The German Schwarzbrot is a whole grain bread that is often mixed up with Pumpernickel. They are indeed very similar but the German Schwarzbrot contains a lot of whole grains and it is baked and dried while the Pumpernickel usually is just made with flour and is baked on steam for almost a day. They also taste different.
The grains in this bread are often Rye berries and therefore some people also refer to this bread as Dark Rye Bread. I like to use a mix of grains and I found cracked grain mixes to be perfect for this bread.
I personally am not a big fan of Pumpernickel since I think it tastes somewhat bitter but I really like our German Whole Grain Bread. It is a little sweet and the longer you chew it, the sweeter it tastes. But it’s not a sugar-like sweetness, it’s still a little different, hard to explain!
Is Whole Grain Bread Healthy?
The fact that this bread has whole grains makes it very healthy. In Germany, of course, we know this since a very long time but a team of international scientists has done some digging into the whole grain topic and in 2017 they published an article about their findings in the British Medical Journal.
Whole grain can protect from Diabetes Type 2, obesity and yes, even from Cardiovascular diseases. With just 90g of whole grains daily, one can enhance their lifespan and decrease the risk of diseases like cancer, stroke, cardiovascular diseases, infectious illnesses, and even respiratory diseases. The seedling and the shell of the grains contain a lot of nutrients like protein, minerals, and vitamins – especially vitamin B which many people lack. Iron, Zinc, and Magnesium are crucial for our health and wellbeing and are plenty in the whole grains.
Some people argue that the phytic acid, which is contained in seeds, prevents the intake of Iron, Zink, and Magnesium. Luckily, there are things that break down the phytic acid like soaking the grains or sprouting. When baking this whole grain bread, you will soak your grains for 24 hours, problem solved! The phytic acid is basically no more detectable in the bread. [More about Phytic Acid]
It takes time …
… to bake this bread! I recommend starting in the morning or evening, the day before you want to bake this bread. Soak the grains until the next morning and then start making the dough for the bread. Let it rise, dry, bake during the afternoon and you have your delicious bread finished the day after. Watch the video to the very end to see how I eat my whole grain bread.
Once your bread is finished, put it into a plastic bag overnight. The next morning you can enjoy it and if you made more than one loaf, just freeze it. Take out some slices every time you want to eat some, let it thaw and I promise, it tastes just as good as if it was just baked! If your bread dries out, it also tastes very delicious if you put it in the toaster.
Make a Larger batch!
Because it takes so long to make this bread, why not making 4 to 5 loaves at a time! If you have never had this bread, I would recommend though, to first try one and see if that’s to your taste and then make the larger batch next time. The ingredient quantities for 4 to 5 loaves are in this PDF File:
German Whole Grain Bread 4-5 loaves
- Rye Berries: https://amzn.to/2SEdTTT
- Cracked 9 Grains Mix: https://amzn.to/2UgAKqn
- 9 Grain Cracked Cereal: https://shop.honeyville.com/9-grain-cracked-cereal.html
- Sourdough Starter: https://amzn.to/2EHRi5e
- Bread Spice DIY: How to make German Bread Spice
My favorite ways to eat this bread:
Please share on Pinterest:
German Whole Grain Bread – Schwarzbrot: 1 LOAF
- 30 g Sourdough Starter
- 200 g Grains (rye or grain mix)
- 70 g rye flour
- 240 ml water
To feed the Sourdough
- 75 g all purpose flour
- 75 ml water
Make the Pre-Dough
- 12 to 24 hours before you want to bake your bread, fill the ingredients for the pre dough into a very large bowl. After adding the water, stir all ingredients very well.
- Cover the bowl and set it aside at a warm place.
- [To refill your sourdough: Put your remaining sourdough into a small bowl and add 75 g of all purpose flour and 75 ml of water. Stir and put it back into it’s jar. Let the Sourdough stand in the kitchen for 24 hours, then put it back into the fridge until you bake with sourdough again.]
Making the Bread Dough
- 24 hours after mixing the pre dough, bring the 80 ml of water to a boil, fill the flax seeds in a bowl and pour the boiling water over the flax seeds. Let stand for 1 hour.
- Now add all the remaining ingredients – exept for the salt – into the large bowl with the predough. Also add the Flax seeds and mix all very well.
- Add the salt and mix very well, use your hands if possible. The dough is more of a mash or pap than regular dough. If the dough is too dry, add a little more water but don't make it too wet. Watch the video to see the right consistency.
- Grease the baking pan and fill it ¾ high with the dough. Use some water and a brush and brush the water on top of the dough.
- Cover the baking pan and let stand in a warm place until your dough has significantly increased its size.
- Preheat the oven to 50°C / 120°F or to the lowest temperatur to which your oven can be set.
- Brush some water onto the bread again and then put it into the oven for 90 minutes.
- Increase the oven temperature to 150°C / 300°F and backe the bread for 60 minutes.
- Lower the oven temperature to 100°C / 210°F and bake for another 2.5 hours.
- After the bread has baked, let it cool completely, then put it in a plastic bag overnight.
- The next day you can use the bread or freeze it for later.
- Tip: You can also add some whole hazelnuts to the bread dough!
The ingredient quantities for 4 to 5 loaves are in this PDF File:
German Whole Grain Bread 4-5 loaves