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Sunday, September 6, 2009

Black Russian Rye

Gorel at Grain Doe posted an unusual recipe for the Bread Baking Buddies August Challenge. She spent some time looking for recipe for Black Russian Rye and made some modifications and and then posted her version. What an usual bread.

First you make a sourdough starter.
300 grams medium rye flour
350 ml water
2 Tablespoons of active sourdough culture

This was the first time that I gave my sourdough starter an opportunity to show her stuff and I was a little nervous. Mix it all together and cover with plastic and leave at room temperature for 12 - 14 hours.

At the same time, you make your soaker. One of the oddest mix of ingredients I have ever seen.
100 grams old toast bread, not over toasted
15 grams ground coffee
25 grams neutral oil
60ml molasses
2 tsp caraway seeds
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 Tablespoon minced shallots
400ml hot water

Mix it all together and let it sit on the counter as long as the sourdough starter sits, 12 - 14 hours. Here is where I made my mistake. I made the sourdough starter, misunderstood the directions and found myself 12 hours later trying to figure out what to do. The good news is that my sourdough starter worked. Even after a night in the refrigerator, while I caught up with the soaker.

For the final dough
300g medium rye flour
400g high gluten bread flour

Combine the flours

1 Tablespoon salt
1.5 tsp yeast

Combine the yeast, soaker, sourdough and salt in a bowl. Begin to add the flour until you have a firm but still quite sticky dough. Be sure to wait for all the flour to be incorporated before you add more. Let rise in greased bowl for 2 - 3 hours until doubled. Shape into two loaves, let rise for 60 mins. Bake on baking stone in 425 degree over for 10 mins, I misted the walls. Gorel used ice cubes in a metal container in the bottom of the over. Lower temp to 400 bake 30 mins until inner temp 205

Let loaves cool.

So, Tom and I are really enjoying this bread. I wonder if I would have had a better rise if I had made the soaker and starter at the same time. This is not the recipe for you if you gravitate toward soft white bread. I really enjoy the subtle shallot flavor. It would be a good loaf to have on hand if a burglar was sneaking through a window... Or if you had some great cheese and a chance to go on a picnic.


  1. lol @ burglar sneaking through a window. Guessing it's one of those hard and crusty breads, yes?

    I'd have to agree with you...that is one odd list of ingredients!

  2. That's a good idea -- to keep this bread on hand, not to drive nails into wood, but to chase off burglars!

    Sorry for my late response and roundup! I'd like to send you a buddy badge, but I can't seem to find your email address.

  3. Haha.. Love that idea! Still they look awesome so maybe eat one and save one?

  4. It ended up being one of my all time favorites, but you could easily hit someone on the head with it!