How to Make Bauernbrot Rye Bread
- Begin with making the sourdough starter. Take a large bowl and crush the yeast into it. Whip and dissolve in 1 quart of warm water and 2 tablespoons of sugar. The water should be lukewarm only. Slowly beat in 4 cups of flour, mixing mix until there are no lumps. Cover up using a dish towel and let stay for 24 hours at room temperature.
- Once 24 hours have passed, blend well, cover up, and let rest for another 24 hours. You will get a thin, light-colored sourdough which is ready to use.
- Take a large bowl; mix together the rye flour, 4 cups of all-purpose flour, salt and sugar. Blend in the sourdough starter with a wooden spoon. Next, add in 2 cups of warm water. Transfer the dough to a heavy-duty stand mixer to blend the first couple of minutes (as it can't handle the heavy dough) and then knead on a floured surface using your hands.
- Work the dough, adding up a few tablespoons of water at a time if it is too hard. Knead thoroughly; the total kneading time should be 15 to 20 minutes to get soft dough. Set the dough in a big bowl, cover up, and let stand for 1-2 hours or until doubled.
- When the dough has risen, scuff it out of the bowl and put back onto a floured surface. Press for about 5 minutes and shape into 1 or 2 long loaves. Put on baking sheets, and let expand for about 1 hour.
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F or 220 degrees C. Bake the dough for about 45 minutes for 2 loaves, or 1 ½ hours if it is one big loaf. Don't worry if the crust is dark, the bread will be delicious anyway.
- Cool completely before cutting and serving.
Bauernbrot, or agriculturist's bread, is a healthy rye bread that is the standard bread in numerous German homes, particularly in the south.
Bauernbrot was customarily produced using scratch in farm homes and baked in ancient, whimsical wood-fire ovens.