The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Schwaebische Seelen (spelt rolls)

Juergen Krauss's picture
Juergen Krauss

Schwaebische Seelen (spelt rolls)


A commuter-friend travelling with me to London on the train used to live in Ravensburg, in a region in Germany called Oberschwaben.

One day he told me he really misses a speciality from there called Seelen.

They are rolls with an open crumb and a slightly chewy crust, sprinkled with caraway and coarse salt.

Searching the internet I found a number of recipes, and some descriptions of the "original": a roll made with spelt, using high hydration, long fermentation, and a wet, hot bake.

The recipes I found were all nothing like the original description, so I decided to improvise, and I am very happy with the result:


Here the formula and instructions (1000g for 6 rolls):

Google spreadsheet

Schwaebische Seelen
Expected Yield1000 
Wholegrain Spelt Flour30165.2
Yeast (Instant)0.21.1
White Spelt Flour46253.3
AP Flour / Strong White Flour (UK)24132.2

Processing instructions
Dough temperature was about 22C all the time
Mix Preferment, leave at room temperature for 2 hours and then refridgerate until used, best is overnight,
Let Preferment come back to room temperature, mix with other ingredients and work dough gently. It is very slack.
Let the dough rest for amout 2 hours, with 3 sets of stretch and fold during the first hour. Towards the end big bubbles should be forming.
Make your work surface thoroughly wet and turn out the dough onto the wetness. Prepare some baking parchament for the rolls.
Forming an oval with your wet hands scrape of a chunk of dough, then make a circle with your thumb and index finger, pull the dough through and put it onto the baking parchament.
Let it rest for another 30 minutes,
Sprinkle with Caraway seeds and coarse salt,

Bake in a very hot oven with steam, ideally on a stone, mine needed 20 minutes at 230C

** UPDATE **

Here some pictures of the production process from a bakery in Schwaben:


dabrownman's picture

crumb.  Almost looks like a Mini Baguette.....Beautiful crsut and crumb color too,  Nice sandwich rolls Juergen.  Who knew spelt could be so colorful and gorgeous?

Happy Baking

JOHN01473's picture

nice looking bake my friend.

i have got to give this a try.

i think your spreadsheet link is fantastic - makes life so much easier for scaling up and down.

i think its really a great step forward - well done.


isand66's picture

Great looking and interesting bake.

I must give this a try soon.

Your crumb looks perfect.


Juergen Krauss's picture
Juergen Krauss

Dabrownman, John, Ian,

These rolls are as tasty as they look. Best warm, fresh from the oven.

Traditionally they are made with white flours, but I ran out of white spelt, and substituted with wholegrainn. This adds a great depth.

The shaping technique is rather unconventional. I'll post some pictures after my next bake.

John, I really got to like the Google spreadsheets as a tool. I now keep most of my formulas on Google Drive. It is so easy to share.

Usually I allow only "read only" access, but if you download the spreadsheet as Excel (via the File menu) all the formulas will work.