I came up with this recipe in an attempt to re-create a wonderful Russian bread I enjoyed as a child. It makes a dense, crusty loaf that dark-bread lovers are sure to savor.
Recommended: 78 Christmas Potluck Desserts for 12 or More
VERIFIED BY Taste of Home Test Kitchen
- 4 to 4-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 4 cups rye flour
- 2 cups All-Bran
- 2 packages (1/4 ounce each) active dry yeast
- 2 tablespoons instant coffee granules
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 tablespoon caraway seeds
- 1 teaspoon fennel seed, crushed
- 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
- 3 cups water, divided
- 1/2 cup molasses
- 1/4 cup butter, cubed
- 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
- 1 ounce unsweetened chocolate
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- In a large bowl, combine the first 10 ingredients. In a saucepan, heat 2-1/2 cups water, molasses, butter, vinegar and chocolate to 120°-130°. Add to dry ingredients; beat just until moistened.
- Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1-1/2 hours.
- Punch dough down. Turn onto a lightly floured surface. Divide dough in half; shape each portion into a ball. Place on greased baking sheets. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 30 minutes.
- Bake at 375° for 50-55 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pans to wire racks to cool.
- In a small saucepan, combine the cornstarch and remaining water until smooth. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 1-2 minutes or until thickened. Brush over bread. Yield: 2 loaves.
Originally published as Old-World Dark Bread in Country Woman Christmas Annual 2003, p18