Russian Black Bread (Bread Machine)

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This Russian Black Bread features three different flours and a touch of molasses giving it a rich, chewy, hearty texture. With hints of coffee and rye, it’s the perfect bread to accompany any savory meal, with it’s thick, chewy, dense texture, filled with great flavor.

Russian Black Bread | www.thefreshcooky.com

I like to use my bread machine for everything but the baking bit, it’s over 20 years old and it’s starting to act a bit funny; the loaves are not rising or baking like they should, so I’ve adapted this recipe to make in your machine through the dough stage and then transfer to a loaf pan to allow it’s final rise, then bake. But don’t worry if your machine works well, I’ve given instructions for that below.

How to Make Russian Black Bread

This makes a large loaf, about 1 ½ pounds. To convert to stand mixer, traditional method, see notes in recipe.

Start by pouring your liquid ingredients in the bread machine pan in the order listed.

Russian Black Bread | www.thefreshcooky.com

Next add your soft butter, separate it into two tablespoons and then add your flours.

Russian Black Bread | www.thefreshcooky.com

Add in your instant coffee.

And your salt…put it to the side, yeast isn’t a fan of salt, so I try and put them apart from each other.

If desired, add your crushed fennel seeds, this is optional, but it isn’t an overpowering amount so if you happen to have them, crush some and toss them in.

Russian Black Bread | www.thefreshcooky.com

Lastly, add your yeast.

Russian Black Bread | www.thefreshcooky.com

Place the bread pan inside your bread machine and choose the following baking options; Whole Wheat -> Dough -> Large ->  Start.


Plan on completing it in your bread machine? Let it do all of the work and choose -> Whole Wheat -> Medium (for color) -> Large -> Start. In about 3 1/2 hours you should have a beautiful loaf of bread.

Or if only processing through dough stage, once it beeps, remove the dough from the pan and place in a greased loaf pan. Using a sharp knife, slice 3-4 diagonal slits across the top and cover with non-stick oil sprayed plastic wrap.

Russian Black Bread | www.thefreshcooky.com

Place in a warm place to double, about 30-45 minutes. If you have a proof setting on your oven, use that, if not you can turn your oven light on and keep the door closed, or prior to placing in the oven heat to 100° and turn off before you place your loaf in the oven to rise. Oooh look at how beautiful that is!

Russian Black Bread | www.thefreshcooky.com

Once it’s doubled in size,remove from the oven and preheat the oven to 375°. Bake the bread on the middle rack for 30-35 minutes until it’s nice and crusty on top. If you can wait, allow to cool for about 15 minutes before trying to cut; if you cut immediately like I did, it will “squash” the loaf down, which is okay by me, because there is nothing quite as good as bread hot from the oven, but it’s not as pretty.

Russian Black Bread | www.thefreshcooky.com

Ain’t she a beauty! Slather on some butter, slop up some wonderful sauce with it, toast it for breakfast, anyway you eat it, you will love it. Give it a try with Italian Wedding Soup or Sunday Pot Roast, or Creamy Pumpkin Curry Soup.

Russian Black Bread | www.thefreshcooky.com

While I don’t think this is an authentic black bread, (after living in Germany, I would say it is not) but it is a lovely addition to your bread making repertoire.

Like this recipe?
Don’t forget to give it a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ star rating and comment below the recipe!

Kathleen Pope, The Fresh Cooky.

About Kathleen Pope

Recipe Innovator | Food Photographer | Food Writer

Hi, I’m Kathleen Pope. Here at The Fresh Cooky you will find easy, mostly from-scratch, trusted recipes for all occasions. From speedy dinners to tasty desserts, with easy step-by-step instructions. I am here to help teach you how to make mouthwatering recipes without spending hours in the kitchen. Read more about Kathleen here.

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  1. Do you have any tips about making bread in the the bread machine at high altitude. We have been in Colorado (Fort Collins) for 11 yrs now, and I have had no success in making my bread in the bread machine. If not, I’ll just use it for preparing the dough and finish it off in the oven. I have everything needed to make this except the bread flour. Do you think AP flour could be substituted?

    1. My bread machine is going on 30 years old and I’ve never loved the shape and how it baked up for the final bake. That being said I don’t remember having issues when it baked right and didn’t necessarily adjust things. I bake at 5280 feet above sea level, so it should be okay. I do think you can sub AP flour, I have used unbleached AP flour in it a couple of times.

  2. 5 stars
    Just bought a Hitachi bread maker second hand. Used your recipe and wow, it is AH-MAZING! I love it’s texture! I modified the amount of yeast to 2 tsp since the recipes I’ve used previous used no more than that and I didn’t want it to spill over. I omitted the fennel so it would be kid friendly. Even my super taster husband likes it! Thanks for sharing!!!

  3. FWIW…you are really making my life hard. I am trying soooo hard to avoid carbs, and then you post this recipe, and I’m like…”ooooh, I need to make that!” Thanks for nothing, friend! 😂