Spelt is a favourite and so I was regulary asked if my Stollen can be baked with spelt flour, too. I answered “theoretically yes” and decided to bake a Stollen with spelt flour instead of wheat, too. I like to have a practical background for those answers.
The dough contains only minimal changes to the regular recipe: I used a mixture of sultanas and currants instead of raisins and I reduced the amount of yeast, too. And I replaced the wheat flour with spelt flour, of course.
After three long weeks of resting time we cut the spelt stollen for the first Advent. And it was as moist and mellow as a good stollen has to be. Maybe it is a bit more mellow then the normal recipe, but that was the only difference I recognize. The different spices are stronger then the slight spelt flavour and I doubt that I could tell the spelt and wheat stollen apart when blind testing. And so I can tell now with own experience: Yes, you can bake a spelt stollen!
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.
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.
Nearly 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.
Two Kilogram of bitter oranges found their way into my kitchen last week. Not for making marmelade – there I prefer the sweet variant – but for making candid orange peel! But for making candid orange peel I needed to juice all of them. And I was suprised about the great flavour of the juice, combined with a clear tartness. And there was no trace of bitter flavour.
But what should I do with the delicious juice? A bitter orange curd, of course! I did a big batch as I had enough juice which had to be used. Two of the glasses I gave to dear friends – the rest I kept for myself. Together with my favourite braid this makes a perfect breakfast on sunday!
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!
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 →
Since quiet some time I want to make Orange powder, which Bushcook published at chefkoch.de. Before I tested the powder I tend to dry orange zest during the winter and grinded them in the mortar when needed. But now I know the orange powder and I have to tell you: Forget about simple dried orange peel. The orange powder is way better. I know that it is more complicated but the flavour so much more intense due to the cooking before drying the zests.
Because we buy mostly organic orange I had a lot of material for tweaking the recipe. Nowadays I do not peel them anymore but use a zester. And if I do not want to make the powder directly I place the zests in the freezer until I have time to proceed. I dry the zests after baking bread on the still warm bread baking stone. This reduces the amount of energy needed for the powder.
When I bake my Sourdough Pandoro with the special (not sour) sourdough called sweet starter last year I knew already that I would have to make my own Panettone recipe for the following christmas. Similar to the Pandoro recipe I planed to build the dough in some steps so that the yeasts in the sweet starter would get used to sugar and fat which would help to let the dough rise fast. The sweet starter I kept during 2014 alive and baked rather a lot of different breads with him.
On 22. December I refreshed the sweet starter tree times to make him strong and fast rising. He was so strong and fast rising that he only needed two instead if three hours to double his volume when I started the sweet starter for the Panettone at the 23. in the morning. And even the sugar and the butter in the following first and second dough did not slow him down, and tripled its volume in 90 minutes instead of 2 hours. But anyway the third (and last) dough had to take 3 hours for rising because I had to run some errands. Coming home again I formed the Panettone (Susans Tip to grease hands and counter with a lot of butter is really helpful!) and during forming I calculated: I’m now two hours earlier then planned… but it will need about 12 hours at least to proof… and at seven in the morning I’m normally already awake. So there is no problem at all…
At five o’clock the next morning, on my way to the bathroom, I quickly checked the Panettone in the kitchen. And turned the oven on. Ten hours were what they needed to reach the rim of the form. And who needs sleep?
One hour later the panettone was already hanging between two chairs and I crawled back into bed to have another little nap. Later that day we took some pictures and sliced one cake. And it was so delicious: soft and fluffy, the crumb could be teared into long strands, flavours of orange and vanilla and subtle, but complex notes from the sweet starter. And it keeps fresh for a long time, we eat one with my family on the first christmas day, and had some on second christmas day as well and it still tasted like freshly baked. It is a fussy cake and I could less sleep then normal but it is worth everything! It is the perfect christmas cake!
Simone from the S-Küche asked us to bring “refresments” for the 100. Blogevent in the Kochtopf. And even me, who prefer sparkling water as summer refreshment, likes sometimes a refreshing change. But bought lemonades are never tempting, even the expensive organic orangeade is to sweet and intense for me. And so I decided to make my own orangeade.
In my version the border between spritzer and orangeade becomes blurred, because the orange syrup makes it only slightly sweet and is balanced from freshly pressed Orange and lime juice. For some colour in the glass I added pieces of the peel. I borrowed this idea from a restaurant we visit some time ago.
It is a refreshing drink at its sweetness can be easily adjusted to your personal taste by the amount of syrup used!