Moscow Rye/Moskovskiy Rzhannoye Khleb

Moskovskiy Rye

Rye %: 100%
Stages: Sponge, scald, yeasted scald-sponge (opara), final dough
Leaven: Rye sour culture, yeast
Start to Finish: 12-13 hours
Hands-on Time: 40-45 minutes
Yield: One 1¾ lb./800g loaf

I love Russian rye breads for the intensity and complexity of their flavor profile, and this one is certainly among the best of breed.

Like so many classic Russian ryes, Moskovskiy starts out with a sponge and a scald that incorporates not only rye but also red rye malt and caraway. The sponge is hydrated to only 70% and it ripens at 85°F/30°C, which favors acetic acid production by the LAB. The scald matures for just 2 hours, which is sufficient to produce the chocolaty sweetness that’s characteristic of the red rye malt.

The opara, which is a technique I’ve only found in Russian and Baltic baking, combines the scald and sponge with additional rye flour and a small amount of yeast. It ripens at 80°F/28°C, which favors yeast activity and strengthens the leavening power available to the final dough.

The dough itself is very soft and sticky and after bulk fermentation needs to be transferred directly into the pan, where it undergoes a brief proof before a dry bake.

The bread itself is surprisingly delicate, with a tender, open cark brown crumb and a flavor profile that combines subtle notes of chocolate, coffee and rye accented by a faint cumin edge and a mild, well-balanced sour finish.

IMO, this is a bread every rye lover should try at least once.

Sponge (Day 1, Early Morning):

Ingredient Grams Ounces Baker’s
Percentage
Medium or Whole rye flour 80 2.80 100%
Warm (105°F/41°C) water 56 2.00 70%
Rye sour culture 20 0.70 25%

Mosk_sponge1Combine the sponge ingredients and hand-knead into a firm dough. Cover and ferment for 6 hours in a warming oven or proofing box set at 85°F/30°C. If you don’t have a proofing box or your oven can’t be set that low, preheat to 100°F/38°C then turn the oven off.

 

Mosk_sponge

 

The sponge will double in volume.

 

 

Scald (Day 1, Midday):

Ingredient Grams Ounces Baker’s
Percentage
Medium or Whole rye flour 50 1.75 100%
Boiling water 215 7.60 430%
Red rye malt 35 1.25 70%
Caraway seed, ground 1 0.05 2%

Mosk_scald

 

In a separate container, combine the scald ingredients, cover and let stand at room temperature (70°F/21°C) for 2 hours. The scald will have a very chocolaty color and smell.

 

Opara (Yeasted Scald-Sponge, Day 1, Mid-afternoon)

Ingredient Grams Ounces Baker’s
Percentage
Medium or Whole rye flour 165 5.80 100%
Instant yeast 1 0.05 0.7%
Sponge 156 5.50 95%
Scald 301 10.65 182%

Mosk_oparaCombine the rye flour, yeast sponge and scald in the mixer bowl and hand-knead into a stiff dough. Cover and ferment at 80°F/28°C for 3-3½ hours. The opara will not have visibly expanded, but it will have an intense sweet-sour smell.

 

Final Dough:

Ingredient

Grams

Ounces

Medium or Whole rye flour

175

6.15

Salt

8

0.30

Unsulphured dark molasses

5

0.20

Warm (105°F/41°C) water

125

4.40

Opara 623 22.00

Mosk_mix

 

Add the flour, salt and molasses dissolved in the water to the opara, and use the dough hook at low (KA2) speed to mix into a soft, sticky dough, scraping down the bowl as needed, 6-8 minutes.

 

Mos_dough1

 

Smooth the dough with wet hands, cover and ferment at room temperature for about 1 hour.

 

 

Mosk_dough2

 

The dough will double in size and show cracks or broken bubbles on the surface.

 

 

Mosk_proof1
Use a plastic dough scraper to transfer the dough to a well-greased 8½”x4½”x2¾”/22x12x7 cm loaf pan. Distribute and smooth the dough evenly with wet hands.

 

 

Mosk_proof2
Cover and proof at room temperature until the dough is level with the rim of the pan, 15-20 minutes.

 

 

Preheat the oven to 410°F/210°C with the baking surface in the upper third. Bake until the crust is deep brown and the internal temperature is at least 198°F/92°C, 40-45 minutes. Transfer to a rack, unpan and immediately spray or brush with water. Cool thoroughly before slicing.

Mosl_loaf

Baker’s Percentages:

Ingredient

g

%

Medium or whole rye flour

470

100.00%

Water

396

84.26%

Salt

8

1.70%

Instant yeast

1

0.21%

Rye sour

20

4.26%

Red rye malt

35

7.45%

Molasses

5

1.06%

Caraway seed

1

0.21%

TOTAL FORMULA

936

199.15%

Total flour prefermented

295

62.77%


11 Comments

  • Nancy

    February 15, 2016

    Rye sour and rye malt where to buy?

    Reply
    • Stanley Ginsberg

      February 15, 2016

      You can buy rye sour, i.e. sourdough starter, from a lot of different vendors online, including King Arthur … or you can ask a baker friend, or you can build your own: there are tons of online formulas. thefreshloaf.com is a very good place to start if you decide to go that route.

      As for rye malt, you can buy it from my business, http://www.nybakers.com, or from any home brewing supplies outlet, either online or storefront. To make red rye malt, roast the pale malt in a skillet over medium heat for 4-5 minutes, until it turns a brick red, then grind it in a spice grinder or blender.

      Reply
  • Nancy

    February 15, 2016

    Thank you and the rye seed culture does that need to be with pinapple juice or what please

    Reply
    • Stanley Ginsberg

      February 15, 2016

      I prefer cultures that start from scratch, with nothing more than organic whole rye flour and water. Others favor pineapple juice, plums, grapes, and so on. It’s really a matter of preference and what works for you.

      Reply
  • Gizell

    February 28, 2016

    What is it that can diminish the gumminess of the rye pentosans….acidity of the sour starter ? increased acid with overnight starter and/or overnighting the scald or increasing the proportion of wheat, perhaps longer, lower temp bake ?
    Have made a Borodinsky twice and crumb has been gummy moist despite 200 degreed F internal temp. Not sure how to modify method. No yeast and small percentage of whole wheat in the recipe I used.
    Brand new to rye breads but will definitely get the book !

    Reply
    • Stanley Ginsberg

      February 29, 2016

      One of the surest and easiest ways to reduce the gumminess is to let the bread stand 2-3 days before slicing, which stabilizes the crumb. Alternatively, gumminess is often a sign of overfermenting, either at the bulk or proof stage. If the loaf is still gummy after 3 days or so, try reducing fermentation by 10-15 minutes on your next bake.

      Reply
  • Gizell

    February 29, 2016

    Thank you. I think the delayed slicing might be all that’s needed. Other advise appreciated.
    Anxious to understand the chemistry that’s going on here.

    Reply
  • Alla

    April 12, 2016

    Are you sure about using cumin in this bread? The name of caraway seeds in Russian is тмин (pronounced as tmin). I believe that it is some confusion between two different spices.

    Reply
    • Stanley Ginsberg

      April 13, 2016

      you’re right. i thought i’d changed it in the recipe, but clearly i hadn’t, but have done so now.

      Reply
  • Lee

    November 1, 2016

    I am planning to buy your book and would also love to try this recipe. I was wondering however if this, and other recipes, will work without the yeast spike. I like to try to not use yeast, but maybe the recipes are doomed to failure without it? Thanks for your thoughts, and also for these great recipes.

    Reply
    • Stanley Ginsberg

      November 1, 2016

      I suggest trying the recipes first as written. Obviously, if you have legitimate medical reasons for avoiding commercial yeast, then by all means eliminate it and let the wild yeast present in the sponges do all the work. However, because of rye’s chemistry, the elimination of the yeast spike will prolong fermentation and potentially result in an unpleasantly dense loaf.

      And you’re welcome!

      Reply

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