I can not tell how I learn about the Reformationsbrötchen (reformation rolls). But the idea somehow stuck in mind and so I had to bake them just in time for the 31. October (Reformation day).
This rolls originate from the area around Leipzig and are baked in Saxony, Thüringen and Saxony-Anhalt. It is made from a buttery yeast dough enriched with a lot of raisins, candid orange and lemon peel and almonds. The square form with the red jam in the middle is said to symbolize either the Luther rose, the seal of Martin Luther, or a bishops hat.
My variant is made with a biga preferment for a complex flavour and is rich with raisins and almonds. The candid orange and lemon peel I added in a smaller amount. The crumb is soft and moist due to cream and butter and the tart cherry jam is a great counterpoint to the sweetness of the dough and fruits. A great pastry for the last day of October.
Beside apples walnuts are another autumn favourite of mine. And beautiful autumn days with blue sky, colourful trees and rustling leaves on the ground make me wish for a bread with nuts. The bread I baked is another sibling of the Wheat Bread 80/20 and the Göppinger Bread. This time I baked it with only sourdough and with walnuts, of course. The bread is as flavourful and delicious as his older brothers with its crisp crust and tender crumb and the nutty walnuts bits. For a good oven spring it is important to have a active sourdough thus I made the sourdough in two stages, the first stage short and warm to increase the number of wild yeast in it while the second stage is for flavour development.
If you prefer a milder bread, you could make a wheat sourdough as well and use the rye flour in the dough. It is a lot of fun to tweak this recipe by just changing little details like the sourdough handling in order to archive a completely new bread. So maybe this will not the last bread basing on this recipe …
Our whole flat is filled with apple flavour. In front of the kitchen there is a whole bucket of “Jakob Lebel” Windfall Apples waiting to be processed and in the living room I placed a big bowl with dark red “Pomme de Coeur” (Sternrenette). This is another old heritage apple variety and a joy for the taste buds and nose: flavourful, aromatic, delicious. And it’s dark red colour makes it a joy for our eyes as well. With so many apples in the house baking some apple cakes is a must. And as I got this beautiful tiny tartelett rings as birthday present using them was a must as well. I decided to go for a recipe from Matthias Ludwigs “Törtchen und Torten”.
And this can happen in our house as well: the fridge is empty when I was sure that there should be some breakfast rolls left. And at nine in the evening not even I start to think about making a quick preferment for rolls. Instead I made a short stocktaking in the kitchen and found some left over boiled potatoes, cream and eggs in the fridge. With them I mixed a sweet dough for rolls. Like the dough for my favourite braid this dough has to rest in the fridge for at least one hour, but can stay there over night as well.
That’s what I did and the next morning I just had to form the rolls, proof and bake them. And even while I normally prefer rolls made with preferment and a more complex flavour, I was quite pleased with them. Due to potatoes and cream they have a very soft, fluffy crumb which can be torn into long fibres. The perfect sweet roll.
This is a leftover – recipe which I created while looking through my storage: I had a open bottle lingering in the kitchen after baking the Swan King Bread. The sweet starter needed urgently a feeding and in the pantry I found another box of steel cut oat, a souvenir from our last trip to the East Frisian coast.
I decided to soak the steel cut oat in hot water instead of boiling it so it keeps a certain bite. And the generous portion of roasted sesame together with oats and emmer gives the bread a very delicous nutty flavour, while the malt beer adds a subtle sweetness. The right bread for the first cold and rainy days in autumn.
I always try to avoid waste of food. And since I started to bake my own bread I care even more to save bread. But like in every other household, there is bread which get stale and there are left over rolls. But the old bread and rolls can be useful, too! The bread is dried and grinded in a food processor into bread crumbs, which are very useful in baking and cooking. The rolls are sliced very thinly and used for making “Semmelknödel” (Bread Dumplings). And since I started to use homemade bread, the dumplings work very well while in former days, when I used the same recipe with store bought rolls, I always struggled with dumplings falling apart while cooking. But with my own rolls the recipe works like a charm!
One important lecture I learned in the last years is to slice the rolls instead of dicing them. Slices have a bigger surface and will soak more easily then cubes. And nothing kills a dumpling more easily then a not complitly soak piece of bread which starts then to absorb the cooking water. But with slices this never happend to me!
In August we spent a weekend in the beautiful Swabia. A part of my family has its roots there and I always enjoy being there. Eating some pretzels is then a “Must” of course. When we stop at a bakerie in Schwäbisch Hall, I spotted a roll made with some Emmer and Quark (Curd). But sadly the last one was already sold when it was my turn. So I bought pretzels and Briegels instead. But the idea was fixed in my head. And soon afterwards I recipe began to form in my head.
As spelt is a typical grain for Swabia, I decided to use a mix of Emmer and Spelt, which adds a nice nutty flavour to the rolls. The Quark makes it moist and if I would not know, that I added 30 % whole grain flour, I would never have guessed it.