russian black bread

4 cups unsifted rye flour
3 cups unsifted white flour
1 teaspoon sugar
2 teaspoons salt
2 cups whole bran cereal flakes
2 tablespoons caraway seed, crushed
2 teaspoons instant coffee powder
2 teaspoons onion powder
1/2 teaspoon fennel seed, crushed
2 packages active dry yeast
2-1/2 cups water
1/4 cup vinegar
1/4 cup dark molasses
1 square (1 ounce) unsweetened chocolate
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1/2 cup cold water

Combine rye and white flours. In a large bowl thoroughly mix 2-1/3 cups flour mixture, sugar, salt, cereal, caraway seed, instant coffee, onion powder, fennel seed and undissolved yeast.

Combine 2-1/2 cups water, vinegar, molasses, chocolate and margarine in saucepan. Heat over low heat until liquids are very warm (120-130 degrees). Margarine and chocolate do not need to melt. Gradually add to dry ingredients and beat two minutes at medium speed of electric mixer, scraping bowl occasionally. Add 1/2 cup flour mixture. Beat at high speed for two minutes, scraping bowl occasionally. Stir in enough additional flour mixture to make a soft dough. Turn out onto lightly floured board. Cover, let rest 15 minutes. Knead until smooth and elastic, about 10-15 minutes (dough may be sticky). Place in greased bowl, turning to grease top. Cover, let rise in a warm place, free from draft, until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.
Punch dough down, turn out onto lightly floured board. Divide in half; shape each half into a ball about 5 inches in diameter. Place each ball in the center of a greased 8-inch round cake pan. Cover, let rise in a warm place, free from draft, until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.

Bake at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes or until done. Meanwhile, combine cornstarch and cold water. Cook over medium high stirring constantly until mixture starts to boil; continue to cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute. As soon as bread is baked, brush cornstarch mixture over top of loaves. Return bread to oven and bake 2-3 minutes longer, or until glaze is set. Remove from pans and cool in wire racks.

From Saint Mark’s Church cookbook.

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