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Vollkornbrot reloaded

with 9 comments

Loaded with seeds this time – another Vollkornbrot. German bread like this one is sometimes referred to as “dense bread” because it does not have large holes. And yes, if only finely milled flour was used a bread with the texture of Vollkornbrot would not only be dense but almost hard to eat because it would fill you quickly with cooked flour that would probably expand in the stomach.

The idea of German whole-grain baking is different: A good amount (sometimes 100%) of the flour is replaced with something that is not flour like meal or grains, giving a soft and flavorful bite. The term “close-textured” would be fitting. Not that there is anything wrong with dense bread either of course and if you enjoy it, fine. I do – the 70/30 rye bread from a former post is dense. But Vollkornbrot like many other German breads is an effort of not having to eat dense bread.

I can easily have three thick slices of it and still have room for the breakfast egg or a somewhat lighter toast.

Vollkornbrot with increased whole-grain and seeds (1 medium loaf)


  • 100g rye meal, coarse
  • 100g linseeds
  • 50g sunflower or sesame seeds
  • 250g water, cool

Mix ingredients and let stand covered in a cool place for at least 6 hours

Stiff rye sourdough

  • 150g whole-rye flour
  • 100g warm water
  • 20g mature rye sourdough, hydration: 100%

Mix ingredients and let stand covered 18-24 in a warm place.


  • 50g strong white flour (Type 550)
  • 50g whole-rye flour
  • 11g sea salt
  • 10g sugar beet syrup
  • 7g fresh yeast
  • Approx. 50-100g warm water to make a sticky dough
  • Soaker
  • Stiff rye sourdough

Desired dough temperature: 30°C

Hand-mixing: Mix all ingredients with a strong fork for 30 seconds every 2 minutes for 20 minutes in total. The dough should be sticky but not excessively wet.
1st rise: 1 hour at 26°C
After the 1st rise, mix twice for 30 seconds with a 2-minute-rest in between.
Shape oblong or round and prove in a medium-sized baking pan or a square baking frame (I’ve used my wooden baking frame).
Bake at 240°C for 10 minutes, then reduce heat to 190°C and bake for further 70 minutes.


Written by theinversecook

9 April 2010 at 02:29

9 Responses

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  1. We were having a conversation exactly about this yesterday as I tucked into a couple of slices of saftig kerniges roggenbrot (cousin to this one). That’s not bread, said B. Hmmph, said I. Well I sure think it is. I take Humpty Dumpty’s approach to definitions though. The question is can one make a bread with no milled flour at all, only soaked and cracked grains?


    9 April 2010 at 11:52

    • There is a bread made with whole rye grains, seeds and very little coarse meal. It’s one of those breads I need the recipe for…I better get working on my own soon.

      “Steamed whole-grain product” is the correct name for Pumpernickel according to some German bakers :-) In my book, Vollkornbrot retains the label “bread”.


      9 April 2010 at 17:21

  2. Love whole grain bread! and would love to try this soon! I wonder about sugar beet syrup as I never see it, is it more commonly used in Germany? What can be the substitute if I cannot find it?



    9 April 2010 at 15:56

    • It’s quite common to use it in breads, sometimes in very dark breads. I like its flavor. You could omit it here or use half the amount of a dark sugar. Honey is probably too dominant.


      9 April 2010 at 17:23

      • Thanks! I looked for sugar beet syrup on the web and it said it’s commonly used in Germany and hence I wondered. I will try to look for it. May I clarify more, it’s not sugar beet molasses, right?


        9 April 2010 at 22:14

        • If it’s the product from Grafschafter, it’s the right one. Generally, no I don’t think it’s sugar beet molasses, which has a stronger flavor.


          9 April 2010 at 23:15

  3. Mmm…I got the flaxseed and poppy seeds out today to make a nice wheat bread but didn’t have any sunflower seeds. Just looking at this bread really makes me wish I’d taken the time to find a substitute recipe. Love all the goodies in this. Unfortunately, my bread making experiences haven’t included any sourdough..yet! Still have hopes.


    11 April 2010 at 04:24

    • I have a great recipe for a German seed-and-nut-studded loaf that is made without sourdough. When I find it, I will post. Sourdough is not an absolute must as the flavor, as you’ve already mentioned, comes from the goodies in the loaf. That’s why I thoroughly enjoy fruit and nut breads that are almost flourless.


      12 April 2010 at 17:49

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