Vienna Bread

We’ve been on a bread-making craze. After the success of my previous two attempts – Ciabatta and Milk Bread – I feel encouraged to experiment a little more.

DH was making a roast for the weekend so we decided that Vienna bread should be the next experiment. The following recipe turned out okay, so I will save it here for future reference.

Vienna bread

It didn’t look very good because I forgot to make the slash marks with a knife. Texture and taste-wise, it reminds me of a baguette. It remained soft over three days on the counter in an air-tight container which is better than the baguette which would have been rock-hard by then. You probably have to toast it on the third day for a better eating experience, though.

Ingredients

Starter:

  • 1 tsp easy-blend yeast
  • 100 ml warm water
  • 100 g flour

Dough:

  • 200g strong white flour
  • 100ml barely cold water
  • 1 level tsp fine sea salt
  • Oil for kneading

Method

  1. Starter: Mix the starter ingredients into a bowl until you have a sticky batter. Cover with a plate and leave for at least 2 hours or overnight.
  2. Dough: Add the cold water to the yeast batter and mix it to roughly combine.
  3. Add the remaining flour and salt. Stir so you have a soft and sticky dough, cover and leave for 15 minutes to allow the flour to absorb the moisture.
  4. Rub 1 tsp of oil on the work surface and form it into a circle roughly twice the area of your hand. Pour 1 tsp of oil on the top of the dough and rub it over and down the sides so you can scoop out the dough without it sticking. Put the dough on the oiled surface and knead for 15 seconds. Place back in the bowl, cover and leave for 45 minutes, kneading it briefly twice more in that time.
  5. Lightly flour the work surface and place the dough seam-side up on it. Pat it out into an oval about 20cm. Roll it up very tightly and then roll into a long sausage shape, pressing the ends into points. Place the dough seam-side down on a baking sheet. Cover with a clean tea towel and leave for another 45 minutes or until doubled in size.
  6. Preheat the oven to 220°C and place a small ovenproof dish of water at the bottom to create a steamy environment.
  7. Dust the top of the bread with flour, and with a serrated knife slash along one side. Bake for 20 minutes then reduce the heat to 200°C and bake for 15-20 minutes till golden brown. Cool on a wire rack.

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