Whenever we spent our vacation in nothern Germany, I have to buy something I have troubles to find in the Rhineland: Steel cut oats! I like them very much, not for the kale stew like it is typical in North Germany, but for making porridge or baking bread. A porridge is such a good addition to a bread, adding some bite and a good deal of moisture and helping to keep the bread fresh for a long time. Especially for spelt bread it is a good addition as spelt has the tendency to bake dry without added soaker.
The bread I baked last week contains the trio of spelt, oat and walnuts. All three are somehow nutty flavoured and it feels natural to me to combine all of them in a bread. The preferment is a whole spelt sourdough which I grow over to stages to contain the mild lactic acid flavour I love so much. And the combination of joghurt-like notes of the sourdough and the nutty flavours of the grain and the nut makes this bread to one these I enjoy most plain or just with some butter and sprinkles of salt flakes. A clear favourite of mine!
Sometimes, the best bread happens rather unplanned. Like this bread, which is a kind of a left over bread. It started when I was thinking about what to do with the remaining part of the “aromastück” I prepared when baking the “Irländer”. In the fridge was a big batch of sweet starter waiting to be fed, but it was to much to feed the whole amount, so using part of the unfed starter was needed, too. And in my flour cabinet I had nearly empty bag with rye, spelt and wheat flour. So why not combining everything to bake a bread?
The result is a classic every day bread with a soft crumb. The Aromastück adds a nice malty note and helps to keep it fresh for a long time while the unfed sweet starter adds subtle flavour notes that adds complexity to the aroma. A truly delicious bread that makes me think about new experiments with the aromastück.
Oliver asked in December if I had a recipe for a aromatic bread with 90% rye. The orignal bread named “Irländer” is a whole grain bread baked with sourdough only and is originated in Mannheim. As I easily get stomach problems when eating to much rye, I always need someone to share a rye bread with. And so it took some time until a weekend I know that I would see my parents and my sister. Shared with three, the amount of rye bread left for me is perfectly 🙂
This bread has a moist crump and stays fresh for a long time. A so called “aroma stück” and sourdough makes the bread aromatic and the “aroma stück” buffers the acid peaks of the sourdough very well. A very harmonic bread.
I had a nice email exchange with a reader some time ago. She just had started her own sourdough starter and had some questions about it. One was how to replace the bought dried sourdough with her own one. She mailed me the recipe and I adjust it so that it is sole leavend by sourdough. To ensure that the sourdough is strong enough, it is fed twice. I although added a soaker for seeds, to ensure they can take up enough water. As I changed much of the handling as well, add the end there are just the same ingredients but a complete different recipe. But it is worth while as it yields an aromatic, moist bread with a well balanced mild soudough flavour.
As the bread is bake as two loaves set next to each other it is a great bread to be shared with friends. A Bread where one half looks like a twin of the other half. A real ”twin bread”!
There is only one reason to spent carnival Sunday not thinking about the best hiding place: my nice and my nephew. As we invited them to watch the children carnival parade in our little town with us, I even bought some paper streamers and baked some “Amerikaner” (german version of black and white cookies) and Berliner. That is as close as I will ever come to celebrating carnival.
This years Berliner are made with spelt flour and get their good flavour from a biga, which helps to build a strong gluten network, too. For a bit more moisture I added a water roux and like last year I have again a good amount of egg yolk in the dough, which helps to create a tender crump. And as Berliner a for me the best part of carnival, I wish you a good time during the “crazy days”: Alaaf!
Kieler Semmeln are rolls which stem – as their name suggested – from Kiel. They are a special roll as they are rubbed in a mixture of butter and salt, which gives their surface a rough look and adds a nice buttery and sligthly salty flavour. There are different recipes around for this kind of rolls, some of the containing lard or cinnamon as well. Cinnamon seems to me a bit to adventurous for a first trial, but I keep this variant in the back of my head for a second version.
As dough, I chose something well-tried, which I changed only slightly. Some sourdough and a cold rise in the fridge adds complex aroma notes even without a preferment, which makes the rolls good for spontaneous “I want to serve rolls for breakfast”- Ideas on late evenings. The rubbing of the preformed rolls in the butter-salt-mixture needs a bit of practice but even if the dough dos not make perfect folds, the recipe will still yields a delicous roll with fluffy crumb a crisp crust which crackles while cooling and which carries a hint of salt and butter.