October 16th, 2017

Backes Bread

Backes-Brot-23October means that its time again for World Bread Day. And as I baked bread in the wood fired community oven of our local history museum,  I have a real “Backes Bread”. The Word “Backes” means community bread baking house in our dialect. And baking bread in such a “Backes” means sharing a great feeling of society. There are not so many other things that creates a sense of community then some loaves of bread made and shared with one another.

And so this bread is a bread meant for sharing. It is baked by placing two small loaves in one proofing basket. The ingredients of the bread is a bit inspired by leftovers: mashed potatoes, some quark and a bit of whole emmer flour. The Quark and Potatoes make the crumb moist while the emmer adds a deep nutty flavour.

The breads left the oven with a real dark crust – something that can happen by this more archaic way of baking. And it fits somehow very well with the bread, it adds a slight smoky flavour – and that goes extremely well with a bread from a wood fired oven.

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October 7th, 2017

Neheimer Stütchen

Neheimer-Sttchen-33I stumpled about the Neheimer Stütchen during a guided tour in the cologne cathedral. It was the fact that Count Gottfried von Arnsberg IV. is buried as the only  not clerical person. This prominat burial place he got because of a very generous gift to the cologne bishop – and to ensure that the people in his county would pray for him after his death he gifted a very good forest to the city of Neheim. The forest still exists and from the yearly gain of it several celebrations are paid: each year a wreath is laid down at his tomb in the cathedral, there are count gottfried games and all children of the city get a roll called “Neheimer Stütchen” at the 4th september.

The Neheimer Stütchen is a sweet milk roll, a bit larger then normal and already that tempted me. And as this story is such a nice one that it fits very well in my blog series of regional, traditional breads. And so I baked my version of this roll, with a biga for aroma and a water roux for fluffy soft crumb.

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September 30th, 2017

Burger buns with sweet Starter

Burgerbrtchen-mit-sem-Starter3Since some months I did not bake breads made with sweet starter alone. But just now my starter is so active as never before.  It just need 90 minutes to double its volume. It is in the perfect condition to rise even a bit heavier dough with some butter. And so it is in the perfect condition to rise burger buns.

You need a real fit starter, so it makes sense to feed it two or three times before baking. Another important point is proofing the buns in a warm environment.  The warm environment can be a slightly heated oven (30°C), then add a pot with boiling water on the bottom of the oven. This helps to keep the surface of the buns warm and moist and let them rise very well.

The aroma of the buns is delicious, the cold rise of the dough and the combination of hazelnut oil and butter makes them very flavourful. The hint of hazelnut flavour goes very well together with my favourite vegan patty. But my dearest liked it very much in combination with a beef patty, too.

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September 25th, 2017

Rustic Federweißer Bread

Uriges Federweißerbrot (2)[6]Whenever I look at the recipe of the federweißer bread, I have to think about our old vintner. The old gentleman had his wine shop next door. And he would always tell us when the young wine (called Federweißer in Germany) arrived as he knew that my beloved one impatiently waits for the first bottle. As he turned eighty last year he decided to sell the shop and to enjoy his retirement. We wished him all the best – and were shocked when soon afterwards we got the news that he passed away. His heart just stopped beating the night after he sold his shop. Strange things happens sometimes… I still think about him now and then.

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September 17th, 2017

Autumn Bread

Helles-Herbstbrot-13After a mainly cold and rainy summer, the weather turned for some days just when school started. But this was just the last glimpse of summer we got. With the beginning of September it changed again and since then we have typical autumn weather – cold, sometimes rain, sometimes sun. When I drive to work I can see the valley filled with mist– it looks like little clouds snuggling into their beds before sun is waking them for the day. For me autumn is always the season to bake nut breads. And so I bake not only the dark spelt, nut & fruit in the wood fired oven last week, but as well a light spelt bread with hazelnuts and walnuts.

A deep flavour is archived by the combination of a spelt sourdough, a rye sourdough and a sweet starter.  And due to the three lively sourdough adding yeast is theoretically not necessary. But as the community oven is not waiting for anyone  I used a tiny bit of commercial yeast to keep fermentation well controlled and well fitted in the time schedule. And so et the end everything worked as planned: The oven spring was strong,  the crust turned out crunchy and the crumb was fluffy. A perfect day for calm autumn days.

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September 10th, 2017

Spelt, Nut & Fruit

Dinkel-Nuss & Frucht[3]As soon as the temperature drops I start longing for hearty whole grain breads. Blackbread would satisfy all my cravings but I have troubles with the amount of rye. It can cause me stomach ache and so I thought about another alternative. For the monthly bread baking day in the wood fired oven I came up with two nutty spelt breads. One was made with white flour (Recipe will follow), the other is made with cracked spelt and mixture of walnuts, hazelnuts and cranberries. As the cracked spelt is  soaked overnight, it helps to keep the bread perfectly moist. For the right flavour I used molasses and some spelt sourdough which balanced each other perfectly.  Kneading is done in intervals to protect the fragile gluten of spelt and einkorn. This works like a charm and at the end I had a soft but good to handle dough. Continue reading

September 2nd, 2017

Sweet Buttermilk Bread

Buttermilch-Platz-17I baked this bread in the last weeks already several times. One time with raisins, one time with dried apricots and walnuts, once just plain. And always when I start to bake a bread repeatedly it is a clear sign  that I have a new favourite.

I like the good balance of the hint of buttermilk sourness and the subtle sweetness of this bread. And if you add raisins or other dried fruits the bread moves a bit more onto the sweet side but is still well balanced. Freshly baked it is one of the breads I eat with just a dab of butter. Is there anything in the world that tastes better then a freshly baked sweet bread with fluffy crumb?

I baked the bread in my new tiny 500g loaf pans. These pans are brand new in my baking pan collection and I already realized that they are perfect for baking such sweet breads or whole grain breads. And it is perfect if you need some small loaves to share with family and friends!

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August 23rd, 2017

Spelt Goldknödel

Dinkel-Goldkndel3I posted our family favourite cake already some years ago here in the blog.  When we have to choose between torte and goldknödel on a birthday celebration, all of us will take a piece of the goldknödel. It is THIS kind of favourite of extended family!

The cake stems from the Transylvanian and Hungarian part of family heritage and is all by it self a rather simple pastry. It is made from a sweet   yeast dough which is formed into small balls and coated with warm butter and a mixture of grounded nuts and sugar. While baking in a kugelhopf pan the sugar caramelize and adds another delicious flavour to the aroma of nuts and butter.

A Kugelhopf pan is mandatory for this cake. Wen the Teflon coat of my – rather cheep – pan started to fall apart after ten years of using I decided that I need something longer lasting. And so I bought an ancient brass kugelhopf pan. It has very good baking qualities, is rather everlasting and looks beautiful on my kitchen wall when not in use.

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August 14th, 2017

Spelt Potato Bread

Dinkel-Kartoffelbrot-23

I was making dessert in my summer warm kitchen and when whipping cream the cream turned nearly instantly to butter. Luckily it was still unsweetened and so I took the butter clumps out to wash them and use them as delicious homemade butter. The buttermilk was at this point not fermented, so I decided to inoculate it with some creme fraice from the fridge, thinking: if you can use buttermilk to inoculated cream for creme fraiche it will work the other way round, too. And it did! After 24 hours the buttermilk was thick and tasted sour.

But what should I do with this tiny amount? Making bread with buttermilk is always great and so I decided to put it into the dough I was kneading for the bread baking in the wood fired oven in the local museum.

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August 10th, 2017

Simit

Simit-95One of the participants of my baking course asked for a recipe for Simit and brought a glass full of Pekmez (Grape molasse) for me, too. And that was all that was needed to get my brain working on this sesame rings.

Some weeks later, when I took a sheet full of Simit from the oven I had a sudden flashback into my childhood. About 20 years ago I regularly took the bus to go to the next town to visit the library. After spending joyful hours between the silent rows of books full of mysteries and stories I carried a armful of books home. And before I would hop into the bus I would make a short stop in the little turkish greengrocery shop located next to the library. There I would buy two simits for 1 DM (this was long before we got the €) and eat them with my nose already in the first book.

The flavour of my fresh baked Simit brought back all this happy memories of summer holidays and dream worlds. But even without this memories the flavour of this sesame rings is great. Sweet and hearty is well balanced here as they are dipped into Pekmez solution before they are turned into sesame. And the preferment (in this variant sweet starter) helps to develop a complex flavour. I’m very much in love with them right now and bake them already several times – something that happen seldom here!

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