November 16th, 2018

St. Martins Rolls

Martinsbrtchen3Besides of baking Martinsbrezel I tested a recipe as well: St. Martins Rolls. Like for the Martinsbrezel I learned about them from a dear reader. These rolls are stuffed with candid orange peel and hazelnuts and topped with a generous amount of pearl sugar. They are only  baked in the time between St. Martin and Christmas.

And even with the temperature far away from winter, I felt a bit like Christmas when I smelled the candid orange peel and nuts during baking. And on breakfast I fell completely in love with the rolls. Spread with some honey (a gift from a baking course participant) they are so delicious!

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November 11th, 2018

Martinsbrezel

Martinsbrezel (2)[5]The Saint Martin’s Day is a celebrated through whole Germany. The traditions anyway vary from region to region. In the Bergische Land, where I live, and in the Rhineland, one tradition is to give a Weckmann to each child after the lantern procession. In other regions instead of this weckmann they get a Martinsbrezel (Martin’s pretzel).

I learned about these tradition quiet recently and did some researching then. And interestingly this tradition is rather wide spread and there are differnt kinds of pretzels. In some regions, they are topped with pearl sugar before baking while in other regions they are brushed with butter and turned in fine sugar after baking.

I decided to try the second variant. Due to the big amount of sugar decided to use only a small anount of sugar in the dough. And then these pretzel are big treat – they may not replace a weckmann in this house but are a good addition to them!

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November 9th, 2018

Lecker-Cracker for the 10. Blog Birthday

Lecker-Cracker (2)[3]It’s been ten years today since I clicked on the “publish” button for the first time. The Blog – the first bread baking blog written in German – flourish ever since. My wee little  recipe archive turned into a huge collection with more than 800 recipes turning this time. And so it’s time to celebrate!

When coming together to celebrate I like to serve a little something for nibbling. The Idea for this crackers I got at our last vacations on a farmers market. A baker sold bags of “addictive makers” –  a kind of paper thin crackers. The name was tempting me and so we bought a bag to satisfy my curiosity. But the name was greater then the reality. They tasted ok… and my brain started to work.

The inspiration for my cracker variant  are Lavash and Pan Carasau. I add sourdough to the mixture for a more complex flavour, while harrisa and nigella seeds add an exotic touch. And so I get finally my perfect cracker…

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October 31st, 2018

Its time for Christmas Stollen…

stollen2

I don’t have to check the calendar to know  that it is nearly November. A short glance in my blog statistic shows me that from day to day the click number for my Stollen recipe rise strongly. And I knew that you – just like me – started to plan baking stollen now.  And while I’m since years happily baking my favourite moist Christstollen I posted some recipe variants in the last years, too. To give you a guide to recipes and tips is here a overview where you can find it: Continue reading

October 16th, 2018

Traveller’s Bread

Reise-Brot (2)[7]During the baking course last weekend one of the participants wished a recipe for a bread which can be baked without much equipment in a caravan. Choosing grains which has to be kneaded only a short time came to our mind directly. And so I suggest a bread with a mixture of emmer and spelt flour in combination with some flax seeds, sunflower seeds and walnuts for an additional flavour boost. This combination makes it although a nourishing snack for long trips. And baking the bread in a bread pan gives it the right form to fit in every bread box.

And as it is the World bread day today, I will send this little fellow on a virtual travel around the world with all the breads that Zorra will collect as each year on her blog!

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October 12th, 2018

Bergisches Nullbruut

Bergisches-Nullbruut3

The “Bergische Land” is a hilly region next to cologne. Its name stems from the former Duchy of Berg and not from the hilly (which means “bergig” in German) landscape. It was for a long time a poor region as the ground is stony and loamy. Most farmers grew rye which can better cope such conditions.

And if you look for recipes which are from this regions you will inevitable find mainly rye breads. But for special occasions a whet bread was baked. It is called Nullbruut.

The origin of this bread stems either from the flour or because of its form. The Rheinische Wörterbuch explains that “dubbel genullt” means a flour is extra finely milled and  such is the flour need for this bread. But “null” is also an old word for “parting (hair or landscape)” and could refer to the fact that the bread is slashed lengthwise prior to baking.

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October 6th, 2018

Butter Blatz

Butter-Blatz-23

During the last weeks I planned my recipes according to different leftovers I found in my flour storage boxes. Now, they are (almost) tidy and I can come back to my personal favourites: regional bread recipes.

The special thing on regional recipes is the fact, that they are hard to find. They are often so common in their region that no one recognize them as that what they are: little recipe gems which can be found only in a narrow area. Only when an habitant moves into a area farer away, he or she will learn that this common everyday bread is not known in this part of the world. Nevertheless I stumble over a recipe from time to time or one of my readers askes for a special recipe and so I can enlarge my collection continuously.

The Butter Blatz is such a readers request. Blatz can be found in the southern Rhineland and in the Bergische Land and is baked in different variants:  filled with raisins or almonds or topped with crumbles. The plain butter blatz variant is shaped to long loaf and cut serveal times on both sides prior to baking. This gives the bread the appearance of a leaf and looks just beautiful.

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September 28th, 2018

Ärpelbrot

rpelbrot-13Autumn means always potato time for me. And even after this hot and endless summer, when we had to harvest them already in august due to the drought, I hunger for the first loaf of potato bread. Here – in the region around cologne – potatoes are called Ärpel or Erpel. This dialectal term is a short form from “Erdapfel” (literal earthapple). And so is an Ärpelbrot nothing other then a potato bread.

These Variant is in some points similar to the Oberbergischen Ärpelbrot but is baked with a rye poolish and yeast. And so it is a variant that works well for bread baking beginners too. It is a aromatic bread whit crisp crust and tender crumb.

For me, it is the right bread to eat it – thickly slathered with Plum butter – on a cold, misty autumn morning!

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September 23rd, 2018

Pumpkin Seed Rolls with Einkorn

Kürbiskernbrötchen mit Einkorn(2)[3]

After some really hot days weather has turned and its finally “real autumn”. And on this cold and rainy Sunday morning I am very glad that I can sit in front of my oven and see how the Pumpkin Seed rolls rise in the heat. And I feel a bit sorry for all people who have to run through the pouring rain in order to get fresh rolls for breakfast.

My Pumpkin Seed Rolls follow once again my favourite formula: a slow overnight dough which is just cut into squares the next morning. A part of whole grain flour is also some I like to add to these kind of rolls, as it adds a deepness to the flavour. In this case, the flavour is especially delicious. The nutty flavour of Einkorn and pumpkin seeds works well together to give these rolls its specific aroma.

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September 16th, 2018

Emmer Ciabatta

Emmer-Ciabatta-43When I was shopping flour in our local mill I discovered a white emmer flour and I couldn’t resist. It was to tempting and I had already the idea of a pure Emmer Ciabatta in my mind.

The “white flour” of the ancient grains can be varying in their “whiteness” as there is no norm to classify it. My flour turned out to be a darker shade of “white”, so I guess it will equal something between a Type 812 and a Type 1050.

Kneading dough with ancient grain flour needs more attentiveness, as their gluten networks is more fragile and easy to over-knead compared to spelt. So testing gluten development during the kneading is a must here. The window pane test will help to judge this.

The flavour of this bread is great: deep, complex and irresistible nutty but without the slight bitterness of whole grain bread. And I’m already thinking of what to bake next with the other half of the flour bag…

Emmer-Ciabatta

yields 4 Ciabatta

AutolysisEmmer-Ciabatta-23

  • 500g white Emmerflour
  • 350g Water

Dough

  • Autolysis
  • 4g Psyllium hulls
  • 50g Sourdough from the fridge (100% Hydration)
  • 25g olive oil
  • 10g Salt
  • 5g fresh yeast

2. Water addition

  • 90g Water

Mix flour and water and let it rest for 60 min at least.

Now add the remaining ingredients of the dough and knead for 5-8min at slow speed, adding the water in small increments while kneading. At the emd, the gluten network should be very well developed and the dough should be sticky.

If possible, place the dough in a square container, as this makes it later more easy to cut the dough into squares. Ferment for 3 hours, folding every 30min, then place the dough in the fridge for at least 16 hours. After that time span dough should be bubbly. If not, increase the fermentation period a bit.

Heat the oven with baking stone to 250°C

Flour the countertop and carefully turn the dough on it. Divide the dough with a dough scrapper into four pieces. Gently stretch the dough pieces to the typical ciabatta shape.

Lay on a couche (floured), cover with a second cloth and proof for 50 min.

Bake on the preheated stone for 35 min with steam.