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Thursday, January 26, 2012

Black Bread

I saw the recipe for Black Bread on Heidi Swanson's wonderful website 101 Cookbooks. She in turn has adapted it from Dan Lepard's book Short and Sweet. It was just what I was looking for for the week's bread: something with rye flour and some unusual ingredients. This recipe has not one, not two, but three ingredients that I don't normally use in bread baking. Do check out Heidi's blog post for very pretty pictures and her method. I made changes to include more whole grains and less of some ingredients because I wasn't bold enough. Also, my loaf was smaller than the original recipe.

I heated together the following
2 Tbsp butter
1 tsp caraway seeds
½ Tbsp dark cocoa powder
½ Tbsp ground coffee beans
1 tsp salt

After taking off the heat I stirred in
2 scant Tbsp molasses

Then I added
300 ml warm water (I used water from cooking garbanzo beans)

In a bowl I mixed:
125 g rye flour
100 g bread flour
250 g whole wheat flour
1 tsp instant yeast

To the flour mixture I added
125 g carrots

I then added the dry mixture to the wet mixture and kneaded it into a dough. I used about 2 Tbsp whole wheat flour during the kneading process.


2 mixtures and grated carrots

1:51 pm: Ready for first rise

4:23 pm: The first rise too very long, but I am glad I was patient

4:26 pm: Deflated, rounded and ready for second rise

5:25 pm: Much quicker second rise

5:28 pm: Shaped dough

6:05 pm: Proofed dough ready for the oven

It barely fit in the preheated cast iron pan

Restricted in one direction, the loaf did expand in the other.

Signs of oven spring were clear around the sides as well as the top

Decent crumb with pretty flecks of carrot.

Date: January 15, 2012
Recipe: Adapted from Heidi Swanson's recipe Black Bread recipe
Flours: Whole wheat flour, rye flour, bread flour
Bread specific ingredients: caraway seeds, ground coffee beans, cocoa powder, grated carrots
Sweetener used: Molasses
Liquid: Water from cooking garbanzo beans.

Comments: The dough took a long time for the first rise. I am glad I gave it the time. Comparatively the second rise and proofing were quite fast. The oven spring was good. I would have been better off making a smaller loaf or shaping it into more of a round in order to give it space to expand in all directions. I did consider baking it directly on a baking sheet, but I do like how the cast iron combo cooker provides even heating and results in a wonderful crust.
The bread tasted really good. It was definitely very dark colored but the taste of cocoa and coffee were almost unnoticeable, which was the plan because I have some coffee flavor haters around here. The carrots flecks looked very pretty. The loaf sliced very well (we are still in the process of mastering the fancy bagel slicer we received with this cutting board)

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