Monday, April 30, 2012

...And Delicious Crusty Bread

First crusty pork roast with caraway, now crusty bread with caraway... 
I seamlessly follow my last post here.

I have to admit, even though I cook and bake a lot, I have never baked bread before. I always wanted to, though. Maybe I was scared and thought it's really complicated or I just never found the right occasion.

But last weekend was the right time, and I can assure you, it won't be my last. Baking bread is really simple and so so satisfying once you pull that beautiful thing out of the oven.
I decided to go for a crusty sourdough bread with rye and wheat flour. It's my favorite bread, cause it is crusty outside and all soft inside.

For the sourdough I used Seitenbacher's "Natur Sauerteig" which you probably may not be able to get if you don't live in Germany. But you can make sourdough starter yourself really easily. It just takes a few days time to develop the starter. But you pretty much mix flour with water and let it sit... you can find a recipe and instructions for it here and/or here!

The sourdough I used. I did it cause I was simply too impatient to wait another few days. And this one here is real sourdough with all natural ingredients. Not one of these extracts or fake "just like"products.


300g wheat flour (ideally self-raising flour, in Germany Type 550)
200g whole wheat flour
500g rye flour
150g sourdough
2 pckgs à 10g dry yeast
650 ml warm water
1tsp sugar
3 tsp salt
1-2 tsp ground caraway


1. In a bowl mix rye, wheat and whole wheat flour.
2. Using a standmixer on low, mix sourdough, yeast, sugar and salt and ground caraway with the warm (not hot!) water in a second (big) bowl.
3. Slowly add the flour mix and start kneading the liquid with the flour until it is an even dough. Don't add all the flour at once.
4. With dough it is important to knead it really well and long. Once everything is mixed I kneaded it for probably another 6-10 minutes. Of course you can use your hands for kneading also! It's just more work.
5. Form the dough to a ball and place it back in the bowl. Sprinkle some flour over it and cover the bowl with a wet  towel (not soaking wet, just damp...). at a warm place let dough rest and rise for 2 hours.
6. Once the dough has doubled in size, knead it well. Then brush it with warm water, and using a knife, cut in the surface diamond-shaped if you like (makes it look more dramatic!).
7. Sprinkle with flour and let it rest and rise another 30 minutes.
8. Place the dough in the middle of the cold oven. You can do it without a pan, just place it in the middle of the oven on a sheet of baking paper. But there are also some fancy loaf pans you are welcome to use. I decided to use a springform tin. I greased the sides with some oil and put a round-cut piece of baking paper on the bottom.
9. Don't forget to place a small oven proof bowl filled with water at the bottom of the oven. The evaportaing water will keep the dough moist!
10. Turn the heat up to 250°C and bake the loaf for 20 minutes.
11. After that turn the temperature down to 200°C and bake for another 35 minutes.
12. Remove the loaf from the oven and let it cool down a little bit.


That's my 'proud' face. I look completely insane, I know...

The bread tastes best when fresh and still warm...

Of course you can add all kinds of things to the dough or experiment with different flours and amounts. You could for example add flax, sunflower or pumpkin seeds or dried herbs or use all rye flour instead of a mix. altering the flour amounts may have an impact on the dough, though,and it may get dryer...

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