Polish Rye Bread {Chleb Żytni}


My very first post had to be about bread. My very favorite food. Crunchy on the outside and moist and tangy on the inside. In an average Polish home bread is eaten 3 times a day, breakfast, second breakfast (aka lunch, normally eaten on the go, at school/work) and supper (the evening meal). There is a dinner in between, a hot meal of the day, the meat and potatoes kind of meal. I know, that’s a lot. We love food.

If you’ve ever been to a european bakery you will know, that there is a gazillion varieties of bread. Wheat, rye, pumpernickel, with seeds, no seeds, white, dark, round, oval… you get the picture.

My all time favorite is rye-wheat with sunflower seeds. This is what I’ve made for you today. I’ve come up with two variations, but you will not need a science degree to make either. The longer version needs a starter (I will teach you how to make one next week), and the shorter version just needs yeast. Starter is what gives bread the tanginess of sourdough. Both are tasty and great vessels for smoked meats or cheese.

Polish Rye Bread {Chleb Żytni}

  • Yields: 1 loaf
  • Prep Time: 10 min
  • Cook Time: 1 hr


  • 1 1/2cup rye flour (I buy mine in bulk, at the local health food store)
  • 2 cup unbleached bread flour (cause why would you want your flour bleached)
  • 3/4 cup starter - you may skip this
  • 1 tsp bread yeast
  • 1 tbs sea salt
  • 1/2 c of seeds of choice (I added sunflower and pumpkin seeds) - you may skip this 
  • 400 ml of pretty warm water if you're using starter (or 500 ml, if not starter)


  1. I combine all ingredients in a Kitchen Aid dough mixer with the regular cake mixing attachment (not the hook), but it can be hand mixed it in a bowl, no needing required. Mix just until combined. You should be able to move the spoon or spatula through the dough. The consistency should be pretty wet, like in the photo below. Feel free to add water if too dry. Again, this is not science. It will come out.

  2. Transfer dough into a 9x5 baking pan (I like non-stick, but if you’re using glass or ceramic baking dish, I’d grease the inside), cover with a clean dish towel and let rest/rise until the top of dough reaches the edges, like in the photo below. Depending how warm it is, it may take 2-4 hours.

  3. Bake at 460 degrees for 10 minutes, reduce temperature to 390 and bake for another hour, or so (if you feel it’s getting too burned and it’s not been an hour, take it out). 

  4. Take out and let cool, if you can stand not digging in, cause it will smell unbelievably delicious. I doubt you will need to store it, but if you do, wrap in a paper towel and place in a plastic ziplock bag. 


Eat & share, cause that’s what we do. Congratulations, you are now part Polish. 


    1. I can’t see why not, I have not tried it in a bread machine… but honestly, this recipe is so easy it’s not worth getting is all out and set up… no kneading necessary, just mix, pour into loaf pan and let rise 🙂

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