A good burger is always a favourite here – and so the collection for burger buns on the blog is already big. Because Burgers are never a fast food for us, as everything – from fries to buns – has to be homemade. And once in a while we have a new idea what we could try next.
A small part of a comment caught my attention: the word “Pottweck”. I asked for a description and got a very detailed explanation from Jürgen. Nicole added some other details and so I was straight on my way to the kitchen. They explained to me that the Pottweck is a regional speciality from the area lower rhine. Its name stems from the way it is baked: in a pot (= Pott in the dialect). And the pot gives the bread its typical mushroom shape, too, as the bread rise highly over the pot.
For the ingredients both were united at the buttermilk as liquid, while they differed at the used fat – it seems that either butter, butter plus some lard or only margarine can be used. I stayed with the butter for the beginning, but it is easy to swap part of it with lard or replace it completely with margarine. To increase flavour complexity and to enlarge shelf life I added a pâte fermentée to the formula as well as a little (untypical) addition of cream. And as my old black enamel pot is a bigger one, I knew from beginning that it had to be one big bread.
To watch the bread while baking was pure fun. It rose higher and higher. It was hard to let it cool and wait to for the photos before tasting the bread. But then we had the fresh bread for breakfast and where extremly happy with the slight sourness and complex flavour! A delicious treat on Saturday morning!
Spelt is a favourite and so I was regulary asked if my Stollen can be baked with spelt flour, too. I answered “theoretically yes” and decided to bake a Stollen with spelt flour instead of wheat, too. I like to have a practical background for those answers.
The dough contains only minimal changes to the regular recipe: I used a mixture of sultanas and currants instead of raisins and I reduced the amount of yeast, too. And I replaced the wheat flour with spelt flour, of course.
After three long weeks of resting time we cut the spelt stollen for the first Advent. And it was as moist and mellow as a good stollen has to be. Maybe it is a bit more mellow then the normal recipe, but that was the only difference I recognize. The different spices are stronger then the slight spelt flavour and I doubt that I could tell the spelt and wheat stollen apart when blind testing. And so I can tell now with own experience: Yes, you can bake a spelt stollen!
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!
Butter is a staple in the Breton kitchen – which shows in the Sablé Breton. Another example for buttery Breton cake is Kouign Amann. It is made of a very rich croissant dough and the dough is then turned in sugar before forming. During the long baking time the sugar caramelize on the bottom of the cake to crackling layer, forms a sweet soft core in the middle of the cake and again caramelizes on the top.
My variant of this high caloric treat is a spin off of my actual sourdough croissant project. And while the croissant needs still a bit of tweaking, I’m more then happy with the Kouign Amann in this sweet starter variant. It is not a recipe for inpatient people, just the proof of the dough takes place over night at room temperature. But investing about 24 hours in this cake is more then worth, as this long proof creats a fantastic complex flavour with only a faint hint of sour. If you like palmiers, you will love the buttery caramelic Kouign Amann as well!
Björn posted a series of fluffy Netherland breads back in January. One of these Breads was the classical Witbrood. It looked temping soft and fluffy. I bake those breads rather seldom, but when we finally felt a longing for a fluffy bread, I decided to use Björns Bread as Inspiration. My Witbrood-Variant is made with a mild sourdough and 2% yeast. This is for me a rather high amount, but it helps to create a high risen bread in a considerably short time.
Due to the wheat sourdough it develops a fine flavour with lactic acid notes – like a good yoghurt. And so it is not clear to me, why this post sank down to the bottom of the “well of lost plots”. But I brought it back to the surface – and here it is, with just three month delay!
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!
The first version of the Kieler Semmel was already catapulted into the first ranks of my personal best of list of blog recipes. And I planed directly to make a second version with preferment. And took me a while to come back to this plan but finally I bake them. I choose a preferment which enhance the gluten structure, a sweet starter or its cousin, which is made with commercial yeast – a Biga. And I opted for diastatic malt as I wanted to make the crust very crisp. This makes the recipe unsuitable for a cold overnight proof – a reason why I always shied away from diastatic malt before – a mistake as I knew now! The crust gains a lot through the enzymatic processes due to the malt, it is crisp but easier to bite at the same time. I get a better volume and fluffiger crust then the last time, too.
Helga, a reader from Kiel, suggested some changes in the form and gave me some advices on the intensity of the cinnamon flavour. I decided to use cylon cinnamon, which has a more subtle and complex flavour then the warm, but more acerbic and blunt flavour of Cassia. I added one gramm to the butter which yields a slight cinnamon note. If you prefer a stronger cinnamon taste I would double this amount.
At the end, I have not to emphasise that I’m in love with this rolls, have I? They are maybe the most perfect rolls I bake (until now)!
Here is –as I promised – the first spelt recipe (of hopefully many more). It is a variation of my brioche recipe, but with more egg yolk and a little water roux to increase the amount of liquid in the dough. A sweet starter adds flavour and helps a good rise.
When kneading to full gluten development, you have to keep a close eye on the dough, as spelt tends to be easily over kneaded. Especially when you use a new batch of flour it is a good idea to do a window pane test in between to test how far the gluten is already developed. It depends on the spelt variety, but perfect gluten development can be less then 30 seconds away from overkneaded .
But if you keep this in mind, then you will have a perfect light and fluffy dinkel brioche for breakfast on sunday morning!
Sometimes, the best bread happens rather unplanned. Like this bread, which is a kind of a left over bread. It started when I was thinking about what to do with the remaining part of the “aromastück” I prepared when baking the “Irländer”. In the fridge was a big batch of sweet starter waiting to be fed, but it was to much to feed the whole amount, so using part of the unfed starter was needed, too. And in my flour cabinet I had nearly empty bag with rye, spelt and wheat flour. So why not combining everything to bake a bread?
The result is a classic every day bread with a soft crumb. The Aromastück adds a nice malty note and helps to keep it fresh for a long time while the unfed sweet starter adds subtle flavour notes that adds complexity to the aroma. A truly delicious bread that makes me think about new experiments with the aromastück.