September 12, 2017

Bauernbrot ~ #BreadBakers

"The art of bread making can become a consuming hobby, and no matter how often and how many kinds of bread one has made, there always seems to be something new to learn" - Julie Child

I love this quote from Julie Child.  There are so many bread recipes - some are super easy and some are complicated - but with all of them you learn something. This month the #BreadBakers are baking International Breads.  For my bread I went to Germany and made a Bauernbrot, which translates to Farmers' bread.  This bread is a common loaf that you would find in many German households, especially in the south.

This bread interested me since is begins with a dough starter, which is something I have not tried before.  It was fascinating to see the starter bubble up through the flour - but maybe I am just easily entertained.  Either way it was a technique that I can now say I have done and it gave the bread a wonderful sourdough taste.

Bauernbrot is a hearty, dense bread containing both rye and bread flour, that is perfect for Rueben Sandwiches, or delicious with just a good slather of butter. The only difficulty I had with this bread was that it seemed to spread out a bit and look flat, rather than staying in a nice tall circle.  It didn't affect the flavor at all,  and maybe practice will make perfect. My slashes could also have been a bit cleaner, but for a first attempt it wasn't too bad.

If you would like to know more about #BreadBakers and see what the other bakers made for the International Breads theme please scroll down below the recipe.

Printer Friendly Recipe

Dough Starter ~
  • 115g (¾ cup) bread flour
  • 100g (¾ cup) rye flour
  • 45ml (3 tablespoons) honey or malt syrup
  • 325ml (1½ cups) lukewarm water
  • ½ teaspoon instant yeast
Flour mixture ~
  • 335g (2½ cups) bread flour
  • 15g (2 tablespoons) caraway seeds
  • 1½ teaspoons salt
  • ½ teaspoon instant yeast
  • 15ml (1 tablespoon) oil
  • cornmeal for the baking tray

  1. Add the ingredients for the starter to a large bowl and mix together until smooth; set aside for 10 minutes for the yeast to activate.
  2. While the starter is resting, mix together the remaining ingredients except for the oil and cornmeal. Pour the flour mixture over the starter - do not stir. 
  3. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a clean towel and set aside for at least two hours and up to five hours (the starter will bubble up through the flour mixture and this long rest will give the loaf a big boost of added flavor).
  4. Add the oil to the flour mixture and use a wooden spoon to stir the flour mixture into the starter.
  5. As the mixture comes together, remove the dough to a lightly floured work surface and knead for about 10 minutes, or until smooth and elastic - the dough might be a little sticky - knead in just enough extra flour to keep the dough from sticking to your hands.
  6. Set the dough aside to rest for about 10 minutes, then knead for another 5 to 10 minutes.
  7. Set the dough in a large, lightly oiled bowl and lightly oil the top of the dough and cover with plastic wrap or a clean towel and set in a draft-free area of the kitchen to rise until doubled in size, about 1½ to 2 hours.
  8. Remove the dough to a lightly floured work surface and punch down the dough and lightly knead it 3 or 4 times.
  9. Form into a ball, return to the bowl, cover and let rise for another 45 minutes or so.
  10. Preheat oven to 230℃ (450°F) and set the shelf at the lowest level. and place a small metal pan in the oven (you want the oven nice and hot when you are ready to bake). 
  11. Lightly press down on the dough and form it into a ball.
  12. Sprinkle the cornmeal onto a baking sheet and set the dough onto the baking sheet, with any seams on the bottom.
  13. Lightly oil the top of the dough and cover it with plastic wrap and set aside to rise for another hour.
  14. Use a sharp knife or razor blade to slash the top of the dough in 3 parallel lines, each about .5cm (¼-inch) deep. Then slash with another set of 3 lines perpendicular to the first set.
  15. Use a spray bottle to mist the dough with water.
  16. Set the baking sheet in the oven and pour about 1 cup of water into the small pan to create steam. Shut the door immediately and bake for 15 minutes.
  17. Reduce heat to 400°F and bake for another 35 to 45 minutes - an insta-read thermometer inserted into the middle of the loaf should register 85℃ (190°F).
  18. Set the loaf on a cooling rack and let cool completely.


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

This month's Bread Baker's theme is International Breads and is hosted by Wendy from A Day in the Life on the Farm.

And don’t forget to check out all the amazing breads baked by our talented bakers ~


  1. I have found that rye breads are generally flatter than those without. I think it turned out exactly as it was supposed to. It looks amazingly wonderful.

  2. That is such a lovely loaf of rye bread. I am also absolutely fascinated with German breads...the variety is astounding. Glad you enjoyed baking with a starter.

  3. I love that quote from Julia so much! I also get just as excited staring at bubbly starters! Gorgeous bread, and so glad you baked with us this month!

  4. This sure looks like a real German style bread. I'm a huge fan of rye breads.

  5. Ok I understand what you mean. I will love to watch the starter bubble through but will be to tempted to just watch. Will want to interrupt. I love the bread n wish I could try it.

  6. Hello Felice, Your bread looks fabulous. Yes bread baking is an art and every time we bake, its a new experience. I am intrigued by the addition of caraway. Wonder how it tastes in a bread. I have to try this. Thanks for sharing.

  7. Ever since I first tasted a rye bread which a Danish friend shared with me, I've wanted to bake one. So this theme was the right opportunity but can you believe it I couldn't find rye flour in the stores in Montreal! The loaf looks so rustic. Its true bread baking can become addictive. I simply love the smell of bread baking.

  8. That is such a gorgeous loaf of bread. Perfect crumb.

  9. I would say this was an amazing attempt! It looks so delicious to me!

  10. Hi Felice,

    Just like you, I also get excited to see the yeast bubbling up. I am yet to try my hands with the starter. But looking at your bread, I am keen to do it as quickly as possible.



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