World Grain - February 2021 - 22

BAKING
WITH
RYE
FLOUR
IN
RUSSIA
Borodinski Chleb features intense flavor and long shelf life
by Vladimir Wengorz and Viktoria Klusch

I

n Russia, rye is an indispensable bread cereal.
Although modern flours ground from hybrid rye varieties do not usually have to be acidified because of
their lower enzyme content, many Russian bakeries
continue to use traditional production methods. For the
most popular rye bread, Borodinski Chleb, rye flour is
laboriously scalded, acidified and sugared to create a
very intensive flavor and a long shelf life.
" Everything may be lost, money may be wasted, and
life may be turned upside down, but if there is bread
in the house, there is still hope. " This Russian saying
reveals the high regard the people of the world's largest country (in land area) have for their most important
staple food. In Russia, bread has played a prominent
role in the national diet and comes onto the table several times a day. Whether borscht, pelmeni or stuffed
cabbage leaves, a meal without bread is scarcely conceivable. According to Rosstat, the Russian state statistics service, over a third of the population's diet
(34.3%) consists of bread and other bakery products.
Rye flour baking tradition
A peculiarity of the Russian bread tradition is the extensive use of rye flour. Rye is hardier than wheat and
better suited to the country's harsh climatic conditions.
Therefore, for a long time, Secale cereale was Russia's
predominant bread cereal.
Bakeries offer a wide range of rye and mixed wheat-

22

WG_Feb21.indb 22

and-rye bread and have made a fine art of handling superfine and wholemeal flours. Since the gluten content
of rye is not sufficient to create a stable, three-dimensional network in the doughs, the pentosans play a central role in dough formation on account of their high
water-binding capability. The larger the proportion of
rye flour in the recipe, the stickier is the dough and the
lower its gas retention capacity.
Laborious production process
The best-known rye bread speciality is Borodinski
Chleb, a wholesome, substantial pan loaf with a maltyaromatic taste. The dough process is extremely laborious since it requires the preparation of both a hot soaker and a sourdough.
To produce a scald, part of the rye flour is stirred with
hot water to form a viscous mass. In many recipes this
dough is sugared by adding enzyme-active malt flour,
which breaks the starch down into dextrins, maltose
and glucose. The sugared scald is then mixed with the
bakery's own sourdough.
This pre-dough - the sugared scald with the sourdough - is not added to the main bread dough until after fermentation. At this point, some recipes even prescribe an extra portion of liquid sour to emphasize the
acidic note. Large amounts of sugar, molasses, honey
or even fruit jelly serve as a counterpart to the sharp and
malty flavors. Indispensable ingredients for achieving
February 2021 / World Grain / World-Grain.com

2/12/2021 8:30:37 AM


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World Grain - February 2021

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World Grain - February 2021 - 1
World Grain - February 2021 - 1
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