The Fresh Loaf

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Quark Bread Recipe

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alschmelz's picture
alschmelz

Quark Bread Recipe

Here is the recipe for the Quark Bread that I posted in the pictures forum a few days ago.  This recipe will make 1 large loaf. 

  • 300g All-Purpose flour
  • 150g Whole Wheat flour or Oat flour (For the oat flour I simply took some old fashioned oats that I eat for breakfast and ground them in my food processor until they were a flour consistency and VOILA, you have oat flour), possibly extra for dusting
  • 100ml Warm water
  • 1 package of active dry yeast
  • 170g Quark cheese, room temperature
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 7g salt (I like kosher salt but regular table salt works just as well.  It's really just personal preference)
  • About a tablespoon of sugar (you can add more if you like a sweeter bread)

In a large bowl combine your dry ingredients: flours, yeast, salt, and sugar.  In a separate small bowl mix together the quark and egg.  Put that and your water into the dry mixture and combine everything until there is no more loose flour in the bowl. 

Turn your dough out onto a clean surface and begin kneading!  I don't usually flour my surface because I don't want to mess with the hydration ratio.  The dough shouldn't be too sticky but if it is you can go ahead and add some flour.  

I don't usually time how long I knead it.  I just go off of how the dough feels under my hands.  I knead until it is smooth and springy and really feels alive under my hands.  I guess it would be about 8-10 minutes.  If you are using an electric mixer, use the dough hook attachment on medium speed until it clears the sides of the bowl and is smooth and springy.

Now I like to add some extra strength to my dough by taking the edges and folding them into the middle.  I just keep rotating my dough as I fold the edges into the center until I get a strong ball of dough that has a smooth top. Pop that ball of dough into a clean bowl, cover it, and let it rise until it has doubled in bulk.  This will take about an hour.

Turn out your dough now and punch it down.  Again, I don't usually flour my surface but you can if you like, very lightly though.  I like to let it rest for 5-10 minutes after punching it down but you don't have to.  I'm not sure if this step actually affects the final bread or not. 

I like to preheat my oven early so it has time to regulate it's temperature correctly and it gets nice and hot.  Preheat it to 450 degrees Fahrenheit (232 degrees Celsius).  You don't have to right at this moment but at least give it a good 30 minutes before you put your bread in.  Personally I like to bake my breads on a hot pizza stone to simulate an old fashioned stone oven so I preheat my oven with the stone in for an hour before hand to allow the stone to get nice and hot!

Pat the dough out into a square probably about the size or your hand with your fingers spread out.  Fold in the far edge of your dough about 1/4 of the way and press the seam.  Continue folding and pressing until you have a nice log.  Pinch the ends shut.  I like to get about 4 folds out of my dough but 3 works just as well.  I also like to pat out my dough a second time and fold again, usually getting only 3 folds the second time.  Make sure the seams are closed, pinch the ends, and lightly tuck them under so you get a smooth rounded edge to your log of dough. This is the same kind of technique you would use for a baguette. 

Now for the second rising portion you have some options: 

  1. You can place your loaf, seam side down, on a sheet pan.  Lightly flour the top with all-purpose or oat flour (I prefer oat flour).  Cover, and just let it rise as a free-formed loaf.  Let it rise for 30 minutes to an hour (until it's the size you would like your loaf to be), slit the top diagonally 3 times with a sharp knife or razor blade, and put the whole thing (pan and loaf) into the oven.  IMMEDIATELY throw about 2 handfuls of ice cubes onto the bottom of your oven to create steam.  DO NOT OPEN THE OVEN FOR AT LEAST 10 MINUTES AFTER SO TO KEEP ALL OF THE STEAM INSIDE.
  2. If you would like to make a tin loaf out of this bread lightly grease a 9x13 loaf pan and put your loaf in seam side down. Lightly sprinkle the top with some flour, all-purpose or oat flour (I prefer oat flour).  Cover it, and let it rise in a warm place until it is your desired size loaf (I like it to be bulging about an inch up from the pan).  This will take about 30 minutes to an hour depending on the temperature it is rising at.  Now uncover your loaf and pop it into the oven.  IMMEDIATELY throw about 2 handfuls of ice cubes onto the bottom of your oven to create steam.  DO NOT OPEN THE OVEN FOR AT LEAST 10 MINUTES AFTER SO TO KEEP ALL OF THE STEAM INSIDE.
  3. ***Now here's the way I like to do it: I line an oval shaped basket with a smooth, clean dish towel.  Sprinkle some all-purpose flour or oat flour (I prefer the oat flour) around the sides and on the bottom of the lined basket so it won't stick to your towel.  Place your loaf in the lined basket seam side UP.  Lightly sprinkle with some flour.  Cover it, and let it rise in a warm place until it is your desired size loaf.  This will take about 30 minutes to an hour depending on the temperature it is rising at.  When you're ready to bake it I think the best way is to lay a sheet of parchment paper onto a flat sheet pan with no edges.  Place the parchment paper side of the pan on top of the basket (on top of the bottom of the loaf) and quickly and carefully invert your basket so your loaf is now seam side DOWN on the parchment paper.  Very carefully lift up your basket and towel off of your loaf.  If your loaf looks like it is deflating a little let it rest 10-15 minutes before putting it into the oven.  If you are using the pizza stone method, slide the whole sheet of parchment paper right onto the stone.  If you aren't using the stone just put the whole sheet pan into the oven.  IMMEDIATELY throw about 2 handfuls of ice cubes onto the bottom of your oven to create steam.  DO NOT OPEN THE OVEN FOR AT LEAST 10 MINUTES AFTER SO TO KEEP ALL OF THE STEAM INSIDE.

Bake for about 20-25 minutes or until your bread is a deep brown and the bottom sounds hollow when tapped.  Cool on a wire rack and enjoy! 

Antilope's picture
Antilope

will it leave those big beautiful holes in the bread? Just kidding! Beautiful loaf of bread, I will have to make it. Thanks for posting the pictures and recipe. ;-)

emkay's picture
emkay

Thanks for posting your recipe, alschmelz. I can't wait to try it!

108 breads's picture
108 breads

Is this bread related to or similar to Wisconsin cheese bread? Nothing better than summer in Madison, the farmer's market, and eating cheese bread by the state capital while you watch cheesey, bad political theater on the green. :)

alschmelz's picture
alschmelz

I am unfamiliar with Wisconsin cheese bread.  I just really wanted to bake one day, looked in my fridge, saw some quark, and put together this recipe!  I will have to look up Wisconsin cheese bread though.  That sounds delicious!