In my attempts at learning more about Austrian bread, I stumbled upon a long roll called “Salzstangerl” (salt stick). It’s a straight and thin crescent roll usually made from the bakery’s white roll dough and is sprinkled with coarse salt or a mixture of salt and caraway. The trick is to bake the rolls at a very high temperature for a short time in order to stabilize and brown the crust quickly and seal the soft crumb. That way you will have a thin crispy layer surrounding a soft and uniformly airy interior. Risk a few charred spots before turning the heat of the oven down. Best eaten still warm, super fresh, plain or with any breakfast-roll-topping.
Salzstangerl (makes 6)
- 250g strong white flour, preferably Type 700
- 150g warm water
- 25g warm butter
- 5g fresh yeast
- 5g sea salt
- 5g malt barley
- Coarse sea salt and caraway seeds for sprinkling
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
Bulk Fermentation: 1 hour.
Divide into 6 pieces and shape into small rounds.
Intermediate rest: 10 minutes.
Roll out each piece to a thin oval and roll up tightly. With moist hands shape into thin rolls with tapered ends.
Final Fermentation: Put overnight in the fridge (also called “retarding the dough”). The next morning, leave at room temperature, covered, for 1.5 hours until slightly puffy. Dillute the bicarbonate of soda in about 50g of warm water, brush the rolls with this soda water, sprinkle with salt only or add caraway seeds (sesame or poppy seeds work well too).
Bake-Off: Heat oven to 250°C, bake for 7 minutes, then reduce heat to 220°C and bake for further 5 minutes. Turn the sticks a few times to ensure an even bake.
Source: Austrian folklore