Dark Finnish Rye Bread what am I doing wrong?

I’m trying to replicate the traditional Finnish Rye Sourdough Bread Ruisleipa. Which should come out looking very dark and artisan. I’m using my bread machine and the following recipe:

  • 1 1/2 cups of dark Rye sourdough starter
  • 2 cups stone ground dark rye flour (Bob’s Red Mill flour)
  • 2 tablespoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon dark molasses
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temp
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 3 large eggs

Everything is brought up to room temperature. The bread machine is set on Basic and Dark crust.
It smells great, tastes awesome but is very light in color when it should be very dark.

So what am I missing?

The loaf I just posted here was 50:50 rye and bread flour, also with 1 tbsp molasses. I think my crumb/interior is about the same shade as yours–and I think the molasses amount is what impacts this the most.

The difference is in the crust color. I’m not familiar with bread machines, but do you have an “extra dark” crust setting? Or an ability to manually change the temp?

Just have light, medium and dark settings for crust color. I’ve noticed on several dark rye bread recipes they use Cocoa powder and several tablespoons of dark molasses and also brown sugar. The crust is fine but I want to achieve that dark chocolate inner color…just didn’t think they actually used Cocoa for that. Texture, smell, taste and current crust is good as is. What I’m going for is something like the traditional look and flavor:

You might find this recipe and the comments helpful to look at