June 8th, 2014

Ginger Basil Lemonade

Ingwer-Basilikum-LimonadeWhen I’m asked which refreshment I would like to have I answer most of the time “water, please”. For me there is nothing more refreshing then sparkling water! But on humid summer days like the one we have at the moment I sometimes like to have some “flavour” in my water, too.  Adding a dash of juice or syrup is then my first choice.

And when I discovered a recipe for a ginger basil lemonade on a flyer a colleague brought to the lab after lunch, I wrote down the ingredients instantly. But – and that is typically me- I did not follow the recipe completely. My variation use lemon instead of lime and I added lemon zests to the syrup as well. And I use less sugar.  In the beginning I was a little bit doubtful about the basil, but it fits into the mixture very well, and even my dearest one who is normally no friend of experiments when it comes to lemonade, liked it very much!

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June 7th, 2014

Hot Walnut Ring with Koharsan Wheat

Feurige Walnuss-RingeThe last time I phoned my sister, she told me about a “Baguette” she ate in a cooking class some days ago. She liked the combination of hot pepper, walnuts and whole spelt flour, but the bread had a very thigh and doughy crumb. So I wrote down the recipe and promised to build a better recipe. For that I had to change nearly the whole recipe.

I take out the egg from the formula (no egg is needed in a baguette), but add a good deal more water but much less yeast. I reduced the amount of walnuts only a little bit for a better balance between bread and nut and added some chopped sweet red pepper for the good look. The amount of hot pepper should be adjusted by the personal taste, the amount of Habenero I used brings the recipe definitely to the hot side. If you want a milder version I would decrease the hot pepper and use more sweet pepper instead.

I kneaded the dough as I would knead a baguette dough and in the end I was rewarded with a soft but not sticky dough. It was easy to form some rings out of it. And after a propper fermenting and proofing time (something the original recipe omit) I was rewarded with a great aromatic bread. The Khorasan wheat, which I used instead of Spelt, gives a sweet nutty flavour to the dough which goes very well with walnuts and hot pepper. And the crumb is nicely open, especially when you consider the high amount of whole grain flour. A perfect bread to bring to a BBQ or to eat as a side with a summer salad!

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June 2nd, 2014

Bread Baking Day # 68: “Ancient” – The Roundup

breadbakingday-roundup

It is hard to believe but May is already gone and so it is time to round up the recipe for Bread Baking Day! I enjoyed your submissions very much, they show the whole spectrum of the word “ancient”. There are recipes made with ancient grains like Kamut, Emmer and Einkorn, traditional recipes from France, German, Bulgaria and Italy, even a historical recipe which stems from Roman times was submitted. And you will find a bread from the “ancient” blog past was baked once again, too.

I hope you enjoyed digging into the past as much as I did and that you maybe take away some new (but ancient) ideas. I do for sure! Thank you so much for your submissions!

The next BBD will be hosted by Der Gourmet . He will tell us the new theme on 6th June!

And now please enjoy the round up of “Ancient” recipes:

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June 1st, 2014

Brioche

Brioche (3)

Since some weeks I have some niece little brioche forms sitting in my cupboard which are only waiting for being filled with a new recipe. This long weekend was the perfect time to try the idea of baking Brioche with sweet starter. This strong, not tangy sourdough adds a niece complexity to the dough while the big amounts of egg and butter yield a soft and fluffy crumb.

But this big amount of butter makes it necessary to use a kitchen machine for kneading. When the butter is added, the dough loose all of its strength and becomes soft and smeary. So soft and smeary that I had my doubts if I could knead it to good consistency. But during  intensive kneading with the kitchen machine the dough gains back its strength and after 15 min the gluten network was fully developed. But it is worth to find the patience to knead for such a long time because this will result in a fluffy crumb which can be torn into long fibres.

The only thing I will change the next time is that I would form the upper ball for the Brioche à tête a little bit smaller so that the head is easier to recognize.

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May 24th, 2014

Honey Bread with Kamut

Honigbrot mit Kamut

Old grain species like Einkorn, Emmer and Kamut enrich the diversity of bread flavours and gives us a lot of new possibilities for baking. When I thought about a theme for the ongoing  Bread Baking Day I realized that I did not bake with these grains for a long time. And so I bought Emmer, Einkorn and Kamut on my next trip to the whole food shop.

Kamut is the trade name of the Khorasan wheat. As a genetical analysis from 2006 showed that its origin lies in the fertile crescent and that it stems from a natural cross between durum wheat and Triticum polonicum. Its flour has, similar to durum flour, a creamy yellow colour and can be used similar to wheat flour.

Because kamut is rather expensivI normally mix wheat flour with kamut flour, and so I did in the bread, too. The honey I added to the dough pairs very well with the mild yoghurt flavour of my very active sourdough and the nutty nuance from the Kamut. The honey although enhance the dark crust colour while some stretch and fold cycles helps to create an open crumb.

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May 22nd, 2014

Poppy Seed Rolls with white Chocolate

Mohnbrötchen (1)

I have this rolls in my mind already for some time. Since Lutz posted some pictures of his trip to alsacian bakeries, to be precisely.  One of this pictures shows a baguette roll with white chocolate. That sounded good, but I had immediately the idea that some poppy seeds in the dough would enhance the sweet flavour of the the white chocolate with its nutty taste. A counterpoint to the sweetness is the salty dough with a high amount of prefermented dough and olive oil. This makes the rolls to a delicate treat, which should be savoured only with a little bit of butter so the whole complexity of their flavour can be enjoyed.

An advice for chopping the chocolate: the chocolate should be chopped into rather small pieces, because big pieces tend to form small chocolate vulcanos on the surface of the rolls. The chocolate caramelize then, what tastes not bad, either, but looks quite ugly!

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May 18th, 2014

Rhubarb and Custard Streusel Cake

Rhabarber-Pudding-Streuselkuchen

Some recipe ideas develop spontaneously. Like the idea for this cake. It started when my favourite colleague asked me if I had a good recipe for a rhubarb streusel cake. Instantly the custard streusel cake come to my mind. Rhubarb and vanilla pairs so greatly and so I suggested to add another layer to the custard streusel. My colleague liked the idea as well and after a short discussions we decided that the rhubarb should be slightly cooked and then bound with some starch like a custard. When I bought my groceries this evening, I saw rhubarb in the fruit section of the supermarket and decided that I had to bake this cake as well. And I’m happy that I did it, because the combination of rhubarb, custard, streuel and a fluffy yeast dough is really divine!

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May 17th, 2014

Knots (baked with brewers yeast)

Knöpfchen (1)

Until the 18th century bakers went to the next brewery to get some yeast for baking. Even the name of the yeast we use for baking shows that it was originally used for making beer: Saccharomyces cervicae. But when the new bottom fermenting yeast strain Saccharomyces carlsbergensis used by more and more breweries getting yeast for baking was not possible anymore because this yeast stays on the bottom of fermenting vessel (instead on floating on top like S. cervicae.) And so the first commercial produced yeast for bakers appeared on the market in 1780.

When my love and me brew beer it always breaks my heart to throw away the yeast which remains after bottling. And because I search ancient recipes for this month BBD, I decided to bake rolls using the beer yeast instead of the “normal” bakers yeast (which is the same species, anyway).

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May 14th, 2014

Hazelnut Cookies with Einkorn

Haselnuss-Kekse mit Einkorn (1)

I love simple cookies without “chi-chi”. I like them best when they are made with a few, high quality ingredients with a great flavour. Like these slightly sweet cookies with nutty hazelnut flavour which is enhanced by the aroma of Einkorn flour.

The recipe yields a huge amount of dough, but formed to a roll and wrapped in parchment paper it can be stored for some days in the fridge or some month in the freezer.  The slicing and baking of the cookies is then done in some minutes.

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May 11th, 2014

Malt Syrup

Malzsirup (2)

Now it’s official. I’m a little bit crazy.

I mean, who else would start making malt extract from scratch? But when I started to search for treasures in my pantry I found some left over barley malt from our last beer brewing. And that’s when the thought came to my mind that I could do my own malt extract. If you ever made beer by yourself you will know most of the procedure.  Mixing milled malted barley with water and keeping it on defined temperatures for some hours.  I do this in the oven which works very well with our normal mini batches (6 litre). After mashing I strained the mixture through some cheese cloths and then brought the malty liquid to boil. After the volume reduced to the half I had a thick, sweet syrup which looks and taste like the malt extract I normaly buy for baking bread.

I don’t think I will not start to make my malt extract by myself on a regular basis. But it is good to know that I could if I would like!

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