Rye & Sea Salt Brownies

Rye sea salt brownies

Comfort in the form of a bar cookie: Rye & Sea Salt Brownies for the win! This recipe is lightly adapted from one I saw on The New York Time’s, brownies from The Violet Bakery, and also one from The Boy Who Bakes. I reduced the sugar a bit, added a splash of local bourbon, and used a combo of natural cocoa powder and heavily dutched (alkalized) cocoa powder.

Any cocoa powder would in theory work, but, I’d recommend one that is mildly alkalized (an effect I think I achieved by combining natural and heavily alkalized cocoas!). But, use what you have. A more alkalized cocoa will yield a more dense brownie, whereas a natural cocoa will be slightly less dense – but rest assured – these are NOT cake-y brownies!

Sometimes, only a brownie will do. In an effort to use up some alternative flours in my pantry (see my previous post on how I chose to use almond flour!), I gave these rye & sea salt brownies a whirl. Knowing that rye has a chewier, stickier quality to it – thanks to it being richer in pentosans than wheat flour – I thought this recipe would be pretty fantastic. And, it was!

I busted out my 10lb bar of birthday chocolate form work, and went to town (for the record, I shared a few lbs of this chocolate with my family). For those who have made Stella Parks’ brownies, and Tartine’s Chocolate Rye cookies, this recipe will seem similar. Whip eggs and sugar, melt chocolate and butter, sift flour and leavening. Add a splash of bourbon or vanilla, mix together, bake in pan. Ohh – and don’t forget a liberal sprinkling of flakey salt on top before baking!

Serve rye & sea salt brownies warm, or straight from the freezer. Re-heat, and put a scoop of your favorite ice cream on top. Do what you must, and enjoy. Share if you can – safely. In uncertain times (which seem like all of times lately), turning to comfort in brownie form is sometimes necessary.

Rye sea salt brownies

Rye & Sea Salt Brownies

Annaliese Eberle
Dense, chewy, chocolate brownies with a smattering of crunchy, bold sea salt on top! A splash of bourbon enhances the smokey quality of the rye flour, and do not omit the flakey sea salt on top. Make a big pan, share, or toss in the freezer for a treat down the road. Recipe adapted from The Boy Who Bakes.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 16 small browies


  • 11 TB (156g) Unsalted Butter
  • 10 1/2 oz (300g) Bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cup (200g) Rye Flour Mine was quite fine, but a more coarse may work, too
  • 1/2 cup (50g) Cocoa Powder A mildly dutched/alkalized is best, but try any here
  • 1/2 tsp (3g) Baking Powder
  • 1 tsp (5g) Fine Sea Salt
  • 4 Large Eggs
  • scant 1 cup (185g) Granulated Sugar
  • scant 1 cup (185g) Light Brown Sugar
  • 1 TB vanilla and/or bourbon
  • Flakey Sea Salt Not optional! For sprinkling on top before baking!


  • Pre-heat oven to 350F. Line a 9"x13" metal baking pan with parchment. You can use a glass pan, but the brownies may be a touch drier.
  • Add butter and chocolate in a small sauce pan, and gently melt over low heat. Allow to cool for about 15 minutes. I tossed mine in the freezer and stirred a few times.
  • In a larger bowl, sift the rye flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt.
  • The the bowl of a stand mixer with the whip attachment (or use a hand-mixer or do this by hand for your upper body workout for the day), combine eggs, sugars, vanilla or bourbon. Mix for 3-4 minutes in a mixer, or about 5 minutes by hand, until very fluffy and light.
  • Add the melted chocolate mixture to the egg and sugar mixture, and mix to combine. Add the dry ingredients, and mix briefly with the mixer to combine. Finish mixing by hand with a rubber spatula, scraping the bottom of the bowl to make sure everything is mixed.
  • Pour and spread into pan. Sprinkle liberally with flakey sea salt. Bake 25-30 minutes (I baked mine for 30), until the edges of the brownies start to set. The center will still be a bit shiney, but the whole pan should have a crust formed on the top.
  • Remove from oven and cool completely before digging in. Brownies will keep at room temperature or the fridge for a few days in a covered container, or in the freezer for a few months as long as they are wrapped well. Enjoy at room temp, cold or reheat gently.
Keyword Brownie, Chocolate, Cocoa, Cookie Bar, Dark Chocolate, Rye, Rye Flour, Sea Salt

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