May 1st, 2016

Honigreingerl

Honigreingerl (9)I met Honigreingerl some time ago and they trigger my “Have to bake” reflex of immediately.  They are small Austrian pastries which are filled with a honey and cinnamon mixture. In their crumb you can find many small openings filled with the flavour of honey and cinnamon.

Original the Honigreingerl are baked in a slightly higher form, but using a muffin tin and brioche forms work good as well. The dough is made with ten percent spelt flour like I used it in the Butterzopf recipe, as this makes rolling the dough easier. The other components of the dough are the “usual suspects”: Biga, some egg and butter – a guaranty for a fluffy crumb and good flavour. And so are my homemade Honigreingerl: a golden crust and a very fluffy crumb filled with the flavours of honey and cinnamon – a divine treat!

 

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April 30th, 2016

Bread Baking for Beginners: Spelt Buttermilk Loaf (with walnuts)

Dinkel-Buttermilchbrot mit WalnüssenSome weeks ago a reader asked me if I had an idea for a spelt variant of the Buttermilk loaf from the beginners course. Of course I had an idea and so I send her a recipe draft. The flour used for this bread had a higher ash content – just as she asked for. A soaker made from flour and buttermilk prevents the bread from getting to dry.

It took a while until I bake the bread by myself. A inflammation of my wrist kept me from hand kneading dough for a while. But since my wrist is fine again, I finally managed to knead it by hand without pain.  As I like the combination of spelt and walnuts, I decided to some, too. And I slightly increased the water amount in comparison to the recipe draft. The bread has a moist and fluffy crumb with a slight darker colour due to the higher ash content of the flour and due to the walnuts.

It is a mild tasting bread which pairs well with goat cheese or honey and as it made with a straight dough it is a good alternative for moments when you need a fresh loaf in a considerable short time.

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April 23rd, 2016

Kieler Semmel 2

Kieler Semmel mit Vorteig (4)The first version of the Kieler Semmel was already catapulted into the first ranks of my personal best of list of blog recipes. And I planed directly to make a second version with preferment. And took me a while to come back to this plan but finally I bake them. I choose a preferment which enhance the gluten structure, a sweet starter or its cousin, which is made with commercial yeast – a Biga. And I opted for diastatic malt as I wanted to make the crust very crisp. This makes the recipe unsuitable for a cold overnight proof – a reason why I always shied away from diastatic malt before – a mistake as I knew now! The crust gains a lot through the enzymatic processes due to the malt, it is crisp but easier to bite at the same time. I get a better volume and fluffiger crust then the last time, too.

Helga, a reader from Kiel, suggested some changes in the form and gave me some advices on the intensity of the cinnamon flavour. I decided to use cylon cinnamon, which has a more subtle and complex flavour then the warm, but more acerbic and blunt flavour of Cassia. I added one gramm to the butter which yields a slight cinnamon note.  If you prefer a stronger cinnamon taste I would double this amount.

At the end, I have not to emphasise that I’m in love with this rolls, have I? They are maybe the most perfect rolls I bake (until now)!

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April 16th, 2016

Rye Bread without Sourdough

Roggenmischbrot ohne Sauerteig (1)In January a reader asked me about a recipe for dark bread with lots of rye, but without Sourdough. I needed time to think about a recipe, but finally a recipe began to form in my head. As rye needs acid for baking, I choose butter milk as liquid. The complex flavour is created by a rye poolish and a soaker made out of dried whole grain bread crumbs. The bread is in the style of a dark farmers bread with 70% rye. The buttermilk adds a noticeable but mild acidity like you would find in a mild sourdough bread.

To create the fine cracked pattern on the crust, the loaf are turned on the peel already 20 minutes prior baking and left uncovered. This results into a slight drying of the skin of the loaf and as is spread a bit during this time as well, it will create cracks on the surface. Adding steam after 30 seconds of baking will enhance the effect as well.

After all, it is a good bread with a moist, regular crumb and a thick, flavourful crust. And as it is made without sourdough it is although a nice start for bread baking beginners who want a easier start into rye breads.

 

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April 10th, 2016

Oat Twins

Haferzwillinge (3)The second bread wich I baked for the “Schwarzmarkt” was a oatmeal bread. My love for oat shines through one or the other recipe and so I made up my mind quite fast that a bread with oats would be a “must have” for the Schwarzmarkt. This time I opted for a rolled oats partly as porridge, and partly roasted. The porridge makes the bread moist and keeps it fresh for a long time, while the roasted oats add flavour and a nice texture to the crumb. The bread is risen by only the sourdough and rye poolish, which makes the flavour deep and complex.

To get four breads into the oven, I decided to bake them as “Twins” which means that I proof two round loaves in one oval proofing basket. The breads fuse while baking on the side they touch each other, but are easily seperated when cooled down.

I like my oat twins very much, with their dark crust and moist crumb, and the slight honey flavour in combination with nutty oats it is harmonize with cheese as well as with honey or jam. A bread, suitable for every meal!

 

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April 3rd, 2016

Whole Grain

Volles Korn (2)It makes me always happy to get my hands into flour and I enjoy it  very much when I have the opportunity to bake more then one kind of bread. This weekend I baked busily as I wanted to have a selection of bread for the “Schwarzmarkt” – the non-commercial food swap market which took place today. I prepared breads with different seeds, breads with oats and whole grain breads.

The whole grain bread is moist as I added some butter and a hot soaker to the dough. And a long, cold proof and the whole grain variant of my sweet starter build a complex flavour and the oven spring is very good and the slashes opend in a nice way. To archive slashes which open nicely and form nice “ears”, these things has proved themselves: a sharp nice (of course), cutting in a shallow angle and a slash in slight crescent shape.

 

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March 27th, 2016

Spelt Easter Pinze

Dinkel-OsterpinzePetras comment here made me thinking about baking this years Easter pinze with sweet starter. I already had a spelt variant in my mind and so I decided to combine both ideas. To keep the pinze moist, I replace the milk with some cream and reduced the amount of butter. Cream has not only a positive effect on the crumb, it is although good if you plan to let the pinze rise over night in the fridge, as the cream will not harden in the cold as butter would do. So the Easter Pinze can rise unaffected and it is easy to serve a oven fresh bread for easter breakfast.

As the dough contains a bit more fat (from the cream) I added some more egg yolk, too. This adds a nice yellow hue to crust and crumb, which is very nice especially on rainy Easter Sundays like it was this year. The pale green eggs in the background of the pictures are from my uncles hens, which belong to the so called “Easter eggers”, a variety of chicken which carries a special gen for a blue to green stained egg shell. So I get a  perfect green Easter egg without staining 🙂

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March 20th, 2016

Spelt Brioche

Dinkelbrioche (3)Here is –as I promised – the first spelt recipe (of hopefully many more). It is a variation of my brioche recipe, but with more egg yolk and a little water roux to increase the amount of liquid in the dough. A sweet starter adds flavour and helps a good rise.

When kneading to full gluten development, you have to keep a close eye on the dough, as spelt tends to be easily over kneaded. Especially when you use a new batch of flour it is a good idea to do a window pane test in between to test how far the gluten is already developed. It depends on the spelt variety, but perfect gluten development can be less then 30 seconds away from overkneaded .

But if you keep this in mind, then you will have a perfect light and fluffy dinkel brioche for breakfast on sunday morning!

 

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March 16th, 2016

Lemon Raspberry Macarons

Zitronen-Himbeer-Macarons (1)A day off should to be spent considered. And this a dear friend and me did last week. As my friend is as much passionated about baking as I am we decided to to a macaron marathon to compare two different recipes. One was the recipe of Pierre Hermè that I baked two weeks ago and the other one my friend get of the French grandmother of a friend.

Both recipes differs a lot from each other: the Hermé recipe contains more sugar and is made with an italian meringue. This makes the recipe more complicated, but it yields great macarons as well. The grandmothers recipe is very easy to prepare, but we struggeled with runny dough, cracks in the macaron shell and problems with the right baking time. Non of this happend with the Hermé recipe, we baked about 120 macaron shells with that recipe and each of them was perfect! And while the last time I pipe the macarons “free style” this time we used a template we place below the baking paper, so the macarons look now as similar as peas in a pod.

The macarons have a core of lemon curd which is surrounded by a dark pink ganache. The combination of lemon and raspberries is always a dream and the slight tartness of the fruits is the perfect contrast to the sweet shells! A beautiful and delicious treat! Continue reading

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