There are so many different variants of black bread in Germany that I always feel sorry that my stomach can not cope to much of it. So I can bake one just once in a while and to bake me through all the regional variants will take some time. One really fascinating black bread recipe is the “Klever Schwarzbrot”. It uses buttermilk instead of sourdough. This adds enough acid to make the rye bake-able.
The bread has fine lactic flavour in combination with the sweetness of the molasses makes this bread special. And to add some complex flavour notes I added for my recipe a preferment with rye meal, buttermilk and tiny bit of yeast. The preferment adds not only aroma but helps the meal to soak up enough liquid which makes the bread more moist. The same is true for the soaker: the roasted bread crumbs add flavour and the nuts and coarse meal can soak up the liquid. And while this two additional steps makes the recipe more complicated then the “fast” variant with a lot of yeast but it makes it so flavourful that it is worth work. Continue reading →
I was asked more than once to publish a sourdough rye bread recipe for the “Bread baking for Beginners” post series. I hesitated as a rye bread is not so easy to handle as a wheat one and to know when a pure sourdough loaf is ready to bake needs some experience. But with the Rye bread without sourdough we had already the right starting point to step into the world of sticky rye dough – practising this bread before switching to sourdough is highly advisable.
To rise the bread with only sourdough in a reliable way, the sourdough has to be very active. If it is not so active or was in the fridge for a longer period, making a refreshment to activate the sourdough yeast the day before is a must. The rye sourdough is then build in two stages to archive a well balance flavour and a high activity. The two stages make use of the fact that lactobacteria and yeast differ in their temperature optima. The first, cooler and firmer stage is perfect for the growth of bacteria , which produce lactic acid and acetic acid. The warm and soft stage then favours the yeasts which are needed for a good oven spring.
The recipe, which I created for this post contains 60% of rye and 40% of wheat flour which makes the dough sticky but still good to handle. It is a classical german “Roggenmischbrot” (literally mixed rye bread), with a slight sour and hearty flavour. Different bread spices which are sprinkled into the bread form add a spicy note to its taste.
Some weeks ago a reader asked me if I had an idea for a spelt variant of the Buttermilk loaf from the beginners course. Of course I had an idea and so I send her a recipe draft. The flour used for this bread had a higher ash content – just as she asked for. A soaker made from flour and buttermilk prevents the bread from getting to dry.
It took a while until I bake the bread by myself. A inflammation of my wrist kept me from hand kneading dough for a while. But since my wrist is fine again, I finally managed to knead it by hand without pain. As I like the combination of spelt and walnuts, I decided to some, too. And I slightly increased the water amount in comparison to the recipe draft. The bread has a moist and fluffy crumb with a slight darker colour due to the higher ash content of the flour and due to the walnuts.
It is a mild tasting bread which pairs well with goat cheese or honey and as it made with a straight dough it is a good alternative for moments when you need a fresh loaf in a considerable short time.
In January a reader asked me about a recipe for dark bread with lots of rye, but without Sourdough. I needed time to think about a recipe, but finally a recipe began to form in my head. As rye needs acid for baking, I choose butter milk as liquid. The complex flavour is created by a rye poolish and a soaker made out of dried whole grain bread crumbs. The bread is in the style of a dark farmers bread with 70% rye. The buttermilk adds a noticeable but mild acidity like you would find in a mild sourdough bread.
To create the fine cracked pattern on the crust, the loaf are turned on the peel already 20 minutes prior baking and left uncovered. This results into a slight drying of the skin of the loaf and as is spread a bit during this time as well, it will create cracks on the surface. Adding steam after 30 seconds of baking will enhance the effect as well.
After all, it is a good bread with a moist, regular crumb and a thick, flavourful crust. And as it is made without sourdough it is although a nice start for bread baking beginners who want a easier start into rye breads.
I told you already here: I made an eBook out of the recipes of the Bread baking course (the book is in German). And as Christmas present for my readers it is can be downloaded for free at all online bookshops. Here is a list (not a complete one) where you can download it:
For my Blog-Birthday-Event I got many terrific recipes. They range from No knead Breads over different breads with Nuts, Potato Breads to simple Sourdough recipes. I enjoyed reading the mails and Blog entries very much!
It just took me a bit of time to put everything together as round up as we had some very busy weeks here (cooking for Ph.d. Defenses for example). And in the meantime I although put together all of my recipes for the Bread baking course for a little eBook which will be available from Saturday on (but only in German for the Moment). In the first four weeks you can download it for free at Amazon and other online bookstores. Later it will be available for a small fee, so download it now 🙂
And please enjoy all this great recipes for my Birthday Pary!
There is one wish still open for the Bread baking course: yeasted cake! And what would be a better idea to celebrate the seventh blog birthday of “Hefe und mehr” then to make little yeast pastries with a fluffy dough and delicious Quark filling? And as a bonus point this Quark-Streusel-Kolatschen are very variable as well. You can replace the Quarkfilling with a poppy seed filling or make them without quark but with an increased amount of streusel. It is a basic recipe that can changed to meet your own preferences.
When working with doughs containing much sugar and butter you have to take in account that they inhibit gluten development (as described here as well). Due to this fact they are added at the end of the kneading in small portions. And you can feel how the added sugar will change the consistency of the dough and becomes more soft and sticky when the sugar draws away water formerly bound in the dough.
In August we spent a weekend in the beautiful Swabia. A part of my family has its roots there and I always enjoy being there. Eating some pretzels is then a “Must” of course. When we stop at a bakerie in Schwäbisch Hall, I spotted a roll made with some Emmer and Quark (Curd). But sadly the last one was already sold when it was my turn. So I bought pretzels and Briegels instead. But the idea was fixed in my head. And soon afterwards I recipe began to form in my head.
As spelt is a typical grain for Swabia, I decided to use a mix of Emmer and Spelt, which adds a nice nutty flavour to the rolls. The Quark makes it moist and if I would not know, that I added 30 % whole grain flour, I would never have guessed it.
As soon as the weather change from summer heat to autumn cold I long for hearty breads with whole grains. A great combination is whole grain, potato and walnuts. For our bread baking course I promised a moist whole grain bread and as I have the feeling that another bread without preferment will find some friends here I designed the recipe accordingly.
But the bread gains a lot if you allow the dough to rise over night in the fridge. It will not only will enhance the flavour, but also gives the bran a longer time to soak and gets softer. For a good soaking of the whole grain flour, using warm water and still warm potatoes helps to speed up this process during the first stage of dough preparation.
And if the dough gets the time it needs you will be rewarded with a whole grain bread with an soft and moist crumb. It pairs perfectly with cheese or honey!
Another wish for the Bread Baking Course was Baguette. And Baguette dough is a simple dough: You need just flour, water, yeast and salt.
But when it comes to forming and slashing, it gets way more complicated. Only one thing can help with this: Practice! For slashing you actually don’t have to even bake baguette, one can start practicing with paper and pen! As PIP onces wrote: “If you can draw them, you can slash them!” And so I made two practice sheets for you. One with reference lines and one without. You can print them and start practising right away. Try to draw the slashes on the “Paper baguette” in fluent movements without stopping while drawing a slash. Repeat this until you feel comfortable with drawing the slashes, then try it with the real one. And other ways then the traditional cuts are possible as well. In France I saw Baguettes slashed lengthwise as well!