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Old 02-20-2021, 03:53 PM   #1
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Russian Black Bread

Here's that recipe dragnlaw. It's fairly fast and simple, if all ingredients are handy.

Russian Black Bread

4 tsp yeast, instant
2 3/4 cup(s) water
1/4 cup(s) blackstrap molasses
1 tsp sugar
2 cup(s) bran
4 cup(s) dark rye flour
1/4 cup(s) vinegar
5 tb oil
2 tb caraway seeds
2 tsp Russian caraway seeds (nigella)
1/2 tsp fennel seed; crushed
1 tb salt
2 tsp instant coffee powder
2 tsp onion powder
4 tb dark cocoa powder
2 tsp caramel powder (optional)
3-3.5 cups bread flour

A. Combine the yeast, water, molasses, sugar, bran, and rye flour in the mixer bowl and set aside while preparing remaining ingredients, to allow the water to be absorbed. Add the vinegar, oil, seeds, salt, coffee, cocoa, and onion powder, and mix well. Add the bread flour a cup at a time, leaving it just a little moist. Knead 6-7 min. on medium with the dough hook, or 10 min. by hand. Place into an oiled bowl and roll over to coat. Cover and let rise 1 1/2 hrs. or until doubled, turning after 15 and 30 min.

B. Punch dough down and divide into two pieces. Shape each into a round loaf, or place in two 2 lb. loaf pans. Spray with oil, and cover with plastic. Let rise 45 min., or until about doubled.

C. Bake 1 hr at 350, or less if using a stone at higher temps. I also bake only 45 min. in a convection oven, at 300. Cool on a wire rack.

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Old 02-20-2021, 06:46 PM   #2
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thanks pepper, copied and saved.

as I'm sort'a in the middle of packing, guessing I won't really get to it too soon.

but it's at the top of my list when I do!
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Old 02-20-2021, 06:59 PM   #3
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OK, after having looked over the recipe a bit, I have a few questions.

Russian Caraway (nigella) - never heard of. Only nigella seed I know is what I feed the finches?

never heard of caramel powder either, easily available?

and last but not least, I could buy bread flour but usually just use AP in my bread recipes. Will it 'drastically' affect the outcome?

Best news I have is, in moving to a high density (arghh! shudder ) area, I will have multiple choices of finding obscure ingredients! and maybe even be able to take an 'obscure' course of some sort - if I'm still mobile when the covid lets us go.
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Old 02-20-2021, 07:12 PM   #4
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The Russian caraway is also known as Black Cumin, sold popularly as a healthy seed/spice. I use it daily. It's pleasant, doesn't taste like caraway or cumin.



Pepper, it looks like a pretty interesting recipe. Any idea why it has vinegar in it?
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Old 02-20-2021, 11:28 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dragnlaw View Post
OK, after having looked over the recipe a bit, I have a few questions.

Russian Caraway (nigella) - never heard of. Only nigella seed I know is what I feed the finches?

never heard of caramel powder either, easily available?

and last but not least, I could buy bread flour but usually just use AP in my bread recipes. Will it 'drastically' affect the outcome?

Best news I have is, in moving to a high density (arghh! shudder ) area, I will have multiple choices of finding obscure ingredients! and maybe even be able to take an 'obscure' course of some sort - if I'm still mobile when the covid lets us go.
I think the original recipe for this had AP flour - it was from way back when most people didn't have access to bread flour! I changed it later on, increasing the rye % some. And actually, this time I used AP - I had no bread flour in the kitchen, and I know I'm down to my last 5 lbs in my stash, and I was too lazy to go down and find it! But I did put about 1/3 c of vital wheat gluten in place of some of the AP, and that made up for it. If all you have is AP, maybe reduce the rye by a half cup, and use more AP?

That nigella seed might be in bird seed, but I have no idea. It looks sort of like onion seeds, but not related.

I'm not sure where I got that caramel powder, but it seems everything I see in Amazon is flavoring powders for coffee, and the like! I saw a "food grade pure" caramel powder, which is probably what I got, though the price is much higher now. I also have some homemade liquid caramel color - something that I use a lot for Vietnamese cooking, but something that I learned way back, from a James Beard book, where he tells us just to "burn the sugar", and add some water to it - something better done outside, to prevent setting off the smoke alarms.

Quote:
Originally Posted by blissful View Post
Pepper, it looks like a pretty interesting recipe. Any idea why it has vinegar in it?
Even though it doesn't come through as a vinegar flavor, I think that might be to make up for it being fairly fast, and not being a sourdough, or a long yeast sponge, which often give ryes some sourness. In fact, I've made this recipe before like the Old Milwaukee Rye is made, mixing together 1 1/2 c water, 2 c rye, and a tsp of yeast, covering, and letting it sit for 2-3 days. Then I'd use 1/4 c more water, in place of the vinegar.
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Old 02-24-2021, 10:53 AM   #6
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I made this bread yesterday without the bran (none in the house). It was very good. I made it into 16 rolls. It's dense and the aroma of butter wafted from it as it came out of the oven. The flavor is complex and nothing really jumps out, it is very nice. It's a keeper.
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Old 02-24-2021, 06:26 PM   #7
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Caramel powder is powdered hard cooked sugar..

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Old 02-24-2021, 06:59 PM   #8
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Janet, I should have put one more word in there - Caramel Coloring Powder. The one in that video is for flavoring, while the one I used was for color, and is almost black in color! Here's a photo of the jar:
Caramel coloring powder by pepperhead212, on Flickr

Glad you liked it, blissful! I've made it w/o the bran before, when I was out of it, and just added some extra rye flour, and it worked and tasted fine, as you found out!
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Old 02-25-2021, 09:16 AM   #9
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Everything you ever wanted to know about nigella seeds I bought some from Penzeys for the Turkish bread I make.
https://www.foodrepublic.com/2016/11...nigella-seeds/
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Old 02-28-2021, 01:09 AM   #10
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I toasted the bread today, and AGAIN it had the aroma of melted butter, with no butter or oil in the recipe. I wish I knew what the combination of ingredients is that lead to the buttery smell, it's amazing.


Here's one video on black cumin.

Black cumin is known to facilitate weight loss, but you're talking to someone that doesn't have an ounce to lose anymore. I lost more than 50 lbs and still for its antioxidant effects, I take some black cumin every day. It keeps inflammation down, atherosclerosis, auto immune disease, inflammation in joints. Inflammation is always part of the disease process, and no one needs it. I learned all this from taking advice from people not suffering from auto immune disease, not suffering from allergies, not suffering from atherosclerosis, from healthy people. And lots of research and reading. Eat your greens and care about your anti-oxidants.
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Old 02-28-2021, 11:45 AM   #11
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blissful, You didn't put the 5 tb of oil in the dough?

I don't know what gives it that buttery aroma, but I know what you mean! Maybe it's the vinegar, combining with something else in the dough? Whatever it is, I've been baking this bread since the 70s, so it's definitely a favorite of mine! I've sometimes made it without bran, when I was out of it, like you were, or used WW flour instead of bread flour, using only 3 c rye, and a little more WW. It's flexible, as many recipes are!

The nigella was an addition of mine to this recipe, and I often add it to rye recipes, in about 1/3 the amount of the caraway in the recopes. I have always loved caraway, and have been buying it by the pound since I found it in that co-op back in the 70s. I found a free book on nigella one time, on that kindle monthly book deal, and it was amazing how many things they are supposed to cure! lol But seriously, they are widely used in several of those Oriental medicines, so there is definitely truth to some of it. I get it fairly cheap at the Indian markets.

Do you grind your nigella up, to help absorb the components in it? I "bruise" my seeds when adding to breads, and other foods, just to release some of the flavor in seeds like this (I have a small, wooden mortar I use, almost exclusively for this), but most of the nutrients probably aren't absorbed this way.
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Old 02-28-2021, 12:04 PM   #12
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Yeah, no refined oil, (I don't eat it in anything) reduced added salt, little to no refined sugar. I put the oil in the basement two years ago, and only needed to use it once for coating an uncoated parchment baking sheet.



I'm just amazed by the aroma. I thought, this is a fluke, the first time, but then when toasting it, it definitely has the buttery aroma. My cooking/baking friends and I discussed the vinegar addition and it is cited as a preservative in its effects and there is no vinegar aroma coming off the bread. Maybe a combination of spices giving this scent. Vinegar is also cited as acidifying the bread when using rye, to help with rising because rye does have some leavening issues.



I do lightly grind the seed to bring out the flavor. When I use it in my 'anti-oxidant' shot, I lightly grind the seed. It's made of black cumin, turmeric, black pepper, and amla (indian gooseberries), all whole foods (seeds, root, and fruit).
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