Pumpernickel Bread

My husband served his mission in
Russia and he loved their black bread. So for our bread making competition he
decided to make Russian black bread, which ended up tasting a lot more like
pumpernickel. He won the bread competition, mainly because Lisa loves him and
would have chosen his bread anyways. This is turning into a bread week, just
realized that! I hope you like this, my dad loved it!
Makes 2 loaves
2 packages (1 1/2 tablespoons) active dry yeast
Pinch of sugar
1/2 cup warm water (105 to 115 degrees)
2 cups water
1/4 cup molasses
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 ounce unsweetened chocolate
1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
3 cups medium rye flour
3 cups unbleached, all-purpose or bread flour
1 cup bran
2 tablespoons caraway seeds
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon instant espresso powder
1 tablespoon minced shallots
1/4 cup cornmeal
1 tablespoon unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon caraway seeds
1. In a small bowl, combine yeast and sugar with
warm water. Stir to dissolve and let stand until foamy, about 10 minutes.
2. Heat two cups water, molasses, vinegar, butter
and chocolate until the butter and chocolate are melted. Set aside.
3. Combine whole-wheat, rye and white flours in a
large bowl. Set aside.
4. In bowl of a heavy mixer fitted with a paddle
attachment, combine two cups mixed flours, bran, 2 tablespoons caraway seeds,
fennel seeds, salt, espresso and shallots. At low speed, add yeast and
chocolate mixtures. Mix until smooth and beat at medium speed for three
minutes. (If you don’t like whole seeds in your bread, grinding them in a spice
grinder, coffee grinder or mortar and pestle allows their flavor to come
through without the texture. I always make my black bread this way.)
5. At low speed, add half cup of remaining mixed
flours at a time, until dough clears sides of bowl and begins to work its way
up paddle. It will be very sticky but firm.
6. Scrape dough off paddle, flour counter well,
and knead to make springy yet dense dough. You might not use all of the flour
7. Form into a ball and place in a greased bowl.
Turn once to grease top. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm area
until doubled, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Combine cornmeal, flour and remaining
caraway seeds, if using, and set aside.
8. Gently deflate dough. Turn out onto a lightly
floured surface. Divide into two portions and form into two rounds or loaves.
Loaves should be placed in a loaf pan sprayed with nonstick spray, while rounds
should be placed seam down on a greased or parchment-lined baking sheet.
Sprinkle loaves with cornmeal mixture, if using. Cover loosely with plastic
wrap. Let rise until doubled and puffy, about 45 minutes to one hour. Slash an
X into the top of a round before baking it; no such slashing is needed for
bread in a loaf pan.
9. Bake in a preheated 350°F oven for 45 to 50
minutes or until loaves are well-browned. Baking time in your oven may vary,
check the bread at 35 minutes. Remove from baking sheet to cool completely on a



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