The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Bauernbrötchen - Rustic Rolls with Old Dough

  • Pin It
hanseata's picture
hanseata

Bauernbrötchen - Rustic Rolls with Old Dough

Gerd Kellner, aka Ketex, is not only an accomplished baker, but, also, writes one of Germany's best bread baking blogs. A book with his recipes: "Rustikale Brote aus deutschen Landen" is available as e-book at Amazon.

When I saw his post on Bauernbrötchen, I wasn't only attracted by the attractive look of these rustic rolls, but, also, intrigued by his use of old dough as leaven.

"Old dough" in bakers' lingo means a piece of dough, cut off before shaping the bread, and kept in the refrigerator for later use. After I learned how to make a wild yeast starter, and bake my first bread from a French cookbook, I had always saved a portion of the dough for my next loaf.

Advancing from a series of weapon grade, dense and chewy "bricks" to more edible breads, this method had worked very well for me, until I branched out and started baking other types of bread than just my everyday German Feinbrot.

German Feinbrot - originally made with old dough

The old dough was replaced by a whole wheat mother starter, and all but forgotten as a viable rising agent.

With Ketex' beautiful Bauernbrötchen in mind, I reserved a piece of dough from a yeast bread I made, and put it for later use in my basement refrigerator - and then promptly forgot all about it!

About 3 months later, when I was looking for something in the depth of the fridge, I came upon the little container, and remembered what it was.

 Though I was rather suspicious about how this might affect the taste, my distrust was unfounded, the rolls, though not looking as nice as Gerd's, rose well and tasted surprisingly good. And I had a new, interesting formula to work with.

I opened it gingerly, expecting nothing good after all the time, and the old dough, indeed, looked, shall we say, "antique", and didn't smell very nice, either. At least there was no mold on it!

Rose Hip Levain - made from accidentally fermenting jam

Always curious, and open for experiments before I throw something in the trash, I just wanted to see whether there was any life left in the mummified relic, and proceeded with the recipe.

For my second bake I did just the opposite: my old dough had slumbered only for 3 days in the fridge. With my first batch of Bauernbrötchen, I had followed Ketex recipe to the t, using a poolish as preferment and adding the piece of preserved dough later to the final mixture.

"Old dough" - refreshed and ready to go!

I didn't quite see the rationale for an additional poolish, especially since the dough was to be retarded in the refrigerator overnight. Why not, instead, feeding the old dough up front, and let it act the part of the poolish?

And, since the percentage of rye flour in the dough was not so high that a change would influence the crumb, I used whole rye instead of medium rye (easy to come by in Germany, but, alas, not readily available in the US.)

Rather than kneading the dough for 15 minutes, and folding it only once, I followed Peter Reinhart's procedure in "Artisan Bread Every Day" (my default S&F) with a brief mix, an autolyse, and 4 stretches and folds over a period of 40 minutes.

Measuring spoon for very small amounts

Ketex adds a tad of yeast to his dough. For these very small amounts (that, nevertheless, make the rising time more predictable) you need a special scale, able to accurately weigh a few grams or ounces.  Mine looks like a big spoon, and is easy to use (about $15 at Amazon)

The second batch, without the poolish, performed just the same, but tasted a bit heartier with the whole rye. I had to adjust the baking temperature and time, but every oven is different, and you have to adapt to this, anyway.

We found these crusty rustic rolls great for open faced sandwiches, and they, toast well, tool. You can easily freeze them, therefore it's worth it to make a double batch.

But don't forget to save a piece of the dough: for your next Bauernbrötchen!

My first batch of Bauernbrötchen - made with truly "antique" dough!

 

BAUERNBRÖTCHEN WITH OLD DOUGH  (adapted from Gerhard Kellner/Ketex) 

OLD DOUGH
100 g/3.5 oz old dough
    5 g/1 tbsp whole rye flour
  42 g/3 tbsp water

FINAL DOUGH
147 g/5.2 oz refreshed old dough (all)
400 g/14.1 oz bread flour
  45 g/1.6 oz whole rye flour
258 g/9.1 oz water
    8 g/0.3 oz olive oil
  10 g/0.4 oz salt
 1.8 g/0.06 oz instant yeast (or 5 g fresh yeast)
 3.5 g/1 1/2 tsp barley malt
 rye flour for sprinkling

 

  

Rejuvenated old dough

DAY 1:
In the morning, feed old dough with rye flour and water. Cover, and leave at room temperature until lively and bubbly (like poolish.)

In the evening, mix final dough ingredients at low speed (or with wooden spoon) until all flour is hydrated, 1 - 2 minutes. Let dough rest 5 minutes. Then knead at medium-low speed (or by hand) for 2 minutes, adjusting with a little more water or flour if necessary (dough should be a bit sticky.) Continue kneading for another 4 minutes. Dough should be still more sticky than tacky.

Ready for S & F on oiled work surface

Transfer dough to lightly oiled or wet work surface. With oiled or wet hands, pull and stretch it into a rough square. Fold dough from top and bottom in thirds, like a business letter. Then do the same from both sides. Gather dough together in a ball, and place it, seamside down, in a lightly oiled bowl. Cover, and let it rest for 10 minutes.

Repeat this stretching and folding 3 more times, at 10 minute intervals. After the last fold, reserve 100 g/3.5 oz of the dough (for the next "old dough".) Refrigerate reserved piece (container with lid.) (Ketex recommends using it within 10 days, but it keeps longer.

Place remaining dough also in an oiled container with lid, and refrigerate it overnight.

I find these kinds of containers very practical for overnight retardation

DAY 2:
(Since these are small pieces, you can shape them cold.)

Divide dough into 8 pieces (à 100 g/3.5 oz) and shape them into balls. Let them relax for 20 minutes, then roll them into strands with pointed ends. 

The dough pieces are first pre-shaped into rolls

Place rolls in a couche, seam side up. Sprinkle with rye flour. Cover, and let proof for 1 - 2 hours. (Preheat oven 45 minutes before baking.)

Preheat oven to 500ºF, including steam pan. 

Bauernbrötchen are proofing on a couche

Place rolls, seam side down, on perforated or parchment lined baking sheet, sprinkle them with whole rye flour, and score lengthwise.

Bake Bauernbrötchen for 20 - 26 minutes at 450ºF, steaming with a cup of boiling water. (Rotate the baking sheet 180 degrees after half the baking time, and remove the steam pan). They should be golden brown, and register at least 200ºF.

Submitted to YeastSpotting

Submitted to Panissimo:  Bread & Companatico

                                          Indovina chi viene a cena                                             

 

Comments

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Hi Karen,
Lovely rolls! - their shape reminds me of dory boats.
Thank you for the reference to Mr. Kellner's blog and e-book - will have to check that out.
:^) breadsong

hanseata's picture
hanseata

and I will be happy to translate, if you need help with Ketex' blog.

It is amazing how many interesting bread blogs are out there now. When I left Germany twelve years ago, and tried to find some Brötchen recipes in the internet, there was almost nothing.

Karin

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Hi Karin,
Thank you so much for your kind offer - I might have to take you up on that sometime.
And thanks for sharing your interesting blog finds!
:^) breadsong

evonlim's picture
evonlim

well written post, very clear explanation, informative and pictures. lovely rolls :)  thank you for sharing. 

evon

hanseata's picture
hanseata

for your nice compliments!

I enjoy trying out new breads, and writing about it, hoping that others might share my enthusiasm.

Karin

bruneski's picture
bruneski

... 'grow up', breadbaking-wise, all I aim to be is HALF A KARIN!!!! Maybe ONE FOURTH might suffice!!!! :-)

Thanks for your sharing and also for your teaching, Karin!

Have a great weekend!

Der Brotbackenlangsameslerner :-)

hanseata's picture
hanseata

sounds like the popular crossword puzzle clue : "Half an African menace" (meaning "Tse", from Tsetse). Bruneski, you make me blush! If I can inspire you (instead of putting you to sleep!), I am very happy.
And don't you think that I learned very quickly how to bake good bread (you should talk to my husband). But TFL is a great resource, I learned a lot from here, also from open discussions about mistakes and not-so-wonderful bakes.

Karin

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

Karin as usual.  Love the torpedo rolls and the re-run of the great Rose Hip jam risen bread  too - can't find that in Clayton's Complete Book of Bread.  We make so much jam I really need to get one fermenting on the counter.  Is it like thick YW and has no sour as a leaven?

We just love yeast experiments in the kitchen.  After Mini's WW dough ball in a brown paper bag successful experiment my apprentice needs a new challenge or perhaps a nail clipping.

Happy baking Karin.

hanseata's picture
hanseata

My canine apprentice craves right now nothing but a dip in the ocean, she doesn't put a paw in the sunny kitchen but pants away under her favorite chest.

My rose hip leaven is mild, but otherwise just a white 100% starter, I don't know whether any of the original yeast population is still around.

Do try the rolls, you can always throw in some hemp, DBM!

Karin

isand66's picture
isand66

Nice post Karin.  Those rolls look great and must have tasted as good as they look.

Regards

Ian

hanseata's picture
hanseata

The do taste good, and I keep some old dough in my fridge exclusively for making those again.

Karin

Syd-a's picture
Syd-a

There is something so amazing and wonderful about these bold and dark bakes and rustic breads that just teases the bread snob in me to amazingly high levels. I think the shape of the rolls were amazing too, something to give a try. The shape and size of bread stimulates in many ways I believe.

Thanks for sharing

Andy

hanseata's picture
hanseata

Yes, I do love a good crust, and here around you dont' find any even remotely bold dark bakes, supermarket breads are pale and sickly looking creatures.

Thanks, Andy!

Song Of The Baker's picture
Song Of The Baker

Hi Karin.

These are some of the best looking rolls I have seen on this site.  I am not a big fan of white bread, so these really hit the mark.  Perfectly shaped too with the scoring.  Visually very nice and I am sure they taste great too.  You Germans sure know how to bake.

John

hanseata's picture
hanseata

If you grow up with good bakeries around you are somewhat spoiled, of course. No Wonderbread for this German! Unfortunately chain "bake shops" are crowding out traditional bakeries in Germany, too. And people buy the stuff because it's cheap.

Karin

 

varda's picture
varda

and so intrepid digging that really old dough out of your refrigerator.   What are those holy baking sheets?   Do the holes make a difference?   -Varda

hanseata's picture
hanseata

Thanks, Varda!

I first saw these perforated baking sheet in a German blog, and I asked the blogger about them. He highly recommended them for rolls, and since I bake my baguettes in a perforated pan, I liked the idea and ordered them from Amazon (fairly inexpensive).

They do make a difference, the bottom of the rolls browns the same way as the top - and gets a nice pattern, too.

Take care,

Karin

isand66's picture
isand66

I have the same pans I bought from William Sonoma and I love them for rolls like these.

Ian

hanseata's picture
hanseata

Exactly! Next time I will bake the little Olive Breads also on those, instead of a parchment lined baking sheet. They could be bit more brown underneath.

Karin

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

Hi Karin,

What beautiful loaves!  I love the shape.  So much so that I am anxious to try it out on a batch of dough too.  Why did you proof on a couche rather than parchment paper?  How on earth did you transfer them without loosing their shape?

Also a question about old dough.  I have read about it a lot but never tried it since I generally use sd in my breads.  How did the flavor taste compared to using PR's soaker/biga method?  Seems like old dough is fairly similar in concept but it's origin closer to sd in that it isn't created fresh but is left over like sd….I imagine flavor is different in that IY is used but figure you would be able to tell me better than any guess I can make *- }

Thanks so much for the lovely write up and for the detailed method.

Take Care,

Janet

hanseata's picture
hanseata

I used the couche because I have one the dough is fairly stable, so they can take the transport without losing their shape. You can as well proof them on parchment, there will be no big difference.

I haven't made a side by side test, but I assume there is no dramatic difference in taste between old dough and sourdough, if they are about the same age. The older, the more acidic, and an rye old dough will be more acidic then a white one.

The old dough method is great, if you don't bake a lot, you just keep what you need for the next bread. When I started baking one bread (Feinbrot) every week, I made it always with old dough.

Take care,

Karin

 

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

Thanks for the description and the explantation on why one would use old dough vs sd.  Low maintenance :)

Take Care,

Janet

CrustandCrumb's picture
CrustandCrumb

We made your German Feinbrot and it came out really good! We are going to try the oat variation you suggest.

On a side note, we bought the Gerhard Kellner's book you mentioned in Munich. How I wish there were an English translation. The recipes look wonderful!

hanseata's picture
hanseata

I'm very happy that your Feinbrot turned out good, and do try the other variations.

If you need translation assistance, I have the Kellner's book, too, and I will gladly help out.

Happy baking,

Karin

 

 

Mebake's picture
Mebake

Attractive little rolls, Karin! Amazing, even what an old wad of dough can do to bread.

Thanks for posting this.

-Khalid

 

hanseata's picture
hanseata

your comments, Khalid. And I'm glad you enjoyed reading about my experiments.

Karin