Recipe by Petra
"Here is a great recipe for authentic German Sourdough Bread. This bread tastes almost exactly like the bread we buy back home in Bavaria, Germany. There, to this day, they bake their bread in a very old stone oven in the middle of a small village, once every 2 weeks. They bake a whole bunch at once, and then you can buy it and freeze extras until the next baking day. It's the best German bread I know!"
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1 1/2 ounces
compressed fresh yeast
white rye flour
I submitted this recipe and I really want to share something valuable. In Germany, we usually add spices to the bread and they are available for purchase already ground up or as seeds. If you want, take a handful of Coriander, fennel, Anis, and/or Caraway seeds and add to the dough. I actually buy loose fennel tea seeds (cheaper) and smash it up good with a Mortar and add it. It adds a wonderful flavor and tastes so good! I now use a small coffee bean grinder to grind the seeds and I often add sunflowers seeds (salted or not) to the dough as well, which makes the bread juicier.
The bread in the picture was done in a traditional bread basket. I put a dish towel in the basket, then sprinkle it with flour (you can see the flour on the outside of the bread in the picture), then pad the bread dough into it for the second rising. Invert onto a baking sheet (I always use a baking stone) and bake! Oh, if you decide to freeze some (it freezes very well), simply put it in a zip lock bag, then when you are ready to eat it thaw it in the CLOSED bag! It only takes a few hours to thaw. Enjoy!
I noticed mixed results from different people and would like to say that this is not uncommon with this type of bread. Even I get different results sometimes depending on the climate. It matters quite a bit if it is humid/warm or cold. I do believe (but have no prove) that even elevation makes a difference. So if you get poor results DON'T GIVE UP. Try...temp/climate/baking time of day...changes!
I will try this again...the loaf(s) ended up fairly flat as if I hurried the rise. That wasn't the case.
I have made this bread several times and as a German I can tell you it IS authentic!
I made this recipe and the bread is very good with a crunchy crust. I only made half of the recipe and was able to knead it entirely in the mixer. I still needed to use a very large bowl for the starter because it rose up and ran over. I lost part of the starter, but the dough still balled up in the mixer and cleared the sides of the bowl and I didn't need to add extra flour or water to the measurements. My husband is also from Germany and remembers bread baking day when he was little. He thinks this recipe is pretty authentic too.
I absolutely loved this recipe. I lived in Germany for a year and absolutely fell in love with the bread there. Ever since I've returned to the States, I've been wishing that I could purchase German-style bread, but it's nearly impossible to find. But now i don't have to find it because this recipe tastes so authentic.
I do, however, want to share the three things that I did differently with this recipe. First, I used my own super tasty and entirely local sourdough starter so I didn't follow the first part of the recipe about creating a starter. Second, I halved the recipe because it sounded like so much bread. To do this, I had to make an educated guess on how much to use of the sourdough starter I already have. I went with two cups, and it seems to have worked perfectly. Third, I made the dough using the dough cycle of my breadmaker. After the cycle ended, I shaped the bread and let it rise for an additional hour. Even with these changes, the bread turned out amazing and like an authentic loaf of Bauernbrot.
This is a great recipe but a lot of work. I've used other, simpler recipes that are just as good. On the other hand...I did get two GIANT round loaves out of this so I guess it was worth the effort. The starter does rise A LOT, so be sure to use a huge bowl or one of the special buckets you can buy for this type of recipe. Also, although the dense, firm texture seemed just right, the bread I baked seemed to suffer from the "dry crumblies" - maybe next time I'll add a little potato flour as I read on kingarthurflour.com that this may help moisten it just a tad so it will hold together better. All in all a good recipe for that elusive, German flavor!
Update: I tried adding 3T. potato flour and the texture was much better. Could probably even use more. My German m-i-l tells me her neighbor actually adds a cooked, grated potato to the dough when she makes this kind of bread.
the one problem i found /when i make it into oblong loafs /let it rise /
it flaten /and spreads out /so the bread ends up anout 3 inches in hight /is there a special pan /or secret to keep the bread up /and not spread side ways
FYI ... 1 1/2 ounces fresh yesast equals 5 tsp plus a scant more of instant yeast. This is a wonderful bread, worth the advance planning !
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.
Authentic German Bread (Bauernbrot)
Serving Size: 1/20 of a recipe
Servings Per Recipe: 20
Amount Per Serving
** Calories: 334
** Calories from Fat: 11
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