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Russian Black Bread With Herb Butter

Ingredients & Directions

4 c Rye Flour Water
2 c Whole Bran Cereal 4 tb Butter
2 pk Active Dry Yeast 1/4 c White Vinegar
2 ts Instant Coffee 1/4 c Dark Molasses
2 ts Granulated Sugar 1 oz Unsweetened Dark Chocolate
1 ts Brown Sugar 2 1/2 c (To 3) Unbleached
1 ts Salt -All-Purpose Flour
1/2 ts Fennel Seeds — crushed 1 ts Cornstarch
2 tb Caraway Seeds — crushed

1. Lightly grease a large bowl and set aside. In a separate large
bowl, combine the rye flour, bran, yeast, coffee, granulated sugar,
brown sugar, salt, fennel and caraway seeds and mix well.

2. In a 2-qt saucepan, combine 2 1/2 cups of water, the butter,
vinegar, molasses and chocolate. Stir over moderate heat until the
chocolate is almost melted but the mixture is lukewarm. Add to the
rye flour mixture and begin beating with a wooden spoon. Add the
all-purpose white flour gradually, 1/2 cup at a time, making a soft
dough. Beat about 3 mins.

3. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and cover with a
large inverted bowl. Let the dough rest 10 to 15 mins. Knead until
smooth and elastic, about 10 mins, adding additional white flour as
needed. Place in greased bowl, turning to coat the entire surface.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and a hot damp towel: leave in a
warm place until doubled in bulk, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

4. Punch the dough down and turn out onto a lightly floured surface.
Shape into 2 balls and place in 2 greased 8-inch cake pans. Cover
lightly with greased plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until
doubled, about 1 hour.

* Preheat oven to 350 F.

5. Bake the loaves for 40 mins. Meantime combine the cornstarch with
1/2 cup of water in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Boil over high
heat for 1 min. Brush the mixture over the loaves and return them to
the oven for 5 mins, or until tops are glazed and the loaves sound
hollow when tapped.

Remove from pans and cool on racks.

Recipe for herb butter follows separately. Both are collaborations of
Cathy Poluzzi and Nora Merriam. They were submitted to the section on
the DUCHESS COUNTY FAIR of Rhinebeck, N.Y. Fair dates: 3rd week in
August, 6 days.

2 servings

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