April 12th, 2014

Birthday Bread

Geburtstagsbrot

I baked a decorated loaf once again, this time as part of a present for my boyfriends grandmother (as I told before there is a birthday each week in April). But instead of using my normal recipe and shape I decided to go for something new. And so used another recipe and shaped the bread with a small loaf in the middle, surrounded by a poppy seed covered braid and with a little rose on the seam where the ends of the braid meets.

And because I can not cut into a present, I doubled the recipe and baked a “normal” loaf as well. I cut it when it was just cooled and I was in love with its fine crumb and crunchy crust in a moment. A very delicious bread!

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April 6th, 2014

Raspberry Charlotte

  DSC_4885

In April a lot of our family members on both sides celebrate their birthdays. On my side my mum, my sister and my little nephew have their birthdays within four days in the first week of April (and one my Aunts is born in this week as well). The three decided to celebrate together and so I spent most of the weekend in the kitchen, baking birthday cakes. My sister wished for a raspberry cake and I decided to make a Raspberry Charlotte.

For the filling I go for a mixture of two of my favourite raspberry fillings because I could not find a recipe I really liked. The yoghurt adds a light touch to the cake and balanced nicely the sweetness of the white chocolate.

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March 29th, 2014

Kastanien-Krusti

Kastanien-Krusti

When I was doing my weekly groceries in the wholefood shop I spotted a bag with chestnut flour. Spontaneously I bought it. But after putting it into the pantry to my other flours I forgot about it. But some weeks later, when I put away a new batch of flour, it came back into my notice. And I started to think about a recipe directly.

At the end I decided to bake chestnut “Krusti”. A Krusti is a german roll for which the dough is rolled into a log and which is then baked seamside up. During ovenspring it will open along the seam, forming a good part of crunchy crust. We like this kind if bread very much.

The chestnut flour added a subtle nutty sweetness flavour and gave crumb and crust a niece brown colour. The crumb is very soft and fluffy, while the crust is crunchy. This roll is a new favourite!

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March 28th, 2014

Dampfnudeln (oven baked)

Dampfnudel 3

Since weeks I was dreaming of oven baked Dampfnudeln. When I was a kid my mum would bake them for lunch regularly. But my love don’t like sweet stuff as main dish and so I make them seldom nowadays. But I love them still so much, especially the slightly sticky, sweet bottom which the dampfnudel gets because they are baked in a milk-butter-sugar mixture.

And so I decided to bake them only for me!

This time I made them with sweet starter and some yeast and they turned out great. Soft and light as air they rose really high. Served with some plum butter or vanilla custard this is a great lunch for people with a sweet tooth.

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March 23rd, 2014

Custard Streusel Cake

Pudding-Streuselkuchen

I posted already about my favourite Streusel cake recipe. Could a better recipe exist?

Yes.

It exists!

Add a layer of creamy vanilla custard  between dough and streusel and you will get the best streusel cake ever!

I found the inspiration for this on Juttas Blog, who discovered the pudding streusel cake at Dampfi kocht und backt. I used my streusel cake recipe (which works greatly with sweet starter instead of pâte fermentée, too) but added a layer of homemade custard. And this mixture of soft custard and crisp streusel is just divine!

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March 22nd, 2014

How to dry and reactivate your sweet starter

Trockensicherung süßer Starter

Having a active sourdough like the sweet starter is a good thing. But there is always the risk of loosing. It could starve while you are on a longer vacation or because you have no time for bread baking. Or (worst case scenario) some mould could start to grow on your precious sourdough. And that’s when a backup can be handy.

When I grow my sweet starter in December, I decided to test two different methods for storing sourdough: Freezing and drying. And after three months I tested which method provides a faster success when I reactivating. I mixed both the frozen and the dried starter with fresh flour and water and left them on the counter. After 20 hours the dried starter was clearly back to life as I could judge from the increase of volume. A feeding with flour and water showed that it could already triple its volume after 4 hours on 30°C, like it would before freezing.

The frozen starter was barely alive after the same time, only some tiny bubbles suggest that it was not completely dead. But that does not surprise me so much, because during the freezing process the water in the cells of the microorganisms starts to form crystals, which damage the cells. During drying on the other hand the cells form spores to survive  the unpleasant situation and spring back to life as soon as it comes in contact with water and flour.

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March 20th, 2014

Baguette rolls with sweet starter

Baguettebrötchen

A short glance in our pantry told me last Friday that it was really time for restocking flour. And so the rolls I was planning to bake the next morning was dictated by the flour I had still in stock. And the rolls turned out great! Great oven spring, open crumb, crisp crust and a great flavour, too. And so I decided to post the recipe despite the fact that there is already a bunch of baguette recipe here on the blog.

And I will send them to Zorras Bread Baking Day as well. This month it is hosted by Food for Angels and Devils and is dedicated to the ultimate Baguette recipe.

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March 18th, 2014

Flour

flourFlour is essential for baking bread. But if you start to compare international flours you will fast realize that the flour types in one country are not easily to translate into flour types of another country. There is no international standard to make flour comparable. And that’s why MayK asked me to make a picture of the flours I use and give a closer description because German Type numbers can be rather confusing.

In Germany, flour is classified by its ash content. For that the flour is burned in a 900°C hot oven, so only the unburnable part of the flour – the minerals – are left over. And then the ash is weighted. According to the DIN 10355 each Type of German flour has to contain a defined amount of minerals. For Type 550 this is rougly about 550mg Minerals in 100g flour (which can also be described as 0.55% ash content). Continue reading

March 15th, 2014

Pear Chocolate Tarteletts

Birnen-Schokoladen-Tarte 2A combination which is unbeatable for me is semisweet chocolate and pear. And when I have pears in the kitchen witch has to be used quickly because they are already very ripe, I tend to always to come back to this combination.

And when I was left with one and half pear after cooking the Apple Pear Jelly I started to knead a pastry dough without much thinking. While the dough rested in the fridge I cooked the pears and whipped up a chocolate filling. The filling is flavoured with a hint of cinnamon and tonka bean which adds some depth to the chocolate.

I baked the tarteletts in rings I bought in France last year, but a regular tarte form will do as well.

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