Russian Black Bread Recipe
3 ½ to 4 cups all-purpose flour
4 cups rye flour
2 cups whole bran cereal
2 packages active dry yeast
2 tablespoons instant coffee crystals
2 tablespoons caraway seed
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon fennel seed, crushed
2 ½ cups water
1/3 cup molasses
¼ cup butter or margarine
1 square (1 ounce) unsweetened chocolate
2 tbsp vinegar
1/3 cup cold water
1 tbsp cornstarch
In a large mixer bowl combine 3 cups of the all-purpose flour, 1 cup of the rye flour, the whole bran cereal, the yeast, coffee crystals, caraway seed, sugar, fennel seed, and 1 tablespoon salt. In a saucepan heat together the 2 ½ cups water, molasses, butter or margarine, chocolate, and vinegar just till warm (115o to 120o) and chocolate and butter are almost melted; stir constantly. Add molasses mixture to flour mixture in mixer bowl. Beat at low speed of electric mixer ½ minute, scraping bowl. Beat 3 minutes at high speed. Stir in remaining 3 cups rye flour and as much of the remaining all-purpose flour as you can mix in with a spoon.
Turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead in enough remaining all-purpose flour to make a moderately stiff dough that is smooth and elastic (6 to 9 minutes total). Dough may be slightly sticky because of the rye flour). Shape into a ball. Place in a greased bowl; turn once. Cover; let rise in a warm place till nearly double. (1 ½ to 1 ½ hours).
Punch down; divide in half. Shape each half into a ball. Place on greased baking sheets. Flatten slightly with palm of hand to a 6- to 7-inch diameter. Cover; let rise till nearly double (30 to 45 minutes). Bake in a 375o oven for 50 to 60 minutes or till well browned and bread sounds hollow when tapped. Remove from baking sheets; cool.
Meanwhile, in a small saucepan combine the ½ cup cold water and cornstarch. Cook and stir till thickened and bubbly; cook 1 minute more. Brush over hot bread. Make 2 loaves.
Sandy is a food lover who has been into food business for more than 20 years. She shares her experience in cooking tips, recipes as well as healthy cooking way.