Black Bread
July 10, 2011

by stacy
Published on: July 10, 2011
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“There are numerous varieties of what is known as ‘black bread.’  I tried out recipes for a great many in the course of this book and finally settled on this one, which is not as dark as the commercial ones but has a flavor that I think is extraordinarily good and a very nice texture.”
-James Beard, Beard on Bread

I like white bread as much as the next person, but after making Buttermilk White Bread and Broiled White Free-Form Loaf last week I wanted something with a richer flavor.  I chose Black Bread for its diverse ingredients–everything from instant coffee to cocoa powder to caraway seeds–and the fact that it uses rye and whole-wheat flour, which I have in abundance.

Here are all the ingredients:

Black Bread Ingredients

Despite the extensive ingredient list, the process of making the bread was straightforward.  I added some extra water to the dough to achieve the right consistency, but after that minor tweak the dough kneaded up very nicely.  I let the dough rise while we went grocery shopping, and then shaped it into loaves when we returned.  Beard says that the dough can be baked as two free-form loaves or in two 8 x 4 bread pans; I decided to use my bread pans.

Black Bread After Second Rising

After 50 minutes in the oven, the bread was finished.  Beard recommends serving Black Bread with seafood, so I made a batch of my aunt’s amazing Sockeye Salmon Spread while I waited for the bread to cool.

Black Bread

We had no idea what to expect when we bit into our slices of Black Bread–would it taste like rye? coffee? chocolate?  Mike and I both thought that it tasted like a basic rye bread, with a strong caraway flavor.  The Black Bread and salmon spread was an excellent pairing–the caraway blended nicely with the fish.  White bread, eat your heart out.

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