Farm Bread Anno 1913

"To bake good farmer's bread" is the recipe in Margarethe and Fanny Wehrfritz, Die Küche im Deutschen Bürgerhause, published in its third edition in 1913. The original recipe is for 3 four-pound loaves. Here we have reduced it to one four-pounder. The bread is moist and keeps fresh for an incredibly long time, if you haven't eaten it before.

Duration: 1 hour (Plus 18-27 hours rest)

Amount: 1 loaf of 2 kg or 2 loaves of 1 kg


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For the pre-dough:

500 grams wholemeal rye flour

150 grams wholemeal wheat flour

50-100 grams rye sourdough

1 litre of lukewarm water

For the main dough:

500 grams of wholemeal rye flour

180 grams of wholemeal wheat flour

10–20 grams of salt

Additional wholemeal rye flour and water for coating.


1. Mix the pre-dough from rye flour, wholemeal wheat flour, lukewarm water and sourdough the day before in a large bowl or baking trough with a wooden spoon.

2. Dissolve the sourdough in the lukewarm water beforehand and add to the flour.

3. Leave the covered container in a warm place overnight.

4. The next morning, stir in the salt and the rest of the flour.

5. Now knead the dough vigorously by hand.

6. Throw the dough often in the air and then again violently on the bottom of the bowl.

7. As soon as the dough comes away easily from your hand, let it rest for 10 minutes.

8. On a floured baking board, knead one or two loaves once more.

9. Place the loaf or loaves in baking baskets.

10. For a little shine, then brush the loaves with water in which a spoonful of flour has been mixed.

11. Let the bread or loaves rise well.

12. Bake in a preheated oven at 250°C for 50–55 minutes.

13. Do the knock test on the underside of your loaf. If it sounds like knocking on wood, it is done.

Tip: If possible, heat a firebrick in a cold oven on the middle shelf.

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