Black Bread Recipes – Austrian/German Schwarzbrot

Black bread (‘Schwarzbrot’ in German) is a type of bread, typically made with wholemeal rye flour and of a dark brown colour. There isn’t a universally valid definition of what black bread or Schwarzbrot is; however, the main common denominator is a high proportion of rye in the dough.

Rye-Heavy Hausbrot Black Bread
Austrian Schwarzbrot: Hausbrot (rye & wheat)

What is black bread?

Typically based on wholemeal flour, black breads are rye-dominated breads of a dark brown colour. Traditionally, black breads were often made with sourdough; however, commercial yeast is frequently added nowadays. Black breads are popular in Germany, Austria, Russia and many other Northern and Eastern European countries.

Black bread recipes – How to make black bread?

You’ll find plenty of German and Austrian Schwarzbrot black bread recipes on my blog but I’ve put together a quick list of my favourites.

  • German Pumpernickel
    Perhaps the darkest and purest of all black breads, pumpernickel is baked slowly for many hours to allow the sugars in the bread to caramalise and give it its authentic taste
  • Austrian Hausbrot
    A popular rye-wheat combination bread (Roggenmischbrot)
  • German Seeded Rye Bread
    Wholesome and hearty, this  loaf of rye bread is infused with the flavours of toasted sunflower seeds
  • Russian Rye Bread
    Based on 100% rye flour, this recipe for a pure sourdough loaf uses only four basic ingredients
  • Danish Malted Rye
    Stunning loaf of seeded rye bread with malted flour, delivering a superbly moist crumb

For further recipes and an excellent collection of German black bread recipes, I can recommend Rustikale Brote aus deutschen Landen with recipes for Westfälisches Schwarzbrot and Sauerländer Schwarzbrot as well as Der Duft von frischem Brot: Österreichs beste Bäcker verraten ihre Rezepte featuring a Tiroler Schwarzbrot recipe (both books are in German).