On a holiday many years ago, we went for a splash-out dinner at the fabulous restaurant "Clark's by the Bay" (now sadly closed) near Kingston, Ontario. With the spectacular dinner came the most wonderful freshly baked rolls. And because we came from far away Toronto, I thought it would be okay to ask how these rolls were made. Our server (who happened to be the owner and somalier) said he'd go to the kitchen and ask. And he returned about 30 seconds later and smiled as he handed me a piece of paper: a photocopy of the very recipe that had been published in the local paper a few weeks before. I still have that sheet of paper with the molasses fennel rye recipe that Clark handed me all those years ago.
Unfortunately, I have no idea in which paper the recipe was published - I'm guessing it was the Kingston Whig Standard. Nor do I know the date. Another guess says the autumn of 1987 or 1988. I've searched as best I can through the archives at the library and come up with nothing.
[...] Jack Francis is a chef specializing mainly in French foods who finds the menu at Clark's an interesting one. Francis bakes fresh bread daily each morning at the restaurant, and has contributed the recipe for a dark bread which, he says, is "a combination of Harrowsmith magazine and my father's cooking." [...]
1 tbsp. fennel seeds
4 tbsp. blackstrap molasses
1 cup rye flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup white flour
1/2 cup wheat germ
2 cups warm water
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1 tbsp. salt
2 tbsp. dried yeast granules
4 tsp. sugar
1/4 cup raisins
Combine all dry ingredients and set aside. Mix yeast with water, sugar and molasses and let sit a few moments until mixture starts to bubble.
Add the yeast mixture to the dry ingredients ato make a staff dough. Knead 10 minutes on a well-floured board, adding additional white flour as dough takes it up. Knead in raisins.
Shape into two round balls and let rise, covered with a moist cloth, until double in size. Punch down, knead again for a few minutes, then shape into two balls, slit tops and let rise in a warm (85F) place until doubled in size. Bake at 325F for 35-40 minutes.
-Kingston Newspaper (Whig Standard??) circa Autumn 1988
As you can see, I've made the bread often over the years; the sheet of paper has been well used. I really should make yet another note on the paper to strike the scrawled "45-50 minutes" and change it (back) to "30-35 minutes". And while I'm at it, I'll make a note to use only 1.5 tsp yeast, to bake the bread on the top shelf to prevent it from burning on the bottom and to put the oven at 350F rather than 325F.
Please see more photos of Clark's Molasses Fennel Rye Bread here.