I do both rather seldom: Baking soft sandwich bread and baking during the week. Normally my bread baking day is at the weekend and so I need special circumstances to take the flour from the cupboard during a working week. But an tooth emergency leaded to a small oral surgery and subsequently to chewing problems. After three days of soups and purees I was longing for a really soft bread which is easy to chew.
The sweet starter is always great in such situations. Coming home from work I went straight to the kitchen and started the starter. Two hours later its volume already doubled and so I could already knead the dough. The dough contained some yeast (as I wanted to bake before going to bed) and a good portion of butter and a pinch of enzyme active malt. Both helps to make the crump tender. The good amount of butter as well as some sugar also leads to a good browning when toasted. But although untoasted the bread has good, slightly buttery flavour.
The sunny and hot days of the last week turns the first blackberries into dark and delicious treats. And so we went to pick berries early on Saturday morning . Natures plenty was very overwhelming and in little more then an hour we picked three kilogram. And because I read Christine Ferbers “Marmeladenbibel” we picked some red, unripe blackberries as well. The reason for this the fact that blackberries contain less pectin then red currants or blueberries. Adding some unripe fruits increase the pectin content because they contain much more pectin then ripe fruits. They add some acidity as well which support the gelling process as well.
The rest of the recipe is 100% me, as I does not like to macerate blackberries with sugar (as Madame Ferber suggest), because this turns the blackberries into hard, small pieces. And so I cook the jam similar to the red currant and raspberry jam. And after 20 min of simmering even the unripe fruits softens completely and I’m very happy with the delicious jam I got in the end.
I’m tempted to call this bread a fast bread. It “just” takes 8.5 hours from mixing the sourdoughs to pulling the baked loaves from the oven. So if you (like me) decided at 8 am to bake bread you can serve the already cooled loaf for supper. This is possible because of the short time needed for ripening of the sweet starter and of the “Berliner Kurzsauer”.
The Berliner Kurzsauer is a rye sourdough and was invented by Pelshenke and Schulz in 1942. It is kept at high temperature (ideally 35°C) which promotes the activity of homofermenting lactobacteria (homofermeters are that kind of lactobacteria which produce only lactic acid). It yields a aromatic, mild tasting sourdough. The only backdraw is the fact, that the yeasts in this sourdough will not develop well and so I combined it with a strong sweet starter and a bit of commercial yeast.
Another wish for the Bread Baking Course was Baguette. And Baguette dough is a simple dough: You need just flour, water, yeast and salt.
But when it comes to forming and slashing, it gets way more complicated. Only one thing can help with this: Practice! For slashing you actually don’t have to even bake baguette, one can start practicing with paper and pen! As PIP onces wrote: “If you can draw them, you can slash them!” And so I made two practice sheets for you. One with reference lines and one without. You can print them and start practising right away. Try to draw the slashes on the “Paper baguette” in fluent movements without stopping while drawing a slash. Repeat this until you feel comfortable with drawing the slashes, then try it with the real one. And other ways then the traditional cuts are possible as well. In France I saw Baguettes slashed lengthwise as well!
Some weeks ago a reader asked me if it is possible to bake pure spelt rolls with sourdough. The reason for this question is a histamine intolerance and so I thought directly of using my sweet starter, as the sweet starter fits well in the “shortly riped” scheme. I feeded a part of my starter four times with spelt flour which reduces the wheat in the starter to 0,26%. If you want a pure spelt starter, you can start a starter from a spelt sourdough and some spelt flour as well.
To avoid a dry crumb (what can happen with spelt so easily) I added once again a hot soaker. Some egg yolk and fat makes the crumb more fluffy and the malt helps to deepen the flavour. But using egg yolk and malt is not necessary, if you can’t eat one or the other. Just replace the egg yolk with water. The crumb will be a little bit more dense but the rolls will be still fine. And if you are looking for wheat free recipes, there is a new tag for you: wheat free 🙂
Zorra asked us to bake flat breads for the Bread Baking Day. When my boyfriends parents gave us a lot of beautful mangold from their garden, I had the idea to fill Pide with them. When I checked recipes for the dough I realized that they all contain much or very much oil. So When I put my recipe together, I opted for a lot oil, some milk for an extra soft dough and a spoonful of unfed sourdough for a better flavour (the pide were a quick decision for dinner with no time for preferments).
Oil, on one hand, makes the dough soft and easy to handle, but on the other hand building up the gluten network is inhibited. So the dough needs to be kneaded intensively on slow speed. But after about 15 min you will get the perfect dough, which can be formed without any sticking.
The pide is delicious warm and cold (perfekt for lunch-at-work) and can be filled with other delicious thinks like spinach as well!
It’s early in the morning, the air is nicely warm and the wind carries the fungous smell of moist forest ground. All around us are blueberry bushes in the light shadow of birches and pine trees. This means summer for me! Slowly we pick berry and berry. After two hours I feel completely relaxed and our basket contains one kilogram of Blueberries.
Back home we washed the fruits, picked out the leaves and started to cook blue berry jam. Again we decided to go for the purist version using just blueberries, sugar and lemon juice. The lemon juice adds some tartness and is important for the gelling process. Together with sugar the acid is needed to bring the pectin molecules closer together to form pectin chains which is the reason why the jam is gelling.
And as I had the feeling that recipes for jams made without jelly sugar is interesting for some people, is here my recipe for blueberry jam:
I hope that you did not start to think that there is no bread baked in our hose anymore. But the hot weather and the start into a new job make me bake less. So we emptied the bread drawer in our freezer (very good, more room for new bread) and I baked “old” favourite recipes like lye rolls or a Sunday braid. Going back to old favourites is sometimes very good, too.
But now the freezer is empty, the temperature is back to tolerable and so I baked rolls for breakfast last Sunday. Nowadays I add some egg yolk into the dough for rolls most of the time, as the lecithin helps to make the crumb tender. The dough is good for rising at cold temperature over night as well, but then you have to take care of degasing it carefully the next morning. Otherwise the crumb of the dough will be to open, and for a breakfast roll I prefer rolls with a even crumb. Big holes and honey goes not well together.
In my parents garden grows one single cassis bush next to the red currant bushes. When I was picking berries two weeks ago I sneaked some cassis into my bowl as well, as I had already the plan in my mind to serve little mousse cakes for the Sunday coffee with my parents.
Light mousse cakes made with Joghurt, berries and white chocolate are especially delicious on hot summer days. I did something similar already as filling of this raspberry charlotte. This time I topped a chocolate sponge with a mousse made of a mixture of red currant and cassis. The mousse hides a kernel of currants and cassis compote. It is a delicious little cake with a slight sourness and bit of sweetness, perfect for lazy Sunday afternoons.
There are three different ways to soak seeds or flour: You can either cook them, or soak them in hot water or in cold water. For this bread I decided to soak the seeds in cold water. They do not absorb not as much water as when hot water is used, and this results in seeds which have still some bite. As the seeds have to soak overnight some salt is added to prevent them from fermenting.
Seeds in a dough can inhibit gluten development and so the soaker is added after ten minutes of kneading. The dough is firm at the beginning and will get softer when the soaker, which contains some free water as well, is added.
For a hearty flavour I bake this bread with some beer. It is a mild organic weiss beer, but you can start to experiment with different kinds of beers. A dark brew, for example, would bring the beer flavour forward and would yield in a very hearty bread.