Wheat-buttermilk bread

Beginner recipe with a poolish pre-ferment

A simple white bread with pre-ferment and buttermilk for a longer shelf life. If you would like something more sophisticated (and tasty), you can try the Buttermilk crust.


  • Poolish: 5 minutes preparation, 6-10h ripening
  • Main dough: 10 minutes preparation, 3h bulk fermentation, 60-90 minutes final proofing
  • Baking time: ca. 50 minutes (35 with lid + 15 without)

Ingredients poolish

  • 100g wholegrain wheat flour
  • 100g lukewarm water
  • 1g 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 6 hours
  • The dough is ready when it is streaked with bubbles

Ingredients main dough

  • Entire poolish
  • 200g wheat flour 550
  • 200g wholegrain wheat flour
  • 250g buttermilk (lukewarm)
  • 4g fresh yeast
  • 10g salt
  • 1 teaspoon honey

Prepare the main dough

  • Put the poolish and all the other ingredients in a mixing bowl, except for the salt and 30g buttermilk
  • Mix with the food processor on the lowest level for 1 minute
  • Add the salt
  • Then knead on the highest level for kneading (usually level 2) for 12 minutes
  • After about 5 minutes, gradually add the remaining buttermilk as soon as the dough comes off the edge of the bowl
  • After each addition of buttermilk, wait again until the batter comes off the bowl again
  • It is possible that after 12 minutes there will be some buttermilk left over; drink it 😉

Bulk fermentation

  • Put the dough in a sealable, lightly floured bowl and let it rise for a total of 3 hours
  • 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 1h and 2h, fold the dough in again
  • If necessary, the dough can be turned over after it has been folded in order to additionally improve the structure of the dough

Final proofing

  • After 3 hours, fold the dough one last time (but do not turn it over again)
  • Bring the dough into a round shape
  • Then let the dough rise for 60-90 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 wholegrain flour, finer wheat flour can be used, such as 550 or 1050; then reduce the amount of buttermilk in the main dough by 30g
  • The poolish is quite flexible to use; it can also be used after 4 hours; in addition, the fermentation time can be shortened by increasing the room temperature (rule of thumb: + 5 °C corresponds to halving the time required)
  • As an alternative to a floured bowl, the dough can also be put in a bowl lightly oiled with rapeseed oil to ferment; then the dough comes off the bowl more easily and no additional flour is needed to turn it out
  • 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
  • Alternatively, the bread can also be baked on a baking sheet; then, if possible, a small bowl of water should be placed in the bottom of the oven during preheating and removed after the initial 10 baking minutes

Note: This recipe is based on the “Weizen-Buttermilch-Kruste” from the book “Der Brotbackkurs” (Valesa Schell, p. 41; see Books), but was modified from the original in terms of ingredients, times, work steps and the baking process.