Friday, February 15, 2013


For an updated version of this post CLICK HERE

Facebook friend and co-baker David Wolfe asked me to help him understand some terms in a German recipe.

Google translate (always good for a laugh!) is not too fluent in professional German baking lingo.

The formula, published by a German bakers' association, Bäko Gruppe Nord, seemed quite intriguing, combining rye meal and cracked wheat with mustard and cheese. The amounts, of course, were calculated for a commercial bakery (43 lb), as were the instructions.

My curiosity was wakened, especially after I saw David's appetizing photos in his blog (check it out!) "Hearth Baked Tunes" so I downsized the formula for two small loaves.

The original recipe requires 16% of the white flour as preferment, all the remaining flour, including the coarse grinds, is worked into the final dough. The breads are baked "bei Brötchentemperatur" ("at roll temperature") - leaving hapless hobby bakers clueless as to what that might be.

But I don't donate for nothing to Wikipedia, a quick research at the German site showed me the light: the breads were to be baked at 465ºF/240ºC.

Since I'm a friend of long fermentation (also from a physician's point of view,) I re-wrote the procedure from using just a small amount of preferment,  to preferment plus soaker for the coarse ground rye and wheat, as well as an overnight fermentation of the dough.

I can honestly say I never noticed a difference between adding the salt with all the other ingredients, or adding it later to the almost finished dough. Peter Reinhart (my guru) mixes everything together at the same time, and I do, too.

For the cheese you can choose between Gouda or Tilsiter. I don't care for stinky cheeses, so I went for the Dutch. Though the recipe didn't specify what kind, it was clear that I would use middle aged cheese (18-month), as I would for gratins, young Gouda is too mild, and really old Gouda unnecessary expensive.

I was very pleased with the result, a beautiful red golden bread, covered with seeds, with a pleasant spiciness, but not too much. It tasted great with cold cuts, and was a wonderful surprise when toasted: a bread with in-built grilled cheese!

Mustard (from Düsseldorf) and coarsely grated Gouda

 SENFBROT - MUSTARD BREAD  (2 small loaves)

140 g/5 oz bread flour
  84 g/3 oz water
    1 g/ 1/4 tsp. instant yeast
    2 g/0.12 oz salt

104 g/3.7 oz wheat meal, coarse
  70 g/2.5 oz rye meal
130 g/4.4 oz water
    3 g/0.12 oz salt

Final Dough
all preferment
all soaker
556 g/19.6 oz bread flour
  15 g/0.5 oz instant yeast
  16 g/0.6 oz salt
408 g/14.3 oz water
  66 g/2.3 oz mustard
122 g/4.3 oz middle aged Gouda (18 month old), coarsely grated or cut in chunks

mustard for brushing
sunflower or pumpkin seed for topping (I used pumpkin seed)

DAY 1:
In the morning, mix preferment and soaker. Cover bowls, and leave them at room temperature.

In the evening, mix all final dough ingredients at low speed (or by hand) for 1 - 2 minutes, until all flour is hydrated. Let rest for 5 minutes, then knead at medium-low speed (or by hand) for 6 minutes, adjusting with a little more water or flour, if necessary (dough should be somewhat sticky, clearing only sides of bowl, but stick to bottom.)

Transfer dough to a lightly oiled work surface. With oiled hands, stretch and pat it into a square, first fold top and bottom in thirds, like a business letter, then do the same from both sides.

Gather dough into a ball, place seam side down into a lightly oiled bowl, cover, and let it rest for 10 minutes.

Repeat this stretching and folding 3 times, with 10 minute intervals. After last fold, place dough in lightly oiled container with lid and refrigerate overnight. (I divide the dough at this point in halves, and refrigerate it in two containers.)

First the breads are brushed with mustard....

DAY 2:
Remove dough from fridge 2 hours before using.

Preheat oven to 465ºF/240ºC, including baking stone and steam pan. Place seeds for topping on a plate.

.... then rolled in pumpkin or sunflower seeds
Shape dough into 2 boules, brush them with mustard, and then roll them in sunflower or pumpkin seeds.

Place breads, seam side down, on parchment lined baking sheet, and let them proof, until they have grown 1 1/2 times their original size.

Bake for 15 minutes, steaming with 1 cup of boiling water. Remove steam pan, and rotate breads 180 degrees.

Reduce temperature to 210ºC/410ºF,  and continue baking for another 25 minutes, or until breads are a deep reddish brown, sound hollow when thumped at the bottom, and register at least 200ºF/93ºC.

Let breads cool on a wire rack.

The crumb has a nice yellow color from the mustard

Submitted to YeastSpotting


  1. This one sounds really good. I should've asked you about the formula for the other one. Now I know where to come for help with German bread recipes. :)

  2. Do by all means! I'm happy to help you out.

  3. love the yellow of the dough... what a lovely and original loaf! ciao

  4. It's really an usual combination. At first I wasn't sure whether the bread wouldn't taste to spicy from the mustard, but it doesn't.
    Thanks for stopping by!

  5. I made this with smoked gouda and then cheddar. The first time I made it with the cheddar, I thought it was a bit salty so, when I made it again, I cut the amount of salt in the dough. Also, the first mustard I used to brush the loaves had a good bit of honey in it and the loaves got a bit browner than I like.

    1. I thought the smoked gouda was a good choice and will use that again.

    2. Smoked Gouda sounds like a really good idea. You are right, when adding the salt one should always keep other salty ingredients in mind. A darker crust is, in my opinion, preferable to a pale one, just call it, with Ken Forkish, a bold bake :)
      By the way, your Beer Rye Bread from the St. Paul's Bread Club is very popular with my customers!
      Have a great New Year!

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