How to Make Russian Rye Bread, Borodinsky Loaf Recipe

Eastern Europe has so much to offer when it comes to rye bread. There are hundreds of different ones out there. Growing up in Latvia I was fortunate enough to have them readily available.

No wonder that this is the 7th rye bread video on my channel. I recently made a Belarusian rye which was nice and soft with a sweet & sour flavour. The method for that bread was quite like this one. Although this one is simpler, but just as good.

Russian borodinsky bread is a dark rye bread made with a yeast derived preferment or a leaven. I chose yeast for simplicity this time. It is flavoured with malted rye, caraway, coriander seeds, and dark syrup. A small addition of cocoa gives it an extra rich dark colour.

There are two important parts to this recipe.

– The preferment which will give the bread a stronger flavour. It is made by simply mixing part of the rye flour with some water and a tiny amount of yeast and leaving it to ferment for 12 hours.

– The scald which is made up of part rye flour, caraway seeds, coriander seeds, and the malted rye. It is mixed with boiling water to gelatinize the starches in the flour and to maximize the flavour of the other ingredients. Ideally you should keep the scald at 65C for several hours, but I left it at room temperature, and it got the job done. If you have a way of keeping it at a stable temperature for so long, then do it because it will improve the texture of the loaf even further.

The key ingredient in this recipe is the malted rye. You simply can not make this bread without it. Well, you could but it would taste nothing like it should. To find the rye malt search for ‘fermented rye malt’ on ebay.

Watch the video down below for detailed instructions.


For the preferment

60g (2.1oz) wholemeal rye flour

60g (2.1oz) water

Tiny pinch of yeast


For the scald –

120g (4.2oz) wholemeal rye flour

30g (1oz) malted rye

8g (0.3oz) crushed caraway seeds

8g (0.3oz) crushed coriander seeds

180g (6.3oz) boiling water

*I crushed the seeds with a pestle and mortar.


For the main dough –

120g (4.2oz) white flour

120g (4.2oz) rye flour

25g (0.9oz) malt syrup or molasses

3g (0.1oz) instant dry yeast or 3.6g (0.12oz) active dry yeast 9g (0.32oz) fresh yeast

8g (0.3oz) salt

6g (0.2oz) cocoa powder

100g (3.5oz) water


To finish the loaf –

Whole caraway seeds

Whole coriander seeds

Vegetable oil


*All my ingredients were at room temperature which was around 25C (77F). If your kitchen is warmer or cooler, then adjust the water temperature in the main dough up or down. To learn more about dough temperature control click here.


  1. Make the scald. In a bowl combine the rye flour, crushed coriander seeds, crushed caraway seeds, and malted rye. Add the boiling water and mix until there is no dry flour left. Cover and leave on the side.
  2. Make the preferment. In a bowl combine the water, rye flour, and a small pinch of yeast. Mix well until there is no dry flour left. Leave to ferment for around 12 hours.
  3. Once the preferment is ready continue with the main dough. In a large bowl combine the water, yeast, salt, cocoa powder, and syrup. Mix well to dissolve any large salt crystals and to hydrate the yeast.
  4. Add the preferment and mix again. Add the scald and mix once more. It is important to do everything in stages and in order. That way you will get a consistent mix at the end without too much effort.
  5. Once everything has been mixed to a nice paste add the white flour. Mix again, and finally add the rye flour. Keep mixing until there is no more dry flour left. You can continue mixing by hand. If the dough starts sticking to your hands too much, then wet them with some water and continue.
  6. Brush a bowl with some vegetable oil. Shape the dough into a ball and place it in the bowl. *Desired dough temperature 26 – 27C (79 – 80F). If your dough is warmer, then it will ferment more rapidly. If it is cooler, then it will take longer. Adjust proofing time accordingly.
  7. Cover and ferment for 1 hour.
  8. Give the dough a fold. Wet your hands with water to make it easier to handle the dough.
  9. Ferment for 1 more hour.
  10. Brush the dough with oil and drop it out on your table. Flatten the dough and shape it into a loaf. Sprinkle with the whole caraway and coriander seeds.
  11. Place the loaf in a greased non-stick paper lined baking tin. Press it into shape.
  12. Cover and ferment for 1 hour. You will know that the dough has risen enough when you see a nice dome on top of it. *During the final fermentation preheat your oven to 200C (390F) fan off.
  13. Bake the loaf for 50 minutes.
  14. Remove it from the tin and spray it with water all over. If you do not have a spray bottle, then you can use a brush instead. The wetting of the crust will make it nice and soft and springy.
  15. Place the loaf back in the oven for another 5 minutes.


Leave it to cool down for at least 3 hours. I know it is hard, but it is well worth it. The loaf is still developing during this time. If you cut it too soon it will be gummy inside. Ideally you should leave it overnight.


Check out some more Baking World Tour videos while you’re waiting ?


Keep in mind that the conditions in each kitchen are different, so fermentation times may vary for you. It is up to the baker to control the bread and react accordingly.

Your oven may be different too, so your baking time may vary.

Watch the video here

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