The spicy flavour of grounded caraway, fennel and coriander seeds in combination with the tasty Schabzigerklee (Trigonella caerulea) makes it hard to resist these rye flatbreads. They taste very (!) similar to the Tyrolean flatbread named Vinschgauer. But while traditional Vinschgauer are made with sourdough, these variant is made with an rye-buttermilk-poolish instead. It is a recipe well suited for the advanced beginner. Someone, who did not started the adventure of rising an own sourdough, but is not afraid of sticky rye dough. How sticky the dough will be can be regulated by amount of added buttermilk. The more buttermilk is added, the more stickier the dough will. But a plus of buttermilk makes the flatbreads more moist, too, so it is worth the hassle with a sticky dough anyway! And the dough will be sticky in any case – just as prewarning! But with some flour on hands and counter top the dough can be handled very well!
Chocolate is always a good idea. And already since childhood I’m in love with the “Schokoladen-Weckchen” (Sweet chocolate rolls) which the baker in my home town baked. And during the sorting of my baking suppleys I found chocolate drops, which I original bought for baking cookies. But when I saw them, I coudn’t get this rolls from my mind. And so I decided to recreate the treat of childhood days!
As there was a bit of cream left in the fridge, I decided to base the dough loosley on the recipe of my favourite Sunday braid, but with some rye flour to enhance their tenderness and shelf life. This is a lesson I learned from several traditional recipes for sweet bread.
Sometimes recipes are just created to use leftovers. This recipe is one of them. I created it spontaneously, when my mother-in-law and me started to sort her baking supply’s last week and found different nuts and poppy seeds a bit past the “best before” date. We checked them and they tasted still fine, so we decided to bake something with them. And while the thermometer outside slowly reached 35°C we kneaded a dough and prepared a filling following a well proven formula.
The rolls turned out very delicious : the moist filling is wrapped inside the fluffy crumb. We enjoyed them at a nice shadowy spot in the garden. A fast and delicious treat on hot day!
I could call this bread a simple “leftover bread”. But this would be to simple as the bread is a really delicious one. But to be honest, it contains a lot of leftover flours. There is the package of einkorn flour I found behind my flour box. And the bag with the little bit of spelt flour and another bag with some leftover rye flour. And as these three did not yield enough flour for a bread, I added some wheat flour, too.
As I planned to bake the bread in the wood fired oven in our regional history museum, I had to plan accordingly. For an relaxed baking day, I prefer to knead the dough friday night and let it rise over night in the fridge. But this normally means that I have to prepare the preferment in the morning before I leave for work. But – with school years end so near – I knew I would be to tired that morning for mixing a preferment at 5:30 am. As workaround I decided to let the poolish ferment in the fridge as well. It needs about 24 hours then, but with a bit of planing ahead, it minimize the time I had to spent each day with preapring the bread.
Sometime it is good to have a delicious recipe at hand, which works well for those, who are not eating milk, eggs or wheat. For me, it is important that these recipes do not taste like “replacements” but are delicious stand-alone recipes.
The Spelt Potato Braid is one of this recipes. The dough is made without milk or eggs and if you replace the egg for glacing with the optional shiny glazing mix the recipe is vegan. The potato keeps the dough moist and tender, and a good portion of almond butter supplies the dough with an extra portion of fat and adds flavour. The almond flavour can be further enhanced when some grounded tonka bean is added to the dough, too.
And so, the braid is delicious and full of flavour: a braid with tendency to be a new favourite!
I already baked Pizza in a lot of variants. And as I like to test new recipes, today I present you a variant with firm dough and sweet starter.
The use of an rather firm dough has – especially when you bake in a wood fired oven – the advantage of easy handling. To archive a bubbly crust requires a well proofed preshaped doug. As I learned from a pizzaiolo the dough balls are in perfect condition, if you turn them and there is a lot of small and middle sized bubbles at their bottom. Big bubbles aka “holes” are not so good as they tend to make the dough base uneven. Forming the dough base is very easy if the dough balls are well proofed, too, because the gluten network is relaxed at this point.
Due to the sweet starter and a long cold fermentation in the fridge, the flavour is complex with subtle notes of lactic acid. It adds a deepness to the pizza flavour which makes it to a favourite of mine!
One tradition in Germany I value very much: Giving bread and salt to newly wed couples or when someone moves into a new house. And when two very dear persons got married beginning of this month, I started two think directly about the traditional gift. But as the two lives two far away as that I could simply drop a basket there, I decided to send it per mail.
To make sure that the bread survives the trip in the parcel and stays fresh until its arrival, I bake a simple rye bread in weck jars and canned them afterwards. Treated like this, the bread keeps fresh for several weeks.
If you want to avoid the canning, you can close the lit on the glass directly after baking. But as I have the tendency to burn my fingers in this process I prefer variant one 😀
I am still surprised how widely spread the use of rye flour in traditional sweets bread was. Surprised because nowadays it is rather hard to find such breads in bakeries. And using rye flour to replace some portion of wheat flour makes perfectly sense as rye grows in much rougher conditions as the fastidious wheat. And so rye grew even in regions with poor soil and colder climate like you can find it in the Eifel or here in the “Bergische Land”.
When I stumbled upon the Bread called “Kleenroggen” (litterally little rye) I was buffled as I never heared from such a bread before. Researching deeper yield not so many information, but it seems that this tradtional bread was once baked from the “Bergische Land” up to the Sauerland. And it must have been a fairly common bread, as there is even a church which is called “Kleenroggenkerke” (Kleenroggen church) in the local idiom due to its pan bread like shape. And it always describes a sweet bread with currants and a good portion of rye.
Inspiration is a strange thing. In case of this whole grain bagel it came to me in form of an advertisement “to-go products” at the side of an supermarket. “Bagels” I told my beloved one while musings “are a good idea”. Back home I stumbled across a back of whole spelt flour and the different ideas melted together to one recipe.
As I baked them not in my own kitchen, I simplified the recipe as much as possible: hand kneaded dough and a long resting period in the fridge make sure, that they can be baked with no fancy equipment or preferment at hand.A spoonful sourdough can help to further improve flavour, but it is not mandatory. As the whole grain flour needs more water then white flour, the recipe has a higher hydration then the normal bagel recipe. Together with the overnight fermentation in the fridge this ensures that the bran can soak up all water needed. This helps to keep the crumb chewy and to enhance the bagel shelf life. But anyway – after two days all of the bagels were already eaten as they tasted so good…
For a family BBQ I had opted for bringing bread (anyone surprised by this?). And as I had some left over Einkorn flour from the Ein-Korn-Rolls I baked last week, my plan was made fast: Spelt Baguette with a good amount of whole Einkorn flour.
As Einkorn has the tendency to destablize the gluten network, I decided to use some enzyme active bean flour. The enzymes of this flour start oxidative processes in the dough, which leads to a better links between gluten proteins and thus to a stronger gluten network. If you need alternatives for bean flour please take a look at this post.
To watch the oven spring was mere “oven tv” for me. I sat happily before the oven and watched its oven spring. It was such a beautiful ovenspring, that it was very hard to to wait until the breads cooled before I sliced them. But then I was very happy: the crumb is for baguette with such a weak gluten network and one third whole grain flour surprisingly open. And the flavour is complex with its deep nutty undertones from the einkorn flour.