Russian Black Bread Recipe | Vegetarian Times Skip to main content

Russian Black Bread

Serve this dense, satisfying bread with a meal, or slice for sandwiches.



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2 ¼ tsp. active dry yeast
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¾ tsp. sugar
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2 cups Bob's Red Mill dark rye flour
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2 cups all-purpose flour, divided
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1 ¼ Tbs. caraway seeds, crushed
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1 tsp. finely ground coffee beans
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1 tsp. Simply Organic onion powder
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1 tsp. salt
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¼ tsp. Simply Organic fennel seeds, crushed
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2 Tbs. Fleischmann's white vinegar
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2 Tbs. dark molasses
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½ oz. unsweetened chocolate
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2 Tbs. margarine
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½ tsp. cornstarch


1. Stir together yeast, sugar, and 1/4 cup warm water in bowl. Let stand 10 minutes. Whisk together rye flour, 1/2 cup all-purpose flour, caraway seeds, coffee, onion powder, salt, and fennel seeds in bowl. Combine 1 cup water, vinegar, molasses, chocolate, and margarine in saucepan, and heat over low heat until margarine and chocolate are melted.

2. Stir molasses mixture into rye flour mixture. Add yeast mixture, and stir with wooden spoon 2 minutes. Add remaining all-purpose flour 1/2 cup at a time, until soft dough forms. Transfer to floured work surface. Let rest 15 minutes. Knead 15 minutes. Place dough in bowl coated with vegetable oil. Let rise 1 hour, or until doubled in size.

3. Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat baking sheet with oil. Shape dough into ball, and place on prepared baking sheet. Bake 50 minutes, or until bread sound hollow when tapped.

4. Bring cornstarch and 1/4 cup water to a boil in saucepan. Cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Brush cornstarch mixture over top of loaf. Bake 2 to 3 minutes more. Cool on wire rack.

Nutrition Information: 

8 g
Total Fat: 
5 g
Saturated Fat: 
1 g
51 g
0 mg
328 mg
9 g
5 g
Makes 1 loaf (8 slices per loaf)

Comments on this Recipe

I agree. This is not the Russian black bread that I love to eat.

While this bread looks "black", it is not "Russian" at any rate. There are no such ingredients like chocolate and coffee in Russian black bread! Those are used to "artificially" darken it as one can't use a lot of dark rye flour with active dry yeasts. It is much better to use sourdough starter instead of active dry yeasts, as dry yeasts don't work well with rye flour. Molasses in the recipe is also disputable, but perhaps is okay. I don't like fermented beverage out of rye bread (Kvass) if I add molasses in it. It takes time to get wild yeast sourdough starter from scratch but it worth it! It is possible to make 100% rye dark bread with no wheat at all. You won't get it with active dry yeasts as the bread will crumble apart. Only fermented rye flour will hold shape, otherwise you'd have to add wheat flour and other "corn starches". While this recipe maybe good, it shouldn't be called "Russian Black Bread" under any circumstances it is deceiving!

I made this and it is a very good pumpernickel but not Black bread. There is a fatal flaw in the recipe--after the loves are formed you should let it rise again otherwise you will get a brick. I actually let it rise again after mixing and before kneading. So i did 2 more risings than the recipe called for. The texture was great. By the way I used whole wheat instead of white. I don't mind using chocolate or coffee but the color would be better if you make a good strong coffee instead of using just ground coffee and water.

not vegetarian with margarine in it. chocolate in Russian bread NOT - this isn't either of the breads that it boasts to be. I have made bread from scratch and in a breadmaker - over time, but this def. isn't either black bread or Russian. And one comment stated the rising time isn't correct - wouldn't think so. Most yeast breads need to rise at least 2 times and some more. Not something I will be making.