October 16th, 2015

Sweet Potato Rolls

Kartoffelweckchen (4)And this can happen in our house as well: the fridge is empty when I was sure that there should be some breakfast rolls left. And at nine in the evening not even I start to think about making a quick preferment for rolls. Instead I made a short stocktaking in the kitchen and found some left over boiled potatoes, cream and eggs in the fridge. With them I mixed a sweet dough for rolls. Like the dough for my favourite braid this dough has to rest in the fridge for at least one hour, but can stay there over night as well.

That’s what I did and the next morning I just had to form the rolls, proof and bake them.  And even while I normally prefer rolls made with preferment and a more complex flavour, I was quite pleased with them. Due to potatoes and cream they have a very soft, fluffy crumb which can be torn into long fibres. The perfect sweet roll.

 

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October 10th, 2015

Porridge Bread

Hafergrütz-Brot (3)This is a leftover – recipe which I created while looking through my storage: I had a open bottle lingering in the kitchen after baking the Swan King Bread. The sweet starter needed urgently a feeding and in the pantry I found another box of steel cut oat, a souvenir from our last trip to the East Frisian coast.

I decided to soak the steel cut oat in hot water instead of boiling it so it keeps a certain bite. And the generous portion of roasted sesame together with oats and emmer gives the bread a very delicous nutty flavour, while the malt beer adds a subtle sweetness. The right bread for the first cold and rainy days in autumn.

 

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October 9th, 2015

Semmelknödel

SemmelknödelI 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!

 

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October 2nd, 2015

Breadbaking for Beginners: Spelt, Emmer & Quak Rolls

Dinkel-Quark-Wecken mit Emmer (7)In August we spent a weekend in the beautiful Swabia. A part of my family has its roots there and I always enjoy being there. Eating some pretzels is then a “Must” of course. When we stop at a bakerie in Schwäbisch Hall, I spotted a roll made with some Emmer and Quark (Curd). But sadly the last one was already sold when it was my turn. So I bought pretzels and Briegels instead. But the idea was fixed in my head. And soon afterwards I recipe began to form in my head.

As spelt is a typical grain for Swabia, I decided to use a mix of Emmer and Spelt, which adds a nice nutty flavour to the rolls. The Quark makes it moist and if I would not know, that I added 30 % whole grain flour, I would never have guessed it.

 

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September 27th, 2015

Plum butter (Slowcooker recipe)

Zwetschgenmus (2)Since three years I use my Slowcooker to cook plum butter. This is very relaxed as I just have to remove the plum pits the night before and turn on the slow cooker. I put the lid on the cooker in a right angle, leaving a gap so the evaporated water can escape. After 12 hours cooking on “High” the juice has reduced a good deal and after pureeing it needs another three to four hours until it reaches the perfect thick consistence.

The dearest one likes his plum butter without a lot of spices, so I add only half of a cinnamon stick and a tiny little bit of a vanilla bean. Just enough to underline the flavour without shining through. And as I use only a bit of sugar, I preserve the glasses of plum butter, just to be on the safe side. Last year I tested Michas Methode with boiling the glasses covered with water in a big pot. It worked like a charm and the plum butter kept well for one year.

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September 25th, 2015

Federweißer Bread 2015

Federweißerbrot (4)Two years ago I had the idea to bake a bread which is only leavened by the yeast of a young wine (Federweißer). That worked good and was delicious, as you can see at this great breads of others bloggers. When I planned what to bake for the goodby party of my favourite ex-colleague (it is a double ex as we both have left now) there was again a flask of Federweißer sitting on the counter. The dearest was not around to rescue his beloved wine from misuse and so a not negligible amount of it was used to make a rye poolish.  To give the bread a hearty flavour, I prepared a sourdough as well.

The bread developed a good flavour with a slight sweet note from the young wine. The crumb was soft and the crust was crunchy. I hope, that you believe me that, as I can not provide a crumb shot because the bread was a present which I could not cut in advanced, of course.

 

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September 20th, 2015

Swan King Bread

Märchenkönig-Brot (2)Oliver asked me on Saturday morning if I have a recipe for a “King Ludwig Bread”. I did not know a bread with this name, but after some minutes of googling I started to suspect that it is a readymade mixture for bakeries, as so many bakeries are selling it. Some minutes later I found the manufacture of the mix and the ingredients did not sound so well in my ears: “Spelt flour, ry flour, malt, dried rye sourdough, whole spelt flour, coarse meal spelt, gluten, salt, sweet whey powder, guar flour, wheat bran, grape concentrate, ascorbic acid, enzymes”.

The breads seems to have a soft crumb what speaks against a bigger amount of rye and the brownish crumb should be due to malt and not to a lot of whole grain flour. And slowly a recipe starts to appear in my brain.

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September 19th, 2015

Cornucopia with Apple Nut Filling

Cornucopia (11) Cornucopia, the horn of plenty, is a symbol of abundance and nourishment in the classical myths and is often associated with autumn. And when I prepared my little pastries I look on the nuts and apples and that little cornucopia would be the right way to celebrate autumn plenty.

It is apple and  no other fruit that means autumn to me. And I can’t stop praising the heirloom apples which are often much more aromatic then the new breeds. And for baking cake there is no better apple then my favourite Jakob Lebel. It is a tree which gives a plenty of fruits and which is often found in old gardens and orchards. In the beginning of last century the meeting of german pomiculture society named it as one of tree apple variety they advised to grow because it is so fruitful, aromatic and robust. Continue reading

September 13th, 2015

Bread Baking for Beginners XX: Whole Grain Potato Bread with walnuts

Kartoffel-Walnussbrot (2)

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!

 

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September 4th, 2015

Göppinger Bread

Göppinger (1)

When I talked with my mum on the phone some weeks ago, she asked me if I had an idea for a recipe.  She had a rye sourdough fermenting in the kitchen and was now looking for recipes (I know where I got my tendency to start a preferment before deciding what to bake.) I just baked a delicious Wheat-Rye bread and some minutes later I had drafted a “sibling” of this recipe which fits to the preferment and sent it to my mum. The next day she send me some pictures and wrote that they all liked the bread very much, so I kept the recipe in the back of my head as “to be baked”.

When I was thinking what to bake as move-in present (in germany the classical gift for a new flat/house is the symbolic bread and salt), I remembered the recipe and I finally I baked it. And I like it as much as its faster sibling. It is an aromatic bread  with crisp crust and tender crumb. It is a perfect everyday bread and tastes delicious with sweet things like honey and jam as well as with hearty cheese.

 

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