Since last year I’m totally in love with cooking jams without gelling sugar. I love the old fashioned flavour and that I have all ingredients I need (which are sugar and lemon juice) always at hand. No need for extra shopping… And so I change slowly all of our favourite jam recipes.
The four favourite jams here are Blueberry, Red Currant and raspberry, Blackberry und plum butter. Apricot jam is raking not so high but having some glasses around is essential for baking cakes. And so I did not hesitate when there where beautiful apricots on sale last week. As apricots – like blackberries – contain a middle amount of pectin, I choose carefully some not so ripe fruits, to go along with the ripe ones. The reason behind is that unripe fruits have a higher content of pectin. Adding some lemon juice helps with the gelling process as well.
After half an hour of simmering, the jam has a deep apricot flavour which is one million times better then everything you can buy. Even my love was nodding his head approvingly when I was urging him to test. So this jam has the potential to rise high in our favourite list!
I get the question for a sweet yeast dough without egg, milk or wheat regularly. Depending on the dietary restrictions I sent the readers to this, this or that recipe. A dough “without everything” was missing until now. And so I promised to fill this gap.
The recipe I designed is a aromatic vegan spelt dough. Similar to my favourite braid I used here a mixture of firm and liquid fat: vegan margarine and oil. And while in a butter braid the butter flavour is very prominent, in this recipe a oil made of roasted walnuts takes over this role.
The dough recipe is a basic recipe which can be used in many different recipes. I used it to bake this braid, vegan spelt Hörnchen and nut pastry. The other recipes will follow in the next weeks.
Some days ago I had to sent some sourdough per mail. That is easy when the sourdough is mixed with a lot of flour to form dry crumbs – the German name for this is “Krümmelsauer” while it is called “Gerstl” in Austria. The crumbs should be as dry and fine as possible. This reduce the amount of water and put the microorganisms to hibernation. In this state there is nearly no fermentation going on.
Reactivation is easy as well. Mixing the “Krümmelsauer” with water and waiting until the first bubbles are showing. And as I realised that I never showed this kind of sourdough conservation on the blog, I made a double batch. One halve I sent to Berlin, the other one I kept for three days on the counter to simulate the enviroment during mailing. Then I mixed the sourdough crumbles with water and as my sourdough is quite active I saw the first bubbles after one hours already. I let the mixture ferment for another five hours, then I used it to start a sourdough. And this sourdough doubled its volume easily overnight.
This Sandwich bread is a readers wish. But I needed two rounds, until I was really satisfied. In the first Variant I had a boiled soaker with whole spelt flour and seeds, but this added to much liquid to the dough. This resulted in a very instable crumb. The recipe needed adjustments!
The bread (in both tries) is a pure spelt flour with 30 percent whole grain flour and amixture of flax seeds, sesame and sun flower seeds for an extra nuttiness. The preferment is a biga made from whole spelt flour. This has many advantages: the whole grain flour has enough time to soak up the liquid, a biga helps to strength the gluten network and it adds complex flavour nuances, too. As every sandwich bread this bread needs a fully developed gluten network, and spelt is a sensible. So it is needed to keep a close eye on the dough to find the perfect spot.
At the rerun of the recipe I used a bit mashed potato for fluffiness and a soaker with an only moderate amount of water. This makes the dough recognizable firmer, the dough is easier to handle and the fluffy crumb gets enough stability. So what was my lecture of this day? Sometimes less (water) is more!
In the last months I baked a lot and tweaked recipes a lot without showing anything on the blog. And there is a reason for that:
Some time ago Eva made “Rutite” (Fruit bars) for her little nice. The recipe sounded very simple and the needed dried fruits where all in my kitchen cupboards. After an intense search in the depth of my baking cabinet I even found the unloved round wafer paper which sleeps there unappreciated for several years.
As my mixer is really strong, I throw in all ingredients in whole, even the nuts. And after some minutes of mixing and scrapping down the mixture every now and then, the nuts started to release some oil and mixtrue turned into a dough with a similar consistence like marzipan. The rest was easily done: rolling out, cuting circles with an cookie cutter and placing them between wafer paper. And so I could test my Fruit bars soon. It is very delicious – even with wafer paper!