Total Time
3hrs 40mins
Prep 3 hrs
Cook 40 mins

This is a "tried & true" recipe for Russian Black Bread that I've had for years. I have no idea where I got it from, perhaps the back of the rye flour bag or yeast envelope. Prep time includes rising times. January 2009: Recently while going through a box of old cookbooks (stored in my attic), I came across the original copy of this recipe. It is from a 1945 newspaper advertisement for the National Biscuit Company's (aka "Nabisco" ) 100% Bran Cereal. (BTW, Instant coffee has been commercially marketed in the USA since 1910.)

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Combine flours. In a large bowl, thoroughly mix 2 1/3 cups flour mixture, sugar, salt, cereal, caraway seed, coffee powder, onion powder, fennel seed and undissolved yeast.
  2. In a sauce pan combine 2 1/2 cups water, vinegar, molasses, chocolate and butter.
  3. Heat liquid mixture over low heat until liquids are very warm (120°-130°F), butter and chocolate do not have to be melted.
  4. Gradually add heated liquid mixture to dry ingredients and beat (with electric mixer) for 2 minutes at medium speed, scraping bowl occasionally. Add 1/2 cup flour mixture. Beat at high speed for 2 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally. Stir in enough additional flour mixture to make a soft dough. Turn dough on to a lightly floured board. Cover dough and let rest for 15 minutes.
  5. Knead dough until smooth and elastic (about 10-15 minutes), dough may be sticky. Place dough in a greased bowl, turning dough to grease the top. Cover bowl and place in a warm, draft free place to rise until doubled in bulk (about 1 hour).
  6. Punch dough down; turn out onto a lightly floured board. Divide dough in half. Shape each half into a ball, about 5 inches in diameter. Place each ball into the center of a greased 8-inch round cake pan. Cover; let rise in a warm, draft free place until doubled in bulk (about 1 hour). Bake at 350°F for 40-45 minutes, or until done.
  7. Meanwhile, combine cornstarch and cold water. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture stats to boil; continue cooking mixture for 1 minute stirring constantly.
  8. As soon as bread is baked, brush cornstarch mixture over top of loaves. Return bread to oven and bake 2-3 minutes longer, or until glaze is set. Remove loaves from pans and cool on wire racks.
  9. **I have made this recipe both"as is" and also omitting the fennel seeds and onion powder. Omitting the fennel seed and onion powder changes the flavor a bit, but it is still a very good bread.
Most Helpful

I followed this recipe and found that it doesn't rise like white or wheat bread does. It makes a much denser bread, so it won't rise as much. The family loved it and ate the whole loaf at Christmas. We will make it again.

tukmdog December 31, 2013

Great flavor but mine didn't raise properly. Will add gluten next time. Made 1 loaf

adopt a greyhound January 22, 2013

Wonderful bread, so worth the effort. Froze one of the loaves and look forward to using it for sandwiches. Thanks for posting.

Lucky in Bayview December 30, 2009