Rheinbrot (BBB July 2013)

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BBB: Let's Get Baking summary: recipe for Rheinbrot, bread made with Riesling; faking a sourdough; a Bread Baking Babes project; submission for YeastSpotting; (click on images to see larger views and more photos)

Bread Baking Babes (BBB) – July 2013

We don’t often buy white wine but for the BBBabes, we’re happy to make an exception.

Rheinbrot This month, Astrid (Paulchen’s Foodblog?!) chose the BBBabes’ project. She knows the BBBabes like wine so chose a bread that actually encorporates wine right into the dough.

And it’s not just any wine. It’s the perfect wine for summer: a nice crisp Riesling.

BBB Rheinbrot diary:

25 June 2013, 08:26

We bought some Riesling the other day and I’m beginning to think about this bread.

The BBBabes won’t let me complain about the Croc anymore, which is just mean! :stomp: :stomp: Luckily, there’s always something to complain about. I don’t have any wild yeast going and after all the horrible sour breads I produced, I’m a little shy to try again. Not to mention that we already have a furry black fiend and don’t need another pet whining to be fed at all hours. I’m going to make a small pre-ferment the day before instead.

Here’s what Maggie Glezer says about it:

Any sourdough-based recipe can be converted into a yeast-based recipe. The bread will not have the complex flavor […] of a true sourdough, but it will still be a very fine loaf. […] Dissolve ¼ teaspoon yeast in ¼ cup warm water and use 2 tablespoons of the yeasted water per cup (150 grams, 5.3 ounces) flour. […] Let [it] ferment for 2 to 3 hours, or until it has risen to about half again its original volume, then refrigerate it overnight until ready to use. Let it come to room temperature before adding it to the final dough.
– Maggie Glezer, Artisan Baking in America

So. Here’s my idea:

100% Sourdough Starter replacement (I hope):
25 gm water at 80F
25 gm flour (all-purpose or whole wheat??)
few grains dry yeast
Early in the morning (or the night before??) of the day for mixing the sponge, stir all that together. Cover and leave on the counter til it doubles and bubbles crazily.

What do you think? Am I calculating correctly? Will this produce 50 gm of starter?

13 July 2013, 06:02 Ha! When it rains, it pours. We hardly ever have white wine in the house but to add to the Riesling we got a couple of weeks ago, one of our friends gave us a bottle of Riesling as a thank you for taking care of her cats.

I’ll be making the bread this weekend but I’m still NOT going to make a sourdough. We already have a furry black fiend and don’t need another pet whining to be fed at all hours. I’m going to make a small pre-ferment the day before instead.

If I want to bake the BBB bread tomorrow, I guess I’d better get cracking! Here’s hoping that my idea to mimic 50 gms sourdough at 100% hydration will work so that I can add it to the starter tonight… Wish me luck!

07:55 Spit!! Will I ever learn how to read?!

The dough ferments at 2 stages: […] 4 hours at a temperature 30-32°C […] Pour the sponge [starter] in a bowl and whisk thoroughly to remove all the gas out of it and fill it with oxygen. Cover with foil and let sit for 10-12 hours (overnight) at room temperature.
-BBB Rheinbrot Recipe

I should have made my ersatz sourdough last night! I’m not sure there’s going to be enough time for it get going AND to have the starter sit fermenting for 4 hours at 30C, followed by an overnight rest on the counter!

18:13 Under normal circumstances, I’d be complaining that it’s getting disgustingly hot outside again. But let’s play the Glad Game: I’m GLAD it’s 27C in the kitchen! The ersatz sourdough bubbled and doubled beautifully allowing me to mix the starter. :-)

Yes, things are looking good. But I have to admit that I’m a little nervous about not adding any more yeast tomorrow when I mix the final dough.

I’ll just read this section of the recipe one more time to make sure I haven’t missed anything…

4 hours at a temperature 30-32°C, it should grow at least twice its size, will be lumpy looking at this stage and have larger and smaller bubbles. If you stick your nose into the container, the scent will be somewhat unpleasant, it may even seem that the dough has deteriorated. Don’t panic, this only means the dough is doing the right things
-BBB Rheinbrot Recipe

18:36 Now I can’t wait for 4 hours to pass to see if the starter smells funky. ;-)

14 July 2013 08:15 Rheinbrot At around 4 this morning, I suddenly woke up out of a deep sleep and remembered that the starter was still in the oven with only the light turned on. And the night temperature wasn’t even close to going below 20C. Which means it’s easily 30C in the oven. OH OH!!

I staggered down to the kitchen and put the bowl on the counter. The plate covering it was stuck fast. And there was a LOT of dried dough on the outside of the bowl – but only a tiny bit on the floor of the oven. It was maybe a half a teaspoon lying there congealing.

With some difficulty, I pried the plate off the bowl. Well. As promised, it DID smell funky. Peeewwwww!! What a good thing there is a warning about this! So I stirred the putrid mess and wiped the rim and outside of the bowl as best I could and put a fresh plate on top. Then I left the bowl on the counter and staggered back to bed.

Rheinbrot But then, at a more reasonable hour of the morning, as we were making coffee, I took a look at the starter. It had almost doubled again and was bubbling gently. It smelled wonderful – just slightly wheaty with a hint of the Riesling.

09:12 Dutifully leaving the salt on the counter, (see? I CAN read!) Mixing flour and water, into the starter was a breeze. I was still a tiny bit nervous about not adding any more yeast. But the starter really was beautifully bubbly and still smelled lovely. Or at least it did until I poured it with the water onto the flour.

Poooh! What a pong at the bottom of the bowl.

I mixed it anyway. And stuck my nose deep into the bowl. I sighed with relief. It smelled sweet and fresh and wheaty.

09:47 I’ve never been the biggest fan of kneading salt in after autolysing. But I have to admit that it wasn’t too difficult to do at all. Kneading was also very easy.

Rheinbrot And look at me!! I DIDN’T wash the bowl before putting the kneaded dough back in to proof. (I know! You must be fainting, wondering what has gotten into me.)

14:31 How annoying. The bread is ready to shape. But we’re definitely not ready to bake it in an hour or so. So I gently folded it down.

16:10 WHAT??? It’s so slow to re-rise! It’s easily 25C in the kitchen but I stuck it in the oven with light on and crossed my fingers.

17:45 Thank goodness for the finger test!

A good way to tell if dough has doubled is to wet your finger and poke a hole in the top of the dough. If the hole fills up, it hasn’t risen enough. If there is a whoosh of air and the dough deflates a little, it has risen too much. If the hole stays in exactly the same configuration and the dough remains otherwise intact, it is ju-u-st right.
– me, Bread Making Notes

Yay! It was ready to shape. I put it seam side down into my brand new brotform, covered it with a mixing bowl and stuck it into the oven with only the light turned on.

And began to wait.

[T]he finger-dent test for proofing […] remains the most foolproof method I know. To do the test, poke the rising loaf with a floured finger, making an indentations aobut 1/2 inch deep. If it springs back immediately, the loaf needs more proofing time. If hte indentation springs back slowly and incompletely, the loaf is fully proofed and ready to bake. If the indentation doesn’t spring back at all, the loaf is overproofed.
-Ken Forkish, Basic Bread Method, Flour Water Salt Yeast, p.74

18:30 Nope, not even close to being ready yet. We WERE going to have the bread for dinner but decided to go to plan B: make rice to eat with dinner and bake the bread at the same time as making dinner.

19:05 Nope, not ready yet… oh dear.

19:25 Rheinbrot At last it’s ready to bake!! Just. (T thinks it should rise more but I really really really want to eat dinner at a reasonable hour.)

20:10 The bread looks beautiful!! (we baked it in the barbecue at the same time as we were grilling pork). Now excuse me, it’s time for dinner.

That night as we were clearing the table and tidying in the kitchen, I kept stopping to admire the bread sitting cooling on its rack. I bent down to sniff that wonderful “just baked bread smell” and was amazed. There was a hint of the scent of Riesling wafting out of it!

Rheinbrot Yesterday morning, we sliced into the still aromatic bread and had it lightly toasted for breakfast with goats cheese and honey. It was fabulous. I loved the wonderful chewy crust. The crumb was lovely as well. It was soft but still had a lovely toothsome quality to it.

In short, this bread is aromatic, flavourful, and best of all, it’s completely non-sour.

Thank you, Astrid!!

Here is the BBB July 2013: Rheinbrot recipe. And here is what I did to it:

adapted from a recipe for Rheinbrot on the forum, Homo Pistorius (Man Baking)

makes one loaf

Yeasted Water

  • 0.4 gm (1/8 teaspoon) active dry yeast
  • 30 gm (2 Tbsp) water at 95F ¹

Ersatz Sourdough

  • 10 gm (2 tsp) yeasted water from above
  • 15 gm (1 Tbsp) water at 95F
  • 15 gm (2 Tbsp) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 10 gm (4 tsp) whole wheat flour


  • 50 gm (50 ml) semi-sweet Riesling ²
  • 50 gm (50 ml) water at 95F
  • 100 gm (~13 Tbsp) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • all of ersatz sourdough ³

Actual Dough

  • all of starter
  • 135 gm (135 ml) water at 90F
  • 190 gm (~1.5 c) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 50 gm (~6.6 Tbsp) 100% whole wheat flour
  • 10 gm (1 Tbsp) flax seed, finely ground 4
  • 6 gm (1 tsp) salt
  1. Mixing the Ersatz Sourdough Early in the morning of the day before you will be baking the bread, (should this be the night before?) on the day for mixing the starter, using Maggie Glezer’s method to measure a small amount of yeast, measure an eighth teaspoon yeast into 30 gm (2 Tbsp) 95F water. (why 95F??) Whisk the yeast into the water until it dissolves. Then, add only 10gm (2 tsp) of the yeasted water to the flour (discard any extra yeasted water) and stir all that together. Cover and leave on the counter til it doubles and bubbles crazily.
  2. Mixing the Starter In the early evening of the day before you will be baking the bread, mix wine and water in a medium sized bowl. Using a wooden spoon, stir in the ersatz sourdough. Dump in the flour and stir together until the mixture pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Cover the bowl with a plate and place it in a warm non-drafty place (30-32°C) for about 4 hours. (I put it in the oven with only the light turned on). The starter should double. It may be lumpy, foamy and have large and small bubbles. It might stink. Big time. Apparently, this is no cause for alarm.
  3. Using a wooden spoon, beat the bubbling mess into a smooth sludge. If the creature overflowed, clean the sides and rim of the bowl as best you can and put a clean plate on top. Leave the bowl on the counter to ferment overnight (10-12 hours).In that time, it will double again and the bubbles will be much less dramatic. The stink should have disappeared.
  4. Mixing the Dough In the morning of the day you will be baking the bread, pour in water into the starter and stir until smooth. Put flours and finely ground flax seed into a good sized bowl. Pour the water and starter into the flour mixture. Don’t freak out that the bottom of the starter stinks. Simply stir the flour in well with a wooden spoon. Cover the bowl with a plate and set aside to autolyze for 40-50 minutes at room temperature.
  5. After the dough has autolyzed, sprinkle the salt overtop and using your hands, knead the dough right in the bowl by folding it from the bottom to the top. Try not to add more flour. As you cover it with a plate, be amazed that you are haven’t cleaned and dried the rising bowl. Leave it in a no-draft area on the counter to rise until doubled. (about 2 hours)
  6. Fold the dough twice during the time it is proofing. It should smell completely fresh with only the barest hint of the wine.
  7. When the dough has doubled, form it into a round and put it seam side down 5 into a well floured brotform (or a basket lined with a clean tea towel that has been very well floured). Leave on the counter in a draft free area to rise to double.
  8. Baking Put a stone into the barbecue and preheat it to high.
  9. Put a piece of parchment paper onto the peel. Turn the basket upside down to transfer the loaf from basket to peel. Libertally spray water on the parchment paper around the base of the bread.
  10. Place the loaf on the hot stone (include the parchment paper) that is sitting over direct heat. (Our gas barbecue can be turned off on one side.) Close the lid of the barbecue and bake for about 8 minutes, rotating the bread every so often turn the bread around to account for uneven heat in the barbecue. Remove the paper if it’s convenient. Bake until the bread is nicely browned and hollow-sounding when tapped on the bottom. If it’s raining, of course the bread can be baked in a conventional oven. (Bake on a stone in a preheated 425F – Astrid suggests 450F – oven for 10 minutes. Turn the oven down to 375F – Astrid suggests 400F – and bake about 20 minutes more.)
  11. Put the baked loaf on a footed rack to allow it to cool completely before cutting into it. (It’s still baking inside!) 6


1.) Water: Please do not use water from the hot water tap. Instead, heat the water in a kettle or microwave. To create lukewarm water, add cold water until it is the correct temperature of 90F (32C). (If you are allergic to using a thermometer, you can do the baby bottle test on the back of your wrist.) Please note that before the yeast is added, the water temperature must be BELOW 120F (49C) because yeast begins to die when the temperature is higher than 120F.

2.) Riesling: While the BBB recipe calls for semisweet Riesling, I suspect that any white wine would do the trick. And, as it happens, if Google Translator isn’t misleading me, the author of the recipe that Astrid used thinks the same thing:

Подозреваю, что для создания этого хлеба подошли бы и другие вина с ординарными винными ароматами, из сортов винограда Алиготе, Савиньон Блан, Шардоне, Шенин Блан и даже Сильванер, дающих вина со средним и высоким кислотосодержанием, при условии достаточного количества остаточного сахара. (I suspect that in creating this bread with ordinary wine, it would rise, etc. with aromas of wine made with the grapes Aligoté, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc and Sylvaner, even wines with medium to high acid content, provided there is a sufficient amount of residual sugar.)
-Homo Postorius (Man Baking) Bread and wine. Rheinbrot, Rhine Riesling with bread

3.) Ersatz Sourdough: The BBB recipe calls for 50gm 100% sourdough. If you have this kind of pet, omit the yeasted water entirely and use your wild yeast.

4.) Flours and Flaxseed The BBB recipe simply calls for flour. I decided it would be fun to add some whole wheat flour and finely ground flaxseed.

5.) Seam Side Down: The BBB recipe calls for proofing the shaped loaf seam side up in the basket and than slashing it just before baking. I prefer to use Ken Forkish’s method, which eliminates the need for using any sharp objects. :lalala:

Experienced bakers may notice that I don’t call for scoring the loaves with a razor before baking. Because the loaves are baked with the seam side up (the side opposite the smooth top of the shaped loaf in the proofing basket) and after a complete proof, fissures will naturally open on the top of the loaf as it expands in the oven. I love the organic look of the natural splits.
-Ken Forkish, Basic Bread Method, Flour Water Salt Yeast, p.74

6.) But I LIKE warm bread just out of the oven!! N.B. Of course you might want to serve warm bread. Reheat it after it has cooled completely. (It is still baking when it first comes out of the oven!) To reheat any UNsliced bread, turn the oven to 450F for 5 minutes or so. Turn the oven OFF. Put the bread in the hot oven for ten minutes.

Bread Baking BabesRheinbrot (BBB July 2013)

Astrid (Paulchen’s Foodblog?!) the host of July 2013’s Bread Baking Babes’ project. She wrote:

Rheinbrot – it got it’s name from the fact that there is (Rhein) Riesling used in the bread dough. A wine widely associated by the Winzers located at the Rhein in Germany. I’d like to add, that Austria has a fabulous Riesling too and that said by me who is not a huge fan of white wine anyway.

We’re not the biggest fans of white wine either – especially the sweeter Rhine wines. But I have to say, this bread worked wonderfully. AND the wine that was leftover went very well with our outdoor barbecue.

We know that you too will WANT to sip chilled Riesling as your Rheinbrot is rising! To receive a Baking Buddy Badge to display on your site: bake whipped bread in the next couple of weeks and post about it (we love to see how your bread turns out AND hear what you think about it – what you didn’t like and/or what you liked) before the 27 July 2013. If you do not have a blog, no problem; you can also post your picture(s) to Flickr (or any other photo sharing site) and record your thoughts about the bread there. Please remember to email the Kitchen of the Month to say that your post is up.

For complete details about this month’s recipe, the BBB and how to become a BBBuddy, please read:

Please take a look at the other BBBabes’ July bread:

Yeastspotting - every Friday (wordle.net image)

Each week, Susan (Wild Yeast) compiles a list of many bread-specific recipes from across the web. For complete details on how to be included in the YeastSpotting round up, please read the following:


It’s always so thrilling when the holes are shiny!


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4 responses to “Rheinbrot (BBB July 2013)

  1. Lien

    Your bread is just perfect! I can’t believe it worked so good with just a hint of yeast. Beautiful; holes, crumb and crust all 10 out of 10!
    Can’t believe you went out of bed when your inner bread alarm woke you up, really dedicated!

    I couldn’t quite believe it either, Lien. But I knew that if I didn’t, I’d never get back to sleep. What I really can’t believe is that I managed to find the camera to get photographic evidence of the near disaster! -Elizabeth

  2. Katie

    How can you wait until the next morning???? I would have poured the wine, sliced into the bread, had the chevre…. Lovely bread.

    It’s hard. Very hard, Katie. But we know that it’s still cooking when it has just been baked! It really doesn’t taste as good as a fully cooled reheated loaf of bread.-Elizabeth

  3. MyKitchenInHalfCups

    (breath deeply … again … again … ) didn’t wash the bowl … What an adventure you’ve been on Elizabeth! I’m so proud of you right down to kneading the salt in and not complaining about the crock … breath deeply … again …

    I know! I’m still hyperventilating from not washing the bowl, Tanna. And even moreso, because (eeeek!!) I did it again a couple of days later. And then again a couple of days after that. WHAT is happening to me??? -Elizabeth

  4. Cathy (breadexperience)

    Your loaf looks great! I love all the helpful tips you always provide. I still can’t believe you don’t have a sourdough starter. I love my little pets in the refrigerator, but it’s good to know your method works. Thanks for sharing. I enjoyed this challenge. It was tasty!

    Thank you, Cathy! I’m really glad your bread worked out so well. It’s also nice to know that it doesn’t taste too sour when made with a natural starter. I would probably keep a pet or two as well, if it wasn’t so costly to feed. (We have to drive for about an hour to the only store that sells unbleached no-additives flour that doesn’t mean we have to take out a second mortgage on the house to buy it.) :lalala: -Elizabeth


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