What is Borodinsky(бородинский хлеб) dark rye bread?
Borodinsky dark rye bread is a traditional Russian bread made with dark rye flour, molasses, fresh coriander seeds and caraway.
History of Borodinsky bread?
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.
How to make it
This recipe for Borodinsky dark rye bread is made with a sourdough starter and also include some cocoa powder and freshly ground caraway seeds.
This is an easy homemade dark rye bread recipe to follow for anyone from the seasoned-pro to newbie home baker.
Day 1 (Yes I know. All great things take some time. especially bread)
You need a nice active starter culture full of yeast to make great bread. For that reason, we will mix 150g sourdough starter, 280g cold water, and 100g rye flour together. Let it rest overnight or for at least 12 hours.
The following day mix together the pre-ferment, 350g white bread flour, 50g rye flour, 100g wholemeal flour, 14g salt, 5g freshly ground caraway seeds, 12g whole coriander seeds, 60g molasses, 40g dark cocoa powder, and 300g room temperature water.
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The mix will be very wet. DO NOT ADD MORE FLOUR!!! It's supposed to be like that. Just work the dough for about 5 minutes with your hands or a wooden spoon or whatever, until the gluten has formed a bit in the dough.
It will look something like this. 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 it three hours rest to let it prove.
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. 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 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.
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. Oil the wrap a bit to make sure it does not stick to the bread. Just in case.
Turn your oven up to 220C(428F). Let the Borodinky bread prove one more time till doubled in size about 1,5 hours. Rye bread can easily overproof 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-proofed.
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 dark rye bread
Bake the bread at 220C(428F) for 20 minutes. Turn down the oven to 180C(356F) 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. Always measure the internal temperature of bread and make sure it's above 90C(194F). Remove from the oven and let cool on wire racks or kitchen cloth.
Let it cool down 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.
Frequently asked questions about rye bread
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. For another great use, you could fry it into croutons and have with this warm bacon salad.
All bread can be frozen given that it’s wrapped air-tight for up to 3 months.
Kvass is a Russian drink made by toasting this Borodisnsky dark rye 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.
This is my rye sourdough starter recipe.
Plenty)) The most popular topping for Borodinsky dark rye bread is salo(сало). It is salted pork fat smeared or sliced on top a toasted piece of this Borodinsky 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.
More recipes you might like
Authentic Rye sourdough - This Sourdough bread is no-knead and perfect for anyone to get their feet wet in the world of sourdough baking.
Whole wheat flax sourdough - Easy to handle and also great for beginners.
Something Sweet perhaps?
Try this delicious Russian honey cake(Medovik). My clients all claim it the best medovik they have ever had!
This super moist and fluffy carrot cake. I've baked this for many rich and famous from Elton John and The Queen to Mr.Bean.
Spiced apple cake - Similar to the carrot cake but easier, simpler and extra appel-ey.
Useful equipment for this recipe
Electronic Kitchen Scales
Kitchenaid Stand Mixer
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