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Traditional Russian Rye Bread
May 12, 2010 23:41


Thanks to its agrarian past Russia can be justly called the rye empire. From time immemorial Russian people ate rye bread which both dear to their taste and easy on the pocket. In the beginning of the 20th century consumption of rye flour products comprised over sixty percent. Today this figure is much less, reaching only about 10 to 13 percent. But till now Russia is in the top five of the largest manufacturers of rye.

A star of a medical science A.I.Kuptsov wrote: “Unvaried diet of black rye bread among Russian poor population never led to deficiency disease, and it testifies that rye bread belongs to the category of food most corresponding to requirements of a human body”. It turns out that rye has salutary properties. It is capable to eliminate waste products, salts and thus helps to extirpate causes of numerous diseases.

Such bread contains lots of useful substances necessary to a human being: amino acids, mineral salts, B, , vitamins, iron, micro- and macronutrients, and fibre. It is especially useful for people suffering from anaemia and diabetes.

The use of rye bread helps to lower cholesterol in blood, improves metabolism, heart work, and helps to prevent dozens of diseases, cancer among them.

And yet, due to its high acidity (7-12 degrees) that protects it from mold occurrence and destructive processes, rye bread is not recommended to people with excessive acidity of the intestines, and suffering from stomach ulcers. 100 % rye bread is really too heavy for daily consumption. An optimal version is 80-85 % of rye and 15-25 % of wheat. Grades of rye bread vary from bread of white rye flour, medium and spring rye flour to plain and scalded bread, etc. Shelf life of rye bread is 36 hours.

Traditionally Russian bread was always rye bread baked in the Russian stove. Bread used to be baked in every house and its recipe was handed down from mother to daughter. The recipe given below is one of the variants that have come down to us. By the way, if sourdough in the recipe is changed then the taste of bread will also change.

To make traditional Russian bread you will need to take care of the ferment in advance (full article – Rye sourdough). It is due to dairy acid contained in ferment that rye bread has such sourish taste. Recommended proportion of ingredients for sourdough is half kilo flour to 25 gram yeast and a litre or litre and half water. It is often advised to add half a glass of curdled milk, cottage cheese whey from or kefir. Components are mixed and kept in a warm place to ferment for a day and night.

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Recipe of Traditional Russian Rye Bread

Ingredients for rye bread should be taken in the following proportions:

rye flour - 2 kg
sourdough - 130 gram
water - 1 litre
salt - 20 gram

Dissolve one third of the prepared flour in warm water and add sourdough. Knead the dough thoroughly and put into a warm place to ferment for half a day. Then dough again needs to be properly kneaded. Add salt and the rest of the flour, mix it all and put in a warm place. After an hour prepare bread for baking in the stove. Divide the prepared dough into loaves, moisten the surface of every loaf with water and smooth it. It will help to avoid cracks. Then the bread is put into the stove for 2 and a half to 3 hours. As soon as the bread has baked it should be slightly moistened with hot water so that the crust will not be too hard.

Bon appétit!

This baking recipe surely takes a lot of time, but the result will necessarily justify your efforts. Speaking about sourdough, earlier bread was baked every day (and families could have more than ten members) and so for leaven they used dough that remained from the previous day: it was simply diluted with warm water and mixed into the new day bread.

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