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German Vollkornbrot (Seeded Bread)

Posted Jun 06 2012 8:27am

Many years ago, before I was diagnosed with celiac, I spent two years living in Germany. And in a way, I'm grateful for the fact that I wasn't yet diagnosed. Sure, I felt awful most of the time and struggled with all kinds of symptoms that come with undiagnosed gluten intolerance. But on the upside, if I had to be dealing with all of that, at least I was surrounded by some of the best glutenful food I've ever tasted. The softest pretzels, the most delicious and refreshing (and largest) wheat beers, Bavarian potato salad I could probably eat a vat of, and bread. Oh, the bread.

The bread in Germany is of a very different strand than it is here in the U.S. We tend to enjoy softer, more pliable breads here; breads that will soak up your peanut butter and jelly, and cushion your club sandwich. But not German bread. German bread is unapologetically solid. It packs a punch and is often the wholest of whole grain and has a dense texture studded with lots of seeds and nuts.

I love it. 

So when this month's Gluten-free Ratio Rally challenge for bread rolled around, I knew just what I wanted to make: a replica of my favorite German bread, Vollkornbrot ("fully seeded bread"). I relied mainly on dark whole grain flours like teff and buckwheat, added apple cider vinegar for a sourdough-like flavor, and dumped a full cup of seeds in there - pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, flax seeds, and chia seeds. And you don't have to stop there. Go wild. Add whatever you want. I'm pretty confident it will turn out to be delicious. 

A big thanks to Karen of Cooking Gluten Free for hosting this month's Rally!

Ruhlman's ratio for bread is 5 parts flour to 3 parts water, but I ended up needing to add a bit more water to mine, so that my ratio ended up more like 5 parts flour to 3.5 parts water. I made this in a bread machine, but you could certainly make it the traditional way and just let it rise for a good 30 - 45 minutes in a warm place before smoothing it into a bread pan and baking in a conventional oven.

This won't rise very much, but that's ok. That's the German way, at least for this particular style of bread. It's meant to be very dense and cut into thin slices. My German roommates and I used to sit around the breakfast table for hours, chatting away the late morning and cutting slice after slice. We would eat it with all kinds of wonderful jams, Nutella, slices of cheese with butter.... After this loaf came out of the breadmaker, I felt so nostalgic that I pulled out some of my homemade German Forest Berry jam to enjoy spread across a toasted piece.

I hope you enjoy as much as I did. Here's the recipe, and be sure to check below for the links to the rest of the fantastic bread creations that my fellow Ratio Rally friends came up with!

Breadmaker German Vollkornbrot (Seeded Bread)

100 g teff flour
75 g buckwheat flour
50 g sorghum flour
25 g potato starch
2 tbsp. flaxseed meal
2 tbsp. chia seeds
1 tsp. salt
1.5 tsp. xanthan gum
175 g warm water
1 tbsp. canola oil
1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp. sugar
3 tsp. rapid rise yeast 
1 cup mixed seeds (sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, etc.)

Bread machine directions:
Combine the wet ingredients and the yeast into the bread machine pan. In a separate bowl, combine all the dry ingredients except for the mixed seeds (which you will add later in the bread machine cycle). Pour them over the wet ingredients and set the bread machine to the gluten-free cycle. After the first rise (during the second knead) or whenever your bread machine tells you to do it, add the cup of mixed seeds and stir to mix well. Make sure to spread the dough out evenly in the pan. Let bake for the rest of the bread machine cycle. Remove from pan when done and let cool on a wire rack.

For conventional ovens:
If you are making this in a conventional oven, no problem! If you go this route, you'll want to proof the yeast before you add it. To do this, stir together about 1/2 cup of the water, the tbsp. sugar, and the 3 tbsp. yeast and let sit in a warm place until it doubles. Combine the dry ingredients, including all of the seeds and nuts, and then add all of the wet ingredients at once and mix well. Place into a greased bread pan, cover, and let rise in a warm place for about 30 - 60 minutes, or until it's grown substantially in size (it may not double, but it should get marginally bigger). Meanwhile, preheat the oven to about 350 F. When the bread has risen, stick it into the oven and bake for 25 - 40 minutes, or until it sounds hollow when you tap on the bottom and the edges are golden brown.

More Recipes
Check out these other wonderful options for some gluten-free breads to try from my fellow Ratio Rally friends!

Adina | Gluten Free Travelette   Seedy Sandwich Bread
Angela | Angela’s Kitchen   Our Family’s Basic Gluten Free Dairy Free Bread
~Aunt Mae (aka ~Mrs. R) | Honey From Flinty Rocks   Chia Millet Bread
Brooke | B & the boy!   Buckwheat-Oat Bread
Charissa | Zest Bakery   Cherry Pecan Pot Bread, Gluten Free   
Claire | This Gluten-Free Life   German Vollkornbrot (Seeded Bread)
Erin | The Sensitive Epicure  English Sandwich Bread (gluten-free & egg-free)    
Jenn | Jenn Cuisine   Gluten Free Boule
Jonathan | The Canary Files  Gluten-Free, Vegan Mediterranean Soda Bread
Karen | Cooking Gluten Free!   Gluten Free Sandwich Bread/Gluten Free Naan
Meaghan | The Wicked Good Vegan   Vegan Gluten-Free Bread
Meg | Gluten-Free Boulangerie   Ciabatta (gluten-free, egg-free/vegan)
Monika | Chew on This!   amaranth skillet flatbreads, amaranth mini pita rounds
Morri | Meals with Morri  No Knead Sun-dried Tomato & Basil Flatbread (yeast free/grain free) 
Pete & Kelli | No Gluten, No Problem   Gluten-Free Challah
Rachel / The Crispy Cook   Gluten Free Chickpea Sandwich Bread
TR | No One Likes Crumbley Cookies   Gluten Free White Bread
Tara | A Baking Life   Gluten-Free Sandwich Bread & Boule
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