I posted our family favourite cake already some years ago here in the blog. When we have to choose between torte and goldknödel on a birthday celebration, all of us will take a piece of the goldknödel. It is THIS kind of favourite of extended family!
The cake stems from the Transylvanian and Hungarian part of family heritage and is all by it self a rather simple pastry. It is made from a sweet yeast dough which is formed into small balls and coated with warm butter and a mixture of grounded nuts and sugar. While baking in a kugelhopf pan the sugar caramelize and adds another delicious flavour to the aroma of nuts and butter.
A Kugelhopf pan is mandatory for this cake. Wen the Teflon coat of my – rather cheep – pan started to fall apart after ten years of using I decided that I need something longer lasting. And so I bought an ancient brass kugelhopf pan. It has very good baking qualities, is rather everlasting and looks beautiful on my kitchen wall when not in use.
I was making dessert in my summer warm kitchen and when whipping cream the cream turned nearly instantly to butter. Luckily it was still unsweetened and so I took the butter clumps out to wash them and use them as delicious homemade butter. The buttermilk was at this point not fermented, so I decided to inoculate it with some creme fraice from the fridge, thinking: if you can use buttermilk to inoculated cream for creme fraiche it will work the other way round, too. And it did! After 24 hours the buttermilk was thick and tasted sour.
But what should I do with this tiny amount? Making bread with buttermilk is always great and so I decided to put it into the dough I was kneading for the bread baking in the wood fired oven in the local museum.
One of the participants of my baking course asked for a recipe for Simit and brought a glass full of Pekmez (Grape molasse) for me, too. And that was all that was needed to get my brain working on this sesame rings.
Some weeks later, when I took a sheet full of Simit from the oven I had a sudden flashback into my childhood. About 20 years ago I regularly took the bus to go to the next town to visit the library. After spending joyful hours between the silent rows of books full of mysteries and stories I carried a armful of books home. And before I would hop into the bus I would make a short stop in the little turkish greengrocery shop located next to the library. There I would buy two simits for 1 DM (this was long before we got the €) and eat them with my nose already in the first book.
The flavour of my fresh baked Simit brought back all this happy memories of summer holidays and dream worlds. But even without this memories the flavour of this sesame rings is great. Sweet and hearty is well balanced here as they are dipped into Pekmez solution before they are turned into sesame. And the preferment (in this variant sweet starter) helps to develop a complex flavour. I’m very much in love with them right now and bake them already several times – something that happen seldom here!
Sometimes it can happen even in a bread loving household: no bread! This happened to me some weeks ago when we had to defrost our freezer and so started to eat our way through all frozen goods. And then – in the middle of my working week – all bread was eaten and only to lonely rolls where left in the freezer. Enough to ensure our breakfast the next morning – but for the rest of the week we needed bread. And so I checked the flour stocks, took out some sweet starter and sourdough from the fridge and kneaded a dough before I went to sleep. The dough rested in the fridge meanwhile.
There are so many different variants of black bread in Germany that I always feel sorry that my stomach can not cope to much of it. So I can bake one just once in a while and to bake me through all the regional variants will take some time. One really fascinating black bread recipe is the “Klever Schwarzbrot”. It uses buttermilk instead of sourdough. This adds enough acid to make the rye bake-able.
The bread has fine lactic flavour in combination with the sweetness of the molasses makes this bread special. And to add some complex flavour notes I added for my recipe a preferment with rye meal, buttermilk and tiny bit of yeast. The preferment adds not only aroma but helps the meal to soak up enough liquid which makes the bread more moist. The same is true for the soaker: the roasted bread crumbs add flavour and the nuts and coarse meal can soak up the liquid. And while this two additional steps makes the recipe more complicated then the “fast” variant with a lot of yeast but it makes it so flavourful that it is worth work. Continue reading →
I fine tuned this recipe for quite a while. It started back last summer and I need about a year until I was nearly satisfied with the croissants. The crumb could still be more open but that is only a question of practise. Theoretically you could use more butter for the tourage (300-500g) but for me the croissants are then way to fatty. And so I keep practising and share the recipe meanwhile with you so you can start practising as well 🙂
And the next recipe is again a recipe which circled for a long time in my mind before I would write it down. But as soon as I had penned it to paper I was itchy to try it. But with sometime circumstances slowing me down. This time it was first the bread baking course I gave and then the monthly bread baking day in the old wood fired community oven in our local history museum which keeps me from testing. And as I bake more then one bread in the wood fired oven my freezer was afterwards well stocked and with no free space. But…
… I found an excuse for baking the recipe anyway (visiting family or friends is always a good excuse – I can not come with empty hands, can I?).
Some breads sneak their way into my my mind and stay there for awhile while my subconscious mind works on the recipe. This time it was a short sentence about a bread MC from Blog Farine tasted in Sandeep Gywalis Bakery: Porridge and roasted buckwheat, filled with many complex flavour notes. There was not much more information but this was enough for my brain to come up with a recipe.
The monthly bread baking day in the local museum Bergneustadt was the perfect opportunity to bake the bread. Because what can make a delicious bread even more delicous? Right – baking it in an old wood fired community oven! And so I roasted the buckwheat the night before and then milled the roasted kernels to a fine, dark brown flour. The smell of the flour was astonishingly delicious: Malty and buckwheaty notes creates a rich and deep flavour. And it was suprising how much water the flour needed when I mixed the sourdough with this flour. The sourdough developed rather strong sour note.
Already for some time I had the idea of a mild aromatic pure rye bread in my mind. But I need – as everyone knows – someone to share breads with high percentage. A big family get together for which I volunteered to bake all bread needed was the chance to bring my idea of this bread to life.
My wild sourdough was build in to stages to ensure both mild flavour and good strength to rise the loaf. But at the moment my sourdough is a bit to wild and the second stage doubled its volume after just one hour. That was to short to develop enough lactic acid and other flavour components. And so I placed the bowl at a cooler spot and let it ripe for another two hours until the flavour of the sourdough was right. But the amazing power of this sourdough was unbroken. After not even one hour(instead of the normal two) the loaf peaked over the rim of the proofing basket.