Recipe: Russian Black Bread

Title: Russian Black Bread
Categories: Breads, Russian
Yield: 2 servings

2 c Water -flour
1/4 c Molasses 3 c Medium rye flour
1/4 c Cider vinegar 1/2 c Whole wheat flour
1/4 c (1/2 stick) unsalted butter 1 c Unprocessed bran flakes
1 oz Unsweetened chocolate 2 tb Caraway seeds
2 Envelopes dry yeast 1 tb Salt
1 tb Sugar 2 ts Instant coffee powder
1/2 c Warm water (105 - 115 F) 2 ts Minced shallot
3 c All-purpose flour or bread 1/2 ts Fennel seeds

Makes 2 round loaves

Additional all-purpose flour

Cornmeal or semolina flour

Heat 2 cups water, molasses, vinegar, butter and chocolate inheavy small
saucepan over low heat until butter and chocolate melt, stirring
frequently. Cool to 105 F to 115 F.

Sprinkle yeast and sugar over warm water in small bowl; stir to dissolve.
Let stand until foamy, 10 minutes.

Mix all-purpose, rye and whole wheat flours in medium bowl. Measure 2 cups
flour mixture into large bowl of heavy electric mixer fitted with paddle.
Add bran, caraway, salt, coffee, shallot and fennel. Blend in vinegar and
yeast mixtures on low speed until smooth. Increase speed to medium and mix
5 minutes to develop gluten. Decrease speed to low and stir in enough
remaining flour mixture 1/2 cup at a time to form dough that pulls away
from sides of bowl. Knead dough on floured surface until just smooth and
elastic, about 3 minutes, kneading in additional all-purpose flour if very
stick; dough will be slightly tacky.

Grease large bowl. Add dough, turning to coat entire surface. cover bowl
with plastic. Let rise in warm draft-free area until doubled, about 1

Sprinkle 2 baking sheets with cornmeal. Gently knead dough on lightly
floured surface until deflated. Cut in half. Knead each piece into round.
Place on prepared sheets. cover with waxed paper or towel. Let rise until
doubled in volume, about 45 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 F. Slash X into of loaves, using serrated knife. Bake
until well browned and loaves sound hollow when tapped on bottom, abut 50
minutes. Immediately transfer to racks. Cool completely before slicing.

Bon Appetit

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