I didn’t eat a Briegel for ages. At least it feels like that as I had the last one when we visit beautiful Swabia last summer. When I baked a lot of spelt “Seelen” – a bread very close related to Briegel – at the breat festival in Berlin two weeks ago, the memory of this briegel appeared again in my mind. And the idea of baking them by my self was fixed in my brain.
The starting point for this recipe was Lutz spelt Seelen. Instead of using yeast I went for a whole grain variant of my sweet starter. A slightly higher whole grain flour amount in the dough and a changed water roux makes the the a bit firmer, as a Briegel dough should be. The dough is good to handle despite the fact that is has a hydration of 87%. A long cold rest in the fridge helps to add a lot of flavour and subtle aroma of lactic acid which fits very well with the bread. To build the gluten network more easily, the double Hydration method is used. For forming a lot of water is needed, too. The surface of the worktop has to wet to avoid sticking and the hands has to be wet as well. Then it is easy to form the Briegel and bake them directly, without proofing.
The crumb of the Briegel is then as it should be: Opend and moist. The crust is crisp and the flavour is unbeatable, complex and deep with a week hint of lactic acid.