If not using a scale, the flour should be stirred in its container. Dip the measuring cup into the flour to overflowing and sweep it off with the back of a knife.
This recipe calls for dark molasses, but do not use blackstrap molasses as it is too strong.
Here are some additional notes. Use a paddle to mix – not the dough hook. Because the dough is so heavy and thick, the hook just goes around in circles and doesn’t pick up the flour easily. I switched back and forth and decided the paddle was the best for this recipe. The finished dough will be somewhat tacky and that it as it should be. This is not the “smooth as a babies bottom” type of dough. It is rustic and bumpy due to the caraway seeds and the coarseness of the rye and whole wheat flours.
Professional bread bakers use “proofers” that are temperature and humidity controlled to insure the breads rise predictably. Because Russian Rye Bread is so dense and it is made with rye flour that has no gluten, it is a difficult dough to rise. So, I came up with a home version of a proofer. I put about an inch of really hot water in a 9×13 inch pan and place it in the bottom of the turned off oven about 10 minutes before the bread goes in. I leave the hot water in for about 30 minutes after I put the shaped bread in. Remove the water. The bread will continue to rise in the warm, moist oven.
Because this bread has cocoa and molasses as well as rye bread, it can burn easily on the bottom. By double panning, the heat is slowed down and a burned bottom is avoided.
This is one of my youngest son’s favorite breads. Whenever we talk about breads I make (and I make a lot), Russian Rye always comes up.
1 tablespoons caraway seed
1 tablespoons salt 7/8 cup boiling water (1 cup less 2 tablespoons)
1/3 cup dark molasses
2 tablespoons cocoa
3/4 cups buttermilk
1 packages active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water (90 to 100 degrees)
3 cups rye flour (420 grams or 15 ounces)
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour (210 grams or 7 ounces)
2 teaspoons butter, melted
Combine with the above mixture in a mixing bowl fitted with the paddle attachment after it has cooled to lukewarm.
and mix until well combined. Add the remaining rye flour and the whole wheat flour. Beat until well mixed, starting on low and graduating to medium. Beat at medium speed for 3 minutes to develop the gluten.
*To make a proofer out of your oven, place a 9×13 inch pan in the bottom of your oven. Pour 1 inch of really hot water in the pan. Put it in the bottom of the oven about 10 minutes before adding the bread. Place the bread in the oven on its baking sheet. Leave the hot water in the oven for about 30 minutes, then remove it. Leave the bread in the oven to continue rising.
**Double Panning – Place the pan with the bread on a second pan the same size. This slows down the heat to the bottom of the loaves and prevents burning. Molasses, honey, brown sugar and cornsyrup burn easily in the oven. Double panning helps prevent this. The bread should be placed in the middle of the oven.