Dampfnudeln recipe (with steamed apples) #BreadBakers

 

Dampfnudeln are a regular Friday lunchtime dish in my grandmother’s kitchen. Bread buns are placed on a bed of apples and steamed on the hub for about 30 minutes. They are incredibly light and delicious and I wanted to share the Dampfnudeln recipe here on the occasion of this month’s #BreadBakers theme ‘Steamed Buns’.

Dampfnudeln
Dampfnudeln

The Austrian/German delicacy also featured in the Great British Bake Off 2016 as a technical challenge.

Dampfnudeln in pan
Dampfnudeln in the steamy pan

Dampfnudeln Recipe

My granny’s recipe, based on Dampfnudel variation from the Innviertel in Austria and I think this version of the recipe is also popular in neighbouring Bavaria. The Dampfnudeln are steamed on a bed of lightly spiced apples. This recipe provides 6 portions.

Dampfnudeln steamed buns
Dampfnudeln resting and waiting to be ‘revealed’ 🙂
Dampf Noodles
Check out that airy crumb!
Dampfnudeln with apples
Dampfnudeln with buttery apples

Ingredients

For the dough

  • 500g strong white wheat flour
  • 7g dried yeast
  • 250g milk, tepid
  • 50g unsalted butter, melted
  • 50g sugar (I use brown sugar)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Zest of half a lemon

For the apple base

  • 850g apples, peeled and chopped into 1/2 cm slices
  • 50g butter
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 6 tbsp milk

How to make Dampfnudeln

  1. Combine all dough ingredients in a large bowl.
  2. Knead dough until smooth and elastic.
  3. Place back into the bowl, cover and leave to rest for 45 minutest at room temperature.
  4. Punch down the dough and divide into 12 equal pieces.
  5. Shape the pieces into buns and place onto a pre-floured surface.
  6. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and leave to proof for about an hour. The buns should grow significantly in size during that time.
  7. Prepare the apples while you are waiting.
  8. Once the dough buns are ready, melt the butter in a large (circa 30 cm in diameter) non-stick frying pan (you need a tight fitting lid for it too) on a low heat.
  9. Evenly distribute the apple pieces in the pan and sprinkle the sugar on top, then add the milk.
  10. Carefully place the dough buns on the apple base and cover the pan with the lid. Don’t take the lid off again (or even slightly lift it) until the buns are fully done as they otherwise deflate.
  11. Turn up the heat to medium to bring the liquid in the pan to boil.
  12. After 15 minutes, turn down the heat to the lowest level and steam for another 15 – 20 minutes.
  13. Leave to rest for a few minutes once the heat is off before you take the lid off.
  14. Serve immediately.

If you like this Austrian steamed bread recipe, check out this plum preserve filled steamed bread recipe for Germknödel and here are also my fellow #BreadBakers’ recipes.

BreadBakers
#BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. You can see all our of lovely bread by following our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated after each event on the #BreadBakers home page. We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient.

Grünkern (green spelt) bread recipe

 

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.

Grünkern sourdough
Grünkern sourdough 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.

Grünkern
Grünkern

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.

Grünkern bread
Grünkern bread

Ingredients

For the sourdough

For the Grünkern soaker

  • 175g Grünkern
  • 350g water

For the main dough

  • 220g spelt flour
  • 50g water
  • 14g salt
  • 1 tbsp malt extract

How to bake Grünkern bread

Day 1

  • Prepare the sourdough by combining your spelt starter with the spelt flour and water. Mix well in a bowl, cover with a lid and leave to stand at room temperature for 16 – 24 hours.
  • Combine Grünkern and water in a pan, cover and leave to soak overnight.

Day 2

  • Drain the Grünkern and bring to a boil in a pan with 350g water. Simmer over a low heat for about 15 minutes. Drain any remaining water.
  • In a large bowl, combine 440g of the sourdough (the remaining 25g go back into the fridge for your next bake) with the main dough ingredients.
  • Form a dough and knead for 10 minutes.
  • Add the Grünkern to the dough and knead until evenly distributed.
  • Place the dough back into the bowl, cover and leave to rest for 1 hour at room temperature.
  • Prepare a baking tin (23 x 11 x 9.5 cm) by lightly oiling it. I use a silicone brush to do that.
  • Place the dough into the tin and prove for 2 – 4 hours depending on the temperature in your room. The dough should rise visibly, filling the tin to the top.
  • Preheat the oven to 250°C.
  • Place the baking tin on the second layer from bottom up and bake for 15 minutes, then bake for a further 25 minutes at 180°C and a final 10 minutes outside the tin at 180°C.
  • Cool on a wire rack.
Grünkern spelt bread
Grünkern spelt bread

Zwieback crackers recipe

 

I love crispbreads and tend to make a batch every few weeks. Usually, I bake savoury crispbreads, but I’ve been wanting to make an old childhood favourite of mine, Zwieback crackers, a lightly sweetened crispbread. My mum didn’t bake this herself, but bought an industrial version called Feldbacher Zwieback. It was generally on the menu when I wasn’t feeling well as it’s easy to digest, a kind of sick kids treat. Here is my recipe for baking Zwieback crackers at home.

Zwieback
Zwieback

What does Zwieback mean?

The name Zwieback translates as “twice-bake” and is a result of the baking process whereby the bread is baked twice. Once as a loaf, and the second time in slices.

Zwieback Crackers Recipe

Zwieback is easy to make at home. The ingredients include wheat or spelt flour, water, yeast, butter, salt, honey or cane sugar. After the first bake, the ‘Einback’ (“one-bake”), the bread is allowed to cool, then cut into slices. The second bake toasts the slices. This is were the flavour develops and the Zwieback cracker gets its typical aroma and brittle structure. While standard bread has a moisture content of about 45%, Zwieback will have 3 to 5%.

Zwieback Einback First Bake
Zwieback – First Stage: Einback (First Bake)

Zwieback ingredients

  • 500g flour
  • 265g milk
  • 7g dried yeast
  • 50g butter
  • 30g sugar
  • 5g vanilla sugar
  • 1 pinch of salt

How to make Zwieback

  1. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and form a dough.
  2. Knead for 10 minutes on your work surface to produce a smooth and elastic dough.
  3. Place the dough back into the bowl, cover with a lid and leave to rest at room temperature for about 60 minutes until significantly increased in size.
  4. Punch down the dough and knead for a few seconds.
  5. Shape into a tight log (this will ensure a fine crumb structure) and place in a baking tin (no need to oil or butter the form) – I used a large form at 12.2 x 8.6 x 31 cm.
  6. Cover the tin with a clean kitchen towel or wrap in a polythene bag and rest for another hour in the tin.
  7. Bake in a preheated oven at 180°C for approximately 60 minutes.
  8. Take the loaf out of the tin and cool on a wire rack.
  9. Rest for 24 hours.
  10. Cut the loaf into 7mm slices.
  11. Lay them out on a baking tray and bake at 100°C for approximately one hour until golden brown.

Store in an airtight container to ensure the Zwieback remains dry and crisp. Keeps well for weeks!

Chocolate & Cherry Swirl Bread Recipe

 

Dark chocolate and sour cherry is one of my favourite flavour combinations. You will know how well they work together if you have ever tasted a good Black Forest Gateau. When the Bread Bakers Facebook group opted for the topic ‘cacao’ this month, I wanted to bring these flavours to life in a swirl bread and decided to adapt a stunning Ploetzblog recipe for chocolate & cherry swirl bread rolls. The recipe was inspired by the blooming cherry trees in North Rhine-Westphalia and I can’t wait for this year’s blossoms to perform their annual show!

Chocolate cherry swirls
Chocolate & sour cherry swirls

There is a good bit of time and effort involved in making these chocolate & cherry swirl bread buns, but they are exquisite and light so well worth the effort. I truly love how the flavours of cacao, dark chocolate and sour cherries come together in these swirling beauties.

Chocolate & Cherry Swirl Bread Recipe

Ingredients

Sponge

  • 35g strong white wheat flour
  • 50g whole milk
  • 1 pinch dried yeast

Water roux

  • 15g strong white wheat flour
  • 75g water

Chocolate dough

  • 1 egg white
  • 20g strong white wheat flour
  • 80g water
  • 20g cacao
  • 50g sugar
  • 10g butter
  • 15g good quality dark chocolate

Cherry dough

  • 1 egg white
  • 20g wheat starch
  • 100g sour cherries from a jar (de-stoned)
  • 80g cherry juice (from the jar)
  • 35g sugar
  • 40g strong white wheat flour
  • 10g butter

Main dough

  • 250g strong white wheat flour
  • 25g whole milk
  • 3g dried yeast
  • 75g cream
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 40g sugar
  • 3g salt

Jam glaze

  • 1 tsp apricot jam
  • 1/2 lemon, juice
  • 2 tsp water
Chocolate sour cherry swirl roll
Chocolate & sour cherry swirl breads

How to make chocolate & sour cherry swirl breads

Day 1

  1. Make the sponge by combining the sponge ingredients in a small bowl. cover and put into the fridge to rest for 16-18 hours.
  2. Prepare the water roux by combining the flour and water in a small saucepan. Mix well then heat up on a medium heat, stirring all the time until it has thickened. Place in the fridge overnight .
  3. Prepare the chocolate dough. Combine the egg white and flour in a small bowl, stirring until there are no lumps. Combine the water, cacao and sugar in a medium saucepan and bring to the boil on a low heat, stirring while you do so. Add the egg white and flour mixture and stir until the mixture thickens. Then, on a low heat, add the butter and chocolate and stir until viscid (continue until the mixture has thickened; it should no longer be liquid but still spreadable; if the mixture is not thick enough it will be difficult to contain within the main dough later). Prepare a piece of cling film, spread the mixture to a square of 20 x 20 cm. Cover with another piece of cling film and store in a cool place.
  4. Prepare the cherry dough. Combine the egg white and starch in a small bowl, mix until there are no further lumps. Squash the cherries with a fork, then combine with the juice, sugar and flour in a small saucepan. Heat up on a low heat, then add the egg white and flour mixture. Finally, add the butter and stir continuously to the same consistency as the chocolate dough. Spread on cling film in the same way, cover and store in a cool place.

Day 2

  1. Prepare the main dough by combining the sponge, water roux and all main dough ingredients except the sugar and salt. Knead for 10 minutes.
  2. Add the sugar and salt and knead for a further 5 minutes.
  3. Shape into a ball, place in a bowl, cover and leave to rest for 1 hour at room temperature.
  4. Deflate the dough and roll out to 25 x 40 cm. You can follow visual instructions here.
  5. Place the chocolate and cherry dough plates on top of each other onto the centre of the dough.
  6. Flap the right and left dough corners over the two plates.
  7. Now roll out the dough to a 1 cm thick rectangle.
  8. Fold like a letter (fold the left third of the dough to the middle then the right third over the folded dough).
  9. Repeat the rolling and folding two more times.
  10. Roll out the dough to 30 x  30 cm.
  11. Roll from one side into a Swiss roll shape.
  12. Cut off 2 cm thick slices and place each slice on baking paper (to fit your baking tray).
  13. Decorate with cherries.
  14. Cover and leave to proof for 90 mins.
  15. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  16. Bake for 20 mintues.
  17. In the meantime, prepare the glaze by combining the jam, lemon juice and water in a small saucepan. Heat up until it has a gooey consistency. Sieve.
  18. Cool the freshly baked swirls on a wire rack and brush with the glaze while still warm.

Invite your friends around so you can have them all while they’re fresh!

Breads with Cocoa, Cacao or Carob in any form

BreadBakers

Breads with Cocoa, Cacao or Carob in any form

#BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. Follow our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated each month on this home page.

We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient.

If you are a food blogger and would like to join us, just send Stacy an email with your blog URL to foodlustpeoplelove@gmail.com.

Beer bread recipes: Dark beer & Barm beer breads

 

Thank you Flavoury for the delivery of my first box of craft beers! Flavourly is an Edinburgh-based craft beer club, delivering subscription boxes with beers from independent producers across the UK – a great way for beer lovers to discover new tastes and flavours. The box of beers comes with a welcome message, a map to ‘meet the brewers’, a detailed introduction to the brewers and a selection of gourmet snacks.

The beers are thoughtfully selected and you can choose from boxes of light, dark or mixed beers. My mixed beer selection included a golden ale, amber ale, brown ale, black IPA and wheat beer from producers based all over the UK, from Cornwall to St. Andrews.

FLAVOURLY VOUCHER CODES (UK)

£5.03 off your 1st craft beer box at Flavourly

Get the Flavourly voucher code to take £5.03 off your first craft beer box.  Offer expires 31st December 2017.
Click here for this offer (the voucher code will be applied automatically).

5% off gifts at Flavourly

Get the Flavourly voucher code to take 5% off gifts at Flavourly.  Offer expires 31st December 2017.
Click here for this offer (the voucher code will be applied automatically).

My interest in beer is not so much in drinking it but in baking with it. The connection between beer production and bread is long-standing as bakers used to get their yeast from the beer fermentation process. Such brewer’s yeast was developed in the 15th century and was used for the production of bread until the 19th century.

Compared to water, the amazing variety of beer flavours provides bakers with an interesting alternative liquid ingredient for bread dough. Craft beers and real ales are of course a much less economic way of adding liquid into your bread and one could argue that they are better used for drinking than baking. However, there are some interesting breads to be achieved with beer and here are two beer bread recipes I’ve tried and tested.

Dan Lepard Barm Wheat Bread
Dan Lepard’s Barm Wheat Bread

German-style dark beer bread recipe

This pure sourdough dark beer bread is a compact and strong bread with a thick crust. This dark beer bread (made with ale) goes well with ham, cold cuts of meat and cheeses.

Some of the water that goes into the bread dough is replaced with dark beer. The bread’s flavour varies dramatically dependent on the beer used, it can taste of malt and of hops to varying degrees. I’ve also baked this beer bread with just dark beer (no water), but for me, the taste was too strong.

Dark beer bread
German-style dark beer bread

How to make dark beer bread

Day 1: Sourdough 

  • 115g dark rye flour
  • 115g white spelt or wheat flour
  • 230g water
  • 30g starter

Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl, mix well and cover with a lid. Keep at room temperature to ferment for 16 – 24 hours.

Flavourly Stewart's Brewing Black IPA
Flavourly Stewart’s Brewing Black IPA

Day 1: Barley soaker

  • 100g barley grains
  • 100g water
  • 75g ale

Slowly simmer the barley grains in the water until the liquid has boiled off. Combine the grains with the ale in a small bowl, cover and keep at room temperature for 16 – 24 hours to soak.

Day 2: Final dough

  • 320g white spelt or wheat flour
  • 240g dark rye flour
  • 330g dark beer (I used the Black IPA from Stewart Brewing here, it’s a bottle-conditioned real ale i.e. live yeasts are in the bottle.)
  • 12g salt
  1. Combine the sourdough, barley soaker and final dough ingredients and knead for 10 – 15 minutes.
  2. Place the dough in a large bowl and cover with a lid. Keep for approximately 3 – 5 hours until visibly risen. Depending on the temperature in your room, this process could take longer if colder.
  3. Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Shape into a round and place into a well floured proofing basket.
  4. Proof for a further 3 – 5 hours until well risen and fully proofed. Again, the length of the proofing process can vary widely depending on the temperature in your room.
  5. Preheat your oven to 250°C.
  6. Turn out the dough onto a baking tray lined with baking paper.
  7. Bake at 250°C for 10 minutes then at 210°C for a further 40 minutes.
  8. Cool on a wire rack.

Ale barm bread recipe

I discovered this method of beer bread making in Dan Lepard’s book The Handmade Loaf.

The original method of making yeast bread in Britain was a by-product of ale-making. When traditional ale is made, a yeasty froth appears on top of the fermenting liquid. This used to be scooped off, washed and added to bread dough in order to leaven it.

The leavening yeast used to be called ‘barm’. Barm-based baking is a method of leavening bread, not to be confused with sourdough-based baking. Barm bread is sweeter than sourdough leavened bread as it lacks the sourness created by the acidification typical of lactobacillus.

Dan Lepard Barm Wheat Bread
Dan Lepard Barm Wheat Bread

How to make barm beer bread

Day 1: Making barm

Barm is a fermenting brewing liquor, the liquid yeast sediment left over from making beer. According to Dan Lepard, you can make a barm sponge by heating bottle-conditioned ale (250g) to 70°C and whisking in wheat flour (50g). Dan Lepard explains that this is a perfect replication of the complex barm of old. The barm (a shiny, smooth paste) smells amazing. Dan Lepard adds leaven to the bread whereas I have not used this in the beer and flour barm – in order not to mix together two different yeast cultures. I left the mixture to ferment for 24 hours.

Day 2: Final Dough

In a large bowl, mix the barm with water (250g), wheat flour (500g) and salt (7g). Knead for a minimum of 10 minutes until you have a smooth, elastic dough. Place the dough back in the bowl, cover with a lid and leave to rise for a few hours until significantly expanded in size. Punch down the dough and shape into a boule. Work with flour to prevent the dough from sticking, but make sure you only use flour on the outside of the dough, without working it in. Place the dough seam-side-up into a floured proofing basket. Cover with a polythene bag and keep at room temperature for its second proof until fully risen and fully proved. Preheat the oven to 220°C, turn out the loaf onto a baking tray lined with baking paper and bake for approximately 50 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.

The beer I used here was Rose Wheat Beer from a brewery called Ticketybrew. A real ale (with live yeasts) is needed for this process, so look for a bottle-conditioned ale when you attempt this recipe.

Rose Wheat Beer
Rose Wheat Beer

German Sunflower Seed Bread Recipe

 

This German sunflower seed bread recipe makes a delicious loaf of rye-based bread which is infused with the earthy flavour of dry-roasted sunflower seeds. The recipe is inspired by Gerhard Kellner’s “Rustikale Brote aus deutschen Landen“. A great way to use sunflower seeds in bread baking!

German sunflower seed bread
German sunflower seed bread with Scottish smoked salmon

German sunflower seed bread recipe

On the day before baking

Prepare the sourdough

  • 90g cracked rye
  • 100g wholemeal rye flour
  • 290g water
  • 30g rye sourdough starter

Combine all ingredients in a bowl, mix thoroughly, cover and keep at room temperature for 16 to 18 hours.

Prepare the sunflower seed soaker

  • 100g sunflower seeds
  • 100g water

Dry-roast the sunflower seeds in a frying pan, then finely chop the seeds in a food processor. In a bowl, combine the chopped seeds with the water and cover for 16 to 18 hours.

On the day of baking

  • 480g sourdough
  • Sunflower seed soaker
  • 165g wholemeal rye flour
  • 135g wholemeal wheat flour
  • 70g white strong bread flour
  • 13g salt
  • For the tin: 1 tsp olive oil
  1. Combine all ingredients (except the oil) and knead for a few minutes.
  2. Place the dough into a bowl and cover.
  3. Keep at room temperature for about an hour.
  4. Grease a 30 cm loaf tin.
  5. Put the dough in the baking tin; use wet hands to distribute the dough evenly.
  6. Depending on the temperature in the room, the proofing process will take between four and ten hours (the warmer the room, the quicker the proofing).
  7. Preheat the oven to 250°C.
  8. Bake for 15 mins at 250°C, then reduce the heat to 180°C and bake for a further 40 minutes.
  9. Cool bread on a wire rack.

Delicious with smoked salmon and salads, enjoy!

A shout-out at this point also to Roland and Romana, loyal readers of TheBreadSheBakes  – thanks for your support!

German sunflower seed bread with salmon
German seed bread with rye flour and sunflower seeds

Authentic German Pumpernickel Bread Recipe

 

It’s hard to find a good recipe for traditional German Pumpernickel so I thought I would try and fill this gap! Here is step-by-step guide to baking the real thing as well as some interesting Pumpernickel facts. Give this Pumpernickel bread recipe a go – you won’t be disappointed!

Pumpernickel bread
Pumpernickel bread
Pumpernickel
Pumpernickel
Pumpernickel
Pumpernickel slice

What is Real German Pumpernickel?

  • 100% rye bread (only whole rye grain and cracked rye is used for the dough, no milled flour – Pumpernickel has humble origins and for a long time it used to be peasant fare for people with no access to a proper mill)
  • Pumpernickel has a rich dark-brown colour, but no crust (it’s baked in fully covered baking tins)
  • A very heavy bread with a unique sweet aroma and earthy taste (rye has 7% natural fruit sugar, compared to wheat at 4%, which caramelises during the bake)
Pumpernickel bread recipe
Pumpernickel bread based on my recipe

How to make traditional German Pumpernickel?

  • All you need is a rye sourdough starter, rye grains, cracked rye, salt, water and syrup.
  • No colouring agent such as caramel colour is added.
  • The characteristic dark colour is achieved through a very long baking period (about 14 hours in a low temperature of around 120°C) and caramelising fruit sugars.
  • In this process it’s important that the steam doesn’t escape – otherwise the bread will completely dehydrate during the long bake. The moisture can be retained by wrapping your baking tin with a few layers of tin foil. However, I invested in a large Pullman pan, a loaf tin with a lid that slides on top to keep the loaf entirely contained. I still wrap a layer of tin foil around to be doubly sure.
  • The bread should mature at least 24 hours before cutting to allow the crumb to fully develop (all-rye breads tend to otherwise gum up due to the high percentage of pentosans – read all about this and what makes rye different over here at Azélia’s Kitchen)

Is Pumpernickel healthy?

  • Yes, the starches of real Pumpernickel have undergone so much of a transformation that they are quite easily digested (source: “Bread” by Jeffrey Hamelman)
  • Whole-grain rye contains nearly 15% fibre
  • Pumpernickel also has a low glycemic index (less likely to increase in your blood sugar level)

Where to buy Pumpernickel ingredients?

  • Organic rye grains (also called rye berries or kernels) from health food stores like Real Foods
  • Organic cracked (or chopped) rye and rye flours directly from the mill e.g. Shipton Mill. While Shipton Mill produces coarse cracked rye, I like to mix this up with fine cracked rye by The Prior’s Flour.
  • Both Real Foods and BakeryBits ship worldwide
  • Important note: If you can only find coarsely cracked rye, it is highly advisable that this is mixed 50/50 with wholemeal rye flour, otherwise you will find it difficult to form a dough that sticks together.
  • Since using a grain mill (Komo Fidibus) to mill my own flour at home, it’s been really easy to achieve the right coarseness of cracked rye (I set the dial to medium between fine and coarse), so if you do have a mill at home, it’s great for this recipe.

 

Pumpernickel ingredients
Pumpernickel ingredients: fine and medium cracked rye and rye berries

How to make Pumpernickel bread

  1. Prepare the preferment, scalded rye and rye soaker on day 1.
  2. Put together the main dough, prove and slow-bake for 14 hours on day 2 and overnight into day 3.
  3. Enjoy authentic Pumpernickel bread on day 4.

All the exact instructions to bake Pumpernickel can be found below. I’ve included sample timings for a weekend bake – starting Saturday, completing the bake on Monday morning and enjoying Pumpernickel bread on Tuesday for breakfast.

pumpernickel
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Pumpernickel Recipe

This recipe bakes one large loaf (tin size 33 cm long x 10 cm wide) and one very small loaf (tin size 17 cm long x 10 cm wide).

Ingredients

Preferment

Scalded Rye Berry Soaker

  • 200 g rye berries 200g boiling water

Cracked Rye Soaker

  • 150 g fine to medium cracked rye 150g water

Additional Dough Ingredients

  • 550 g fine to medium cracked rye
  • 150 g water
  • 22 g salt
  • 120 g maple syrup traditionally cane sugar syrup is used but I prefer maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp rapeseed or sunflower oil for the tin

Instructions

All the exact instructions to bake Pumpernickel can be found below. I’ve included sample timings for a weekend bake - starting Saturday, completing the bake on Monday morning and enjoying Pumpernickel bread on Tuesday for breakfast...

    Day 1 (Saturday noon/early afternoon)

    • Prepare the preferment. Combine in a bowl, cover and leave to ripen for 16 - 24 hours.
    • Prepare the scalded rye. Pour the boiling water over the rye grains and leave overnight.
    • Prepare the rye soaker. Combine in a bowl, cover and leave overnight.

    Day 2 (Sunday)

    • 11.30am - Add one litre of water to the scalded rye soaker, bring to a boil and simmer for approx. 1 hour until soft.
    • 12.30pm - Strain the rye and discard any remaining water. Set aside to cool.
    • 1pm - In a large bowl combine 700g of sourdough (the rest goes back into the fridge for your next bake), the cracked rye soaker, the cooked and cooled rye berries, the 550g extra cracked rye, the water (150g), salt (22g), maple syrup (120g) and mix until the dough comes together well. Mix for a few minutes (I just do this with my hands). Once this is done, cover the bowl and leave to rest for 30 minutes.
      Note: The dough should not be wet. It should stick together well and not fall apart. It should peel off the side of the bowl easily and stick on a spoon when held up.
    • 1.45pm - Oil a large and a small loaf tin (I use a silicone brush to do this), then place the dough into the baking tins. Again, just use your hands to do this and even out the dough surface across the tin. Fill the tins only half full. Cover the tins - if you are using Pullman forms, use the Pullman tin cover, otherwise use a polythene bag to ensure the dough doesn't dry out.
    • 2pm - Leave to prove for 3 hours (depends on room temperature, so do keep an eye on the dough during this time). The dough will have risen, probably not quite to the top of the tin, but it should have visibly risen.
    • 4.30pm - Preheat the oven to 150°C.
    • 5pm - Brush the top of the dough with a little water. Fully wrap the baking tins with two tight-fitting layers of tin foil to avoid the steam escaping and the dough drying out during the long baking process. Note, that I cover even the Pullman tin in these additional layers. Place the wrapped tins at the bottom shelf of the oven and bake for approximately 14 hours (best done overnight).
    • 6pm - Turn down the temperature to 120°C.

    Day 3 (Monday morning)

    • 7am - After baking, turn off the oven and leave the baking tin in the cooling oven for another hour.
    • 8am - Take the loaf out of the baking tins and wrap in a kitchen towel for another 24 hours.

    Day 4 (Tuesday morning)

    • Cut into thin slices and enjoy with butter and jam or smoked fish for a hearty breakfast!

     

    Pumpernickel

     

    Rye bread with sunflower seeds

     

    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.

    Sunflower seed bread
    Sunflower seed bread

    The recipe is from the book “Rustikale Brote aus deutschen Landen” by Gerhard Kellner.

    Rye bread with sunflower seeds recipe

    Sunflower seed sourdough
    Sunflower seed sourdough

    Ingredients

    • 16g rye sourdough starter
    • 392g dark rye flour
    • 166g wholewheat flour
    • 100g sunflower seeds plus more to sprinkle
    • 15g salt
    • 10g yeast
    • 1 tsp malt extract

    3 tasks for the day before baking (approx. 16 hours before baking)

    • Sourdough
      In a bowl, combine 160g dark rye flour, 160g water and 16g rye soudough starter.
    • Sunflower seeds
      In a pan, dry-roast 100g sunflower seeds to unlock the nutty flavour, mix with 8g salt and pour over 100g boiling water.
    • Scalded rye flour
      In a bowl, combine 232g of dark rye flour, 7g of salt, then pour over 232g of hot water, combine and cover the bowl.

    How to make rye bread with sunflower seeds

    1. Combine the sourdough, sunflower seeds and scalded rye flour from the day before with 166g wholewheat flour, 3g dried yeast and 1 tsp liquid malt extract.
    2. Knead for 15 minutes.
    3. Cover the dough with the bowl or, if the the dough is still in the bowl, cover it with cling film, and rest for 30 mins at room temperature.
    4. Prepare a bread baking tin (ideally approx. 23 cm x 11 cm x 9.5 cm, but a slightly larger tin like this will work as well) by brushing it with melted butter and scatter sunflower seeds into the tin (bottom and sides).
    5. Knead the dough once more before placing it into the tin, levelling it out and sprinkling more sunflower seeds on top.
    6. Cover with cling film or a damp kitchen towel.
    7. Proof at room temperature for approx. 3 hours, until the dough has visibly risen and almost reached the edge of the tin.
    8. 1/2 hour before baking, preheat the oven to 250°C.
    9. Place the tin on the 2nd rail from the bottom and bake for 15 mins at 250°C.
    10. Then reduce the temperature to 180°C and bake for a further 45 mins.
    11. Take the loaf out of the tin and cool on a wire rack

    Flaxseed bread recipe with whole wheat

     

    Packed with great tasting flax seeds, this flaxseed bread recipe is one of my current favourites. I love baking with rye and use both wholemeal rye flour as well as whole wheat and white wheat flour in the recipe. The result – a robust loaf of wholesome brown bread filled with crunchy seeds. Delicious with butter and jam for breakfasts or as a side to creamy vegetable soups.

    Flaxseed bread
    Flaxseed bread with a beautiful gladiolus flower from the allotment

    Thanks to the way the seeds are soaked, the bread will stay extra-moist for days after baking. It also tastes delicious when toasted as the heat will bring out the nutty flavour of the seeds. Give it a go – you’ll love it!

    The mighty flaxseed…

    There are two basic varieties of flax seeds: brown and yellow/golden. Nutritionally, they are very similar; both types are a great source of dietary fibre, antioxidants and a type of omega-3 fat.

    It’s important to soak the seeds before baking (see another example of this technique in my Kamut flour bread recipe). If flax seeds are not soaked, they absorb moisture from the bread and dry out the crumb quickly.

    Flaxseed sourdough bread
    A slice of flaxseed sourdough bread with brown flax seeds

    Flaxseed bread recipe

    My recipe was inspired by the Flaxseed Bread in Jeffrey Hamelman’s book ‘Bread: A Baker’s Book of Techniques and Recipes‘ and uses both sourdough as well as a small amount of dried yeast.

    Flaxseed loaf
    Flaxseed loaf baked in a La Cloche baking dome

    Ingredients – for 1 flax bread loaf

    • 30g sourdough starter
    • 175g dark wholemeal rye flour
    • 100g whole wheat flour
    • 175g strong white flour
    • 90g flax seeds
    • 430g water
    • 8g salt
    • 5g dried yeast

    How to make flaxseed bread

    Day 1

    1. Prepare the sourdough by combining 30g sourdough starter, 50g dark rye flour, 50g wholewheat flour and 100g water in a medium bowl. Mix well then cover with a lid. Leave to rest at room temperature for 16 – 24 hours.
    2.  For the flaxseed soaker, combine 90g flax seeds with 200g cold water in a small bowl. Cover and set aside until needed.

    Day 2

    1. Combine all ingredients: 200g of the sourdough (rest goes back into the fridge for your next bake), 125g dark rye flour, 50g whole wheat flour, 175g strong white flour, 130g water, the flaxseed soaker, salt and dried yeast in a large bowl.
    2. Knead for 10 minutes. Have some extra water ready as you might need to wet your hands and the worktop a few times depending on the dough’s consistency. You should end up with a soft, slightly sticky dough.
    3. Shape the dough into a ball, place it into a bowl and keep it covered for 1 or 2 hours – it should have quite visibly risen by then.
    4. Give the dough a quick 10 second knead, lightly flour the dough surface all over and place it into a lightly floured proving basket.
    5. Cover with a polythene bag and keep in a warm place for another hour or more until it has expanded significantly and is fully proved.
    6. Preheat the oven to 240°C – if using a La Cloche baking dome, preheat at the same time from cold.
    7. Turn the loaf out onto a baking tray lined with baking paper or the La Cloche baking dome bottom.
    8. Bake for an initial 15 minutes, then lower the temperature to 220°C and bake for another 30 to 35 minutes.
    9. Cool on a wire rack.
    10. A tip by Hamelman: “For the best eating quality, cover the cooled loaf with baker’s linen and let stand at room temperature for at least several hours or up to 24 hours before slicing.”

    Sourdough Stollen Recipe

     

    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 🙂

    Stollen Slices
    Freshly Baked Christmas Stollen Slices

    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 🙂
    Stollen Slices
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    5 from 1 vote

    Sourdough Stollen Recipe

    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.

    Ingredients

    Stollen ingredients

      FOR THE FRUIT & NUT SOAKER

      • 100 g organic sultanas
      • 100 g dried organic cranberries
      • 100 g blanched almonds roughly chopped
      • 50 g Stroh rum
      • Seeds from a vanilla pod

      FOR THE SOURDOUGH

      • 25 g wheat sourdough starter
      • 100 g plain flour
      • 100 g water

      FOR THE ALMOND & PISTACHIO PASTE

      • 25 g ground almonds
      • 25 g ground pistachios
      • 25 g caster sugar
      • 25 g icing sugar
      • 50 g water
      • ½ lemon grated zest and juice

      FOR THE DOUGH

      • 475 g plain organic flour German type 550
      • 100 g caster sugar
      • 8 g dried yeast
      • 80 g butter softened
      • 1 egg beaten
      • 200 ml milk
      • ¼ tsp salt
      • ½ lemon grated zest
      • 1 pinch each of ground nutmeg ground cloves, ground cinnamon, ground allspice
      • 3 cardamom pods

      FOR THE TOPPING

      • 1 egg
      • A handful of almond flakes

      Instructions

      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:
        • Flour, 150g sourdough, caster sugar, yeast, milk, butter, egg, 120g homemade almond & pistachio paste
        • 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.

         

        Dried organic cranberries
        Organic dried cranberries
        Roughly Chopped Blanched Almonds
        Roughly Chopped Blanched Almonds
        Almond and pistachio paste
        Almond and pistachio paste

        Cardamom pods and seeds

        Tipsy Christmas Stollen
        The Best Ever Homemade Christmas Stollen

        Serve in relatively thick slices with strong coffee or tea and good quality butter. Lightly toast if you would like to heat it through.

        Stollen Slice Close Up
        Stollen Slice with a nice crunchy crust!

        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.