The most exiting part of my “Time for Bread” baking courses is the part when the participants and I develop together a new bread formula. It is so exiting because we bake it together, too and the result is as new for me as for my participants. And the breads in each course vary from each other. This time there was a bread with a heritage grain, nuts and fruits. To give the emmer whole grain flour enough time to soak we put it completely in the poolish. The nuts and fruit mixture soaks overnight as well so they do not withdraw the water from the dough.
I liked the resulting bread very much. The Emmer has a nutty flavour which underlines very nicely the aroma of the walnuts. Raisins and apricots add a fruit sweetness which is still subtle and goes well together with goat cheese.
I baked this bread in the last weeks already several times. One time with raisins, one time with dried apricots and walnuts, once just plain. And always when I start to bake a bread repeatedly it is a clear sign that I have a new favourite.
I like the good balance of the hint of buttermilk sourness and the subtle sweetness of this bread. And if you add raisins or other dried fruits the bread moves a bit more onto the sweet side but is still well balanced. Freshly baked it is one of the breads I eat with just a dab of butter. Is there anything in the world that tastes better then a freshly baked sweet bread with fluffy crumb?
I baked the bread in my new tiny 500g loaf pans. These pans are brand new in my baking pan collection and I already realized that they are perfect for baking such sweet breads or whole grain breads. And it is perfect if you need some small loaves to share with family and friends!
Since last year I’m totally in love with cooking jams without gelling sugar. I love the old fashioned flavour and that I have all ingredients I need (which are sugar and lemon juice) always at hand. No need for extra shopping… And so I change slowly all of our favourite jam recipes.
The four favourite jams here are Blueberry, Red Currant and raspberry,Blackberry und plum butter. Apricot jam is raking not so high but having some glasses around is essential for baking cakes. And so I did not hesitate when there where beautiful apricots on sale last week. As apricots – like blackberries – contain a middle amount of pectin, I choose carefully some not so ripe fruits, to go along with the ripe ones. The reason behind is that unripe fruits have a higher content of pectin. Adding some lemon juice helps with the gelling process as well.
After half an hour of simmering, the jam has a deep apricot flavour which is one million times better then everything you can buy. Even my love was nodding his head approvingly when I was urging him to test. So this jam has the potential to rise high in our favourite list!
But it is although an art to bake the perfect Streuselkuchen. The yeast dough should be not dry, but rise fluffy and light. The streusel has to be crisp but not hart. A favourite cake of mine which awakes great expectations in me. And often disappoints them.
But finally I found my perfect comination of dough and streusel. The dough recipe is a slightly modified variation of the swiss butter braid which contains a little bit more sugar. And for the streusel I decided to add a pinch of baking powder. An experiment with a very good result.
When I cut the cake into slices I could already see that the dough has risen to a soft and tender crumb with thick crisp streusel as contrast. A thin band of apricot jam conect both layers in a fruity way.
I thought already last year about baking a tarte with apricots and almonds. But somehow I never made it. When I tasted the first apricots of the year, they where aromatic but sour, and I thought that they would be perfect for a tart!
And so I did not hesitate and bought some of them and baked small apricot almond tarts last weekend. Since I got this nice little tart forms with a diameter of 12 cm I tend to use them all the time, whenever I bake quiche or tart. The small tarts and quiches are perfect for lunch at work or as little present for friends.
For the apricot almond tart I used as custard some frangipane, a custard mixed with almond creme. I wanted to use the recipe from Michael Suas “Advance Bread and Pastry” but then decided to use less sugar but more egg and almonds.
I like the mixture of sweet almonds custard and tart apricots very much. A new favourite cake!
I planned to bake “Kletzenbrot” this year. Kletzenbrot is named after the Kletzen which are added to the dough and this Kletzen are dried pears. But then I remembered that I have to big glasses filled with dried apples in the pantry because this autumn I dried a lot of the apples we harvest. (I mentioned before that we harvest lots and lots of apples this year, didn’t I?)
So I decided to use some of this dried apples in the bread instead of dried pears. And so I call it Fruit bread and not Kletzenbrot. The dough I used is a simple bread dough with sourdough. The sweet of this bread comes from the added fruits and nuts. It tastes most delicious cut in very thin slices and spread with some butter. It is my favorite bread for breakfast at the moment and it keeps fresh for a long time because of the fruits and the sourdough.
So I did a research at Tastespotting and after reading some recipes I had a plan. I combined details of different recipes: oat meal, rolled oats, almonds, apricots, some seeds. Then I add some egg white to the mixture to improve the texture.