Posted by vivnidhi on September 7, 2009
Russian Black Bread…We loved ours with pesto mayo sauce
The bread is black and I cheated too…….was that because I cheated………NO. Gorel of Grain Doe made a Russian Black bread this month for Bread Baking Babes. How she used a couple of recipes to invent this one is a very interesting read. I did not have any sourdough starter and used yeast….that’s my cheat ;-). Now, you think I would not buddy up those who bake bread?
It was such a different looking bread and I had never even heard of it, leave alone taste it.Result : We all loved it. Even when it started getting drier on the 4th day, the husband said ” I like it” :-). The recipe’s a keeper even if it requires more pre-planning than normal.
Black Bread – intermediate style
- Medium rye flour 300 g (10,6 oz)
- Water 350 ml (1,5 cup)
- Active sourdough culture* 2 Tbsp
- Old bread**, toasted 100 g/3,5 oz
- Coffee, ground 15 g/0,5 oz
- Vegetable, neutral oil 25 g/0,9 oz
- Molasses 60 ml/1/4 cup
- Caraway seeds 2 tsp
- Fennel seeds 1 tsp
- Minced shallots 1 Tbsp
Water, hot 400 ml/1 2/3 cup
- Medium rye flour 300 g/10,6 oz
- High gluten bread flour 400 g/14,1 oz
- Salt 20 g/0,7 oz (appr. 1 Tbsp)
- Fresh: 15 g/0,5 oz
- Instant dry: 1,5 tsp (0,17 oz)
- All of the above
- All of the above
* If you don’t have any active starter at hand, I think you can cheat by using a small amount (say 5 g fresh or 0,5 tsp instant dry yeast) instead.
** Gorel used rye sourdough bread, but I guess any old unsweetened bread will do, or any old bread in general.
Mix the ingredients to the sourdough, cover the container with plastic and leave for 12–14 hours at room temperature.
Toast the old bread in a toaster or in the oven. The bread should be browned, but absolutely not blackened. Dice the bread or just tear it in pieces and put it in a bowl. Add the rest of the soaker ingredients except the water. Heat the water to near boiling and pour over the soaker ingredients. Cover and leave for the same duration as the sourdough.
All set: Flour mix, Soaker and sourdough…and yes, that’s my rye flour
Mix the two flours in a separate bowl.
If using fresh yeast: Take a small amount of the soaker liquid and dissolve the yeast in it.
Add the yeast mixture OR the instant dry yeast, soaker, sourdough and salt to a mixing bowl.
Add half of the flour mixture and work the dough by hand or in machine. Continue to add about 100 ml or ½ cup of the flour mixture at a time and work until the flour is completely absorbed before you add the next round. The dough shall be firm but still quite sticky. You might not use all the flour, or you might need to add more flour, all depending on the flour used.
Place the dough in an oiled container, cover with plastic and leave for 2–3 hours or until doubled in size.
Shaping and proofing
Drizzle some rye flour on the table top and place the dough on top. If the dough is very sticky, pour just enough rye flour on top of it to make it possible to handle.
Divide the dough in two and shape the parts into oblong loaves. (I placed them on parchment paper to make it possible to just slide the loaves into the oven.) Stretch the surface using both hands to get a tight loaf. Use more rye if the dough is too sticky to handle.
Cover with a tea towel and leave for 60 minutes. Don’t over-proof! (Fire up the oven after 30 minutes to have it ready.)
Sticky dough: After first proof
Does this sticky dough proof quickly, this is after 55 minutes
Place an empty metal container in the bottom of the oven. Put in your baking stone or an empty baking sheet. Heat the oven to 225 °C/435 °F.
Put 3–4 ice cubes in the metal container.
Move the loaves to the hot stone or sheet. Bake for 10 minutes.
Open the oven door to vent out some moist. At the same time, lower the temp. to 200 °C/400 °F. Bake another 30-40 minutes or until they sound hollow when tapped underneath, or when the inner temperature has reached appr. 97 °C/207 °F.
Let the loaves cool down before you slice them. Eat with butter and maybe some sharp cheese, or why not cured salmon.
Russian Black Bread
This bread made some delicious veggie sandwiches for us with mayo and pesto. Thank you Gorel.