Traditional German Brown Bread developed by our very own TM5man: Matthias Reissner!
As I write, the aroma of homemade bread in the oven is wafting through our home. What spells home most accurately? It certainly is not popcorn! It is Bread! Ah! Bread! Of all smells, bread! I used to have those words above my kitchen door: Of all smells, bread; of all tastes, salt. I think we are now ready to share this triumph; this masterpiece, this labour of love, this recipe of the heart from Matthias to you. At last!
I have learned ever so much through the development of this bread recipe with Matthias. He developed the recipe, I just helped him write it and worked with it to ensure it will be consistent if you follow the instructions. Triumphant! Look at the texture of the moist freshly ground grains of wheat and rye in the slice, below. I think you might be able to almost taste it, the photo is that vivid, if you have experience with this kind of bread.
It is dense. Moist. Chewy. Engaging. Fibrous. Over 50% of this bread is fibre. Now we’re talking, eh? Yes, I come from “that” generation who is always working to have a diet high in fibre. Who doesn’t want to live longer? And, oh, my. This is the taste of wide blue skies and tall grasses. This is the taste of my Alberta prairies.
Thank you, TM5man-C! Thank you, Matthias! Thank you for your passion and enthusiasm that motivated and inspired me to join you through every step of this bread recipe development journey, and oh – what fun it has been!
First, I learned all about Diastatic Malt Powder. What? I had never heard about it. I know how to make my own, now, and so can you. Then I learned the importance of Homemade Rye Sourdough Starter to a rye bread. Do you know this? I know how to make my own, now, and so can you. And Fenugreek powder? I had seen it for the first time in Athens at our food tour. I knew about the leaves and the seeds, but the powder is used in a very special charcuterie there, and Matthias can not express the pleasure he gets from his teeny weeny addition of 1/8th of a spoonful of this flavour in his bread recipe. The fenugreek powder just scents the slice with that special little “somethin’ somethin'” that is so far indiscernible to me. But, what do I know? I certainly do not have an intimate relationship with German Brown Bread like he does – though I admit, my relationship with this brown bread has become pretty intimate! And, the fenugreek powder does possess a noteable aromatic quality that can only enhance the flavours already moving about in our dough.
No face allowed, but you would enjoy his smile if you could see it!
Yeast leavens wheat flour, not rye flour. Did you know that? Yeast goes with wheat flour. It will not leaven rye flour. This was news to me. Is it news to you? Above is the dry yeast and the portions of freshly ground wheat flour for this bread. Dry Yeast vs wet yeast is a 3:1 ratio, so:
- from fresh yeast to dry, divide by 3 (instead of 30 grams of fresh yeast use 10 grams of dry)
- from dry yeast to fresh, multiply by 3 (instead of 7 grams of dry yeast use 21 grams of fresh)
or, 10g of fresh yeast = 1 teaspoon of dry yeast. In the winter, I always buy fresh yeast, divide it into 30 gram portions, wrap it in plastic wrap, put those cubes in ziplock bags, and freeze them. I am using dry for this recipe as most of my readers use dry, and Matthias has tested it many times with wet yeast. Where do you buy wet yeast? Bakeries, pizza places or your neighbourhood Italian Center Shop, if you live in Edmonton.
Sourdough started leavens rye flour. You cannot make a bread using rye flour without a rye sourdough starter. This bread is a combination of both; it uses yeast to leaven the wheat flour in the dough and rye sourdough starter to leaven the rye flour in the dough.
The TM31 and the TM5 will only grind 250 grams of wheat seed or berries successfully, at once. The little paper towel under the MC is a great way for asthmatics like me to avoid breathing in the fine dust created through the milling process.
One minute at speed 10 and then 3 times turbo at 2 seconds each produced this fine nutritious, delicious and economical whole wheat flour.
The yeast and water get weighed into the bowl with a touch of honey or sugar and whole wheat flour. Combined for a couple of minutes at a warm temperature and as my French Master Bakery Instructor would say, “It is alive, Valerie! Look, watch it grow! Respect the life in the dough!”
Now the rye flour, the sourdough starter, the malt powder, fenugreek powder (yellow) and salt.
This malt powder will enhance the flavour and texture of any bread. Try it!
The water is added and the dough is mixed together with the wheat and yeast mixture, then left in the bowl to rise.
Gorgeous. I took off the lid the last 5 minutes this time, but usually you will see it just coming through the hole in the lid. Do not take off the lid. Just mix it together as per the instructions, then remove the lid and scrape down the sides of the bowl.
The wheat flour is now added in two segments: 50 grams, then 150 grams. The dough at the end is very highly saturated and like a batter, not like a dough. See below.
Prepare the pans by greasing them and using dried breadcrumbs, cornmeal or coursely milled wheat flour to coat them with.
When Matthias demonstrated the recipe for all of us, we made the two loaves below. I then made the three loaves above during one walk through, and then the 4 small loaves today!.
Who knows why the loaves were flat and cracked. It really doesn’t matter as the bread was delicious. Moist, chewy and packed with flavour! It was a different oven than Matthias was used to. It was my oven.
These are sure perfect! So peculiar that these loaves go into a cold oven, eh?
Mmmmm. Warm bread with buttttteeeerrrrr…..
If you have a very sharp knife you will be surprised how thin you can slice this bread. It is not at all hard. It is heavy and oh, so moist!
Not too heavy, though! Above, I served myself some of my bread. Below, Matthias served us his.
This is not just what my wide blue prairie sky and tall grasses taste like. This is the taste of health, of life, of longevity, of the simplest of seeds. It is the taste of a long and fruitful life.
Thank you, Matthias.
German Brown Bread
Matthias developed this recipe soon after purchasing his TM5 Thermomix machine. As a bread loving engineer, he took a scientific approach and has gifted us with this incredible nutritious, delicious and economic hearty loaf that is over 50% roughage. Gotta love that!
- 35 grams fresh yeast or 10 grams dry yeast
- 65 grams tepid water or 105 grams if using dry yeast
- ½ teaspoon organic sugar or honey
- 100 grams organic wheat flour
- 400 grams organic rye flour
- 75 - 150 grams fresh organic rye sourdough starter
- 20 grams salt
- 1 ½ teaspoons organic diastatic malt powder
- ⅛ to ¼ teaspoon organic fenugreek powder
- 600 grams tepid water
- 50 grams organic wheat flour
- 150 grams organic wheat flour
- oil and bread crumbs to prepare baking pan
- one large or 2 medium loaf pans or 4 small loaf pans
Do not pre-heat your oven; dough goes into cold oven
Weigh first four ingredients into TM5 bowl; combine for 3 minutes at 40 °C (100°F) speed 1
Weigh rye flour, sourdough starter, salt, malt powder, fenugreek powder and water into TM5 bowl; combine for 15 seconds speed 2-5 watching through hole in the lid to ensure that the dough is pulled through the centre of the bowl
Clean down sides of bowl with spatula
Mix ingredients for 3 minutes at 40 °C (100°F) speed 0-4 within first 10 seconds watching through hole in the lid to ensure dough is pulled down through centre of the bowl; let dough rest inside TM5 bowl until it pushes up the lid (about 30 minutes, but check every 10 minutes so you don't have an accident as the time this takes will depend upon the temperature in your house and the season and your altitude)
Stir dough in TM5 bowl for 30 seconds on speed 5; clean down the sides of the bowl and inside of the lid with spatula
Weigh 50g wheat flour into TM5 bowl; stir 30 seconds on speed 4-5 watching through hole in the lid to ensure dough is pulled down through centre of the bowl, then set to knead for 1 ½ minutes
Weigh 150g wheat flour into TM5 bowl; stir 30 seconds on speed 4-5 watching through hole in the lid to ensure dough is pulled down through centre of the bowl, then set to knead for 1 ½ minutes
Prepare loaf pan(s) by lightly oiling each and sprinkling liberally with bread crumbs or freshly ground wheat flour; shake out remainder of crumbs or flour
Remove dough from TM5 bowl and divide equally into loaf pans; place into cool oven (oven must not be pre-heated)
Heat oven to 200 °C (392°F) in bake mode; set timer for one 1 hour; remove bread from oven; set on rack to cool for at least one 1 hour (bake time is the same regardless of the size of the loaves)
This is a highly saturated dough with 700g flour, 75g starter and 665g water; therefore, it is very sticky and difficult to shape into a loaf, thus the importance of the loaf pan.
If you have never made a dense, moist rye bread before, it is important to note that the is not like a typical bread dough. Please see the photo in the post of the dough consistency. It would not be possible to knead this dough with ones hands.
If you cannot find the powder, mill 100 grams of the seeds in the Thermomix
Turn the machine on at speed 10 with the MC in place
Pour the seeds into the TM bowl through the hole in the lid while the MC is in place (carefully ensure the seeds get into the bowl within the first 30 seconds)
Turbo for 2 seconds 3 times
You now have gorgeous Fenugreek Powder!
Diastatic Malt Powder
Recipe can be found here
Rye Sourdough Starter
Recipe can be found here
Below is a vision of wonder. Yes, I do work to develop recipes that you will find successful, every time. I usually don’t learn such painful lessons, but there is always a lot to learn!
Now, I am not a particularly religious person. Religious enough, I suppose, but this bread begs a reference to the greatest Bible quotes of all time Matthew 4:4: It is written Man shall not live by bread alone…. but he could, with this bread… and then this one, John 6:50-71: This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die. And I can assure you, if you make this bread, you will most definitely live longer! I promise.