The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

black bread

milkitten's picture

I've wanted to make this bread for a long time. Since I always finish my bread entirely, I don't even have the chance to have leftover to make altus.

Because lately I made too many loaf simultaneously, I finally got my 'old bread'.
However, I don't have rye berries and blackstrap molasses, I change the recipe a little bit. Moreover, I add some dried fruit and nuts, in case of that if the bread is gummy, I still can swallow it. I hope this won't ruin what the bread should taste like originally.
Hamelman mentions that blackstrap molasses is used to provide a slight bitter note and deeper color, for the reason, I took it upon myself to use 1T cocoa powder and a packet of Starbucks via(approximately 1/2T), and the old bread I used is Peter Reinhart's rye bread in ABED but with high percentage of first clear flour.
I was quite exciting when I made the old bread soaker. After they absorbed the water, they just look fat and cute. And the smell is depth, complex, and pleasant. When I squeezed it, because of its confortable touch, I smiled.:)

The whole process was pleasant, too. As Hamelman says, "The aroma will fill the entire room", the keep-coming aroma give me a high expectation of this black bread. The only torture is that : you have to wait at minimum for 24 hours to slice it while you're smelling the bread.
When the time I sliced it in the morning, I felt like I'm in the Christmas morning, opening up my present under the tree...I took my first bite, I felt surprised. It is truly delicious! The sour-sweet taste make it unique and totally please my palate. And the texture, the crumb is better then fruit cake for me. Though the crust is a little bit hard, but I enjoy chewing, it is flavorful. I also toasted some of crust, they've just become biscotti.~:)
I will appreciate if anyone can give me comments or suggestions! 

Juergen Krauss's picture
Juergen Krauss

This is not for the fainthearted.

When I got ITJB (Inside  The Jewish Bakery) and flicked through, my rye addiction kicked in, and the unusual process (kind-of Auermann three stage) of the Black Bread intrigued me. This was the first recipe I tried from ITJB - and failed spectacularly.

The top half of the (freestanding) loaf was nice, but turning the temperature down as stated in the recipe let the loaf sink in, and the lower half was dense and badly undercooked.

Encouraged by a PM by Stan, whom I contacted, I gave it a second try - and failed again - this time I attributed it to family business interfering with the proving schedule.

After a long break from this recipe - and some recalculations, and lots of learning about rye and my oven I tried it again last weekend, using my proofing box. This time I baked in a tin, and extended the hot phase of the bake.

The bread came out very wet - looking undercooked, almost greyish in the middle (cut after 12 hours). I was disappointed and tended to attribute this to the superhyrated dough: 117% (if my calculations are correct).

BUT ...

I had made 2 loaves and kept one aside, in a plastic bag.

Today (4 days after the bake) I opened the bag - amazing smell. I cut the bread - still moist, but the crumb had changed completely. Beautiful chocolate brown, with a rich, tangy taste:

My advice if you want to make this bread:

1. Don't Panic

2. Follow the recipe (take oz amounts as a base - I calculated the bakers % from those)

3. Use loaf tins first

3. You might want to extend the hot phase of the bake by 10 minutes (and/or consult ananda's posts about Borodinsky bread for ideas about the baking regime)

3. Wait at least 3 days before cutting into it!

ITJB rocks!



alabubba's picture

Plovnik, History of?

July 27, 2010 - 3:19pm -- alabubba

I am participating in testing recipes for the New York Jewish Bakers Book. One of the recipes that I baked was the "Plovnik, or Black Bread".

This was such an intriguing recipe, with strong, rich flavors, that I wanted to get some more information about it.

My first stop when looking for information is, of course, GOOGLE. The only hits are linked back here. I have found loads of stuff on Black Bread, but no Plovnik.

Anyone got anything on this Beautiful Bully of my Taste Buds??

reschaff's picture

German Schwarzbrot

July 1, 2007 - 8:01pm -- reschaff

Hi, all.  I'm new around here, but thought maybe someone here could help me out.

More than 20 years ago I was an exchange student in Wurzburg, Germany (in lower Franconia).  The staple bread in the home I lived in was known as Schwarzbrot (black bread).  I'm not sure if it is native to that area or to Rhineland-Pfalz (my host-father was from there).  Anyway, it was round, strongly flavored, and very dark brown and some loaves were enormous.  I once saw a 2 kg loaf!

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