I became a baking enthusiast a while back after watching a video of a NY Bakery that bakes European breads. I had to try, and I am hooked ever since
This no-knead “Bauernbrot” is easy and authentic, even a six year old can make it
One of my most requested and viewed recipe is this German whole wheat crusty bread. I have been trying different versions and researched baking techniques for years, even had bread baking classes in my home. This Bread taste the closest I remember when growing up in Germany
Some of my secrets:
A secret ingredient is Diastatic malt powder. Savvy bread bakers use it to promote a strong rise, great texture, and lovely brown crust. Just 1 tsp for 3 cups flour, and you would see and taste the difference.
I understand this Diastatic malt comes in a large container. I shared lots with my Baking friends, or even froze some. It lasted for a long time and it keeps for about a year. Other smaller portion sizes of Diastatic malt can be found on Amazon, I just haven’t tried other brands yet.
Some essentials are a Danish Dough Whisk, since there is no kneading, you’d just stir while adding the beer water mixture.
And of course you’ll need a Dutch Oven. There is no need to buy a Le Creuset. I had the best experience with these products below you can buy on Amazon. The light colored Emaille Dutch ovens will stain at high heat. The Cast iron pot I recommend, you’d place the dough on the lid and bake upside down, then cover it with the pot. It will be easier to handle and remove the bread from the very hot oven.
Watch a little YouTube video in the recipe section below on how I prepare the bread dough
Beer and Vinegar will enhance the taste. Any Amber or Dark beer will do. I usually add Yuengling Lager, Shiner Bock or a similar. The alcohol in the beer will evaporate, if there are concerns. It just adds a Malt aroma.
A secret ingredient I use to improve the texture is Diastatic malt
Essentials are a Danish Dough Whisk. No need to use your hands
This Cast Iron Dutch oven is recommended for baking in high heat
If you have or buy a 6 or 7 Quart Dutch Oven you can double the recipe. Bake it at 480 F (500 F for more crispiness) for 55 min, remove cover and bake another 15 to 20 min. until the desired dark color (remember, the aroma is in the crust!)
I used to bake with a Sourdough starter, but that has to be fed every couple of days. I cannot do this with my schedule, so I use yeast, vinegar, beer and you hardly taste a difference. If you want to bake with Sourdough, I found a website here: Sourdough for Beginners. You can order a starter off Amazon at the bottom
Ingredients I use:
Which Flour? King Arthur whole wheat flour is preferred (Walmart). Lidl US has a whole wheat version that is lower priced and very good. Pillsbury white flour is also satisfactory in my opinion.
Optional add-ins for the dough:
Add to White Flour:
- Add to flour and mixture dried Cranberries and crushed Walnuts (or Almond slivers)
- Add to flour mixture Rosemary with Olives (or Garlic out of a jar) and cover with Parmesan
- Add to flour mixture and cover with Sunflower seeds
- Cover with Roasted Pumpkin seeds
- Add aged Parmesan cubes to the flour
- Add sunflower seeds, grated carrots, flax seeds, add little wine or vinegar to the water (Fitness bread)
- Cover with “Everything but the Bagel Sesame” seasoning
Add to Whole Wheat Flour:
- Add to flour mixture 2 tbsp Wheat Bran/Germ,
- 1 cup Spelt flour with 2 cups whole wheat
- Add to flour mixture Flax Seeds
- Cover with Oatmeal
- Add to flour mixture 1 tbsp Caraway and/or crushed Anis Seed
- Cover with “Everything but the Bagel Sesame” seasoning
For the basic “Bauernbrot” I use a mixture of whole wheat and white flour about 1 x 1, or to your liking. also diastatic malt powder, caraway seeds. I add beer and a little vinegar to the water. as you see the recipe below
You can buy on Amazon Wheat Bran, Flax seeds and Caraway seeds
A pastry mat I use to prepare the dough can be bought here on Amazon
When is my bread ready for the oven?
Gently but firmly nudge the dough with your outstretched finger. It will tell you what’s going on:
* The dough feels firm and elastic:
“I’ve only just settled into my basket, please leave me alone!”
* The dough already feels a little spongy, but springs back immediately :
“I still have enough pressure to stand still for another half hour”
* The dough piece is nice and fluffy, but still springs back into its old shape:
“I’m tight and can go in the oven if you really want the cuts to pop wide.”
* The dough piece keeps the dent for a while, and then slowly fills it in again:
“I’m ready to bake – it’s now or never!”
* The dough sighs, the spot where it was nudged, falls into place and no longer recovers: “NOW!”
* The dough turns to dust – at the slightest touch:
“I’ve been with Ramses and Tutankhamun – leave me alone and let me die.”
Mein Bauernbrot (No knead German Crusty Bread)
- 3 cups bread flour, I prefer half King Arthur 100% whole wheat and half King Arthur (or Pillsbury) white flour.
- Optional: add Rye and Spelt flour
- Mix as desired.
- 1/4 tsp. active dry yeast
- 1 tsp Diastatic Malt (“Krume” or dough enhancer)
- 1 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1 cup dark beer, 1/2 cup water, 2 tbsp vinegar
Essentials you can order here on Amazon:
1. Diastatic Malt that promotes the crust and texture
2. No kneading, just stir: Danish Dough Whisk
3. Lodge Cast Iron Dutch oven
- Mix together the flour, diastatic malt (optional), yeast and salt
- Add to the flour lukewarm water with the dark beer and a little vinegar.
- Mix with hands or a Danish Dough Whisk (from Amazon)
- Cover the bowl with plastic and let sit 17 to 22 hours covered loosely, best to rest overnight in a warm place.
- Scoop out dough, lie on board with flour. Do not knead!
- Form a loaf by flatten it first, then fold.
- You can let it rest in a cotton towel, but don’t have to.
- Wipe the bottom of the Dutch oven with vegetable oil.
- Preheat oven to 480 to 500 degrees with Dutch oven inside.
- Slash or cut the top of the bread a single crescent line with a sharp knife or razor blade, also called “lame”, a crisscross pattern 1/4 to 1/2 inch deep. Don’t cut too deep.
- Place the dough in hot Dutch oven, cover, and bake for 30 minutes.
- Remove the lid and bake an additional 10 to 25 minutes. The aroma is in the crust, therefore I prefer it dark with the lid off for 15 to 25 minutes.
- Let cool completely on rack before cutting.
- Will last 2 to 3 days in zip lock plastic bag, or slice and freeze in freezer bag.
- Defrost the slice in microwave for 1 minute, or just toast.
Cool on rack before cutting. Will last 2 to 3 days in paper or wrapped in plastic. Slice and freeze in ziplock bag, microwave 30 seconds and/or toast.
9 thoughts on “Mein Bauernbrot, a no-knead German crusty Bread”
Can I use a cast iron Dutch oven?
Yes, that’s what I use also
Can I use a regular Dutch oven?
I made it and loved it. I am German, living now in America – Thank you for this recipe.
I have used it with half rye flour and it works. I also have left it for 48 hours and it worked. Love this recipe
Herzlichen Dank 🙂 I will try the half and half with a longer fermentation!
Hi, I want to try out you recipe, but want to use my sourdough starter instead of yeast and vinegar. How much sourdough starter would I have to use? Thanks!
I gave up on the Sourdough. I travel too much. It’s like tending a baby, you have to feed it every couple of days ;-). I found this: https://www.theclevercarrot.com/2014/01/sourdough-bread-a-beginners-guide/ Hope that helps
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