# From: Julie A. Kangas
Well, as I mentioned last week, I spent this weekend baking bread with
the Russian culture. All I have to say is WOW, is this stuff agressive.
After a few hours it had invaded my kitchen and set up a puppet
government ;-). Seriously, it was a very strong bubbler and had no
trouble with some very heavy (and probably not kneaded enough) dough.
I made three kinds of bread; the black bread from Sourdough International,
a finnish sour rye (adapted from "The Finnish Cookbook" by Beatrice
Ojakangas), and "Dark Rye Bread Borodinskii" (adapted from "The Art
of Russian Cuisine" by Anne Volokh). Both the Finnish sour rye
and the Borodinskii bread use the rye sour (milk and rye left to get
very sour) for flavoring and some commercial yeast for leavening. I
modified these recipes to use the Russian culture, so any yuckiness
is my fault.
I made the black bread and borodinskii bread on Saturday. My culture
did quite well but it was perhaps not as sour as I would have liked.
This could be due to the sweetness of the breads though. (The borodinskii
bread is even sweeter than the black bread but has a very hearty
rye taste. It is darker than the "black bread"). However, the next
day I made the Finnish rye bread and it was quite a bit stronger.
(The proofing times were the same each day) It had a very nice sour
(but not stomach turning) smell and taste. (This is not a sweet bread
though). I'm very happy how this turned out (the other breads are
yummy too). Perhaps a culture gets stronger after a few uses.
I've included recipes below, but first a few words about them. The
Finnish rye uses a rye based sour so I cut down the amount of
white flour (since it's in the russian culture) and slightly increased
the rye. It seems to be the same as when I made it before (except
for the culture which is better).
The borodinskii bread also used a rye starter. It called for a cup of
white flour which I deleted (again, the russian culture is based on
white flour). The rest of the flour is dark rye. There is also a
recipe for an all-dark rye bread (including starter) in the book.
I haven't tried it yet.
Here are the recipes which are cryptic if you haven't made bread