I hope, you all enjoyed the splendid Easter weather! Is there anything better then a Breakfast in the sunshine with the family? For our breakfast on Easter Sunday I baked a Spelt Easter Wreath.
To be able to serve a still oven warm wreath, I decided to go for another overnight recipe. And so I used only a bit butter in the dough while the bigger part of the fat stems fro m the cream. Instead of binding water in a hot soaker or water roux, I opted for using yoghurt in order to make the bread baking more relaxed. And I used a pâte fermentée as a preferment, so I could prepare it already three days in advance, if needed. This helps to relax the busy Easter schedule, too.
And so I only had to prepare the dough and form it after 90 minutes fermenting time on saturday evening. The wreath proofed over night and on Easter Sunday all I had to do is placing the dough in the oven. Perfect for a relaxed sunday!
A sweet treat which seems to be perfect for Easter Sunday breakfast is the traditional Aachener Streuselbrötchen (Streusel rolls from Aachen). They stem – as the name suggested – from Aachen and are not known above the city borders. And that is a pity, as they are so delicious, especially if you are a devoted streusel lover like I am. So I try today to get these rolls the national (or even international) attention they should have.
Forming these rolls is a bit “brutal”, as the nicely round formed rolls are firmly pressed into the streusel. They come out flat and with an even streusel surface. But this is how it should look, so do not fear. During proofing and baking they will gain height and the streusel surface will part again. And then you will have one of the most delicious breakfast treats you can bake!
I planned another recipe for this week. But the last roll vanished, before I could take a picture. But luckily I baked a beautiful Kamut Sandwich Bread this week, too!
I find it always fascinating how bright the crumb of whole grain Kamut breads is. And its flavour is always delicious, sweet and nutty. As all ancient grains are a bit trying when it comes to whole grain sandwich breads, I used all tricks I learned in my struggles during the last two years: Vitamin C in form of acerola cherry juice, a bit pf physilium hulls, enzyme active bean flour and eggs help to enhance gluten network and to stabilize the crust. Another key for a stable crumb is the “ten piece methode”. For each bread the dough is formed into ten buns and then place in the baking tin. That helps to create a more even and tender crumb which does not collapse during cutting. It takes a bit more time for forming, but the effort is very well invested!
It is already middle of January, but I still have two Recipes from christmas waiting. The first one is the recipe for a spelt panettone. Baking panettone or pandoro on the 23. December is already a kind of tradtion here at “Hefe und mehr”. In the weeks before, I take intensivly care of my sweet starter to make it especially fit for the task.
As baking Panettone is already nearly a no brainer. And so I was looking for a new challange. Switching from wheat to spelt is definitly more challenging, as kneading the sensitive spelt to full gluten development needs experience. And it is a good idea to check which sort of spelt you use. Different spelt sorts behave differently as their gluten composition differs. For Example if you use Oberkulmer Rotkorn you need to shorten the kneading time compare to Franckenkorn, which I used here. But with these in mind, baking panettone with spelt works very well. Just keep a close eye on the gluten development.
I am always fascinated how one recipe can lead me to the next (and the next…). Like when I was researching for the Rheinische Neujährchen, which leaded me to the Variant from the Westerwald. And then a reader commented about a tradition from reutlingen called Mutschel day. This day is the first thursday after Three Kings Day and at this day the people in Reutlingen a playing dice games in order to win a mutschel.
The mutschel is a highly decoreated bread made from a very rich dough. The bread has a eight pointed star shape with a bump in the middle. The shape is much easier to form then I first thought as the dough ball just has to be cut like a “#” and the sides then has to be pulled away and shape into pointy tips. I made pictures form the process but used a tinier variant of the mutschel as it was much easier taking pictures from it then from the big one.
For new years morning I baked my traditional New years pretzel, Westerwälder Neujährchen and Rheinische Neujährchen. The swirly form of the Rheinische Neujährchen may looks familiar to some of you. It is one of the forms that is used traditional for Lussekatter. And in Tyrol there is a Bread called “Thomasradl” which is baked during Christmas time in this form. The wide spread of this form is a hint that baking breads in this forms stems from a pre-Christian time. It is discussed that its a leftover of the midwinter fest and is a symbol for the sun.
I like the idea of sun very much as I am waiting each year in January to the days get visibly longer again.
Chocolate is always a good idea. And already since childhood I’m in love with the “Schokoladen-Weckchen” (Sweet chocolate rolls) which the baker in my home town baked. And during the sorting of my baking suppleys I found chocolate drops, which I original bought for baking cookies. But when I saw them, I coudn’t get this rolls from my mind. And so I decided to recreate the treat of childhood days!
As there was a bit of cream left in the fridge, I decided to base the dough loosley on the recipe of my favourite Sunday braid, but with some rye flour to enhance their tenderness and shelf life. This is a lesson I learned from several traditional recipes for sweet bread.
I am still surprised how widely spread the use of rye flour in traditional sweets bread was. Surprised because nowadays it is rather hard to find such breads in bakeries. And using rye flour to replace some portion of wheat flour makes perfectly sense as rye grows in much rougher conditions as the fastidious wheat. And so rye grew even in regions with poor soil and colder climate like you can find it in the Eifel or here in the “Bergische Land”.
When I stumbled upon the Bread called “Kleenroggen” (litterally little rye) I was buffled as I never heared from such a bread before. Researching deeper yield not so many information, but it seems that this tradtional bread was once baked from the “Bergische Land” up to the Sauerland. And it must have been a fairly common bread, as there is even a church which is called “Kleenroggenkerke” (Kleenroggen church) in the local idiom due to its pan bread like shape. And it always describes a sweet bread with currants and a good portion of rye.
The Einback (sometimes called Zeilenweck or Micken, too) is a slightly sweet milk roll with fluffy crumb and soft crust. They got their special form form placing the rolls so near to each other they touch during baking.
I had them on my list of regional breads already for some time. I was fascinated by the fact, that they are only a interstage product of the Zwieback production. But the fluffy rolls gained more and more popularity on their own and at some point “Einback” became a synonym for “fluffy milk roll”.
When I bake the rolls, I decided to try them as Einback as well as Zwieback and I like both very much. The Einback is soft and fluffy and flavourful due to preferment and water roux, the zwieback is crunchy and sligthly sweet. I can’t decided which variant I like most…
And here is a last glance of of what I baked this year for Easter. The little Dove I baked twice. Once with my sisters kids, once alone. In the first version I rolled the dough strand equally thick what resulted in doves with a very plumb body and with a tiny head. For the kids it didn’t matter, they made sure they vanished while still warm from the oven. But I was hooked and so I baked them a second time, this time with a slightly modified formed strand. And this time the birds looked like birds. And to find the pictures next year, too, I have here the “how to” for you. The dough recipe is the same like the tsoureki just without the spices.