Once you've made Borodinsky rye bread, you'll never want to have any other dark rye bread ever again.
The texture and flavour of this naturally leavened rye sourdough is incredible and unique to Russian black bread. It also has a very forgiving nature, making it a great choice for beginner bakers.
Along with traditional Russian piroshki , medovik, and bread kvass, Borodinsky bread is one of the most popular Russian foods. It's a delicious base for sandwiches or simply served with butter.
What is it
Borodinsky dark rye bread is a traditional Russian bread made with dark rye flour, molasses, fresh coriander seeds and caraway.
It's classically made using rye sourdough starter, but can be made with regular starter or yeast.
It's often used for open sandwiches or small snacks served with cured salmon, salted pork fat(salo) or salted/marinated herring.
How does it taste?
Unlike regular rye bread, Borodinsky bread is flavoured with coriander and caraway as well as dark molasses.
This gives the bread a rich warm flavour and a crumb that is soft and slightly "wet".
Dare I say moist)
This recipe also includes cocoa powder which does not make it taste like chocolate. You can't actually taste it in the final product.
It's for depth of flavour and a rich dark colour.
Traditionally rye malt powder was used but I find no benefit for it in this recipe over cocoa powder.
It's also much easier for most people to find the latter.
There are a few legends about the origin of Borodinsky bread. The one I would like to believe and probably most suited to Russian history is one of sorrow and war.
At the battle of Borodino, when crazy little Napoleon was going at it, a general perished.
General Alexander Tuchkov. He left behind a Widow. Margarita Tuchkova.
She apparently set up a convent on one of the previous battlefields. The nuns started to bake and serve this bread at events for mourning the dead.
The coriander seeds represented the shot from the bullets and the dark colour, the sorrow and solemnness caused by their loss.
Fact or fiction? You decide.
Making the dough
Jump straight to the recipe and video using the "jump to" buttons at the top. Otherwise, read on for in-depth instructions, serving suggestions and frequently asked questions.
Traditional Borodinsky bread is made with a rye sourdough starter.
You need a nice active starter culture full of yeast to make this bread.
Mix 150 grams active sourdough starter, 250 grams cold water, and 200 grams rye flour together. Let it rest overnight or for at least 12 hours at room temperature.
The following day, mix together the pre-ferment, 350 grams white bread flour, 50 grams rye flour, 100 grams wholemeal flour, 15 grams salt, 5 grams freshly ground caraway seeds, 8g whole coriander seeds(Keep 4 grams for sprinkling in the tin and on top), 60 grams molasses, 40 grams dark cocoa powder, and 280 grams room temperature water.
The mix will be very wet. DO NOT ADD MORE FLOUR!!! It's supposed to be like that. Just work the dough for about 3 minutes with your hands or a wooden spoon or whatever, until the gluten has formed a bit in the dough.
At this point, just oil your hands, stretch and fold the dough a bit and then just cover it up. Don't forget to draw a smiley face and put the time on it.
Give the dough an hour to rest and fully hydrate.
When the hour is up, oil your hands and give the dough a few stretches and folds by lifting up the bottom, stretching up and folding back onto itself.
Cover and let it prove for 3 hours or until doubled in size in a warm place. Around 26°C or 78°F.
Preparing the tins
While the dough is doing its thing. Line a bread tin, moulds or springform cake tin with parchment paper. You can use any shape even a bunt cake mould works. First oil the tins then parchment paper and then a bit of oil again. You're learning the secrets of the pros now.
Sprinkle each tin with a bit of semolina, coriander seeds and ground caraway.
Now your tins are ready. You go do something else or whatever until the dough has risen nicely or roughly doubled in size.
When your dough has risen you don't smash all the air out like a hooligan.
You just gently tap it down and with oiled hands divide the dough in two or make one big bread if your bread tins allow it.
Dump the dough onto an oiled work surface and shape it into a round by tucking the sides underneath it with a dough or bench scraper. Cover and let it rest for 15 minutes.
Next, you could shape your dough into a tight-ish oval shape to improve the shape. If you're not experienced with shaping bread then simply tuck the bread underneath itself again with the dough scraper and put it into the tin.
Gently even out the top and sprinkle with some more coriander and ground caraway seeds.
Next, we will let the dough rise again lightly covered with plastic wrap in a warm place. Oil the wrap a bit to make sure it does not stick to the bread. Just in case.
Turn your oven up to 220°C(428°F). Let the bread prove one more time till doubled in size about 1,5 hours.
Rye bread can easily overprove so keep an eye on it. When it looks nice and plump get it into the oven. It's better to bake a loaf under proofed slightly than over-prooved.
When ready to bake, place a small metal bowl or tray with water in the bottom of the oven.
This will create a bit of steam and the crust of the bread will be beautiful and crispy.
It also allows for the bread to finish rising in the oven without the crust forming too quick.
Baking the bread
Bake the bread at 220°C(428°F) for 20 minutes. Turn down the oven to 180°C(356°F) and bake for a further 10 minutes.
When the ten minutes are up, carefully remove from the moulds and bake bottom side up for another 5 minutes. Always measure the internal temperature of bread and make sure it's above 90°C(194°F).
Remove the bread from the oven and let it cool on wire racks or on a kitchen cloth.
Let it cool down completely before you slice it. It will be extremely hard at this point to resist as the smell is absolutely intoxicating. Just be strong.
Finally, our reward for all that not-so-hard work looks like this.
a Sight to behold.
The best thing now is to slather some good butter all over it. Great as is.
Even sprinkle a bit of chives. It's all engines go at his point.
Borodinsky bread makes a great open sandwich. Toppings include the following.
Frequently asked questions
It will keep for 5 days wrapped airtight at room temperature. For longer storage slice the bread, wrap it up tight and store in the freezer for up to 3 months.
The best sandwiches are made with some sort of rye bread. Reuben sandwiches, Turkey sandwiches, Coronation chicken, home-cured salmon, and many more come to mind.
Kvass is a Russian drink made by toasting this Borodisnsky bread and fermenting it mixed with filtered water, molasses and brewers yeast. It’s fantastic and we will be doing a recipe on this site soon.
Plenty)) The most popular topping for Borodinsky rye bread is salo(сало). It is salted pork fat smeared or sliced on top of this bread.
That with an ice-cold vodka is probably one of the most Russian experiences you could think of. I love it and you should try it.
Tips for success
- Make sure your sourdough starter is healthy and active. If you don't have a rye starter then use a normal plain white flour starter
- Follow the timings as a guide. Your loaf may prove faster or slower due to the many variables involved in bread making. If it proves slowly move it to a warmer place. If it is plump and proven early, then get it in the oven.
- Rye bread can easily overproof so keep an eye on it.
- This is a very forgiving bread recipe and every loaf I've seen readers make has turned out great. Even ones that never baked anything. Point is. Have confidence. It'll all be good.
- Make sure to fully bake the loaf. Check that the internal temperature reaches above 90 degrees Celsius or 194 degrees Fahrenheit. Or until a wooden skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
- Once cooked make sure to cool it down completely before cutting. Overnight is best.
Useful equipment for this recipe
Electronic Kitchen Scales
Kitchenaid Stand Mixer
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Russian Borodinsky Dark Rye Bread
For the pre-ferment
- 150 g (⅗ cups) rye starter
- 250 g (1 cups) cold water
- 200 g (2 cups) rye flour
For the dough
- 625 g (all) pre-ferment
- 350 g (2 ⅘ cups) white bread flour
- 100 g (⅘ cups) wholemeal flour
- 50 g (3 tablespoon) rye flour
- 15 g (3 teaspoon) salt
- 10 g (2 teaspoon) caraway seeds
- 12 g (2 ½ teaspoon) coriander seeds
- 60 g (⅕ cups) molasses
- 40 g (2 ⅔ tablespoon) dark cocoa powder
- 280 g (1 ⅕ cups) cold water
Day 1 The pre-ferment
- You need a nice active starter culture full of yeast to make great bread. For that reason, we will mix 150g sourdough starter, 250g cold water, and 200g rye flour together.
- Let it rest overnight or for at least 12 hours at room temp.
Day 2 Making the dough
- The following day, mix together the pre-ferment, 350g white bread flour, 50g rye flour, 100g wholemeal flour, 15g salt, 5g freshly ground caraway seeds, 12g whole coriander seeds, 60g molasses, 40g dark cocoa powder, and 280g room temperature water.
- The mix will be sticky. Do not add more flour. It's supposed to be a a wet dough.
- Work the dough for about 3 minutes with your hands or a wooden spoon.
- At this point, just oil your hands, stretch and fold the dough as much as possible and then just cover it up.
- Don't forget to draw a smiley face and put the time on it. Let it rest for one hour.
- After an hour, oil your hands and give the dough a few folds by lifting from the bottom and folding back onto itself. All the way around the parimeter of the bowl. Close the dough and let it prove for 3 hours in a slighty warm place. Around 26°C or 78°F.
- While the dough is doing its thing. Line some bread tins or moulds with parchment paper.
- First oil the tins then parchment paper and then a bit of oil again
- Sprinkle each tin with a bit of semolina, coriander seeds and ground caraway.
- When your dough has risen you don't smash all the air out like a hooligan. You just gently tap it down and with oiled hands divide the dough in two or make one big bread if your bread tins allow it.
- Dump the dough onto an oiled work surface and shape it into a round by tucking the sides underneath it with a dough or bench scraper. Cover and let it rest for 15 minutes.
- Next, you could shape your dough into a tight-ish oval shape to improve the shape. If you're not experience with shaping bread then simply tuck the bread underneath itself again with the dough scaper and put it into the tin.
- Gently even out the top with your hands and sprinkle with some more coriander and ground caraway seeds
- Next, we will let the dough rise again lightly covered with plastic wrap. Oil the wrap a bit to make sure it does not stick to the bread. Just in case. Let the Borodinky bread prove one more time till doubled in size about 1,5 hours. Turn your oven up to 220°C(428°F).
- When ready to bake, place a small metal bowl or tray with water in the bottom of the oven. This will create a bit of steam and the crust of the bread will be beautiful and crispy. It also allows for the bread to finish rising in the oven without the crust forming too quick.
- Bake at 220°C(428°F) for 20 minutes. Turn down the oven to 180°C(356°F) and bake a further 10 minutes. When the ten minutes are done carefully remove from the moulds and bake bottom side up for another 5 minutes. to make sure it's cooked measure the internal temperature with a kitchen thermometer. It should read above 90°C(194°F) Remove from the oven and let cool on wire racks or kitchen cloth.
- Let the bread cool down completely before slicing.
- Rye flour can easily overproof so keep an eye on it.
- Once cooled the bread can be sliced, sealed airtight, and frozen for months.
- Feel free to leave out the spices if you don't like spices in bread.
- If you don't have a rye starter use a regular starter.
- Don't add more flour to the dough. It's supposed to be wet.
- If you want your bread without cracks on top simply fold and shape like you would regular sourdough. Watch video for instructions.
- Use old borodisnky bread to make this delicious Russian bread kvass. A naturally fermented drink similar to dark beer and popular in Slavic countries.
Growing up in Brooklyn the bread we ate tasted exactly like your BHAPE3KY bread. I am so happy, I finally found it at Bells Supermarket in Feasterville Pa. I left Brooklyn when I was 28 years old and I am now 83, so you can imagine the surprise so many years later, when I decided to try your bread. Like being back home in Brooklyn again.
That made my day Sheila! Happy to hear you liked it and thanks for the great feedback!
Hi, I'm keen to try this yummy looking loaf today! Just need some clarifications.
With the pre ferment, what is your room temp? Do you need to leave it overnight if we are in the middle of summer? Do we use it at its peak?
For the last 5 mins of baking, do you invert the loaf onto another baking sheet and continue baking?
I know some rye breads require that you cover it with a tea towel after baking for a few hours to soften the hard crust - do we need this for your recipe?
Thanks heaps for sharing your gem with us!!
1. Room temp around 22C.
2. If it's hot then keep an eye on it. Might only need 6 hours.
3. Use at the peak but, will work even when it's gone down a bit
4. Yes invert onto another baking sheet. This is just to get a little bit of a crusty bottom. (that came out weird)
5. The most important thing is to let it cool down completely then store in a container or sealable plastic bag. This bread is not as heavy and dense as some rye bread and the crust will soften without the tea towel covering, straight after baking. However, cover it with a tea towel anyway to make sure it's cozy))
Enjoy and feel free to send me pictures or questions on instagram.
Thanks sooo much for your prompt reply!
Another question, my starter is typically fed primarily white bakers flour with a touch of rye flour. Do I continue to feed it with the same bakers/rye flour mix for the pre ferment or just use 100% rye flour as per your recipe.
Just feed as you do. All will be good!
So I made the pre ferment late last night but its very watery compared to what I usually do. I used your quantities but instead of rye flour used my bread flour/rye mix. This morning after 7hrs it didnt rise at all! My starter is normally very active. Should I leave it for longer and see if it rises or can I use it soon? Thanks for all your great help!!
If it didn’t rise at all leave it longer. You need some microbial activity. If it struggles give it a teaspoon of honey. Honey is full of glucose and the microbes and yeast will ferment it quicker. What temperature is your room? Maybe try moving it somewhere a bit warmer
It's cooler here at nights so maybe around 25degrees? I've left for 8 hours now and still no rise at all. There are many tiny bubbles on the surface though. I fed my starter prior to making the pre ferment and it was very active..it rises 3x by 4 to 5 hours in the day. I will leave for longer as you suggested but if it still doesn't rise but bubbly at the top can I still try and use it? Thanks alot!!
Still nothing. I was wondering if I could use my starter straight and if so, how much should I use? My starter is very active just doesn't seem to like the pre ferment.... Maybe too little flour to water ratio I don't know?
Try using it straight up. You need to use 20% starter to the weight of combined flour in the recipe. Check the consistency. The dough should be very loose.
You are the best !!
Love your recipes and your humor !!
Keep on doing what you do
Sure will! Happy you enjoy it!
I made this and followed the directions precisely. However, when I went to remove the bread from the oven it had not gotten to 195F internally and my probe came out gooey. I baked the bread for about 25 more minutes until the internal temperature was reached. I let it cool overnight. When I sliced into it, the inside was doughy, to the point I could squeeze it into a ball. What happened?
Did it collapse? Might have over proofed it. Could also be your starter. If it has lotsa amylase, it can over proof real quick.
One of the best rye breads I ever tried. This is an amazing recipe. You should be selling this, not give it away for free))
Thanks for the great feedback John. Sharing is caring)
My mom forwarded me the video because she knew I’d been dabbling a bit in sourdough (and because she found it funny). I was so intrigued that I had to try it, and my word the result was amazing! I expected the caraway and coriander to be a bit overpowering, but this was not the case - overall there is an amazing complexity of flavours that balance each other well.
A couple of questions:
I used blackstrap molasses - would this influence the flavour much compared to dark molasses?
The crust split open quite a bit when baking. Is there a trick to avoiding this?
Great happy you like it. Blackstrap is ok, it's less sweet but all good. The molasses we use in Russia is also not that sweet. The crust will crack with this recipe. You can substitute some rye for white flour add a pinch of xanthan gum. Otherwise, There's a yeasted version in the video description that doesn't crack.
I have taken classes making sourdough etc, but your explanation was the best teaching/reading I have ever had. The rye bread is remarkable. I made four loaves for my family and friends - they went crazy for it and want more.
Maria, that's fantastic feedback! Glad you and your family like it.
Wanting to try this recipe, but just noticed that in the ingredients list for pre-dough it says 280 ml of water, but in the instructions 250.
Which one is correct?
Thank you 🙂
Hi Lara, Thanks for letting me know, fixed. Go with the 280g stated in the recipe but, it's a very tiny amount in the grand scheme of things so don't worry, it won't make a difference in the final product. Being in the preferment and all)
Thanks Charlé!! 🙂
After mixing dough in 11, what kind of consistency should the dough be? It feels like pancake batter to me, too runny, so I can’t stretch it like it says in 12.
It's a runny dough so just go with it. You stretchy-foldy as much as you can just a few times. Won't be the same as with regular sourdough. Send me pictures @pantsdownapronson on Instagram.
Thanks for your reply, I didn’t wait for it long enough, just went with adding a little more flour. The dough was like cake consistency, when I poured it in the tins.
I didn’t have the cocoa powder, so the colour is not as dark, but I tell ya, I had to go out when I took it out of the oven, so I don’t slice it before it’s cooled down.
Came back later and omg the bread tastes amazing ❤️❤️❤️
Thank you for sharing 🙂
Will have to definitely try more of your recipes!!!
Ps. Will send you a pic of my loaf on insta.
i've made this recipe twice now -- i love dark rye and these loaves are sublime!
Happy to hear you love this recipe and respect for making it twice! Dark Rye bread is at the top of my list too. Especially when it's naturally leavened with sourdough starter. Makes such a difference in flavour and texture.
I just made it. Tastes great, I'll definitely make it again soon.
Why do you pre-ferment just the rye flour? Is it because rye is harder for the micro-organisms to digest?
I found my bread was a bit too moist/doughy. Still tasted good, but it was on the edge. All ovens are different. I think next time I should cook it a bit longer.
When you cook at the end upside down, do you put it on a new tray?
Yeast loves rye flour and the starter becomes a lot more active when mixed with rye.
It also depends on how well your flour hydrates. To add to that we have humidity to consider too. If you are in a humid region then your bread will actually be a touch wetter and you can use more flour.
Rye can easily overproof because the yeast is supercharged.
When I cook it upside down, I just remove it from the baking forms and cook it on the tray already in the oven. If you have a kitchen temperature probe then check that the inside of the bread is above 90C. Once that is reached you bread is done and no extra baking will make it dry if it's wet in the middle.
Always wait until the bread is completely cooled down before slicing. Especially with Rye bread.
If you are having problems with it, then message me on Instagram with pics when you make it. Will be happy to help with any questions step by step.
I will actually update this recipe with some added flour to minimise any issues and also add the internal temperature step.
Thanks for the great feedback!
Thank you for the wonderful recipe. I was lucky to find you from Japan. Borodinsky Bread It's done very well. It's going to be my standard. I want to make your recipe little by little from now on.
This is an awesome recipe! The taste is really close to what I remember and loved growing up in Moscow, and what I’ve never been able to find in the Russian stores in the US. I modified few minor things (decreased cocoa 50% so I wouldn’t taste it in the bread and increased coriander and caraway seeds about 50% - cannot have too much of it! And also add about 25% more molasses to make it tiny bit sweeter).
Made it several times now and it disappears every time - now I have to double the amount so can share with more people.
Kate that's great feedback! Happy this borodinsky recipe brings some nostalgia to the table. Like the modifications you made!!
Wow what great bread ! I followed the instructions but still I had no faith even when it come out of the oven well risen and crunchy crusted. Cut it to taste test , just so good. Thank you for such a wonderful recipe and step by step instructions
Catherine, that’s exactly what I like to hear! Thanks for the great feedback. Sometimes all it takes is a little bit of faith). Happy baking!
So when this came up in my google search for "borodinsky bread from sourdough starter", I was hesitant at first to follow a recipe from some guy with a name like "Charlé Visser". Yeah I know, I was wrong to judge, but there are few with non-russian names that could ever pull off such a thing. And by few, I mean I think you're one of the few. Or maybe just the one. Luckily, I read more about you in your bio and took the risk. Ah, who am I kidding, I just liked the peculiar smiley face you drew on the dough while it was proofing, and went for it. Glad I did, all Ruskies in my house were very happy and approved, and I am very happy to have found such a great recipe.
Great feedback! Happy you all liked it and you had the courage to go for it! Knew that smiley would come in handy at some point)
The best Borodinsky bread I ever had. I grew up in Moscow and this recipe is very special even if you used a not typical ingredient like cocoa powder it's delicious, it's light and the flavour is amazing. My parents keep asking me to bake them more))) Think I might need to start selling it! xx
The proofing time is quite extensive (3h + 1.5h) and I want to make it for an early lunch event. Will it still be as good if I rather make it the day before? Or will I be sacrificing something (e.g. freshness) that makes this bread so tasty?
Dornehl, You can absolutely make this bread the day before. It’s how we do it in the restaurant. The texture and flavour actually improves. Make sure to cool it down completely and then seal airtight by placing in a plastic bag or container. Store at room temperature.
Hi there! I have a sourdough starter I've been using/feeding, but it's made with all-purpose flour. Can I use that, as long as all the rest of the flours and ingredients match up, or will it be problematic because it's not a rye starter? thanks!
Hello Aimee, use whatever starter you have. You only need the yeast from the starter and that will be there no matter which type of starter you use.
Mine seemed more brown than black. Should I use Dutch processed cocoa? Or is it something else?
It’s ok if it’s brown and not black but natural plain 100% cocoa powder will give you a darker result
I bought a Borodinsky loaf on Hebden Bridge market and loved everything about it. So I wanted to make my own and this recipe is sublime! The instructions and amounts are clear and accurate and the result is divine.
I experimented by using a combination of white rye and wholegrain rye flour (as I'm intolerant of wheat) and it worked very well.
Annie, that’s great feedback and I’m glad you found this recipe helpful!
The most amazing dark rye bread recipe I ever tried. Never knew about borodinsky bread until now. Such a fabulous dark Russian bread.
This is the best recipe for our famous Russia rye bread. I grew up in Russia and this is even better than the black breads I grew up with. Thanks for the recipe
Just made my pre-ferment, and looking forward to baking tomorrow!
It will be the first time I've made a black bread with a starter - although I use my starter for everything else - basic country bread, English muffins, baguette, etc. etc.
Question: other black bread recipes I've used all include vinegar. Is that just to emulate the slight acidity that naturally comes from a sourdough starter?
Thanks for continuing my sourdough education!
ps: My husband is Hungarian, and we eat black bread with the spicy spread called körözött, smoked ham, horseradish and scallions on Christmas Eve.
That sounds great! With sourdough you don't have to add vinegar as the starter already has enough to contribute to the bread. It helps the gluten bonds and yeast also likes a slightly acidic life.
I don’t have a sourdough starter but thought I’d experiment using a poolish to see what would happen. I mixed 150 grams of bread flour, instead of the starter, with the rye flour and water then added about 1/4 teaspoon of yeast and left it about 12 hours I followed the rest of the recipe but added about 3/4 teaspoon of yeast to the final dough I also added about a teaspoon of ground coffee
I baked it in a Dutch oven and it turned out great. My wife made me bake more before we were halfway through the loaf
Phil, that sounds a treat and very happy to see such creativity! If you have Instagram, send me pictures! I love seeing all the creations.
I made this today and it came out beautifully! My bread looks exactly like your pictures. It tastes even better than expected! It’s this recipe that got me hooked on sourdough - thanks for your clear explanations and lovely humour.
Oooh this came out perfect ❤️! What a wonderful recipe, such clear instructions - thank you so much!
PS: I made a starter just to be able to make this bread. Absolutely worth it! Thank you
Welcome. Glad you you liked it!
As a brewer, your idea of K'vass sounded like my Pumpernickel Rye Alt, which won a regional award here in Portland. After retiring, I took up baking, and now I make all the bread we eat (Buttermilk white, whole wheat, and 7 grain breads) plus all the beer I drink. Mixing the two are simple, but the real secret is in pairing the style of beer to the type of bread. As an example, I make a very nice Steam Beer that uses cracked wheat in the mash to give it that nice bakery fresh flavor, and aroma. A friend jokingly said I should make a beer with wonder bread (it's a wonder how that gets called bread in the first place!) and so I thought maybe an American light lager? Sounds too flavorless and boring to me! So what ideas were you considering for making a beer with bread? Enquiring minds need to know!
Your house sounds like a great place to be). Yeah I don’t think wonder bread will make anyone or anything happy apart from the yeast). I’m no expert in brewing but I think naturally a stout or porter will be good. Maybe if the bread gets made with a bit of orange zest and ginger it could make a nice Ale of sorts
I have to say, this is the best rye bread I've ever eaten. I do have a strong visceral memory of a loaf of light rye that I ate about two decades ago on the streets of Vienna. I was traveling in tough times, I was so hungry and it was soooo fresh. I recently became obsessed with making Borodinsky Rye after I read a brilliant description of it in Darra Goldstein's amazing cookbook/memoir/culinary history/love letter "Beyond the North Wind: Russia in Recipes and Lore". She discusses it in connection with making Kvass and includes a recipe for that, but not one for her, clearly much adored, Borodinsky bread! Very strange choice, but this oversight (subtle form of torture?) led me to YOU and I will be forever grateful for this recipe. I anxiously await your recipe for Kvass as well! With much gratitude, Alex
Thanks for the great feedback and story! Kvass high on priority list)) If you want the recipe before, let me know.
I would be absolutely delighted to have the Kvass recipe -- I held back a pound of Borodinsky bread hoping that would be sufficient. Actually, I had to hide it. So whenever you are ready! Thank you so much! Alexandra
I've sent you a mail with Kavass recipe. Check spam as it's a Gmail address.
Hi - I also have Beyond the North Wind and found you looking for the bread recipe:-). It’s been a smash hit in our household! Would love to have the Soviet version as well, and the Kvass recipe? And thanks again for your wonderful bread!
Glad you like it. Original soviet recipe:
100 g sourdough starter
700 g water
650 g rye flour
100 g wholemeal flour
50 g malted rye flour
8 g salt
40 g sugar
30 g molasses
10 g caraway seeds
10 g coriander seeds
750g toasted Borodinsky bread
70g fresh yeast
Let it ferment for 3 days then bottle and second ferment to carbonate. Chill well before drinking. If the kvass is very lively it will foam a lot. Simply release the gas buildup every now and then.
This bread was EXCELLENT. I shared the recipe with a Sourdough baking group on Facebook I joined; still somewhat new to baking with wild yeast, just a little over a year. Not long ago, I tried to make Pumpernickel bread but was not impressed with the result. Who knew in making this I would find the flavor profile I had been chasing all along AND I used up pretty much all my coriander that was collecting dust in the cupboard! Win, win!
My pre-ferment doubled very quickly, it's very hot climate wise. I refrigerated it overnight until ready to bake the next evening. The bulk rise also was much shorter for me probably due to heat. The crumb is soft, didn't seem under proofed. I will definitely make this again and again! THANK YOU for this excellent recipe and the video was great!
That's great feedback Betty. Thanks. Glad you liked it.
Rye bread as you know can easily overproof so well done managing that one in hot weather)
You mentioned you left a link for a spice grinder. I do not see it. This bread is fantastic and I make it almost every weekend! Thank you!
Here you go, https://amzn.to/3CC53Os. Glad you like it!
Very keen to try the Russian Borodinsky Dark Rye Bread. I bake with potato yeast and let the dough rise overnight. Kindly advise how to adjust quantities of flours, as I only use the drained liquid of the potato yeast. Thanks.
Just add a bit more flour if it’s crazy liquid.
My first Borodynski a big hit, made with potato yeast. Showing some real depth and character. Love it, thanks for sharing and teaching.
I have made your Borodinsky bread 2 times now. It is the second best rye bread I ever ate. My wife is from Finland and I've been there many times. I like their rye bread the most. Sorry.
I especially think the coriander taste is genious. Such a bouquet of flavor in every bite! I will continue to make it many times.
I heard a cat in your bread video in the background, so I know you are a great food lover and animal lover too!
Hi Charlé - LOVE the video and the bread came out perfectly, as instructed. Thank you! I also wanted to try the Soviet version but can’t seem to find the recipe on your website, but that may be due to aging eyes. Could share the link with me, please?
This was a fantastic recipe. I was simply looking for a nice rye bread from scratch recipe, however this blew our minds. I will forever make my rye bread this way and I am currently working on a regular sourdough version of it as well, with the help of some rye flour. I appreciate you and my family does as well. Also, this bread works fabulously with a nice dill dip (I used the beau monde spice version) !
Hi, your recipe sounds amazing. I'm fairly new to bread baking and haven't used sourdough yet. I think you indicated yeast can be used instead. How would I modify the recipe if I was using instant or active dry yeast instead of the 150 gms of starter?
Also is it ok to bake in a clay roaster or cast iron dutch oven?
Here's the yeasted recipe
750 g water
650 g rye flour
150 g wholemeal flour
50g malted rye flour
10g instant yeast
10g caraway seeds
10g coriander seeds
You can bake it in those. Just line the sides and make sure it's not too big. The dough is kinda loose so won't hold it's own shape very well.
Thanks for the yeasted recipe. Do you have a video by chance? Can you advise some more detail as to how I make it versus the sourdough version. For example, there is no pre ferment with the yeast recipe? Do I mix everything together like no knead and then do stretch and folds for how long? I’m assuming more time is needed at various steps if there is no preferment. Can it be all done on one day? Thanks very much.
You make it the same way as you would a normal yeasted bread. No need for a pre-ferment or anything like that. Very straightforward. Simply mix the yeast with water and molasses. Make the dough. Let it double in size. Knock it down. Shape it as I did in the video then pop it in a tin. Proof till puffy and bake. We do this in a couple of restaurants with small kitchens. Works great.
Thanks so much. I’m having difficulty finding malted rye flour. Can I substitute something else? Also is whole meal flour and flour that has all the ingredients of the grain with nothing removed, for example stone grilled hard red wheat, spelt, whole wheat, Eikhorn,Durham,etc. regards
Just use normal rye flour and sub the wholemeal for regular white flour if hard to find. Wholemeal is just flour that's not had the kernel and bran removed.
How about the dark cocoa powder?
this is an amazing recipe, so easy to follow with delicious results! i used sourdough rye starter, added extra seeds and a bit of orange zest, used a larger pullman loaf pan without the cover, so had to bake longer once out of pan. proofed at higher temp to increase sourdough flavor. this is a keeper!!
Making this bread for my dear Russian friend. I make regular sourdough bread, a few questions -
Can I use a mortar and pestle to grind the spice?
Can I place into banneton instead of oiled parchment pan, then dump into parchment lined covered Dutch oven as I usually do for rustic sourdough? Or just shut up and follow the directions?
You can do all of that just make sure some coriander seeds stays whole(symbolic). If you shape it well you can use a banneton and then dutch oven. Just make sure the dough is not too wet. Adjust the hydration slightly. Alternatively, shut up and follow the instructions))) Good luck and let me know how it went!
This bread is enthusiastically Russian Father-in-law approved! I didn't want to buy the dry rye starter so I used an equal amount of my sourdough starter! It worked out great. I did have to do a second feed of the starter to get it nice and bubbly but it worked well.
I did use warm water instead of cold and raised the bread overnight. In total this bread took four days but is very worth the effort!!
I was told I need to keep making this 🙂 I raised it in sourdough baskets lined with oiled plastic wrap and got some lovely round discs of delicious dense rye. Perfect for Russian butter and caviar!
Definitely saving this recipe!
Hi Charlé. I really want to try this bread for a good friend (from Poland) who LOVES dark Russian bread. Couple questions to help me please.
- Can I make the preferment using my regular AP starter together with the rye flour?
- Is whole grains organic rye flour (Arrowhead Mills) considered dark rye?
- Can I use whole wheat flour for the wholemeal flour?
- Will Dutch processed cocoa help make bread darker?
- Will whole coriander seeds in the dough & outside be too strong? How fine should caraway seeds be grounded (powder like)? Or can it be left ungrounded?
- Will it be ok to retard dough overnight (fits my schedule better), say after step 14 (before pre heating oven)?
- if I use a Dutch oven, should I un-lid after 20 mins and continue baking another 10 mins @356F?
Sorry for the many questions but they will help clarify my first attempt (and my friend very happy). Many thanks.
Regular starter good.
Only malted rye is a dark colour. Use that one you got. It’s grey.
Dutched cocoa good. Also use it.
Depends how much you like coriander seeds. It’s pretty standard for the outside ones to fall off as you slice it. Caraway I prefer ground bit have had it whole too. Prefer ground still.
You can do the overnight proof. Don’t bulk proof it too long though. Rye, molasses and sourdough gets very active and can overproof.
If you Ducth oven it, remove the lid and make sure the bottom has a bit of crust. Shouldn’t be a problem though.
Hope that helps! Good luck!
Thanks for your feedback. Since the dough is wet & loose, will it be able to hold its shape (boule) in Dutch oven? Or will it spread & flatten out?
Perhaps it’ll help be better to bake in a loaf pan? Is the recipe dough enough to be divided and baked in two 9x4 inch loaf pans for a sandwich size bread? Thank you.
You can strengthen then dough with a good few folds and bake in a Dutch oven, but like you said the dough will still spread. If you’re looking for a loaf shape best to bake in them. You will have a good tall bread and some dough left over if baking in one tin. Two tins will give you two “short” loaves that are perfect for little open sandwiches.
I made the bread using your feedback and as a trial run before baking for my friend. Came out quite good (I think!) — tasty, light crust, soft insides, slightly sweet/chocolatey and all around a “moist” hearty bread. Great as open face avocado toast .. yum!
I modified timeline to fit my schedule. The overnight preferment in 72F kitchen was very active after 10h, so I refrigerated 5h before mixing the dough. I shortened bulk fermentation to 2h (step 6) and 1h (step 14) then refrigerate overnight (11h) before baking according to recipe.
I baked in 2 vessels .. an uncovered 9x4 loaf pan (with steam bath) and a LoafNest (a small cast iron bread vessel with a tight cover, kinda like a small fitted Dutch oven). Both loaves were smallish, approx 8x3 inches. Would have liked a taller bread .. but how ?
I freezed one loaf .. should I thaw and warm in 350F oven for 10-15 mins before serving ?
Now I will bake next week & surprise my friend with Borodinsky bread ! Thank you again.
Sounds like a success. If you want a taller bread, adjust the amount of dough you're making and add more to the pans. Or scaled down and less for one loaf. Thaw before you warm, yes. Warm at around 320F.
This is delicious.
I used AP flour and the result was delightfully soft but I can see why bread flour would have been a bit better. I used a bit of rye instead of semolina to for my baking pans - I just didn't realize I needed any until it was too late and had a "whatever" moment.
I've been baking sourdough bread for two years which I think saved me a bit. I didn't stick to the exact timing (because life), I used my fridge for some of the rising time (because life), and went by what it's supposed to look like at each stage of the proofing. My starter wasn't ready to use at 9am, I only finished mixing my ferment up at 2pm. I'm was not going to be baking at midnight. So just a casual note to anyone curious: yes, store that dough covered in the fridge if you don't think you'll have time in exactly 3 or 8 hours and go by look and feel of the dough. IT WILL WORK AND IT WILL BE DELICIOUS AND I'M SENDING EVERYONE I KNOW TO THIS BLOG.
Hello- What would you say about substituting honey for the molasses?
I would say, don't do it. But then again, who am I to tell folks what to do. Reckon it would be too much sugar for the yeast to handle, and you will lose the very important flavour it brings. But, by all means give it a go and let me know the results!
Tovarish, this turned out like a champ. Fiddly pain in the ass for 19 hours, but a great loaf of bread.
Being funny when doing this stuff is the only way people pay attention. Nice job.
Baking in Colorado
Great bread. I live at 7000 ft and this bread came out exactly as described. I did adjust the proofing times by reducing each by about 15 percent time, as is suggested by Susan Purdy in her ‘Pie in the Sky Cookbook’. Q: Your total cook time is 1 hr for the regular loaf size pan on the video, but your baking times add up to a total of 20+10+5=35 minutes in the recipe. So do you increase the higher or lower temp baking time to get to 1 hr. Q: if one wanted a more intense pump taste what would you add or do differently?
For the big loaf I bake longer about an hour. I go high for 15-20 minutes then down for the rest of the time. If you wanted to increase the flavour I would add some nutritional yeast flakes and sub out some of the water for a roasted vegetable puree and of you feeling fancy some chopped salted pork fat or bacon will go a treat. Hope that answers your questions!
Making this bread just reminded me of why I quit baking bread at home a number of years ago.....I have to restrain myself from just sitting down and eating every bit of it at once! I think my pre-ferment overproofed some (It escaped the jar overnight and went all over the towels I had around it to keep the temp even) and the bread did not rise nearly as beautifully as your video shows....but the taste? AH the taste. It is EXACTLY the flavor I have been searching for in my attempts to make a black bread and I am so very happy that I found your site and this recipe. It most definitely is the best tasting bread I have found and I will continue to use the starter I made using your recipe and make this bread over and over again. Thank you for sharing this fabulous recipe with the world!
Let me say love this bread. My favorite sandwich is a rueben and this bread was truly awesome. I'm already thinking about lunch tomorrow cream cheese onion and smoked salmon. Thanks to Charl'e for this recipe. And video hilarious!
Hello I don't have a sourdough starter is there a way to make the pre ferment with bread yeast?
Got a recipe for the regular yeasted version in the comments on the youtube video and here it is. If you can’t find malted rye flour then sub for white or regular rye.
Don’t worry about pre ferment just mix, rise once. Knock it down then shape, rise and bake.
750 g water
650 g rye flour
150 g wholemeal flour
50g malted rye flour
10g instant yeast
10g caraway seeds
10g coriander seeds
I've made this not once but several times because it is that good. Where I live (San Francisco) there are no bakeries that make good BLACK bread. So I have to make it and you give me the method. Thank you very much.
My tiny variations: one half the specified amount of coriander. Add 1 Tbl of brown sugar.
Looks very good and I really want to do the recipe after reading tons of comments. I am wondering though about a substitute for the cocoa, you see I can’t eat it. Would carob powder be a good substitute or am I better to try something else. I am looking into finding the malt rye but it is somewhat confusing trying to find the right stuff. Your thoughts would be appreciated. Thanks for sharing this fascinating recipe.
Leave it out completely and replace with flour. The colour will be a bit lighter but the flavour will still be amazing.The main flavours in borodinsky bread are molasses, coriander and caraway. Using those three ingredients you can make borodinsky scones, pancakes, crepes, cake, kvass(recipe on here too) and whatever else comes to mind.
Thank you so much for this awesome recipe and your clear and hilarious instructions. It was so much fun to make, using our very first rye sourdough starter! (and imo, the special smiley-face is critical.) Tastes fantastic with sour cream and boysenberry jelly…
Glad you like it! Enjoy! That's sounds like a simple, super tasty treat with the boysenberry.
I just made this bread today and it turned out wonderful! Charlé I followed your video and recipe and this was actually a very easy bread to make. I used a starter that is all white flour but followed the rest of the instructions. I don't think the all white flour starter versus a rye starter made any difference, the rise of the dough was perfect at room temperature. My baking time for one full loaf was only about 40 minutes.
Thank you Charlé