Tag Archives: Sweet Starter

December 24th, 2016

Christmas Bread 2016

Weihnachtsbrot 2016 (2)For Christmas everyone likes to serve something special. Here at “Hefe und mehr” we are no exception and this includes bread, of course. This year I decided to go for an elegant variation of my favourite combination: nuts and potatoes. For the festive touch I combined walnuts, hazelnuts and pistachios. These nutty flavours are supported by hints of roasted malt and cacao – just enough to add a deepness to its aroma. The bread is risen by my favourite preferment: Sweet starter. And so the bread contains everything you need for a little flavour fire works – again a bread that needs nothing but a bit of butter as spread.

The December some haste away so quickly that I want to enjoy my Christmas with the family without distractions. And so  I will be not be online during the holidays and answer comments and emails after Christmas.

I whish you all a peaceful and merry Christmas!

 

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November 22nd, 2016

Emmerich

Emmerich (2)

I call this Bread Emmerich. The name says it all: Emmer rich.  And so is the bread: 50% freshly milled whole emmer flour in combination with spelt flour makes this bread so delicious. The name “Emmerich” has a second meaning, too. It is the name of a city in north Rhine Westphalia. And I often thought that this city needs its own Emmer bread when I read its name.

After the last rye breads I needed a mild bread for my stomach and so I choose as spelt variant of the  Sweet Starter as preferment.  The forgotten bag with emmer I found in the storage seemed perfect for me. And the bread turned out as delicious as I hope it would. It taste especially good in combination with honey or with a mild goat cheese.

 

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October 31st, 2016

Hotdog Rolls

Hotdog-Brötchen (1)Hotdogs would be a good idea for dinner, said my love to me. I had no objections as I had in the freezer some vegetarian “Feuer-Jakob”  made from the recipe of Herr Grün. As rolls we needed homemade ones, of course! And so I fed my favourite preferment and soon afterwards I was happily kneading a dough. With a water roux and some enzym active malt the crumb of the rolls become especially soft and fluffy. To avoid cracks in the crust the rolls have to proof fully before baking – just like a burger roll.

We eat our hotdogs with home made fried onions, homemade pickled cucumbers and – for the vegetarian variant with grilled vegetables and Zucchini-Salsa. A delicious treat!

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August 2nd, 2016

Malty Spelt-Emmer

Malziges Dinkel-Emmer (1)Since several weeks I have two packages of Emmer and Einkorn sitting in my pantry, waiting for me to create a recipe with them. But I was always to short in time as I had to do a lot of recipe testing for the upcoming bread baking courses and for a magazine article. And so they where pushed deeper and deeper into the depth of the shelf. Sorting my baking supplies brought them back to my mind, as well as a package of dark roasted malt. And so I decided to combine Emmer and malt in one bread.

As I did not want to use a hot soaker or water roux, I decided to use a hydration of about 70% and a long period of stretch and fold in combination of a cold fermentation. With the stretch and fold the dough gains enough strength and the long fermentation give the flour enough time to soak up the moisture. But nevertheless is this a dough on the rather soft side and so it is needed to flour the proofing basket very well!

Due to the dark malt, the bread develops are dark crust and crumb with a malty flavour followed by nutty notes of the Emmer. The sweet Starter which is the only leavening agent develops a deep complexity without any acidity. This is a bread which I love!

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June 25th, 2016

Kouign Amann

Kouign Amann (1)Butter is a staple in the Breton kitchen – which shows in the Sablé Breton. Another example for buttery Breton cake is Kouign Amann. It is made of a very rich croissant dough and the dough is then turned in sugar before forming. During the long baking time the sugar caramelize on the bottom of the cake to crackling layer, forms a sweet soft core in the middle of the cake and again caramelizes on the top.

My variant of this high caloric treat is a spin off of my actual sourdough croissant project. And while the croissant needs still a bit of tweaking, I’m more then happy with the Kouign Amann in this sweet starter variant. It is not a recipe for inpatient people, just the proof of the dough takes place over night at room temperature. But investing about 24 hours in this cake is more then worth, as this long proof creats a fantastic complex flavour with only a faint hint of sour. If you like palmiers, you will love the buttery caramelic Kouign Amann as well!

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June 12th, 2016

Kekkis Everyday Bread

Kekkis Alltagsbrot (3)I like recipe tweaking – especially when this happens so spontaneously like here. Duríng a nice exchange about sweet starter the questions occurred how to add the starter in a existing and trusted everyday bread recipe. I offered help and Kekki posted her formula and the wishes for the new versions. The recipe sounded very good, made with Kefir or Buttermilk, 20% rye and 80% wheat. I exchanged the wheat sourdough with sweet starter and added a long, cold autolysis for the whole grain flour. And I baked the recipe directly, as it sounded so tempting. And I was not disappointed: The bread is very flavourful, with a hearty tangy note, good crust and soft crump. A true everyday bread!

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April 23rd, 2016

Kieler Semmel 2

Kieler Semmel mit Vorteig (4)The first version of the Kieler Semmel was already catapulted into the first ranks of my personal best of list of blog recipes. And I planed directly to make a second version with preferment. And took me a while to come back to this plan but finally I bake them. I choose a preferment which enhance the gluten structure, a sweet starter or its cousin, which is made with commercial yeast – a Biga. And I opted for diastatic malt as I wanted to make the crust very crisp. This makes the recipe unsuitable for a cold overnight proof – a reason why I always shied away from diastatic malt before – a mistake as I knew now! The crust gains a lot through the enzymatic processes due to the malt, it is crisp but easier to bite at the same time. I get a better volume and fluffiger crust then the last time, too.

Helga, a reader from Kiel, suggested some changes in the form and gave me some advices on the intensity of the cinnamon flavour. I decided to use cylon cinnamon, which has a more subtle and complex flavour then the warm, but more acerbic and blunt flavour of Cassia. I added one gramm to the butter which yields a slight cinnamon note.  If you prefer a stronger cinnamon taste I would double this amount.

At the end, I have not to emphasise that I’m in love with this rolls, have I? They are maybe the most perfect rolls I bake (until now)!

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April 3rd, 2016

Whole Grain

Volles Korn (2)It makes me always happy to get my hands into flour and I enjoy it  very much when I have the opportunity to bake more then one kind of bread. This weekend I baked busily as I wanted to have a selection of bread for the “Schwarzmarkt” – the non-commercial food swap market which took place today. I prepared breads with different seeds, breads with oats and whole grain breads.

The whole grain bread is moist as I added some butter and a hot soaker to the dough. And a long, cold proof and the whole grain variant of my sweet starter build a complex flavour and the oven spring is very good and the slashes opend in a nice way. To archive slashes which open nicely and form nice “ears”, these things has proved themselves: a sharp nice (of course), cutting in a shallow angle and a slash in slight crescent shape.

 

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March 27th, 2016

Spelt Easter Pinze

Dinkel-OsterpinzePetras comment here made me thinking about baking this years Easter pinze with sweet starter. I already had a spelt variant in my mind and so I decided to combine both ideas. To keep the pinze moist, I replace the milk with some cream and reduced the amount of butter. Cream has not only a positive effect on the crumb, it is although good if you plan to let the pinze rise over night in the fridge, as the cream will not harden in the cold as butter would do. So the Easter Pinze can rise unaffected and it is easy to serve a oven fresh bread for easter breakfast.

As the dough contains a bit more fat (from the cream) I added some more egg yolk, too. This adds a nice yellow hue to crust and crumb, which is very nice especially on rainy Easter Sundays like it was this year. The pale green eggs in the background of the pictures are from my uncles hens, which belong to the so called “Easter eggers”, a variety of chicken which carries a special gen for a blue to green stained egg shell. So I get a  perfect green Easter egg without staining 🙂

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March 20th, 2016

Spelt Brioche

Dinkelbrioche (3)Here is –as I promised – the first spelt recipe (of hopefully many more). It is a variation of my brioche recipe, but with more egg yolk and a little water roux to increase the amount of liquid in the dough. A sweet starter adds flavour and helps a good rise.

When kneading to full gluten development, you have to keep a close eye on the dough, as spelt tends to be easily over kneaded. Especially when you use a new batch of flour it is a good idea to do a window pane test in between to test how far the gluten is already developed. It depends on the spelt variety, but perfect gluten development can be less then 30 seconds away from overkneaded .

But if you keep this in mind, then you will have a perfect light and fluffy dinkel brioche for breakfast on sunday morning!

 

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