The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

My first borodinsky, and Pastry #8

Mebake's picture

My first borodinsky, and Pastry #8

I have finally bought a Pullman pan! two, actually. For bread, my first natural choice was a Rye; my first  Borodinsky  from Andrew’s book: (Bread matters).

I’ve all but given up on finding a Pullman pan in Dubai, until I overheard a discussion among my Pastry class peers  and the Chef about  commercial sources of  the ingredients and tools used in the institute. Alarmed by the possibility of finding the pan, I took the address from the Chef and headed down to the warehouse. The two story warehouse sells different hospitality and catering equipments at somewhat reasonable prices. I’ve found two sizes for Pullman pans, all from the Italian brand Paderno, I was so excited. The one I bought for us$ 27 each, was an  11.75 *4 inch pan. There is a much longer version, but it was too much for domestic use. The pan had a sticker that says: blue steel ..etc. The pan was properly washed with detergent and warm water, but it had a slight oily layer, and a distinctive rusty aroma. I searched though google, and learned that blue steel is a steel that has undergone a deliberate oxidation prior to the final non stick coating. I shrugged my shoulders and wiped them clean.

For borodinsky, I mixed my ripe rye sour with rye flour molasses and salt with a fork, scooped the lot into my greased pan  sprinkeled with cracked coriander seeds. I had no barley malt syrup, so I skipped this ingredient. I wanted to try Andrew’s advocated method of no bulk fermentation for rye bread, and the bread rose in 2 hours. Total dough weight was 1346g which was more than twice the recipe’s yield. After two hours, the dough has risen to almost the top rim of the pan, and started to crack. I slid the pan’s cover on, and baked the bread for 10 min. at 420F and 30 minutes at 400F.

My regretful mistake was to bake it according to Andew’s recipe, which is to a total of 40 minutes, failing to remember that an extended bake is needed for larger dough. After 40 minutes, the dough was unmolded and steam escaped from the loaf. The loaf’s crust was very tender and the color was lighter than a rye should be. I didn’t take a hint, Ugh! I guess I was too captivated by the square-ish cross section that the Pullman pan was capable of producing.

When cooled , the loaf was wrapped with a cloth, and left for 12 hours. Next day, I couldn’t resist having a peek and I sliced a few squares. The loaf was moist and gummy. Ops, I’ve underbaked it!

I wrapped it once more, and left it to rest for another day. Today, I’ve sliced it, and it was still moist and slightly gummy (cutting shreds still evident). The flavor is typically rye with a faint sweetness, and a good dose of spice that complements the overall flavor. The crust was soft, and the crumb was softer. There is a subtle mouthfeel of rust at the end, but generally tolerable. I don’t know how to deal with blue steel rust mouthfeel, but I’ll wait to see whether the pan becomes seasoned as I bake on. Overall, the bread was really good, and improved when slightly toasted.

As for Pastry, I’ve skipped my two day marathon class of Chocolate. By the end of last week, I was completely worn out. My Pastry class 8 of the week before went well, though. We made frozen desserts, such as ice gateaux, cheese cake, tiramisu, fried ice cream.




trailrunner's picture

I also have a  steel pan...mine is very old and is a 15x10x1 .  You should cure your pan before you use it again. Wipe well with oil and place in the oven at 375 for an hour. Cool and wipe again.  You may need to do this several times.This should get rid of the taste.  The pan will rust if you don't treat it like you do good cast iron. Hope this helps. I sometimes put parchment on my pan depending on what I am baking. 

Your frozen desserts are gorgeous !  Will you be able to make up the chocolate class ?  I can understand the are sure working hard !  c

Mebake's picture

Really? thanks for the suggestion, i'll cure both my pans.

Yes i can make up the chocolate classes, but only in the upcoming cycle which is at least 3 months from today.


varda's picture

Khalid,  Congrats on your new pans.   Certain breads just must have that height or it's not worth making them.  Your loaf looks like a great first.  If you have a chance please do take a look at Andy's methods for Borodinksy.   It makes a really great bread.    I just bought a longer pan and made a 2400g loaf.   Your pastry looks superb, but I keep saying that.  -Varda

Mebake's picture

Thanks, Varda!

Yes, Andy's moscow or borodinsky might be next. 


embth's picture

First, I have to tell you that your desserts are so beautiful it would be difficult to stick a fork into such a work of art.  However, once I got past that initial trauma….yum!  It would be gone in a flash!

I have made rye pullman loaves in my wood-fired oven after reading that Eastern European bakers traditionally loaded such breads into their "falling" ovens at the end of the day's bake to make use of residual heat.  The dough included a rye sour, cooked rye berries, whole rye flour, rye flakes, molasses, fennel seed.   The covered pans stayed in my closed slowly cooling oven overnight.  The bread was heavy and dense….not much if any rise.  I wrapped it and let it sit a few days, as described in Hamelman's directions.   This bread could be sliced thin as a cracker and was good with aged cheese or salami.    One friend commented that it was a perfect workman's meal as it could first be used as a hammer then eaten for lunch.  : )

Thanks again for the nice photos….


Mebake's picture

Pumpurnickel type breads, but that is in the cards. Thanks so much for the kind wirds, embth!

dabrownman's picture

never finishes baking bread until it hits 205 F on the inside - even if it is baked covered the whole time.  We never get a unbaked loaf that way.- but we sure used to - all the time.... especially covered rye but others too! We just can't tell for sure when it is done by looking.   Lucy says the bread is more stupid than she is and won't know its being poked by a sharp probe - so no worries

She also wants to know how you could miss a two day chocolate marathon!  Nothing gets in the way of chocolate and 2 day marathon when strung together around here since chocolate is its on separate food group:-).Thank goodness you can make it up later!

Your deserts look fantastic Khalid and it is easy to see how much your pastry and desert skills are improving,   Well done!


Mebake's picture

Thanks, DA!

Yes! I should have used thermometer for such dense breads. Thanks for the wake up call.

I can't take all credit for these pastries. We worked in groups, but the ultimate design and finishing was a collaborative effort. 


davidg618's picture

Satisfied with the deli rye I'm baking--one loaf about every ten days--I've been envisioning baking a representative 100% rye, with a rye berry soaker, in my seldom baking-used Pullman pan (Although, it's a great pate or terrine pan.) but haven't acted on it. Your first Borodinsky, despite its "lessons learned" shortcomings is inspiring!

I'm up to my ears in other culinary adventures for the next three weeks, but come the ensuing week before the New Year, I plan on smoking two beef briskets (one cured for Pastrami) and baking my first 100% rye, with a rye-berry soaker.

Your pastries too, fresh or frozen, are magnificent! Eye candy!

David G

P.S. Picture frame is supposed to be delivered today.


Mebake's picture

Thank you, David!

Waiting to see your pullman rye with cured pastramy and cheese, Yum. 

:) glad to know that a frame is On its way! 



Janetcook's picture

Hi Khalid,

How wonderful that you found a Pullman pan!  Persistence does pay off and  now for the fun of baking more of these types of ryes.

 I second Varda's suggestion about taking a peek at Andy's Borodinsky method.  His Moscow Rye is excellent too.  

HERE is a loaf that Franko just posted with bake times and temps that you might like to review too.

Pastries look delicious as always.  Such treats and the presentations are so elegant in their simplicity.  Truly art and almost too pretty to consider eating *- )

Take Care,


Mebake's picture

Thanks, Janet!

I have printed Franko's recipe and i'll try it when i have some rye meal. 

I need to have red rye malt and barley malt syrup to be able to come close to andy's breads. 


hanseata's picture

your tenacity in looking for certain equipments against all odds! (I just found a docker in a kitchen equipment store) To me the loaf looks perfect, all dark rye breads I know from Germany leave a mark on the knife, when cut (unless you buy sliced packages).

Not being the greatest fan of dark rye bread (unless it's "Lucy-ed"up with lots of seeds) I would take your pastries any time!

Good job, Khalid!


Mebake's picture

Well, that is comforting! Yet, i have rebaked the loaf in a tin and it cracked. When sliced, the crumb crumbled and tore at the shoulders. 

Thanks for the kind words, Karin

CeciC's picture

Both your bread n dessert look very promising!! You serious that u still a pastry class student ?

Mebake's picture

Thanks, Ceci! 

Yes, a student. What you see above is a collective effort of the students, but thanks anyway!


Skibum's picture

. . . beautiful pastry desserts! I could easily scarf all four of those down fight now. Nicely done! They look absolutely delicious. Perhaps I must find a pastry class also. Regards, Brian

Mebake's picture

Thanks, Ski!

They taste great too! Pastry lessons are sure worth your money, you'll carry the knowledge and skill for the rest of your life.


isand66's picture

Great bake for your first attempt at this style of bread.  Even though it may not be perfection like those evil looking pastries that are calling my name, I'm sure your next attempt will be even better.  I am not a big fan of these types of bread, but I too shall keep going at them until I find one I like.


Mebake's picture

Thanks, Ian!

It'll take a while for me to get to try this again. Iam full fed on this hefty rye, and none in my family likes it :)

Thanks for your words, Ian!


holds99's picture

Very nice post, Khalid.  Your borodinsky looks great and your pastries are lovely.  That pullman pan pan will get friendlier with use.


Mebake's picture

Thanks, Howard!



Franko's picture

Hi Khalid,

Well I've made some pretty gummy rye breads in the past and your loaf doesn't look particularly gummy to my eye. I only wish that mine had looked as nice as yours does. Congratulations on sourcing the Pullman pan and looking forward to your future bakes using it. I'm sure the metallic off-taste will go away after a few bakes with it. All the pastries and plating look excellent, but I like especially the chocolate lattice box dessert on the right. Nice work!



Mebake's picture

Although this is my first russian type rye, i've baked many german type 100% rye recipes before, and i've had my share of gummy bricks. I'm not at ease with Andrew's non bulk fermentation method but its too early to decide, more trials are needed. 

Thanks alot, Franko!


ananda's picture

Hi Khalid,

Not having access to any malt [rye or barley] is a major barrier if you are hoping to re-produce this loaf.   I appreciate your problem, as malt is primarily used in the brewing industry, so unlikely to be easily available to you in Dubai.   Do you have any wholefood or healthfood shops in the neighbourhood?   That is where I can easily source Barley Malt Syrup here in the UK.

I'm not sure that the bulk fermentation is that key, although I use a short period of bulk, say 1 hour, 2 maximum.   You may want to look at water levels, as, if I remember rightly, Andrew makes his rye loaves very wet.   This will make them very delicate indeed at the bulk stage.   I recommend you re-adjust hydration [overall] to a maximum of 85%.   Also, the Borodinsky is a bit of a lighter loaf, so try to find a more refined rye flour, such as the Light Rye [997].   In Russia, Borodinsky is actually made with 20% wheat [white flour of medium quality].

I was encouraged to adopt the secondary phase of fermentation by the rye enthusiasts here on TFL.   I wouldn't make it any other way now.   Andrew's version is really not like the loaves I can now produce since sourcing rye malt and adopting the Auerman Process.   I hope you can find a means to go down the same path.   If your family doesn't like this bread, maybe you need to find some friends who do?   Then you get to make it and perfect it too.

I recommend you look at the work of eliabel and suave here on TFL, and mariana aga.   But their best work is on their Russian blogs.   And there is a whole site dedicated to Borodinsky, which does translate well using Google Translate.   Sorry I don't have time to cite these just now as I am busy baking.   But if you have no luck finding them, drop me a pm and I'll look later for you.

Very best wishes


ps. to say you made such a huge quantity of Andrew's formula and baked for such a short length of time, you did amazingly well to get it as well baked as you managed to achieve.   I'm surprised it wasn't still runny in the middle!

Mebake's picture

Thanks alot, Andy!

I will search for the syrup in healthstores. I will also sift my wholerye or add some white flour to the recipe. I will also try your version next time. As to eliable and suave, i remember skimming across their posts once, but now i'll have to look them up. Thanks, once more.