Tue, 21 Mar 2023

Mustard bread baked according to a classical Soviet recipe is the perfect breakfast, served with butter and homemade jam.

Mustard bread is a wheat loaf with a tasty yellowish inside and a tender crust. Unlike the usual Russian 'nareznoy'bread, this bread is made by adding mustard oil to the dough. This does not mean that this bread has a bitter taste reminiscent of mustard. On the contrary, this bread is softer and more like a dessert bread, at least it seems to me.

This type of bread was quite common in the Soviet Union. A recipe for this bread dates back to the 1940s. However, the modern state standard for baking mustard bread was introduced in 1988. It was baked in different shapes, brick and oval, as I recall. The oval ones had special notches in the shape of a spike so that the bread would rise evenly and not tear.

Mustard oil makes this bread not only tasty but also healthy. Mustard oil improves blood composition and neutralizes toxins thanks to its high vitamin and mineral content. It also helps the nervous system and counteracts any negative effects of everyday stress by removing harmful wastes from the body and boosts one's immune system.

The aroma of this bread takes me back to my childhood. When I was at primary school in the Cherkizovsky district of Moscow, after school we used to go to the small bakery at the nearby bread factory to buy fresh bread. To be honest, any freshly baked bread seemed incredibly delicious to me then, as it does now. But the smell of mustard bread was especially vivid. Recently, I was lucky enough to find some organic, unrefined mustard oil, and I immediately wanted to make bread with it.

I used a classic recipe from the 1940s book, 350 Varieties of Bread, by Plotnikov and Kolesnikov. Baking mustard bread takes time; when preparing the dough one has to make sourdough. When ready, the dough is kneaded and leavened in several stages. It takes patience, but the reward is the exquisite taste of homemade bread.

Mustard bread is best eaten the day after baking. I find it to be the perfect breakfast with butter and homemade jam.

Ingredients for one loaf (1 kg):

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For the sourdough:

  • High quality flour - 350 g
  • Water - 245 ml
  • Live yeast - 7 g

For the dough:

  • Flour - 350 g
  • Salt - 9 g
  • Water - 110 ml

For the third kneading of the dough:

  • Mustard oil - 56 g
  • Sugar - 42 g


1. Dissolve the yeast in warm water and mix with the sourdough flour.

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2. Cover the dough and leave it in a warm place for 2.5 hours.

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3. After 2.5 hours:

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4. Melt the salt in water and add to the leavened dough with the flour. Combine the ingredients, cover and leave for 15 minutes. Mix with an electric mixer for 10 minutes. The dough should be smooth and elastic, so that when you squeeze it the pressure comes back. Cover and leave in a warm place to rise for another 2 hours.

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5. After 2 hours:

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6. Mix the oil and sugar, and knead the dough for 7 minutes. Cover and leave to rise in a warm place for 1.5 hours.

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7. Shape the dough into a rectangular sheet and fold the edges in towards the middle of the sheet. Fold the dough in half, pinch the seam and lay the dough over the seam. Roll the dough slightly to form an oval shape. Preheat the oven to 230℃.

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Cover and leave to rise at room temperature for about 30-40 minutes. The dough needs to rise so that the bread is puffy on the inside. But it's also important not to overdo it, otherwise it may fall off.

8. Use a sharp knife to make spike-shaped cuts in the bread. Gently smear the bread with water, using a soft brush.

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Put it in an oven preheated to 230℃. Pour half a glass of boiling water on the bottom of the tray to create steam.

After 10 minutes, remove the tray with the water.

9. Bake until you get a nice baking smell and the bread sounds muffled. It takes about 30-35 minutes.

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Leave to cool on a wire rack.

10. Slice after 40 minutes or an hour.

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It's recommended to eat it after waiting an hour or, even better, the day after baking. Enjoy by spreading on butter and homemade jam!

READ MORE:How to bake the most delicious wheat bread - Moscow Kalach (RECIPE)

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