Category Archives: Bread

May 9th, 2015

Breadbaking for Beginners XI: Basler Brot

Basler Brot (1) There are a lot of whishes’ for recipes for the bread baking course: the swabian “genetzes” Bread, Baguette, Bread with heirloom grains, yeasted cake, Westphalian Farmer Loaf, Sourdough and Sourdough breads, Salzstangerl, Bagel and Basler Brot.  And there are still my personal wishes, a whole grain bread and a multi grain bread. We are not running out of recipes or ideas :-)
Today I would like to start with the Basler Brot. It is one of most famous Swiss breads, and stems – as the name suggested – from Basel. It has a very crisp crust and a soft crumb. It is a pure wheat bread is normally baked with the Swiss “Ruchmehl”. This flour is hard to get in Germany, and so I did a variant using Flour Type 550 and Whole wheat flour.  To increase the amount of water while keeping the dough easy to handle I added a hot soaker. This helps to create a soft crumb. A little bit of butter helps here, too.

To make sure that the crust is crisp we use the technic of “double baking”.Here the bread is baked a second time after cooling down for at least 30 min. This makes the crust very aromatic and crisp.

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April 26th, 2015

Bread Baking for Beginners X: Spelt Rye Bread

DinkelbrotSo here is now the promised Spelt bread. I know that many of the readers of this blog like to bake with spelt, but baking with spelt flour is a little bit more challenging then baking with  wheat flour, so the recipe comes relatively late in my bread baking course.

Spelt is closely realted to wheat. But there are two thing to keep in mind when working with spelt. Flour made from spelt contains a different composition of gluten proteins which finally results in a more fragile gluten network. This makes it easy to “over knead” spelt dough, meaning that the dough is kneaded longer then it takes to obtain full gluten development which ends in breaking down the gluten network once again. Due to this fact I prefer to knead spelt dough by hand which gives me a better control then kneading with the kitchen machine. If kneading with the machine it is important to keep a close eye on the dough and testing the gluten development by the window pane test. Intervall kneading (kneading shortly with breaks in between) can be handy as well. Continue reading

April 11th, 2015

Bread Baking for Beginners VIII: Wild Spring Herbs Bread

Frühlingswurzel In the last days, the weather was warm and sunny and it finally feels like real spring. The first trees started to flower and the leaves will develop soon and the world will be green once again. And already the first fresh herbs can be found in garden and forest, like wild garlic, ground elder  and salad burnet. Blended together this herbs yields an aromatic paste which adds a great flavour to this crusty bread and turns the crumb slightly green.

As preferment I used a poolish. A poolish is made with the same amount of water and flour and a tiny little bit of yeast. It rise for 14-16 hours and has to used while its surface is still doomed. In contrast to a biga, which is really forgiving when used half a day later then planned, a poolish has only a limited time window in which it can be used. After that it starts to degrade and collapse.  But it helps the dough to rise well and adds a mild, complex flavour.  The name poolish comes from the polish bakers who brought this kind of dough to France in former times. Here he is used often for baguette dough.

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April 5th, 2015

Schiacciata di Pasqua

Schiacciata (1)Sometimes you stumble over a recipe and then it catches you so much, that you change all your plans just to bake it. For me this happend when I read about the Schiacciata di Pasqua, the Tuscan Easter bread similar to Panettone. It is baked with olive oil, what tempted me very much. And because I was feeding my sweet starter anyway to bake a Colomba pasquale I decided to make to festive breads for Eastern in parallel.

For my recipe I checked many formula available in the net but had to realize that the amount of olive oil varies a lot. At the end I placed my recipe somewhere in the middle. A little change to the original formula is that I avoided to add anise seeds which I do not like at all. But I added them in the recipe in brackets, because the traditional Schiacciata di pasqua has to contain these seeds.

It is a very delicious bread in the end, sweet with a subtle hint of olive oil and very slight sourness from the sourdough. The crumb can be teared into long fibers and is very light. A perfect gift for the family on Easter Morning!

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March 28th, 2015

Bread baking for Beginners VI: Zuckerplatz (Sweet Bread)

Zuckerplatz (2)Last weekeend I realized how near Eastern is when my mom told me on the phone about her plans of dyeing eggs with her kids at school. And so I changed my plans for the bread baking course and developed a sweet recipe perfect for the Easter Breakfast. It is a sweet bread called which is made with the biga preferement. The subtle acidity of it helps to strengthen the gluten network. For a tender crumb the dough contains cream, egg yolk and some butter. By replacing the butter with cream the dough can rise in the fridge if needed.

For all doughs with a lot of sugar or butter it is important to develop first the gluten network before butter and sugar. Both can inhibit the gluten development. The fat in the butter can coat the gluten proteins so that they can not connect with other gluten proteins to form strands while the sugar draw the water away from the proteins which again strongly reduce the forming of gluten strands. That’s why we will add the sugar in small increments after 10 min of intense kneading. You will realize while kneading in the sugar that the dough will become softer. This is due to the water which is no longer bound by gluten proteins because of the sugar. Continue reading

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

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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January 31st, 2015

Whole Grain Country Loaf

Vollkorn-Landbrot

Breads with spelt are still highly requested. There was for example the question if the Country Loaf could maybe be baked without wheat and with only whole grain flour. I thought a little bit and changed some details and sent my first draft to the reader. It took some time until I could test the recipe in practice. Here I had to realize that the hot soaker would be better with more water, and so I changed the recipe accordingly. But the rest of the recipe worked as planned.

And the bread is very delicious. Because it is whole grain the oven spring is a bit weaker, and the crumb is denser, but due to the soaker it stays fresh the whole week! The Pâte fermentée makes the flavour mild but complex and the long cold proof in the fridge even improves the aroma. It is really could when there are recipe questions to recipe question :-D!

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January 18th, 2015

Pure Spelt

Pures Dinkel (1)

A reader asked for pure spelt recipe here on the blog and I realized that there a only few and that recipes without sourdough are even fewer. And so I baked a pure spelt bread last weekend. It is a light bread with a little bit whole spelt flour, a poolish and a long rise to enhance the flavour.  I put the whole spelt floor into the poolish, so it had enough time to soak properly. Another part of the flour I mixed with water and placed it overnight in the fridge. The next morning I mixed the autolysed dough together with the poolish and a hot soaker. The hot soaker prevents the dough from baking dry, an often occurring problem with pure spelt bread.

The bread turned out to be a highlight: Great oven spring, crisp crust, soft crumb and a fantastic flavour.

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January 11th, 2015

Wholegrainy Wheat bread with sweet Starter

Korniges Weizenbrot (1)

There are these days when I I have to realize after a look into the fridge that there is no bread anymore. Those days when there is no bubbeling sourdough waiting on the counter. This are the days when I love my darling sweet starter most. After three hours (sometimes even faster) he is ready for baking. And when I combine him with a cold proof over night, then I get a bread with a deep complex flavour.

Last weekend it was one of these days and because I was longing for a bread with a big part of  whole grain flour I decided to feed the sweet starter with freshly milled whole wheat flour. I kept a close eye on him because he still very active and the minerals in the whole grain flour tends to make a sourdough ripening faster as well. And indeed after two hours the starter was ready and I could knead the dough.

After proofing the loaves in the fridge I baked them early in the morning and was very happy with the bread I pull from the oven. It has a crisp crust and a soft crumb with the great flavour of a long, cold proof. It is a good bread for cheese or honey and keeps fresh for a long time!

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