I never like chain mails. In primary school I constantly ignored all the threads they included and threw them away instead of copying and send them forward. Blog awards are way better because their idea is a lovely one. But I do not want to send them forward today. And so I say “Thank you very much” to Backfreak for the “Liebster” (german for dearest) Award and ignore rule three to five:
A reader asked for pure spelt recipe here on the blog and I realized that there a only few and that recipes without sourdough are even fewer. And so I baked a pure spelt bread last weekend. It is a light bread with a little bit whole spelt flour, a poolish and a long rise to enhance the flavour. I put the whole spelt floor into the poolish, so it had enough time to soak properly. Another part of the flour I mixed with water and placed it overnight in the fridge. The next morning I mixed the autolysed dough together with the poolish and a hot soaker. The hot soaker prevents the dough from baking dry, an often occurring problem with pure spelt bread.
The bread turned out to be a highlight: Great oven spring, crisp crust, soft crumb and a fantastic flavour.
There are these days when I I have to realize after a look into the fridge that there is no bread anymore. Those days when there is no bubbeling sourdough waiting on the counter. This are the days when I love my darling sweet starter most. After three hours (sometimes even faster) he is ready for baking. And when I combine him with a cold proof over night, then I get a bread with a deep complex flavour.
Last weekend it was one of these days and because I was longing for a bread with a big part of whole grain flour I decided to feed the sweet starter with freshly milled whole wheat flour. I kept a close eye on him because he still very active and the minerals in the whole grain flour tends to make a sourdough ripening faster as well. And indeed after two hours the starter was ready and I could knead the dough.
After proofing the loaves in the fridge I baked them early in the morning and was very happy with the bread I pull from the oven. It has a crisp crust and a soft crumb with the great flavour of a long, cold proof. It is a good bread for cheese or honey and keeps fresh for a long time!
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:
The pig as lucky charm is very common in Germany on new years eve and new years morning. They are called “Glücksschweinchen” which literally means “Lucky pig”. Often they are made with marzipan and used to decorate the table. For the first day of 2015 I baked in a muffin tin some little pigs made of sweet yeast dough.
I can not remember where I got the idea. A quick search in the internet just provided the side from the Doktor from Bielefeld but I’m quite sure that it was not this side… But wherever I got the idea in first place it is a very sweet one for sure!
I used the dough from my my new favourite braid (with some minimal modifications) because after some time in the fridge the dough is so easy to handle. And when you let the pigs rise long enough before placing the nose, eyes and ears on it they will not loose their face! And so you will have a delicious and sweet looking treat for breakfast, which hopefully brings good luck for whole 2015 for us!
On the first christmas day we met with my family at my sisters place. To reduce the work for her (and because I like to do it) I offered to make dessert. For a long time I was lacking a good idea. But when I was decorating our flat with my Christmas apples I knew what to cook: Mini baked apples with ice cream. In our childhood my mum always bought marzipan ice cream (shaped as christmas tree) for us. And so I knew the flavour for the ice cream as well: Marzipan! Inspired by Michas cream cheese ice cream I created a new recipe and it is perfect for christmas time because you can make it in advance, freeze it and serve it directly from the fridge. Due to the high amount of invertsirup and cream cheese it will be soft and perfect to eat!
And the combination of cold ice cream, hot apples and crunchy almonds was the perfect end of a delicious Christmas meal!
When I bake my Sourdough Pandoro with the special (not sour) sourdough called sweet starter last year I knew already that I would have to make my own Panettone recipe for the following christmas. Similar to the Pandoro recipe I planed to build the dough in some steps so that the yeasts in the sweet starter would get used to sugar and fat which would help to let the dough rise fast. The sweet starter I kept during 2014 alive and baked rather a lot of different breads with him.
On 22. December I refreshed the sweet starter tree times to make him strong and fast rising. He was so strong and fast rising that he only needed two instead if three hours to double his volume when I started the sweet starter for the Panettone at the 23. in the morning. And even the sugar and the butter in the following first and second dough did not slow him down, and tripled its volume in 90 minutes instead of 2 hours. But anyway the third (and last) dough had to take 3 hours for rising because I had to run some errands. Coming home again I formed the Panettone (Susans Tip to grease hands and counter with a lot of butter is really helpful!) and during forming I calculated: I’m now two hours earlier then planned… but it will need about 12 hours at least to proof… and at seven in the morning I’m normally already awake. So there is no problem at all…
At five o’clock the next morning, on my way to the bathroom, I quickly checked the Panettone in the kitchen. And turned the oven on. Ten hours were what they needed to reach the rim of the form. And who needs sleep?
One hour later the panettone was already hanging between two chairs and I crawled back into bed to have another little nap. Later that day we took some pictures and sliced one cake. And it was so delicious: soft and fluffy, the crumb could be teared into long strands, flavours of orange and vanilla and subtle, but complex notes from the sweet starter. And it keeps fresh for a long time, we eat one with my family on the first christmas day, and had some on second christmas day as well and it still tasted like freshly baked. It is a fussy cake and I could less sleep then normal but it is worth everything! It is the perfect christmas cake!
Christmas Eve is very near now and I want to use the time to wish you all a merry and peaceful Christmas! The dearest and me will have a piece Panettonne (recipe will come soon) before we leave to meet with the family.
Du you already have a plan for breakfast during the holidays? I prefer baking the one or other overnight recipe where either the dough rise over night or the already shape rolls. And during the holidays I love everything which is made with sweet brioche dough. But the high butter amount in this dough get solid in the fridge and hinder the dough to rise properly. A solution for this problem is using cream as liquid in the dough. That adds enough fat to make the crumb soft but will not keep the dough from rising.
This Sunday I made a test run and baked already my Christmas wreath. It is made with sweet Starter (if you have no sweet Starter please refer to the Biga recipe at the end of the recipe as replacement) and some cream makes its crumb nicely soft. The segments of the wreath are formed by dough “roses” made of four circles each. I saw this idea somewhere in the internet some time ago but I did not save the site. But luckily it worked with the facts I still had in mind.
As finish I glazed the dough with a cooked sugar glaze. A sweet bread with sugar glaze is somehow essential for my Christmas breakfast!