Finnish Rye Bread (Ruisleipä)

New York has a lot of wonderful options for buying Finnish Rye Bread (Ruisleipä), right here in the city! A great company called Nordic Breads  sells Finnish Rye Bread in retail stores here.  I’ve actually purchased this bread when they were having a special promotion at Whole Foods, and the bread is pretty much exactly the same as I remember it tasting when I was living in Finland. Rye Bread is a staple of the Finnish diet, being whole grain, sustaining, and it can also be stored for many months without going bad, which makes it great for the long Finnish winters. Last year there was also a Green Market street fair in the Meatpacking District where Nordic Breads was selling their products. It was delicious.  I sampled some of the Rye Bread and was instantly transported back to Helsinki! Rye Bread (Ruisleipä) is extremely healthy as it is whole grain.  It also contains a lot of soluble fiber and is high in antioxidants. Nordic Breads uses 100% whole grain Rye which has a whole list of health benefits including preventing cardiovascular disease, colon and breast cancers, fighting diabetes and obesity.  Maybe this is how the Finns stay so healthy? I’d recommend picking up some Finnish Rye Bread, or making your own.  See recipe below!


finnish rye bread nordic breads



Finnish Rye Bread (Ruisleipä)

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes

Yield: 1 loaf

Serving Size: 1 Slice

Finnish Rye Bread (Ruisleipä)

This Finnish Rye Bread is truly delicious fresh out of the oven. Enjoy with butter and jam!


2 cups stone ground dark rye flour (this is available at whole foods)
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
2 tablespoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon dark molasses
5 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
1 cup buttermilk ( or add 1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice to regular whole milk to make your own)
1 teaspoon whole fennel seeds or caraway seeds to taste (optional)
3 large eggs


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Lightly grease a loaf pan with butter or Crisco.
  3. In a mixing bowl, combine flours and salt.
  4. Add buttermilk and eggs one at a time, softened unsalted butter, and molasses. Whisk slowly until a dough forms.
  5. Add fennel seeds if using.
  6. Knead for 5 minutes.
  7. Put dough in loaf pan.
  8. Bake for 40 minutes, or until browned on top and it starts looking like bread!
  9. Cool on a wire rack.
  10. This bread goes well with jam or honey on top.


Finnish Rye Bread (Ruisleipä) is a traditional Finnish food, commonly served as a breakfast food with coffee.

More info on Finnish Rye Bread

I also recommend Bob’s Red Mill Dark Rye Flour.  This is available at Whole Foods or Trader Joes.

dark rye flour


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35 thoughts on “Finnish Rye Bread (Ruisleipä)

  1. Elina Huu

    This recipe looks more like ‘setsuuri’; sweetsour rye very dark rye bread that is popular in some parts of the country. The more typical traditional rye bread is not sweetened and no fat is added and the dough takes time to become sour, usually with a root of dough or rye bread. No baking powder is used, but busy bakers might use some yeast.

    1. Ann Williams

      Absolutely agree. Also only Finnish bread I know that uses eggs is pulla or the sweet coffee bread. First thing that came to mind when I read this was Joululimppu, it also has molasses, and fennel and rye but no eggs. Rye bread can be flavored with caraway seeds if anything at all..

    2. Pekka Rautiainen

      You are so right. Doesnt have the Finnish feel about it. Lemo juice? Carawsy seeds? Baking powder? Looks like a nic3 bread but defo nit very Finnish…

  2. Laura Kuuppo

    As a Finn, I don’t get using baking powder in rye bread ;D I bake my rye bread from sour dough (wheat allergy, have to make sure there’s no wheat in my food). Made first sour dough this spring but it lasted only two months… so I had to make another. Homemade rye bread is so good. You only need sour dough, rye flour, water and salt! I actually have English tranlastion of the recipe I use.

    1. Martina Konarovská

      Laura, could you please send you recipe as well? Thanks a lot. I really want to try to bake Finnish bread. I love its taste!

      1. Donna Luckman

        Please give me your recipe for home made Finnish rye bread without wheat, butter sugars, or baking powder. I also have a wheat allergy. Also need to know where to get sour dough and how long for fermentation with yeast before baking? How many hours do you wait to let the dough rise? Can you give me the English translation? Thanks Donna

    2. Mark

      Laura, my wife is Finnish, and we both miss the rye bread. Her mom sends us care packages of bread a couple of times per year, but it never lasts long enough. I would be forever grateful if you were able to send me the recipe you use as well, assuming you’re still active on here 2+ years after this post *LOL* The recipes I keep finding online don’t look like the end result that I expect.

      1. Jennifer

        Laura, I am of Finnish descent and am wanting to keep passing traditions down to my family and friends. I, too, would love the recipe! Thanks so much!

    3. Kathy Hellstrom

      Hi Laura, My husband is from Finland. Would you please send me your recipe. He is from Aland Islands. Do you happen to have their Dark Bread recipe? Thank you so much.

  3. Pingback: 42 Traditional Finnish Foods That You Desperately Need In Your Life | Latest hot viral trends about top actors,actresses and sports personalities

  4. Meghan

    I love that I see comments going back two years! Looking forward to making this bread. My boyfriend is Finnish, and one of the things he is always missing from home is the rye bread <3

  5. Pingback: FINLAND – Ruisleipä (Rye bread) | staplebread

  6. Tiina

    Made the recipe as written. Didn’t enjoy the texture. It is a quick bread with a biscuit taste, similar to a soda bread. If you’re hoping to bake a Finnish rye bread, this isn’t the recipe

  7. judy

    I made this recipe, and it needed about 3/4 cup more flour to knead, hen baked, outside was crisped long before inside was completely baked. I may have tried to slice before sufficiently cooled, fell apart,,,

    good taste tho, great with jam.

  8. Virginia

    Did anyone ever receive the sour dough rye recipe? Please post it for all to see or I would love a copy. My

    husband just returned from Finland with ONE slice of Finnish rye bread…very flat and chewy…would not be

    pleasing to many Americans but I’m ready to try something similar. I have mastered Pulla, Bulla and/or

    coffee bread. I also have the pepparkakka recipe from my daughter’s host family in Finland. It is very time

    consuming but worth every second.

  9. Paula McManus

    This recipe shows a formed loaf then tells you to put the “batter” in a loaf pan. I understood why after putting the ingredients together. It was sticky batter. By the time I got in to form a dough and bake it, it was dry and had no taste. Not planning to use this recipe again.

  10. JPN

    Unfortunately, this recipe is wrong. Ratios make a very wet batter that create a strange loaf. Nothing like I have tasted in Finland and nothing like the photo above. Please amend the recipe – or replace with something tried and tested – as this misleading recipe is strangely high on Google’s rankings. Thanks

  11. Lauren

    Sadly this recipe was a complete disaster for me. If you are looking to make a true bread don’t use this recipe. I tried a few ways to salvage it with no luck. I agree with earlier comments, the only hope for it is to add much more flour and resign yourself to getting something more like a biscuit.

  12. Emi Lahti

    Hello! I just discovered this site while trying to find a traditional Finnish rye bread recipe for my nutrition class (which is my minor). I am thrilled to discover more recipes (although I do have quite a but already, but there’s always something to learn!), & possibly hidden Finnish gems around New York City! My husband is from Tampere, & he misses the food VERY much. Thank you for posting!

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