This is my take on Beth Hensperger's Vienna Bread for automatic bread machines. Vienna bread has a fascinating history, starting in Austria. The recipe was taken to Denmark in the 19th century and further developed there including use of steam to cook the loaves. It's really more like many of today's French breads. This recipe uses a sponge that sits overnight at room temperature to develop an improved flavor. I tested this bread with no sponge, a 4 hour sponge and an overnight sponge. The flavor is noticeably better with an overnight sponge. I've made this completely in a bread machine and using a mixer and baking it as an oblong loaf which is the traditional shape. Vienna Bread is usually made with bread flour and certainly bread flour can be used entirely for this recipe.
- 9 ounces water
- 3 tablespoons butter (in pieces, softened)
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1⁄4 cup bread flour
- 1⁄2 teaspoon yeast (instant or machine yeast)
- 1 3⁄4 cups bread flour
- 3 tablespoons powdered milk (optional)
- 1 tablespoon gluten (optional)
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons salt (table salt)
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons yeast (instant or machine yeast)
- The night before baking, make sponge by combining all ingredients in a large bowl.
- Mix thoroughly and cover with plastic wrap and a cloth.
- Let sit at room temperature overnight or up to 12 hours.
- The next day, add the dough ingredients to the sponge and mix well.
- Knead by hand or mixer with dough hook until all ingredients are incorporated and for about 5 minutes more.
- Cover dough and let sit for 15 to 20 minutes.
- Knead for 5 to 7 minutes or until smooth.
- Move dough to an oiled bowl, cover and let rise until doubled in volume. A straight sided clean container is best for this or a large graduated measuring cup. This is best at room temperature but can take 1 1/2 hours or more but can be accomplished at 90F in an oven or microwave using hot water as the heat source in about 45 minutes.
- When doubled, stretch and dimple dough to form a rectangle and roll tightly back toward yourself, forming an oblong shape and place on baking paper or parchment to rise. I use an oblong brotform. Cover with plastic wrap sprayed with oil.
- Preheat oven, stone or baking sheet, and an empty pan to hold water to 375°F.
- When doubled in volume, score diagonally with sharp knife or razor blade and place in the oven.
- Pour 1 cup of hot water into the empty pan to generate steam.
- Cook for 35 minutes or until 180 to 210 F internal temperature.
- Note: This is easily made in your bread machine, including the sponge. Just mix the sponge on dough cycle and unplug machine and close lid. The next day, either cook on basic cycle or use dough cycle and hand form and bake loaf in the oven.