I love the heartiness of this bread. It has a slightly sweet taste and heavier texture. I substitute more cocoa powder for the coffee and leave out the carmel color. I also make 2 regular sized loaves instead of the 8 smaller ones. My kids love this hot out of the toaster with real butter.
Honey Wheat Black Bread
1 1/2 cup warm water
2 tablespoons unsalted butter or margarine, softened
1/2 cup honey
2 cups Unbleached Bread Flour
1 2/3 cup Whole Wheat Flour
1 tablespoon cocoa
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
2 teaspoons instant coffee
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon powdered caramel color (optional)
2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
Manual/Mixer Method: In a medium-sized mixing bowl, or the bowl of your electric mixer, combine all of the ingredients. Stir the mixture together, using your hands, a spoon, or your mixer, till the dough forms a shaggy mass that begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl. Knead the dough, by hand or mixer, for about 10 minutes, till it's become smooth. Transfer it to a lightly oiled bowl, turning to coat all sides. Cover the bowl, and allow the dough to rise until doubled in bulk, at least 1 hour.
Bread Machine Method: Place all of the ingredients into the pan of your bread machine. Program the machine for manual or dough, and press Start. Examine the dough about midway through the kneading cycle; it should be soft and smooth, but not overly sticky. Adjust the consistency with additional water or bread flour, as needed. Allow the machine to complete its cycle. Divide the dough into 8 pieces. Shape each piece into a small log-shaped loaf. This dough is soft, so use flour or a non-stick spray on your hands. Sprinkle a lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheet with cornmeal, place the loaves on the sheet, and cover. Let the loaves rise for 1 hour, or until they look "puffy" but aren't doubled in size.
Bake the bread in a preheated 350 F oven for 20 to 25 minutes. The loaves will appear slightly darker on the top when they're done. Remove them from the oven, and cool on a wire rack. Yield: 8 mini-loaves. This bread stays moist and delicious for at least four days. If you want a less sweet bread, just cut the honey to 1/4 cup and leave out the 1 tablespoon sugar. The bread won't stay moist as long, but has very good flavor.