It is surprising that there are more choices for bakes in alphabets like F, V, W which one would consider as tougher as compared to H, J, etc which were thought to be easier. I actually had a choice between 2-3 different breads for V and W which I did not expect when I started out. So I picked breads in which I got to do something different, something new that I have not done before. So, I picked Vienna bread for today which involves making a sponge and resting it an hour before starting on the dough. I have baked with instant yeast and with sourdough but this, I found, was somewhere in the middle and thought it would be interesting to see how this shapes up. The sponge, at the end of the hour, was so frothy and alive that I knew I would get a good loaf. Thankfully I was not disappointed and I got a nice crust and chewy crumb. Do try it.
Vienna bread is a type of bread that is produced from a process developed in Vienna, Austria, in the 19th century. The Vienna process in part used high milling of Hungarian grain, cereal press-yeast for leavening, and care and thought in the production process.
In the 19th century, for the first time, bread was made only from beer yeast and new dough without old dough. The first noted or applauded example of this was the sweet-fermented Imperial “Kaiser-Semmel” roll of the Vienna bakery at the “Paris International Exposition of 1867”. These sweet-fermented rolls lacked the acid sourness typical of lactobacillus, and were said to be popular and in high demand. A shortage of beer yeast for making sweet-fermented breads developed when beer brewers slowly switched from top-fermenting to bottom-fermenting yeast, so the Vienna Process was developed by 1846.
Country – Austria
Makes two 10″ loaves
Recipe adapted from here
WHAT WE WANT
For the sponge
Lukewarm water 1/4 cup
Lukewarm milk 1/4 cup
Instant yeast 1 tsp
Sugar 3/4 tsp
All purpose flour 1/2 cup
For the dough
All purpose flour 1 cup
Unsalted butter, melted & cooled 2 1/2 tbsp
Salt 1 tsp
Milk for glaze 2 tbsp
Caraway seeds / poppy seeds/sesame seeds to sprinkle
WHAT TO DO
- Mix all the ingredients for the sponge to be smooth and creamy
- Cover it with cling wrap and set aside for an hour
- After an hour, the sponge would be frothy and alive
- Add salt, butter and flour to the sponge and knead to a smooth dough
- Cover and set it aside for 2 hours till the dough doubles in volume
- Divide the dough into 2 equal parts and shape each part into an oblong
- Set it aside for an hour
- Preheat the oven to 230C
- Slash the loaf 3-4 times with a serrated knife or blade
- Brush the top with an egg wash or milk wash
- Sprinkle with caraway seeds / poppy seeds / sesame seeds
- Reduce the temperature to 220C and bake for 10 minutes
- Reduce the temperature to 190C and bake for 25-30 minutes or till the top is nicely brown
- Let it cool completely before slicing
- While baking, I noticed that the edges were brown at the bottom after the first 10 minutes itself. So I poured 1 cup of water in a baking dish and kept it in the bottom rack of the oven below the bread. This helped slowing the baking of the bottom till the rest of the bread was baked. If you face a similar issue, you can use this trick else bake the loaf as is.
This is my post for the Mega Marathon under the letter ‘V’.