August 2nd, 2016

Malty Spelt-Emmer

Malziges Dinkel-Emmer (1)Since several weeks I have two packages of Emmer and Einkorn sitting in my pantry, waiting for me to create a recipe with them. But I was always to short in time as I had to do a lot of recipe testing for the upcoming bread baking courses and for a magazine article. And so they where pushed deeper and deeper into the depth of the shelf. Sorting my baking supplies brought them back to my mind, as well as a package of dark roasted malt. And so I decided to combine Emmer and malt in one bread.

As I did not want to use a hot soaker or water roux, I decided to use a hydration of about 70% and a long period of stretch and fold in combination of a cold fermentation. With the stretch and fold the dough gains enough strength and the long fermentation give the flour enough time to soak up the moisture. But nevertheless is this a dough on the rather soft side and so it is needed to flour the proofing basket very well!

Due to the dark malt, the bread develops are dark crust and crumb with a malty flavour followed by nutty notes of the Emmer. The sweet Starter which is the only leavening agent develops a deep complexity without any acidity. This is a bread which I love!

 

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July 31st, 2016

Apricot Jam

Aprikosenmarmelade ohne Gelierzucker

Since last year I’m totally in love with cooking jams without gelling sugar. I love the old fashioned flavour and that I have all ingredients I need (which are sugar and lemon juice) always at hand. No need for extra shopping… And so I change slowly all of our favourite jam recipes.

The four favourite jams here are Blueberry, Red Currant and raspberry, Blackberry und plum butter. Apricot jam is raking not so high but having some glasses around is essential for baking cakes. And so I did not hesitate when there where beautiful apricots on sale last week. As apricots – like blackberries – contain a middle amount of pectin, I choose carefully some not so ripe fruits, to go along with the ripe ones. The reason behind is that unripe fruits have a higher content of pectin. Adding some lemon juice helps with the gelling process as well.

After half an hour of simmering, the jam has a deep apricot flavour which is one million times better then everything you can buy. Even my love was nodding his head approvingly when I was urging him to test. So this jam has the potential to rise high in our favourite list!

 

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July 23rd, 2016

Vegan Spelt Braid (One for All)

Veganer Dinkelzopf (2)I get the question for a sweet yeast dough without egg, milk or wheat regularly.  Depending on the dietary restrictions I sent the readers to this, this or that recipe. A dough “without everything” was missing until now. And so I promised to fill this gap.

The recipe I designed is a aromatic vegan spelt dough. Similar to my favourite braid I used here a mixture of firm and liquid fat: vegan margarine and oil. And while in a butter braid the butter flavour is very prominent, in this recipe a oil made of roasted walnuts takes over this role.

The dough recipe is a basic recipe which can be used in many different recipes. I used it to bake this braid, vegan spelt Hörnchen and nut pastry. The other recipes will follow in the next weeks.

 

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July 19th, 2016

Krümmelsauer / Gerstl

Krümmelsauer (1) Some days ago I had to sent some sourdough per mail. That is easy when the sourdough is mixed with a lot of flour to form dry crumbs – the German name for this is “Krümmelsauer” while it is called “Gerstl” in Austria. The crumbs should be as dry and fine as possible. This reduce the amount of water and put the microorganisms to hibernation. In this state there is nearly no fermentation going on.

Reactivation is easy as well. Mixing the “Krümmelsauer” with water and waiting until the first bubbles are showing. And as I realised that I never showed this kind of sourdough conservation on the blog, I made a double batch. One halve I sent to Berlin, the other one I kept for three days on the counter to simulate the enviroment during mailing. Then I mixed the sourdough crumbles with water and as my sourdough is quite active I saw the first bubbles after one hours already. I let the mixture ferment for another five hours, then I used it to start a sourdough. And this sourdough doubled its volume easily overnight.

 

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July 10th, 2016

Spelt & Seed Sandwich Bread

Dinkel-Körner-ToastThis Sandwich bread is a readers wish. But I needed two rounds, until I was really satisfied. In the first Variant I had a boiled soaker with whole spelt flour and seeds, but this added to much liquid to the dough. This resulted in a very instable crumb. The recipe needed adjustments!

The bread (in both tries) is a pure spelt flour with 30 percent whole grain flour and amixture of flax seeds, sesame and sun flower seeds for an extra nuttiness. The preferment is a biga made from whole spelt flour. This has many advantages: the whole grain flour has enough time to soak up the liquid, a biga helps to strength the gluten network and it adds complex flavour nuances, too. As every sandwich bread this bread needs a fully developed gluten network, and spelt is a sensible. So it is needed to keep a close eye on the dough to find the perfect spot.

At the rerun of the recipe I used a bit mashed potato for fluffiness and a soaker with an only moderate amount of water. This makes the dough recognizable firmer, the dough is easier to handle and the fluffy crumb gets enough stability. So what was my lecture of this day? Sometimes less (water) is more!

 

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July 2nd, 2016

Fruit bars

FruchtschnitteSome time ago Eva made “Rutite” (Fruit bars) for her little nice. The recipe sounded very simple and the needed dried fruits where all in my kitchen cupboards. After an intense search in the depth of my baking cabinet I even found the unloved round wafer paper which sleeps there unappreciated for several years.

As my mixer is really strong, I throw in all ingredients in whole, even the nuts. And after some minutes of mixing and scrapping down the mixture every now and then, the nuts started to release some oil and mixtrue turned into a dough with a similar consistence like marzipan. The rest was easily done: rolling out, cuting circles with an cookie cutter and placing them between wafer paper. And so I could test my Fruit bars soon. It is very delicious – even with wafer paper!

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June 25th, 2016

Kouign Amann

Kouign Amann (1)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!

 

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June 18th, 2016

Double baked Farmers Bread

Doppelgebackenes Bauernbrot

One of the best methods to achieve a thick, crunchy crust is to bake a bread twice: after cooling down the bread is placed in the oven for a second time for about 15 min. During that time the crust gets its extra bit of crispiness.

And this method I used for this farmers bread. It contains 15% Rye flour and the typical Bavarian bread spice mixture of caraway, fennel and coriander seeds. If you, like me, have a well stocked supply of spices then it is easy to mix the needed spices by yourself. For grinding you can use either a mortar and pestle, a food processor or a coffee mill. And if you have a grain mill which allows you to mill oily seeds, then the easiest way is to mill the seeds with some wheat berries – just remember to reduce the amount of flour accordingly to the amount of wheat you mill.

The amount of bread spice is seasoning in a discreet way without overpowering the other flavours of the bread. This makes this bread suitable for hearty cheese as well for sweet spreads like honey.

 

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