Recipe by Daphna Rabinovitch

Russian Black Bread

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Parve Parve
Medium Medium
12 Servings
1 Hour, 10 Minutes

Hearty pumpernickle bread. Yields 2 rectangular loaves or 1 large round loaf.



  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar

  • 2 and 1/2 cups water, divided

  • 2 tablespoons Gefen Dry Yeast or other active dry yeast 

  • 1/3 cup fancy molasses

  • 1/4 cup Tonnelli Cider Vinegar

  • 1/4 cup canola oil

  • 1 ounce unsweetened chocolate

  • 1 tablespoon instant coffee granules

  • 3 and 1/2 cups bread flour

  • 2 cups pumpernickel or rye flour

  • 1 tablespoon salt

  • 2 cups all bran cereal (not flakes)

  • 2 tablespoons crushed caraway seeds

  • 1 tablespoon onion powder

  • 1 teaspoon crushed fennel seeds


  • 1 egg, lightly beaten

  • 1 teaspoon caraway seeds


Prepare the Dough


In bowl, stir sugar into one cup of the water; sprinkle yeast over. Let stand for 10 minutes or until frothy.


Meanwhile, in small pot, combine remaining one and a half cups of water, molasses, vinegar, oil, chocolate and coffee granules. Place over low heat and heat just until chocolate is softened.


Stir warm coffee chocolate mixture into yeast mixture along with one cup of bread flour, pumpernickel flour, salt, all bran, caraway seeds, onion powder and fennel seeds.


Stir until well mixed and no streaks remain. Let stand for five minutes at room temperature.


Gradually add remaining bread flour, half a cup at a time, until soft, slightly sticky dough is formed.


Transfer dough to lightly floured work surface. Sprinkling surface with extra floured as needed to prevent dough from sticking, knead dough for 8 to 10 minutes or until soft and supple and elastic.

Shape and Bake


Place in greased bowl, turning to grease all over. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in warm, draft free area until doubled in size, about one hour.


Punch down dough. Divide in half; shape into rectangles and fit into two lightly greased 8 and 1/2 by 5 and 1/2 inch loaf pans. Conversely, shape into one large ball and place in a greased 8 and 1/2 or 9 inch springform pan. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise in warm draft-free area until doubled in size, about 45 minutes.


Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Brush tops with lightly beaten egg; sprinkle with caraway seeds.


Bake in centre of preheated oven for 45 to 50 minutes or until breads are golden brown and sound hollow when tapped.

Russian Black Bread

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