Tag Archives: Biga

July 1st, 2017

Whole Wheat Braid

Vollkorn-Sonntagszopf5And 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?).

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May 26th, 2017

Salzweck

Salzweck (1)[5]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!

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October 16th, 2016

Kürbisstuten

KürbisstutenIn 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!

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August 24th, 2016

Spelt Mice

Dinkel-Mäuschen (1)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!

 

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July 10th, 2016

Spelt & Seed Sandwich Bread

Dinkel-Körner-ToastThis 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!

 

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May 1st, 2016

Honigreingerl

Honigreingerl (9)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!

 

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February 7th, 2016

Spelt-Berliner

Dinkel-Berliner (2)

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!

 

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October 31st, 2015

Reformationsbrötchen

Reformationsbrötchen (1)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.

 

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March 28th, 2015

Bread baking for Beginners VI: Zuckerplatz (Sweet Bread)

Zuckerplatz (2)Last weekeend I realized how near Eastern is when my mom told me on the phone about her plans of dyeing eggs with her kids at school. And so I changed my plans for the bread baking course and developed a sweet recipe perfect for the Easter Breakfast. It is a sweet bread called which is made with the biga preferement. The subtle acidity of it helps to strengthen the gluten network. For a tender crumb the dough contains cream, egg yolk and some butter. By replacing the butter with cream the dough can rise in the fridge if needed.

For all doughs with a lot of sugar or butter it is important to develop first the gluten network before butter and sugar. Both can inhibit the gluten development. The fat in the butter can coat the gluten proteins so that they can not connect with other gluten proteins to form strands while the sugar draw the water away from the proteins which again strongly reduce the forming of gluten strands. That’s why we will add the sugar in small increments after 10 min of intense kneading. You will realize while kneading in the sugar that the dough will become softer. This is due to the water which is no longer bound by gluten proteins because of the sugar. Continue reading

March 20th, 2015

Bread baking for beginners V: Potato rolls with Biga

Kartoffelbrötchen (1)I mentioned already once or twice that I like to at potatoes into bread dough. In combination with a preferment they make the crumb soft and fluffy.

A classic preferment consist of flour, water, sometimes salt and microorganisms. In a sourdough the microorganisms  are different lactobacteria and yeasts, while in a biga, poolish or pâte fermentée you will find bakers yeast (because you added them). A preferment will ferment for some time (mostly 12-16 hours) and in this time the microorganisms will release byproducts of their metabolism into the preferment. That makes the flavour of the dough (and later of the bread) complex and deep.

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