I used to study in Russia and that was one of the most beautiful times in my life. A lot of lovely memories. One of those – quite funny was the black bread. I couldn’t taste the black bread in the beginning, always stuck to the white one, I kept wondering why Russian love the black bread so much! It took me a while before I fell in love with the black bread. I do enjoy it much more than the regular while bread. Why?
The flavor, the sour taste ? The black bread is healthier than the white one? Or because of my Russian roommate, who used to serve in the army rarely touched the white bread, he adored the black one and living with him for 3 years, so I fell in love with that ugly-looking bread? I don’t know but to be honest, once you taste the black bread, then you will keep eating it…like many Russian love drinking vodka while sniffing a piece of black bread as the side dish!
Ok, I’m sharing the recipe how to make the Russian black bread, to me one of the best recipes as I already tried several and stick to this one so far as I got very good feedback from my friends.
Step 1 Preparation for the black bread dough
- Bread flour 298 gr.
- Dark rye four 106 gr. plus more for dusting
- Luke warm water 255 ml.
- Apple cider vinegar 28 ml. (you can adjust between warm water and vinegar to increase the sour flavor)
- Salt 8 gr.
- Unsalted butter 30 gr.
- Molasses 45 ml. ( or dark corn sirup, in Russia – kvass sirup)
- Brown sugar 20 gr.
- Black cocoa 18 gr.
- Instant coffee powder 2-3 gr.
- Nuts (optional)
- Instant yeast 5 gr.
Step 2 Kneading
Place all of the ingredients in a large bowl, knead at first speed for about 4 minutes and at the second speed for 10 minutes, then at the third speed – for 6-7 minutes until the dough stops sticking to the bowl, the dough becomes soft and elastic, but may still be somewhat sticky to the touch. Don’t forget to wet or oil your hands to handle it. Cover the bowl and let the dough rise until doubled for 1 hour.
After the first rise, shape the dough into an oblong loaf, cover with greased plastic, and let rise until almost doubled, about 60 to 90 minutes. If you want to bake next day then store in the fridge. Next day right from the fridge do give the dough to rest at least for 2 or even 3 hours at room temperature (25-28ºC) before baking.
Preheat the oven to 180-200ºC. When the dough has almost doubled, brush or spray the top with water, dust with dark rye flour and bake it for about 30-35 minutes. Remove the loaf from the oven and cool it on a rack before slicing. Store bread well wrapped at room temperature for several days.
Freeze for longer storage, but do toast – it makes bread crunchy and tastier.