Russian Rye Bread

Serve with hearty soups.

2 packages active dry yeast
2 cups warm water (105 to 115 degrees F)
1/4 cup butter or margarine, softened
1/4 cup dark molasses
1 tablespoon freeze-dried instant coffee
2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon fennel seed, crushed
4 cups medium rye flour
1 1/2 to 1 3/4 cups whole wheat flour
1 egg, slightly beaten

Dissolve yeast in warm water in large bowl. Stir in butter, molasses, coffee, honey, salt, fennel seed and rye flour. Beat until smooth. Stir in enough whole wheat flour to make dough easy to handle (dough will be stiff but slightly sticky). Turn dough onto generously floured surface; knead until smooth, about 5 minutes.

Place in greased bowl; turn greased side up. Cover; let rise in warm place until double, about 1 hour. Dough is ready if indentation remains when touched.

Punch dough down; divide into halves. Shape each half into a round 5-inch diameter loaf. Place loaves on greased cookie sheet. Cover; let rise until double, about 1 hour.

Heat oven to 350 degrees F.

Brush each loaf with egg. Sprinkle with fennel seed if desired. Bake until loaves are dark brown and sound hollow when tapped, about 1 hour; cool on wire racks.