Today I have once again a fitness version of a real classic for you. Actually it’ s a classic, which I didn’t know until a few days ago. Probably because it is rather known in the north of Germany. There, the so called “Handbrot” is a real classic at Christmas markets and festivals. Here in Bavaria, I don’t think I’ve ever seen it before. But thanks to the internet, it’s much easier to find new recipes these days.
When I came across the recipe for the typical Dresden Handbrot, I was immediately hooked. To me, it was like a flat and filled stick bread. And the idea of a high protein stick bread had actually been floating in my head for a while. So I figured, why not just combine the two and bake a High Protein stuffed bread loaf!
The Original German “Handbrot”
The Dresden Handbrot is apparently a real classic at Christmas markets and festivals. As I said, I’ve never heard of it until recently. So I assume that it is better known especially in the north and the center of Germany. But the idea is of course ingenious. We all know and love a sandwich topped with cheese and ham. But that the filling is already rolled into the dough and then baked directly with the bread is something else. As soon as you cut the loaf, you have a wonderful filling in the middle and of course lots of melted cheese. And at the end of the day, the hand bread is of course much easier to eat! After all, nothing can fall off or swell out from all sides.
But let’s not kid ourselves, this is obviously not a healthy snack for on the go. That’s why I’m even more excited to show you a healthy alternative for it today. My fitness version has not only significantly less fat and really a lot of protein. It is also still really tasty, crunchy and soft at the same time and of course pretty cheesy on the inside!
Stuffed Bread Loaf – a fitness snack for the go
The secret behind my protein version today is the dough. Because instead of just making a version with whole grain flour, we also use some protein powder. Protein powder can be used perfectly for savory dishes as well. Because unflavored vegan options or baking proteins have hardly any flavor of their own and can thus replace some of the flour. If you don’t have a unflavored protein at home, it’ not a problem. You can also use deoiled almond or sunflower flour instead. There’s plenty of protein in these substitute flours, too. And if you don’t have that on hand either, just use whole wheat flour. It doesn’t contain as much protein, but it’s still healthy, of course.
So, since we’re not preparing the yeast dough in the classic way, you should pay attention to two things. First, you should be very careful about how much water you add to the dough. Every protein powder or substitute flour is slightly different. So it’s best to add the water in small sips at a time and see how much your dough really needs until it’s well combined. Maybe it’s a little more than I indicated, maybe a little less. Either way, it should end up well combined and very slightly moist. And second, don’t be surprised if the dough doesn’t rise as usual. This is no problem at all and completely normal. In the end, it still tastes super delicious – I promise.
A basic recipe with a thousand ways to fill it
After the rising time, roll out the dough into a flat oblong rectangle. I really make sure that one side is significantly longer than the other, so that a nice long loaf comes out. Mentally, I then divide the rectangle lengthwise into three parts and put the filling only the part in the middle. In this recipe I decided to use a very classic filling. First I spread some cream cheese on the dough, then comes chicken ham and finally some freshly grated cheese. For the cheese I have once again used the Eatlean protein cheese (advertising without order). It’s particularly low in fat and high in protein. But feel free to use whatever you have on hand.
Generally you can combine the filling as you like. Since the dough itself is vegan, you can also choose a vegetarian or vegan stuffing as well. For example, you could use sautéed mushrooms or some roasted veggies. Or some warm spinach with feta cheese, sautéed ground beef or even tuna. I don’t think there’s anything that wouldn’t fit here. But no matter what filling you choose, I would definitely include some (vegan) cheese. Because that very moment, when you bite into the bread and taste the melted cheese, is the ultimate highlight of this recipe.
I hope you like the healthy protein version of the Dresden Handbrot. I think it tastes fantastic straight out of the oven with a salad. But of course, it’s also the perfect snack to take with you. Especially if you add some veggies to the stuffing, you’ll also have a great wholesome snack for on the go.
Have fun trying it out and see you for the next recipe,
Stuffed Bread Loaf
for the dough
- 1 package instant yeast or half cube of fresh yeast
- 1 cup lukewarm water (~200ml)
- 1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour (~180g)
- 2 servings unflavored vegan protein powder (~70g or a bit more than 1/2 cup)
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp maple syrup or honey
for the filling
- 1 oz fat reduced cream cheese (~30g)
- 2 oz chicken ham (~50g)
- 1/3 cup greated fat reduced cheese e.g. eatlean protein cheese (~40g)
- For the dough, first mix the yeast with half the water and the syrup. Put the flour and protein powder in a bowl and combine it with the yeast mixture and the water. Add the salt and knead the dough briefly until everything is combined. Now let the dough rise, covered, in a warm place for about 60 to 90 minutes.(Due to the protein powder, the dough will not rise as much as a normal yeast dough, but this is not a problem).
- Then roll out the dough on a floured work surface to a rectangle about 55cm long. Now spread the cream cheese on the center of the dough, spread the ham on top and sprinkle the greated cheese on top. Fold in the two sides on top of the filling and close the ends at the top and bottom. Place the bread on a baking sheet with the seal facing down and let it rise, covered, for another 30 minutes.
- Place the bread in a preheated oven at 180°C / 375°F for about 25 minutes.
- alories: 168 kcal
- fat: 1,6 g
- carbohydrates: 18,9
- protein: 18 g