Saturday, July 31, 2010

BBA Challenge #39: Vienna Bread

I've never been to Vienna. But I've been to many other European capitals since arriving here in this crazy country they call Deutschland. Aside from the obvious Berlin, Brussels was my first capital- We visited over my birthday weekend in 2007, to attend a Beer festival taking place that weekend in Sint-Niklaas.

At the end of the trip, as we were leaving, my friends pulled off an exit and the first thing I saw was The Atomium, which I had said was the only thing I wanted to see, and then promptly forgot about. I had a sore throat the entire weekend, and lost my voice on the car trip there, and regained it only on the way back. It didn't stop me from drinking lots of beer, though.

Stockholm was next, all cold and wet with everyone wearing the brightest colors in anticipation of Spring.

Prague was a day-trip with me wearing a neck brace during the car ride, walking around a city I could barely understand, trying to pack as much as we could before we had to drive back to Berlin.

And then there was Paris, this last year. All bright and shiny and beautiful and inspiring.

But though I've never been to Vienna, I've always wondered about it. The first beguiling thing is that, in German, it's called Wien. Which makes you wonder, since you have Berliner for Berlin. Wiener for Wien. So, all that Vienna sausage you ate as a child on that bus trip through the Sonoran desert? They're actually wieners. And that beloved hot dog chain that you always wanted to go to, but never did because it just seemed a bit foreign? Wienerschnitzel is actually named after Wiener Schnitzel, thinly pounded breaded veal.

So, where does this lead us to? Vienna Bread.

Now, I'm not one to say that the bread wasn't good. It was definitely good. But I wasn't overly convinced. Oh, by the by, this bread is #39 of 43 in the Bread Baker's Apprentice Challenge. As I write this, I only have this bread and two more to be all caught up on posts for this Challenge.

The mise en place is the usual, but with almost every possible addition you can think of. In addition to the usual flour and water, we have butter at the top right. I went with butter instead of shortening because butter tastes awesome in things, even though I don't really like it on bread. An egg on the right side, and on the bottom row: yeast, salt, malt powder, and pure-as-sucrose sugar.

So, because this bread was also baked way back in the recesses of March, I don't have an excuse for not having more pictures of the baking process. Nor do I remember what was going on in this photo other than it looks like I had turned the dough out and was probably ready to shape it.

And, where normally I break out the linen couche to allow the breads to rest for their final rise, I decided to use parchment paper instead, and let them rise directly on the peel so that I could just slide them onto the hot baking stone when the time came.

I liberally brushed them with the Dutch Crunch topping and slid them into the oven.

And, despite my scoring, the bread still managed to tear in several places. The Dutch Crunch topping was interesting. It was a mix of rice flour, vegetable oil, water, wheat flour, sugar, salt and yeast. It was definitely crunchy, but, as is the case with me, I thought not sweet enough.

We ate one loaf compulsively, and the second came along with us on our Wanderurlaub.

In Germany, like in most countries in Europe, you get six weeks vacation, standard. Well, I think the legal minimum is 20 days, but almost everyone gets 30 days. If you have any days left over, you carry them onto the next calendar year, but you have to take them by the end of March, otherwise you lose them. In my case, I had 7 holidays days left from 2009, so we took the last week of March off, and booked a three day to Ahrenshoop on the Ostsee to go hiking. Of course, the last day was spent at drinking at one of my favorite breweries in Stralsund, so any good that the hiking might have done us, was deliciously drunk away.

And what culinary delights awaited us on our Wanderurlaub? Sandwiches on home-baked bread.

And the best one: Waffle On A Stick.

Other Viennese Bakers include:

Phyl from Of Cabbages and King Cakes

Cathy at Bread Experience

Sally from Bewitching Kitchen

Abby from Stir it! Scrape it! Mix it! Bake it!


  1. You lead such a cool life. I am jealous of your travels, beer drinking, and your progress in the BBAC.

  2. This looks good! Enjoyed reading your post, as always. And btw, I don't have 30 days of vacation!!! Well, 29... But I started with 24!

  3. Looks great! You're almost there on completing the BBA!! So jealous of your travels too!

  4. Travels with waffle on a stick is good to hear.. I'm happy for you.. you are just one step to complete your BBA.