posted by Joy 03-12-99 6:54 AM
Black Russian Bread
SPONGE STARTER - 2-8 hours ahead
1 cup warm water
1 tablespoon dry yeast
1 cup dark rye or pumpernickel flour
1/4 cup bread flour
2 tablespoons caraway seeds
Use all of the sponge starter plus:
3/4 cup warm water
1 1/2 teaspoons dry yeast
4 teaspoons brown sugar
2 3/4 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon malt powder or syrup (optional)
4-6 teaspoons baker's caramel
3 1/2 - 4 cups bread flour
Cracked Wheat, Caraway Seeds or Black Cumin Seeds, Cornmeal
Beaten egg white or Jewish Baker's Cornstarch Glaze
In a large bowl, whisk together the water and the yeast, then let stand a few minutes to allow yeast to swell or dissolve.
Add rye and bread flour, caraway seeds. Stir together to make a thick, pudding-like mixture.
Cover with plastic wrap and let sit two hours or overnight.
Stir down sponge with a spoon. Then add water, yeast, brown sugar, salt, malt, baker's caramel, sugar, salt, bread flour (hold back about 1/2 cup to use as required) salt and caraway seeds.
Knead as dough begins to form a soft mass, adding more flour as required to make a soft dough - 10-12 minutes by hand or with a dough hook on a stand up mixer.
Shape dough into a ball and place in a lightly greased bowl and place this in a large plastic bag, sealing loosely. Let rise until almost doubled (45-60 minutes).
Lightly grease a 5 by 12 inch loaf pan. Sprinkle cornmeal on the bottom.
After the first rise, gently deflate dough. Divide in three.
Shape dough into three balls, and place the balls, close to each other, in prepared loaf pan.
Alternatively, shape all of dough into one large ball, place on parchment lined,cornmeal-dusted, doubled up baking sheets.
Spray bread with non-stick cooking spray and place loaf pan or baking sheet in a large plastic bag.
Let dough rise a second time until dough is puffy - 40-60 minutes. Brush with a beaten egg white or use Jewish Baker's Cornstarch Glaze.
Sprinkle top with more caraway seeds or cracked wheat.
Preheat oven to 375 F.
Bake until bread sounds hollow when tapped - about 35-40 minute
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