Last Sunday morning I wake up and heard the rolling thunder outside. Taking a look out of the window I decided that I would not leave the house to get some rolls from the bakery. The thunderstorm that was brewing outside turned the beginning day into night again. So I decided to spend the time in the kitchen preparing a dough for a plum cake instead.
My boyfriend has a firm belief how plum cake has to be. The crumb should be airy and soft and thickly covered with plums. During baking the juice of the plums should soak the crumb. And he likes not streusel, no cinnamon or sugar on the plums. To be honest, I am not a great fans of plum cake at all. If I could choose between another cake and plum cake, I would take the other cake for sure. But of course I bake a plum cake if my boyfriend asked me to. Continue reading
When I have some old sweet rolls I love to use them in the swabian variation of bread pudding. It is called “Ofenschlupfer” and consists traditional of sliced rolls and apples, soaked with eggs and milk, sprinkled with sugar and baked until golden. It is one of my favourite dishes of my childhood.
In the last years I forget this family recipe a little bit. What a pitty – it is such a delicious dish, a of a soft bread layer under a crispy crust, a mixture of tangy fruits and sweet caramel. Served with a vanilla sauce it is a great dessert (or main dish if you choose not to share it)
Today I prepared a variation of the traditional recipe and used blueberries instead of apples.
It tasted great and I promised myself that I will cook Ofenschlupfer more often in future! Continue reading
When baking bread paying attention to the development of gluten is really important. The gluten network makes the dough elastic and extensible and makes it possible that the dough can trap and retain gas that yeast and bacteria when using sourdough produces during fermentation.
I have the feeling that autumn is already knocking timidly on my door. I knew that it is still august, in theory it is still midsummer, but after all the rainy days in the past weeks and with the fact that the days already started to get shorter I feel a little bit like autumn. Don’t understand me wrong, I cherish the change of season. It is like George de Santayana says: “To be interested in the changing seasons is . . . a happier state of mind than to be hopelessly in love with spring.” And I love the change from summer to autumn – maybe because I was born in this special atmosphere between theses seasons in September 29 years ago.
When my mom asked me if I would like to take the second half of a butternut squash I had directly the idea of putting the squash in a bread dough. I like butternut squash very much, it sweet and creamy taste and the stunning colour makes it to one of my favourite winter squash.
The bakery in the small village in which we spend our vacation in East Frisia offered little braids made of a slightly sweet dough. They taste great with jam or honey or as a sandwich with cheese.
The kitchen of our small holiday home contained a oven. So I brought the most important things for baking with me: scale, bowl and my hands . And I tried to recreate the recipe for the little braids to take a little bit of our holiday memories back home.
I decided to use Pâte Fermentée as a preferment and a water roux for a fluffy crumb.
To make kneading more easy (I left the kitchen machine at home) I let the dough rest after mixing it together for 30 min – during this Autolysis the proteins in the dough are hydrated and developing a nice gluten network is then more easy.
The little braids are delicious – slightly sweet like the original and with a fluffy crumb.
Paule baked Schuedi some weeks ago and this rise the whish in me to eat delicious “Butterkuchen”. Butterkuchen (called Schuedi in Luxembourg) is a cake with a yeasted dough base which is topped with butter flakes and lots of sugar. When the butter melts during baking it forms little buttery sweet pits in the surface of the cake.
Like Paule I connect Childhood memories with this cake because this was the favourite cake of my granddad. As a child I did not like this cake so much, my favourite was streusel cake. But when I grow older realized how delicious such a simple cake can be. This cake shines with its simple but high quality ingredients. Using a good fresh butter is really important for a great taste, I prefer sweet cream butter.
For the dough I used a preferment to add more aroma to the dough and reduce the amout of yeast.
The cake tastes great. My boyfriend already asked for second one because this one was gone so fast.
Some years ago, when I discovered bread baking again after a longer periode of not-baking, one of the first breads I bake was the Farl a la Paul Hollywood. I found the recipe on Petras Blog, Chili und Ciabatta.
But soon I like Breads with long fermenation and preferments like sourdough, Poolish or Pâte Fermentée more then the quick variants and so I forgot about the farl.
This weekend, when I thought about a bread for our barbeque at work, the Farl sprang back into my mind and I decided that I would tweak the recipe. I added a Pâte Fermentée and reduced the amount of yeast.
The dough was very easy to handle due to the lower hydration then my usual recipes – a good bread for beginners – and the bread was everything I hoped. Thin crust, regular crumb, with the flavours of a slow rising bread and a hint of buttery taste.