Inside A German Bakery: The Simple Stone Baked Bread

Monday, August 13, 2007

Posted by Meeta K. Wolff

Looking at this bread you all might think it's not as spectacular as the other breads I have shared with you from my baker, in this series. But don't let the simple look fool you here.

As inconspicuous as it looks, this bread is pretty big in taste and flavor. What's so special about it? Well for one it's baked in a stone oven.

And that's where it gets it's name from - Steinofenbrot, which simply means stone oven bread. Almost every baker has his/her variation of this bread and after trying a few I really have to admit that Herr Becker's is truly the best.

In older days this type of bread was traditionally baked in large wooden stone ovens, which gave the breads baked in this oven a rustic and unmistakably distinct taste. Nowadays due to large production many bakeries have opted for a more economical method of making this bread - Herr Becker however bakes his bread in very much the same way as it was traditionally. He has a special stone oven laid out with firebricks, which captures the heat and saves it in the bricks for a very long time. This allows the bread to be baked on the stone for a longer period at lower temperatures.

The result is a wonderful moist crumb with the thick and crispy crust, typical for this type of bread. The crust is darker than most breads due to the longer baking and tastes more intensive than a regular bread.

Before it's actually baked the dough also goes through a longer rising period than most breads. This together with a special sour dough mixture all contribute to the distinct and aromatic flavor this bread offers.

Soeren enjoys the bread fresh spread with butter and a special forest honey. I enjoy it with a herb quark mixture and Tom likes his with butter and a little sprinkling of salt.

What I really love about this bread is that it can be used even after it's 2 or 3 days old. I hate the thought of throwing this delicious tasting bread away and so one day I came up with the most incredible tasting croûtons using this bread.

Meeta's Stone-oven bread croûtons

4-6 sliced thickly cut stone-oven bread - cut into cubes
3-4 garlic cloves - finely chopped
Olive oil
Handful of mixed herbs - finely chopped
Salt and pepper

In a large pan heat some of the olive oil. Add the garlic and immediately after that the bread cubes. Fry on a gentle heat until the bread has toasted and is crispy. The garlic might also turn brown, but this adds to the lovely flavor.
Shortly before taking the mixture out of the pan add the herbs and salt and pepper. Toss and allow to drain on some kitchen paper.

These croûtons taste incredible in salads and soups. Soeren actually eats them as a snack plain.

Hope you enjoy them however you eat them.

Have a great week!

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This Post was written by Meeta from What's For Lunch, Honey?


Great looking bread....thanks for sharing the details with us Meeta...


Srivalli said...
August 13, 2007 at 10:14:00 AM GMT+2  

Coming here for the first time. Nice bread and a very nice site.

August 14, 2007 at 7:59:00 AM GMT+2  

ummm bread looks gr8! ........

Anonymous said...
August 14, 2007 at 8:18:00 AM GMT+2  

For some reason, I can't see the pic. :(

I lived in Hamburg for a year-and-a-half and never did readjust to that flabby stuff we Americans call bread.

I have coped with it by learning to bake our own bread. I always back in a pre-heated cast-iron pot, as I like what it does for the crust.

Suzanne said...
August 21, 2007 at 3:49:00 AM GMT+2  

Srivali, thank you!

Latha, welcome to the DT hope we see more of you.

Lakshmi, it tastes even better ;-)

Suzanne, hmmnn wondering why not? I think that is something I will miss the most when we leave Germany too. The cast-iron pot is a great idea and thanks for sharing!

Meeta K. Wolff said...
August 21, 2007 at 12:58:00 PM GMT+2  

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