Russian Black Bread

READY IN: 3hrs 15mins
YIELD: 1 loaf




  • Place all of the ingredients in a large bowl, reserving 1 cup of the bread flour. Mix until a sticky dough begins to form.
  • Mix in the remaining cup of flour and knead for 7 minutes, or until the dough becomes soft and elastic, but may still be somewhat sticky to the touch. Depending on the day's humidity, you may need to add a tablespoon or more white flour to achieve a proper sponge. Cover the bowl and let the dough rise until doubled, 45 minutes to 1 hour.
  • After the first rise, shape the dough into an oblong loaf. Place in a greased 9" x 5" or 10" x 5" bread pan, cover with greased plastic, and let rise until almost doubled, about 60 to 90 minutes.
  • While the dough is rising, preheat the oven to 375°F When the dough has almost doubled, brush or spray the top with water, dust with pumpernickel or rye flour, and score (slash) the top.
  • Bake the bread for about 35 minutes, until it sounds hollow when you thump the bottom, or the inside measures 205°F on a digital thermometer. Remove the loaf from the oven and cool it on a rack before slicing.