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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)
Germknödel are large, steamed yeast dumplings filled with Powidl (a type of plum jam made only of plums – no sugar – which cooks for many to reduce down to a dark purple puree). A delicious sweet dish and all-time favourite served in Austrian ski huts, Germknödel are the perfect treat for a cold winter’s day!
Germknödel are often served with clear butter poured on top, but I much prefer warm homemade vanilla sauce. Finish with a sprinkling of ground poppy seeds and icing sugar. I’ve asked my grandmother for her Germknödel recipe recently so now I’m finally able to enjoy them whenever I want!
My family’s traditional Austrian Germknödel recipe
A delicious family recipe for Germknödel, one of my favourite Austrian winter treats. I use Austrian-made Stroh rum in this recipe to give it its authentic flavour.
For the steamed yeast dumplings
500gstrong white flour
Vanilla seeds from 1/2 vanilla pod or 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
For the filling
Homemade vanilla sauce
How to make Germknödel
Combine all dumpling ingredients and knead for about 10 minutes. You should have a soft, smooth, workable dough – not too sticky and not too dry.
Place the dough in a plastic bowl, cover and leave to rise somewhere warm for an hour or two until it has doubled in size. How quickly the rise happens depends on the temperature in the room, so be patient in case it takes a little longer.
In a small bowl, mix Powidl and rum.
Lightly flour a clean work surface and turn out the dough.
Punch down the dough, form the dough into a sausage shape and divide into 10 pieces with your dough scraper.
Flatten each piece with your hand.
Place a teaspoon of Powidl mixture into the centre of the flat round dough piece.
Bring up the sides of the dough around the plum jam and seal well by pinching the edges.
Place each dumpling onto the floured work surface or baking sheet, cover with a dish towel and leave to prove for about 30 minutes to 1 hour. The Germknödel should have visibly risen before you continue.
Bring a large pan of water to the boil and use a steamer (I use a bamboo steamer) lined with baking paper to steam the dumplings for 15 minutes. I can fit four dumplings into my steamer at a time. Make sure you cover the steamer with a lid.
If you don’t have a steamer, you can use a cotton dish towel which you put over the pan. Secure it with twine and make sure the cloth isn’t exposed to the heat source. Place the dumplings onto the cloth and cover with a second pot.
Serve and enjoy straight away. Pour over hot vanilla sauce and sprinkle with a mix of ground poppy seeds and icing sugar.
A new favourite! This rye bread with sunflower seeds is amazing – rye sourdough, malt and toasted sunflower seeds give this bread its delicious flavour. While sunflower seeds usually only have a very mild taste, toasting them evokes a wonderfully nutty flavour. Additionally, they are a great source of Vitamin E, copper, vitamin B1, magnesium and selenium.
Easter is a great time for baking – Spring is in the air, early gardening efforts are starting to bear fruit and there are lots of lovely seasonal baking ideas to play with. Hot cross buns are the traditional Easter treat in the UK. However, I’m not a huge fan of their fruit-heavy doughs and usually like to bake Easter breads containing nuts. Here is one of my favourite recipes for Easter, a traditional Austrian Easter bread wreath. The bread is enriched with milk and butter, spiced with vanilla, cardamom and lemon zest and glazed with honey and rum.
Austrian Easter Bread Wreath Recipe
Ingredients (makes 1 small wreath)
For the dough
250g plain flour
130g milk, lukewarm
4g dried yeast
40g butter, melted
40g caster sugar
1 egg yolk
1 pinch of salt
1 tsp vanilla sugar
2 cardamom pods, seeds taken out and crushed with pestle and mortar
Zest of ½ lemon
1 tbsp pistachios, ground or finely chopped
2 tbsp hazelnuts, ground or finely chopped
1 tbsp brown sugar
For the topping
1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp rum
1 tbsp pistachios, roughly chopped
How to bake it
In a medium bowl, combine the melted butter, caster sugar, egg yolk, salt, vanilla sugar, crushed cardamom seeds and lemon zest and mix until it reaches an even consistency
Add the flour, yeast and milk to the butter-sugar mixture and form a smooth dough; knead for approximately 10 minutes
Cover the dough with the bowl and leave to rest in a warm place for 1 hour
Combine the ground or finely chopped nuts with the brown sugar
Divide the dough into two equal parts
Knead the nuts-and-sugar mix into one of the dough parts
Lightly flour your work surface if the dough is prone to stick
Use your hands and form each dough part into a long sausage form, 40 cm in length
Form a rope with the two dough rolls by winding the rolls around each other
Then bring the ends together to form a wreath, sealing the ends together to avoid them coming apart during the baking process
Place the wreath on a baking tray lined with baking paper and cover with a clean kitchen towel for 30 minutes to 1 hour to prove
Preheat the oven to 180°C
Bake for 30 minutes
Warm up the honey in a small pot and add the rum
Brush the baked wreath with the mixture and sprinkle the roughly chopped pistachios on top
Great with a cup of tea or coffee, served for breakfast or afternoon tea!
The traditional German Christmas bread called Stollen is a rich, sweet fruit bread made with butter, milk, spices and rum-soaked dried fruit and nuts. Here I present my very own version of Xmas Stollen – my sourdough Stollen recipe for all you adventurous bakers out there.
To provide some background: I’ve always wanted to be a Xmas Stollen lover. However, it usually contains a few ingredients I’m not really a huge fan of such as candied orange & citrus peel and marzipan. Heaps of butter and sugar are normally used to preserve the bread for weeks (the typical proportions for traditional German Christmas Stollen according to the Dresdner Stollen Association are a minimum of 50% butter and 65% golden raisins when compared to flour weight).
So, I decided to piece together my own Stollen recipe with #thebreadshebakes rules, a sourdough version with a little bit of added yeast 🙂
Why this is the best Christmas Stollen recipe for me
This is what I set out to achieve:
No candied orange, citrus peel or glacé cherries
Only high-quality organic dried fruit (yet not too much of it)
No marzipan roll in the middle of the Stollen – instead; homemade almond and pistachio paste mixed into the dough
Reduced fat and sugar content. A thick layer of butter and icing sugar is usually applied as topping but I’m opting for egg wash and almond flakes instead.
It’s a sweet treat and I don’t mind it being a little “merrier” than usual 🙂
Note that all the ingredients in this recipe should be at room temperature, so warm the milk slightly if it’s just out of the fridge. This recipe will give you approx. 20 slices of delicious Stollen. Use Austrian Stroh rum for a deliciously authentic rum-flavour. I've added a little bit of yeast into the recipe to lift the rather heavy dough.
FOR THE FRUIT & NUT SOAKER
100gdried organic cranberries
100gblanched almondsroughly chopped
Seeds from a vanilla pod
FOR THE SOURDOUGH
25gwheat sourdough starter
FOR THE ALMOND & PISTACHIO PASTE
½lemon grated zest and juice
FOR THE DOUGH
475gplain organic flourGerman type 550
½lemon grated zest
1pincheach of ground nutmegground cloves, ground cinnamon, ground allspice
FOR THE TOPPING
A handful of almond flakes
How to make German Christmas Stollen
ON THE EVENING BEFORE BAKING
Mix the dried fruit and chopped almonds with the rum, cover with cling film and leave overnight. This hydrates everything slightly and ensures that the fruit and nuts do not soak up too much liquid from the dough.
It’s really important to use good quality ingredients here as the flavours will really unfold in the baked Christmas Stollen and there is a remarkable difference in the taste.
I’ve used organic dried fruit (organic medium currants and organic dried cranberries) and almonds from Real Foods which are just perfect. The currants add lovely bursts of intense flavour and are high in antioxidants and vitamins while the cranberries give the dough a delicious sweetness while being a great source of vitamin C and dietary fibre.
Prepare the sourdough by mixing the above ingredients together and covering the bowl with cling film.
Prepare the almond and pistachio paste, cover with cling film and keep in the fridge overnight. The paste should be nice and smooth, not too wet or dry.
ON THE DAY OF BAKING
Crack the shell of the cardamom pods with a knife handle and remove the seeds. Give the seeds a quick grind with a pestle and mortar. Don’t use ground cardamom as it just doesn't have the same fragrant, fresh flavour.
I’ve used organic cardamom pods from Real Foods which are super aromatic and perfect for Stollen.
Mix together the following ingredients to form a dough:
Knead for 10 mins to develop a smooth and satiny dough. It’ll be a little sticky but that’s fine.
Then work in the fruits, nuts, lemon zest and spices, distributing them as evenly as possible.
Now leave the dough in a warm place, covered with a kitchen towel or cling film, until it has doubled in size (the time this takes can vary depending on the room temperature; approx. 1.5 hours, but this could take longer!).
Knock the air out of the risen dough and knead for another minute or two.
Shape the dough into an oval loaf (I’m not too bothered with the traditional fold).
Place on a baking tray lined with baking paper and cover with a moist kitchen towel.
Leave in a draught-free place for its second proof. Depending on the temperature in your kitchen, this could be done in one hour, but for me this lasted almost three.
Use your finger to make a small dent in the dough. If the dent remains, the bread is ready to bake. If it disappears, the dough needs some more time.
Preheat the oven to 190°C (gas mark 5).
Prepare some egg wash (combine an egg and a table spoon of water and whisk together).
When the dough is ready, brush the Stollen with the egg wash and sprinkle with almond flakes.
Bake in the oven on the lowest shelf for 1 hour 15 mins. If it browns too quickly, protect the bread by covering the top with tin foil. I do this after 25 mins initial baking time.
Use a cocktail stick or skewer to check if the dough has fully baked through as you would with a cake. The internal temperature of the loaf should be 94°C, my Thermapen is proving invaluable once more!
Allow it to cool on the baking sheet for about 5 minutes before lifting it onto a wire rack to finish cooling.
Serve in relatively thick slices with strong coffee or tea and good quality butter. Lightly toast if you would like to heat it through.
Where to buy Christmas Stollen in the UK
Over the last few years, I’ve started to bake Christmas Stollen to order as it keeps and ships well. If you’re interested in a homemade Stollen delivery, please just get in touch via the contact form here to order your special Christmas treat online.
I’m just back from one of my family visits in Austria. I really love autumn in Austria and in our garden the ‘Zwetschken’ (a local plum variety; ‘Zwetschgen’ in German) were pretty much ready to be plucked off the tree.
So that’s what we did and my granny baked the lovely fresh fruit into some of the traditional recipes of our area:
“Rohrnudeln mit Zwetschken” (traditional Austrian plum bread buns)
“Zwetschkenmandl” (Austrian plum bake)
Both recipes use basic baking ingredients and fresh organic local plums. For the “Rohrnudeln mit Zwetschken”, the bread dough is exactly the same as used in the recipe for traditional Austrian “Zedl“. For the “Zwetschkenmandl” my granny uses a basic Austrian pancake (Palatschinken) recipe to bake the plums into.
Ingredients for “Rohrnudeln mit Zwetschken” (makes 10) –
For the dough:
1kg white bread flour (wheat)
42g fresh yeast (or 14g dry yeast)
750g full-fat milk, lukewarm
2 tsp salt
A pinch of sugar (if using fresh yeast)
For the plums:
750g plums or damsons, deseeded and halved
1 tbsp sugar
1/4 tsp cinnamon
How to make them –
If using fresh yeast –
Heat the milk in a pot until lukewarm, add a pinch of sugar, then crumble in the yeast. Ensure the yeast rises to the top before you continue.
If you use dry yeast, you can simply add this alongside the other ingredients straight into the bowl – as described below.
Combine all dough ingredients in a large bowl (if using fresh yeast, add the prepared milk, yeast and sugar mixture).
Mix thoroughly until the dough is elastic and smooth in texture. Traditionally in Austria, the mixing (or ‘beating’) of the dough is being handled with a large wooden spoon. However, kneading works equally well.
Cover the bowl and leave in a warm place until the dough has doubled in size (approximately 1 hour but depending on room temperature).
Beat the dough again with the wooden spoon.
Cover again and leave for approximately 45 minutes.
Prepare a clean surface and dust with flour.
With a dough scraper, take out ten individual pieces of dough and form small, oval buns. Make sure the surface of each bun is smooth. Tuck any rough outer edges under the bun.
Cover with a kitchen towel and leave to prove for another 30 minutes. Ensure this process takes place in a draft-free environment.
While you’re waiting, prepare a rectangular baking dish by melting the butter in it.
Next, place the plum halves skin side down in the baking dish. Make sure you cover the full bottom of the pan. You can even do a second layer if you’ve got enough fruit.
Sprinkle the sugar and the cinnamon on top of the open plum halves.
Preheat the oven to 180°C (gas mark 4).
Pick up the dough buns with floured hands and place them on top of the plums. Place them right next to each other.
Bake for approximately 30 mins until golden brown.
Leave the plum breads in the pan until cooled down slightly.
Best eaten warm but the plum buns keep well for a few days and can easily be reheated.
Ingredients for “Zwetschkenmandl” (1 tray) –
250g full-fat milk
1/4 tsp salt
1kg plums or damsons, deseeded and halved
1 tbsp sugar
1/4 tsp cinnamon
How to make it –
Preheat the oven to 200°C (gas mark 6).
Prepare the dough by whisking the milk, eggs and salt.
Add the flour and combine. The dough should be semi-liquid; it should thickly coat the back of a spoon.
Add the plums to the dough and mix carefully but well.
Melt the butter in a rectangular pan or tray.
Pour the batter into the pan/tray.
Mix the sugar and cinnamon in a little bowl.
Sprinkle the sugar and cinnamon mixture on top of the batter.
Bake for approx. 30 minutes until the dough is fully baked through and the top has browned well.
Austrian bread dumplings are an absolute treat and Zedl, our traditional family bread, is the BEST starting point for making these brilliant boiled bread balls.
In general, you will only need a few ingredients to make Austrian bread dumplings: stale white bread rolls, milk, water, eggs, salt and chives for decoration (optional).
Austrian bread dumplings are great with…
Creamy chanterelle and parsley mushroom ragout
Roast pork, venison stew and Gulasch
Ingredients – Makes 8 bread dumplings
Please note that this recipe is based on an authentic Austrian enriched yeast bread called Innviertler Zelten (or Zedl in dialect) which is the secret basis for the best bread dumplings by a mile. You can also use standard white bread instead, but you might need to adjust the liquid you add accordingly. If you are using standard white bread, you may want to consider taking a look at this recipe for Serviettenknödel, by fellow blogger Ginger & Bread.
Note: The bread should ideally be several days old and a little stale.
Approximately 650ml of liquid (combine 325g milk and 325g water)
A handful of chives, chopped
How to make Knödel (Austrian bread dumplings)
Cut the Zedl or other white bread into small cubes (roughly 0.5 – 1 cm)
Fill up a large bowl with the cubed bread
Boil the milk-water mixture and pour over the bread
Cover the bowl with a cover or use a plate or chopping board to cover it. This keeps the steam inside the bowl and helps to soften the bread cubes.
Leave for about 10 minutes to allow the bread to soak up and absorb all the liquid.
Add the eggs and the salt and mix everything together with wet hands Here is the important bit about the mixture’s consistency… – There shouldn’t be any dry bits of bread in the mixture. If there are, add a little bit more hot milk or water. – On the other hand, the mixture shouldn’t be too liquid either or you are running the risk that the dumplings will fall apart. If you’ve added too much liquid, you should balance this out by adding a little flour. – Overall, the liquid should have been fully soaked up and the mixture should feel firm and just a little sticky.
Once mixed, leave to rest for another 5 minutes before shaping the dumplings.
Wet your hands, take a portion of the dumpling mixture to comfortably fit into your cupped hand and squeeze everything together while you shape and form a round dumpling.
Bring a large pan of water to the boil – You can boil the dumplings straight away or leave them to rest for 30 mins. I would recommend this if you make the dumplings with normal white bread as they will keep their shape better.
Add the dumplings once the water is bubbling away and boil for 15 minutes.
Remove with a slotted spoon and place on a serving plate.
Decorate with chopped chives.
Add chopped parsley or onions (fried) into the dumpling mixture to give it additional flavour. You could even add finely chopped smoked meat and eat as a main dish with cabbage salad.
Tips for leftover bread dumplings
Chop the dumplings into bite-sized pieces, slice an small onion into very thing rings and mix with oil, white wine vinegar, salt and pepper. Voilà – dumpling salad!
Slice up the dumplings and fry with 1 or 2 eggs, add a little salt and eat with plum compote.
If you love dumplings as much as I do, there are a LOT more recipes in Maria Wiesmüller’s book ‘Knödel’ with cooking instructions for other favourites of mine: liver dumplings, Germknödel and Topfenknödel!
Spending some days at home in the Austrian Innviertel last week, I got to indulge in one of my all-time-favourite breads: Zedl (also referred to as Innviertler Zelten or Zeltl). Zedl are enriched Austrian bread rolls, traditionally baked in the Upper Austrian region of the Innviertel. My mum bakes Zedl every week, as did her mum and her mum before that. It’s a recipe passed on for many generations.
Zedl taste absolutely amazing with butter and honey or a typical Austrian Jause. However, they have another brilliant purpose: they make the best bread dumplings you’ll ever taste!
Heat the milk in a pot until lukewarm (make sure it’s not too hot so not to destroy the yeast), add a pinch of sugar, then crumble in the yeast. Allow a few minutes to ensure the yeast rises to the top before you continue. If you use dried yeast, you can simply add all ingredients into the large bowl.
Add the milk, fresh yeast and sugar mixture, the eggs and salt to the bowl with the flour and mix thoroughly until the dough is elastic and smooth in texture. Traditionally, the mixing of the dough is done by vigorously handling the dough with a large wooden spoon. This is typically done by holding a large wooden spoon with both hands and getting right into the dough to shift it towards you in quick movements. However, I prefer to knead the dough by hand. It will be quite soft and a little sticky but simply use your dough scrapers to better control the dough.
Place the dough back into the bowl and cover with a lid or clean kitchen towel.
Keep in a warm place until the dough has doubled in size (approximately 1 hour but this could take a little longer if the temperature in your room is cooler).
Beat the dough down with the wooden spoon or punch it down by hand and fold it a few times until fully deflated.
Cover again and leave for approximately 45 minutes.
Prepare a clean working surface and dust with flour.
With a dough scraper, take or cut out eight equally sized individual pieces of dough from the risen dough and form flattish buns. Make sure the surface of each bun is smooth. Tuck any rough outer edges under the bun.
Cover all buns with a kitchen towel and leave to prove for another 30 minutes. Ensure this process takes place in a draft-free environment.
Preheat the oven to 190°C (gas mark 5).
Line a baking tray with baking paper.
Just before baking, very carefully move the Zedl onto the baking tray (take care you don’t deflate the dough) and bake for 30 minutes.
Cool on a wire rack and enjoy!
More about bread baking in the Innviertel
While doing my research on Austrian breads of the Innviertel region in Upper Austria, I came across an excerpt of an essay about Upper Austrian bread baking. This is a special treat for all German speaking readers and I guess it will be of specific interest to those of us who come from Austria and the Innviertel in particular:
This is a recipe my aunt from Höhnhart, Upper Austria shared with me (thank you Berta :-)). Berta and I are connected by our passion for bread and while she has been a master for years, I’m just at the beginning of my bread journey!
This bread is super-delicious with just butter and cheese. Add carrots, celery and some chutney and you have a perfect afternoon snack!
If you are using fresh yeast, mix the yeast with 200g lukewarm water. (With dry yeast, simply add all ingredients together in one go.)
In a separate bowl, mix the flours and salt with a balloon whisk.
Add the dissolved yeast and water, olive oil and the mixed nuts to the flour bowl.
Use the dough hooks of your hand mixer and knead the dough until smooth. Alternatively, hand-knead for 5 minutes or so. I added a little bit more water to get the right hydration as the rye flour I used was very coarse.
Cover the bowl with a clean kitchen towel and leave to rest in a warm place for 45 minutes until the dough has doubled in size.
Preheat the oven to 180°C (gas mark 4).
Line a baking tray with baking paper.
Turn the dough out onto a clean work surface and knead for a minute.
Divide the dough into two parts.
Roll out each part to reach 25cm in length. You can work with a rolling pin or just work the dough into a round or oval shape with your hands.