Auerman Borodinsky/Borodinskiy Khleb (Revised)

Auerman Borodinsky

Rye %: 100%
Stages: Sponge, Scald, Scald-Sponge, Final Dough
Leaven: Rye sour
Duration: 19-25 hours
Prep Time: 60 minutes
Yield: one 3½ lb. (1.6 kg.) loaf

There are many versions of Borodinsky Rye: this one first appeared in the 1935 edition of Tekhnologiya Khlebopyekarnogo Proyzvodstva (Bakery Production Technology) by the legendary Russian process engineer Lev Auerman. Unlike most Borodinsky variations, which contain wheat flour, this one is made of 100% rye. In addition, where many of the other variations have flavor profiles that feature a combination of both sweet and sour, in this one, sweet dominates, thanks to both the long scald and floral accents of scalded caraway or anise.

When I first baked this recipe, I was somewhat surprised by the stiffness of the dough (and subsequent density of the crumb), but forged ahead anyway, re-baking the bread some months later so that I could post it here on The Rye Baker.

As is my practice, I also posted links to the blog on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and my favorite bread baking site, The Fresh Loaf. It was on TFL that Mike Zhuravel, whose knowledge of and experience with Russian breads is encyclopedic, and whose Russian-language blog, O Khlebye (On Bread) is my go-to source for all breads Russian, contributed some incredibly helpful feedback.

Specifically, he wrote:

Your dough was far too dry– you can see that from the telltale vertical crack – for several reasons. While the recipe you are ostensibly referring to indeed specifies 65-67% hydration, it was written for 50/50 mixture of whole and medium rye (in my own bake 66% was too dry for 50/50 mixture). Second reason – the recipe was written for a hearth bread, which tolerates very narrow hydration range. Pan breads are much more manageable and in Russian tradition are typically done at higher hydration, that is for the same recipe you will be given two hydrations, one for hearth and another, usually ~3-4% higher, for pan version. Third, it is my observation that in more than one recipe of that period hydrations are sometimes just off, and need to be adjusted, for the whole rye breads – always up.

Properly scalded and fermented caraway acquires a particular fruity flavor with no harshness raw seed is known for. Interestingly enough anise, also an option here, behaves the same and end result is very similar. This flavor is one of the keys to this bread; covering it up by throwing caraway on top is sacrilege, in my opinion.

I found Mike’s comments incredibly valuable and incorporated them into this revised recipe. First, I adjusted the fermentation and proofing times to reflect the fact that, as he noted:

“There’s every reason to believe that the original recipe describes fully manual process, and contemporary sources consistently talk about 500 kilo batches and mixing times of at least 30 minutes and up to an hour. Now factor in dividing and shaping, and your 30 minute bulk fermentation can easily turn into an hour, if not more. Same with proof, the recipe may mention 15-20 minute proof, but it is also very specific about what the dough is supposed to look like: ‘with a smooth surface covered with small holes, as if pricked with a pin’.”

I also followed his suggestions and substituted medium rye flour for the whole rye flour in both the sponge and the scald; increased the hydration to nearly 80%, which is more in line with other Borodinsky formulas I’ve seen; scaled down the quantities to fit the loaf pan; eliminated the yeast and the caraway topping (adding anise as an alternative ingredient to the scald); and finally, moderated the baking temperature.

This higher-hydration loaf has a close, cake-like crumb and a flavor profile in which a floral sweetness predominates. The astringency of the caraway, while clearly present, is muted, lending a delicate bite to the chew. As Russian rye breads go, this one is in a class by itself. I like it with flavors that accentuate and contrast its chewy sweetness — tangy soft cheeses like a young chevre or mascarpone, or a light coating of butter and a slab of smoked meat or fish.

 

Sponge (Day 1 Evening):

Ingredient Grams Ounces Baker’s
Percentage
Medium rye flour

60

2.10

100%

Warm (110°F/43°C) water

60

2.10

100%

Rye sour culture

9

0.30

15%

AuerSpongeCombine the sponge ingredients, cover and ferment at room temperature (70°F/21°C) overnight, 12-16 hours. The sponge will be very bubbly, have a strong sour smell and will have begun to fall back on itself.

 

 

Scald (Day 1 Evening):

Ingredient

Grams

Ounces

Baker’s
Percentage

Medium rye flour

255

9.00

100%

Boiling water

740

26.10

290%

Red rye malt

51

1.80

20%

Caraway or anise seed, toasted and ground

4

0.15

2%

AuerScaldToast the malted rye in a frying pan over medium heat, moving it constantly, until it becomes aromatic and turns a deep rose pink, 4-5 minutes. Let cool and use a spice grinder or mortar and pestle to grind the it to a fine powder. In the mixer bowl, combine the malt with the other scald ingredients and mix until smooth – it will look like chocolate pudding and have the consistency of a thick porridge.Cover and let stand at room temperature overnight, 12-16 hours. (For more information on scalds, see my post On Scalds and Scalding).

Scald-Sponge (Day 2, Morning):

Ingredient Grams Ounces Baker’s
Percentage
Sponge 129 4.55 100%
Scald 1,050 37.05 814%

AuerScald+SpongeCombine the sponge with the scald, which will have loosened up and become very sweet, and mix well.

 

 

 

AuerOparaCover and ferment at room temperature until the scald-sponge has expanded to at least 1½ times its original volume and its surface shows bubbles, 4-6 hours.

 

 

 

Final Dough (Day 2, Afternoon):

Ingredient

Grams

Ounces

Scald-sponge

1,179

41.60

Whole rye flour

640

22.55

Salt

10

0.35

Sugar

43

1.50

Vegetable shortening for pan

As

needed

AuerMix

 

Transfer the sponge into the bowl of a mixer, add the dough ingredients and use the dough hook at low (KA2) speed to mix until the dough has come together into a firm, slightly sticky mass, 8-10 minutes.

 

 

AuerBulk2

 

Cover and ferment at room temperature until visibly expanded, 30-40 minutes.

 

 

AuerProof1Turn the dough out onto a lightly dampened work surface and use wet hands to shape the dough into an oblong, then place it into a well-greased 9″x4″x4″/23x10x10 cm. Pullman loaf pan or 9″x5″x3″/23x13x8 cm standard loaf pan.

 

 

AuerProof2Smooth the dough with wet hands, cover and proof at room temperature until the dough rises above the rim of the pan and shows tiny broken bubbles that resemble pinpricks, 50-60 minutes.

 

 

Preheat your oven to 460°F/230°C, with the baking surface in the middle. Brush the top of the loaf with water and bake 10 minutes. Lower the temperature to 375°F/190°C and continue baking until the loaf thumps when tapped with a finger and the internal temperature is at least 198°F/92°C, 55-60 minutes. Transfer to a rack and let cool thoroughly before slicing..

AuerLOaf

Baker’s Percentages:

Ingredient

g

%

TOTAL FLOUR

1,006

100.00%

Whole rye flour

640

63.62%

Medium rye flour

315

31.31%

Malted rye

51

5.07%

Water

800

79.52%

Salt

10

0.99%

Rye sour culture

9

0.89%

Sugar

43

4.27%

Caraway

4

0.40%

TOTAL FORMULA

1,872

186.08%

Flour prefermented

315

31.31%


6 Comments

  • Monica Ioo

    August 31, 2016

    Thank you very much for sharing!

    Reply
  • Brownman

    August 31, 2016

    Now that is one fine rye bread. Just the way we like it, Well done and Happy baking !

    Brownman

    Reply
  • irwin

    November 12, 2016

    Very interesting to compare with GOST Borodinsky on pg 253 of your book.l

    Reply
    • Stanley Ginsberg

      November 17, 2016

      This one’s got a tighter, more cakelike crumb than the GOST, and the scalded caraway contributes a softer, more floral note than the citrusy coriander edge in the GOST.

      Reply
  • josh

    March 1, 2017

    where do i get malted rye?

    Reply
    • Stanley Ginsberg

      March 2, 2017

      You can buy it at homebrew supply outlets or through nybakers.com. NYB also will be carrying red (roasted) rye malt shortly. Keep an eye on the site.

      Reply

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