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I had a mixed experience with this bread. It turned out one dense, dark loaf, but it was paradoxically dry and yet, undercooked. It may have to do with my higher altitude and/or my oven temperature, which I intend to check in the morning. That said, this is a hearty, heavy, nutritious bread. "Peasant bread," my Mom called it -- as a compliment. It's delicious in it's present state with butter, or smeared with cream cheese and topped with smoked salmon. I followed the recipe quite closely, with only one substitution and one minor addition. I didn't have the dark corn syrup, so used the same amount of blackstrap molasses instead. I also added 1 tablespoon of unsweetened cocoa for color. Other than that, there wasn't much in the ingredients to fool with -- and often, simple is best. I did use the stand mixer to knead the rye four into the sponge. Made my life much easier. I shaped it by hand, and after the third rise, *I* was ready for it to go in the oven! I will try making this bread again next week, and will post a revised rating & review. Thank you for posting!

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FireRaven January 19, 2010
Romanov Russian Black Bread