I love the ease of using a breadmaker, but I find that the one thing I’m missing is the crust on my white bread. After experimenting for while, I discovered baking the bread in my trusty cast iron pot produces a wonderful loaf, soft on on the inside with a wonderful golden trust. The dough is made in the breadmaker first, then transferred to preheated pot and baked in the oven. That’s it! Just let the pot work its magic.
orodinskiy is a famous dark Russian bread with a dense, slightly crumbly texture and tangy taste. Since it’s made with 50% rye flour and 50% whole wheat flour, it has less gluten than regular all-wheat bread and is digested more easily. Sometimes it’s spiced with coriander and/or caraway seeds. The secret to Borodinskiy bread is malt or malt extract. For a while I could not find malt at any grocery store, so I got creative and used instead a canned mixture for making dark beer at home. Malt is the main ingredient in that beer kit, but it also contains hops which added an interesting slightly bitter note to the taste of my bread. Then one day I spotted a jar of barley malt at Save-On-Foods and could make Borodinsky bread using the original recipe. It turns out malt extract is not actually that difficult to find – it’s sold at many health and nutrition stores. It is a very sticky semi-solid dark brown substance similar to molasses, but thicker.
Recently I bought “Dark Russian Rye Bread” that is now sold at many local grocery stores here in Vancouver. It’s not bad for making sandwiches, but this soft sweetish bread is nothing like the authentic Russian rye bread. You would not find a really soft North American type sandwich bread in Russia – all Russian breads have denser texture. Borodinskiy is most often sold in the shape of a brick – so when made in a breadmaker, it comes out almost perfectly authentic!
I love my new breadmaker! It’s a very basic model BlackDecker, but it works its magic just like any of the upscale models! All you need to do is to add the ingredients to the bread pan, and voila! in 3-4 hours you can enjoy the goodness of freshly baked bread.
This particular kind of bread strongly resembles the freshly baked firm white bread of my childhood in the Soviet Union. Every other morning in the summer, I would walk to the nearby supermarket bakery for a loaf of fresh bread.
The white sandwich bread in Canada and the US is too soft for my liking, but this machine bread turned out to be the perfect texture!