Yeast Bread: Peasant Black Bread

posted by Kitty 02-15-103 11:20 AM

Peasant Black Bread
(makes two round loaves)

2 packages active dry yeast
1/2 cup (125 ml) warm water (110 to 115 F)
2-1/4 cups (560 ml) boiling water
1 tsp (5 ml) salt
1/4 cup (60 ml) butter
1/3 cup (85 ml) blackstrap molasses
1 ounce (28 g) square unsweetened chocolate
1 tsp (5 ml) instant coffee
2 TBL (30 ml) crushed caraway seeds
1 tsp (5 ml) crushed fennel seeds
3 TBL (45 ml) cider vinegar
2 TBL (30 ml) grated onion
3-1/2 cups (875 ml) all-purpose unsifted flour (approximate)
2 cups (500 ml) dark rye flour
corn oil
1 TBL (15 ml) instant coffee mixed with 3 TBL (45 ml) water
1 egg white mixed with 3 TBL (45 ml) water and 1/2 tsp (3 ml) salt
yellow corn meal

Sprinkle yeast into the warm water in a large bowl; stir to dissolve and set aside.

Combine salt, butter, molasses, chocolate, instant coffee, caraway seeds, fennel seeds, vinegar and onion; pour the boiling water over and stir to melt chocolate and butter, blend
all ingredients. Cool to 110 F.

Stir in yeast plus 2 cups of all-purpose flour. Beat til smooth. Add all dark rye flour and
beat several minutes. Then add enough all-purpose flour to make a stiff dough -- one that pulls away from sides of the bowl.

Turn out onto a floured board, cover with clean, dry kitchen cloth and let dough rest 15 minutes. Knead dough, adding flour to keep from being sticky. After 20 minutes of quick, gentle kneading, the dough should be elastic and satiny. Shape into a smooth ball.

Wash, dry and rub mixing bowl with corn oil; roll dough over in oil to coat. Cover with kitchen cloth and set in warm (80 F) draft-free spot. Let rise to double its bulk, about 1-1/4 hours.

Punch down, roll again in a bit of oil, cover and let rise in same warm spot for 40 minutes, til nearly double in bulk. Punch down and shape dough into 2 round loaves.

Butter two pie plates and sprinkle bottoms with corn meal. Place one loaf in each pan, or
place on either one large or two small cookie sheets prepared the same way. Cover with a clean, dry cloth and let rise til double, about 30 minutes. Poke two fingers into dough at inconspicuous spot; if indentations stay, bread is oven-ready. Brush each loaf first with some of coffee wash, then with egg-white wash.

Bake in preheated 375 F oven about 35 minutes, or until bread sounds hollow when thumped with fingers.

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