Müesli-Bread

In Germany breakfast is all about bread. People start their day with a fresh roll (Brötchen) and or a slice of bread topped with butter/margarine and cheese, cold cuts, jam, or even nutella.

Another popular breakfast food is cereal in the form of corn flakes or müesli.

Müesli is Schwitzerdütsch (Swiss German).  It is the diminutive of Mues, which means something like mash, puree or even cooked meal. Müesli means something like “small or little meal”. Today Mus (the standard German form of Mues) means something like mash or puree (we call applesauce “Apfelmus”).

When I became a vegan, I started to eat less bread (because I didn’t want to replace the regular toppings like cheese with vegan versions or buy expensive spreads) and more müesli. It can easily be homemade and served with soy milk. These days, I rarely buy packaged müesli mixes, but make my own from oats, fresh fruit, flax, and non-dairy milk.

Sometimes I want both though, a slice of bread and a bowl of müesli. On these days I reach for a slice of fresh müesli bread topped with a thin layer of vegan margarine and some sugar beet syrup or banana slices. If you are a fan of combining sweet and savoury, you can also reach for your favourite savoury spread.

Colourful, moist, and nutritious müesli bread.

This bread is made with a generous amount of whole spelt flour and there’s no added sugar in the recipe. Only raisins are used to sweeten it. It also contains healthy fats from several kinds of nuts and seeds. Made with a large amount of water and a sourdough starter, this bread keeps fresh and moist for a long time. Of course you can also use it for French toast or bread pudding. If you haven’t made a sourdough starter yet, it’s time to start. You can find a tutorial here.

This bread takes some time and patience. You have to prepare your sponge about 16 hours before you actually start making the bread. Bread made with sourdough starter can be either dense or as light and fluffy as a bread made with commercial yeast. It all depends on your ingredients. If you make your starter from white wheat flour, this will result in a mildly sour starter perfect for white wheat breads like ciabatta or French bread. If you choose rye flour for your starter, the result is a sour and strong starter which is great for hearty rye bread. For this recipe I chose a starter made from white wheat flour. Like a regular yeast bread it has a very soft crumb and a mild flavour, so don’t be afraid to use a starter (I probably write this for German readers as we tend to associate sourdough with strong and dense rye bread).

When using a sourdough starter, it’s important to have patience. The bread won’t rise as fast as a bread made with regular yeast. Therefore the second rise can take up to two hours, depending on the surrounding temperature. Usually two hours are sufficient. Don’t let your yeast bread rise for much longer. You might overproof it and you’ll end up with a flat and dense loaf.

But you can also safe time during the first rise. In bread baking, the main function of the first rise iswater absorbtion. Therefore you don’t have to let your bread rest for 60 or even 90 minutes. 30 minutes is long enough for the flour to absorb all the water it needs.

Müsli-Bread (Makes one 950 g loaf)

To make the starter:

100 g all-purpose flour
100 g water
1 tablespoon active sourdough starter

Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Mix until well combined. Cover the bowl and let sit in a warm place for about 16 hours or until airy and bubbly.

To make the bread:

20 g pistachios (2 tablespoons)
30 g hazelnuts (1/4 cup)
100 g raisins (3.5 oz)
10 g sunflower seeds (1 tablespoon)
8 g flaxseed (1 tablespoon)
50 g oats (1/3 cup)
200 ml water

200 g starter (see above)

100 g all-purpose flour (1/2 cup + 1/3 cup)
100 ml water
300 g whole spelt flour (2 1/2 cups)
10 g (1/2 tablespoon) salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom

Soak pistachios, hazelnuts, raisins, sunflower seeds, flaxseed, and oats in 200 ml water. Soak for at least on hour. Don’t skip this step, it’s important for trapping moisture in the bread.

Combine soaked nut mixture, soaking water and starter. Mix well. Add remaining ingredients. Using your hands, knead for 5-7 minutes until the dough is elastic. The dough will still be very sticky, but don’t worry about that. Breads made with many seeds and spelt flour require more water than regular breads made from only wheat flour. Cover and let rest for 30 minutes.

Transfer the dough onto a floured working surface. Knead for 1-2 minutes and place in a 750 g banneton or in a flat round bowl. Let the dough rise for 2 hours or until doubled in size. Meanwhile preheat the oven to 250°C (480°F). Make sure to preheat a baking sheet as well. When the loaf is ready to be baked, have a piece of parchment paper and 1/2 cup of hot water ready. Carefully take the hot baking sheet out of the oven using pot holders. Line with parchment paper and transfer dough onto the sheet. Transfer to oven. Pour hot water on the bottom of your oven to produce steam. Close door and reduce temperature to 200°C (400°F). Bake for 50 minutes until golden brown.

19 thoughts on “Müesli-Bread

  1. Thanks for your explanation of the word “müesli”. We had a discussion lately with my Swedish boyfriend, trying to know witch language between French and Swedish was the most correct about the word “müesli” : in Swedish, they write “müsli”, with what they call a “German U”, while in French we add a E to write “müesli”. Well it seems it is the French that takes the real original word without changing it (strange for the French language!). But maybe the Swedish “müsli” has got a connection with the standart German “mus”… I know, we’d better have a slice of your nice müesli Bread instead of having these strange non-ending discussions…

    1. Or maybe continue the discussion with a slaice of bread between out teeth? As you might already have guessed, I loce to talk about language.

  2. What a great idea to combine those two breakfast foods in one! I love all the nuts and seeds in there. . . MUCH better than anything you could buy, I’m sure!

  3. This reminds me of a recent trip to Amsterdam. There was the most amazing food market with a great bakery next right next door to my hotel. Breakfast was tearing bits of a loaf of their muesli bread in the hotel room.

    Definitely going to make this one

    thank you xx

  4. it’s kinda funny, i had never heard of müesli until my visit to australia back in 1997. once i discovered it on my visit there i believe i had it for breakie every day on my trip on top of yogurt and drizzled with honey (back in my omni days). i never would have thought to use it in a bread and i think you’re brilliant for doing so, Mihl! the bread sounds lovely and it’s a perfect looking loaf, too. mmmmmmm!

  5. Your bread is beautiful, and I love the idea of incorporating muesli into bread. In fact, I have a big box of muesli I bought for friends who were visiting over the weekend. It didn’t get eaten and I don’t want it to go stale… I might try to turn some of it into this delicious bread. I love that it uses spelt flour, too, and sourdough starter. Nice work!

  6. you are so dang creative. i love muesli, but have never one thought of it as a additive to bread. i bet it gives it great crunch flavor – i love breads with little nuts in them, so i’m sure i’d love this. and it’s gorgeous.

    when are you opening your own bakery? :)

  7. This bread must be as delicious as it is beautiful!
    Thank you for including all those little tips with the recipe: knowing the reason why things should be done this or that way is very useful, not only when making that specific bread, but also when experimenting with other recipes.

  8. This bread is so beautiful; it really does look bejeweled. I used to buy a sourdough rye bread from a German bakery, and I swear I was addicted to that bread. I never could reproduce it.

  9. Wow, that is one beautiful loaf of bread, you truly are an amazing bread baker! I love the addition of the nuts, seeds, and fruit into the bread as well. I bet that idea would be great in a sweet bread as well. Mmm.
    -K

  10. What lovely bread! :) Combining common breakfast items into one delicious food is an awesomely creative idea. The oatmeal sourdough I baked yesterday certainly pales in comparison to your muesli bread, which sounds so much more delicious with the addition of nuts and seeds. I definitely must try this recipe.

  11. Mihl! This looks like a piece of art! Lovely! I would opt for the white flour as you did–for a lighter crumb. But here is what I do not know much about–working sourdough breads and starters. Would that 1 tablespoon of sourdough starter be something I’d have sitting around and have pre-made, then add to water and flour in step one? Perhaps I need to spend time with Peter Reinhart and BBA book for tutorial–but this bread looks amazing!

  12. What a lovely loaf. I think this would the best bread for gifting. Perfect to bring as a hostess gift or to include in a care package. I can imagine the intoxicating smell of the raisins, nuts and flour baking in the oven.

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