206 - Borodinsky - a Multi-Purpose Better Bread
There’s bread and then there’s All Stars Bakery bread - traditional, Russian-style loaves, the way your babushka used to make. Since 1996, Jeff Kaplanov has become the keeper of the recipes - from dark, hearty Borodinsky Russian Bread to basketweave-topped Old Country Style to delicious Baltic Rye. Before opening up the All Stars Bakery, Jeff worked as a bakery equipment technician in Belarus. He enlisted some technical know-how from fellow Russian engineers, and today, offers grocery stores and delis throughout Canada and in some parts of the United States a slice of Mother Russia.
All Stars’ breads are special because they’re made in a time-honoured fashion using only the best ingredients. Their loaves contain less sugar and fats (some have no fat) than most bread on the market. Take the Borodinsky for example - rye, wheat, sour dough, salt, water, red rye malt, a hint of molasses and coriander seeds go into the preparation of this bread. It’s given 48 hours to rise and then they’re baked in special ovens until they’re a dark, chocolate brown colour. Jeff even attained a natural sour dough starter from St. Petersburg and Moscow to lend his breads a true taste of home.
Due to the fact that there are no chemical preservatives in the Borodinsky, its shelf life is only days long. Jeff has, however, found a use for his stale bread in the form of one of Russia’s most popular, refreshing beverages, Kvass. A fermented, non-alcoholic cola, made of stale rye bread, water and malt, Kvass is reputed to aid digestion and promote good health.
Jeff picks up stale loaves that didn’t sell and makes his own Kvass, flavouring it with a few raisins. The result is a cola or root beer-like beverage that’s very pleasant and only subtly sweet. Apart from Vodka, Kvass is considered the national drink of Russia. Served cold on every street corner of Moscow, no matter what time of the year, you too can now swig back a glass of history and say “Na zdorovia” (cheers) like a true Russian!
All Stars Bakery
34 Futurity Gate
photo credits: Mary Luz Mejia