Hearty, Healthy, Easy, and Cheap German-Style Bread

Posted by on February 24, 2009 | 37 Comments

When I was in university, I was lucky enough to study abroad in Vienna, Austria.  My memories of that wonderful city are still quite strong, but what I remembered most vividly were the many bakeries (Bäckerei in German; a word I have never forgotten). On a student budget, I subsisted almost completely off those little corner shops and the hearty breads they would churn out daily for mere cents.

While I now have a love for baking bread myself, I didn’t understand the magic that made those Austrian and German loaves so special.  That is, until I discovered a recipe online that seemed to fit the bill.  I altered the quantities to fit my tastes and my loaf pan, but it really did turn out beautifully.  Not to mention, this loaf is cheap and easy to make … just one rising and no special shaping or forming of the loaf – just mix it up, roughly form, let rise, and bake!

Hearty Dairy-Free German Style Whole Grain Bread

I ran out of spelt flour, so I used mostly whole wheat flour (I had just over 1 cup of spelt flour).  I hope to try the spelt version, since I love the nutty flavor of spelt, but I can vouch that the whole wheat version is delicious too! Keep in mind, this is not a fluffy Wonder-bread type recipe. This is a dense, savory, one-slice-will-do-ya kind of bread.  Just the way I like it!

Serve slices of this hearty, crusty bread topped with jam, honey, nut butter, or along side a nice hot bowl of soup. Speaking of soup, my Rich and Creamy Potato Miso Soup (with no dairy!) is up for vote at No Croutons Required.  If you would be so kind as to pop over and give it your vote, I would be so appreciative!  The only thing I have ever one was a Skid Row CD off the radio when I was 13. I would really like to trump that memory with a new one for obvious reasons.

Enjoy!

 

Recipe: Wholesome German-Style Bread

Summary: Adapted from Recipezaar

Ingredients

  • 2 Cups Warm Water
  • 3-1/2 Teaspoons Active Dry Yeast (just over 1 ½ .25 oz packages will do)
  • 5-1/4 Cups Whole Wheat or Whole Spelt Flour
  • 2-1/2 Teaspoons Salt
  • 2 Tablespoons White or Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1 Cup Seeds (I use 1/3 cup each of sunflower, pumpkin, and flax seeds)

Instructions

  1. In a large mixing bowl, dissolve the yeast in about 1/2 cup of the water (no need to be exact, you will be adding the rest of the water shortly).
  2. Let that rest for a few minutes while you grease a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan.
  3. Sift the flour and salt into the bowl. Add all remaining ingredients (rest of the water, vinegar, and seeds), and mix until a relatively smooth dough is formed. Mine was still a touch sticky, but still able to be handled and formed without completely sticking to my fingers.
  4. Form the dough into a loaf shape that will fit end to end in your pan. I just sort of shape it, and then roll it a few times on the counter to make it look a little nicer and be the right length.
  5. Lightly cover the loaf with saran wrap or a tea towel, and let it rise in a relatively warm, draft-free place, for about an hour to an hour and a half. It should double in size and fill out the pan nicely.
  6. Preheat your oven to 480ºF (250ºC). Bake the loaf for 15 minutes, reduce the heat to 390ºF (200ºC), and bake it for another 45 minutes.
  7. Remove the loaf from the pan (it should pop right out), and knock on the bottom. If it genuinely sounds hollow, then it is done. If you think it needs a little more time, pop it back in the oven and bake it for longer as needed. My loaf was done after the initial hour, but you may need another 10-20 minutes, depending on moisture and such.

Preparation time: 15 minute(s) + 60 minutes for rising time

Cooking time: 1 hour(s)

Diet type: Vegan

Number of servings (yield): 12

Copyright © Alisa Fleming.

 

German-Style Hearty Dairy-Free Whole Wheat / Spelt Bread

Want some more bread-making motivation?  You can win a copy of Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day over at The Adventures of Kitchen Girl. But you must enter by March 3rd!

 

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