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Rye breads came out on top in the Speciality Bread Product of the Year category for 2023, which celebrates breads that are original, beautifully baked, and look and taste great.

The Yorkshire Loaf rye and ruby beer bread

Winner: Red Rye & Ruby Malted Beer Sourdough, The Yorkshire Loaf

“Wow”, “you can really taste the beer”, and “wonderfully balanced flavours” were just a few of the judges’ remarks upon tasting the Red Rye & Ruby Malted Beer Sourdough from The Yorkshire Loaf.

This lovely loaf also won praise from the judges for its beautifully baked interior and rustic charm, as well as how strongly the ale flavour came and how well it was balanced with the red rye grain blend.

The 100% dark rye sourdough tin loaf is made with ruby beer and a red rye grain blend, as well as sunflower and pumpkin seeds. The ‘complex caramel and dried fruit flavours’ are imparted through the malted grains and ruby beer. The grains are soaked in the ale prior to mixing, which not only softens them but also helps impart the flavour of the beer throughout the loaf. The dough is allowed to rise slowly, creating a cracked appearance on top, before it is baked at a high temperature with ‘loads of steam’ to create the perfect crumb on the inside.


A rye bread with slices taken from it

Source: Ole & Steen

Finalist: Chia Rye, Ole & Steen

Danish Bakery Ole & Steen is bringing the ‘true essence of Denmark’ to the streets of London through its Rugbrød. One example of this is the Chia Rye. It’s produced over three days using sourdough, light and dark malt, and two types of rye flour to create a loaf that has a strong malt flavour, crisp crust and compact but soft crumb.

The judges described the loaf as moreish with a great structure and great taste. It had an excellent distribution of chia and sunflower seeds throughout.


Three seeded rye loaves on a cooling rack

Source: Lovingly Artisan

Finalist: Danish Rugbrød, Lovingly Artisan

This seed-covered loaf is full of character. It is one of Lovingly Artisan’s bestsellers and is made by the Cumbrian bakery over three days using a secret blend of Gilchester Organics grain, rye berries, golden and brown linseeds, sunflower seeds, and millet. The Danish Rugbrød was developed as part of Lovingly Artisan’s mission to deliver tasty, nourishing, natural breads that have true provenance and integrity.

It is said to be an “incredibly healthy bread” with a slightly sour undertone and nutty, moist texture. This was appreciated by the judges, who said the “lovely little loaf” was “healthy and delicious”.