Tag Archives: Sourdough

March 9th, 2017

Gersterbrot

Gersterbrot (3)When I asked for suggestions of regional traditional Bread one bread on top of the list of favourites was Gersterbrot. This bread stems from the region around Hanover and Bremen and it is really special as it is  flambéd after forming the loaves. This seals the crust and adds dark speckles all over the bread. Both lead to a bread with a hearty flavour and beautiful crisp crust. And it enhances shelf live as well as the thick crust prevents the moisture from evaporating.

To flambé the loaf properly I bought a small blazing torch as it develops more heat then a flambé torch. And when I flambéd the bread I took care that the surface below was fire proof! And I had a wet towel near just in case… But everything worked perfectly fine, no kitchen on fire, just a beautiful bread with a fine crumb and the thin crust – just as it has to be!

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February 17th, 2017

Rhenish Blackbread

Rheinisches Schwarzbrot (1) The grandmother of my dearest complained that today you can not get real blackbread anymore. The “modern” one is to moist in her opinion. When I asked how a “real” blackbread should be, she answered: “Just like it once had been”. My argument that I do not know how the bread looked like ninety years back in the past just gained me a critical gaze. But at the end I could get some informations about her childhoods blackbread from her: moist, but not so moist we today, dark and baked with rather fine cracked rye. And my ambitions was aroused to recreate this bread for her.

And so I bake a blackbread with the classical way: sourdough made with fine cracked rye, a soaker with roasted bread crumbs and coarse cracked rye and a good portion molasse. I added a bit of dark roasted rye  malt to enhance the deep malt flavour.  I baked it in the middle of the week when we spent some days with our Gran. And when we cut the bread the next day, everyone was happy, even Gran liked the bread!

 

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January 29th, 2017

Moist Spelt

Saftiges DinkelkernLast November a reader asked for a recipe of a moist spelt bread with high whole grain portion and different seeds. I had an idea for the bread very quickly: With a whole rye sourdough, many pumpkin seeds, some flax seeds and sesame and a good portion whole spelt flour – partly in a water roux for more moisture. But then the pysllium husk discovery happend and I changed my plan fastly. Instead of a water roux I decided to use the pysllium hulls to increase water binding. And I added some butter which makes the crumb nicely soft and helps to keep it fresh.

The result is a moist and aromatic bread. The crumb is full of pumpkin seeds and a thick crunchy crust. A bread with potential for a a favourite!

 

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January 7th, 2017

Luftikusse

Luftikusse (1) The first post in 2017 found its inspiration back in 2016. When I put together my “Best of 2016” I stumbled upon upon a  readers question for rolls with open crumb. Back then I suggested this Baguette rolls and then the question slowly slipped from my mind. It has a simple reason: I normally prefer rolls with a finer crumb as we eat them mainly for breakfast and a wide open crumb means honey dropping all over the place. But during vacations we like to eat rolls for lunch or dinner, too. And with a slide of cheese a chiabatta-like roll is a delicious thing.

But the infection I catch before christmas was a mean one and so I spent most of my vacation on the sofa with hot tea and a good book – slowly recovering. I slept a lot, but baked nearly nothing and we went not for shopping food either but feed on our well stocked pantry and fridge. When we finally had to buy some groceries I discovered something new in our supermarket: organic pysillum hulls. I find their water binding capacity fascinating and so a package went home with me.

 

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November 15th, 2016

Röggelchen

Röggelchen (2)

In the cologne pubs (called “Brauhaus”) exists a dish with confuse tourists regulary. It is called “Halve Hahn” and the tourists translate this with “half rooster” and expect to get a half roasted chicken when they order it. What they get is one half of twin-roll together with old gouda cheeses, mustard and some onions. There are many theories to explain the name of the dish – one is that once upon time someone asked in the cologne dialect if he could get on half of the roll: “Ääver isch will doch bloß ne halve han” (But I want just one half).

The roll that comes with the dish is called “Röggelchen” (little rye) and is baked as twin roll. You can tell in which city the roll was baked by the way it was formed: The Röggelchen from Düsseldorf has a round shape while the Cologne one’s shape is long. Both in common is that they are made partly with rye. In this variant the rye is used to make a sourdough, which adds complex flavour notes to the rolls. Another typical characteristic is the dark, shining crust which is due to a glazing which is made with roasted starch and applied before and after baking.

 

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October 23rd, 2016

Oberländer Bread

Oberländer Brot (3)The “Oberländer” Bread is a bread with tradition and stormy history: In 1829 the city council of cologne fixed the price for bread. The Bakers did not agree and so the bakers strike started. To get bread for the city, the council ordered bread in the region upriver, the so called “Oberland”. As this region has poor soil, the bread is baked with lots of rye there. This yields a bread with long shelf life and so it could be easily transported down the rhine to cologne. The cologne inhabitants liked the bread very much and even after the strike was ended they insisted on getting their beloved “Oberländer”. And so this bread is baked in cologne until today.

The characteristic shine of the crust is due to a glaze made of starch and water. Another characteristic trait of this bread are the tree slashes across the loaf. It is a mild rye bread with a fine crumb and a long shelf life. It pairs well with both hearty and sweet. And so it is both a beautiful bread for the regionalen Bread series and a good gift for someone who just moved to cologne.

 

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September 30th, 2016

East Frisian Black Bread with Sunflower Seeds

Friesisches Schwarzbrot (1)The very first suggestion I got for the post series “regional bread” was East Frisian Black Bread. As I already wrote a recipe for the magazine “Ö” I needed another variant – and decided to create a new recipe using sun flower seeds and coarse rye in a soaker. A bigger batch of sugar beet syrup makes the crumb darker and adds a subtle sweetness to the sour flavour notes from the sourdough.

It is a very aromatic black bread, and the soaker helps to create a moist crumb. Cut in slices and wrapped in paper I took it with me to the food swap “Schwarzmarkt” in cologne. A attentive reader maybe already noticed that I used the food swap to bake a big batch of different rye breads. It was a good opportunity to bake a lot of rye breads without suffering from my sensibility to rye. and to provide you, my dear reader, a new batch of rye recipes. This is for me another advantage of this great Swap.

 

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September 18th, 2016

Rheinisches Krustenbrot

Rheinisches Krustenbrot (1)The second bread for my regional bread collection is one I know well: a crusty bread from the rhineland, called “Rheinisches Krustenbrot”.

These crusty breads you can find in different parts of Germany and they vary in the amount of rye which is added to the dough. I know it as a mild bread with only 10% rye flour added. It is baked with seamside up which creates the typical rustic look of this bread. It has a light, fluffy crumb and – as the name suggested – a thick, crunchy crust.

I baked my version of this bread using two different sourdoughs: A rye sourdough which adds a hearty note to the flavour and which contains all of the rye in the formula, and a mild wheat sourdough which adds a joghurt like note to the taste of the bread.

 

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September 10th, 2016

Regensburger Kipferl

Regensburgerkipferl (2)Finally I can post the first recipe in the upcoming post series of “regional breads” and can tell you how I came to this idea.

It all started with an email from the  Magazine “Ö”, asking if I could develop some recipes form different German regions for their September issue. Of course I could and shortly after I was whirlwinding in the kitchen, baking Eastfrisian Blackbread, Schrippen from Berlin, Cologne Röggelchen, Göppinger Briegel, Swabian Spelt bread and Bavarian Farmers Bread. At the end of the week the bread was stacking in my kitchen and some colleagues and family members would find anonymous gifts of bread or rolls 🙂 I sent the recipe together with some Gerstl to the photographer who bake the bread, too and took the pictures.

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September 3rd, 2016

Sourdough bread with 60% rye

Roggemischbrot 60 40 (4)I was asked more than once to publish a sourdough rye bread recipe for the “Bread baking for Beginners” post series. I hesitated as a rye bread is not so easy to handle as a wheat one and to know when a pure sourdough loaf is ready to bake needs some experience. But with the Rye bread without sourdough we had already the right starting point to step into the world of sticky rye dough – practising this bread before switching to sourdough is highly advisable.

To rise the bread with only sourdough in a reliable way, the sourdough has to be very active. If it is not so active or was in the fridge for a longer period, making a refreshment to activate the sourdough yeast the day before is a must. The rye sourdough is then build in two stages to archive a well balance flavour and a high activity. The two stages make use of the fact that lactobacteria and yeast differ in their temperature optima. The first, cooler and firmer stage is perfect for the growth of bacteria , which produce lactic acid and acetic acid. The warm and soft stage then favours the yeasts which are needed for a good oven spring.

The recipe, which I created for this post contains 60% of rye and 40% of wheat flour which makes the dough sticky but still good to handle. It is a classical german “Roggenmischbrot” (literally mixed rye bread), with a slight sour and hearty flavour. Different bread spices which are sprinkled into the bread form add a spicy note to its taste.

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