Borodinsky bread or borodino bread is a dark brown sourdough rye bread of Russian origin, traditionally sweetened with molasses and flavored with coriander and caraway seeds.
Borodinsky bread is traditionally made (with the definite recipe fixed by a ГОСТ 5309-50 standard) from a mixture of no less that 80% by weight of a whole-grain rye flour with about 15% of a second-grade wheat flour and about 5% of rye, or rarely, barley malt, leavened by a separately prepared starter culture made like a choux pastry, by diluting the flour by a near-boiling (95-96 °C) water, and adding the yeast after cooling the mix to 65-67 °C, but then mostly inoculated by the previous batches of dough instead of the dry yeast.
It is then sweetened and colored with beet sugar molasses, and flavored with salt and spices, of which the coriander seed is required, and caraway is optional, but still quite popular.
A Borodinsky variety called ”supreme” consists of 100% rye (85% whole rye and 15% white rye flour) exists according to a pre-GOST recipe found in P.M. Plotnikov & M.F. Kolesnikov's 1940 book 350 Varieties of Bread.
Legend of origin
Several legends exist regarding the etymology. The most popular one states that this bread traces its name to Margarita Tuchkova, a widow of Napoleonic Wars general Alexander Tuchkov, who perished at Battle of Borodino.
His widow established a convent at a former battlefield, an abbess of which she eventually became, and its nuns had reportedly come up with the bread's recipe to serve at mourning events, thus, a dark, solemn color, and with round coriander seeds representing a deadly grapeshot.