been a while since we made regular yeasted bread but the rye and honey give it a really great additional flavour which I’m sure, as a sourdough lover, you would enjoy.

  4. Dannii

    This is the first recipe I am going to try from the book. I love rye bread, but I have never made it myself.

  5. Jeni

    I’m a big fan of sourdough too. And I too would love to bake more bread at home. I just told my husband I needed to since now our baby wants bread in the mornings too so we are going through it like mad. So – bookmarking!


    This one isn’t sourdough, it’s a regular yeasted bread, but it’s very delicious and well worth making.

  6. kaveyeats

    It gives a lovely flavour, and makes a dense, almost chewy bread, which is wonderful. I love it!

  7. Julia

    I love Rye bread – it’s my european roots talking. Yet, I’ve never actually baked with rye flour. This loaf looks amazing!

  8. Ren Behan

    Dear Kavey and Pete, goodness, how beautiful! I’m so happy that you made this recipe. It is the first recipe in my book and yes, echoes the name of the book. A simple loaf that even I, as a non bread-baker, can bake. I hope that many others have success with this recipe too. Good bread can provide such comfort. I often eat it with mine buttered, with a big bowl of dill pickle soup, as Sue, one of your readers mentions above. But with butter and honey, its also a real treat. Thank you.

  9. Andrea

    I’m not much of a baker to be honest, so I absolutely love how easy this bread loaf is to make. I never tried bread with cream cheese and honey, really intrigued by the combo!

  10. kaveyeats

    Well the shape us down to Pete’s slashing and the vessel he used to rise and cook it in, but yes it’d work wonderfully with cream cheese and honey!

  11. Margot

    How delicious! I love Polish rye bread… but I have never make it myself. I think it is time to try… using Ren’s recipe of course.

  12. Corina Blum

    I lived in Poland for a couple of years and this is so similar to some of the bread I used to eat there! It’s really brought back memories. Lovely bread.

  13. Jacqueline Meldrum

    That bread looks gorgeous. We used to buy bread from our supermarket but they stopped selling it so maybe it’s time to make my own. Love Ren’s book too. Fabulous!

  14. Jerilea

    Hi, I’m not sure if I did this recipe correctly and was actually wondering if there is a needed correction? I followed the recipe exactly as written here, and in the book. In other recipes I typically end up adding additional flour, but with this one I have 1/2c flour leftover. Kneading the dough was extremely difficult as it was very dry and crumbly and it never developed the typical airy, risen texture. I thought with a rye flour it would be more on the wetter and sticky side. Any suggestions? I’ve just put what came out as a brick into the oven and I’m not sure if we will be able to eat it. Sorry


    The one pictured in this post I made myself exactly following the instructions in Ren’s recipe and I really liked the result!


    Sorry I missed your comment. The recipe is extracted exactly as is from the recipe book, and the photos show how my attempt came out following the recipe exactly. Not sure why yours didn’t work out for you. Sorry to hear it didn’t work for you.

  15. Mike

    My dough is in the process of rising, am excited or see how this will turn out…my mouth is watering👍👍


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