We have already been making a great (if we do say so ourselves) Vollkornbrot (Vollk 1.0) that our guests have come to love and appreciate over the years. Developed by a former Bakehouse employee, who was a certified Master German Baker, Vollk 1.0 was essentially a field of rye condensed into a nutritious brick of a loaf studded and covered with toasted sunflower seeds. It is a hefty dose of rye chops, essentially held together with a bit of medium rye flour and our powerful and fruity rye sour. A sprinkle of instant yeast, together with the action of the rye sour, helped the dough rise before it hit our rotating convection ovens for a relatively low and slow bake. It was good. Really good. But part of the Zingerman’s ethos is “constant improvement,” and we believed this bread could be revised to have improved flavor and texture.
Our new and improved naturally leavened (no commercial yeast) Vollkornbrot (Vollk 2.0) still embraces the ideals of our original version—a dense, nutritious, lasting rye loaf, one that German expats may be especially delighted to find and become loyal to at our bakery. A handful of toasted sunflower seeds adds just the right amount of nuttiness to the complex flavors of rye. In every moist bite, you will find fruity, spicy, earthy, almost wine-like notes with a complimenting sour and a lingering smooth mouthfeel. One analogy that comes to my mind, if I may say so, is this—if Vollk 1.0 is the well-flavored grape, Vollk 2.0 is the wine (of course, the latter being more true when Vollk 2.0 is well-executed). How so?
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