savory

Bauernbrot – a failed try

Although the loaves in the picture look pretty delicious, this is the story of a failure. I tried to make a good German farmhouse bread, but I could of course only use Danish ingredients so in a moment of overconfidence I changed quite a lot from the original recipe and then it went all wrong. But because I learned so much about bread baking by this failed try, I wanted to share the recipe and the story with you anyway πŸ™‚

First of all, I learned the differences between German and Danish flour. I know, you wouldn’t think that there can be a lot of differences, after all it’s just flour, right? Well turns out, there can be many differences, especially when it comes to wholemeal flour. Germany has a industrial norm for almost anything, which means there are numbers declaring the nutrient levels, but even the highest level will be finely ground. In Denmark, on the other hand, wholemeal flour is defined by the share of the grain that was used but at the same time it gets coarser and coarser, the more wholemeal you go on the scale. And that of course makes a difference in the baking characteristics. So I used an approximation of the flour combination that was stated in the recipe and it felt quite dry after kneading it together, so i added a bit of water. But apparently the dough was too wet, because when I cut into it, it was still raw on the inside. The outer crust was delicious, but you really could not eat the inside. I tried rebaking it for half an hour, but that didn’t work either…. Anyway, I found the original (German) recipeΒ here, so if you want to give it a try yourself – go ahead and let me know if you have any tips how to feel if a bread dough has the right texture!

Ingredients (yields 2 loaves):

500 g wholemeal rye flour
500 g wholemeal wheat flour
1 tbsp salt
1 package (7 g) instant yeast
1 package (15 g) instant sourdough
700-800 ml lukewarm water

Put all the dry ingredients in a large bowl, take care that the yeast doesn’t touch the salt. Add 700 ml of lukewarm water bit by bit and stir/ knead to a smooth, but sticky dough. Cover with a towel and let prove at a warm place for about 2 hours until it has doubled in size. Divide the dough in half and shape two loaves, which you need to dust with flour such that they keep their shape. Transfer to a baking sheet with baking parchment and let prove for another hour or two. Preheat the oven to 200Β°C and bake for about 45-55 min.

Tips from a non-expert: When you take the bread out of the oven it should sound hollow when you knock on the bottom. Also I tried to give it a crispier crust by steaming it for about 15 minutes. That is, I added a baking sheet with warm water for the first 15 minutes. It worked for me, but be cautious my bread was still underbaked because the crust looked already nice when I took the bread out of the oven.

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6 thoughts on “Bauernbrot – a failed try

    1. Hahaha, I totally understand that! It’s one of the things us Germans can get really arrogant about – almost nothing outside the borders deserves the word bread πŸ˜‰ but you can always bake some yourself!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. yes, flour are different, And this is amazing, how moon status or bad mood or …??? can influent how flor acting and working.
    In Estonia we are use to bake and eat rye bread without added yeast, we are using fermentation, This is more complicated, but taste for us more common πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re right, it really is intriguig! I think the traditional way in Germany would also only use fermentation, but often I am just not patient enough to wait for 2 days until I can eat the result πŸ˜‰ but if you have a great estonian recipe, send it to me, I’d love to give it a try!

      Like

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