Sometimes it can happen even in a bread loving household: no bread! This happened to me some weeks ago when we had to defrost our freezer and so started to eat our way through all frozen goods. And then – in the middle of my working week – all bread was eaten and only to lonely rolls where left in the freezer. Enough to ensure our breakfast the next morning – but for the rest of the week we needed bread. And so I checked the flour stocks, took out some sweet starter and sourdough from the fridge and kneaded a dough before I went to sleep. The dough rested in the fridge meanwhile.
Inspiration is a strange thing: there are phases with only few ideas and then there are phase when my mind is so full that I nearly don’t know which bread I should bake first. At the moment I have so many recipe drafts waiting to a test bake. And then comes a new recipe idea from a reader and sometimes I like the idea so much that it overtakes them all.
The description of the Urigs-Brot was such a case. A moist bread with fine crumb and mild sourdough flavour, baked in a pan with the seam side up. I was hooked and started to draft the recipe immediately. As I prefer to bake with local grains and flours instead of importing it from all corners of the world, I had to change from “Ruchmehl” to Flour type 1150. With some physillium husks for more moisture and two different sourdoughs and a cold rise in the fridge for a deep, complex flavour. Continue reading
Sometimes it is just time to use leftovers. Like last friday, when I looked around in the kitchen: there was some leftover fine rye meal from the blackbread, a small bowl with mashed potatoes and in the fridge I found a lonely egg yolk. And so I combined everything and kneaded a dough for the next day. As I prefer freshly baked rolls for breakfast, the dough rose overnight in the fridge.
When we get up on Saturday I went straight to the kitchen and formed the rolls. And while we get ourselves ready, cooked coffee and lay out the table, the rolls proofed and got baked. And when we then had breakfast with the flavourful fluffy rolls I thought once again: leftover recipes can be so great!
Butter is a staple in the Breton kitchen – which shows in the Sablé Breton. Another example for buttery Breton cake is Kouign Amann. It is made of a very rich croissant dough and the dough is then turned in sugar before forming. During the long baking time the sugar caramelize on the bottom of the cake to crackling layer, forms a sweet soft core in the middle of the cake and again caramelizes on the top.
My variant of this high caloric treat is a spin off of my actual sourdough croissant project. And while the croissant needs still a bit of tweaking, I’m more then happy with the Kouign Amann in this sweet starter variant. It is not a recipe for inpatient people, just the proof of the dough takes place over night at room temperature. But investing about 24 hours in this cake is more then worth, as this long proof creats a fantastic complex flavour with only a faint hint of sour. If you like palmiers, you will love the buttery caramelic Kouign Amann as well!
Kieler Semmeln are rolls which stem – as their name suggested – from Kiel. They are a special roll as they are rubbed in a mixture of butter and salt, which gives their surface a rough look and adds a nice buttery and sligthly salty flavour. There are different recipes around for this kind of rolls, some of the containing lard or cinnamon as well. Cinnamon seems to me a bit to adventurous for a first trial, but I keep this variant in the back of my head for a second version.
As dough, I chose something well-tried, which I changed only slightly. Some sourdough and a cold rise in the fridge adds complex aroma notes even without a preferment, which makes the rolls good for spontaneous “I want to serve rolls for breakfast”- Ideas on late evenings. The rubbing of the preformed rolls in the butter-salt-mixture needs a bit of practice but even if the dough dos not make perfect folds, the recipe will still yields a delicous roll with fluffy crumb a crisp crust which crackles while cooling and which carries a hint of salt and butter.
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!
“Eingenetztes Brot” would be Net-Bread if translated literally. But the origin from the word “eingenetzt” does not stem from the German “Netz” (net) but from “Nass”, which means “Wet”. And making the bread is wet indeed. The sticky dough is easiest to handle when hands and tools are really wet. When the bread is placed in the oven its surface is wet as well. This helps to create the shiny crust which is characteristic for this bread. To get the soft dough in the oven without accident, a so called “Schapf”, a kind of ladle, is used traditionally. Even in my rather big kitchen collection, there is no “Schapf” and so I used a small salad bowl instead. And this worked fine!
For a good flavour I used only a little bit of yeast and let the dough rise very slowly. A tiny bit of sourdough adds depth and complexity. The recipe works without sourdough as well, but its flavour is then a little bit flatter. Continue reading
I got a lot of positive feedback to my idea of making a small virtual bread baking course. I’m very happy about it and will start to post more beginner recipes on the blog in the next weeks. And if you have questions, ideas or wishes: Please tell me! I will do my best to include it.
The bread we will bake today is a simple one, and similar to the recipe last week it is a “no kneading” bread. The dough rises overnight in the fridge and we can concentrate on forming the loaf. For a plus on flavour I added some rolled oates.
The bread is baked seam side up. The seam is created when forming the bread and is the weak point where the crust can expand during the oven spring (the rising of the bread in the oven). This is important because it ensures that the bread can rise to its maximum and helps to create a bread with a good volume, good crumb and good look, too.
For quit some time I have an idea in my mind. I would like to start a small series of blog post with recipes and explanations for bread baking beginners where the single posts build on each other, explaining all the basics need. I would start with rather fast and simple recipes without kneading or forming and end with more complex recipes with a preferment.
What do you think? Would this be interesting for you?
For the beginning I come up directly with a recipe. It is a recipe for rolls made with some sour cream. They are delicious with a crisp crust and a soft crumb and perfect for breakfast on lazy weekends.
For me, baking these rolls is a good start to begin with bread baking. There is no kneading or shaping involved, only some time is needed because the dough rise overnight in the fridge. But we are sleeping during this time anyway so it does not matter so much. This long cold rise has some advantage. The gluten (that are the proteins that keeps wheat based dough together) can develop without kneading, the rolls develop a deeper flavour because of fermenting by-products which the yeast releases into the dough and the next morning we only need another 45 min between preparing the rolls and pulling them from the oven.
Breads with spelt are still highly requested. There was for example the question if the Country Loaf could maybe be baked without wheat and with only whole grain flour. I thought a little bit and changed some details and sent my first draft to the reader. It took some time until I could test the recipe in practice. Here I had to realize that the hot soaker would be better with more water, and so I changed the recipe accordingly. But the rest of the recipe worked as planned.
And the bread is very delicious. Because it is whole grain the oven spring is a bit weaker, and the crumb is denser, but due to the soaker it stays fresh the whole week! The Pâte fermentée makes the flavour mild but complex and the long cold proof in the fridge even improves the aroma. It is really could when there are recipe questions to recipe question :-D!