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.
I love to bake bread for Christmas. And nearly every Christmas I included one loaf with nuts, as nuts are an essential treat on Christmas for me. So, the 2018 Edition of Christmas Bread is made with walnuts, spelt and emmer. It has a crisp crust and soft and fluffy crumb, perfect to go along any Christmas delicious.
The preferments are inspired by a look in the fridge: a bit of left over Pâte Fermentée and a Sweet starter that needed a feeding. They add complex aroma notes to the dough which is nicely underlined by the flavour of buttermilk and nutty tone from the Spelt and Emmer.
And with this recipe, my dear reader, I start my christmas break here in the blog. For new years eve I will be back for the traditional “Best of 2018” post. I whish you merry and peaceful Christmas Days!
No, I will not start complaining about the rain. I am honestly glad about the constant pouring as the hot and dry summer and autumn left nature thirsting for water. But my foodblogger heart is still grumbles a little bit about the dull light we have. It is rather bad for taking pictures. But that’s what high Iso and the golden side of my reflector is for, isn’t it?
And when it’s raining cats and dogs it is the perfect weather for baking bread. And so I spent the last sunday with baking another regional bread. The Kassler Bread (or short Kassler) stems – as its name suggest – from the city Kassel, but is nowadays baked often in the Rhineland, too. It contains about 30% Rye and 70% Wheat flour and it’s a kind of bread I call lovingly “everyday bread”. It is flavourful and goes well with every kind of topping: from honey to cheese, everything fits with this kind of bread.
Most of the time I think that breads with the tag “vegan” are silly. The standard variant of bread means “flour, water and salt” and this is after all so pure and simple vegan that there should be no questions left. But with sweet breads this is a different story. I always try to avoid highly processed replacements like margarine. And so I was fascinated when I read in a description of a organic baker that he uses coconut oil for vegan baking.
Using this fat makes sense as it contains naturally a high amount of saturated fat and so is solid at room temperature. I just wondered if the the slight coconut flavour of the oil would shine trough in the baked good. And to verify this question there was just one option: Baking a bread with coconut oil.
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…
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