In Engelskirchen, in dem mit dem Christkind-Postamt in jedem Jahr in der Adventszeit himmlische Zeiten anbrechen, weihnachtet es bereits schon sehr. Und auch der Nikolaus war nicht untätig: Für den letzten Backkurs des Jahres (“Brotbacken für Anfänger” am 10. 12.) hat der Nikolaus heute einen Rabatt für alle Kurzentschlossenen mitgebracht.
When I was researching another recipe, I stumbled upon the recipe for anise pretzels . These pretzles are made without lye and are typically served during winter in the region Upper Franconia. They contain a lot of anise, as their name promise.
Interestingly it seems that the recipe vary from town to town: In Weidenberg the dough is made without the addition of fat, while in a recipe from Bayreuth the dough is enriched with some milk and butter. I liked the richer variant more and so my dough contains both milk and butter, too. A egg yolk is added as emulsifier and helps to create fluffy and soft crumb.
Spelt is a favourite and so I was regulary asked if my Stollen can be baked with spelt flour, too. I answered “theoretically yes” and decided to bake a Stollen with spelt flour instead of wheat, too. I like to have a practical background for those answers.
The dough contains only minimal changes to the regular recipe: I used a mixture of sultanas and currants instead of raisins and I reduced the amount of yeast, too. And I replaced the wheat flour with spelt flour, of course.
After three long weeks of resting time we cut the spelt stollen for the first Advent. And it was as moist and mellow as a good stollen has to be. Maybe it is a bit more mellow then the normal recipe, but that was the only difference I recognize. The different spices are stronger then the slight spelt flavour and I doubt that I could tell the spelt and wheat stollen apart when blind testing. And so I can tell now with own experience: Yes, you can bake a spelt stollen!
I call this Bread Emmerich. The name says it all: Emmer rich. And so is the bread: 50% freshly milled whole emmer flour in combination with spelt flour makes this bread so delicious. The name “Emmerich” has a second meaning, too. It is the name of a city in north Rhine Westphalia. And I often thought that this city needs its own Emmer bread when I read its name.
After the last rye breads I needed a mild bread for my stomach and so I choose as spelt variant of the Sweet Starter as preferment. The forgotten bag with emmer I found in the storage seemed perfect for me. And the bread turned out as delicious as I hope it would. It taste especially good in combination with honey or with a mild goat cheese.
In the cologne pubs (called “Brauhaus”) exists a dish with confuse tourists regulary. It is called “Halve Hahn” and the tourists translate this with “half rooster” and expect to get a half roasted chicken when they order it. What they get is one half of twin-roll together with old gouda cheeses, mustard and some onions. There are many theories to explain the name of the dish – one is that once upon time someone asked in the cologne dialect if he could get on half of the roll: “Ääver isch will doch bloß ne halve han” (But I want just one half).
The roll that comes with the dish is called “Röggelchen” (little rye) and is baked as twin roll. You can tell in which city the roll was baked by the way it was formed: The Röggelchen from Düsseldorf has a round shape while the Cologne one’s shape is long. Both in common is that they are made partly with rye. In this variant the rye is used to make a sourdough, which adds complex flavour notes to the rolls. Another typical characteristic is the dark, shining crust which is due to a glazing which is made with roasted starch and applied before and after baking.
Hotdogs would be a good idea for dinner, said my love to me. I had no objections as I had in the freezer some vegetarian “Feuer-Jakob” made from the recipe of Herr Grün. As rolls we needed homemade ones, of course! And so I fed my favourite preferment and soon afterwards I was happily kneading a dough. With a water roux and some enzym active malt the crumb of the rolls become especially soft and fluffy. To avoid cracks in the crust the rolls have to proof fully before baking – just like a burger roll.
We eat our hotdogs with home made fried onions, homemade pickled cucumbers and – for the vegetarian variant with grilled vegetables and Zucchini-Salsa. A delicious treat!