Just for something different, (and because I love to cook and bake), I will be starting a regular Monday feature. I will present a recipe from my files. I have a vast collection, so choosing just one a week will be a challenge (for me).
Be advised that I use real food in my kitchen, butter, eggs, whole milk, real sugar etc.. I do not hold with using chemicalized basterdized versions of the real thing.
This week I will share the recipe for my favorite dark rye bread, and yes I do make my own. I do own a bread machine and it’s only function, for me, is to mix up the bread dough while I am busy doing something else. I have baked in it, but do not care for the results. A big plus, besides the ability to multi-task, is that the machine provides the perfect environment for the first rise of the bread.
Russian Black Bread
- 1 1/2 cups water (warmed to 110 degrees)
- 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
- 2 1/2 cups bread flour
- 1 cup rye flour (I use dark rye flour)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons molasses
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon instant coffee granules
- 1 tablespoon caraway seed
- 1/4 teaspoon fennel seed (optional)
- 1 package active dry yeast
- 4 teaspoons vital wheat gluten
- Place ingredients into the bread machine in order suggested by the manufacturer.
Or place all liquid ingredients in a large bowl, add the coffee granules and brown sugar, stir well. Sprinkle yeast over the liquid and stir well. Add the rye flour, cocoa powder and seeds. Stir well. Mix in the rest of the flour. You may need to add more flour, depending on humidity conditions. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and kneed well, until smooth and elastic. (This dough should be just slightly sticky.) Place dough in a large oiled bowl, turning to coat surface. Cover and put in warm place until doubled, this should take about an hour. Punch down, form into either 1 large loaf or two smaller ones. Place in well greased bread pans, lightly oil surface (I use olive oil for this) cover and let rise until double. Bake at 350 (325 for glass pan) for about 30 to 40 minutes. Bread is done when it sounds hollow when tapped. Remove from pan to wire rack (brush top of loaf with a bit of melted butter if you want a softer crust) and let cool.
This bread makes excellent sandwiches!