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 of 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 the 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 a half a cup of remaining mixed flours at a time until the dough clears the sides of the bowl and begins to work its way up paddle. It will be very sticky but firm.
6. Scrape dough off the paddle, flour counter well, and knead to make the springy yet dense dough. You might not use all of the flour
7. Form into a ball and place it 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 the 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 it 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