Vienna Loaf

Source: adapted from

Once again we are using much the same simple water/flour/yeast/salt recipe that creates the dutch oven bread, the ciabatta and so forth. This dough is a touch wetter than the others with 3 parts of flour, instead of 4, to 2 parts of water.


1. Starter

  • 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 200ml warm water
  • 200g Hi-Grade White Flour

Combine these in a bowl to make a sticky dough, cover and place in fridge overnight. Remove and allow to return to room temperature.

2. Main Loaf

  • 200ml water
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 400g Hi-Grade White Flour
  1. Remove the starter from the fridge, pour in 200ml water, and blend to combine.
  2. Place the flour and salt in the bowl of a mixer and add the starter. Using dough hooks on slow-medium setting, mix until dough is uniform, then for 60 seconds.
  3. Leave for 15 minutes for flour to absorb water thoroughly, then mix for 60 seconds.
  4. Leave (covered) for 15 minutes, then mix for 60 seconds
  5. Leave (covered) for 15 minutes, then mix for 60 seconds, then leave (covered) for 15 minutes again.
  6. Remove dough from bowl onto floured surface, and dust top with flour.
  7. Preheat oven to 220C. (If using method 11.2, place baking stone in oven at this point.)
  8. Flatten dough onto floured surface, and, with fingers, form into a square about 15ml thickness.
  9. Roll up tightly, and shape/stretch the dough gently into a longish loaf, approx. 300-350mm, with slightly tapering ends.
  10. Either:
    1. Place loaf seam-side down onto baking tray and leave, covered with tea towel, to prove for 45 minutes or double in size. Dust top of loaf with flour, and with a sharp knife, make a light cut down one side of the loaf. Place ovenproof container of water - about half a cupful - onto bottom rack of the oven. Place baking tray in oven, cook for 20 min at 220C then lower temperature to 200C for 15-20 minutes or until loaf sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom.
    2. As for 11.1, but put formed loaf seam side down onto floured board or peel from which you can slide the risen loaf onto the hot baking stone. As a baking stone may leave the bottom of the loaf a touch softer than you want, turn loaf over for last five minutes. Alternatively, allow the dough to rise on a floured teatowel from which it can be rolled, first onto the peel, then onto the baking stone.
  11. Cool on wire rack.


  1. The first time I used a baking stone, my cut was pretty much neutralised when I nudged the loaf off the floured board and onto the hot stone. The result was that the loaf completely ignored my cut and burst out all over, looking a good deal like me dressed in last year's clothes, after an uncommon side effect of my new heart pills put on a lot of weight real fast.
  2. I will probably do the final proofing on a floured teatowel, which passes for a couche in this neck of the woods, so it will be easier to transfer to the board and then the baking stone. Proofing it on the floured board still generates a degree of adhesion that decreases the general quality of the baker's life.

My next effort, instead of a lengthwise cut, more traditional, will be a series of diagonal cuts across the top of the loaf, after I have positioned it on the stone.

3. The crumb and crust, however are pretty much the way I wanted them, not quite as open as a ciabatta, and a slightly larger cross-section. The loaf is a touch flatter than I wanted, so I may increase the flour quantity slightly, or decrease the liquid.






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