This is not a burnt bread, this is Fränkisches Holzofenbrot or Franconian Wood Oven Bread – baked in a regular oven. You can call it an experiment though, as I have never baked bread at 270 ‘C before! But I somehow managed to rescue my loaf from burning… alive and in the end it turned out just fine. A true dense rye loaf with a hint of rye malt fragrance. Let me share this experiment with you.
Fränkisches Holzofenbrot (Franconian Wood Oven Bread) adapted from berndsbakery.blogspot.ch – will make a dense tasty rye loaf … even without wood oven!
Bernd, thank you for the useful instructions!
For the recipe with detailed instructions, go to to website (follow the link above). I will just share with you the changes I applied to the original recipe.
As for the sourdough starter, I fed it twice with rye flour; for the preferment I used less instant yeast + water + flour. Don’t be scared just by these two steps, they do not require your immediate attention that much!
As for the dough, I used whole wheat flour instead of strong wheat (first clear) flour; I also poured in less water because I added rye malt which requires boiling water to get it scalded.
I didn’t flour the banetton (which was actually a glass bowl), instead I sprinkled it with wheat germ+ rye bran (you can see it in the photos).
And here is the trick with the high temperature – the original recipe says 270 ‘C – which is a bit too high for a regular oven (although I would love to bake my bread in a traditional Russian wood-fired oven!). I asked Bernd, the author of the recipe, beforehand and so was aware of the need to reduce the temperature to at least 250 ‘C when baking in a home oven. The top of the bread started burning after 20 minutes of baking at 270 ‘C so I removed the steam and decreased the temperature gradually to – finally – 190 ‘C. I also had to cover the loaf with aluminium foil for the rest of baking (it took me 40 minutes more).
As you can see, the top of the loaf is on the brink of getting too browned (let’s say black!), but this didn’t affect its taste in any negative way. The best thing in this bread is its dense crumb which is just amazing, it even crumbles when you slice the bread, here:
The colour of the crumb got on a more intense brown hue because I added some rye malt. This also made the bread more fragrant. The loaf is actually one of those travelling baked things – it survived the way to my parents’ place and there I could take some pictures in this golden light:
Well, the light is already that of autumn. We’re getting nearer and nearer to it here.
Result: A super-dense, fragrant rye loaf. Neat and heavy as it didn’t puff but instead became a sort of condensed rye and wholewheat gorgeousness. Just be careful with the oven temperature, cover the loaf if needed and everything will work out great!
Good luck with bread experiments!
P.S. This is my last day at work where everything is as if you’re in Hermitage. Wish me luck with my new (old) job, as I’m now working again for my former employer. Hahha, I’m sure it’s impossible to track my crazy career”…