Goldknödel, the Transylvanian variant of monkey bread, is a all-time family favourite in the extended family. But as we have a genetic deposition for fructose intolerance some family members have to have a close look on their fructose intake. And as my favourite cousin asked for a low fructose Goldknödel for her birthday a work-over was necessary.
The main point was exchanging sugar (saccharose) with glucose. And as I made the experience before that to much glucose will dry the dough, I added a water roux to keep the dough fluffy soft and moist. As my cousin can eat some nuts, I halved the normal amount. Adding some tonka bean helps to replace the missing nut flavour.
And with this few changes on the recipe it results in a cake that tastes nearly indistinguishable with the “normal” variant. If you can not tolerate nuts at all, I would replace it with a teaspoon of cinnamon. That gives the cake a different flavour, but tastes good too.
I stumpled about the Neheimer Stütchen during a guided tour in the cologne cathedral. It was the fact that Count Gottfried von Arnsberg IV. is buried as the only not clerical person. This prominat burial place he got because of a very generous gift to the cologne bishop – and to ensure that the people in his county would pray for him after his death he gifted a very good forest to the city of Neheim. The forest still exists and from the yearly gain of it several celebrations are paid: each year a wreath is laid down at his tomb in the cathedral, there are count gottfried games and all children of the city get a roll called “Neheimer Stütchen” at the 4th september.
The Neheimer Stütchen is a sweet milk roll, a bit larger then normal and already that tempted me. And as this story is such a nice one that it fits very well in my blog series of regional, traditional breads. And so I baked my version of this roll, with a biga for aroma and a water roux for fluffy soft crumb.
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?).
Another discovery of my search for regional breads is the Salzweck. Its a roll which stems from the region Baden and which is formed in a special way. Its rim is folded in a similar way like used for Kärntener Kasnudeln or for the Handsemmeln. Its not so difficult to form and to proof this I took a video from the forming process.
The roll comes golden brown out of the oven and provides a fluffy soft crumb under its crisp crust. This is due to the combination of the macial combination of egg yolk, butter, enzyme active malt and vitamin C from the powdered rose hip. To make the flavour deep and complex, I added a Biga to the dough, too. Taken together this yields a beautiful looking roll with great aroma!
In this year Indian summer lasted long. But now the days are getting shorter and air is chilly when I leave the house in the morning. And when I drive through the range of the hills I can see the first sun rays turning the misty valleys below into golden lakes. It is autumn, finally.
And so a recipe, which I got from a reader some weeks ago, fits into this beginning autumn very well. It is a recipe for pumpkin “Stuten”. Literally the term “Stuten” means “Mare” and my reader was very puzzled about it when she moved to Oldenburg many years ago and the bakeries were advertising “It is Pumpkin-Stuten time again”. But in Westphalia, Lower Saxony and Schleswig-Holstein the term means “sweet bread” as well as “horse”. And this pumpkin bread was a steady companion for my reader in the following years.
And when I asked for local recipes she sent a recipe from her kids kindergarten. I modified it strongly (ok, I tore it down and rebuild it from the fragments), so it contains now much less yeast but a preferment and some more liquid, too. And I kneaded the dough much longer as well. All of this together makes the bread irresistibly soft and aromatic. A great bread for autumn!
A reader told me about “Schulmäusen” (School mice), a small sweet roll filled with hazelnut praline. She tried to bake similar rolls in a spelt variant but struggled with them getting to dry. My brain worked a while on this idea in the background and came up with a recipe at the end – just in time for school start. As the name “Schulmaus” is a brand name, I decided to call my rolls Spelt mice and formed most of them like a mouse, too. But if you do not roll one end into a long tail, then you get the original form, too.
They are not a healthy snack, but a treat for small and big ones with a sweet tooth. The crumb is fluffy and the filling creamy – a good way to make school start a bit sweeter!
This Sandwich bread is a readers wish. But I needed two rounds, until I was really satisfied. In the first Variant I had a boiled soaker with whole spelt flour and seeds, but this added to much liquid to the dough. This resulted in a very instable crumb. The recipe needed adjustments!
The bread (in both tries) is a pure spelt flour with 30 percent whole grain flour and amixture of flax seeds, sesame and sun flower seeds for an extra nuttiness. The preferment is a biga made from whole spelt flour. This has many advantages: the whole grain flour has enough time to soak up the liquid, a biga helps to strength the gluten network and it adds complex flavour nuances, too. As every sandwich bread this bread needs a fully developed gluten network, and spelt is a sensible. So it is needed to keep a close eye on the dough to find the perfect spot.
At the rerun of the recipe I used a bit mashed potato for fluffiness and a soaker with an only moderate amount of water. This makes the dough recognizable firmer, the dough is easier to handle and the fluffy crumb gets enough stability. So what was my lecture of this day? Sometimes less (water) is more!
I met Honigreingerl some time ago and they trigger my “Have to bake” reflex of immediately. They are small Austrian pastries which are filled with a honey and cinnamon mixture. In their crumb you can find many small openings filled with the flavour of honey and cinnamon.
Original the Honigreingerl are baked in a slightly higher form, but using a muffin tin and brioche forms work good as well. The dough is made with ten percent spelt flour like I used it in the Butterzopf recipe, as this makes rolling the dough easier. The other components of the dough are the “usual suspects”: Biga, some egg and butter – a guaranty for a fluffy crumb and good flavour. And so are my homemade Honigreingerl: a golden crust and a very fluffy crumb filled with the flavours of honey and cinnamon – a divine treat!
There is only one reason to spent carnival Sunday not thinking about the best hiding place: my nice and my nephew. As we invited them to watch the children carnival parade in our little town with us, I even bought some paper streamers and baked some “Amerikaner” (german version of black and white cookies) and Berliner. That is as close as I will ever come to celebrating carnival.
This years Berliner are made with spelt flour and get their good flavour from a biga, which helps to build a strong gluten network, too. For a bit more moisture I added a water roux and like last year I have again a good amount of egg yolk in the dough, which helps to create a tender crump. And as Berliner a for me the best part of carnival, I wish you a good time during the “crazy days”: Alaaf!
I can not tell how I learn about the Reformationsbrötchen (reformation rolls). But the idea somehow stuck in mind and so I had to bake them just in time for the 31. October (Reformation day).
This rolls originate from the area around Leipzig and are baked in Saxony, Thüringen and Saxony-Anhalt. It is made from a buttery yeast dough enriched with a lot of raisins, candid orange and lemon peel and almonds. The square form with the red jam in the middle is said to symbolize either the Luther rose, the seal of Martin Luther, or a bishops hat.
My variant is made with a biga preferment for a complex flavour and is rich with raisins and almonds. The candid orange and lemon peel I added in a smaller amount. The crumb is soft and moist due to cream and butter and the tart cherry jam is a great counterpoint to the sweetness of the dough and fruits. A great pastry for the last day of October.