Butter is a staple in the Breton kitchen – which shows in the Sablé Breton. Another example for buttery Breton cake is Kouign Amann. It is made of a very rich croissant dough and the dough is then turned in sugar before forming. During the long baking time the sugar caramelize on the bottom of the cake to crackling layer, forms a sweet soft core in the middle of the cake and again caramelizes on the top.
My variant of this high caloric treat is a spin off of my actual sourdough croissant project. And while the croissant needs still a bit of tweaking, I’m more then happy with the Kouign Amann in this sweet starter variant. It is not a recipe for inpatient people, just the proof of the dough takes place over night at room temperature. But investing about 24 hours in this cake is more then worth, as this long proof creats a fantastic complex flavour with only a faint hint of sour. If you like palmiers, you will love the buttery caramelic Kouign Amann as well!
One of the best methods to achieve a thick, crunchy crust is to bake a bread twice: after cooling down the bread is placed in the oven for a second time for about 15 min. During that time the crust gets its extra bit of crispiness.
And this method I used for this farmers bread. It contains 15% Rye flour and the typical Bavarian bread spice mixture of caraway, fennel and coriander seeds. If you, like me, have a well stocked supply of spices then it is easy to mix the needed spices by yourself. For grinding you can use either a mortar and pestle, a food processor or a coffee mill. And if you have a grain mill which allows you to mill oily seeds, then the easiest way is to mill the seeds with some wheat berries – just remember to reduce the amount of flour accordingly to the amount of wheat you mill.
The amount of bread spice is seasoning in a discreet way without overpowering the other flavours of the bread. This makes this bread suitable for hearty cheese as well for sweet spreads like honey.
I like recipe tweaking – especially when this happens so spontaneously like here. Duríng a nice exchange about sweet starter the questions occurred how to add the starter in a existing and trusted everyday bread recipe. I offered help and Kekki posted her formula and the wishes for the new versions. The recipe sounded very good, made with Kefir or Buttermilk, 20% rye and 80% wheat. I exchanged the wheat sourdough with sweet starter and added a long, cold autolysis for the whole grain flour. And I baked the recipe directly, as it sounded so tempting. And I was not disappointed: The bread is very flavourful, with a hearty tangy note, good crust and soft crump. A true everyday bread!
Some Weeks ago a reader send me a recipe asking if I could change it to less yeast and with the possibility to let the rolls proof overnight in the fridge. The recipe was – to use the famous words of Alfred Biolek – “interesting” as it contained not only a lot of yeast but baking powder as well. So it was not very surprisingly that the recipe yielded roll which taste not so good and get stale very fast.
And my recipe variant only contains now hints of the old one. With a poolish, a water roux, adjusted yeast amount and no baking powder it is a complete different story. I had to adjust the amounts of flour as well as my first draft was getting slightly on the to wet side. The final formula has still a higher hydration then the original recipe, but the dough is good to handle when the gluten network is fully developed.
And I am more then pleased with the Kifle. They have very fluffy crumb and a perfect soft crust and develop a fine flavour due to poolish and yoghurt. A perfect roll for both sweet and hearty Spreads.