First off, understand what you're getting. This is not everyday bread, and this is not American bread. This is a holiday treat for a region where most bread is formulated to dry out and keep a long time. This is dark, heavy, slightly sweet rye bread and it is intended to be that. Part of our family did not like the fennel seed, and I'm sure it could be made without it for preference at the expense of authenticity. Made for Zaar World Tour 6 for the Voracious Vagabonds.