From our kitchen window we could see how our neighbour, the vintner, put the first flasks with young wine (in Germany called Federweißer) in the display. And because we were waiting for the first bottle of Federweißer already, my dearest one directly went to buy some flasks. He came back with to happily fermenting flasks but not before he and our neighour savoured a glass of it together.
I own milk kefir grains since some months. In such a kefir grain you can find a lot of different lactic acid bacteria and yeast and making homemade kefir is even more easy then making yoghurt. You just have to put the grains into milk and leave them for about 1 day. It is a fresh, slightly sparkling refreshment – especially during summer – and is good for health, too.
Like always I ended at some point whisking to put this milk product into a bread dough. And so I bake delicious kefir buns this weekend. I made a no-knead version, it just involves mixing the dough and let it rise over night. The next morning I rolled the dough into a long band, rolled it up into a long log and cut it into pieces. That is way faster then rolling each part up alone.
I baked them seamside up and they crack open very nicely along the seam during baking. They have a rather soft crust and moist crumb similar to my favourite Yoghurt rolls. Some Emmer flour gives the rolls a nutty flavour and the kefir adds a certain freshness to the buns.
Some month ago, my colleagues had the idea that I should asked the editorial stuff of our coworker journal if they would like to publish one of my recipes. After some very nice mails I started to develop a recipe. And because I’m working in the botanical institute I decided to bake rolls in form of flowers.
The dough follows my favourite principles: a little bit yeast and a long fermentation in the fridge, which helps to build a great flavour.
And for all who do not read the “Mituns” (which should be most of you), here is the recipe which is printed in the current issue:
Micha praised Günther Webers book, Lutz like it, too and now I’m joining the chorus: The recipes are great! And yes, the book contains only few recipes, but they are worth every cent! A good example is this gorgeous white bread.
The bread is simple to make and follows my favourite method: the dough rise over night on the kitchen counter. The trick which made the bread so irresistible, is adding a tiny bit of sourdough. This builds a complex, very aromatic flavour. The warm temperature speeded up the fermentation and after 8 hours the dough had already tripled. But it was no problem for me because I’m an early bird. And so I form the bread before the first coffee. And I had the already the feeling that 90 minutes for proofing would be way to much for my lively dough. And so I heated my baking stone directly. And I was right. Already after 40 min the loaves has risen a lot. And after 50 minutes the loaves could not wait any longer and I placed them in the oven. Luckily they had still enough power for a good oven spring.
And the bread I took from the oven was – as mentioned before – just gorgeous: a soft crumb, crisp crust and then an overwhelming flavour. This bread is a new favourite! And I will play around with new overnight recipes with a little bit of sourdough!
We spent this Pentecost sunday with my parents in their garden. At evening, when my sister and her family headed home to put their exhausted children to bed, my mum and me started to fill the dishwasher and to tidy the garden. My mum asked me then: “I prepared a poolish in the morning. Do you have an idea for breakfast rolls?” Of course I had and while she collected the toys flying around in the garden, I kneaded a dough and chatted a little bit with my dad. We put the dough in the cold cellar so it could rise overnight.
The next morning my mom send me some pictures from their breakfast table and the note: “The rolls are great” . And so we decided to do this blog post together, with her pictures and my writing and the rolls we did together!
The 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!
Until the 18th century bakers went to the next brewery to get some yeast for baking. Even the name of the yeast we use for baking shows that it was originally used for making beer: Saccharomyces cervicae. But when the new bottom fermenting yeast strain Saccharomyces carlsbergensis used by more and more breweries getting yeast for baking was not possible anymore because this yeast stays on the bottom of fermenting vessel (instead on floating on top like S. cervicae.) And so the first commercial produced yeast for bakers appeared on the market in 1780.
When my love and me brew beer it always breaks my heart to throw away the yeast which remains after bottling. And because I search ancient recipes for this month BBD, I decided to bake rolls using the beer yeast instead of the “normal” bakers yeast (which is the same species, anyway).
When I was doing my weekly groceries in the wholefood shop I spotted a bag with chestnut flour. Spontaneously I bought it. But after putting it into the pantry to my other flours I forgot about it. But some weeks later, when I put away a new batch of flour, it came back into my notice. And I started to think about a recipe directly.
At the end I decided to bake chestnut “Krusti”. A Krusti is a german roll for which the dough is rolled into a log and which is then baked seamside up. During ovenspring it will open along the seam, forming a good part of crunchy crust. We like this kind if bread very much.
The chestnut flour added a subtle nutty sweetness flavour and gave crumb and crust a niece brown colour. The crumb is very soft and fluffy, while the crust is crunchy. This roll is a new favourite!
We spent our last summer holiday in the Alsace. And we enjoyed the beautiful landscape, the food and the niece people there very and much – and the bakeries,too! During our holidays I scribbled down a list with breads I had to bake when I’m back home.
Among the breads of this list was the Pain Pavé as well as this Sübrot. Sü comes from Sou which means a very small coin and Brot means bread so Sübrot can be translated to “Penny bread”. During wartimes it was a cheap bread that due to its form could be purchased in pieces as well. And even nowadays I was asked if I wanted the whole loaf or only a part of it when I bought it in a Boulangerie in Strasbourg.
Back home, when I decided to bake my own version, I decided to go to a slow rising dough, which fermented over night at roomtemperature. The next morning I divided the dough, shaped two squares and spread a thin layer of oil on top of one of them. The oil layer hast to be really thin to ensure that the bread do not unfold to quickly in the oven, so I removed a part of it again with a paper towel. And that worked very well, indeed. I was sit in front of the oven all the time, fascinated by the unfolding bread.
And the finished bread is a treat, too: Open crumb, crisp crust and a mild but complex taste!
During our last vacation in france I fell in love with the flat, rustic looking Pain Pavé. Pavé means cobblestone and refers to the flat, rectangular shape of the breads. Most of the time they are cut crosswise or with a rhombical pattern.
My version of the Pavé is made with rye sourdough and a long, cold fermentation in the fridge. That helps, together with the folds of the dough, to develope an open crumb and a deep, complex flavour.
It is a bread which goes very well with a flavourful winter soup or very simple with only some goat brie!