Since three years I use my Slowcooker to cook plum butter. This is very relaxed as I just have to remove the plum pits the night before and turn on the slow cooker. I put the lid on the cooker in a right angle, leaving a gap so the evaporated water can escape. After 12 hours cooking on “High” the juice has reduced a good deal and after pureeing it needs another three to four hours until it reaches the perfect thick consistence.
The dearest one likes his plum butter without a lot of spices, so I add only half of a cinnamon stick and a tiny little bit of a vanilla bean. Just enough to underline the flavour without shining through. And as I use only a bit of sugar, I preserve the glasses of plum butter, just to be on the safe side. Last year I tested Michas Methode with boiling the glasses covered with water in a big pot. It worked like a charm and the plum butter kept well for one year.
Two years ago I had the idea to bake a bread which is only leavened by the yeast of a young wine (Federweißer). That worked good and was delicious, as you can see at this great breads of others bloggers. When I planned what to bake for the goodby party of my favourite ex-colleague (it is a double ex as we both have left now) there was again a flask of Federweißer sitting on the counter. The dearest was not around to rescue his beloved wine from misuse and so a not negligible amount of it was used to make a rye poolish. To give the bread a hearty flavour, I prepared a sourdough as well.
The bread developed a good flavour with a slight sweet note from the young wine. The crumb was soft and the crust was crunchy. I hope, that you believe me that, as I can not provide a crumb shot because the bread was a present which I could not cut in advanced, of course.
Oliver asked me on Saturday morning if I have a recipe for a “King Ludwig Bread”. I did not know a bread with this name, but after some minutes of googling I started to suspect that it is a readymade mixture for bakeries, as so many bakeries are selling it. Some minutes later I found the manufacture of the mix and the ingredients did not sound so well in my ears: “Spelt flour, ry flour, malt, dried rye sourdough, whole spelt flour, coarse meal spelt, gluten, salt, sweet whey powder, guar flour, wheat bran, grape concentrate, ascorbic acid, enzymes”.
The breads seems to have a soft crumb what speaks against a bigger amount of rye and the brownish crumb should be due to malt and not to a lot of whole grain flour. And slowly a recipe starts to appear in my brain.
Cornucopia, the horn of plenty, is a symbol of abundance and nourishment in the classical myths and is often associated with autumn. And when I prepared my little pastries I look on the nuts and apples and that little cornucopia would be the right way to celebrate autumn plenty.
It is apple and no other fruit that means autumn to me. And I can’t stop praising the heirloom apples which are often much more aromatic then the new breeds. And for baking cake there is no better apple then my favourite Jakob Lebel. It is a tree which gives a plenty of fruits and which is often found in old gardens and orchards. In the beginning of last century the meeting of german pomiculture society named it as one of tree apple variety they advised to grow because it is so fruitful, aromatic and robust. Continue reading
As soon as the weather change from summer heat to autumn cold I long for hearty breads with whole grains. A great combination is whole grain, potato and walnuts. For our bread baking course I promised a moist whole grain bread and as I have the feeling that another bread without preferment will find some friends here I designed the recipe accordingly.
But the bread gains a lot if you allow the dough to rise over night in the fridge. It will not only will enhance the flavour, but also gives the bran a longer time to soak and gets softer. For a good soaking of the whole grain flour, using warm water and still warm potatoes helps to speed up this process during the first stage of dough preparation.
And if the dough gets the time it needs you will be rewarded with a whole grain bread with an soft and moist crumb. It pairs perfectly with cheese or honey!
When I talked with my mum on the phone some weeks ago, she asked me if I had an idea for a recipe. She had a rye sourdough fermenting in the kitchen and was now looking for recipes (I know where I got my tendency to start a preferment before deciding what to bake.) I just baked a delicious Wheat-Rye bread and some minutes later I had drafted a “sibling” of this recipe which fits to the preferment and sent it to my mum. The next day she send me some pictures and wrote that they all liked the bread very much, so I kept the recipe in the back of my head as “to be baked”.
When I was thinking what to bake as move-in present (in germany the classical gift for a new flat/house is the symbolic bread and salt), I remembered the recipe and I finally I baked it. And I like it as much as its faster sibling. It is an aromatic bread with crisp crust and tender crumb. It is a perfect everyday bread and tastes delicious with sweet things like honey and jam as well as with hearty cheese.