Recipe: Schüttelbrot (Alpine Cracker Bread)



My wife brought back this intriguing and fragrant flatbread from a trip to Bavaria. It is a traditional Alpine snack that is great with cheese and charcuterie. (The elusive taste element is fenugreek, which grows wild in the Alps and is locally called white clover. Do take a trip to the bulk jars to get some.)

100g pumpernickel flour
250g medium rye flour
250g all-purpose flour
1 t yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
¼ liter of lukewarm water
2 t salt
1 t fenugreek
2 t cumin OR fennel OR caraway seeds (or divide the dough in two and use a different seed in each half)
1/8 l buttermilk (1/2 cup plus 1 t)
4 t oil

Method: combine the flours in a bowl, mix, and form a well in the middle. Dissolve yeast and sugar in lukewarm water and pour into the flour well; stir to mix. Sprinkle the salt on the outside rim of the mass of flour (this is traditional but I don’t understand why you don’t just mix it in); add the remaining ingredients and mix until well combined. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead for about 10 minutes, adding flour or water as necessary to maintain a fairly sticky dough. (Since this is mostly rye, don’t expect any gluten formation.) Return to the bowl and allow to rise for 25-60 minutes till risen by about 50%. Dust a surface with flour and roll out into irregular “patties”, as thin as you can get them without tearing the dough. Prick the surface of the dough in several places with a fork to prevent bubbles. Bake in 425 degree oven about 10 minutes, turn and bake 10 minutes more, turn off oven and allow bread to cool inside. Transfer to brown paper bag or a bread box (something that allows for air circulation) and dry. These can be eaten immediately but are better after they dry for a few days and become cracker-y. They’ll keep for a month or more.

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