Russian Black Bread
Category : Bread
3-1/2 to 4 cups all-purpose flour
4 cups rye flour
2 cups whole bran cereal
2 packages active dry yeast
2 Tablespoons instant coffee crystals
2 Tablespoons caraway seed
1 Tablespoon sugar
1 Tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon fennel seed, crushed
2-1/2 cups of water
1/3 cup molasses
1/4 cup butter or margarine
1 square (1oz) unsweetened chocolate
2 tablespoons vinegar
1/2 cup cold water
1 Tablespoon cornstarch

In large mixer bowl, combine 3 cups of the all purpose flour, 1 cup of the rye flour, the whole bran cereal, the yeast, coffee crystals, caraway seed, sugar, salt, and fennel seed.

In a saucepan, heat together the 21/2 cups water, molasses, butter or margarine, chlocolate, and vinegar just till warm (115-120F) and chocolate and butter are almost melted; stir constaltly. Add molasses mixture to flour mixture in mixer bowl. Beat 3 minutes at high speed. Stir in remaining 3 cups rye flour and as much of the remaining all-purpose flour as you can mix in with a spoon.

Turn out onto lightly floured suface. Knead in enough of the remaining all-purpose flour to make a moderately stiff dough that is smooth and elastic (6 to 8 minutes total). (Dough may be slightly sticky because of the rye flour). Shape into a ball. Place in lightly greased bowl; turn one to grease surface. Cover; let rise in warm lace till nearly double (11/4 to 1-1/2 hours).

Punch down, divide in half. Shape each half into a ball. Place on greased baking sheets. Flatten slightly with palm of hand to 6-7 inch diameter. Cover, let rise till nearly double (30-45 minutes). Bake in 375F oven for 50-60 minutes or till well browned and bread sounds hollow when tapped. Remove froom baking sheets; cool on wire rack.

Meanwhile, in small saucepan, combine the 1/2 cup cold water and cornstarch. Cook and stir till thickened and bubbly; cook 1 minute more.

Brush over hot breads.

Makes 2 loaves