The Fresh Loaf

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Bauern-und-Wallnussbrot from Lutz Geißler's Almbackbuch

Gadjowheaty's picture

Bauern-und-Wallnussbrot from Lutz Geißler's Almbackbuch

I recently got this book and am blown away.  If his book on sourdough ("No. 4") is a serious piece of work - sourdough science and practice, with a wealth of recipes in 406 pages - this Almbackbuch is simply gorgeous, with background stories of his work with Roswitha Huber and others at her school in the alps, wheat, rye spelt and mixed breads (and a couple with specialty flours), rolls, flatbreads and smaller loaves, viennoisserie and pastries.  All this in 464 oversized pages.  Simply mindblowing.

This is a "Bauern-und-Walnussbrot":

-69.75% wheat flour T 1050 (I'm using Central Milling's T85 here, though I bolt my own and will use that once I'm out of the T85)

-20% rye flour T1150 (I'm using KA's medium)

-10% whole wheat flour

-70% water

- 2% salt

- 0.2% IDY (I use IDY.  Recipe calls for fresh yeast, which gives 0.6% to the recipe).

-0.5% "Anstellgut," chef starter.  As I refresh my starter 2X daily, this is always the starter kept in the frigo from the morning's refreshment.  The recipe calls for a wheat starter but outside of the odd Rubaud pain au levin bakes, my starter is a liquid rye.

-Optionally, he offers a walnut flour or coarsely chopped walnut soak.  I went with the walnuts.

Just out of the oven, so no crumb shot yet.

squattercity's picture


Benito's picture

Wow Paul, that loaf is just stunning!


Gadjowheaty's picture

Thanks guys! 

Next I'd like to try an interesting-looking recipe from the blogger (and book author) Sonja Bauer, "Weizenvollkornkruste."   It involves buttermilk or kefir, coffee, roasted & milled old bread and a whole wheat flour they call "backstark, extrafein" or a finely milled, "baking strength" whole wheat flour.  It gets both a room temp and extended cold bulk ferment.  Her book, For the Love of Bread (in German) is on its way and I'm pretty excited.  She has quite a following and the breads I've seen made from her recipes look fantastic.

I've seen Brotdoc call for it as well in some of his recipes, usually when other flours might hamper the strength of the dough for one reason or another.  Because German flours are weaker than ours, I wanted to see if this is maybe stronger than their typical flours but more in line with our bread flours (e.g., KA B.F. at 12.7%) or a higher-gluten flour, like Central Milling's High Mountain coming in at 13.5%.

Thinking a hard red wheat might be a good sub, I queried him and he thought it was - maybe bolted some.  So I'm freshly milling and bolting my locally grown hard red spring, which comes in at 13.5-14% protein.

She also calls for an optional addition of ascorbic acid, Vitamin C, or even a bit of orange juice, something I've never done but I think it would be fun to try, even if it's overkill on strengthening the dough, and see what differences obtain.


Gadjowheaty's picture

Just the crumb.  I like it, though next time I'm going to roast the walnuts a bit deeper.  I love the color walnuts give to a bread.  


Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Bee you tea full!

Benito's picture

I agree with Mini, that is beautiful.  When using walnuts toasting/roasting them certainly brings out so much more walnut flavour.  I have toasted walnut oil which is also nice to add to the dough for some extra walnut flavour.


naturaleigh's picture

Beautiful and interesting bake!  I love the natural 'score' on the top.  And, I agree with Benny...getting a good toast on the walnuts gives them such a lovely, deep flavor and color, giving a nice contrast to the rest of the loaf.  Although, any pre-toasted nuts that end up on the surface of the loaf will get extra dark during baking, but I don't mind that--it's an easy trade-off for the flavor boost toasted nuts bring to the dough.  I've got a small bag of T85, so I might give this a try, although I usually try to add some honey to formulas that include a higher percentage of whole grains to round off any possible bitterness.

I looked for books by this author in English and couldn't find any.  My grandmother was German and I speak some German but am not fluent--I would not feel super confident to get the translations exactly correct from his books.  I'll check out his blog again and see how successful Google translator is (or isn't) ;-)

Lovely post!

Gadjowheaty's picture

Well, thanks you guys.  It's been fun my tagging-along with the German and Austrian folks.  I hope I'm at least amusing, lol.  And Benny that is a brilliant idea with the walnut oil!

Naturaleigh, my German is abysmal, new to me though I'm working hard to catch up.  In all honesty, it's baking-book German and very easy to follow along, particularly when they lay out the stages so clearly and well.  I'd really encourage you to give them a try and not let the language be a hindrance - I think you'll find no problem at all. 

Well, let me qualify that to say, at least when it comes to the recipes.  Outside of the recipes they are generally dripping with lore and, particularly, in Lutz's two books - the sourdough (no. 4) and his Almbackbruch - this is good, in depth work, so I'm lost, picking up only very broad strokes. I'm at home in French so sooner or later getting the "Coffret" in two volumes (thanks for the positive review, Michael), but I really hope to get German down well enough as this is really great stuff.  Mini - send your vibes our way, please!

singingloon's picture

Just got this book too - and I am blown away. Will try to first recipe on the weekend. Also moving to a new house with an outdoor woodfired oven. Very excited.