Buttermilk crust

Juicy wheat bread with three pre-ferments

The combination of various pre-ferments and buttermilk makes this bread wonderfully juicy and durable at the same time. Preparing the three pre-ferments takes a little more effort, but is definitely worth it.

A Quellstück is used to work more moisture into the dough, so to achieve a higher “dough yield”. This recipe uses wholegrain wheat flour, roasted sunflower seeds and buttermilk.


  • Sourdough: 5 minutes preparation, 12–14h ripening
  • Poolish: 5 minutes preparation, 12–14h ripening
  • Quellstück: 10 minutes preparation, 10–12h soaking
  • Main dough: 15 minutes preparation, 90 minutes bulk fermentation, 60 minutes final proofing
  • Baking time: ca. 50 minutes (35 with lid + 15 without)

Ingredients poolish

  • 120g wholegrain wheat flour
  • 120g water (20 °C)
  • 0.15g fresh yeast

Prepare the poolish

  • Dissolve the yeast in the water, then mix in the flour
  • Let rise in a closed bowl for at least 10–12 hours at room temperature (20–22 °C)
  • The dough is ready when it is streaked with bubbles and has increased significantly in volume

Ingredients sourdough

  • 120g wholegrain rye flour
  • 120g water (ca. 45 °C)
  • 12g starter (rye sour)

Prepare the sourdough

  • Mix the water, flour and starter well in a bowl
  • Let the dough mature in a closed bowl for 12–14 hours at room temperature (20–22 °C)
  • The dough is ready when it is streaked with bubbles and has increased significantly in volume

Ingredients Quellstück

  • 60g sunflower seeds (roasted)
  • 120g wholegrain wheat flour
  • 240g buttermilk (cold)
  • 15g salt

Prepare the Quellstück

  • Roast the sunflower seeds in a pan until golden brown
  • Mix all ingredients well in a bowl; cover and leave to soak in the refrigerator at approx. 8 ° C (top compartment) for 10–12 hours

Ingredients main dough

  • Entire poolish
  • Entire sourdough
  • Entire Quellstück
  • 150g wheat flour 550
  • 150g wholegrain wheat flour
  • 60g wholegrain rye flour
  • 150g buttermilk (cold)
  • 7.5g fresh yeast
  • 7.5g honey
  • 7.5g butter

Prepare the main dough

  • Put the pre-ferments and all the other ingredients in a mixing bowl
  • Mix with the food processor on the lowest level for 5 minutes
  • Then knead on the highest level for kneading (usually level 2) for 8 minutes
  • After kneading, the dough should be moist and sticky

Bulk fermentation

  • Put the dough in a sealable, lightly floured bowl and let it rise for a total of 90 minutes
  • To start, fold the dough all around from the edges up to the middle, either with a dough card or the flat of your hand
  • After 30 and 60 minutes respectively, repeat the folding; this should give the dough a noticeable gain in structure and firmness

Final proofing

  • After 90 minutes, vigorously stretch and fold the dough
  • Bring the dough into a round shape and let it rise for 60 minutes at room temperature
  • After 60 minutes, press a finger approx. 1 cm into the dough to check that it is matured; if the hole remains or if it only closes slowly, the dough is ready and can be baked


  • Preheat the oven to 250 °C (recirculation mode) for about an hour before the dough is ready; put a pot with a lid (at least 20cm in diameter and without plastic parts; ideal: Dutch oven) in the oven
  • Flour the dough lightly; use a little more flour along the edge of the bowl; then fold in the flour all around with the lower edge of your palm so that the dough comes off the base
  • Carefully tip it out of the bowl into your hand and into the pot (do not throw it!)
  • Set the temperature to 200 °C and bake the bread for a total of 50 minutes at a falling temperature
  • After 35 minutes, remove the lid from the pot and bake for another 15 minutes
  • Turn the finished bread onto a wire rack and let it cool down for about 2 hours

Tips & tricks

  • As an alternative to whole wheat flour, medium-fine meal can also be used for the Quellstück
  • If the dough is still too moist and sticky after bulk fermentation, the amount of buttermilk in the main dough can be reduced by 30g
  • If the bread in the form described is too big for you, you can simply reduce all the ingredients by a third. This does not change the times and temperatures
  • Be sure to preheat the oven in good time during the baking process; if the dough matures for too long, the quality of the dough deteriorates

Note: This recipe is based on the “Buttermilchbrot” from the book “Brotbackbuch Nr. 1” (Lutz Geißler, p. 129–131; see Books, but has been modified compared to the original with regard to the ingredients, work steps and baking process.