August 31st, 2014

Butterkuchen (with sweet Starter)

Butterkuchen mit süßem StarterA Butterkuchen in its simplicity is one of the most enchanting cakes for me. It is only made with some flour, milk, butter, sugar and yeast  and allows each ingredients to shine. And when the fridge is still rather empty after coming home after our vacation trip, it is the perfect cake because it only needs so few ingredients. And after a short search in the cupboard I even found some almond splices which I sprinkled over the cake for the more luxury variant.

And because the sweet starter had to be fed after being trapped in the fridge for two weeks anyway I decided that I would bake the cake with sweet starter instead of yeast. To ensure that the starter is strong enough after sleeping in the fridge for so long I fed it once in the evening, put it in the fridge after 3 hours at 30°C  and then fed it again the next morning. Due to the fact that a sweet starter will not let a dough rise as fast as with commercial yeast it takes from 8 o’clock in the morning until half past three in the afternoon until we could try the still warm cake.

It may not be the fastest method to bake this cake but you will be rewarded with a soft, fluffy cake packed with a lot of  tender but complex flavour notes. And while the cake it technically baked with a sourdough, there is not even a hind if acidity. I love my sweet starter!

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August 29th, 2014

Farmers Bread with Old Bread

Bauernbrot

We always have small leftovers of bread in our kitchen. I collect them on a small tray which I place on a heater. I let the bread dry completely and when a bigger amount has accumulated I can grind them to bread crumbs. I start with sorting the bread: Bread with whole grain flour for dark bread crumbs and white bread for white bread crumbs. Then I grind the bread (e.g with a food prozessor) to fine crumbs. The white crumbs I use mainly for cooking and the dark crumbs will add flavour to a new bread.

I like it best when the crumbs are added to a preferment, like I did with this famers bread. This bread has a deep, complex flavour and is made with old bread perfermet plus a mild sourdough which I rise in to steps. Its rustic character is enhanced by grounded caraway seeds and rye flour. The Crust is dark and aromatic, and the crust is elastic and soft, perfect for a hearty “Brotzeit”.

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August 17th, 2014

Double Bake

DoppelbackI love breads with a soft crumb and a crisp crust. And there are two possibilities to archive a thick, crunchy crust: You can either bake the bread with falling heat or you use the trick of “double baking”. For double baking you let the bread cool down after the first round of baking and then put it back into the oven. This yields a very aromatic, crisp crust.

For this wheat and spelt bread I used both methods. First I baked the loaves with falling heat, then I let them cool down over night. The next morning I put them back into the oven for about 15 min.  That created a bread with a perfectly crisp crust!

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August 10th, 2014

Crusty rolls with Pâte Fermentée

Krusti

When I was small I already loved to eat “Krusti”, crusty rolls with a rustic shape. And nowadays I enjoy baking them even more because now I can sit in front of the oven and observe how the rolls partly unfold giving each roll a individual shape and creates a lot of crust.

Like I did with these breakfast rolls I added some egg yolk as natural lecithin source. The lecithin enhances the volume of the bread and helps to create a soft crumb without influencing the flavour. And a rather short proofing ensures that the rolls has enough power for a good oven spring. For the good flavour I used some pâte fermentée and a spoonfull sourdough and a little bit butter and malt makes the aroma well balanced. A perfect breakfast roll!

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August 3rd, 2014

Kefirbrötchen

Kefirbrötchen

I own milk kefir grains since some months. In such a kefir grain you can find a lot of different lactic acid bacteria and yeast and making homemade kefir is even more easy then making yoghurt. You just have to put the grains into milk and leave them for about 1 day. It is a fresh, slightly sparkling refreshment – especially during summer – and is good for health, too.

Like always I ended at some point whisking to  put this milk product into a bread dough. And so I bake delicious kefir buns this weekend. I made a no-knead version, it just involves mixing the dough and let it rise over night. The next morning I rolled the dough into a long band, rolled it up into a long log and cut it into pieces. That is way faster then rolling each part up alone.

I baked them seamside up and they crack open very nicely along the seam during baking. They have a rather soft crust and moist crumb similar to my favourite Yoghurt rolls. Some Emmer flour gives the rolls a nutty flavour and the kefir adds a certain freshness to the buns.

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July 27th, 2014

Alsacian Kougelhopf

Gugelhupf

Nearly a year has passed since our visit in Alsace in our summer vacation. One of the souvenirs  I brought home after two splendid weeks in france was a clay baking form for Kougelhopf. It is sitting on my kitchen cabinet since then, waiting for me to create a recipe for Kugelhopf.

This weekend I finally found the time to study different Kougelhopf recipes. But I did not like them, all of them use a lot of yeast and give the dough no time to rest properly to develop a good flavour. And I wanted a recipe which uses a preferment for better taste and longer shelf life! And so I decided to use my own interpreation with a sweet starter which helps to rise the buttery dough without using a lot of yeast.

The cake is more time consuming then other recipes you may find in the web, but it develops a fine complex flavour and light and feathery crumb. I imaging that even my alsacian great-grandmother would have enjoyed it!

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July 19th, 2014

Frühstücksbrötchen

Brötchen (1)

My Dearest like the crusty rolls from the bakery which have a very soft and fluffy crumb. Such a crumb can not be archived without the use of at least some lecithin in the dough. But I do not want to use isolated lecithin and so I decided to use natural sources. Egg yolk and butter milk have both a high content of lecithin and the butter milk adds a good flavour as well.

The dough is made in the evening and rise overnight in the fridge. The next morning the rolls only has to be formed and baked. In about one and a half hour you have delicious warm rolls for breakfast!

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July 13th, 2014

Quark Blueberry Pastry

Quark-Blaubeer-Teilchen

It’s berry season! After we spent the last weeks with cooking red currant, raspberry and strawberry jam we turned our attention to the blueberries. Beside of cooking jam I set some aside to use them for a little weekend treat. Together with some quark I baked quark blueberry pastries.

For the dough I used my sweet starter which was just freshly feed. But like for this Sonntagszopf you can use Lievito madre or a biga instead. What ever you choose as a preferment, it will be delicious!

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July 8th, 2014

Orangeade

Orangenlimonade (2)

Simone from the S-Küche asked us to bring “refresments” for the 100. Blogevent in the Kochtopf. And even me, who prefer sparkling water as summer refreshment, likes sometimes a refreshing change. But bought lemonades are never tempting, even the expensive organic orangeade is to sweet and intense for me. And so I decided to make my own orangeade.

In my version the border between spritzer and orangeade becomes  blurred, because the orange syrup makes it only slightly sweet and is balanced from freshly pressed Orange and lime juice. For some colour in the glass I added pieces of the peel. I borrowed this idea from a restaurant we visit some time ago.

It is a refreshing drink at its sweetness can be easily adjusted to your personal taste by the amount of syrup used!

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July 6th, 2014

Johannisbeer-Schokoladenbiskuit-Schnitten

Johannisbeer-Schokoladenbiskuit-SchnitteThis year is a great year for berries. In my parents garden the red currants bushes bent down under the load of ripe berries. Two weeks ago I picked enough berries to cook enough red currant jelly for the coming year and it you could hardly see that I take any fruits. And so I picked another 2 kilogramm berries in betweeen two thunderstorms last Friday afternoon. The most of the currants are cleaned and froozen, the rest I used for baking a cake.

I found the recipe at Chili & Ciabatta, but due to the leftover in my baking drawer I changed the dough already a lot, adding grounded almonds and chocolate. And the for the vanilla creme I go for a different recipe because I do not use gelatine.

And even if the recipe is a different one in the end, the cake tastes fantastic. A sweet vanillacreme is balanced by the tarte red currants and with chocolate you can never do wronge!

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