The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Russian Coriander-Rye (Simplified Version)

breadnik's picture

Russian Coriander-Rye (Simplified Version)


I developed this recipe when I was missing my traditional Russian coriander-rye bread but did not yet have enough skills or confidence to try making it in its classic form, which requires both the sourdough starter and the soaker and includes no wheat flour whatsover. However, I was mindful of a different Russian rye bread (we have a few dozen of them), just as sweet and flavorful but made with caraway and wheat flour, a little less coarse, more tender, but still very full-bodied. This recipe combines some properties of both of them (while actually being neither), and has an important advantage: it is simple enough for a novice.

Here is the recipe (makes two ~1-pound loaves), all measurements in grams:

Dark Rye Flour 270
White Bread Flour 80
Whole Wheat Flour (as coarse as you can get) 80
Vital Wheat Gluten 80
Yeast 4
Sea Salt 12
Freshly Ground Coriander Seeds 4
Honey 60
Molasses 60
Water 280-300
Canola Oil 30

This is a direct dough designed for overnight fermentation (hence low yeast content). I measure and mix all my dry ingredients, then add my wet ingredients one by one, with water going in last. If the dough turns out too sticky, add a tad more wholewheat flour. You may want to knead it but I usually get by with 2-3 stretch-and-folds.

If I want my loaves to be sprinkled with flour, I shape the loaves on a heavily floured board. If I want them shiny I shape them on my tiled countertop, lightly sprayed with canola oil to prevent sticking, and spray them with water just before sprinkling them with coriander seeds and putting them in the oven. The baking is as usual: at 475, with steam in the first few minutes, for about 10 minutes, then decrease temperature (I usually turn it down to 325 with convection) and bake until the internal temperature reaches 185-190F.


breadnik's picture

1) I use Red Star Active Dry Yeast; and

2) I use Blackstrap Molasses.

Sorry about not making this clear in the original post, I just cut and pasted my recipe without rereading it.

Shiao-Ping's picture

Your Russian coriander-rye bread looks really lovely.  And can I say - you are very brave to be baking 120 - 150 loaves each time.  Lovely photography too!   Farmers markets need people like you who are genuine direct source of supply.   I am not surprised at all that your customers are happy!

I am very curious how you manage to bake such a huge quantity of dough all on Fridays.  Does the market manager lend you her baking facility?  How many loaves can the oven take each time?

Thank you for posting your recipe; it is very interesting.   Your points about what flavors customers want are quite interesting too.  I guess these are locale specific; given a different market location, the tastes are most certainly different.  I imagine even within the same market area, the tastes would change (or evolve) over time.


breadnik's picture

Thank you, Shiao, it is so nice to hear your kind words. I must say that the warm welcome that I got on TFL means a LOT to me -- even though I've baked a few thousand loaves since I first started, I am still not very confident that what I do (or, rather, HOW I do things) is right. But then hey, it works. And I'll just keep learning and getting better.

I agree that farmers markets do need more of a direct source of supply. I try very hard to get my ingredients locally, and, although I can't get my olives and extra virgin olive oil locally in Ohio and have to get them imported from Lebanon, I do get my wholewheat flour locally grown and milled, and most of my veggies that go in the breads I buy from local farmers. There's certainly -- and very fortunately -- a demand for locally-grown and locally-produced goods but there's not yet a sufficient supply, and I'm glad I can participate in providing it. Actually, becoming a part of the local food community and starting to make my living through cooking, something I've always had passion for, is the best thing that happened to me this year.

You asked how I manage to bake so many loaves in one day. Actually, it is hard work but it is not difficult. Just requires planning my time well.

I start my doughs the night before, on Thursday, usually in 7 or 8 five-gallon buckets. I do NOT have a commercial mixer yet, so my 21-year old son comes to help me mix the dough. I do the first couple of S&Fs on all of my doughs late at night, before I go to bed. On Friday, I get up early and do the last S&F on all the doughs. For the next 10-12 hours I divide, shape, proof and bake. Since I only have one oven, and that one is just an old convection electric Kitchenaid that I bought on Craigslist for $150, I bake 12-loaf batches (6 loaves per tray), rotating my trays regularly. With convection, it takes me about 40-45 minutes to bake a 12-loaf batch. Late at night, before I go to bed and when the loaves have cooled off completely, I package them in brown paper bags and pack them in totes for the market.

I've tried a few different schedules but settled on this one for now as it seems to be the most efficient -- my bread comes out good, and doesn't suffer too much from having been baked a few hours before the market and I don't end up too terribly sleep-deprived and overworked.

Shiao-Ping's picture

Thank you very much for your reply.  Sorry that I didn't see it sooner.  Let me repeat myself - I admire your work.   Your customers are very lucky to have you baking for them. 


ehanner's picture

Very nice breadnik. I admire your determination and planning skills. The breads look very nice. Good to see your work.

I have said more than once that I thought a farmers market is a great place to get famous for 1 or maybe 2 types of bread. Make it as fast as you can and as good as you can. People will appreciate the quality.


breadnik's picture

Thank you, Eric.

Yes, it seems like people do know me for one or two kinds of bread -- the problem, though, is that, since I make about 6 kinds of bread at a time (and rotate them somewhat regularly), these two favorite breads are different for different customers. ;)

For some it's my Italian Semolina, for others it's my Calamata olive-cracked black pepper, others get upset if I don't bring my caramelized shallot-thyme bread, and for almost everyone it's my Rye - but even then they can't agree whether it's my coriander-rye or my onion-dill rye that they like best.

So I'll just keep making many different kinds of bread and see which ones are best liked.

lief's picture

This is a nice recipe for a rye novice like myself to play with, and it is delicious to boot!  I converted this recipe to one using a levain since I don't do much commercial yeast baking these days:

Thanks for sharing!