When sorting my flour storage boxes I stumble upon a left over bag full of vacation memories. Or, to be more precisely, a half full bag of Ruchmehl. Ruchmehl is a Swiss flour similar to first clear flour. The amount of flour was just perfect for baking some rolls. And so I put together a preferment later that day. The next day I prepared the dough but time was lesser than planned, so I but it into the fridge instead of baking. Early the next morning I finally shape the rolls and baked them on high temperature.
The rolls were delicous: mild and at the same time complex with a crisp, thin crust.
And sometimes a new recipe starts like this:
When filling the dried potato flour into a container I was left with a leftover that would not fit in. So what to do?
I opted for putting it in my dough bowl and started to build a recipe around it. As it was already late that evening, it was clear that I would do my favourite variant of rolls: Overnight rolls.
As I’m still testing coconut oil in baking, I used it here, too. But if you prefer butter, replacing the coconut oil with butter is possible, too!
For new years morning I baked my traditional New years pretzel, Westerwälder Neujährchen and Rheinische Neujährchen. The swirly form of the Rheinische Neujährchen may looks familiar to some of you. It is one of the forms that is used traditional for Lussekatter. And in Tyrol there is a Bread called “Thomasradl” which is baked during Christmas time in this form. The wide spread of this form is a hint that baking breads in this forms stems from a pre-Christian time. It is discussed that its a leftover of the midwinter fest and is a symbol for the sun.
I like the idea of sun very much as I am waiting each year in January to the days get visibly longer again.
The name “Neujährchen” is used in different regions of Germany for a wide variety of bread and pastry baked for new years eve or new years mornig. This variant stems from the Westerwald. I stumbled about it when I researched recipes for Neujährchen from the rhineland. I was fascinated by the dark crust which is archived by glazing them with cold coffee. And I was thrilled by the interesting mixture of spices and the fact that it is baked with a good amount of rye flour. The dough is mixed with a generous amount of butter, too, which is rather seldom for rye bread. The mixture of spices seems to vary from village to village. Adding Pepper and cinnamon seems to be common everywhere, but if anise or clove or both is used is different from recipe to recipe. As I do not like anise very much, the decision for my recipe variant was an easy one.
The hearty mixture of spice makes the rolls special, but very delicious. They taste great with honey, but would go as well with a mild goat cheese and some cranberry jam, too.
It may looks like a bagel, but it’s no bagel for sure. This crusty roll with its fluffy crumb shares only the shape with the more prominent bagel. It is a regional speciality which is baked only in Dortmund. It is topped generously with salt caraway seeds and often is spread with Mett. So – it’s said – the Innkeeper will sell more beer because salt increases the thirst.
The roll was inveted already back in the nineteenth century by the bakery Fisher. But the original recipe was lost when the bakery burned down during the bombing in the second world war. But it was reinvented is baked until today. But its distribution area is still restricted on the city of Dortmund. And so I’m very happy that I found this delicious little gem of regional tread!
Besides 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!
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!
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.
There is one advantage of recipes which are troublesome in the development: the other good recipes you find on the way. A recipe which development was extremly troublesome is the spelt & emmer sandwich bread I needed for my “Vergessene Getreideschätze” course. It took me over a year until I got the bread just as I wanted it to be. But as I was testing different methodes and the influence of ingredients, I got a lot of good recipes during this tests: Sandwich bread with Emmer, Spelt-Sandwich bread, Spelt-Emmer-Sandwich bread und spelt brioche. And this whole grain Spelt & Emmer Burger Buns are from this series, too.
The spicy flavour of grounded caraway, fennel and coriander seeds in combination with the tasty Schabzigerklee (Trigonella caerulea) makes it hard to resist these rye flatbreads. They taste very (!) similar to the Tyrolean flatbread named Vinschgauer. But while traditional Vinschgauer are made with sourdough, these variant is made with an rye-buttermilk-poolish instead. It is a recipe well suited for the advanced beginner. Someone, who did not started the adventure of rising an own sourdough, but is not afraid of sticky rye dough. How sticky the dough will be can be regulated by amount of added buttermilk. The more buttermilk is added, the more stickier the dough will. But a plus of buttermilk makes the flatbreads more moist, too, so it is worth the hassle with a sticky dough anyway! And the dough will be sticky in any case – just as prewarning! But with some flour on hands and counter top the dough can be handled very well!