Thursday, October 16, 2014

Bauernbrot (German Farmer's Bread) - #wbd2014

There are few things so truly adored by my family as bread. Whether it's the kid-friendly, "wallpaper paste" white sandwich bread (which I'm not a fan of simply because it's tasteless) or my preferred extra-tangy, thick-crust grain sourdough, we have always had at least two loaves in the house for as long as I can remember, and most often it's more. Along with the toaster-friendly sliced pan breads, our freezer is packed with rolls, tortillas, lavash, pitas, bagels and English muffins - all of which get equal play, but when it comes to my mom's carb-craving weakness she always claims my homemade bread before all else.

With that kind of ringing endorsement, it's all I can do to indulge her when she asks for something specific! Recently, we discovered the Prince Edward County rye bread from Stonemill Bakehouse at the farmer's market and fell in love with the rich, tangy, nutty and slightly earthy flavour of the Red Fife, dark rye, oats and sunflower seeds contained within. However, at close to $7 a loaf, it is a rather expensive indulgence, and I have yet to find it outside of Toronto anyway. So with that in mind, I did what any other bread baker with a sourdough starter (and spare time on the weekend) could do. I took the major components of the storebought bread and made her *my* version - tangy with yoghurt and sourdough starter and crusty from a multi-temperature baking process, all based off a German country loaf recipe. Filling and hearty enough to stand up to toasting, spreads, open face sandwiches and even serving with a bowl of soup or stew, it's a loaf with definite staying power on our menu, authentic or not! 

Bauernbrot (German Farmer's Bread)

Today is World Bread Day! The idea of WBD is to honour our daily bread by baking a loaf on this day and blog about it. So we can show that baking bread is easy and makes also great fun. Follow World Bread Day on Facebook and Pinterest and use #wbd2014 for your post, tweets etc.

World Bread Day 2014 (submit your loaf on October 16, 2014)

Bauernbrot (German Farmer's Bread)
Makes one large loaf, 16 slices
1 ½ cups flour
2 ½ cups whole wheat bread flour
1 cup dark rye flour
½ cup quick oats
½ tbsp salt
1 tsp caraway seed
½ tbsp instant yeast
1 cup 1% milk
1 tbsp cider vinegar
1 cup plain, low fat Greek yoghurt
⅓ cup 100% hydration sourdough starter
¼ cup sunflower seeds
oats, for topping
  1. Mix flours, oats, salt, caraway and yeast together in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook.
  2. Add the milk, vinegar, yoghurt and starter and mix 2 minutes. Cover and let stand 5 minutes.
  3. Add the seeds and mix until dough forms a slightly sticky ball, adding water if needed.
  4. Continue kneading for 7 minutes on low speed.
  5. Let the dough rest for 5 minutes, then knead again for 1 minute on medium speed.
  6. Form into a ball and place in a greased bowl, turning to coat the top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled.
  7. Turn out onto a lightly floured board and form into an oval loaf. Roll in oatmeal.
  8. Place on parchment paper on a baking sheet or cardboard, mist with oil and let rise until doubled.
  9. Heat oven to 500°F for 1 hour prior to baking. If you have one, place a baking stone on the middle rack while heating. Place a shallow pan on the bottom rack.
  10. Slash the top with a sharp razor blade or lamé at least ¼” deep.
  11. Place the bread on the middle rack and pour 2 cups of hot water into the old pan.
  12. Bake for 10 minutes, spraying the sides of the oven with water after two and seven minutes.
  13. Turn oven down to 450°F and bake for 20 minutes, then reduce heat to 350°F and bake for another 15 minutes, or until a thermometer measures 190-200°F or loaf sounds hollow when tapped.
  14. Remove and let cool completely before slicing.
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 176.1
Total Fat: 2.3 g
Cholesterol: 1.7 mg
Sodium: 38.1 mg
Total Carbs: 33.1 g
Dietary Fiber: 4.1 g
Protein: 6.8 g