Last autumn we spent a week in East Frisia. Our land lady told us, that the bakery around the corner should be the best of Leer and so we had to buy some bread there, of course. Something that rouse my curiosity was a small package of sliced raisin bread called Krintstuut. As it was a busy morning in the bakery, I didn’t ask about the ingredients. Tasting the bread back in our cottage, I was sure that it contained a good portion of rye. And so I used a quieter time in the bakery to confirm my assumption.
Finding rye in a sweet bread is nothing that surprises me any longer as I learned about so many traditional sweet breads baked that way. And it makes sense so much: Rye growth even in regions which are not suitable for wheat. So rye was always a grain used for many peasant breads. Wheat bread was something baked only for holidays. And even sweet breads with rye was something most families ate only on Sunday.
My interpretation of the recipe takes into account what I learned about bread baking in the 19. century: It uses sourdough but as well yeast. Back in time, the yeast was bought often at breweries and used for the “finer” breads like raisin bread.The sweetness stems from raisins alone as sugar was scarce back then. And that is really sweet enough. The bread is delicious, especially with some butter and honey.
It is spring – finally! I bath in yellow sunshine and admire the green of leaves and listen to the bees collecting pollen and nectar. And I try to catch this spring feeling a bread. It has the same colour combination of green and yellow. The yellow stems from the high carotenoid content of the kamut flour while pumpkin seeds adds green sprinkles in the crumb. A bit of honey remembers on the busy bees.
To fit the bread in my full weekend schedule (new garden and my bee keeper course is keeping me still busy) I opted for a overnight version with a young sourdough and “quick” poolish. As both preferments do not stand so long I decided to increase the amount of preferment. So all Kamutflour is fermented for a longer time which increases flavour and digestibility.
I hope, you all enjoyed the splendid Easter weather! Is there anything better then a Breakfast in the sunshine with the family? For our breakfast on Easter Sunday I baked a Spelt Easter Wreath.
To be able to serve a still oven warm wreath, I decided to go for another overnight recipe. And so I used only a bit butter in the dough while the bigger part of the fat stems fro m the cream. Instead of binding water in a hot soaker or water roux, I opted for using yoghurt in order to make the bread baking more relaxed. And I used a pâte fermentée as a preferment, so I could prepare it already three days in advance, if needed. This helps to relax the busy Easter schedule, too.
And so I only had to prepare the dough and form it after 90 minutes fermenting time on saturday evening. The wreath proofed over night and on Easter Sunday all I had to do is placing the dough in the oven. Perfect for a relaxed sunday!
Some times we need some one who point out the obvious. When a reader asked for a recipe for pita bread I wondered why I had not thought about it before.
And so I looked at many recipes and an idea was forming in my mind. When I had my recipe sketched out, I saw that Sara from Sara bakar did published a Pita recipe, too. And so I took some good advices from her: making small sized Pita bread is one of them, the other is the idea to turn the bread after proofing before baking.
Watching the bread in the oven was then my most beloved oven tv. In just one minute the bread puffed up. It was so fascinating. And while the bread cooled down, I prepared some Falafel and had a delicious lunch a short while later!
Tin Breads are so convenient when baking in a kitchen that isn’t yours . No need for a bread baking stone, no need for a lot of fuss. And so I baked an old fashioned white tin bread. In Germany it is called “Kasten-Weißbrot” and is a bread with a lot of tradition. So it fits in my post series of traditional breads.
The bread is baked with a young sourdough to keep the amout of acid low to prevent a gummy crumb. For a young sourdough you need a very active starter so the sourdough can double or triple its volume in the short time. To enhance the fluffy crumb I added a bit of powdered rose hip which is a natural source of vitamin c. The rest of the dough is a quite simple white bread dough with a tiny bit of butter for a tender crumb. A bit of enzyme active malt helps to create a crisp crust.
It is a simple but so delicious bread. It tastes great with cheese or with peanutbutter and honey! Continue reading
I planned another recipe for this week. But the last roll vanished, before I could take a picture. But luckily I baked a beautiful Kamut Sandwich Bread this week, too!
I find it always fascinating how bright the crumb of whole grain Kamut breads is. And its flavour is always delicious, sweet and nutty. As all ancient grains are a bit trying when it comes to whole grain sandwich breads, I used all tricks I learned in my struggles during the last two years: Vitamin C in form of acerola cherry juice, a bit pf physilium hulls, enzyme active bean flour and eggs help to enhance gluten network and to stabilize the crust. Another key for a stable crumb is the “ten piece methode”. For each bread the dough is formed into ten buns and then place in the baking tin. That helps to create a more even and tender crumb which does not collapse during cutting. It takes a bit more time for forming, but the effort is very well invested!
It was such a stormy Sunday! The sun was glimpsing through the clouds now and then, but the whole time trees were bending under the power of wind. It was the right weekend to stay home and bake bread.
And so I bake a delicious braid. But as we have a tiny bit of stormy days in our life, too, with a lot of appointments eating up time, there was no time for a preferment. And as I wasn’t baking in my own kitchen, I had no kitchen machine to take up kneading either. These were the facts I had to build my recipe around.
At the end, I opted for buttermilk and a long, cold proof to enhance flavour. And I decided to bake the Braid in Swiss Style, which means: no sugar in the dough. Without sugar, it is much easier to knead the dough to middle gluten development as sugar tends to inhibit gluten development.
My plan worked as well as I could hope for, and the next day I started my morning with some freshly baked bread. Is there a better start in a chaotic week?
In Germany you can finde a lot of different kinds of pretzels. There is the lye pretzel, of course. But there are all kinds of “white” (aka not treated with lye) pretzels as well. There are sweet ones like the Martinsbrezel, the Burger Brezel and the Neujahrsbrezel, but there are hearty pretzels like the Anisbrezn as well.
Todays white pretzels stems from the little town called Biberach. It is said that once upon time there was a lazy baker’s apprentice who forgot to prepare the lye. His Master Baker was very angry about his forgetfulness and tossed the pretzels in a pot with boiling salt water. And that turned out to be a brilliant idea. The so treated pretzels tasted deliciously and so these pretzels are baked during lent until today. Sounds like a real “happy ever after”, doesn’t it?
Having a cold means for me today, that I had to stayed warmly tugged under a blanket on the sofa instead of baking bread in a wood fired oven. To avoid getting to grumpy about that fact I decided to look back on past baking adventures:
For Christmas eve I promised to bring some baguette. And as I felt adventurous I decided to try the Emmer Baguette I was thinking about since I baked the emmer ciabatta last autumn. The white emmer flour which I used lays somewhere between Type 812 and 1050. So it has still a good portion of bran. To enhance the gluten network I opted for enzyme active bean flour – just like I did for the spelt einkorn baguette. And it worked surprisingly well, leaving me with a dough which was easily shaped to a baguette. It hold it shape very well during proofing and had a gorgeous oven spring. The crumb was not as open as I wished for – I guess it is due to the weaker gluten network of emmer compared to wheat or spelt. But the flavour makes us forget about this very fast, as it is at the same time creamy and nutty. So they are a delicious addition to the baguette family on the blog.
I am always fascinated how one recipe can lead me to the next (and the next…). Like when I was researching for the Rheinische Neujährchen, which leaded me to the Variant from the Westerwald. And then a reader commented about a tradition from reutlingen called Mutschel day. This day is the first thursday after Three Kings Day and at this day the people in Reutlingen a playing dice games in order to win a mutschel.
The mutschel is a highly decoreated bread made from a very rich dough. The bread has a eight pointed star shape with a bump in the middle. The shape is much easier to form then I first thought as the dough ball just has to be cut like a “#” and the sides then has to be pulled away and shape into pointy tips. I made pictures form the process but used a tinier variant of the mutschel as it was much easier taking pictures from it then from the big one.