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’.
The Austrian/German delicacy also featured in the Great British Bake Off 2016 as a technical challenge.
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.
For the dough
500g strong white wheat flour
7g dried yeast
250g milk, tepid
50g unsalted butter, melted
50g sugar (I use brown sugar)
1/2 tsp salt
Zest of half a lemon
For the apple base
850g apples, peeled and chopped into 1/2 cm slices
2 tbsp sugar
6 tbsp milk
How to make Dampfnudeln
Combine all dough ingredients in a large bowl.
Knead dough until smooth and elastic.
Place back into the bowl, cover and leave to rest for 45 minutest at room temperature.
Punch down the dough and divide into 12 equal pieces.
Shape the pieces into buns and place onto a pre-floured surface.
Cover with a clean kitchen towel and leave to proof for about an hour. The buns should grow significantly in size during that time.
Prepare the apples while you are waiting.
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.
Evenly distribute the apple pieces in the pan and sprinkle the sugar on top, then add the milk.
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.
Turn up the heat to medium to bring the liquid in the pan to boil.
After 15 minutes, turn down the heat to the lowest level and steam for another 15 – 20 minutes.
Leave to rest for a few minutes once the heat is off before you take the lid off.
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 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.
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.