Russian Rye Bread Recipe for the Bread Machine

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Make yourself a delicious and easy light rye bread recipe using your bread machine for a hands-off whole-grain loaf.

Traditionally, this is a sourdough rye bread and while that can be a wonderful thing, we’re going to use commercial yeast and the machine for something a bit simpler on the busier days of life.

The earthy flavor and hearty texture make this a perfect bread for sandwiches and side dishes. 

Slices of dark rye bread sit on a board with the remaining loaf sitting ona white cloth behind them. Text overlay reads: Bread Machine Russian Rye Bread

​Simple Ingredients

I do like to keep the ingredients in my bread recipes simple and minimal. There are a few extra things in this recipe that may seem unusual or unnecessary but it adds in to make something extra flavorful.


The coffee adds flavor and color to the final product but at no point will it actually taste like coffee. Feel free to use a bit leftover from your breakfast or make something quick with instant coffee to add here. 


I used blackstrap molasses because it’s generally what I have on hand and what we prefer. It’s definitely darker and a bit more bitter but we don’t mind that. You can use whatever you have in the pantry. I haven’t tried it but a dark honey could likely be substituted if you simply don’t like molasses. 

A loaf of dark bread sits on a white cloth on a table.

Rye Flour Options

I used a medium rye flour, again because its generally what I have on hand. Howevery, you could dark rye flour or light rye flour or even pumpernickel flour if desired. Depending on your grocery store, you may only have ‘rye flour’ as an option, just use that – the recipe will turn out fine. 

White Flour Options

To keep this bread a bit lighter, I used some bread flour mixed in with the rye flour. You could likely all-purpose flour as well but my experience with the bread machine finds that bread flour gives the best results in the end. 

Cocoa Powder

The cocoa powder adds and interesting depth of flavor and a dark color but much like the coffee, the final loaf will not taste like chocolate. 


I included caraway and fennel seeds in the recipe. You can skip these if they simply aren’t flavors you enjoy. 

Slices of dark rye bread sit on a board with the remaining loaf sitting ona white cloth behind them.

Yeast Choices

I use instant yeast for ease in every bread machine recipe I test. If you want to use active dry yeast or bread machine yeast, simply follow your manufacturer’s instructions but I can’t say for certainty in what amount.

To Prevent Sticking

I had multiple loaves become hopelessly stuck to my bread pan and had to learn a trick or two to prevent it. Here’s what I do, if you’d like to try it:

After the final kneading cycle (for my machine there’s a 2 second third cycle of punching down), I remove the bread dough quickly from the machine, remove the kneading paddle and then spray the pan with some non-stick spray. Then I put the dough back in, close the lid and let the machine finish its rising and baking.

I use needle nose pliers to remove the paddle.

A loaf of Russian Rye Brread sits on a white cloth.

This very simple step has stopped bread from sticking to the paddle hopelessly and coming out of the pan a broken mess.

My bread machine instructions do not tell me that this is necessary – meaning the bread could bake with the paddle attached but I found it much easier to remove the paddle.

About My Bread Machine

This recipe was tested on a Welbilt Bread Machine. I bought it at a thrift store for $6.50. It makes great bread but every machine is different. Please follow any specific instructions provided with your machine if they differ from how this recipe is written.

How to Serve

Because this is a hearty rye bread, it’s amazing with strong flavored fillings for sandwiches. Think of strong, sturdy cheeses, like swiss cheese and flavorful smoked meats like salami, etc. The great texture of the bread can stand up to more substantial fillings as well without breaking apart. 

Slices of dark rye bread sit on a board with the remaining loaf sitting ona white cloth behind them.

Serve thick slices for dipping into flavorful soups. Spread it with butter and serve with salads.

It does toast up quite nicely to have with breakfast eggs or even slathered in your favorite nut butter. 

How to Store

Place any leftover cooled bread into a bread bag or airtight container where it should stay fresh for up to 5 days at room temperature.

For longer term storage, place into a freezer bag or wrap in plastic wrap and freeze. You can freeze the entire loaf or pre-slice and freeze for later. Freezing slices is nice for just grabbing a few now and then as needed.

Let frozen bread thaw on the counter prior to serving. Use up any frozen bread within 6 months for best flavor.

Slices of dark rye bread sit on a board with the remaining loaf sitting ona white cloth behind them.

Russian Rye Bread Recipe - Bread Machine Version

Yield: 1 Loaf
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 45 minutes

Make a simple and dark bread machine rye bread with this easy and flavorful recipe! 


  • 1 Cup Water
  • 1/3 Cup Coffee
  • 3 Tablespoons Molasses
  • 2 teaspoons Salt
  • 2 Tablespoons Melted Butter or Olive Oil
  • 2 2/3 Cup Bread Flour
  • 1 1/3 Cup Medium Rye Flour
  • 3 Tablespoons Cocoa Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Caraway Seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon Fennel Seed
  • 2 teaspoons Instant Yeast


  1. Place everything in the machine bread pan in the order written (or as directed by your machine's instructions). Usually wet ingredients are followed by salt and the dry ingredients with the yeast being added last on top of the flour, but again follow your bread machine manual for best results.
  2. Put the bread machine pan in the bread maker and close the lid.
  3. Select the wheat dough cycle (or select dough cycle recommended by your machine for rye). Select medium crust (or desired crust color). Use a 2-pound loaf setting.
  4. Press Start.
  5. When done, remove the pan from the machine, run a butter knife around the sides of the loaf pan. Using oven mitts, turn pan upside down and gently shake to remove bread from pan and let bread cool to room temperature on a wire rack before slicing.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 18 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 133Total Fat: 3gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 3mgSodium: 248mgCarbohydrates: 24gFiber: 2gSugar: 3gProtein: 4g

I try but cannot guarantee this nutritional information is 100% accurate.

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