HOME > Chowhound > Philadelphia >
What's your latest food quest? Tell us about it

Black bread in the 'burbs

Chefpaulo Jan 2, 2011 08:44 AM

I'm looking for a few baguette-sized loaves of real black bread for my post-holiday party next weekend. I've used the Rubischlager pumpernickel but prefer the real McCoy. Are there any bakeries that make real Russian black bread preferably between Collegeville and the Main Line? Thank you.

  1. c
    chopinpa Jan 4, 2011 04:39 PM

    The Whole Foods in Wynnewood sells a pretty decent Russian black bread - it's baked outside WF, so it is on their back shelf, behind the bread counter.

    1. c
      Chefpaulo Jan 4, 2011 02:20 PM

      Thanks, Hounds, and yes, P'Cakes, I should be venturing into the unknowns of dry cooking but I need (knead?) some unpressured time to experiment. The bash is on Saturday. The salmon is curing and I'd like to have the really good stuff as an accompanyment.

      All the "black" bread recipes I've examined make lovely light brown to dark brown loaves, but not really black bread that I remember from my days in NE Philly 25 years ago. How does one get it really black without excessive dark molasses that would make it sweet?

      15 Replies
      1. re: Chefpaulo
        PattiCakes Jan 4, 2011 06:38 PM

        You use coffee in place of the water & this nifty stuff called caramel coloring (it's black) from King Arthur.

        1. re: PattiCakes
          Chefpaulo Jan 5, 2011 05:30 AM

          Now we're getting somewhere. Some recipes call for a few tablespoons of coffee but not enough to make it black. i was thinking chicory might be in order. I'll check out His Majesty's blackening solution. Thanks P'Cakes.

          1. re: Chefpaulo
            PattiCakes Jan 5, 2011 08:46 AM

            I used the pumpernickel recipe from Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day. It does not recommend using pumpernickel flour (they claim an unreliable water absorbtion factor), but I did anyway, along with coffee and that magic powder from KA. It turned out very well, although it was a more rustic loaf than the traditional dark loaf I remember from the deli. Hubby made quick work of it with the liverwurst and onion. Might have snuck some herring in ther etoo.

            1. re: PattiCakes
              cwdonald Jan 5, 2011 12:21 PM

              I've seen recipes that call for chocolate, espresso powder, and molasses to make it dark. Some recipes require a starter, whereas other just use dry yeast.

              In my opinion if you want the russian "cherniye kheb" go to Bells Market in the northeast, Its worth the travel, and they have wonderful breads many of which are made on site there.

              1. re: cwdonald
                PattiCakes Jan 6, 2011 05:10 AM

                Sounds like a road trip. Can you pinpoint an address?

                1. re: PattiCakes
                  Bigley9 Jan 6, 2011 05:16 AM

                  8354 Bustleton Avenue

                  1. re: Bigley9
                    cwdonald Jan 6, 2011 07:25 AM

                    From Oreland, get onto 73/Township Line Road which turns into Cottman Ave. Take that to Bustleton make a left and its about a mile up on the left in a shopping center with other russian stores as well. If you get to Jack's Deli you have gone too far.

                    1. re: cwdonald
                      PattiCakes Jan 6, 2011 09:17 AM

                      Definately a road trip!! Thanks cw. Na Zdorovie!

                2. re: cwdonald
                  bucksguy14 Jan 6, 2011 07:19 AM

                  Since I had no idea what "chemiye kheb" was, I Googled it found this recipe -
                  Maybe that's help CP!

                  1. re: cwdonald
                    Delucacheesemonger Jan 6, 2011 07:31 AM

                    Just went to Bell's market after seeing this post. Found nice bread, but not the 'Russian Black' or really dark pumpernickel from my childhood. That being said, excellent market, with huge variety of eastern European things, including the pomegranate juices with lots of muck on bottom, so much better than Pom.

                    1. re: Delucacheesemonger
                      barryg Jan 6, 2011 07:37 AM

                      Fillabagel in Jenkintown has a very good pumpernickel. I think it's pretty dark, but after reading all this maybe it's not black.

                      1. re: barryg
                        Bigley9 Jan 6, 2011 08:34 AM

                        There is a real difference between pumpernickle and what I grew up calling Russian Black Bread. Part of it is molasses (I think) and amazingly the russian black bread has LESS of a molasses taste than pumpernickle.

                      2. re: Delucacheesemonger
                        gaffk Jan 6, 2011 09:16 AM

                        Try the Russian grocery store in the old Leo Mall--farther up Bustleton Ave. (11749 Bustleton). I used to work with a few guys from Russia and they drove down there almost every weekend to get their authentic Russian foods.

                        1. re: gaffk
                          cwdonald Jan 6, 2011 09:24 AM

                          The name of that market is NetCost...

                          1. re: cwdonald
                            gaffk Jan 6, 2011 09:36 AM

                            Thanks . . .I knew it must have a name ;)

            2. Delucacheesemonger Jan 4, 2011 12:34 PM

              l understand your pain. Russian bakeries were in the area decades ago, in Olney was Cakemasters, and Logan but now only one l know of is Kaplan's at 3rd and Poplar. Liss's on Haverford never did it for me.

              1. b
                Bigley9 Jan 4, 2011 11:58 AM

                Ric's bread, who was at the headhouse market this season had real black bread (I grew up in East Oak Lane and there was a great bakery in Olney that I don't know if it still exists) They are in Lancaster, but seem to go to farmer's markets and the occassional retail outlet (I saw a mention of Green Isle Grocery carrying them)

                1. PattiCakes Jan 4, 2011 10:51 AM

                  Shouldn't a Hound like you be makin' your own? Just sayin" (grin).

                  Show Hidden Posts