The last two weeks were busy ones. My sister is moving and so I spent the beginning of the summer holidays with sorting stuff out, packing boxes, carrying furniture from the third level to the transporter and renovating. My own household tasks were left alone during that time. And so I spend my first “real” day off with cleaning the kitchen thoroughly.
Around lunch time I got hungry and when I spotted some left over braid from the weekend a plan formed in my brain. I marked Gabis recipe for french toast already some time ago and now was the right time to test it. A peach, already a bit overripe, was sliced and served along.
And I was very pleased with the “Arme Ritter” (literally “poor knight”) as the dish is called in Germany. A perfect way to use left over bread
I already baked Pizza in a lot of variants. And as I like to test new recipes, today I present you a variant with firm dough and sweet starter.
The use of an rather firm dough has – especially when you bake in a wood fired oven – the advantage of easy handling. To archive a bubbly crust requires a well proofed preshaped doug. As I learned from a pizzaiolo the dough balls are in perfect condition, if you turn them and there is a lot of small and middle sized bubbles at their bottom. Big bubbles aka “holes” are not so good as they tend to make the dough base uneven. Forming the dough base is very easy if the dough balls are well proofed, too, because the gluten network is relaxed at this point.
Due to the sweet starter and a long cold fermentation in the fridge, the flavour is complex with subtle notes of lactic acid. It adds a deepness to the pizza flavour which makes it to a favourite of mine!
Sometimes it is not easy to please me. For example a stuffed cabbage recipe I tested for Christmas failed completely due to its consistency. The filling made of pumpkin, chestnuts and porcino tasted good but was way to mushy.
And when I thought about it, I realized that one of my favourite stuffed cabbage from Ann-Kathrin Webers “Deftig Vegetarisch” offers a somehow firmer consistency due to the great mixture of cooked spelt, feta cheese and thyme. It is delicious but a bit too rustic for Christmas. But when I was searching for my perfect burger patty I struggled with the same problem until I invented my all time favourite ABC-Burger-Patties.
When I stroll over the Christmas market I’m often wondering about the enormous prices for little helpings of Schupfnudel, fried mushrooms or molten raclett cheese. And so I’m little tempted to spend my money there. But what I take with me this time was an inspiration for “Handbrot”. The name means literally hand bread and is a pieces of bread dough filled with Cheese, bacon or mushrooms. The versions sold on the cologne Christmas market where baked to pale for my liking and the dough contained surely to much yeast, but while looking on the breads a recipe started to appear in my mind.
As basis I used my favourite bread recipe but added some additional potatoes for a softer crumb. The filling is a mild gouda cheese, mushrooms and crisp fried smoked tofu. For non-vegetarian persons you can of course use bacon as well! Served still warm from the oven this little breads are a great treat with the gooey cheese. But they taste delicious when cooled, too. Then you can taste the complex flavour of the bread as well as the flavour of smoke tofu and cheese. And while eating my dearest and I started already to think about new variants: using raclett cheese instead of gouda or filling the breads with feta and dried tomatoes. There a millions of possibilities laying before us …
Finally I found it: my perfect vegetarian Burger patty. It is a Aubergine, Beetroot and Champignon mushroom patty which is hold together by chickpeas, rolled oat and buckwheat flour. And this means the patty is not only vegetarian, it is vegan. And it is easily made gluten free by exchanging the rolled oats with rolled millet. An important point for a good binding is to use soaked, uncooked chickpeas and not canned one!
For the mixture of vegetables I tested already different compositions. Already my last try contained mushrooms and beet, and the idea to use aubergine was spontaneously but good. The aubergine adds a good texture to the patty while mushrooms and beet add a deep, earthy flavour which goes well with the hint of smokiness due to the pimenton de la vera. And finally I’m happy with the consistency as well as they have a juicyness without being soft. The patty stays well together while eating and is not mashed like the previous versions.
Together with homemade burger buns (see below or here (vegan) or here), some lettuce, caramelized onion and sauce it is a fantastic burger!
I always try to avoid waste of food. And since I started to bake my own bread I care even more to save bread. But like in every other household, there is bread which get stale and there are left over rolls. But the old bread and rolls can be useful, too! The bread is dried and grinded in a food processor into bread crumbs, which are very useful in baking and cooking. The rolls are sliced very thinly and used for making “Semmelknödel” (Bread Dumplings). And since I started to use homemade bread, the dumplings work very well while in former days, when I used the same recipe with store bought rolls, I always struggled with dumplings falling apart while cooking. But with my own rolls the recipe works like a charm!
One important lecture I learned in the last years is to slice the rolls instead of dicing them. Slices have a bigger surface and will soak more easily then cubes. And nothing kills a dumpling more easily then a not complitly soak piece of bread which starts then to absorb the cooking water. But with slices this never happend to me!
Zorra asked us to bake flat breads for the Bread Baking Day. When my boyfriends parents gave us a lot of beautful mangold from their garden, I had the idea to fill Pide with them. When I checked recipes for the dough I realized that they all contain much or very much oil. So When I put my recipe together, I opted for a lot oil, some milk for an extra soft dough and a spoonful of unfed sourdough for a better flavour (the pide were a quick decision for dinner with no time for preferments).
Oil, on one hand, makes the dough soft and easy to handle, but on the other hand building up the gluten network is inhibited. So the dough needs to be kneaded intensively on slow speed. But after about 15 min you will get the perfect dough, which can be formed without any sticking.
The pide is delicious warm and cold (perfekt for lunch-at-work) and can be filled with other delicious thinks like spinach as well!
After the successful disputation we always have a little party with delicious food. After the exiting defense the newly made doctor need something to refresh and we others need it as well. There is nothing more existing for all of us!
For the last defense I was asked to make Falafel and so I spend the morning rolling them. I needed 45 min to form 100 Falafel and after 50 I asked myself if I was doing to many. But when I then placed the freshly fried falafels on the buffet, they were gone so fastly that I knew that 100 was the perfect number. And when I was asked if the recipe is already on the blog, I had to say no. But now it is 🙂
Normally I blog about bread and other delicious things and not about politics. But like Eva I feel stunned about the Pegida demonstrations. And I want to shout loudly: “You are not “the nation”! You are not representing the majority!” And everyone who walks side by side with neonazis is not longer walking in the middle of society but on the very rim! And so I follow Sherrys Appeal and state my opinion here. I want a Germany where we welcome every other culture and in which everyone can find a home. A Germany in which we act upon the human right declaration:
“All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood. Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty. “
In my little corner of the world we often experience other culture through food.