Russian black bread is a staple in the Russian diet. It is served daily. It has a long history and is even credited for keeping folks alive after the Nazi’s invaded when ingredients were very difficult to come by.
Russian black bread has been a symbol of people’s well-being. The Slavs believed that people who shared a loaf became friends forever. I love that, it is pretty much my whole premise for International Cuisine. Sharing bread, a meal or a simple cup of tea, is the ultimate form of hospitality and a treasured memory.
The Russian black bread is black and sour, made with rye and a sour starter or leaven. It was much cheaper and more nutritious than white bread. The different grades of rye bread indicated one’s wealth. This recipe has numerous ingredients to make a rich and hearty loaf. Today the bread is ubiquitous, and we loved it with the beetroot soup known as Borscht.
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Russian Black Bread
A hearty and delicious taste of Russia. You will love this Russian Black Bread!
- 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
For the glaze
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- 1/2 cup cold water
Combine flours in a bowl.
In another 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, butter and chocolate do not have to be fully melted.
Gradually add heated liquid mixture to dry ingredients and beat with an electric mixer for 2 minutes at medium speed, scraping bowl occasionally.
Add 1/2 cup flour mixture at a time, 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 with a tea towel and let rest for 15 minutes.
Knead dough until smooth and elastic this takes 10 minutes or so, dough may be sticky. Place dough in a greased bowl, turning dough to grease the top.
Cover bowl with a tea towel and place in a warm, draft free place to rise until doubled in size (about 1 hour).
Punch dough down; turn out onto a lightly floured board.
Divide dough in half. Shape each half into a ball, about 5-6 inches in diameter.
Place each ball into the center of a greased 8-inch round cake pan.
Cover with a tea towel and let rise in a warm, draft free place until doubled in size again about 1 hour.
Bake at 350°F for 40-45 minutes, or until done.
When the bread is nearly done, 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 done, 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.