Becky Luigart-Stayner; Melanie J. Clarke
12 servings

These loaves of sour rye were everyday fare for Mennonites living on the Russian steppes. They were made with a natural sourdough starter and baked in ovens that were fueled by prairie grasses. In this recipe, yogurt replaces the sourdough starter.

How to Make It

Step 1

Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion; cover and cook 10 minutes or until golden brown, stirring frequently. Remove from heat; cool completely.

Step 2

Dissolve sugar and yeast in warm water in large bowl; let stand 5 minutes. Stir in yogurt, caraway seeds, salt, and pepper. Add egg; stir well with a whisk.

Step 3

Lightly spoon flours into dry measuring cups, and level with a knife. Add 2 cups bread flour and rye flour to yeast mixture, 1 cup at a time, stirring until a soft dough forms. Stir in chopped onion. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead until smooth and elastic (about 8 minutes); add enough of remaining flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, to prevent dough from sticking to hands (dough will feel tacky).

Step 4

Place dough in a large bowl coated with cooking spray, turning to coat top. Cover and let rise in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, 45 minutes or until doubled in size. (Gently press two fingers into dough. If indentation remains, the dough has risen enough.) Punch dough down; cover and let rest 5 minutes.

Step 5

With floured hands, knead dough 5 times. Shape into a round 7-inch loaf. Place loaf on a large baking sheet covered with parchment paper. Cover and let rise 30 minutes or until doubled in size. Make 3 diagonal cuts 1/4-inch deep across top of loaf using a sharp knife.

Step 6

Preheat oven to 350°.

Step 7

Combine 1 tablespoon water and egg yolk; gently brush over dough. Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt. Bake at 350° for 35 minutes or until loaf sounds hollow when tapped. Cool on a wire rack.

Ratings & Reviews

4kris2's Review

February 22, 2010
I am a bread maker, and when I saw this recipe in Cooking Light I had to make it. Big success, with me and my friends. The onion in this recipe takes it to a new level of rye bread! Make it! I am without a proper oven, but will try this in my toaster oven because I have to have it!!

MelissaC23's Review

January 04, 2011
I made this recipe today, as written. The dough took twice the time to rise as stated, but maybe this was because my kitchen was cool (January). It was delicious and I will make it again!

Heather90's Review

December 29, 2008
I really enjoyed making and eating this bread. I'm no avid bread maker, although I have tried a few recipes, but this was very easy and had good results. I chilled my dough over night after the first rise, (becuase I wanted fresh bread the next day, but wouldn't have time to prepare it all) and then let it sit for 30 minuets before baking it. Because I chilled it the center of the bread wasn't all the way cooked, but that was OK, the crust had a great texture and overall the flavor was great. Next time I would let it sit out much longer if I chill it.