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 stunning, almost neon-yellow crumb. Pleasantly spicy (but not too much), it tasted great with cold cuts, and was a nice 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 research on mustard.
Taking this a sign from above, I revisited the formula, trying it with different kinds of cheese and mustard. I, also, substituted the preferment with a sourdough starter, and reduced the yeast in the final dough even more (down to 1/3 of the original recipe amount!)
If you prefer a more assertive taste of cheese, you can choose a sharper one. For me, a version made with sharp cheddar was a bit too much.
SENFBROT – MUSTARD BREAD (2 loaves)
(adapted from BÄKO Gruppe Nord)
40 g/ 1.4 oz wheat starter (100%)
64 g/2.2 oz water
126 g/4.4 oz bread flour
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
230 g/8.1 oz starter (all)
306 g/10.8 oz soaker (all)
558 g/19.7 oz bread flour
4 g/0.14 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
2 tbsp mustard, mixed with 1 tsp water, for brushing
sunflower or pumpkin seeds, for topping
*) Or a milder or sharper cheese, to taste
In the morning, mix starter and soaker. Cover bowls, and leave at room temperature for about 6 – 8 hours, until starter is visibly puffed.
For the final dough, mix all ingredients at low speed for 1-2 minutes, until all flour is hydrated. Let dough rest for 5 minutes, then knead at medium-low speed for 6 minutes. Dough will be rather sticky, clearing only sides of bowl (somewhat), but stick to bottom. (If you are not used to handling rather sticky dough, you can adjust with a small amount of flour).
Transfer dough to a lightly oiled bowl. With wet hands, stretch and fold dough over from all 4 sides (with very sticky dough this works better in the bowl than on the work bench).
Cover, and let dough rest for 10 minutes. Repeat stretching and folding 4 more times at 10 minute intervals. (With a less sticky dough this can be done on an oiled work bench.)
(At this point I already divide my dough in halves for the 2 breads, and put them in separate containers.) After the last fold, place dough in refrigerator overnight.
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)