Monday, January 21, 2013

Russian Dark Rye with Borodino

It’s January 2013 and here in Thailand; 2556. We had some busy weeks because we had a family visit from the Netherlands. It was great to show them our favorite places and enjoy each other’s company. The visit gave me not much time to bake new bread and in the spare moments I baked a ‘no-fail’ Norwich sourdough; as always a hit.

Today I had time to bake something new. This is the second month I bake with pre-mixed flour from
Schmidt. I choose Borodino. The main ingredients of this dark rye bread are a mixture of rye flour and wheat flour, yeast, salt, barley malt syrup, black treacle or molasses and coriander and caraway (fennel) seeds. Since I used pre-mixed Borodino I added all purpose flour, rye flour, sugar, ginger syrup, salt and coriander and caraway seeds.

This year Schmidt gives me pre-mixed flours to bake bread. Every month I bake one or more breads with their flour and write about my experiences on my blog. Maybe more people in Thailand will (start to) bake their own bread or ask their bakeries for healthy bread. Last month I baked Avena Vital; a delicious oat bread.

There are some stories about this Russian bread. One is about the largest and bloodiest single-day battle of Napoleon’s invasion in Russia in 1812. The battle took place at the Russian village Borodino. Borodino bread, also known as Borodinsky bread, is named by a general's wife who sought to inspire the Russian troops before the battle of Borodino. Other stories tell about the widows of the Russian soldiers who created a new type of mixed rye bread. And some others don’t think it’s possible the bread was baked before 1917, the Great October Revolution. It has to be a great recipe for it to survive until now! I was curious and ready to bake it.

My conclusion: we like it!
The bread has a nice soft and moist crumb. The taste is slightly sweet and has a nice flavor of caraway and coriander seeds. In the pre-mixed Borodino there’s roasted malt, this gives the loaf a beautiful dark color without the taste of molasses. It’s a loaf you keep on eating until it’s gone. It goes very well with cheese, marmalade and our home made peanut butter. But even without these spreads it’s delicious. Next time though, I will omit the sugar because I think it the taste doesn’t need it.
If you’re not familiar with rye bread, this is great start. It’s an easy recipe. There are more ways to bake Borodino, with boiled sponge, but this is an easy way to bake this delicious bread.
Good color and great taste

Name                                       Dark Rye with Borodino
Borodino from                         Schmidt
Yields                                       1 loaf
Dough temp.                           28°C- 30°C
Mixing                                      3 + 3 minutes
Fermentation                          40 - 50 minutes
Shape                                      Round or batard
Proof at roomtemp.                40 - 60 minutes
Prepare steam/bake               1 hour
Bake 230°C dropping 190°C    40 – 45 minutes

This is what I used:
Bakers formula                      %          grams
Flour                                        100       666
Water                                      75        500
Salt                                          1.5       10

Unbleached All Purpose flour                  200
Rye flour                                              366
Borodino                                              100
Water                                                  500
Sugar                                                    20
Sugar syrup                                           20 (I used ginger syrup)          
Salt                                                      10
Yeast, dried instant                                4
Coriander seeds/Caraway seeds               3

This is what I did:
The dough: I added all of the ingredients in the mixing bowl of a spiral mixer and mixed until all was well combined, for 3 minutes.
Then I mixed on third speed for 3 minutes. The dough was sticky and firm.

Bulk Fermentation: transfer the dough to a slightly oiled container, cover and leave for 40 - 50 minutes. 

The dough looks a bit like putty, but don't let this fool you. 

Shaping: I pre shaped the dough into a ball. Covered with a towel and left for 15 minutes to rest. Then I shaped it into a batard. With the seam up placed in the flour dusted banneton. 
If you have, use a banneton that fits the amount of dough. Mine is too full as you can see. This is the only one I have and I'm happy with it.

Proofing: I proofed the loaf for 60 minutes.

Pre heating: I pre heated the oven to 230°C and placed the cake pan with stones on the bottom of the oven for steaming. In the original recipe you drop the temperature to 190°C and bake it for 40 – 45 minutes and without steam. In my oven it's very difficult to adjust the temperature. I decided to bake the loaf at 230°C and use steam for 10 minutes and bake without steam for 20 minutes.

Preparing and Baking: When the oven is hot enough I boil water and pour it in a glass bottle with a long neck. I pour some boiling water on the hot stones and quickly close the oven door to keep the steam in the oven.
I place the loaf on parchment on a peel and scored it with one slash lengthwise. Transfer to the oven and quickly slide the loaf on the baking stone. After some minutes I add some more water to get more steam.
  I baked the loaf 10 minutes with steam and quickly removed the parchment paper and the steam pan. I baked the loaf for another 20 minutes. Bake the loaf until it is dark brown colored.

Cooling: Let the loaf cool completely on a wire rack.

I send this to Susan’s YeastSpotting and to BYOB


  1. Mmm... like the shape and texture of the bread, wholesome!

    1. Hi Cheah, we love wholesome too! and the coriander and caraway seeds gives it a nice extra flavor too.