The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


hanseata's picture


This is a milder, less tangy version of a typical German rye/wheat everyday bread, made without sourdough. I called it "Lübecker", because this was one of my first successful adaptions of an old German recipe to American ingredients, and the medieval Hanse town Lübeck is one of my favorite cities. 

I changed the technique from a 1- to a 2-day process, working with pre-doughs to achieve a much better taste (with less hands-on work).

(Of course, this bread can be also made with sourdough).


80 g rye flour
136 g whole wheat flour
3 g salt
92 g buttermilk
83 g water
216 g whole wheat flour
1 g instant yeast
160 g water
all soaker and biga
48 g whole wheat flour
9 g salt
5 g instant yeast
15 g honey
45 g sunflower seed oil (or other vegetable oil)
1 tsp. caraway seeds, ground
¾ tsp. fennel seeds, ground
1 tsp. coriander, ground
1 tsp. coriander, whole, for topping

DAY 1 morning:

In a small bowl, stir together all soaker ingredients. In a second bowl, mix all biga ingredients at low speed (or with a big spoon) for 1-2 minutes, until they come together. Knead at medium-low speed (or by hand) for 2 minutes, let rest for 5 minutes, then resume kneading for another 1 minute. Place in oiled bowl, cover, and refrigerate.

Remove biga from refrigerator 2 hours before using to de-chill. (Cutting biga into small pieces helps to distibute preferment more evenly in final dough).

In the evening: prepare final dough. Mix all ingredients at low speed (or by hand) for 1-2 minutes, until coarse ball forms, and all flour is hydrated. Knead at medium-low speed for 4 minutes. Let dough rest for 5 minutes, then knead for another 1 minute. Place in oiled container, cover, and refrigerate overnight.


DAY 2:

Remove dough from refrigerate 2 hours before using to de-chill.

Preheat oven to 425 F/220 C, including steam pan.

Shape dough into sandwich loaf, place in greased loaf pan, mist with water and sprinkle with coriander. Press seeds gently into dough. Slash. Cover, and let rise at room temperature for 45 - 60 min., or until dough has grown to 1  1/2 times its original size.

Place bread into oven, and pour 1 cup of boiling water into steam pan. Reduce heat to 400 F/200 C, and bake for 20 minutes. Remove steam pan, rotate bread 180 degrees, and continue baking for another 20 - 30 minutes. (Internal temperature: at least 195 F, bread should sound hollow when thumped on bottom).

Remove bread from loaf pan, and let cool on wire rack.

Lübecker Crumb

breadsong's picture

Hello Karin,
The recipe of yours with the bread spices looks so nice! What lovely bread - it must taste wonderful and I love the coriander seed topping.
I will put buttermilk on the shopping list. It will be so nice to make this bread, and try to re-create the flavor of the bread I made using the Austrian mix Franko so kindly gave me.
:^) from breadsong

freerk's picture


What a pity I didn't see this one hour earlier! I have two breads "in waiting" right now but his Lübecker is going straight to the top of the list for my next bake. It looks like one of my favorite breads over here; "allison". The mixture of seeds sounds mouthwatering. Can't wait to try this one. Thank you so much for sharing.



SylviaH's picture

Thanks for sharing another, wonderful formula!  I've saved it in my favorites.  


Mebake's picture

Such a wonderful looking German loaf, Karin! You keep drawing me back to wholegrain baking with every post, thank for the reminder :)

I'am Just curious, what is the flavor like?

Thanks for posting this, i'll try it sometime.


kolobezka's picture

It looks quite light for a wholewheat bread! One acn learn very much from your baking!

Karin, please, did you use medium or whole rye?
Do you thing that refrigerating the dough overnight helps the wholegrain bread to come out lighter?


ananda's picture

Hi Karin,

That's a great spice combination and lots of wholewheat in the formula too.

Quite high amount of oil there but I'm sure it's really tasty, and very light considering the flours used.

All good wishes


hanseata's picture

Breadsong, I bake this bread as an alternative to Feinbrot, it's a little milder, but has a very pleasant taste from the bread spices. Coriander is often found in South German and Austrian breads. I had breads with coriander first in the alps and loved the taste. It's also practical to have the sandwich loaf shape for a change, I bake mostly free standing loaves.

Freerk, I always complain to my husband that there is so much to bake and so little time... I also have an overflowing list of recipes I want to try, a lot of them from TFL (your Pane de Reina among them). If you do bake the Lübecker, please, let me know how you liked it.


Janetcook's picture


Thanks for another wonderful looking loaf to try.  I will have to do the seeded version for the neighbors and then a 'plain' version for my children.....Only spice they tolerate in bread in cinnamon....I keep trying though :-)

A question about your process....I recognize PR's technique :-)  and am wondering how the over-night retard on top of a full day of the grains soaking in the soaker and the biga impact the overall flavor?   Would it be okay to mix up the 2 doughs in the evening and then mix the final dough in the morning without doing a long refrigerated time?


Take Care,


hanseata's picture

Thanks, Sylvia and Khalid, it's always nice to hear from you. The bread has a hearty, but not a pronounced tangy taste. Khalid, I thought you were the great whole grain baker, anyway!



hanseata's picture

Zdenka, I have only whole rye, though I just brought a little bag of Typ 1350 rye flour from Germany to compare with mixes of white and whole rye. My supplier doesnt't carry medium rye, so I would have to mail order it.

I almost always retard the mixed dough in the refrigerator overnight, this is more convenient for me - I can do most of the work in the evening, and only the shaping and baking in the morning. I think that it further enhances the flavor, but I can't say for sure.


hanseata's picture

Andy, the bread is, indeed, not heavy, inspite of the oil and whole grains. The sunflower oil adds a slightly nutty taste, it's more often used in German breads than other oils - here in the US it is much more expensive.

Guess, what I'm baking right now - Your student Katy's "Stout Flaxseed Bread" that you posted a while ago. I made it once before, it has a really nice taste. This time changed the technique a bit, I'll post a picture, when it comes out of the oven.


hanseata's picture

Janet, you know, I like Peter Reinhart's technique. The overnight procedure might enhance the flavor - I never did a side by side taste testing - but I use it mainly to accomodate my schedule. You can as well prepare the pre-doughs in the evening and do the bulk fermentation in the morning.

Take care,


Janetcook's picture


Thanks for the reply now I will give it a try and I am sure it will still be tasty :-)

Take Care,