Category Archives: Bread

September 14th, 2019

Weeknight loaf

Feierabend-Kasten (1)I got a bit to optimistic when I tried the first version of this bread. Adding a big portion of  very ripe pâte fermentée was not the best of my ideas, as this brings to much enzymes in the dough and has the same effect like adding sourdough. After 24 hours proofing time the dough was still stable, but the resulting bread lacked volume. A sure sign that the gluten network already started to decline.

And so I put the recipe back on my worktable and sat down to write a better version. This time it is a straight dough which develops its flavour during the long fermenting time. Yoghurt and good portion of whole grain flour adds another aromatic notes to the loaf. In this combination, the dough is stable over the course of 24 hours and the breads have a nice volume. Which can be seen in their crumb, too. It is soft and fluffy and can be toasted very well, too! A perfect bread for breakfasts and lunch boxes!

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August 6th, 2019

Three Grain Bread (Weeknight version)

Dreikorn-Rundling-23

Some time ago a reader asked if my beloved three grain bread recipe could be modified so it would use boiled sourdough and could fit in a busy weeknight schedule. As changing from sourodugh to boiled sourdough meant replacing the soaker as well. This are quite some changes and I decided that were to many chances to give away a recipe variant without testing. Around the same time I got my hands on beautiful big mold glasses from Weck (1050ml) .  They have straight walls and are perfect for baking breads. When the bread is sliced, its slices are perfectly round.  I am totally in love with the new form.

And the bread itself is a delicious as the two other variants. And like always it is a good sign for a favourite bread when I bake a recipe in variants!

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July 6th, 2019

Spelt Farmers Bread

Dinkel-Bauernbrot-13This Farmers bread is the right bread for every one who is looking for a rustic bread for busy weeknights. It uses the same principle like the summer evening bread: boiled sourdouhg. To enhance the sourdough flavour I allowed the rye sourdough to ripen for a long time. This can be troublesome in busy weeks but boiled sourdough has one major advantage: It can be prepared one week in advance. So all you have to do is making it on a not so busy day (maybe at the weekend?) and keep it in the fridge until needed. Then you have a “ready to use” sourdough at hand every day of a week.

In this case it is used for flavour and tiny tangy flavour in this bread which contains about 70% Spelt and 30% rye. Such a rustic bread gain a lot from a tiny amount of bread spice added to the dough. I opted for a small amount which only underlines the complex flavours of the long and cold fermentation. But of course you are free to adjust this amount to your taste: use more for a stronger flavour or leave it away if you do not like it. The mixture can be varied as well. I normally opt for same parts of fennel, caraway and coriander seeds. Continue reading

July 5th, 2019

Summer evening bread

Sommerabend-Brot (1)Already with the first recipe for my new “work day breads” there was the wish for recipes with some sourdough. Using a sourdough with a long, cold fermentation can cause problems with both the increasing acidity and the increasing enzyme activity. This can result in a weaker gluten network and a bread with less volume but with very chewy crumb.

There are two strategies to cope with this. The first one is using only a small amount of a very active sourdough. The second one is bowling the sourdough to inactivate microorganisms and enzymes. At the same time the starch gelatinise and binds water, which helps to enhance shelf life of the bread. This second strategy I choose for the summer evening bread.

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June 9th, 2019

Scharwaie

Scharwaie-43When I heard the term “Scharwaie” the first time, I had to asked my badish host to repeat the word. Spoken with Baden accent it sounds similar to “sha – wai”.  Even a second repletion didn’t help me. Finally Iasked to write the word down, as my brain struggled to get the letters on the right places. The Term “waie” means flat bread or cake while “Schar” is thought to come from scrabbing left over dough pieces together after forming the regular bread. It is a traditional flat bread that is baked in Baden, a region in the south west of Germany. And as I am a collector of traditional bread I was hooked.

Back home I had to wait for another baking day at the wood fire community oven in our museum. But as I knew that our leftover dough pieces would not enough to feed the whole crowd, I prepared a dough just for this case. It is a dough with 80% wheat and 20% rye which rises over night in the fridge. In combination with some added sourdough, this creates a delicious flavour. Backed for a short time at high temperature, the bread is soft and fluffy and so delicious.

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May 31st, 2019

Röggchen

Rggchen-23Last weekend I felt a hunger for rustic rolls with a good portion of rye. As the weekend was crowded with appointments, I opted once again for my favourite schema for easy sunday morning rolls: Proofing the dough over night. Forming, proofing and baking is something I can normally fit into our sunday morning routine easily.  And having still warm rolls for breakfast is something, we love, too.

For the form I opted for simple but pretty pattern made by a roll stamp. This time I decided to press it down through nearly the whole roll which resulted in a beautiful flower-like looking roll. And so the rolls fulfil all my criteria for good weekend rolls: easy to make and delicious! Is there anything else to wish for?

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May 26th, 2019

Pause Bread

Pausenbrot[3] Last weekend, a reader asked if I had an idea for baking a bread on a busy week night. She had a clear idea of what ingredients she would like in her bread: white flour plus a tiny bit of whole grain mixed with a lot of seeds. And I had a very clear idea on how to make a bread out of this.

As the she needed a bread which ferments over a whole night and day, I decided to make a straight dough. The long fermentation yields enough flavour. And I decided to add the seeds without soaking, too. But before anyone is now worried about the bread going dry: I added enough water for the seeds to soak during fermenting without withdrawing to much from the dough.

I used the recipe directly on this very busy weekend. Normally I would postpone baking to a calmer day, but so it worked like a charm. A great bread for busy days!

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May 18th, 2019

Krintstuut

Krintstuut-13Last 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.

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May 3rd, 2019

Spring bread

Frhlingskasten-23It 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.

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April 23rd, 2019

Spelt Easter Wreath

Dinkel-Osterkranz-29I 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!

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