This in mind, I made a second batch of black bread. This loaf tastes almost-right, but it still didn't rise properly, and the texture is off from the bread-of-my-childhood. Also, the crust is rock-hard instead of chewy enough to give you a jaw like Bruce Campbell's. The loaf, in fact, is generally crumbly instead of chewy.
I think the problems are: an insufficiency of gluten, caused by too high a proportion of rye to wheat flour, and the lack of fat in the recipe. Eggs, maybe? And also, I think it needs some honey in addition to the molasses, because it's still a little too bitter.
I wonder what would happen if I found a good chewy pumpernickle recipe and started dumping the fennel and coffee and so forth into that?
Hmmmm. I wonder if a little Guinness in the batter would give it a boost.