The other night I made pelmeni and decided to make it an all-around Russian meal so I served it with this Russian Black Bread and a Russian Cucumber Salad. This black bread turned out really good. It's a dense, hearty bread with a tangy taste to it. It is great with a cheese spread or cream cheese on it (we spread Laughing Cow wedges on it). Of course it's good with just butter too.
Russian Black Bread
4 cups dark rye flour (the only brand I found was Bob's Red Mill)
3 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon sugar
2 teaspoons salt
2 cups All Bran cereal (it's the twiggy looking kind)
2 tablespoons caraway seeds, crushed in a blender
2 teaspoons onion powder
4 1/2 teaspoon yeast (2 packets)
2 1/2 cups water
1/4 cup vinegar
1/4 cup molasses
1 oz unsweetened chocolate
1/4 cup butter
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1/2 cup cold water
Combine flours and set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer combine 2 1/3 cups of the flour mixture, sugar, salt, All Bran cereal, crushed caraway seeds, onion powder, and yeast. Beat a couple of times just to combine.
In a saucepan combine 2 1/2 cups water, vinegar, molasses, unsweetened chocolate, and butter. Heat until very warm, 120 - 130 degrees - butter and chocolate do not have to be all the way melted.
Gradually add heated liquid mixture to the dry ingredients and beat with dough hook for 2 minutes at medium speed. Add 1/2 cup flour and beat again for 2 minutes. Add enough additional flour to form a soft dough that pulls away from the side of the bowl. (For me I used all but 1/2 cup of flour mixture.) Knead dough with dough hook for 5 minutes on medium speed. Remove dough and shape into a ball with oiled hands. Place dough ball in an oiled bowl turning dough over so that the top of dough is also greased. Cover and allow to rise till doubled, about 30 - 45 minutes.
Punch down dough and turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide in half and shape each half into a ball about 5 inches in diameter and place each into a greased 8 inch round cake pan. Cover and let rise till doubled, about 30 - 45 minutes.
Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes. Near the end of baking time combine water and cornstarch in a saucepan and boil for 1 minutes, stirring. After the 40 minutes of baking brush the tops of the loaves with cornstarch glaze then return loaves to oven for additional 2-3 minutes to let the glaze set. Remove from oven and cool on wire rack. Serve warm with butter or cream cheese spread on it.