This bread features three different flours and just a touch of molasses. It’s the perfect bread to accompany any savory meal, with it’s thick, chewy, dense texture, filled with great flavor. It’s darker texture is owed to molasses, instant coffee (which you don’t taste) and darker flours, such as rye and whole wheat. If you have a bread machine, it’s pretty easy to whip it up and let it do it’s thang. While I don’t think this is an authentic black bread, (after living in Germany, I would say it is not) but it is a lovely addition to your bread making repertoire.
I like to use my bread machine for everything but the baking bit, it’s over 20 years old and it’s started to act a bit funny; the loaves are not rising or baking as I’d like. I’ve adapted this recipe to make in your machine through the dough stage and then transfer to a loaf pan to allow it’s final rise, then bake. But don’t worry if you are machine does just fine, I give instructions on that below as well.
This makes a large loaf, about 1 ½ pounds.
Start by pouring your liquid ingredients in the bread pan in the order listed. Very important to do as listed so it doesn’t make a mess of your machine getting more flour outside of the pan than inside. I know this, from experience…
Start with your water and molasses.
Next add your soft butter, separate it into two separate tablespoons.
Next add your flours, start with your bread flour…
Next add your whole wheat flour…
and then your rye flour…
Next add your instant coffee granules…
And your salt…put it to the side, yeast isn’t a fan of salt, so I try and put them apart from each other.
If desired, add your crushed fennel seeds, this is optional, but it isn’t an overpowering amount so if you happen to have them, crush some and toss them in.
Lastly, add your yeast.
Place the bread pan inside your bread machine and choose the following baking options; Whole Wheat -> Dough -> Large -> Start. And if you like your bread machine, let it do all of the work, choosing -> Whole Wheat -> Medium (for color) -> Large -> Start and in about 3 1/2 hours you should have a beautiful loaf of bread.
If you are just doing through the dough stage, once it beeps, remove the dough from the pan and place in a greased loaf pan. Using a sharp knife, slice 3-4 diagonal slits across the top and cover with non-stick oil sprayed plastic wrap.
Place in a warm place to double, about 30-45 minutes. I like to just turn my oven light on, typically it’s nice and warm. Oooh look at how beautiful that is!
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and bake the bread on the middle rack for 30-35 minutes until it’s nice and crusty on top. If you can wait, allow to cool for about 15 minutes before trying to cut, but if you cut immediately like I did, it will “squash” the loaf down, which is okay by me, because there is nothing quite as good as bread hot from the oven, but it’s not as pretty.
Ain’t she a beauty! Slather on some butter, slop up some wonderful sauce with it, toast it for breakfast, anyway you eat it, you will love it. Give it a try with Italian Wedding Soup or Sunday Pot Roast, or Creamy Pumpkin Curry Soup.
A friend asked me how to convert this to traditional bread-making vs. the bread machine.
Make it the same way in your stand mixer, adding and mixing ingredients as you go. Once dough forms, switch out to the hook attachment and knead for about 5 minutes.
Turn out into a bowl that has been oiled and cover with damp tea bowl or oil sprayed on plastic wrap and then covered. Place in warm place and allow to rise until doubled, about 45 minutes to an hour.
Punch down and knead for a couple minutes. Place in greased loaf pan, slice a couple of diagonal slices on top and allow to rise until doubled again in a warm location, covering the same as you did before.
Once doubled, preheat oven to 375 degrees and bake for 30-35 minutes until crusty on top, allow to cool mostly before slicing.
- 1 ¼ cups water
- 3 tablespoons dark molasses (I use unsulphered)
- 2 tablespoons butter, softened and divided
- 1 ¼ cups Bread flour
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 cup rye flour
- 1 tablespoon instant coffee granules
- 1 ¼ teaspoons salt
- ½ teaspoon fennel seed, crushed (optional)
- 3 teaspoons regular active dry yeast
- In bread machine pan, place all ingredients in order listed.
- Insert bread pan into machine, close lid.
- Press your select buttons to read Whole Wheat | Dough | Large and press start.
- Once dough is finished, remove from machine pan, kneading it once or twice, shaping it into a loaf shape. Place in a greased loaf pan.
- Using a sharp knife, slice 3-4 slits in the top of the bread dough.
- Cover with sprayed plastic and allow to rise in a warm place until doubled, about 30-45 minutes. Try using your oven wth the light on for a warm spot, or if chilly, turn your oven on to 100 empty. Turn off and open the door for 5 minutes or so to allow to cool down slightly, then place your loaf to rise in the warmed, but not turned on oven.
- Once doubled, preheat oven to 375 degrees (be sure to remove your loaf while preheating), remove plastic wrap and bake for 30-35 minutes until top is brown and crispy to the touch.
- Allow to rest and cool for 10-15 minutes before slicing with a serrated.
- Serve warm with butter.