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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


Written by theinversecook

15 February 2008 at 17:19

17 Responses

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  1. you make me so happy i could kiss you right now… salzstangerl are what my husband misses most from back home, but i had never ventured into making them myself, despite being such a keen (sourdough) baker. i will try these at the next opportunity, when my exam is over and i can indulge in some free time over easter! thanks!!!


    4 March 2008 at 23:26

  2. *red face* :-)

    I too have many memories of breads and rolls that once were a staple food but have been replaced by mediocre versions of them. The bread re-revolution will surely come one day.


    5 March 2008 at 02:15

  3. i tried the recipe in the meantime – they stangerl taste great. thx for the recipe. i’m glad that i stumbled across your entry for the bbd #7.


    6 March 2008 at 23:46

  4. Good to hear, babs, I will be making them for tomorrow morning as well (again).


    8 March 2008 at 22:51

  5. You have me intrigued. I lived in Vienna for eight years and never really acquired a taste for salzstangerln, but my mother would buy them by the dozen when she came to visit me.
    She doesn’t travel very well anymore so i will have to give this recipe a try and see if I can make her day.


    15 March 2008 at 02:49

  6. That’s a tough challenge, Nahanni, but even if this Salzstangerl is no match for the real one from Vienna, you will make her day, I am sure. Give it a try.



    15 March 2008 at 14:44

  7. This is a straightforward, rewarding formula. Karin is right; one can always reduce the caraway, although i have a free hand with it myself.

    As for the fingers, while I got away with it the way they are (were), it would be fun to try to shape them as they are shown traditionally. They’re fun to eat, and they make a nice change from customary loaf shaping. They must be a great bakery item in Germany; I’m surprised we don’t see something like them in the states more often, at least I don’t here in New York.

    Inversion table

    5 February 2011 at 18:29

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