Rye bread is made of—what else?—rye flour and can be light, dark (think pumpernickel) or both (called a marble rye). Because the gluten in rye isn't as elastic as it is in wheat, rye breads tend to rise less, making them compact and dense. The bread is popular is Scandanavia, Finland, Russia, Germany and many of the surrounding countries. According to Finnish-born baker Simo Kuusisto, "In Finland, bakers traditionally use wheat flour only for cookies and cakes. Because rye is hardy and strong-flavored, bakers use it for bread. Whole-grain rye is part of our identity." Nutty, hearty rye breads can stand up to complex flavors, which is why they are the perfect vehicle for toppings like smoked meats, strong cheeses and pickled vegetables. F&W's guide helps you make rye bread step by step, offers delicious recipes and explores the cultures that love rye bread.