Recipe request for real Russian black bread.
January 12, 2010 4:47 AM   Subscribe

Does anyone know how to make real Russian Black Bread? This would be from the Krasnadar/Black Sea area; it is dense, and tastes almost "stale," and not heavily-flavored.
posted by molltuck to Food & Drink (9 answers total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
Wikipedia says to look here.
posted by devnull at 5:59 AM on January 12, 2010

devnull, the black bread molltuck is looking for is actually black, not a rye.

There's a recipe here, but I don't think it's the dense kind you're looking for.
posted by availablelight at 6:58 AM on January 12, 2010

Smitten Kitchen has a recipe for black bread that she says satisfies her Russian husband and his family, so it might be pretty close to what you're looking for. I keep wanting to try it, but I've got to build up the stones to buy all of the ingredients that I don't normally have to bake a bread that I might not like.
posted by scarykarrey at 7:09 AM on January 12, 2010 [1 favorite]

Which, I now realize, is the same thing that availablelight posted, just in a different venue. Smitten Kitchen Deb FTW!
posted by scarykarrey at 7:12 AM on January 12, 2010

My Polish grandmother always used the terms "black bread" and "dark pumpernickel" interchangeably, so you might try searching for that. Heavy and sweet would be the key words for it. Fabulous with soup or smeared with thick creamy butter. Unfortunately, my go-to Polish cookbook is boxed up and inaccessible, so I can't give you a recipe.
posted by Dojie at 8:53 AM on January 12, 2010

There is no coffee or chocolate in real Russian black bread! Seriously, people. The reason it's black is because it is a mostly rye bread with (rye) malt and maybe some molasses.

There's many different kinds of real black bread. Maybe the most famous, Borodinsky Bread, officially involves a rather complicated procedure using a scald and sponge. It has a strong coriander flavor, so it may not be what you're looking for. There's a recipe at The Fresh Loaf and some technical discussion of ingredients here.

I make a simple, reasonable generic Russian-type black bread. If you can get your hands on some rye malt, do so; otherwise find some barley malt. Then basically make a no-knead sourdough rye. The proportions are something like: 3-4 cups rye flour, 1.5 teaspoons salt, 1 cup sourdough starter (rye-based, but wheat can work), a tablespoon of malt, and enough water so that it's a dense but somewhat wet mixture (maybe 1.5-2 cups?). Mix it all up, cover, and give it 12-24 hours to ferment and double in size. Transfer to a loaf pan, let it rise again for another couple of hours (I do this in the oven), then bake at 425 F for around 40 minutes. I have a similar type of recipe on my blog that shows the process in pictures.

N.B. This kind of bread does not taste good warm, so wait a few hours for it to cool. My mom once worked in a Moscow bread factory, and relates that workers there would rip the crusts off fresh bread to eat, and throw the rest into an earlier stage of the production. (I believe day-old bread was used in some stage of the process.)
posted by parudox at 8:58 AM on January 12, 2010 [3 favorites]

And by rye flour I mean dark rye flour (whole grain).
posted by parudox at 9:04 AM on January 12, 2010

Parudox has it. Jeffrey Hamelman has a great recipe for Black Bread in his awesome book bread. I'm at work now, memail me if you want it and I'll type it up when I get home tonight. :)

here are some pics, sans recipe.

Also I highly recommend DMSnyder's Russian Rye, probably my most favourite recipe on the whole of The Fresh Loaf.

Goddamn, I really need to bake this weekend.
posted by smoke at 2:15 PM on January 12, 2010

thanks to all; i believe i'm looking for bread using a starter, and possibly rye malt.
posted by molltuck at 5:52 AM on January 14, 2010

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