No matter where I go, the food thing I always miss most about home is bread. Austria actually has an incredible variety of bread rolls of all shapes and kinds, and I absolutely love it. Our bread culture is something so truly Austrian that my German co-worker stuck to ordering the same thing for lunch for two months, because she simply could not remember any other names – and yes, she does speak German fluently. Most of our breads are made with wholemeal flour, making them substantially healthier than the average toast you can get in the rest of the world. As rye breads in every other part of the world is either not available or rather expensive, I’ve decided to give making it myself a go. Based on a combination of different online recipes, recommendations from my parents and quite a few failed attempts I actually baked bread that was delicious – so I wanted to share my recipe of traditional Austrian Bauernbrot (literally farmer’s bread, it’s a traditional type of rye bread) in an Australian version with you!
500 grams self-raising wholemeal flour
250 grams warm water
1/2 package dried yeast
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon ginger syrup (or a teaspoon of sugar)
First of all, I do not want to trick you, this will take a while and will be slightly messy – or I am just not talented at baking bread. Once you feel commited enough to bake bread yourself, it’s actually pretty easy. You can either add all ingredients into a bowl and mix them, or do it the fun way like I tend to do. I prepare a baking sheet and pour all of the dry ingredients onto it. When it comes to the seeds, you can use as many as you feel like, and even try different ones – I personally also love sunflower or pumpkin seeds, and I always use way too many (hence I did not add any measurements, cause I was sure everyone else could not stand the amount of carraway seeds I enjoy). Once this is done, form a little bowl into your dry ingredients and add the water – and yes, you guessed correctly, now starts the messy part. Knead your dough until everything is nicely mixed, and add some more water if you feel like your dough is very dry – try to avoid making it runny though.
Form a nice loaf or put it into a loaf pan – make sure to not forget the baking paper though, or you’ll never get it out. Then, you can either pop your dough into the fridge and leave it there over night, or you can leave it in your kitchen to rest for around four hours before putting it into the oven. If you put it in the fridge make sure to leave it outside of the fridge for minimum 30 minutes before putting it in the oven on the next day, or it won’t become as fluffy as it should. As soon as your bread (and the yeast inside of it) is all relaxed and rested, put it in the preheated oven at 200°C. Reduce the heat to 160°C after 5 minutes, and leave your loaf in there for another 45 minutes. Keep in mind however that this time highly depends on the size of your loaf, so make sure to check back occasionally, and give it some more time if it still feels doughy. To make your bread even better, put a little bowl filled with water at the bottom of the oven.
And that’s it – enjoy your healthy and delicous bread with some scrambled egg, avocado or just plain butter, and you will feel like you enjoy a traditional Austrian snack in one of the mountain huts!
Have fun recreating, and let me know how it went.
xx, K (: