This recipe came about because of a kitchen disaster. I was trying to make Smitten Kitchen's Russian black bread, when a falling bottle of vinegar shattered the measuring cup I was proofing the yeast in, sending shards of glass all over the kitchen and warm yeasty water all over me. After cleaning up the mess, I needed to come up with an alternative in a hurry. I decided to adapt my favorite Irish soda bread recipe with pumpernickel flavors, and see what happened. It worked beautifully--this is a delicious, crusty, hearty loaf of bread, perfect for dipping into mushroom barley soup. —ieatthepeach
1 large round loaf
(2 cups) buttermilk
whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cups
light rye flour
natural (unsweetened) cocoa powder
medium shallot, minced
cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
Preheat oven to 425º F, and position a rack in the middle. Grease a baking sheet, or line it with parchment paper.
In a measuring cup, whisk together buttermilk and molasses. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together whole wheat flour, rye flour, cornmeal, cocoa powder, shallot, caraway seeds, baking soda, and salt. Add butter and use a pastry cutter, a pair of forks, or your fingertips to mix the butter into the dry ingredients until it’s completely incorporated and crumbly. Add buttermilk-molasses mixture and mix just until a sticky dough comes together.
Turn the dough out onto the baking sheet, and use lightly damp hands to form it into a round. Use a sharp knife to cut an X in the top of the loaf. Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until the bread is browned on top and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Remove the bread from the oven and let cool for about 15 minutes before transferring to a cutting board.
Slice the bread and serve warm; once it’s cooled, toast slices before serving. Leftover bread can be wrapped in plastic wrap, then in aluminum foil, and frozen for up to 3 months. You can toast slices of bread straight from the freezer.