March 20th, 2015

Bread baking for beginners V: Potato rolls with Biga

Kartoffelbrötchen (1)I mentioned already once or twice that I like to at potatoes into bread dough. In combination with a preferment they make the crumb soft and fluffy.

A classic preferment consist of flour, water, sometimes salt and microorganisms. In a sourdough the microorganisms  are different lactobacteria and yeasts, while in a biga, poolish or pâte fermentée you will find bakers yeast (because you added them). A preferment will ferment for some time (mostly 12-16 hours) and in this time the microorganisms will release byproducts of their metabolism into the preferment. That makes the flavour of the dough (and later of the bread) complex and deep.

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March 15th, 2015

Goldknödel with Sweet Starter

Goldknödel (2)I love the fact that my sweet Starter enables me to bake more or less spontaneously with a delicious preferment. And when my parents asked us this morning if we want to meet in the afternoon for a cup of coffee I decided to bake a family classic: Goldknödel (Golden Dumplings).

The recipe stems from the transsylvanian branch of the family and we all love it. My variant here contains less yeast, a preferment and cream instead of butter. This makes the crumb fluffy and enables me to proof the cake overnight if I want to. But today I choose the fast variant and proofed the cake at room temperature.

The cake is served uncut, and everyone can break a piece from it.

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March 14th, 2015

Breadbaking for Beginners IV: Buttermilk Loaf

Buttermilchlaib (2)The next recipe for beginners is a bread made with buttermilk and some rye flour. These ingredients make the bread hearty and if you proof the dough over night in the fridge, the flavour will be even more complex. But if you need a fast bread, it is possible to let the dough rise for one hour instead.

In contrast to the other breads we prepared in the little series, the dough will be a little bit sticky after kneading. This is due to pentosane in the rye flour and because of the higher water content. When kneading sticky dough I tend to leave the dough in the bowl and knead the dough by pulling the sides of the dough into the middle. One hand holds the bowl, the other do the folding. After 10 minutes the dough should come together nicely and can easily pulled away from the bottom of the bowl. Continue reading

March 9th, 2015

New Recipe Index

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While surfing through the blog world, I came across a niece WordPress-Plugin. Its named Visual Recipe Index and generates a recipe picture index sorted by categories. And humans are visual beings and pictures are often much more telling then recipe name, and so I directly installed the plugin additionally to my alphabetic  Index. I fine tuned the CSS-Stylesheet until it fits my needs and added some anchors so you can jump now directly to the category you want to look at.

If you want to have a look:here is the new index…

March 6th, 2015

Baking for Beginners III: Rolls

Mohn und Sesambrötchen (2)To me, the basic of good breakfast is a good roll. And so we are baking rolls in part three of our little bread baking course. These rolls are looking more complicated then they. For shaping we will use the same  method then for the bread we baked last time. And already after 15 minutes the rolls are deeply cut, which is much easier than cutting a fully proofed roll. The cut is carefully laid together and will open beautiful during baking.

For a good volume the recipe uses on the on hand some fat and the lecithin from egg yolk and on the other hand a good kneading. For kneading such a firm dough I knead like that: I press the dough with the heel of hands away from my body. Then I draw the dough back to my body with my fingers. While kneading you need patient because it takes 10 minutes to reach middle gluten development. So turn on some music and knead ahead. At the end the dough should is soft but not sticky.

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March 1st, 2015

Orange powder

Oranenpulver (2) Since quiet some time I want to make Orange powder, which Bushcook published at chefkoch.de. Before I tested the powder I tend to dry orange zest during the winter and grinded them in the mortar when needed. But now I know the orange powder and I have to tell you: Forget about simple dried orange peel. The orange powder is way better. I know that it is more complicated but the flavour so much more intense due to the cooking before drying the zests.

Because we buy mostly organic orange I had a lot of material for tweaking the recipe. Nowadays I do not peel them anymore but use a zester. And if I do not want to make the powder directly I place the zests in the freezer until I have time to proceed. I dry the zests after baking bread on the still warm bread baking stone. This reduces the amount of energy needed for the powder.

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February 27th, 2015

Bread baking for beginners II: Simple bread

 

Einfaches Brot (4)I got a lot of positive feedback to my idea of making a small virtual bread baking course. I’m very happy about it and will start to post more beginner recipes on the blog in the next weeks. And if you have questions, ideas or wishes: Please tell me! I will do my best to include it.

The bread we will bake today is a simple one, and similar to the recipe last week it is a “no kneading” bread. The dough rises overnight in the fridge and we can concentrate on forming the loaf. For a plus on flavour I added some rolled oates.

The bread is baked seam side up. The seam is created when forming the bread and is the weak point where the crust can expand during the oven spring (the rising of the bread in the oven). This is important because it ensures that the bread can rise to its maximum and helps to create a bread with a good volume, good crumb and good look, too.

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February 21st, 2015

Silserkranz

SilserkranzI nearly missed that Zorras Bread Baking Day waked from its hibernation and that there is indeed a theme for February! But luckily I stumbled over Announcement of Ina-Christin who is its hostess in this month. And because she loves pretzels as much as I do she wishes us to to bring pretzel variations. This makes it easy to come up with a recipe for her.

I baked a Silserkanz, a Swiss speciality of six pretzel rolls forming a crown. The dough is nearly the same as in my pretzel roll recipe, I just used some milk instead of water. And I believe that this change make the crumb even a little bit more fluffy then the old variant.

For a spontaneous baking the Silserkranz turned out well. The next time I would just cut the rolls a little bit deeper to avoid the uncontrolled cracks that formed in some of the rolls. But this is just a minor drawback and only disturb my inner perfectionist.  The rolls are delicious and a eye catcher on every table!

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February 14th, 2015

Bread Baking for Beginners I: Sour Cream Rolls

Schmand-Kanten (2)

For quit some time I have an idea in my mind. I would like to start a small series of blog post with recipes and explanations for bread baking beginners where the single posts build on each other, explaining all the basics need. I would start with rather fast and simple recipes without kneading or forming and end with more complex recipes with a preferment.

What do you think? Would this be interesting for you?

For the beginning I come up directly with a recipe. It is a recipe for rolls made with some sour cream. They are delicious with a crisp crust and a soft crumb and perfect for breakfast on lazy weekends.

For me, baking these rolls is a good start to begin with bread baking. There is no kneading or shaping involved, only some time is needed because the dough rise overnight in the fridge. But we are sleeping during this time anyway so it does not matter so much. This long cold rise has some advantage. The gluten (that are the proteins that keeps wheat based dough together) can develop without kneading, the rolls develop a deeper flavour because of fermenting by-products  which the yeast releases into the dough and the next morning we only need another 45 min between preparing the rolls and pulling them from the oven.

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February 12th, 2015

Berliner Ballen with Sweet Starter

Berliner Ballen

I told you already in the last years, that I do not like carnival so much. What I like is baking and eating “Berliner Ballen”, the yam filled german doughnut which is served traditionally during the carnival days. And so I created a new recipe with a lot egg yolks for a very soft crumb and sweet starter for a good flavour and oven spring.

While frying the Berliner I learned a lesson I – in theory – already knew: A glass lid is not as effective in shielding the heat in the pot as a black enameled metal lid. For the first batch I used the glass lid so I was able to observe the doughnuts while frying. But the oven spring was not as good as it should be. So for the next batch I took the metall lid that belongs to my frying pot. And now the oven spring was perfect. The Berliner got the white “collar” – a part of the dough which is lifted out of the hot fat due to the oven spring and which is a sign for a well made Berliner Ballen.

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