Last weekend, a reader asked if I had an idea for baking a bread on a busy week night. She had a clear idea of what ingredients she would like in her bread: white flour plus a tiny bit of whole grain mixed with a lot of seeds. And I had a very clear idea on how to make a bread out of this.
As the she needed a bread which ferments over a whole night and day, I decided to make a straight dough. The long fermentation yields enough flavour. And I decided to add the seeds without soaking, too. But before anyone is now worried about the bread going dry: I added enough water for the seeds to soak during fermenting without withdrawing to much from the dough.
I used the recipe directly on this very busy weekend. Normally I would postpone baking to a calmer day, but so it worked like a charm. A great bread for busy days!
Last autumn we spent a week in East Frisia. Our land lady told us, that the bakery around the corner should be the best of Leer and so we had to buy some bread there, of course. Something that rouse my curiosity was a small package of sliced raisin bread called Krintstuut. As it was a busy morning in the bakery, I didn’t ask about the ingredients. Tasting the bread back in our cottage, I was sure that it contained a good portion of rye. And so I used a quieter time in the bakery to confirm my assumption.
Finding rye in a sweet bread is nothing that surprises me any longer as I learned about so many traditional sweet breads baked that way. And it makes sense so much: Rye growth even in regions which are not suitable for wheat. So rye was always a grain used for many peasant breads. Wheat bread was something baked only for holidays. And even sweet breads with rye was something most families ate only on Sunday.
My interpretation of the recipe takes into account what I learned about bread baking in the 19. century: It uses sourdough but as well yeast. Back in time, the yeast was bought often at breweries and used for the “finer” breads like raisin bread.The sweetness stems from raisins alone as sugar was scarce back then. And that is really sweet enough. The bread is delicious, especially with some butter and honey.
They may not the most beautiful rolls in the world, but with the thin, crisp crust, the moist open crumb and their complex flavour they won my heart instantly. These rolls are called Kimmicher. Kimmich is the Swabian term for caraway seeds. The rolls are similar made as the famous “Eingenetzte”. The dough is proofed for a long time and then formed with water and transfered to the oven in a small bowl.
The recipe is once again a regional one and can be found in the Swabian City Reutlingen. It is a traditional recipe, something that is already claimed in an old Diamalt book which dates back in 1938. The dough is very wet and has to proof very long at low temperature. That is what is written in the old book, anyway. As the description is vague, and there are on ingredients listed at all, I had to trust myself when I recreated the recipe of the Kimmicher.
It is spring – finally! I bath in yellow sunshine and admire the green of leaves and listen to the bees collecting pollen and nectar. And I try to catch this spring feeling a bread. It has the same colour combination of green and yellow. The yellow stems from the high carotenoid content of the kamut flour while pumpkin seeds adds green sprinkles in the crumb. A bit of honey remembers on the busy bees.
To fit the bread in my full weekend schedule (new garden and my bee keeper course is keeping me still busy) I opted for a overnight version with a young sourdough and “quick” poolish. As both preferments do not stand so long I decided to increase the amount of preferment. So all Kamutflour is fermented for a longer time which increases flavour and digestibility.
Baking gluten free bread is not my specialty. But when a reader with a lot of allergies asked for help, I could not do anything but think about a gluten free variant of her favourite recipe. To make recipe development a bit harder, the only grains she can eat are buckwheat and oat. But I had this beautiful package of white buckwheat flour sitting on my counter anyway. The original plan was to use it for Brittonic galette but it would be perfect for the rolls, I was sure of that!
And so I changed my old recipe until it was gluten free. And when the rolls come out of the oven I was so excited. But – like with rye breads – the rolls had to cool completely before cutting to allow the crumb so settle. But when I sliced the first roll, I was satisfied: a rather soft and moist crumb, not so unlike of a good bread with rye. And the taste was delicious: nutty due to buckwheat and oat, sweet due to the fruits and a slight sourness due to the yoghurt. Overall, they are delicious!
I hope, you all enjoyed the splendid Easter weather! Is there anything better then a Breakfast in the sunshine with the family? For our breakfast on Easter Sunday I baked a Spelt Easter Wreath.
To be able to serve a still oven warm wreath, I decided to go for another overnight recipe. And so I used only a bit butter in the dough while the bigger part of the fat stems fro m the cream. Instead of binding water in a hot soaker or water roux, I opted for using yoghurt in order to make the bread baking more relaxed. And I used a pâte fermentée as a preferment, so I could prepare it already three days in advance, if needed. This helps to relax the busy Easter schedule, too.
And so I only had to prepare the dough and form it after 90 minutes fermenting time on saturday evening. The wreath proofed over night and on Easter Sunday all I had to do is placing the dough in the oven. Perfect for a relaxed sunday!
A sweet treat which seems to be perfect for Easter Sunday breakfast is the traditional Aachener Streuselbrötchen (Streusel rolls from Aachen). They stem – as the name suggested – from Aachen and are not known above the city borders. And that is a pity, as they are so delicious, especially if you are a devoted streusel lover like I am. So I try today to get these rolls the national (or even international) attention they should have.
Forming these rolls is a bit “brutal”, as the nicely round formed rolls are firmly pressed into the streusel. They come out flat and with an even streusel surface. But this is how it should look, so do not fear. During proofing and baking they will gain height and the streusel surface will part again. And then you will have one of the most delicious breakfast treats you can bake!
Some times we need some one who point out the obvious. When a reader asked for a recipe for pita bread I wondered why I had not thought about it before.
And so I looked at many recipes and an idea was forming in my mind. When I had my recipe sketched out, I saw that Sara from Sara bakar did published a Pita recipe, too. And so I took some good advices from her: making small sized Pita bread is one of them, the other is the idea to turn the bread after proofing before baking.
Watching the bread in the oven was then my most beloved oven tv. In just one minute the bread puffed up. It was so fascinating. And while the bread cooled down, I prepared some Falafel and had a delicious lunch a short while later!
Tin Breads are so convenient when baking in a kitchen that isn’t yours . No need for a bread baking stone, no need for a lot of fuss. And so I baked an old fashioned white tin bread. In Germany it is called “Kasten-Weißbrot” and is a bread with a lot of tradition. So it fits in my post series of traditional breads.
The bread is baked with a young sourdough to keep the amout of acid low to prevent a gummy crumb. For a young sourdough you need a very active starter so the sourdough can double or triple its volume in the short time. To enhance the fluffy crumb I added a bit of powdered rose hip which is a natural source of vitamin c. The rest of the dough is a quite simple white bread dough with a tiny bit of butter for a tender crumb. A bit of enzyme active malt helps to create a crisp crust.
It is a simple but so delicious bread. It tastes great with cheese or with peanutbutter and honey! Continue reading
I planned another recipe for this week. But the last roll vanished, before I could take a picture. But luckily I baked a beautiful Kamut Sandwich Bread this week, too!
I find it always fascinating how bright the crumb of whole grain Kamut breads is. And its flavour is always delicious, sweet and nutty. As all ancient grains are a bit trying when it comes to whole grain sandwich breads, I used all tricks I learned in my struggles during the last two years: Vitamin C in form of acerola cherry juice, a bit pf physilium hulls, enzyme active bean flour and eggs help to enhance gluten network and to stabilize the crust. Another key for a stable crumb is the “ten piece methode”. For each bread the dough is formed into ten buns and then place in the baking tin. That helps to create a more even and tender crumb which does not collapse during cutting. It takes a bit more time for forming, but the effort is very well invested!