Monthly Archives: August 2013

August 31st, 2013

Farmers Bread for Beginners

Bauernbrot für Anfänger 1How to start baking bread? I remember that I started with  searching for a recipe and just simple following the instruction. I can’t tell you anymore which recipe it was (it was before I started blogging) but I knew that it was far away from being perfect. But I already cached the bread baking virus.

Every now and then readers and friends asked me which of my recipes they should use for their first bread. I send Friends and colleagues, which I can provide with sourdough, directly to my favourite wheat and rye bread, which has an easy to handle dough. But giving sourdough to readers is not as easy and so I developed another recipe.

It is made with Pâte Fermentée as preferment. It is a preferment which did not need a lot of care. You mix it, you put it in the fridge, you wait for at least twelve hours. No fussing about the right temperature or the need of using it while on its peak.

The dough is easy to handle and instead of scoring the loaf, you can press it down with the handle of a wooden spoon, which creates the niece pattern on the loaf on top of the pile. But it is a bread which is great for experienced bakers as well. I used it with great success for making loaves decorated with roses  for the 90. birthday of my boyfriends grandmother.

And at the end it tastes great, as well. It has a soft, fluffy crumb under a crisp crust. It has a mild aroma with complex flavour profile due to the preferment.

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August 21st, 2013

Crescents with Lievito madre

FrühstückshörnchenSince my childhood I love to eat sweet “Hörnchen” for breakfast. But when I try to let the buttery buns rise over night in the fridge I run into a problem. Putting a dough with a high butter content in the fridge makes the butter solid. The solid butter inhibit the prober rise of the dough and this leads to a reduced volume.

Changing butter to a mild sunflower seed oil helped a lot. Similar to the  Burger buns I baked two weeks ago, this recipe works with a relative high amount of oil, which makes the crumb soft and fluffy. The taste is different from my standard recipe, missing the prominent butter flavour. But the mild taste of the oil allows the complex flavours of the preferments shine through. And so are this delicious Hörnchen a great alternative for my favourite breakfast!

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August 14th, 2013

Rote Gütze-Torte

Rote Grütze TorteI was searching in the world wide web for a recipe for a “Käse-Sahne-Torte”. This is a torte made with curd and cream and it is normally prepared with gelatine. I normally avoid gelatine, but I couldn’t find a recipe for this childhood favourite without gelatine. But it couldn’t be so hard to develop a recipe, I’m used to convert recipes for torte from gelatine to agar.

When working with agar, you have to keep some points in mind: Agar needs to boil before it can gelatinize and you should never ever cool down a liquid containing agar to fast. Agar will start to already around 30°C, which is about 10°C higher then gelatine. And so one of the main tricks in this recipe is the fact that I use curd, which has room temperature, and that I stir it very slowly in the milk in which I boiled the agar.

To add a fresh touch to the Torte I put a layer of red fruit jelly on top of it, which goes nicely with the warm summer weather. A delicious treat for sunday afternoons with the familiy

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August 10th, 2013

Burger Buns with Lievito madre

Burger Brötchen

The summer weather last weekend made us thinking about grilling delicious Burgers in the evening. And so I had to bake burger buns, of course.

In the fridge I still have the preferment I made from my Honey-Wildyeast-Experiment. It has developed all traits of a Lievito madre, something not so suprising because both – Wildyeast and Lievito madre – are made with honey and contain nectar yeasts. But thinking about Lievito madre I decided that it would be time to use it once again in a bread. And so I tried a new recipe containing some sourdough starter from the fridge, Lievito madre, a water roux and some extra yeast for a fast rise.

I let the buns rise until they more the doubled their size and put them then in the oven. Once again I could see how the Lieviot madre did his magic and enhance the oven spring. The buns gain a lot of size during the baking, with a fluffy crumb and a soft crust due to the high fat content – just as a burger bun should be!

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August 4th, 2013

Peach Iced Tea

Pfirsich-EisteeI do not like Iced tea. Or to be honest, I don’t like this terrible sweet drink with the artificial fruit flavour which you can buy in the supermarket all year round.

But what would happen when I made a homemade version? With the fruity flavour of ripe peaches and the refreshing taste of rooibos tea? Something slightly sweet, refreshing in the summer heat?

And so I did not hesitate and peeled and pureed some peaches and mixed the puree with some cold tea. The cools down faster, when it is brewed as concentrate and then mix with ice cold water. To finish it I add a little bit of lemon juice. That’s it. Done in less then 10 minutes.

And I liked it. It has a creamy consistence, is only slightly sweet and really refreshing. Perfect for hot summer days!

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August 2nd, 2013

Brewer Bread with Whey

Brauerbrot mit Molke

There was no bread left in our freezer, the drawer was completly empty, all the bread was eaten! So it rtime to stock it up again! But what should I bake? Looking around in the kitchen I rembered my spent grain flour and decided to bake a brewer bread once again.

It is always amazing how dark the dough turns when I add the spent grain flour. But when you consider that it has a fibre content of 50%, it is not so suprising! To soak the spent grain flour properly, I scalded it together with oat bran and spelt flour in hot whey. The smell of this hot soaker was incredible, malty and flavoursome!

The soaker keeps the bread fresh for a long time, and makes a great, soft crumb. I like the bread very much, it has a deep malty flavour with a hint of nuts – it’s a new favourite!

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