I am not sure if I have mentioned it before, but I get major food envy. This is especially a problem when we are out to eat and I can’t decide what to order. Most of the time, I am pretty sure that both options would be just fine but I am worried that I will see the choice I did not choose and be filled with unrelenting regret and longing for the rest of the meal. I realize I am being slightly over-dramatic but sometimes I get a little crazy, and it’s ok. A couple of weeks ago when we were out for brunch with some friends, I was agonizing over whether to get eggs and toast or peach waffles. The choice was fairly obvious, peaches are my favourite fruit, they are quickly going out of season and I have no means of making waffles at home but I went for the eggs and toast. Why would I do that, you ask. I did it for the bread.
Well, more specifically, I did it for the toast. Crispy bread, slathered in salty, melted butter. I needed to have it. It was in that moment that I realized I was bread/toast deprived and had to start keeping bread in the house more regularly. In fact, I realized, nothing was stopping me from basking in the glory of toast every single day if I pleased. My bread future is bright. Although it’s taken me a few weeks to get back on the bread-making wagon, I have done it. Of course, I could have bought some at the store and it would have taken me a fraction of the time but I actually really enjoy making bread. I remember the first time I made it, I was so excited and enthralled by the rising dough: It was alive! It was working!
This loaf is especially worthy to make at home. The combination of the molasses, coffee, caraway seed and cocoa powder gives this bread a unique depth of flavour but none of the flavours are over-powering in the least. The carrots in the bread a wonderful moistness and absolutely no carrot flavour. The recipe also mentioned that you can replace the carrots with potato, but I think I will have to save straight-forward potato bread for the next bread post that goes up here. I love potato bread.
This black bread is dense but moist, crusty, hearty, and perfect slathered in butter or dipped in a warming bowl of soup. It’s a big and hefty loaf, but I am certain that it will go quickly in our normally breadless home.
Recipe from 101 Cookbooks
I actually replaced half of the all purpose flour with whole wheat bread flour and the bread turned out great!
In a small bowl whisk together yeast, water and sugar. Set aside until frothy. If the mixture doesn't froth up, discard and try again (your yeast was dead and your bread won't rise!).
In the meantime, heat up the cocoa powder, coffee, molasses, caraway seeds, butter and salt in a saucepan over low-medium heat, stirring until butter is melted and everything is combined. Set aside and allow to cool until lukewarm.
Combine frothy yeast mixture, carrots, and lukewarm molasses mixture in a large bowl.
Add flour and stir with wooden spoon until the dough starts to come together.
Knead the dough on a floured countertop for about 5-7 minutes, until it comes together and is springy and elastic. It may be a little wet. Add flour as needed (I added about 1/4 cup) but it will still be a little tacky.
Place dough in an oiled bowl and cover with a kitchen towel or plastic wrap until the dough increases by at least 50% (about 1.5 hours).
Remove dough from bowl, gently press out the air, shape into a ball and place onto a parchment lined baking tray. Cover with floured towel or plastic wrap and allow the dough to double in size (about 1-1.5 hours).
With about 30 minutes to go, preheat oven to 425F.
Brush bread with milk, sprinkle with a bit of flour and cut a shallow 'x' on the top of the bread.
Bake for 20 minutes at 425F, reduce heat to 350F and bake for an additional 20-25 minutes, until the bread is fully baked. It should sound hollow when you knock the bottom.
Let sit for at least 20 minutes before slicing.
Black Bread Recipe was last modified: September 12, 2014 by