July 5th, 2015

Orangeade

OrangenlimonadeNearly always I prefer to drink water for refreshment, most of the time sparkling water, sometimes tap water (the tap water here has a very good quality). But when the temperature rise I sometime I like to have water with some flavour. A virgin hugo for example or a simple glass of water with a piece of orange or lemon. And when the temperature hits the 37°C mark like in the last days,  I even like to have a glass of a cool homemade Orangeade.

My version 2.0 profits from the experiences with making orange powder. Simmering the orange and lemon zests sets free much more flavour and colour then simple infusing the zests in the orange juice. That I double the amount of the zests helps of course as well. And if the second orange is not needed for juice then cut them in pieces and use them to serve with the orange. This adds even more flavour and looks beautiful as well.

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July 4th, 2015

Raspberry and Red Currant Jam (without gelling sugar)

Himbeer-Johannisbeer-Gelee (1)

The 1:1 gelling sugar was sold out this weekend in our supermarket. Buying 2:1 or 3:1 was not an option for me as I like to avoid having preservatives like potassium sorbate in my homemade jams.  All 2:1 and 3:1 gelling sugars contain some preservatives to cope with the reduced amount sugar. And so I stand in the sugar aisle, mused about jam making and decided to cook it in the “good old way” without gelling sugar.

Since some years I cook already my quince jelly only with quince juice, sugar and citron juice if needed, and always get an red-orange jelly with an intense flavour. Red currants contains a lot of pectin as well and so cooking them without gelling sugar sounded like a good idea. To reduce the risk of burning the jam, I let the berries simmer for 20 minutes without sugar, before I  pass the softened fruits through a sieve and mixed it with the sugar. Starting with  1750g berries I ended with 1000g berry pulp and about 350g leftover seeds, meaning that a lot of water was evaporated. This leads to a dark red, aromatic jam and I’m sure that I will do my red currant jams in this way now all the time!

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June 29th, 2015

Falafel

Falafel (1)After the successful disputation we always have a little party with delicious food. After the exiting defense the newly made doctor need something to refresh and we others need it as well. There is nothing more existing for all of us!

For the last defense I was asked to make Falafel and so I spend the morning rolling them. I needed 45 min to form 100 Falafel and after 50 I asked myself if I was doing to many. But when I then placed the freshly fried falafels on the buffet, they were gone so fastly that I knew that 100 was the perfect number. And when I was asked if the recipe is already on the blog, I had to say no. But now it is :-)

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June 28th, 2015

Chubz

Chubz (2)Do you know this? You take a photograph, and another one, and another one. And nothing looks good. This Arabian flatbread, Chubz, is one of this cases. It is so … flat. After ten minutes of unsatisfying pictures my beloved one turn nervous and declared that bread and falafel would be better in our stomach then on a picture. And he was right, of course. So I put away the camera and we sat down to eat.

Chubz is a stable in the Arabian cuisine. In Germany you will find it falafel stalls where the chickpea balls are wrapped together into the bread. They are traditional baked in clay ovens, where they are place on the oven wall. They are simple breads made with flour, water, oil, salt and yeast. My variant of the flatbread uses wild yeasts from two kinds of sourdough what makes it very aromatic. They are baked at highest temperature in the oven (300°C) and there they need only 90 seconds until they puff up and got golden brown speckles on the surface.

The next day I give the picture another try and after a night of sleep my creative brain was working better.  I put the rolled leftover breads in a glass to gain some height which gave me a more appealing picture.

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June 27th, 2015

Bread Baking for Beginners XVII: Bagel

Bagel (10)I was asked to include a bagel recipe in my little course about bread baking and I was very willing to do so. Bagels are a good recipe for beginners as the dough is quite firm and not sticky at all. Kneading on the other hand can be a little work out because of the firm dough, too. But kneading a bagel dough is important to get a chewy bagel. So turn on some music and start kneading!

Another important point is boiling the bagels prior to baking. The longer you cook, the denser the bagel will become, as the proteins and starch on the outside of the bagel start already to set, preventing the bagel from rising to much in the oven. I like Bagel on the softer side, so I boil them for 30 seconds on each side. But play around with this time to get your personal perfect bagel! Continue reading

June 25th, 2015

Berry tartlets with Elderflower Cream

Beerentörtchen (3)

It’s summer. Maybe the weather is autumn-like (which is somehow typical German) but the strawberry stall is back at the Albertus-Magnus-Place and this means: It’s summer. They are selling strawberries from a local farmer and the special offer of the week were two Kilogram for five Euro! I did not hesitate and bought a basket for my beloved  boy friend. As I’m allergic against strawberries he had the two kilos for himself and so he had enough fruits to cook jam, to snack them pure and to bake a cake.

And as I like some cake as well we made come with blueberries for me as well. The base of this little tarteletts is Sablé Breton, which I found on Michas Grain de Sel, and which I topped with an elderflower flavoured cream and with berries (of course). The delicate flavour of elderflowers fits to the berries very well. The cream is very easy and contains just elderflower syrup and whipped cream. A perfect cake for lazy weekends!

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June 17th, 2015

Bread Baking for Beginners XVI: Eingenetzes Brot

Eingenetzes Brot“Eingenetztes Brot” would be Net-Bread if translated literally. But the origin from the word “eingenetzt” does not stem from the German “Netz” (net) but from “Nass”, which means “Wet”. And making the bread is wet indeed. The sticky dough is easiest to handle when hands and tools are really wet. When the bread is placed in the oven its surface is wet as well. This helps to create the shiny crust which is characteristic for this bread. To get the soft dough in the oven without accident, a so called “Schapf”, a kind of ladle, is used traditionally. Even in my rather big kitchen collection, there is no “Schapf” and so I used a small salad bowl instead. And this worked fine!

For a good flavour I used only a little bit of yeast and let the dough rise very slowly. A tiny bit of  sourdough adds depth and complexity. The recipe works without sourdough as well, but its flavour is then a little bit flatter. Continue reading

June 14th, 2015

Red Currant Cream Puffs

WindbeutelUntil now our year was an exhausting one. So we needed a break to refresh and so we headed to the beautiful East Frisia. After a week with some sun, wind and as only sound birds singing in the trees we came back relaxed and happy. After unpacking the car I started to think to finish our short vacation with some sweet treats. A quick look in the fridge revealed some eggs and cream and in the freezer I found some currants from the last year (it is really time to use them!). And about two hours later our table was set with some Cream puffs and coffee.

For the dough I use the recipe from Bertinets Cookbook. It yields cream puffs which rise good, and which have a crisp crust and a soft crumb. To prevent them from deflating, it is important to bake them until they are evenly golden and crisp. If they turn out to be not completely crisp after the indicated baking time, it helps to turn the oven on convection mode for about five minutes.

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June 5th, 2015

Bread baking for Beginners XV: Westphalian Farmers Loaf

Westfälischer Bauernstuten (4)

Another Bread from “Wishlist” is the Westphalian Farmers loaf. It is made with buttermilk and  lard. As breads with buttermilk easily catch my eye, I couldn’t resist this whish.

It is a rustic bread with a small amount of rye which is typical for Westphalia and especially for the Munsterland. In its traditional form it is made with lard, but it can be made with ghee instead as well. In my version, I used it a rye poolish, which helps to create a very good crust and a great flavour. For the form I saw them as a long, slashed loaf as well as a rustic round loaves which were baked seam side up. I like the rustic look for a farmers bread more and so I baked round loaves.

During baking the bread develops a nice crisp, reddish brown crust due to the rye poolish. The crumb is very soft and fluffy. Another bread for my favourite list!

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May 31st, 2015

Bread baking for Beginners XIV: The first Sourdough Bread

Sauerteigbrot (1)The new Sourdough is ready to bake our first sourdough bread. As a freshly raised sourdough is still a little bit weak, it makes sense to do one (or even better two) sourdough feedings at warm temperature to rise some more yeasts. After this rounds of refreshing the sourdough starter is very active and can be used to prepare the sourdough for the bread.

As the bread is made with sourdough only, some patient is need while preparing the dough. Especially baking should be considered depending on the proofing status of the loaf and not on the clock. A good method to test if the bread is already ready for baking is pressing thumb carefully into the surface of the loaf. If the dent spring back directly, it still needs to proof for some time. If the dent is filling slowly, the bread can go in the oven, if a strong oven spring is desired. If the dent will stay it is really time to bake. The bread will have still some oven spring.

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