A lighter version of the traditional black Russian bread recipe made with rye flour and chocolate. Perfect bread for cheese and to serve with soups.
This is my version of the traditional black Russian bread, which is slightly lighter than the original recipe and easily one of my favourite breads to bake.
This is because I’ve added some strong white bread flour as well as rye flour. It’s still very deep and rich in flavour, delicious on it’s own or with butter.
Whilst this bread can be easily used for sandwiches or toasts, it’s best eaten with something like a pate, meats, cheese or various sandwich spreads.
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Why make this recipe?
- Unusual bread recipe
- Perfect as a foodie gift
- Great rich flavour which goes well with meat, pate or cheese
How does black Russian Rye bread taste like?
The black Russian Rye bread is dark, wholemeal type of bread, which is full of depth.
Although we are adding chocolate to our bread, it won’t taste sweet or like a chocolate.
It will be still very much a savoury bread and the chocolate adds a great depth and earthiness to the bread flavour. The darker chocolate you use, the better.
The bread is already full of flavour, which means that’s it’s best eaten with something that compliments it rather than trying to overpower the flavour.
Ingredients & Substitutions
One rather strange ingredient, that’s in this recipe is chocolate. But before you start to think, I’ve gone mad and just because I work with chocolate I put chocolate into everything, hear me out!
The trick is to use very dark chocolate (anything over 70% cocoa solids if you can), which on it’s own taste quite savoury. Dark chocolate is often used for savoury sauces and cooking and goes extremely well with game meat.
Anyway, you’ll be using only a few squares, which add a hint of flavour, but more importantly, colour your bread. You’ll be surprised, but the bread won’t taste like chocolate at all!
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I’ve used only about 150g of rye flour for this bread, because I wanted the bread to be light and still usable for sandwiches or toast.
You can use pretty much any amount of rye flour with this recipe (the more you use the richer the flavour), but the more you use the less gluten your bread is going to have, so you’ll need to compensate for this by kneading it for longer.
I find that 100 – 150g of rye flour (together with 400 – 350g of white bread flour) gives me enough flavour without weighting the bread down too much.
If you fancy the idea of rye flour, but don’t have the time to make a yeasted bread, you can try my quick no knead rye bread instead.
Additional ingredients you can add in
If you fancy making your bread more crunchy and adding more nutritious ingredients, add handful of seeds. Pretty much anything goes, although I love the combination of pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds and sunflower seeds.
If you have the time, soak them for 12 hours in a mixture of melted chocolate, hot water and molasse sugar.
Just take out the quantities from the recipe for chocolate, water and sugar and then add handful of seeds. You don’t need to adjust the recipe in any way, the seeds are extra.
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How to make black Russian Rye bread at home
In the mixing bowl melt the chocolate either in a microwave or boil water and pour over the chocolate just to cover it. Leave to melt.
Add all the dry ingredients and mix with a wooden spoon
Add the rest of the water and mix well
Turn on a kitchen surface and knead for about 10-15 minutes until the dough is elastic and stretches nicely. The dough can be little sticky because of the rye flour, so use a little oil to help you stop sticking the dough to your hands when you are kneading.
Leave to prove for the first time in the mixing bowl or you can use a new bowl wiped with oil. Make sure your dough is covered with a bag or a kitchen towel, so that it doesn’t dry out.
You can use warm oven to prove your bread or use fridge to rise your dough (if you want to slow down and space out your bread baking to the next day).
Once the dough has doubled in size, place it on the kitchen surface, deflate it and roll into a sausage shape. You can do this twice to give the dough extra support.
Shape & place into a bread tin or a basket and cover to keep moist.
Leave to prove, until doubled in size in a warm (but not hot) environment.
The oven temperature for rye bread should be about 250C for the first10 minutes, then turn down to 200C based on how brown you want your bread do be. Carry on baking for further 20 minutes or so.
To check that your bread is baked, tap on the bottom of your bread. If the bread sounds hollow, it’s done. If not, just pop it back to the oven for further 5 minutes and then re-test.
Leave to cool on a wire rack
Advanced bread baking tip + time saving tip
If you want to make your bread softer, try my scalded flour bread baking method with this recipe. It will make the bread lighter and you’ll only need to prove the bread once.
How to store your rye bread
Keep your bread in a bread bin or plastic bag inside the bread bin or other suitable container.
How long will your rye bread last for
I find, that this type of rye bread last a good 5-7 days, but you do need to watch out for any mould developing after 4-5 days.
If you know that you can’t finish your bread within 5-6 days, I would recommend to freeze it. I usually slice the bread before freezing and then only take out 1-2 slices as and when I need them.
Black Russian Rye Bread with Chocolate
- 350 grams bread flour white strong bread flour
- 150 grams rye flour
- 320 ml water
- 50 g dark chocolate 70% plus
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 tsp dark molasses sugar
- 1 sachet easy bake yeast 7-11 g
- In the mixing bowl melt the chocolate either in a microwave or boil water and pour over the chocolate just to cover it. Leave to melt
- Add all the dry ingredients and mix with a wooden spoon
- Add the rest of the water and mix well
- Turn on a kitchen surface and knead for about 10-15 minutes until the dough is elastic and stretches nicely.
- Leave to prove for the first time in the mixing bowl or you can use a new bowl wiped with oil. Make sure your dough is covered with a bag or a kitchen towel, so that it doesn't dry out.
- Once the dough has doubled in size, place it on the kitchen surface, deflate it and roll into a sausage shape. You can do this twice to give the dough extra support.
- Shape & place into a bread tin or a basket and cover to keep moist.
- Leave to prove, until doubled in size in a warm (but not hot) environment
- Bake at 250C for 10 minutes, then turn down to 200C based on how brown you want your bread do be. Carry on baking for further 20 minutes or so.
- To check that your bread is baked, tap on the bottom of your bread. If the bread sounds hollow, it's done. If not, just pop it back to the oven for further 5 minutes and then re-test.
- Leave to cool on a wire rack
This blog post was originally written on 15 December 2020 and last updated 21 August 2022
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