I bought a lot of dark chocolate to develop these Bittersweet Salted Rye Brownies. Mostly, I kept buying dark chocolate bars and eating them before I made the brownies. And this cycle continued, for weeks. Once I decided to practice some self-discipline and dedicate the chocolate to brownies, multiple rounds of testing ensued. There are a plethora of brownie recipes in my cookbooks and right at my fingertips, and yet I still hadn’t come across the one. That is the brownie recipe that I make all the time, without tinkering or tweaking. The one that is bursting with dark chocolate notes, non-greasy, smooth, and has a crinkled crust that makes me swoon. The kind of brownie I think we all live for. These rye brownies have it all.
For a full disclaimer, this is a high-maintenance brownie. It requires a mixer, uses 1.5 bars of chocolate (I had no problem eating the other half, obviously), cocoa powder, and rye flour. I stammered in front of the rye flour bag at the grocery store, asking myself, “Do I really need this?” The answer is yes, yes I do, and you do too. These brownies are worth the extra steps, the high-quality dark chocolate and cocoa powder, and the extra trip to the grocery store.
I took a nod from the Tartine All Day and The Violet Bakery Cookbook and incorporated whole-grain flour into these chocolatey brownies. Not so much for its nutritional value, although that is a huge plus, more so for its flavor. The rye flour and dark chocolate combination add an extra layer of depth that makes you wonder, “what’s in these?” While I traditionally stuck with white sugar in brownies, light brown sugar adds a caramel note that elevates the chocolate and rye flavors. The moist and smooth texture makes these brownies stand out, while the sweet-and-salty combination makes them straight-up mouthwatering. I bet you can’t eat just one. I sure can’t.
Before you start: Tips for making these bittersweet salted rye brownies
A NOTE ON EXTRA STEPS. After some research and experimentation, the fudgiest brownies all had one thing in common: beating the eggs and sugar first. This technique not only creates a fudgy brownie but also creates that undeniable crackly shiny crust. Don’t skip it.
QUALITY OF INGREDIENTS. Buy the best quality chocolate and cocoa powder you can afford for this recipe. I particularly like Green & Blacks and Valrhona. Ghiradelli 72% Cacao Twilight is also an excellent option and is widely available in grocery stores. Use dark chocolate you like to eat plain!
More Bar Recipes to Try
- Sweet and Salty Small-Batch Brownies
- Old-School Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars
- Bittersweet Salted Rye Brownies
- Whole Wheat Jammy Berry Crumble Bars
- Decadent Rhubarb Frangipane Shortbread Bars
Bittersweet Salted Rye Brownies
My favorite brownie. These Bittersweet Salted Rye Brownies are bursting with dark chocolate notes, non-greasy, smooth, fudgy, and have a crinkled crust that makes you swoon. I dare you to eat just one.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
- Total Time: 45 minutes
- Yield: 16 bars 1x
- Category: Dessert
- Method: Bake
- Cuisine: American
- 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon (75g) white sugar
- 1/2 cup (100g) light brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for sprinkling
- 5 ounces (150g) 65-75% dark chocolate, chopped into small pieces
- 7 tablespoons (98g) unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup (25g) cocoa powder*
- 1/3 cup (80g) rye flour*
- Preheat the oven. Adjust the oven to the middle rack of the oven. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Butter and line an 8-by-8 inch square pan with a sheet of parchment paper, extending up to two sides, forming a “sling” for your bars. The parchment paper makes it easy for you to remove the bars and slice them later.
- Beat the eggs and sugars. In the bowl of a stand mixer with a whisk attachment or a large bowl with a hand mixer, beat the eggs and granulated, brown sugars, and salt on medium-high speed until the mixture is light in color, doubled in volume, and has a frosting texture, about 5 minutes.
- Melt the chocolate and butter. Place the chopped chocolate and butter in a double boiler (a glass or heatproof bowl set over a small pot of simmering water). Melt the chocolate and butter, stirring frequently, until the mixture is smooth and fluid. Remove the bowl from the pan.
- Combine the wet and dry ingredients. Add the cocoa powder to the warm chocolate mixture and whisk until combined. Add the chocolate mixture to the egg mixture and mix at low speed until evenly combined. Add the rye flour and use a rubber spatula to gently combine.
- Bake. Scrape the batter into the prepared baking pan and spread it into an even layer, smoothing the top. Sprinkle kosher salt on the top of the brownies. Bake until the surface wrinkles and looks glossy, the edges pull away from the sides of the pan, and the middle of the brownies has a slight jiggle, about 30 minutes. Let cool completely on a baking rack.
- Serve. Use the parchment sling to lift the brownies from the pan. Cut the brownies into 16 2×2″ square bars. Serve alone, sprinkled with powder sugar, or à la mode with ice cream.
COCOA POWDER AND RYE FLOUR. If you want to get rid of any lumps, sift the cocoa powder and rye flour into the wet ingredients. I’ve tested this recipe with sifted and unsifted flour and found a negligible difference in the texture between the two batches.
STORAGE. Store brownies in an air-tight container for up to 3 days. For longer storage, place brownies in an air-tight plastic freezer bag or an air-tight glass container and freeze for up to 2 months. Eat frozen or let thaw at room temperature.
- Serving Size: 1 bar
- Calories: 138 calories
- Sugar: 13.4g
- Sodium: 123mg
- Fat: 8.6g
- Saturated Fat: 5.3g
- Carbohydrates: 16.8g
- Fiber: 1.7g
- Protein: 1.9g
- Cholesterol: 37mg