I like to bake “by order” as I can then bake bread I bake rather seldom. Pure Rye bread, for example, as I have a rather sensitive stomach who do not like the higher acidity of rye bread. And while I do not eat rye bread I still like to bake it. Its different consistency makes it a bit challenging and is a nice change in my wheat- and spelt-dough routine.
For this bread which I bake for a big birthday I choose so called “Lichtkornroggen”. This is a rye variety containing light coloured rye seeds instead of the normal grey green coloured rye. It is a modern back breeding from ancient rye varieties and yields a lighter bread then normal whole rye flour. Its flavour is milder as well and so I build the sourdough in the classical german “three stages”: The so called “Anfrischsauer” (refreshed sourdough) to activate the yeasts is then followed by the low hydrated “Grundsauer” (basic sourdough) to generate a well balanced acidity and the last step called “Vollsauer” (complete sourdough) in which the warm and soft dough is perfect for yeast and homofermenting lactobacteria and in which the sourdough develops a lot of activity. Continue reading →
Bread crumbs, Ofenschlupfer or Semmelknödel are the standard recipes I use when I have left over bread. Another good idea for using stale bread is making bread crisps.
They are easy to make and a delicious snack. Preferably I use old rolls as a sliced roll has the perfect snacking size. And if the rolls was a sesame or poppy seed roll they are especially delicious, as the seeds add a delicious nutty flavour.
You can keep the bread crisps quit simple and only seasoned with some salt. Or you use a wild garlic salt or a bit of harrisa to flavour the oil.
In January a reader asked me about a recipe for dark bread with lots of rye, but without Sourdough. I needed time to think about a recipe, but finally a recipe began to form in my head. As rye needs acid for baking, I choose butter milk as liquid. The complex flavour is created by a rye poolish and a soaker made out of dried whole grain bread crumbs. The bread is in the style of a dark farmers bread with 70% rye. The buttermilk adds a noticeable but mild acidity like you would find in a mild sourdough bread.
To create the fine cracked pattern on the crust, the loaf are turned on the peel already 20 minutes prior baking and left uncovered. This results into a slight drying of the skin of the loaf and as is spread a bit during this time as well, it will create cracks on the surface. Adding steam after 30 seconds of baking will enhance the effect as well.
After all, it is a good bread with a moist, regular crumb and a thick, flavourful crust. And as it is made without sourdough it is although a nice start for bread baking beginners who want a easier start into rye breads.
I always try to avoid waste of food. And since I started to bake my own bread I care even more to save bread. But like in every other household, there is bread which get stale and there are left over rolls. But the old bread and rolls can be useful, too! The bread is dried and grinded in a food processor into bread crumbs, which are very useful in baking and cooking. The rolls are sliced very thinly and used for making “Semmelknödel” (Bread Dumplings). And since I started to use homemade bread, the dumplings work very well while in former days, when I used the same recipe with store bought rolls, I always struggled with dumplings falling apart while cooking. But with my own rolls the recipe works like a charm!
One important lecture I learned in the last years is to slice the rolls instead of dicing them. Slices have a bigger surface and will soak more easily then cubes. And nothing kills a dumpling more easily then a not complitly soak piece of bread which starts then to absorb the cooking water. But with slices this never happend to me!
Vanessa asked for beginner frindly recipes and so reminded me that it s about time to post such another beginner recipe . And so I started to create a recipe which can baked without a lot equipment. And that I could use up the potato flakes which I had in the cupboard since christmas is a bonus point!
Potato flakes are great for beginner breads because they can bind a lot of water so the bread will be moist without struggling with sticky dough. You can either order them online or use organic instant mashed potatoes which contains mainly potato flakes plus salt and some spices (I used the one from Alnatura).
For some extra flavour I added a Pâte Fermentée and a stale bread soaker made from toasted stale bread. This adds a lot of roasting flavour to the bread.
We always have small leftovers of bread in our kitchen. I collect them on a small tray which I place on a heater. I let the bread dry completely and when a bigger amount has accumulated I can grind them to bread crumbs. I start with sorting the bread: Bread with whole grain flour for dark bread crumbs and white bread for white bread crumbs. Then I grind the bread (e.g with a food prozessor) to fine crumbs. The white crumbs I use mainly for cooking and the dark crumbs will add flavour to a new bread.
I like it best when the crumbs are added to a preferment, like I did with this famers bread. This bread has a deep, complex flavour and is made with old bread perfermet plus a mild sourdough which I rise in to steps. Its rustic character is enhanced by grounded caraway seeds and rye flour. The Crust is dark and aromatic, and the crust is elastic and soft, perfect for a hearty “Brotzeit”.
To blog about todays lunch is not really necessary because I posted the recipe for Ofenschlupfer, the swabian kind of bread pudding, already more then two years ago. But on the other is this my favourite leftover bread recipe and I’m pretty sure that we are not the only ones who are left with more then one or two slices of leftover bread after the holidays. I collected a slice Pandoro and some leftover New years pretzel for this, but old buns are although great for this.
I cut everything into thin slices, put it in a casserole and soaked it with a mixture of milk, egg and sugar. After baking for 45 minutes I had a great meal without a lot of hassle, something that is perfect when I still have to struggle with my lingering cold!
At my last visit in our small wholefood shop I found a packets of einkorn wheat. Einkorn as well as Emmer and Khorasan are ancient wheat varieties. They have all a higher protein and mineral content. And like in Wheat the main components of the proteins in the grain are the gluten proteins gliadin and glutenin. But unlike to wheat Einkorn contains much more gliadin, the globular gluten protein that makes the dough extensible and sensible in the handling. Dough made from Einkorn flour can easily be overkneaded, so the dough has to be handled with care, similar to spelt dough. And so I decided to use only a smaller portion of einkorn flour. Together with some sourdough and a old bread soaker it makes a great, aromatic bread with distinct nutty flavour due to the einkorn. Very delicious!
And like the last time, forming the bread was an easy thing to do, and seeing the great ovenspring in the oven let me already hope for the best. When I pull the rolls out of the oven their crust sang already its crackling song while cooling down, promising me an airy crumb under the crisp crust. An really, when I cut one of the rolls, I was very happy with the crumb I see, open but not to open, perfect for breakfast.
Lutz baked a swabian Potato Bread last year, a little bit later there was a modified version on Grain de Sel, which Petra baked, too. I realized the recipe then and decided to bake my own version of this bread.
I increase the sourdough and preferment amount as well as the amount of potatoes but decrease the yeast amount. After I had such a good experience with old bread (aka bread crumbs) in preferment I decided to add the bread crumbs to the preferment. Instead of oil or lard I preferred Butter.
The bread is very delicious with a soft cumb and a thick, crispy crust. It is very aromatic because of the two preferments, and the higher amount of bread crumbs adds a nice nut-like flavour to the dough.