These dinkel laugenstangen are classic german bread rolls and I cannot think of an English name for them. Anyone who as visited Germany will for sure know about “laugengebaeck”. The general term, laugengebaeck refers to any baked good that has been dipped in a sodium hydroxide solution before baking and includes rolls, sticks and the most famous of all, the pretzel (Laugenbrezel). They are characterised by a chewy slightly tough exterior encasing a fine, dense, but soft white crumb. If you don’t have sodium hydroxide pellets, and most of us don’t, you can substitute with a mixture of baking soda and salt dissolved in water. However, its not quite as effective in producing that distinctive crust. I chose to use spelt flour in this recipe because it makes a soft bread at a lower hydration that regular wheat four does. The milk and butter used in the dough add to the softness. This is one for the kids.
Recipe for dinkel laugenstangen
600g Spelt (dinkel) flour, 630.
10g fresh yeast
1 teaspoon baking soda dissolved in 5 tablespoons water with a pinch of salt ( for brushing)
mix all the ingredients and knead by hand for 10mins. I find this dough mixture is a bit too stiff for the mixer and in any case spelt dough, due to its high gluten content, canbecome overkneaded using a mixer. Leave it to rest for 1 hour at room temperature, stretch and fold after 20 and 40 minutes. Then put your dough ball into a bread proving basket (or bowl), cover in plastic and place in the fridge overnight, or for 8-12 hours. The next day split your dough into 10 equal sized (approx. 90g) balls and shape by rolling on your work surface, into little logs. Leave to rest and rise for 1 hour. In the meantime pre-heat your oven to 250degrees and place a roasting tray of water on the floor of the oven to create steam. When almost ready to bake, brush with the baking soda/salt solution, then, using a sharp knife, make diagonal cuts across the top of the rolls, to help with expansion in the oven. Bake at 250 for 10minutes and then reduce to 200 degrees for a further 15 mins. The rolls should be nice and golden. Allow to almost cool before splitting them open. These dinkel laugenstangen are best enjoyed still a little warm, when the interior is really soft.