Latvian Dark Rye Bread Recipe
Recipe type: Bread
Cuisine: Latvian
Serves: 4 loaves
Rich and tangy with hints of caramel, this dark rye bread keeps for weeks and makes wonderful country bread slices for soup or sour cream and chives. It uses a natural sourdough process, without artificial yeast, and keeps for 2 weeks after baking.
  • 3 kg rye flour
  • 5 l water (lukewarm)
  • 1 handful salt
  • 2 handfuls honey or sugar
  • 2 handfuls caraway seeds (or cumin seeds)
  • 2 kg wheat flour
  • 2 handfuls salt
  • 500g brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  1. Mix together the rye flour, water, 1 handful of salt, 2 handfuls of honey and 2 handfuls of caraaway seeds. Knead very hard and let sit at room temperature, covered with a cloth, in a bucket during 4 days.
  2. After 4 days, knead again and add the wheat flour, remaining salt and brown sugar and wait 3 more days.
  3. After 3 days, the bread dough should be ready to shape into loaves.
  4. Heat bread oven at 300C.
  5. Wet your hands with warm water. Divide the dough into 4 equal parts and form 4 round loaves.
  6. If you are using a wood-fired oven, remove ashes and coals before baking.
  7. Make an egg wash with the egg and brush the loaves. Use a knife to cut a cross across the top of each loaf.
  8. If you want to use a traditional Latvian leaf (don't know the name), set each loaf on a leaf.
  9. Bake in the oven during 1 hour 10 minutes.
  10. Check that the bread is baked by knocking on the underside. It should sound hollow.
  11. Wait until it has cooled down. Store in cloth or plastic bags.
Recipe by Frog Mom at