Several years ago, a FB friend and baking buddy, David Wolfe, asked me to help him with a German recipe. Alas, Google Translate is not too fluent in professional German baking lingo.
The formula, published by a German bakers’ association, seemed quite intriguing, combining rye meal and cracked wheat with mustard and cheese. The amounts, of course, were calculated for a commercial bakery, as were the sparse instructions. I had to downsize the formula to home baking proportions.
The breads are baked “bei Brötchentemperatur” (“at roll temperature”) – leaving the hapless hobby baker clueless as to what that might be. Fortunately, a quick search at the German Wikipedia site showed me the light: the breads had to be baked at 465ºF/240ºC.
A friend of slow fermentation (also from a physician’s point of view), I re-wrote the procedure, from using just a small amount of pre-fermented flour, to preferment plus soaker (for the coarser grinds), as well as a long, cold fermentation of the dough.
The recipe lets you choose between Gouda or Tilsiter. I don’t care for stinky cheeses (unlike the US version, German Tilsiter is smelly), so I opted for middle-aged Dutch, not too mild, but not too assertive, either, and used a medium-hot yellow mustard from Düsseldorf.
I was very pleased with the result, a beautiful red golden bread, with a pleasant spiciness (but not too much.) It tasted great with cold cuts, and was a wonderful surprise when toasted: a bread with built-in grilled cheese!
Though I had always intended to bake this amazing loaf again, I never got around to it (so much to bake – so little time!), until I received an email from food historian, lecturer and author Demet Güzey. The Senfbrot had caught her eye, as she was doing a research on mustard.
Taking this a sign from above, I revisited the recipe plus my notes, indicating that with the overnight fermentation the amount of yeast could be drastically reduced.
This time I used smoked Gouda, and a Dijon mustard from Maine (Reye’s Old World Gourmet Dijon Mustard). The resulting loaf was as tasty as the first one, though it lacked the stunning yellow color – the Dijon mustard is white.
SENFBROT – MUSTARD BREAD (2 small loaves)
(adapted from BÄKO Gruppe Nord)
140 g/5 oz bread flour
84 g/3 oz water
1 g/ 1/4 tsp. instant yeast
2 g/0.12 oz salt
104 g/3.7 oz cracked wheat (coarse meal)
70 g/2.5 oz rye meal
130 g/4.4 oz water
2 g/0.12 oz salt
556 g/19.6 oz bread flour
6 g/0.2 oz instant yeast (original recipe: 15 g/0.5 oz)
16 g/0.6 oz salt
408 g/14.3 oz water
66 g/2.3 oz mustard
122 g/4.3 oz middle aged Gouda, coarsely grated (or other hearty cheese)
2 tbsp mustard, for brushing (you can add a bit of water to dilute it)
sunflower or pumpkin seeds, for topping
In the morning, mix preferment and soaker. Cover bowls, and leave at room temperature for about 8 hours, or until preferment is puffed and ready.
For the final dough, mix all ingredients at low speed (or by hand) for 1-2 minutes, until all flour is hydrated. Let dough rest for 5 minutes, then knead at medium-low speed (or by hand) for 6 minutes, adjusting with a little more water or flour, if needed (dough should be a bit sticky, clearing only sides of bowl, but stick to bottom.)
Transfer dough to a lightly oiled work surface. With oiled hands, stretch and pat it into a rectangle, fold from top and bottom into thirds, like a business letter, then do the same from both sides.
Gather dough into a ball, place seam-side down into a lightly oiled bowl, cover, and let rest for 10 minutes. (Or just leave it on your work bench, and cover with the mixing bowl.)
Repeat stretching and folding 3 more times, at 10 minute intervals. After the last fold, place dough in lightly oiled container, cover well, and refrigerate overnight. (At this point I already divide my dough in halves, and place them in separate containers.)
Remove dough from fridge 2 hours before using.
Preheat oven to 465ºF/240ºC, including baking stone and steam pan. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Keep mustard and seeds for topping at hand.
Shape dough into 2 boules, and place on prepared baking sheet. Brush with mustard, and sprinkle with seeds, pressing them a bit down with your hands to stick.
Place breads, seam side down, on parchment lined baking sheet, and proof, covered, for 45 – 60 minutes, or until they have grown 1 1/2 times their original size.
Bake loaves for 15 minutes, steaming with 1 cup of boiling water. Remove steam pan, and rotate breads 180 degrees.
Reduce temperature to 210ºC/410ºF, and continue baking for another 25 minutes, or until breads are a deep reddish (or golden brown – depending on the mustard), sound hollow when thumped at the bottom, and register at least 200ºF/93ºC.
Let breads cool on a wire rack.
Updated and re-written post from an earlier one, published in 2013 (and submitted to YeastSpotting)