This is a "tried & true" recipe for Russian Black Bread that I've had for years. I have no idea where I got it from, perhaps the back of the rye flour bag or yeast envelope. Prep time includes rising times. January 2009: Recently while going through a box of old cookbooks (stored in my attic), I came across the original copy of this recipe. It is from a 1945 newspaper advertisement for the National Biscuit Company's (aka "Nabisco" ) 100% Bran Cereal. (BTW, Instant coffee has been commercially marketed in the USA since 1910.)
- 4 cups rye flour
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 cups 100% all-bran cereal
- 2 tablespoons caraway seeds, crushed
- 2 teaspoons instant coffee powder
- 2 teaspoons onion powder
- 1⁄2 teaspoon fennel seed, crushed
- 2 (1/4 ounce) packages active dry yeast
- 2 1⁄2 cups water
- 1⁄4 cup vinegar
- 1⁄4 cup dark molasses
- 1 ounce unsweetened chocolate
- 1⁄4 cup butter or 1⁄4 cup margarine
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- 1⁄2 cup cold water
- Combine flours. In a large bowl, thoroughly mix 2 1/3 cups flour mixture, sugar, salt, cereal, caraway seed, coffee powder, onion powder, fennel seed and undissolved yeast.
- In a sauce pan combine 2 1/2 cups water, vinegar, molasses, chocolate and butter.
- Heat liquid mixture over low heat until liquids are very warm (120°-130°F), butter and chocolate do not have to be melted.
- Gradually add heated liquid mixture to dry ingredients and beat (with electric mixer) for 2 minutes at medium speed, scraping bowl occasionally. Add 1/2 cup flour mixture. Beat at high speed for 2 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally. Stir in enough additional flour mixture to make a soft dough. Turn dough on to a lightly floured board. Cover dough and let rest for 15 minutes.
- Knead dough until smooth and elastic (about 10-15 minutes), dough may be sticky. Place dough in a greased bowl, turning dough to grease the top. Cover bowl and place in a warm, draft free place to rise until doubled in bulk (about 1 hour).
- Punch dough down; turn out onto a lightly floured board. Divide dough in half. Shape each half into a ball, about 5 inches in diameter. Place each ball into the center of a greased 8-inch round cake pan. Cover; let rise in a warm, draft free place until doubled in bulk (about 1 hour). Bake at 350°F for 40-45 minutes, or until done.
- Meanwhile, combine cornstarch and cold water. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture stats to boil; continue cooking mixture for 1 minute stirring constantly.
- As soon as bread is baked, brush cornstarch mixture over top of loaves. Return bread to oven and bake 2-3 minutes longer, or until glaze is set. Remove loaves from pans and cool on wire racks.
- **I have made this recipe both"as is" and also omitting the fennel seeds and onion powder. Omitting the fennel seed and onion powder changes the flavor a bit, but it is still a very good bread.