Lvov Black Bread

An adaptation of an old Ukrainian recipe, Lvov Black Bread is both nutritious and delicious. Serve with lots of butter and a good, strong cheese.

2 teaspoons vegetable oil | oz. fresh yeast

2 teaspoon soft brown sugar

10 fl. oz. plus

2 tablespoons lukewarm water

1 tablespoons clear honey

1 tablespoons black treacle

1 oz. cup wheatgerm

6 oz. flour

12 oz. rye flotilla teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 oz. butter, melted

With

1 teaspoon of the oil, grease a baking sheet. Set it aside.

Crumble the yeast into a small bowl and mash in the sugar with a fork. Add the 2 tablespoons of water and cream the water and yeast together to form a smooth paste. Set the bowl aside in a warm, draught-free place for 15 to 20 minutes or until the yeast mixture is puffed up and frothy.

Meanwhile, put the honey, treacle and wheatgerm in a medium-sized mixing bowl. Pour over the remaining water and stir to dissolve the wheatgerm. Set aside.

Sift the flour, rye flour, salt, coriander and cinnamon into a warmed large mixing bowl. Make a well in the centre and pour in the yeast mixture, wheatgerm mixture and the melted butter. Using your hands or a spatula, gradually draw the flour mixture into the liquids. Continue mixing until all the flour is incorporated and the dough comes away from the sides of the bowl. If the dough is too dry, add more water.

Turn the dough but on to a lightly floured board or marble slab and knead it for 10 minutes, rcflouring the surface if the dough becomes sticky. The dough should be elastic and smooth.

Rinse, thoroughly dry and lightly grease the large mixing bowl. Shape the dough into a ball and return it to the bowl.

Cover the bowl with a clean, damp cloth and set it in a warm, draught-free place. Leave it for 1 to U hours, or until the dough has risen and almost doubled in bulk.

Turn the risen dough out of the bowl on to a floured surface and knead it for about 8 to 10 minutes. Roll and shape the dough into a high round loaf. Place the loaf on the baking sheet and return it to a warm place for about 30 to 45 minutes or until the dough has almost doubled in bulk again.

Preheat the oven to very hot 475 °F (Gas Mark 9, 240 deg C).

With a pastry brush, lightly coat the top of the loaf with the remaining oil.

Place the baking sheet in the centre of the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Then lower the temperature to hot 425 °F (Gas

Mark 7, 220X), put the baking sheet on a lower shelf in the oven and continue baking for 20 to 30 minutes, or until it is well browned.

After removing the bread from the oven, tip the loaf off the baking sheet and rap the underside with your knuckles. If the bread sounds hollow, like a drum, it is cooked. If it does not sound hollow, lower the oven temperature to fairly hot

375°F (Gas MARK 5,

190 C), return the loaf to the oven and bake for a further

5 to

10 minutes.

Cool the loaf on a wire rack.

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