The Fresh Loaf

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Fraenkisches Bauernbrot - Farmer's Barley Rye From Franconia

hanseata's picture

Fraenkisches Bauernbrot - Farmer's Barley Rye From Franconia


200 g rye flour

134 g barley flour (or meal)

   6 g salt

250 g water



  93 g whole wheat mother starter (75% hydration, as in "Whole Grain Breads")

215 g whole wheat flour

 66 g barley flour (or meal)

206 g water, room temperature or lukewarm (depending on outside temperature)



all soaker and starter

135 g whole wheat flour

 12 g salt

   7 g instant yeast

   6 g caraway, ground (1 tbsp.)

   6 g anise seeds, ground (1 tbsp.)

   2 tsp. coriander seeds, whole, for topping (optional, if proofing bread on baking sheet, not in banneton)



In the morning, stir together all soaker ingredients for about 1 minute, until all flour is well hydrated. Let sit at room temperature, covered.

Mix starter ingredients on low speed with paddle attachment or dough hook (or by hand) for 1 - 2 minutes to form a coarse ball. Knead at medium-low speed for another 2 minutes. Let dough rest for 5 minutes, then resume kneading for another minute. Cover and leave at room temperature for 4 - 6 hours, or until dough is nearly double in size. Use or refrigerate.

In the evening, using a metal bench scraper, chop soaker and starter into smaller pieces, sprinkling them with some extra flour to keep them from sticking back to each other (this step is only necessary if you knead by hand or have a mixer that's not strong enough to handle heavy doughs). Put pre-dough pieces and all other ingredients in mixer bowl.

Mix on low speed with paddle attachment (or by hand) for 1 minute to bring ingredients together into a ball. Knead on medium-low speed for 4 minutes*, adjusting with flour or water as needed (dough should be slightly sticky). Let dough rest for 5 minutes while preparing a lightly oiled bowl or plastic container.

Resume kneading dough for 1 minute. Dough should be very tacky, if not sticky. Form dough into ball and place in prepared bowl or container, rolling it around to coat with oil. Cover and place in refrigerator for overnight fermentation.

* paddle attachment might work better than dough hook, since bread is a "gluten challenged" one.



Remove dough from refrigerator 2 hours before planning to use. Shape dough into boule or batard. Place either in banneton or on parchment lined baking sheet to proof. If proofing on baking sheet, mist with water and sprinkle with coriander seeds, pressing them slightly into the dough (optional). Mist loaf on baking sheet with spray oil, sprinkle loaf in banneton with generous amount of whole wheat flour. Cover with plastic wrap or kitchen towel and let rise at room temperature for 45 - 60 minutes, until bread is about 1 1/2 times its original size. Score with # pattern.

Preheat oven to 500 F/260 C, and prepare for hearth baking (including baking stone and steam pan). Place bread in oven, pour 1 cup boiling water in steam pan, and bake at 475 F/ 246 C for 10 minutes, then reduce temperature to 425 F/218 C and bake for another 10 minutes. Rotate loaf 180 degrees and continue baking for 25 - 30 minutes more. Bread should be dark golden brown, sound hollow when knocked on bottom, and register at least 200 F/93 C.

Transfer to a wire rack and let cool for at least 1 hour. (Bread freezes well, thaw at room temperature).

Fraenkisches Bauernbrot should have a fairly dense crumb like this (bottom is a bit sticky because it was sliced when still warm). My loaf didn't have a coriander topping because it was proofed in a banneton.








ananda's picture

Hi Karin

Barley, wheat and rye all in the same loaf; great concept.

What is the keeping quality like?

All good wishes


hanseata's picture

Since we are only two people I usually freeze 1/2 loaf right after cooling down. The remainder I keep in a brown bag. It's usually eaten after three days. After that time I would put it in a plastic bag (and toast it). It keeps really well and tastes good even when it's somewhat dry already.

German farmer style breads are often combinations of different flours. This one I just baked for the first time. I have a little hand cranking mill and wanted to try something with barley.


siuflower's picture


I  have barley pearl, can I grind it to make barley flour? Did you hear of purple barley? I just brought some at Atlanta, may be I can grind some into flour? Any one use purples barley for baking?


wassisname's picture

I just noticed you adjusted the usual Whole Grain Breads schedule by refrigerating the final dough overnight and using only a single rise on day two.  That sounds like a nice scheduling option to have and far less work (and mess) on day two.  Is that specific to this bread, or have you tried it with others?  


hanseata's picture

Siuflower: hulled barley or barley groats has just its fibrous outer hull removed to be edible, but pearl barley is polished to remove the bran, too. Therefore it cooks faster than hulled barley. In this recipe you can use pearl barley too, but you should probably pay attention to the water addition - you might need a little less.

Black or purple barley is originally from Ethyopia but now also grown in the US. It doesn't need to have its hull removed, because it's edible. What I read about it sounds interesting, though I don't know about its use in bread baking I would give it a try.

Marcus, indeed I do nearly all my breads with this schedule. It is very convenient! I take the dough out of the refrigerator when I wake up the first time in the morning, go back to sleep and it's ready to be shaped when I get up 2 or 1 1/2 hours later. The dough rises just fine in the refrigerator, and the second rise takes 45 - 60 minutes (or less). When I do more than one bread I also portion them before they go in the fridge, saving even more time the next morning.

I came up with this idea when I started to bake for our local natural food store. They wanted the bread at noon time and I didn't like the idea of getting up at three in the morning... Now I start shaping the de-chilled dough at about 6:00 and am usually done between 10 and 11 a.m. (with 3 different kinds of bread).

And it might even improve the taste.






davidjm's picture


Doing the soaker and the starter is too laborious for my schedule, and if you want to bake with any quantity.  Is there a way to do this bread without the soaker?  Anyone tried it?



hanseata's picture

Hi David, the original recipe for this bread is a "make in 1 day" recipe with 45 g of fresh yeast (like in most of German recipes) and packet of liquid sourdough (150 g).

At the time I bought the book in 2000 I made this bread exactly as the recipe said: "kneading all ingredients together to a smooth, moist dough, letting it rise for 1 hour, knead it again, shape it into a round loaf, let it rise for another 30 minutes", and bake it.

I made a note in the cook book like "okay, but not that great", because it was kind of brittle and "too healthy", not nice and moist.

Last week I got that recipe out again and re-wrote the technique. The difference was really dramatic. I can imagine that you would get the same great result with a stretch and fold technique (and overnight refrigeration), which I will try next time, but, in any case, I would make the soaker in advance to get the most taste out of it.


P.S. I just had the last slice of it for lunch, rather dry after 4 days in a brown bag, but still tasting very good!

davidjm's picture

Thanks Hanseata!  That was a quick reply.

So it sounds like the soaker is necessary for optimum flavor.  Tel me if I can do this:

I use a firm rye starter as my base for everything (Barm, and Rye breads).  Can I adjust this recipe using my rye starter for the starter and load everything else into the soaker?  For example, I see that both the soaker and starter call for barley.  What if I put all my barley in the soaker, skip the Whole wheat in my starter and go with an all rye firm starter?

I just can't see making 2 special pre-ferments for this one dough.  (That's why I returned PR's Whole grain breads.  Too many steps!)  I don't mind doing 1 soaker.  That's how I make 10-grain.  But making 2 special pre thanks.

Since you have way more experience with this bread than me, how do you think this would work?  Also, do you find that the Anise and caraway seeds are necessary? 

Thanks again!



hanseata's picture

David, I'm sure you can switch things around as works best for you. Since both starter and soaker ensure prefermenting the whole grain flours, I don't think it matters in the least what part goes into the soaker and what in the starter. And just add a little more water when you use your firm starter.

You definitely should use both spices if you want to achieve a hearty loaf with a specific taste. Anise, caraway (and also fennel and coriander) are typical German bread spices, that are added in variable amounts and combinations to most traditional German breads.

I don't like overdoses of spices (like the caraway in the so called "Bavarian Rye") at all, but this bread tastes just a little spicy in a nice way, but the anise and caraway are not too dominant. Try it out and, only if you don't like it, leave them out the next time, or reduce the amounts.