Tuesday, August 10, 2010


Hier geht's zur deutschen Version dieses Posts (folgt noch)

One of my most beloved bread baking books is written by Richard Ploner, a master baker from South Tyrol ("Brot aus Südtirol"). Unfortunately neither this nor any of the other good German bread baking books have been translated into English, yet.

American artisan bakers who want to bake German, Austrian or East European breads all have to rely on the same few recipes in American baking books, recipe collections and websites. (Since I first wrote about this, a few German bread baking bloggers, like Brotdoc and Bernd's Bakery, started putting bilingual posts in their blogs, too.)

To bring some fresh flour into all this "inbreading", I'll post a favorite Tyrolean recipe: Kürbiskernbrot.

Toasted pumpkin seeds

These pretty, tasty little breads are studded with toasted pumpkin seeds and a mix of flours. If you can get hold of it, use pumpkin seed oil to make them more authentic. But other vegetable oil works, too.

The soft wheat flour Italian Tipo 00 (or pastry flour) is necessary to give it the right consistency, so don't swap it for AP.


Whole rye, spelt and pumpkin seeds make these little breads a real treat!

PUMPKIN SEED MINI BREADS  (adapted from Richard Ploner's "Brot aus Südtirol")

340 g/12 oz milk, at 95ºF/35ºC
6 g/0.2 oz instant yeast
50 g/1.8 oz whole rye flour
300 g/10.6 oz whole spelt flour
150 g/5.3 oz Italian Tipo 00 soft wheat flour (or pastry flour*)
10 g/0.4 oz salt
5 g sugar (1 tsp.)
30 g/1 oz pumpkin seed oil (or other vegetable oil)
150 g/5.3 oz pumpkin seeds, toasted
water, for adjustments
1 egg, slightly beaten, for egg wash

*) Do not substitute with all-purpose flour - the crumb will become too chewy!)

The dough is studded with toasted pumpkin seeds

Dissolve yeast in warm milk. Add to all other dough ingredients in mixing bowl. Mix for 1 - 2 minutes by hand or with mixer at low speed, until all flour is hydrated and ingredients come together. Let dough rest for 5 minutes.

The dough will be somewhat sticky, but a stiff from the pumpkin seeds

Knead dough for 2 minutes at medium-low speed, adjusting with a bit of water as needed, dough should be smoother but still sticky. Continue kneading for another 4 minutes. Dough should be still somewhat sticky. Prepare a clean, lightly oiled bowl.

Transfer dough to a lightly oiled (or wet) work surface. Lightly oil (or moisten) your hands.
Pat and stretch dough into a rough square

Pat and stretch dough into a rough square, then fold it from top and bottom in thirds, like a business letter. Repeat stretching and folding in thirds from left and right.

Folded into a neat package

Place dough ball, sides tucked under, seam side down into prepared bowl. Cover, and let it rest for 10 minutes.

Repeat those stretches and folds 3 times, at 10 minute intervals (total time 40 min.) Dough will become smoother, but, with all those seeds, be also a bit stiff.

After the last fold, cover bowl, and immediately place into refrigerator for overnight fermentation.

Remove dough from refrigerator 2 hours before using, to come to room temperature.

Preheat oven to 410ºF/210ºC, including steam pan.

Fold edges to the center to shape a roll

Transfer dough to lightly floured work surface, and divide into 6 equal pieces. Shape these into rounds or rolls, and place them, seam side down, on parchment lined baking sheet. Brush with egg wash.

Using scissors, make 8 incisions around rim of each bread (see photo). Then, with a small round cookie cutter, press down in the middle to create the flower shape (the breads will spread and flatten a bit). Spray lightly with oil, cover, and proof for 30 - 45 minutes, or until they have grown 1 1/2 times their original size (finger poke test.)

Risen and ready to be baked

Place breads in oven, steaming with 1 cup hot water (optional), and bake for 12 minutes. Remove steam pan, rotate baking sheet 180 degrees, and continue baking for another 13 minutes, until breads are a deep golden brown, and register at least 200ºF/93ºC (instant thermometer.)

Let breads cool on wire rack.

Pumpkin Seed Mini Breads are as cute as they are tasty

 Updated 12/27/15