Bake wholesome #realbread at home with tried and tested recipes from The Bread She Bakes
Tag: Austrian bread recipes
Living in Scotland, I missed Austrian breads and that’s the reason why I started this blog! Over the years I’ve built up a nice collection of Austrian bread recipes – different bread types and styles – including traditional family recipes.
Here’s a selection of recipes to get you started –
Typical Austrian rye breads (“Schwarzbrot” i.e. black bread)
I’m sure my Austrian roots have something to do with my slight addiction to the flavour of caraway seeds. In Austrian cuisine, caraway seeds are used abundantly, from flavouring roast pork to enhancing salad dressings. Most notably, Austrian dark breads frequently use caraway seeds as part of the Brotgewürz which is used to flavour the loaves. Caraway seeds are superb bread flavour enhancers, some of the top seeds to add to breads and perfect for rye breads specifically. Here is my caraway seed bread recipe, based on a combination of wholemeal rye flour and white wheat flour, leavened with sourdough.
Are caraway seeds good for you?
Caraway (carum carvi) belongs, like coriander, fennel and celery for example, to the family of Apiaceae or Umbelliferae. Not technically seeds, caraway ‘seeds’ are the split halves of the dried fruits of the plant.
The effect of caraway is mainly related to the essential oil containing Carvon, which has a stimulating effect on the stomach and a soothing impact on the bowel. Two digestive bonus points at once.
At the same time, the delicate, aromatic but slightly bitter taste of caraway adds a completely new dimension to breads.
Caraway seed bread recipe
A great bread for tasty sandwiches or creamy vegetable soups. Delicious also with pastrami, mustard and gherkins (my personal favourite). Add slightly more or less caraway seeds than recommended below to intensify or lessen the flavour kick. The sharpness of the mustard and gherkins works incredibly well with the distinctively bitter, yet warm and sweet taste of the caraway seeded bread.
Browsing the local delights of the organic grocery store in my home town in Austria, I picked up a bag of Grünkern. The greenish grains looked pretty and unique on the shelf! Grünkern grains are unripe spelt kernels cultivated predominantly in Southern Germany. Although mainly used for soups and vegetarian burgers, I wanted to incorporate some of this unique green spelt grain in a sourdough Grünkern bread.
What is Grünkern?
Grünkern (German for ‘green kernel’) is spelt, harvested when green, in the dough stage of ripening, and then dried. Historically, harvesting spelt so early and before it reaches its full ripeness was a reaction to periods of adverse weather, which destroyed crops and resulted in poor harvests. It was a way to prevent crop failure.
The green spelt grains are harvested when the starch isn’t fully developed and the kernels are still soft and juicy at about 50% moisture content. Grains are dried over a beechwood fire or in hot air dryers – right down to a moisture content of 10 to 13%. Once dried, the outer husk is removed. Have a look at gruenkern.de for more information around the harvesting process, then and now.
The dried green spelt kernels smell aromatic and a little bit like fresh hay. The aroma remains uniquely pleasant and hearty when cooked with water, so it became a tradition to harvest a portion of the spelt as Grünkern. Grünkern doesn’t tend to be milled and is typically available as whole grains or chopped grains.
If this sounds similar to another grain, Freekeh, then you are right. Freekeh is also harvested green, then roasted. The difference? Freekeh is made from green unripe durum wheat and dates back to the ancient regions of Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan and Syria while Grünkern is made from spelt and is still mainly produced in Germany.
How Grünkern was made
Watch these videos showcasing the Grünkern harvest back in the 1970s in Germany.
Where to buy Grünkern in the UK?
I’ve only seen Grünkern on Amazon in the UK. Unfortunately, other probable places such as Real Foods or Buy Whole Foods Online don’t seem to stock it.
Grünkern bread recipe
This recipe adds Grünkern to a wholemeal spelt sourdough loaf. Adding black treacle enhances the flavours, but you can easily leave out the treacle if you would like to taste the pure Grünkern flavours.