Other knockoff recipes for this sweet dark bread, including my own, list ingredients such as cocoa, instant coffee, and molasses. These ingredients add some interesting flavors and a bit of color to the loaves, but I found that the recipe did not require such things to taste as good as the original, and the bread is made dark with caramel coloring just like pumpernickel bread, so no dark ingredients are necessary for color. You can use caramel coloring for this recipe, but if you can’t find that I have an improved formula for giving the bread its dark brown color using a combination of red, yellow, and blue food coloring. You can also make the bread without the coloring at all. It won’t look the same as the original, but it will still taste great. Just be sure to add a tablespoon of water to the dough if you don’t bring any color into the mix.

2 teaspoons granulated sugar
1¼ cups warm water (105 to 110 degrees F)
1 package (2¼ teaspoons) active dry yeast
10 ounces (2 cups) bread flour
8½ ounces (1¾ cups) whole wheat flour
1¾ teaspoons salt
⅓ cup honey
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 tablespoon water (only if NOT using the coloring)

1 tablespoon caramel food coloring
1¼ teaspoons red food coloring
1¼ teaspoons yellow food coloring
½ teaspoon blue food coloring

Cornmeal for dusting

Cooking method

1-Dissolve the sugar in the warm water, then stir in the yeast. Let the mixture sit for 5 minutes until it becomes foamy on top.

2-Combine the flours with the salt in a large bowl. You can mix the bread by hand or use a stand mixer with a kneading hook. Add the yeast mixture to the flours, along with the honey, butter, and food coloring, or 1 tablespoon of water if you are not adding the coloring.

3-Bring the dough together by hand or with the dough hook of a stand mixer. Once the dough comes together into a ball, knead for 10 minutes. Cover the dough in the bowl and let it rise in a warm spot until doubled in size, 1 to 1½ hours.

4-When the dough has doubled, divide it into 8 even portions. Roll each portion into a log that is 5½ to 6 inches long. Press the log into the cornmeal that has been poured onto a plate, and place the dough log on a parchment paper–lined baking sheet or a silicone baking mat. Cover the dough and allow it to rise again for 1 hour.

5-About 15 minutes before the dough is done rising, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

6-Bake the bread for 25 to 30 minutes or until the outside of the bread has formed a firm crust. Serve with softened butter on the side.

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