Light Wheat, Vienna Style Bread

"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."
photo by Red_Apple_Guy photo by Red_Apple_Guy
photo by Red_Apple_Guy
photo by Red_Apple_Guy photo by Red_Apple_Guy
Ready In:
11hrs 35mins




  • 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.

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My wife and I live just outside of Atlanta, GA. Two daughters live in town, one with my two grandsons. My son is living in California. I'm a retired environmental manager at a manufacturing facility. My Mom and Dad would have loved this site. Dad was a huge collector of recipes and was in the food industry. Mom was a terrific cook as well. Another influence was a roommate at the Universtiy of Arkansas that was an excellent cook. Today I enjoy barbecuing and grilling year round and cooking in general. My latest adventure is in bread baking. I'm loving it and going to school on it right here on the bread forum. I'm active in a terrific church and also love fly fishing and fly tying.
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