The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


bruneski's picture


Hi, this is my first post here. I'm a novice, amateur bread maker. So far, I've worked only with a vertical pan bread machine. I usually make one loaf of bread a week.

Results have been, this far, surprisingly good (imo, of course)! I've made a few french bread loafs, a 7-grain bread, a honey wheat bread, a pumpernickel bread and a few Swedish rye loafs. The pumpernickel and the Swedish rye were very, very good (again, imo, of course)!!!

These results encouraged me to try to make a loaf of Schwarzbrot. I got hold of what looked like an interesting recipe and tweaked it a bit to try and use it with the bread machine. Of course, I'm well aware it was not a recipe for a r-e-a-l, a-u-t-h-e-n-t-i-c Schwarzbrot!

First, since the recipe seemed to yield too much dough for the size of my bread machine, I chose to half the whole recipe (across the board). Besides, since it was, flourwise, about 83% rye, I decided to tweak the proportion of rye flour and white flour to make it about 67% rye, lest I break my so far beloved bread machine. Because of the high proportion of rye, I gave it an extra 30-minute final rising time (as mentioned in the adjusted recipe). In order to get the right consistency for its crust, I gave it an extra 20-minute oven time (also mentioned in the adjusted recipe).

The result was excellent: a delicious, rich, very fragrant loaf of dark rye bread (also imo).

There is only one thing that certainly deserves some improvement: after two days, it began to show a tendency to (slightly) crumble when I sliced it. It seems it has a weaker "structure" than it should.

What could be done to the recipe to improve this characteristic? Substituting some whole wheat flour for the same amount of white flour would work? A little cornstarch could give it a better structure

By the way, it's my impression that the chocolate, the coffee (instead of plain water) and even the molasses are basically 'darkening agents' in this recipe. Is this correct? Could (or should) any of these ingredients be replaced or outright ommited from the recipe?

I certainly realize that the dark molasses also have a sweetening effect. In this respect, I'm inclined to half the amount of this ingredient (from 4 to 2 tbsp) next time I make this bread.

The adapted recipe I've been talking about is presented below. In the list of ingredients, at the end of each line, I included the quantity mentioned in the original recipe.

I'll deeply appreciate any advice I can get from you! Even if it concerns things I've not mentioned above!

Please, keep in mind that I'm an almost complete neophyte bread maker, even though I'm a very interested learner!

Finally, if someone has a well-tested, for-bread-machine recipe of Schwarzbrot and is willing to offer it to me, I'll be delighted to use it!!! :-) 

Thanks a lot. Take car. Bruneski.

SCHWARZBROT (adapted for BM)
4 tbsp dark molasses (was 8)
3 tbsp vinegar (was 6)
3 tbsp butter (was 6)
20-30 g unsweetened dark chocolate square (was 2)
1 cup lukewarm strong black coffee (was 2)
1 tsp salt (was 2)
1 tbsp active dry yeast (was 2)
2 cup rye flour (was 2½; was 5) (66,7% rye; originally, 83,3% rye)
1 cup unbleached white flour (was ½; was 1)
2 tbsp caraway seeds (was 4)
½ tsp fennel seeds (was 1)
In a saucepan combine the molasses and vinegar and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and stir in the butter and chocolate. Stir until they melt. Set aside to cool to lukewarm. Place this mixture in the bread machine pan. Add the lukewarm coffee and the salt. Mix well. Add the rye flour and the white flour. Add the yeast. Set cycle to Whole Wheat, bread size to 600 g and color to Dark. Start the machine. During the first mixing phase, gradually add the fennel seeds. When it beeps, after the first rising phase, gradually add the caraway seeds. After 2 minutes into the Baking cycle, turn the machine off and let the dough rise for an extra 30 minutes. Turn the machine back on and start its Baking cycle again. After the machine is done, check if the bread is crusty. If not, give it some more oven time at 200 oC (preheated). Yield: 700-g loaf.