Posted on 22 Comments

Borodinsky Rye Bread

Borodinsky bread is the most flavorful rye bread I’ve ever tasted. It is well known in Russia, Ukraine and all around the Eastern Europe.

Some special ingredients like rye malt and molasses are required to make it, but believe me, the flavor will exceed all your expectations.


Rye Sourdough Starter

  • 5g ripe sourdough starter
  • 40g water
  • 40g rye flour



  • 85g sourdough starter 
  • 352g soaker
  • 175g rye flour
  • 125g water

Main Dough 


Day 1

Rye Starter

  • 10 pm add starter to the water and whisk together, add flour, mix well, cover loosely, let it sit at room temperature 74-78F until in about 8-10 hours starter reaches its peak (doubles or triples in volume). You can learn how to make starter from scratch here.


  • 10 pm add hot boiling water to the flour and whisk together. You should get a thick paste consistency. If you feel there is a need for more water, go for it. 
  • Soaker has to stay at 149F/65С temperature for 9-12 hours. This process will make starches break into sugar, which will give a nice and deep color as well as special sweetness to rye bread.

Note: in order to keep soaker warm for extended period of time I used a small lunch thermos. If you don’t have a thermos, mix soaker in a regular bowl, preheat the oven to 350F, turn it off, cover the soaker with plastic wrap, place it into warm oven with light on and keep it there overnight.

Day 2


  • 8 am mix rye sourdough starter with water and all the soaker. It might take some time, because the soaker might get harder overnight. Add flour, mix it until everything is well incorporated.
  • Cover, let it ferment at 80-85F for 2 hours until it becomes puffy and gets bigger.

Main Dough

  • 10 am Add all the sponge and flour, sugar, molasses and salt to the mixing bowl, start mixing on low speed for 2-3 minutes.
  • Increase the speed to medium and continue mixing until everything is mixed properly. Make sure the dough doesn’t get overheated. Total mixing time is about 5-7 minutes. The dough will look like mud. Use a wet spatula to round it.
  • Cover and let it proof for 2-4 hours until it doubles in volume at 80-85F.
  • Keep monitoring the surface of the dough, as soon as it starts to crack on top, it means that it’s time to shape it.


  • Use generous amount of butter to spread it around the 9×4 inch loaf pan, or simply line it with parchment paper.
  • Use spatula to transfer the dough into the loaf pan, wet spatula with water and try to even out the top of the loaf dough.
  • Cover and let the loaf proof for about 1 hour at 80-85F. It should slightly grow.

Note: originally the surface of the loaf should be sprayed with water and sprinkled with coriander seeds. I skipped that step and sprinkled some rye flour on top of the loaf 


  • Preheat the oven to 450F/ 230C, bake for 15 minutes.
  • Lower temperature to 410F/ 210C, bake for 15 minutes.
  • Lower temperature to 355F/ 180C and bake  for 30 minutes.
  • Remove the loaf from the pan, let it completely cool off, then put it in an airtight bag for 24 hours. It will bring all the flavors together.

Enjoy your Borodinsky rye bread 🙏

22 thoughts on “Borodinsky Rye Bread

  1. Спасибо 😊

  2. Hi Natasha great recipe I can’t wait to try can . Any substitute for rye malt ?

  3. Hi Natasha, I guess you use whole grain rye flour in this recipe. In England there are two types, like ordinary wheat flour, whole rye flour and white rye flour.

    1. Yes, do whole grain rye 😊

  4. Hi, what size of pan are you using?

    1. 9X4 inch is the best

  5. Hi Natalya, I’ve been enjoying using different types of flours for my sourdough bread but rye bread is a constant favourite! I’m looking forward to stepping up my game from 50/50 rye/white to almost 100% in your recipe.
    One question, in that last proof, are you shooting for double in size, or are you sticking to that 1 hour proof, and if so at what temperature? Or are you watching for those cracks in the top again.
    Thanks so much for the recipe:)

    1. Hi!
      Rye bread is my favorite too.
      Final proof should be about 1 hour at 30C

      1. Excellent! Thank you.

  6. I couldn’t agree with you more Natalya, the flavour of this bread indeed exceeds my expectation and I didn’t even have neither rye malt nor caraway seeds on hand, but will definitely get some rye malt for my 2nd loaf. When I was introduced to Sourdough bread making I was only making 100% rye flour boules, and while they were very good, the heightened flavour from your loaf recipe is unique and reminds me of a German bread we buy occasionally at local grocery stores.
    Well done! Thank you for sharing this recipe.

    1. Shawnee, thank you so much for your kind feedback 🙏

  7. Hj Natalya, great recipe. I only have onde question. When I’m mixing the soaker and the starter, I should add the rest of the sponge ingredients at this stage(175g eu, 125g water)? Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge.

    1. Nicolas, hi!
      You are absolutely correct! Mix soaker with starter and flour snd water for sponge.

  8. Hi. This bread looks amazing. I was wondering if you could clarify on what rye malt is please? Your link is no longer available. Is it a rye berry that i would first grind before using? Or did you order it in a powder? Could regular malt powder be substituted? If so, is diastatic or non-diastatic better? Or, is your rye malt a syrup? Thanks!

  9. Hello Natalya. I ordered rye malt some months ago but the order was canceled. I just checked again and it says not available. I know it’s not the same but may I use rye chops? If yes, would I use the same amount?
    I use rye chops in Pain Bouillie (I love that bread). Thanks girl. Take care

    1. Jeanette, sorry! Just updated the link.
      Malt has to look very dark, and have a consistency of whole grain flour🙏

      1. Hi Natasha so the rye malt is not the berries? Is grounded? I checked your link and brings to the berries not grounded thank you

  10. Amazing! The best rye bread I ever had. Thank you for sharing.

  11. Absolutely delicious! The Rye Malt is hard to find but very worth the effort!

    When I made this recipe I had a really hard time building up the gluten strength in the bread. Even after kneading in a mixer, adding multiple rounds of stretch & fold, the dough was a sticky mass and would not even come close to passing the window pane test. I was worried about this when I saw how the sponge developed so I swapped the AP flour for bread flour just in case it helped. The dough was fine for the 9×4 pan, but I scaled up the recipe and made a boule on the side and it completely blobbed out into a disc with no strength at all. Is that normal for this kind of dough?

    Thanks so much for the recipe!

  12. Natalya, thank you!!! The bread is tasty and delicious. This is the best recipe.

  13. I have fermented rye malt powder. How much would I use to add to this recipe and at which step?

    1. Hi, you have to add rye malt to the soaker.

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