In the (until now) hottest week of this summer we had a barbeque with the colleagues. When we planed this get-together it was still nice and cool and I volunteered to bake a cake. But when the temperature climbed wide above 30°C I was not so enthusiastic about turning my oven on anymore.
I needed something else and so I opted for a “Fridge Cake” with lots of cream cheese, white chocolate and lemon. And this spontaneous cake was liked very much and so I promised to bring my short notes into a proper recipe and publish it on the blog.
But there was no picture and so I had to “bake” it again. I used the chance to fine tune the recipe. One major change is that the cake is prepared in individual servings now. Adding a bit of basil to the lemon curd is another tiny change that makes the recipe even better. And so I like my version 2 even more then version 1 and I’m well prepared for all the warm weather to come!
This Farmers bread is the right bread for every one who is looking for a rustic bread for busy weeknights. It uses the same principle like the summer evening bread: boiled sourdouhg. To enhance the sourdough flavour I allowed the rye sourdough to ripen for a long time. This can be troublesome in busy weeks but boiled sourdough has one major advantage: It can be prepared one week in advance. So all you have to do is making it on a not so busy day (maybe at the weekend?) and keep it in the fridge until needed. Then you have a “ready to use” sourdough at hand every day of a week.
In this case it is used for flavour and tiny tangy flavour in this bread which contains about 70% Spelt and 30% rye. Such a rustic bread gain a lot from a tiny amount of bread spice added to the dough. I opted for a small amount which only underlines the complex flavours of the long and cold fermentation. But of course you are free to adjust this amount to your taste: use more for a stronger flavour or leave it away if you do not like it. The mixture can be varied as well. I normally opt for same parts of fennel, caraway and coriander seeds. Continue reading
Already with the first recipe for my new “work day breads” there was the wish for recipes with some sourdough. Using a sourdough with a long, cold fermentation can cause problems with both the increasing acidity and the increasing enzyme activity. This can result in a weaker gluten network and a bread with less volume but with very chewy crumb.
There are two strategies to cope with this. The first one is using only a small amount of a very active sourdough. The second one is bowling the sourdough to inactivate microorganisms and enzymes. At the same time the starch gelatinise and binds water, which helps to enhance shelf life of the bread. This second strategy I choose for the summer evening bread.
When I heard the term “Scharwaie” the first time, I had to asked my badish host to repeat the word. Spoken with Baden accent it sounds similar to “sha – wai”. Even a second repletion didn’t help me. Finally Iasked to write the word down, as my brain struggled to get the letters on the right places. The Term “waie” means flat bread or cake while “Schar” is thought to come from scrabbing left over dough pieces together after forming the regular bread. It is a traditional flat bread that is baked in Baden, a region in the south west of Germany. And as I am a collector of traditional bread I was hooked.
Back home I had to wait for another baking day at the wood fire community oven in our museum. But as I knew that our leftover dough pieces would not enough to feed the whole crowd, I prepared a dough just for this case. It is a dough with 80% wheat and 20% rye which rises over night in the fridge. In combination with some added sourdough, this creates a delicious flavour. Backed for a short time at high temperature, the bread is soft and fluffy and so delicious.
Last weekend I felt a hunger for rustic rolls with a good portion of rye. As the weekend was crowded with appointments, I opted once again for my favourite schema for easy sunday morning rolls: Proofing the dough over night. Forming, proofing and baking is something I can normally fit into our sunday morning routine easily. And having still warm rolls for breakfast is something, we love, too.
For the form I opted for simple but pretty pattern made by a roll stamp. This time I decided to press it down through nearly the whole roll which resulted in a beautiful flower-like looking roll. And so the rolls fulfil all my criteria for good weekend rolls: easy to make and delicious! Is there anything else to wish for?
Last weekend, a reader asked if I had an idea for baking a bread on a busy week night. She had a clear idea of what ingredients she would like in her bread: white flour plus a tiny bit of whole grain mixed with a lot of seeds. And I had a very clear idea on how to make a bread out of this.
As the she needed a bread which ferments over a whole night and day, I decided to make a straight dough. The long fermentation yields enough flavour. And I decided to add the seeds without soaking, too. But before anyone is now worried about the bread going dry: I added enough water for the seeds to soak during fermenting without withdrawing to much from the dough.
I used the recipe directly on this very busy weekend. Normally I would postpone baking to a calmer day, but so it worked like a charm. A great bread for busy days!
Last autumn we spent a week in East Frisia. Our land lady told us, that the bakery around the corner should be the best of Leer and so we had to buy some bread there, of course. Something that rouse my curiosity was a small package of sliced raisin bread called Krintstuut. As it was a busy morning in the bakery, I didn’t ask about the ingredients. Tasting the bread back in our cottage, I was sure that it contained a good portion of rye. And so I used a quieter time in the bakery to confirm my assumption.
Finding rye in a sweet bread is nothing that surprises me any longer as I learned about so many traditional sweet breads baked that way. And it makes sense so much: Rye growth even in regions which are not suitable for wheat. So rye was always a grain used for many peasant breads. Wheat bread was something baked only for holidays. And even sweet breads with rye was something most families ate only on Sunday.
My interpretation of the recipe takes into account what I learned about bread baking in the 19. century: It uses sourdough but as well yeast. Back in time, the yeast was bought often at breweries and used for the “finer” breads like raisin bread.The sweetness stems from raisins alone as sugar was scarce back then. And that is really sweet enough. The bread is delicious, especially with some butter and honey.
They may not the most beautiful rolls in the world, but with the thin, crisp crust, the moist open crumb and their complex flavour they won my heart instantly. These rolls are called Kimmicher. Kimmich is the Swabian term for caraway seeds. The rolls are similar made as the famous “Eingenetzte”. The dough is proofed for a long time and then formed with water and transfered to the oven in a small bowl.
The recipe is once again a regional one and can be found in the Swabian City Reutlingen. It is a traditional recipe, something that is already claimed in an old Diamalt book which dates back in 1938. The dough is very wet and has to proof very long at low temperature. That is what is written in the old book, anyway. As the description is vague, and there are on ingredients listed at all, I had to trust myself when I recreated the recipe of the Kimmicher.
It is spring – finally! I bath in yellow sunshine and admire the green of leaves and listen to the bees collecting pollen and nectar. And I try to catch this spring feeling a bread. It has the same colour combination of green and yellow. The yellow stems from the high carotenoid content of the kamut flour while pumpkin seeds adds green sprinkles in the crumb. A bit of honey remembers on the busy bees.
To fit the bread in my full weekend schedule (new garden and my bee keeper course is keeping me still busy) I opted for a overnight version with a young sourdough and “quick” poolish. As both preferments do not stand so long I decided to increase the amount of preferment. So all Kamutflour is fermented for a longer time which increases flavour and digestibility.
Baking gluten free bread is not my specialty. But when a reader with a lot of allergies asked for help, I could not do anything but think about a gluten free variant of her favourite recipe. To make recipe development a bit harder, the only grains she can eat are buckwheat and oat. But I had this beautiful package of white buckwheat flour sitting on my counter anyway. The original plan was to use it for Brittonic galette but it would be perfect for the rolls, I was sure of that!
And so I changed my old recipe until it was gluten free. And when the rolls come out of the oven I was so excited. But – like with rye breads – the rolls had to cool completely before cutting to allow the crumb so settle. But when I sliced the first roll, I was satisfied: a rather soft and moist crumb, not so unlike of a good bread with rye. And the taste was delicious: nutty due to buckwheat and oat, sweet due to the fruits and a slight sourness due to the yoghurt. Overall, they are delicious!