Make This German Seed Bread Recipe (2024)


Jennifer McGavin

Jennifer McGavin learned to cook German food while living in Germany for 11 years and has worked in the food industry for many years.

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Updated on 01/17/23

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Make This German Seed Bread Recipe (1)

Servings: 12 servings

Yield: 1 loaf

30 ratings

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Using only whole wheat and dark rye flour, this bread is thick with seeds and whole-grain goodness, and will satisfy your craving for dense, chewy, hearty German bread. It makes use of overnight soaking and fermentation to unlock as much flavor from the flours as possible.

Two doughs are prepared the night before (so make sure to plan ahead) and then combined the next day with three types of seeds. This recipe is for a free-form loaf, but you can use a bread pan if you prefer.


For Dough 1:

  • 1 1/4 cups (175 grams) whole wheat flour

  • Scant 1/2 cup (60 grams) dark rye flour

  • 2 teaspoons ground flaxseed

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 10 tablespoons water

For Dough 2:

  • 1 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons (227 grams) whole wheat flour

  • 1/4 teaspoon instant yeast

  • 1/2 cup water

For Finishing Dough:

  • 6 tablespoons (52 grams) whole wheat flour

  • 5 tablespoons sesame seeds

  • 5 tablespoons sunflower seeds, toasted

  • 5 tablespoons pumpkin seeds, toasted

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 2 teaspoons instant yeast

  • 1 tablespoon honey

  • 1 to 2 cups room temperature water

Steps to Make It

Make Doughs 1 and 2

  1. The evening before you want to bake the bread, bring the ingredients to room temperature.

  2. In a large bowl, mix the ingredients for Dough 1 together until a soft ball forms. Wrap in plastic wrap and leave it at room temperature overnight.

  3. In a second bowl, make Dough 2: Mix the ingredients together until a dough ball can be formed.

  4. Knead for 2 minutes; let it rest and knead it again with wet hands. The dough should be tacky.

  5. Place in an oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap so it doesn't dry out, and refrigerate overnight. This "sponge" will rise slightly before morning.

Make the Finishing Dough

  1. In the morning, remove Dough 2 from the refrigerator at least 1 hour before using it.

  2. Cut or pinch Doughs 1 and 2 into several pieces and place them together in a bowl.

  3. Sprinkle with the whole wheat flour. Add the sesame, sunflower, and pumpkin seeds, along with the salt, yeast, and honey and knead together for about 5 minutes (this may be done with ​astand mixer and dough hook).

    As the dough mixes, gradually add 1 cup of the water. Once it is incorporated you should have a hom*ogeneous dough that is not dry or very sticky. If needed, add up to 1 more cup of water (add it gradually and allow it to become incorporated before adding more). If the dough is too sticky (not coming off your hands or spoon), you may add a small amount of flour, but since whole wheat flour soaks up a lot of water, try to add as little as possible.

  4. Turn out the dough on a lightly floured board and knead for 3 minutes. Let it rest for 5 minutes. ​The dough should be firm but slightly tacky (sticks to hands slightly).

  5. After 5 minutes, knead again for 1 minute, form into a ball, and place in a clean container; cover with a dishtowel.

  6. Let rise at room temperature 1 to 2 hours, or until well risen (almost doubled).

  7. For a free-standing hearth loaf, form into a round shape or oval: Draw the surface of the dough from top to bottomand pinch the dough closed on the bottom (do not knead again or you will remove air). Place on a greased cookie sheet and let rise until the loaf is not quite doubled in size. This will take 60 minutes to 2 hours.

  8. About 20 minutes before it is ready to bake, preheat the oven to 425 F. For a free-standing loaf, place an old aluminum pan on the bottom rack; arrange a second oven rack on the next level up.

  9. Slash the surface of the bread with asharp razor blade or a very sharp knife about 1/4 inch deep.

  10. Place the bread on the cookie sheet in ​theoven. Pour about 2 cups of water into the aluminum pan and quickly close the oven. If you have a spray bottle with water, open the oven after 3 and 6 minutes and give 10 quick squirts onto the walls of the oven.

  11. After 10 minutes, turn the oven down to 375 F and bake the bread for 30 to 40 more minutes, or until ​theinternal temperature reaches 200 F.

  12. Allow the loaf to cool completely before slicing or it will still be wet on the inside.

  13. Serve and enjoy.


  • If you don't have instant yeast, you can use active yeast that has been softened in 1 tablespoon water.
  • If your kitchen is cold, it can take up to 4 hours for the dough to rise (instead of 1 or 2 hours).
  • Avoid adding too much flour during the shaping process. This is especially important if you are kneading the dough by hand as it is tempting to add flour until the dough stops sticking to the work surface. An easy trick is to flour your hands only and use a bench scraper to help you manipulate the dough. Too much extra flour will make for a very dense, stodgy loaf.

Recipe Variation

You can decorate the top of the bread if you like; wet with water and stick poppy seeds, sesame seeds, or cracked wheat to the loaf.

How to Store

Allow the bread to cool completely. Wrap tightly in aluminum foil or plastic wrap or place in a zip-top plastic bag. Store at room temperature for up to 5 days.

Whole or sliced loaves can be placed in a freezer bag and frozen for up to 4 months. Let thaw at room temperature in the bag. Thawed bread slices are best toasted but you can also wrap them in foil and reheat them in a 300 F oven.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
6g Fat
34g Carbs
8g Protein


Nutrition Facts
Servings: 12
Amount per serving
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 6g8%
Saturated Fat 1g4%
Cholesterol 0mg0%
Sodium 337mg15%
Total Carbohydrate 34g12%
Dietary Fiber 6g23%
Total Sugars 2g
Protein 8g
Vitamin C 0mg1%
Calcium 55mg4%
Iron 3mg14%
Potassium 250mg5%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

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Make This German Seed Bread Recipe (2024)


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