January 15th, 2016

Bergisch Beer Bread

Bergisches Bierbrot (2)Sometimes days go in another direction then my bread baking plan was scheduled. Like last weekend when my mum called to invite me for a spontaneous lunch. So I placed my dough in the fridge after kneading. When we came home it was already late afternoon and when I calculate how long it would take to proof and bake the bread I realize it would be already past my bed time. So I decided to form the loaves and proof them over night in the fridge. With a mild sourdough, this works very well without getting a to sour bread.

And indeed, the bread has only a very faint sour hint  underlining the malty notes of the dark beer and a very complex flavour due to the long, cold rise. The crumb is fluffy and soft, the crust crisp, a perfect every day bread. And if you wonder why it is called “Bergisch” Beer Bread: The Bread is named after the region I live in, the Bergische Land.

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January 9th, 2016

Pandoro – A Picture Story

Pandoro

The quite days between christmas and new years eve I like to spent with baking time consuming “cake”-breads. My favourite one is the golden Pandoro, who is a laborious with its preferments, but every time I’m so excited how high it rise and what flavour it develops.

This year I baked once again my pure Sourdough variant, which gains it strangth and complex aroma through the sweet starter. It needs more then 24 hours until it is done, but when the tender crumbs nearly melts in my mouth I always think: This feels like eating a cloud.

When I was baking the pandoro this year there was a question about the sweet starter: Does it really rise during fermentation? I looked at my starter who had trippled its volume in 2 hours and decided to snap a photo to show how it should look. And as I was taking photos I decided to follow the whole fermenting and proofing process with the camera. When the pandoro was baked and sat in the kitchen to cool, I checked the pictures on the computer and was very happy with my result. The pictures showed so well how the preferment dobuled, nearly trippled and how the Pandoro gained a nearly the a four times bigger volume during proofing and baking.

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January 8th, 2016

Brotzeit at Sunday, 17. January

Brotzeit

Maybe you read this already on Lutz’ Plötzblog : There will be a big Brotzeit (literally Bread Time)  market in the Markthalle Neun in Berlin at Sunday, the 17. January. Many famous bakers will be there as well as other exhibitors.  Together with  Lutz, Werner and Schelli I will be there as well, baking spelt rolls (Dinkelseelen) with the visitors of the fair. And we have some other Ideas for bread as well! I’m already very exited and hope that I will see some of you there!!

January 1st, 2016

Spelt New Years Pretzel

Neujahrsbrezel (3)Relaxed and in good company was our start into 2016. I hope, you landed good in the new year as well!

For a late breakfast we always have the traditional new year pretzel and for this one I did something I planed to do already for some time. I transformed the favourite sunday braid recipe to spelt flour. To increase the water binding capacity, I added a water roux and for a stronger starter, I build the dough similar to a pandoro with a first and a second dough. This enhance flavour and makes the yeasts stronger as they already have the change to adapt to the higher sugar content.

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December 30th, 2015

Chocolate rounds

Schokoladentaler (2)Before we look back at the Blog year 2015 tomorrow, there is one last Christmas recipe I want to share with you. The little chocolate rounds are a delicious addition for the cookie plate and are a very nice little Present for everyone with a sweet tooth. And as they are easy to make they are a good last minute present as well!

For a good, shiny surface it is important to temper the chocolate. I do this by melting part of the chocolate, then adding the remaining part and then carefully heating it up to 30°C. This work best with a digital thermometer!

For the topping you can use what ever you like: dried fruits, nuts, candid fruits. I for myself prefer highly the variant with chopped (homemade) candid orange peel, as I like the contrast of sweet chocolate and the slightly bitter, fruity flavour of the Orange!

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December 28th, 2015

DarkNougat – Turrón de Chocolate

Turrón (2)Upps, there was for a short time a blog post online which should be the last of the year. But there are still some recipes from my Christmas Cookie Plate waiting form which I want to tell you before the new year starts.

One of these are dark Nogat, Turrón de Chocolate. It is similar to the white nougat, but some additional chocolate is folded in before adding the nuts.

Turrón making is a exercise in multi tasking, and it makes sense to think about the process before starting. You need to have ready  at the same time point melted chocolate, whipped egg white and the boiling sugar syrup at the right temperature. It helps to have kitchen machine for whipping the egg white or a second person who is willing to help. A sugar thermometer is a muss for this recipe as well, as getting the right temperature is essential for the consistence of the final product. To cold syrup will result in a not setting turròn while to hot syrup will starts to caramelize. It is a challanging recipe but the flavour is worth every trouble!

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December 26th, 2015

Shooting Star Bread

SternschnuppenbrotMy mother and me are cut from the same cloth. Wenn one of us says that she baked the “favourite bread” we know that we both mean the same bread. It tastes gorgeous and we love its crisp crust and tender crumb, but besides that it is great to play with. And so my mum send me some pictures of some breads she baked for her colleagues shortly before Christmas. Instead of decorating it with a rose, she made breads with a star decor. I fell in love with this idea immediately! Especially as I planed to bake a “thank you” bread for some friends who gave me beautiful paper stars for my christmas tree. A bread decorated with a shooting star would be great gift for them. On the first day of Christmas I then started the dough and decorate the loaf with a star, some long slashes for the comet tail and poppy seeds for the night sky. It worked as well as I hoped and I got a beautiful bread for Christmas time!

 

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December 24th, 2015

Merry Christmas

PlätzchentellerDear Readers,

as you can see on my picture of my cookie plate, there was not enough time to blog all new christmas recipes. So after the holidays there will be some more cookie recipes on the blog 🙂

For now, I want to wish you a merry Christmas!

Stefanie

December 24th, 2015

Pompe à l’huile

Pompe à l'huile (4)

The Pompe à l’huile is a traditional french Pastry which is part of the “Les treize desserts”, the thirteen desserts served on Christmas. It is a very rich, sweet Bread and flavoured with orange blossom water and Orange peel. It’s crumb reminds on a rich brioche but it is not prepared with butter but with olive oil. Since I made the Schiacciata di Pasqua for Easter I knew that olive oil in a sweet bread is not a strange but a very delicious idea.

The recipes which I found in the net where all made with a lot of yeast. As this is something I don’t like so much, I decided to use some of my sweet starter as preferment, as I was feeding it anyway to make it strong for the Pandoro I plan to bake. The sweet starter is so mild, that even with this long fermentation it just gives a complex flavour to the bread, but with no sour tones. It harmonize very well with the orange flavour and the subtle spiciness of the olive oil.

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