Russian Rye Bread and Then Some

There is nothing quite like a nice soft, flavourful, and crusty rye bread. I was looking for a nice rye bread online. I found a couple of recipes that looked good, but the all seemed to be missing something. This recipe is my take on a recipe from the King Arthur Flour website. It is a Russian Rye Bread recipe from an old cookbook. People have tweaked it to make it their own, and I have done the same.

My recipe will glean two 1kg loaves.

Russian Rye Bread
Prep Time
45 mins
Cook Time
45 mins
Fermentation and Proving
2 hrs
Total Time
1 hr 30 mins

This is a beautiful, flavourful and soft rye bread.

Course: Breads
Keyword: RealBread, RyeBread
Servings: 2 Loaves
Author: John Winslow
  • 30 g Dark Honey
  • 24 g Molasses
  • 286 g Dark Rye Flour
  • 330 g Water 100º
  • 308 g Black Coffee 100º
  • 22 g Active Dry Yeast
  • 814 g All Purpose White Flour
  • 22 g Kosher Salt
  • 20 g Molasses
  • 25 g Dark Honey
  • 22 g Caraway Seeds
  • 99 g Butter melted but not hot
  1. Add yeast to warm water.  Let sit for about 20 minutes

  2. In a stand mixer bowl (See notes at bottom if not using a stand mixer: Add Honey and Molasses to warm coffee. Stir to dissolve. After water and yeast has sat for ten minutes, combine.

  3. Add rye flour and stir until all flour is dissolved.  Let this sponge sit for about twenty minutes until it is bubbly and rising.

Final Dough
  1. Combine all dough ingredients to sponge.  Turn mixer on to speed 2.  Start adding the flour until the dough s pulling away from the bowl.  It should take all but about a few tablespoons of the all purpose flour.

  2. When the dough is pulling away from the sides and bottom of the bowl, turn it out on a floured surface.  Using as little of the leftover flour as possible, knead the dough for about 10 minutes until you get a nice texture bread dough.  The dough will be sticky.  That’s the nature of rye dough.

  3. Place back in the bowl, cover with plastic, place in the oven with the light on. Let rise for 1½ hours or until the dough has just about doubled. 

  4. Divide into 2 equal loaves and shape as desired.  Place on cookie sheets lined with parchment paper.  Allow to rise for approximately 30 minutes or until the pass the poke test.  At about the15 0r 20 minute mark, preheat the oven to 375º

  5. If you can fit two cookie sheets lengthwise, side by side in the oven, place both on middle rack.  If not, place on separate racks and roatate at some point.  Bake on 375º for 25 minutes.  Turn down to 335 and bake for another 20 minutes or until centre temperature is 200º to 205º using an instant read thermometer.

  6. Cool the bread on a cooling rack.  Do not cut into this bread for at least three hours.  Cutting into it early could render it doughy.  This is a very soft velvety crumb.  Don’t ruin it.

Recipe Notes

Crust:  If you want a more rustic crust, place a pan on the bottom rack of the oven while it is pre-heating.  After putting the loaves in the oven, pour 1 cup of hot water into the pan on the bottom rack.  After about 12-15 minutes remove the pan from the oven. The steam will aid in the oven spring of the bread, and will give a slightly harder crust.


Shaping the bread:  This bread has a texture almost like play dough.  To shape it into the classic rye bread shape, fold in the ends so you don’t have seams. Then fold the long sides towards and away from you, just over half way.  Then turn the dough over and shape into an oval with somewhat pointy-rounded ends.


If you don’t use a stand mixer, no problem.  Mix the sponge with a wooden spoon.  Then continue with the dough as per the mixer recipe.  Mix it with a spoon until it is together enough to use your hands.  Continue mixing by hand until the dough no longer sticks to the sides of the bowl.  Turn out and knead for 10 minutes, and continue with the recipe as written.