July 23rd, 2016

Vegan Spelt Braid (One for All)

Veganer Dinkelzopf (2)I get the question for a sweet yeast dough without egg, milk or wheat regularly.  Depending on the dietary restrictions I sent the readers to this, this or that recipe. A dough “without everything” was missing until now. And so I promised to fill this gap.

The recipe I designed is a aromatic vegan spelt dough. Similar to my favourite braid I used here a mixture of firm and liquid fat: vegan margarine and oil. And while in a butter braid the butter flavour is very prominent, in this recipe a oil made of roasted walnuts takes over this role.

The dough recipe is a basic recipe which can be used in many different recipes. I used it to bake this braid, vegan spelt Hörnchen and nut pastry. The other recipes will follow in the next weeks.

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July 19th, 2016

Krümmelsauer / Gerstl

Krümmelsauer (1) Some days ago I had to sent some sourdough per mail. That is easy when the sourdough is mixed with a lot of flour to form dry crumbs – the German name for this is “Krümmelsauer” while it is called “Gerstl” in Austria. The crumbs should be as dry and fine as possible. This reduce the amount of water and put the microorganisms to hibernation. In this state there is nearly no fermentation going on.

Reactivation is easy as well. Mixing the “Krümmelsauer” with water and waiting until the first bubbles are showing. And as I realised that I never showed this kind of sourdough conservation on the blog, I made a double batch. One halve I sent to Berlin, the other one I kept for three days on the counter to simulate the enviroment during mailing. Then I mixed the sourdough crumbles with water and as my sourdough is quite active I saw the first bubbles after one hours already. I let the mixture ferment for another five hours, then I used it to start a sourdough. And this sourdough doubled its volume easily overnight.

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July 10th, 2016

Spelt & Seed Sandwich Bread

Dinkel-Körner-ToastThis Sandwich bread is a readers wish. But I needed two rounds, until I was really satisfied. In the first Variant I had a boiled soaker with whole spelt flour and seeds, but this added to much liquid to the dough. This resulted in a very instable crumb. The recipe needed adjustments!

The bread (in both tries) is a pure spelt flour with 30 percent whole grain flour and amixture of flax seeds, sesame and sun flower seeds for an extra nuttiness. The preferment is a biga made from whole spelt flour. This has many advantages: the whole grain flour has enough time to soak up the liquid, a biga helps to strength the gluten network and it adds complex flavour nuances, too. As every sandwich bread this bread needs a fully developed gluten network, and spelt is a sensible. So it is needed to keep a close eye on the dough to find the perfect spot.

At the rerun of the recipe I used a bit mashed potato for fluffiness and a soaker with an only moderate amount of water. This makes the dough recognizable firmer, the dough is easier to handle and the fluffy crumb gets enough stability. So what was my lecture of this day? Sometimes less (water) is more!

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July 2nd, 2016

Fruit bars

FruchtschnitteSome time ago Eva made “Rutite” (Fruit bars) for her little nice. The recipe sounded very simple and the needed dried fruits where all in my kitchen cupboards. After an intense search in the depth of my baking cabinet I even found the unloved round wafer paper which sleeps there unappreciated for several years.

As my mixer is really strong, I throw in all ingredients in whole, even the nuts. And after some minutes of mixing and scrapping down the mixture every now and then, the nuts started to release some oil and mixtrue turned into a dough with a similar consistence like marzipan. The rest was easily done: rolling out, cuting circles with an cookie cutter and placing them between wafer paper. And so I could test my Fruit bars soon. It is very delicious – even with wafer paper!

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June 25th, 2016

Kouign Amann

Kouign Amann (1)Butter is a staple in the Breton kitchen – which shows in the Sablé Breton. Another example for buttery Breton cake is Kouign Amann. It is made of a very rich croissant dough and the dough is then turned in sugar before forming. During the long baking time the sugar caramelize on the bottom of the cake to crackling layer, forms a sweet soft core in the middle of the cake and again caramelizes on the top.

My variant of this high caloric treat is a spin off of my actual sourdough croissant project. And while the croissant needs still a bit of tweaking, I’m more then happy with the Kouign Amann in this sweet starter variant. It is not a recipe for inpatient people, just the proof of the dough takes place over night at room temperature. But investing about 24 hours in this cake is more then worth, as this long proof creats a fantastic complex flavour with only a faint hint of sour. If you like palmiers, you will love the buttery caramelic Kouign Amann as well!

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June 18th, 2016

Double baked Farmers Bread

Doppelgebackenes Bauernbrot

One of the best methods to achieve a thick, crunchy crust is to bake a bread twice: after cooling down the bread is placed in the oven for a second time for about 15 min. During that time the crust gets its extra bit of crispiness.

And this method I used for this farmers bread. It contains 15% Rye flour and the typical Bavarian bread spice mixture of caraway, fennel and coriander seeds. If you, like me, have a well stocked supply of spices then it is easy to mix the needed spices by yourself. For grinding you can use either a mortar and pestle, a food processor or a coffee mill. And if you have a grain mill which allows you to mill oily seeds, then the easiest way is to mill the seeds with some wheat berries – just remember to reduce the amount of flour accordingly to the amount of wheat you mill.

The amount of bread spice is seasoning in a discreet way without overpowering the other flavours of the bread. This makes this bread suitable for hearty cheese as well for sweet spreads like honey.

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June 12th, 2016

Kekkis Everyday Bread

Kekkis Alltagsbrot (3)I like recipe tweaking – especially when this happens so spontaneously like here. Duríng a nice exchange about sweet starter the questions occurred how to add the starter in a existing and trusted everyday bread recipe. I offered help and Kekki posted her formula and the wishes for the new versions. The recipe sounded very good, made with Kefir or Buttermilk, 20% rye and 80% wheat. I exchanged the wheat sourdough with sweet starter and added a long, cold autolysis for the whole grain flour. And I baked the recipe directly, as it sounded so tempting. And I was not disappointed: The bread is very flavourful, with a hearty tangy note, good crust and soft crump. A true everyday bread!

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June 4th, 2016

Kifle

Kifle (1)Some Weeks ago a reader send me a recipe asking if I could change it to less yeast and with the possibility to let the rolls proof overnight in the fridge. The recipe was – to use the famous words of Alfred Biolek – “interesting” as it contained not only a lot of yeast but baking powder as well.  So it was not very surprisingly that the recipe yielded roll which taste not so good and get stale very fast.

And my recipe variant only contains now hints of the old one. With a poolish, a water roux, adjusted yeast amount and no baking powder it is a complete different story. I had to adjust the amounts of flour as well as my first draft was getting slightly on the to wet side. The final formula has still a higher hydration then the original recipe, but the dough is good to handle when the gluten network is fully developed.

And I am more then pleased with the Kifle. They have very fluffy crumb and a perfect soft crust and develop a fine flavour due to poolish and yoghurt. A perfect roll for both sweet and hearty Spreads.

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