Category Archives: Bread

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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July 5th, 2014

Sunday braid with sweet starter

 

Sonntagszopf (2)

I like to eat some “Zopf” (or Challah or  some other kind of soft braided bread), especially for breakfast on sunday. In the last year I often baked Schwiss  Butterbraid. I like it very much but for the most people who grow up in Germany this kind of bread has to be sweet while the swiss version is not sweet. And for those with a sweet tooth I baked this sunday braid. It is so delicious, that I baked it for the goodbye breakfast of a colleague again. And each time I bake it I’m thrilled because of its buttery, sweet flavour and the soft crumb.

A big portion of cream makes the crumb incredible soft and fluffy. And the advantage of cream instead of butter is that the dough (or the shaped bread) rise well in the fridge. With higher butter amounts I made the experience that the butter hardens in the cold and so hinder the dough to rise proberly. And for forming the dough ít is necessary to keep it in the fridge for at least one hour. But then braiding will be easy.

For a good flavour and good oven spring I included my sweet starter in the recipe. If you don’t have one, you can use instead some Lievito madre or a Biga, which rise overnight in the fridge.

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June 27th, 2014

Light Spelt Bread

Helles Dinkelbrot (3)

With the new oven I had to bake a bread immediately. I didn’t have a pure spelt bread for some time and so I decided that spelt bread should be the first bread baked in the new oven! With some sourdough and poolish for a good, complex flavour and a hot soaker to keep it moist.

But really existing was the moment when I placed the bread in the oven. I turned the oven to “Hydrobake”, which is the oven programm that traps the steam inside and throw some ice cubes inside to create some more steam. And then I sat in front of the oven and watch the bread rise the same way like other people would watch a thriller. The oven spring was indeed nicer then in my old oven. But the most impressing thing is the great colour and shine of the crumb which shows the importance of steam for a the maillard reaction.

I’m really happy with the new oven. And I’m happy with the bread as well. It tastes great, has a nice open crumb and a very crisp crust! It tastes so good, that I had no change to freeze one loaf because we it so fastly!

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June 7th, 2014

Hot Walnut Ring with Koharsan Wheat

Feurige Walnuss-RingeThe last time I phoned my sister, she told me about a “Baguette” she ate in a cooking class some days ago. She liked the combination of hot pepper, walnuts and whole spelt flour, but the bread had a very thigh and doughy crumb. So I wrote down the recipe and promised to build a better recipe. For that I had to change nearly the whole recipe.

I take out the egg from the formula (no egg is needed in a baguette), but add a good deal more water but much less yeast. I reduced the amount of walnuts only a little bit for a better balance between bread and nut and added some chopped sweet red pepper for the good look. The amount of hot pepper should be adjusted by the personal taste, the amount of Habenero I used brings the recipe definitely to the hot side. If you want a milder version I would decrease the hot pepper and use more sweet pepper instead.

I kneaded the dough as I would knead a baguette dough and in the end I was rewarded with a soft but not sticky dough. It was easy to form some rings out of it. And after a propper fermenting and proofing time (something the original recipe omit) I was rewarded with a great aromatic bread. The Khorasan wheat, which I used instead of Spelt, gives a sweet nutty flavour to the dough which goes very well with walnuts and hot pepper. And the crumb is nicely open, especially when you consider the high amount of whole grain flour. A perfect bread to bring to a BBQ or to eat as a side with a summer salad!

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June 1st, 2014

Brioche

Brioche (3)

Since some weeks I have some niece little brioche forms sitting in my cupboard which are only waiting for being filled with a new recipe. This long weekend was the perfect time to try the idea of baking Brioche with sweet starter. This strong, not tangy sourdough adds a niece complexity to the dough while the big amounts of egg and butter yield a soft and fluffy crumb.

But this big amount of butter makes it necessary to use a kitchen machine for kneading. When the butter is added, the dough loose all of its strength and becomes soft and smeary. So soft and smeary that I had my doubts if I could knead it to good consistency. But during  intensive kneading with the kitchen machine the dough gains back its strength and after 15 min the gluten network was fully developed. But it is worth to find the patience to knead for such a long time because this will result in a fluffy crumb which can be torn into long fibres.

The only thing I will change the next time is that I would form the upper ball for the Brioche à tête a little bit smaller so that the head is easier to recognize.

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May 24th, 2014

Honey Bread with Kamut

Honigbrot mit Kamut

Old grain species like Einkorn, Emmer and Kamut enrich the diversity of bread flavours and gives us a lot of new possibilities for baking. When I thought about a theme for the ongoing  Bread Baking Day I realized that I did not bake with these grains for a long time. And so I bought Emmer, Einkorn and Kamut on my next trip to the whole food shop.

Kamut is the trade name of the Khorasan wheat. As a genetical analysis from 2006 showed that its origin lies in the fertile crescent and that it stems from a natural cross between durum wheat and Triticum polonicum. Its flour has, similar to durum flour, a creamy yellow colour and can be used similar to wheat flour.

Because kamut is rather expensivI normally mix wheat flour with kamut flour, and so I did in the bread, too. The honey I added to the dough pairs very well with the mild yoghurt flavour of my very active sourdough and the nutty nuance from the Kamut. The honey although enhance the dark crust colour while some stretch and fold cycles helps to create an open crumb.

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May 10th, 2014

Olive Fougasse

Oliven Fougasse

There are still recipes missing from my big batch baking day before easter. But I haven’t forgot about them! So here comes the next one: Olive Fougasse. The dough of this fougasse is in principle identical with my favourite bread, in which I kneaded some kalamata olives.  For a really good flavour it is important to use real black olive, who could ripe and develop their full flavour, and not the one, which are dyed! It makes so much a different! A Fougasse is the perfect party bread in my opinion. It taste great, looks great and you can easily break it in pieces and share it with your friends. And with some olives added it is a great side for barbeque (at least for olive lovers like me).

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April 28th, 2014

Aggertaler

Aggertaler (2)

Each morning when I take the train to cologne, I look through the window to see the beauty of our little river agger and its valley (Aggertal). An attentive Observer can see Great Crested Grebe dancing their mating dance, discover a doe with its fawn, different kinds of geese and sometime even a hare. And I love to see small waft of mist over the water, enlighten by the rising sun. And sometimes I wish I could ask the train driver to stop so I could enjoy a view a little longer.

And so this bread is a little homage to my home valley, with my very active sourdough starter, flour from the local mill and water which is (of course) from a side river of the agger.  It catches the essence of home between its crispy crust and airy crumb!

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April 21st, 2014

Baguette variations

Baguette-Variationen

 

Another Idea I brought home from our holidays in Alsac is to cover a baguette with poppy seeds or sesame.  For the baking marathon last weekend I put the idea into practice and bake some Baguette au pavot (with poppy seeds) and Baguette au sesame (with sesame). After I formed the baguettes from my favourite dough with sweet starter (you can use this yeast dough Baguette, too) I wet their surface a little bit and turned them in sesame or poppy seeds. After proofing (according to the recipe) I slashed them lengthwise and baked them like written in the recipe,

The fragrance of the freshly baked baguettes were divine. And the taste were incredible, too.

This was not the last time baking these baguette variations!