Rye meal is a coarse whole-grain rye flour made from whole rye that has been coarsely ground. It is most commonly found in pumpernickel bread. The rye meal used in pumpernickel bread is sometimes so exceptionally coarse that it is often called chopped rye. Depending on the type of rye used in the rye meal, it can be tan to light green in color.
This grain is more nutritious than other bread grains because it contains the whole rye grain. Most rye flour is made only from the endosperm of the rye berry, omitting the bran and germ. Since it contains the nutritious bran and germ of the rye berry, it is more nutritious than breads made with wheat or even rye flour.
A food with a distinctly spicy flavor, rye is a grassy grain related to wheat and barley. As a wheat relative, rye has gluten in it, making it unsuitable for gluten-free recipes. In addition to its use as a grain crop for rye meal and flour, rye grasses can also be used for livestock foraging. Whole rye is used to make the mash that ferments into a variety of whiskey called rye whiskey. A type of rye called winter rye is a common crop planted to protect and use the ground during the cold winter months when grains like wheat will not grow.
Pumpernickel bread is a lightly sweet and spicy leavened bread made with ingredients like rye, molasses, and cocoa powder. Wheat flour, salt, and oil are also included in pumpernickel bread. Though rye is the dominant flavor in pumpernickel bread, wheat flour is often included to add a traditional bread-like texture and temper the strong spicy flavor of the rye.
Many delis serve sandwiches on pumpernickel bread with sandwich ingredients including roast beef, smoked salmon, and turkey. One of the most popular ways to eat pumpernickel is in the famous Reuben sandwich, which generally includes corned beef or pastrami, Swiss cheese, and sauerkraut on pumpernickel bread. It is also served alongside other types of bread and rolls in bread baskets served at many restaurants.
Varieties of rye used in rye meal can vary, and may affect the color of the ground rye. The most common varieties of rye planted to make rye meal are rymin, muskateer and hancock rye. Some bread makers only use organic rye to make their rye bread meals. Organic rye meal is meal grown using organic farming methods, meaning no chemical pesticides or fertilizers are used.