Wheat-Rye Bread with Kefir

About a year ago we started using kefir as a part of our daily nutrition. Kefir has multiple benefits for your body and can be used as a plain drink, a smoothie, and can also be mixed into pancakes, breads and other baked goods since it contains some beneficial yeasts. Fresh (24 hour kefir) is very mild and yogurt-like tasting. After 48 hours it becomes somewhat sour and after 72 hours quite sour. It is still good to use, it just depends on what you prefer. Today I was experimenting a little with the 72-hour kefir just to see what kind of flavor my bread will have. In the back of my mind I had this idea that it may taste like sourdough bread…

 WHEAT-RYE BREAD WITH KEFIR            Printable recipe


  • 4 cups (500 g) bread flour (wheat)
  • 1 cup (100 g) rye flour
  • 1 tsp yeast
  • 1 ¼ tsp salt
  • ¾ cup (175 ml) kefir (room temperature)
  • 1 ¼ (300 ml) warm water
  • Flour for kneading
  • ½ cup (125 ml) water for baking


  1. In a bowl of a stand mixer combine wheat and rye flour, add yeast and keep mixing for a minute or two.
  2. Now add kefir, warm water and salt and keep mixing for about 5 minutes. Let it rest for 10 minutes and again mix for another 5.
  3. Put the dough on a flour dusted surface and knead for a few minutes. Form into a ball, place it back into bowl, cover it and let it rise for about 1 – 1 ½ hour.
  4. When the dough looks double its size, place it back on the working surface, knead it thoroughly and form it into a desired shape. Dust it with flour, cover it and let it rise for about 30 minutes.
  5. While the dough is resting, heat the oven to450 F. Placea baking dish (oven safe) into the oven for 10 minutes to heat it.
  6. With a sharp knife cut a lengthwise ½ inch slit in the bread. Pick it up from the working surface and place it in the hot baking dish. Place a ½ cup of water on the bottom of the oven. This will provide necessary moisture and the bread will get a nice thick, crunchy crust.
  7. Lower the oven temperature to 430 F and bake for about 40 minutes.
  8. Cool down completely and enjoy!

*** This bread made with sour kefir tastes so much like a real sourdough bread!


16 thoughts on “Wheat-Rye Bread with Kefir

    1. Thank you Smidge! 🙂 When you bake with kefir you almost don’t need yeast. I make my own kefir from kefir grains that I ordered a while ago online. Since they multiply you can always share them with friends.

  1. One of my friends, here in Hong Kong, makes Kefir from scratch. Maybe she can give me a little so I can try to make your bread. So I noticed that you baked this loaf in a pan instead of on a baking sheet, any purpose behind that? Looks so crunchy on outside and soft on the inside.

    1. Bobbi, if your friend can give you some kefir grains you can make your own kefir at home. Since the kefir grains multiply, you can then share it with other friends. 🙂 I always bake my bread in a pan just because pan limits its expansion and gives it a nice shape. The only bread I bake on the stone is the french baguette. I was also thinking kefir can be used in those Welsh cakes of yours!

  2. I’m not a fan of drinking kefir but baking it in bread is something I could probably endorse whole-heartedly.

    1. Emily, kefir is great for baking! Your pancakes or waffles will be so much fluffier and better tasting with kefir. As of drinking it – many people don’t like it. I do, since I had it as I was growing up (my grandma made it) and I used to the taste.

  3. Every so often I decide to give kefir another try–I love yogurt so much I can’t imagine I wouldn’t like it. In fact I bought some this week. If I still haven’t come around it’s good to know I can make this–which is what I usually end up doing with it–it really bakes well, as your lovely loaf proves!

  4. Hi Sara, thanks for stopping by! 🙂
    I love baking with kefir. Have you ever tried “ustipke” in Bosnia (traditional Bosnian breakfast kind-of-pancakes)? I make them on weekends sometimes with kefir and they are amazing!

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