I was asked to include a bagel recipe in my little course about bread baking and I was very willing to do so. Bagels are a good recipe for beginners as the dough is quite firm and not sticky at all. Kneading on the other hand can be a little work out because of the firm dough, too. But kneading a bagel dough is important to get a chewy bagel. So turn on some music and start kneading!
Another important point is boiling the bagels prior to baking. The longer you cook, the denser the bagel will become, as the proteins and starch on the outside of the bagel start already to set, preventing the bagel from rising to much in the oven. I like Bagel on the softer side, so I boil them for 30 seconds on each side. But play around with this time to get your personal perfect bagel! Continue reading
It’s summer. Maybe the weather is autumn-like (which is somehow typical German) but the strawberry stall is back at the Albertus-Magnus-Place and this means: It’s summer. They are selling strawberries from a local farmer and the special offer of the week were two Kilogram for five Euro! I did not hesitate and bought a basket for my beloved boy friend. As I’m allergic against strawberries he had the two kilos for himself and so he had enough fruits to cook jam, to snack them pure and to bake a cake.
And as I like some cake as well we made come with blueberries for me as well. The base of this little tarteletts is Sablé Breton, which I found on Michas Grain de Sel, and which I topped with an elderflower flavoured cream and with berries (of course). The delicate flavour of elderflowers fits to the berries very well. The cream is very easy and contains just elderflower syrup and whipped cream. A perfect cake for lazy weekends!
“Eingenetztes Brot” would be Net-Bread if translated literally. But the origin from the word “eingenetzt” does not stem from the German “Netz” (net) but from “Nass”, which means “Wet”. And making the bread is wet indeed. The sticky dough is easiest to handle when hands and tools are really wet. When the bread is placed in the oven its surface is wet as well. This helps to create the shiny crust which is characteristic for this bread. To get the soft dough in the oven without accident, a so called “Schapf”, a kind of ladle, is used traditionally. Even in my rather big kitchen collection, there is no “Schapf” and so I used a small salad bowl instead. And this worked fine!
For a good flavour I used only a little bit of yeast and let the dough rise very slowly. A tiny bit of sourdough adds depth and complexity. The recipe works without sourdough as well, but its flavour is then a little bit flatter. Continue reading
Until 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.
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!
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.
Now we feeded our new sourdough for for four or five days and it is happy bubbeling. But how to proceed now? Here is an overview on how to care for a sourdough: Continue reading
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.
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 🙂
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.