The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Greetings from Columbus, Georgia

letterboy1's picture

Greetings from Columbus, Georgia

I am new to bread baking but determined to eventually make a proper German "Farmer's Bread." Or as it is often called in Germany, "Bauernbrot." Actually, I love all kind of bread but it just so happens that Bauernbrot is the first challenge I chose to tackle. Wish me luck! As with all things worth doing, bread baking reveals itself as a very deep art and NOT as easy as it looks!

pmccool's picture

Welcome to TFL!

See that Search box in the upper right-hand corner of the page?  Type in bauernbrot there and you'll be able to pick up a lot of information from other people's experiences.  Have fun!


letterboy1's picture

Wow, I did as you said and it looks like I am in a long line of people searching for the holy loaf. Daunting!

proth5's picture

I had the opportunity to examine formulas from a German baker's manual for Bauernbrot.

There are several variations, but all involved sourdough.  There were formulas using the  3 step Detmolder method, a 2 step Detmolder method, a "Saltzsauer" method and a couple of other variations.

The flour was 90% whole rye and 10% wheat flour.(white flour).

All the formulas did include yeast - but that can be omitted for some of them.

This bread is baked with "Normal" steam, which means the oven is pre steamed, loaded, then steamed.  In 5 minutes it is vented (These directions are obviously written for a professional deck oven.) The oven is allowed to drop in temperature.

The color is rich and the flavor stupendous - and I don't like rye.

Unfortunately the actual formulas are not with me right now, but if you are interested I will remember to post one ot two next week.

I feel that the source makes these as authentic as you might get.

So let me know if you are interested.


dabrownman's picture

Not seeing bauernbrot before, i typed it into the search box in the upper right corner and found a treasure trove of recipes that Fresh Lofians have developed or baked.  There is quite a variety from SD to yeasted, some with 30-50% or more rye, the rest wheat and some without any rye but whole wheat and oats among others.  Like most breads there seems to be a wide variety of what bauernbrot really is depending on what is is... Hope you find your version and

Happy baking

Lavanyashah's picture

proth5, I don't mean to hijack this thread but I am very interested in the formulas you mentioned.  Lavanya



proth5's picture

you have expressed interest - I will post a couple formulas on my blog next week. I've only baked one variation, but I found it to be very good.

In Germany bread must be a minimum of 90% rye for it to be called rye bread - so naturally in a German baker's manual such a bread would be 90% rye.

Bread is a personal thing, but recently I have been reminded that it is important to understand the basics and origins of classic breads. From there the sky truely is the limit.  And I agree.

Will post next week when I have the formulas in hand...

letterboy1's picture

Proth5, I too would love to see these particular formulas. I am struggling to make Bauernbrot according to a recipe that calls for type 1050 flour, water, salt, yeast, honey and buttermilk. I have read that first clear flour is about the equivalent of type 1050 so I am trying it that way but my results don't seem to follow what I see in the video: So, I am going to try incorporating some of the tips and techniques I have been seeing in the Artisan section of these forums such as autolysing and kneading for wet dough.

proth5's picture

excuse me for not watching the video provided.

When I do post the formulas (and frankly it is a matter of making sure I have the building of the sourdough exactly right along with hydration and salt content) you will see that first clear flour is not what you want.  Again, the version that I have seen is 90% whole rye and 10% white flour. If you decided to use the first clear  you would only use it as a 10%.

If you are meaning to make a primarily wheat based Bauernbrot, the formulas that I have will not help you and you can just ignore my advice below,

Doughs high in rye content do not benefit from autolyse - which is a technique to allow gluten bonds to form over time to avoid mixing too long on high speed or to shorten kneading times.  With a rye bread you can mix the dough fairly quickly as this is just bringing the ingredients together to a smooth paste and doing little if any gluten development in the small amount of wheat flour.

Flavor in rye doughs is built primarily through the sourdough building process (and sourdough is used not only for flavor, but to prevent  excessive degradation of the starches in the rye flour) so the long fermentations you see in wheat doughs are not required - it is more like mix - short bench rest - divide - shape - proof - bake. 

Applying techniques primarily designed for wheat doughs to rye doughs may not be as beneficial as they would seem.  They are two different grains and have different requirements.

I am not an expert on German flour nomenclature, but they do classify flours by ash content. I'm looking at some internet sites that you may have found and I do sense some confusion between "High Extraction" and "First Clear" flour.  I do know a bit about wheat flours in the US and High Extraction and First Clear (called out in one source as German Type 1050) are two distinctly different things.  High extraction flour contains all of the endosperm and most/all of the germ, with some bran sifted out.  First Clear is milled near the bran and only contains a thin layer of the endosperm that contains high quantities of protein, but low quality protein.  Substituting first clear for high extraction flour is not part of the road to bread success - they are vastly different in baking qualities. That may be the source of some of your woes.

But my formulas call for Rogenmehl - of whole/medium rye flour.

Hope this helps for now.  I will post some of the formulas I mentioned next week in my blog.

Frequent Flyer's picture
Frequent Flyer

....I'm just up the road in Newnan.  Happy brotting....uh.....baking.


letterboy1's picture

Thanks Proth. And hello, Frequent Flyer.

Laurentius's picture

Hi LB,

I call Athens home, if that count. Does your name imply that you've a mailman?

Happy baking. 

letterboy1's picture

Laurentius, Athens counts - Greece or Georgia! And nope, I'm not a mailman - I work for the University System of Georgia at Columbus State University as a video and audio production/support specialist. The moniker "Letterboy1" comes from a joke nickname from an old friend and it stuck.

dablues's picture


Welcome to the group.  I live in Nicholson, Georgia.  You will love it here!