June 14th, 2015

Red Currant Cream Puffs

WindbeutelUntil now our year was an exhausting one. So we needed a break to refresh and so we headed to the beautiful East Frisia. After a week with some sun, wind and as only sound birds singing in the trees we came back relaxed and happy. After unpacking the car I started to think to finish our short vacation with some sweet treats. A quick look in the fridge revealed some eggs and cream and in the freezer I found some currants from the last year (it is really time to use them!). And about two hours later our table was set with some Cream puffs and coffee.

For the dough I use the recipe from Bertinets Cookbook. It yields cream puffs which rise good, and which have a crisp crust and a soft crumb. To prevent them from deflating, it is important to bake them until they are evenly golden and crisp. If they turn out to be not completely crisp after the indicated baking time, it helps to turn the oven on convection mode for about five minutes.

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June 5th, 2015

Bread baking for Beginners XV: Westphalian Farmers Loaf

Westfälischer Bauernstuten (4)

Another Bread from “Wishlist” is the Westphalian Farmers loaf. It is made with buttermilk and  lard. As breads with buttermilk easily catch my eye, I couldn’t resist this whish.

It is a rustic bread with a small amount of rye which is typical for Westphalia and especially for the Munsterland. In its traditional form it is made with lard, but it can be made with ghee instead as well. In my version, I used it a rye poolish, which helps to create a very good crust and a great flavour. For the form I saw them as a long, slashed loaf as well as a rustic round loaves which were baked seam side up. I like the rustic look for a farmers bread more and so I baked round loaves.

During baking the bread develops a nice crisp, reddish brown crust due to the rye poolish. The crumb is very soft and fluffy. Another bread for my favourite list!

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May 31st, 2015

Bread baking for Beginners XIV: The first Sourdough Bread

Sauerteigbrot (1)The new Sourdough is ready to bake our first sourdough bread. As a freshly raised sourdough is still a little bit weak, it makes sense to do one (or even better two) sourdough feedings at warm temperature to rise some more yeasts. After this rounds of refreshing the sourdough starter is very active and can be used to prepare the sourdough for the bread.

As the bread is made with sourdough only, some patient is need while preparing the dough. Especially baking should be considered depending on the proofing status of the loaf and not on the clock. A good method to test if the bread is already ready for baking is pressing thumb carefully into the surface of the loaf. If the dent spring back directly, it still needs to proof for some time. If the dent is filling slowly, the bread can go in the oven, if a strong oven spring is desired. If the dent will stay it is really time to bake. The bread will have still some oven spring.

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May 23rd, 2015

Bread baking for Beginners XII: Rising a sourdough

Sauerteig

The oldest method to rise a bread is using sourdough. As soon as water is mixed with flour, yeasts and lacto bacteria which can be found in the flour starts to proliferate. Soon the first bubbles can be observed which is a sign of the microorganism activity. The microfauna starts to stabilize. In Spelt and Wheat sourdough the dominating species are the same, while in rye sourdough other bacteria species are predominant. The is the reason why rye sourdough is more sour than a wheat or spelt sourdough.

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May 14th, 2015

Rosinenschnecken

Rosinenschnecke

Since laminating the dough for the Tebirkes was so easy, I  wanted to test this method and make some Danish raisin rolls (Rosinenschnecken in German) for a lazy sunday afternoon. The only problem was the fact, that raisin rolls contain R-A-I-S-I-N-S and my love don’t like them at all. And so I needed a filling which would be fine and moist even without raisins. After some musing I decided to go for a Creme Frangipane, which is a mixture of pastry creme and a almond mixture.

The dough for the danish contains some cream, which makes the crumb soft, and a big piece of sweet starter for a good flavour and a good rise. For laminating I used again the method of dividing the dough into pieces and rolling them into four rectangles. Then I placed thin cut butter pieces on them and stacked them. The dough stack was then rolled again and followed by two single folds and a half fold.

The Danish pastry turned out as well as I hoped for: A moist filling, lots of buttery layers and a aromatic crumb. And – at least for me – full of raisins 🙂

 

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May 9th, 2015

Breadbaking for Beginners XI: Basler Brot

Basler Brot (1) There are a lot of whishes’ for recipes for the bread baking course: the swabian “genetzes” Bread, Baguette, Bread with heirloom grains, yeasted cake, Westphalian Farmer Loaf, Sourdough and Sourdough breads, Salzstangerl, Bagel and Basler Brot.  And there are still my personal wishes, a whole grain bread and a multi grain bread. We are not running out of recipes or ideas 🙂
Today I would like to start with the Basler Brot. It is one of most famous Swiss breads, and stems – as the name suggested – from Basel. It has a very crisp crust and a soft crumb. It is a pure wheat bread is normally baked with the Swiss “Ruchmehl”. This flour is hard to get in Germany, and so I did a variant using Flour Type 550 and Whole wheat flour.  To increase the amount of water while keeping the dough easy to handle I added a hot soaker. This helps to create a soft crumb. A little bit of butter helps here, too.

To make sure that the crust is crisp we use the technic of “double baking”.Here the bread is baked a second time after cooling down for at least 30 min. This makes the crust very aromatic and crisp.

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May 1st, 2015

Tebirkes

Tebirkes (2)Today I’m quite happy that the first of may is a holiday because this gives me the time to bake something for the Bread baking day in the last second. Susanna asked us to bake Bread around the world and so I travled north in my mind and baked Tebirkes. Tebirkes are a danish poppy seed roll made with a kind of puff pastry. They are not only made with dark poppy seeds but can be topped with white poppy seeds as well. In my cupboard I found a forgotten bag with white poppy seeds I bought in the indian supermarket some time ago and so I well equipped for making Tebirkes. Continue reading

April 26th, 2015

Bread Baking for Beginners X: Spelt Rye Bread

DinkelbrotSo here is now the promised Spelt bread. I know that many of the readers of this blog like to bake with spelt, but baking with spelt flour is a little bit more challenging then baking with  wheat flour, so the recipe comes relatively late in my bread baking course.

Spelt is closely realted to wheat. But there are two thing to keep in mind when working with spelt. Flour made from spelt contains a different composition of gluten proteins which finally results in a more fragile gluten network. This makes it easy to “over knead” spelt dough, meaning that the dough is kneaded longer then it takes to obtain full gluten development which ends in breaking down the gluten network once again. Due to this fact I prefer to knead spelt dough by hand which gives me a better control then kneading with the kitchen machine. If kneading with the machine it is important to keep a close eye on the dough and testing the gluten development by the window pane test. Intervall kneading (kneading shortly with breaks in between) can be handy as well. Continue reading

April 19th, 2015

Bread baking for Beginners IX: Salzstangerl

Salzstangerl (2)

I asked at the last Bread baking course post if you have special breads you would like to bake. And Uschi then asked for recipe for “Salzstangerl”. These are long rolls sprinkled with salt and caraway seeds and they can be found mainly in Austria. And as I planed to bake the next bread in our course with Pâte Fermentée as preferment these rolls fitted very well in my plans for the weekend.

The Pâte Fermentée contains flour, yeast, salt and water. It can be either a part of a bread dough which is kept in the fridge (that’s why some people call it “Old dough”) or it can be mixed and fermented as a normal prefermt (what I do most of the time). It adds a part of full develope gluten network to the dough which helps to improves the gluten structure. The flavour notes are complex, a little bit nutty and only slightly sour.

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