Dried Pear Bread (Kletzenbrot)
This dried pear bread (Kletzenbrot) is a tender, dark-brown, sweetly spiced bread that can be made in rolls, loaves, or in a pan. Traditionally, dried fruits such as kletzen (dried pears) and plums and spices are added to the bread dough, whereby the fruit component outweighs the flour component. Kletzenbrot is a traditional bake of the Christmas season. In addition to Austria, it is also widespread in the Bavarian and Swabian regions.
History of Kletzen Production
The custom of drying pears and then using them for a wide variety of dishes has a very long tradition. In autumn, pears, apples and plums were cut into slices or rings, strung on strings and hung in dry rooms. Larger residences had their own “drying huts”, which stood away from the house among the fruit trees. In the “drying hut” there was a small clay oven in which the fruit was dried.
In many cases, however, the fruits were also dried in the sun or simply dried with the residual heat of the oven and stored for the winter.
Kletzenbrot was once a simple rye bread, in which dried fruits like kletzen (dried pears), hutzeln (finer dried pears) and plums were baked. Only much later were other dried fruits such as figs and raisins added due to the growing prosperity and the import of tropical fruits. The sweetness of the kletzenbrot only came from the addition of the sweet fruit. Neither sugar nor honey was added. In times when there was hardly any sweets on the table, this fruit loaf was certainly a special treat for this reason alone.
For 2 Kletzenbrote , each 1428g
- 10g Starter
- 220g Water 30°C
- 280g Rye flour Type/960
Dissolve the starter in water and stir in the flour until well mixed. Cover and allow to mature in a warm spot 25-28°C, for 15-20 hours.
- 100g Leftover bread
- 100g Water
Soak for 30 minutes and then blend with a hand blender.
- 300g Dried pears (chopped small)
- 100g Raisins
- 100g Prunes (chopped small)
- 100g Figs (chopped small)
- 250g Boiling water
- 50g Rum
- 50g Schnaps
Allow to soak overnight.
- 510g Mature sourdough
- 200g Bread soaker
- 420g Rye flour Type/960
- 150g Wheat flour Type/700
- 150g Wheat flour Type/1600
- 450g Water
- 22g Sea salt
- 5g Yeast
- 950g Soaked fruit mixture (mix in at the end)
- Spices: some cinnamon, ground cloves, orange and lemon zest (or a prepared fruit bread spice)
- Mix all ingredients except the fruit mixture, as accustomed, into a bread dough (6 minutes slowly, 1 minute quickly)
- After kneading, mix in the fruit mixture on slow speed. Should the dough become too soft from the addition of the fruit mixture, some rye flour can be added- don’t take your eyes off of the mixer!
- Cover and let the dough mature for 15 minutes in the mixing bowl.
- Divide the dough, work into rounds and place into proofing baskets with the seam-side down.
- Once fully proofed, bake at 245°C with strong steam and then reduce the temperature to 190°C after 7-8 minutes (the 190°C baking temperature is important due to the high sugar content- strong browning!).
- The baking time should not be less than 60 – 70 minutes.
The fruit mixture can be changed to your tastes. You can also use nuts, apples, or add other ingredients. Lovers of soft and moist fruit breads must be patient for a few days- further recipes will follow.