1. Weigh your flour; or measure it by gently spooning it into a cup, then sweeping off any excess.

  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine all of the ingredients except the cocoa/rye flour mixture, stirring until the dough comes together. Knead until smooth, adding additional water or all-purpose flour 1 tablespoon at a time if needed. The dough should be soft and quite sticky. Let the dough rise until puffy, about 1 1/2 hours.

  3. Lightly grease a long covered baker (or other 2-pound capacity loaf pan). Divide the dough in half. On a piece of greased parchment, pat one half into an 11" x 8" rectangle. Return the other half to the mixing bowl and add the cocoa/rye flour mixture to it. Knead the dough until it's uniformly colored. 

  4. Pat the colored dough into an 11" x 8" rectangle and place it on top of the first rectangle of dough. Starting with the long edge, roll the dough into a spiral, pinching the seam and rolling the log to about 13" long. 

  5. Place the dough in the prepared pan; add the cover if using the covered baker, or cover with greased plastic. Let rise until puffy looking, about 1 1/2 hours. After 1 hour, start preheating the oven to 400°F.

  6. Uncover the loaf, brush with the beaten egg/water, and give the top three fairly deep diagonal slashes. Cover with the lid or tent loosely with foil and bake for 15 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 350°F and bake for an additional 20 to 25 minutes. Uncover and bake for 5 minutes more, until golden brown and the center of the loaf reads 200°F when measured with a digital thermometer.

  7. Remove the bread from the oven and from the pan; place it on a rack to cool completely before slicing.

  8. Store the bread, well wrapped, at room temperature for several days; freeze for longer storage.

Tips from our Bakers