Authentic German Bread (Bauernbrot)

Authentic German Bread (Bauernbrot)

41 Reviews 5 Pics
  • Prep

    3 h
  • Cook

    2 h
  • Ready In

    2 d 5 h
Recipe by  Petra

“Here is a great recipe for authentic German Sourdough Bread. This bread tastes almost exactly like the bread we buy back home in Bavaria, Germany. There, to this day, they bake their bread in a very old stone oven in the middle of a small village, once every 2 weeks. They bake a whole bunch at once, and then you can buy it and freeze extras until the next baking day. It's the best German bread I know!”

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Adjust Servings

Original recipe yields 1 large loaf



  1. First, make the sourdough starter. Crumble the yeast into a large bowl. Whisk in 1 quart of warm water and 2 tablespoons of sugar until dissolved. The water should be just slightly warmer than body temperature. Gradually whisk in 4 cups of flour, continuing to mix until all lumps are gone. Cover with a dish towel, and let sit for 24 hours at room temperature.
  2. After 24 hours, stir well, cover, and let stand another 24 hours. It will be a thin, light-colored sourdough which is then ready to use.
  3. In a large bowl, stir together the rye flour, 4 cups of all-purpose flour, salt and sugar. Mix in the sourdough starter using a wooden spoon, then stir in 2 cups of warm water. I transfer the dough to a heavy duty stand mixer to mix the first couple of minutes, then it can't handle the heavy dough and I start using my hands by turning the dough out onto a floured surface. A clean countertop works best. Knead the dough, adding a few tablespoons of water at a time if it is too stiff. Fold the dough over, pull it apart, whatever you can do to get it kneaded up good. Total kneading time should be 15 to 20 minutes to get a smooth dough. Place the dough in a large bowl, cover, and let rise until doubled, 1 to 2 hours.
  4. When the dough has risen, scrape it out of the bowl and back onto a floured surface. Knead for about 5 minutes. This is important to activate the gluten. Shape into 1 or 2 long loaves. Place on baking sheets, and let rise for about 1 hour, or until your finger leaves an impression when you poke the bread gently.
  5. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C). Bake the bread for about 45 minutes for 2 loaves, 1 1/2 hours if you made one big loaf. Don't worry if the crust is dark. The bread will be delicious and so will the crust. Cool completely before cutting. I always freeze half.

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I submitted this recipe and I really want to share something valuable. In Germany, we usually add spices to the bread and they are available for purchase already ground up or as seeds. If you want, take a handful of Coriander, fennel, Anis, and/or Caraway seeds and add to the dough. I actually buy loose fennel tea seeds (cheaper) and smash it up good with a Mortar and add it. It adds a wonderful flavor and tastes so good! I now use a small coffee bean grinder to grind the seeds and I often add sunflowers seeds (salted or not) to the dough as well, which makes the bread juicier. The bread in the picture was done in a traditional bread basket. I put a dish towel in the basket, then sprinkle it with flour (you can see the flour on the outside of the bread in the picture), then pad the bread dough into it for the second rising. Invert onto a baking sheet (I always use a baking stone) and bake! Oh, if you decide to freeze some (it freezes very well), simply put it in a zip lock bag, then when you are ready to eat it thaw it in the CLOSED bag! It only takes a few hours to thaw. Enjoy! I noticed mixed results from different people and would like to say that this is not uncommon with this type of bread. Even I get different results sometimes depending on the climate. It matters quite a bit if it is humid/warm or cold. I do believe (but have no prove) that even elevation makes a difference. So if you get poor results DON'T GIVE UP. Try...temp/climate/baking time of day...changes!



I have made this bread several times and as a German I can tell you it IS authentic! Great recipe!!!



I made this recipe and the bread is very good with a crunchy crust. I only made half of the recipe and was able to knead it entirely in the mixer. I still needed to use a very large bowl for the starter because it rose up and ran over. I lost part of the starter, but the dough still balled up in the mixer and cleared the sides of the bowl and I didn't need to add extra flour or water to the measurements. My husband is also from Germany and remembers bread baking day when he was little. He thinks this recipe is pretty authentic too.

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Amount Per Serving (20 total)

  • Calories
  • 334 cal
  • 17%
  • Fat
  • 1.3 g
  • 2%
  • Carbs
  • 71.6 g
  • 23%
  • Protein
  • 9.2 g
  • 18%
  • Cholesterol
  • 0 mg
  • 0%
  • Sodium
  • 702 mg
  • 28%

Based on a 2,000 calorie diet



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German Brotchen Rolls


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German Rye Bread