Ukrainian Black Bread

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I have to thank Dave Skolosdra, one of the BreadClub20 bakers for this recipe. I hope I've done it justice. 

Honoré de Balzac, the famous French novelist and playwright was very fond of Ukrainian black bread. He was probably one of the first who wrote 'food erotica', taking several pages to describe lingering over a long meal. 

In 1832, he fell in love with his pen-pal, Ewelina Hańska, a reader from Kiev. When her husband died in 1841, Balzac travelled to Ukraine, courted and married her. 

He documents 77 different types of Ukrainian breads, including this famous black bread, ideally accompanied by Polish sausage, liver pâté and apple sauerkraut. 



325 gms of strong white bread flour

75 gms dark rye flour

75 gms light rye flour

100 gms wholegrain / wholemeal flour

1 tablespoon caraway seeds

½ teaspoon fennel seed

1 teaspoon coriander seeds

12 gms crushed sea salt

260 gms tepid filtered water

60 gms strong coffee

1 tablespoon black treacle or blackstrap molasses

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

50 gms buttermilk or kefir

70 gms of very active and bubbly starter

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

50 gms dried sourdough discard (optional for a little extra 'sour'


Mix all the dry ingredients together (except the salt)

Mix all the wet ingredients together (including the salt).

Leave covered for one hour.

Stretch and fold the mix 3 or 4 times over a period of 3 or 4 hours.

Once you are developing a gluten network, tip gently onto a lightly floured board and form into a boule.

Line a banneton with plastic wrap.

Flour the boule and the wrap and place into the banneton.

Place on a lower shelf in the refrigerator (below 4⁰C and leave for 3 days.

Remove from the refrigerator after 3 days and allow to come to room temperature for 2 hours.

Three days later

Preheat a Dutch Oven or heavy pot to 230⁰C.

Score the loaf and place in the hot pot.

Bake for 65 minutes.

Allow to cool for at least 4 hours before cutting.

The crumb

Happy baking...Pryyemnoyi vypichky


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