Most of the time I think that breads with the tag “vegan” are silly. The standard variant of bread means “flour, water and salt” and this is after all so pure and simple vegan that there should be no questions left. But with sweet breads this is a different story. I always try to avoid highly processed replacements like margarine. And so I was fascinated when I read in a description of a organic baker that he uses coconut oil for vegan baking.
Using this fat makes sense as it contains naturally a high amount of saturated fat and so is solid at room temperature. I just wondered if the the slight coconut flavour of the oil would shine trough in the baked good. And to verify this question there was just one option: Baking a bread with coconut oil.
The Saint Martin’s Day is a celebrated through whole Germany. The traditions anyway vary from region to region. In the Bergische Land, where I live, and in the Rhineland, one tradition is to give a Weckmann to each child after the lantern procession. In other regions instead of this weckmann they get a Martinsbrezel (Martin’s pretzel).
I learned about these tradition quiet recently and did some researching then. And interestingly this tradition is rather wide spread and there are differnt kinds of pretzels. In some regions, they are topped with pearl sugar before baking while in other regions they are brushed with butter and turned in fine sugar after baking.
I decided to try the second variant. Due to the big amount of sugar decided to use only a small anount of sugar in the dough. And then these pretzel are big treat – they may not replace a weckmann in this house but are a good addition to them!
There is one advantage of recipes which are troublesome in the development: the other good recipes you find on the way. A recipe which development was extremly troublesome is the spelt & emmer sandwich bread I needed for my “Vergessene Getreideschätze” course. It took me over a year until I got the bread just as I wanted it to be. But as I was testing different methodes and the influence of ingredients, I got a lot of good recipes during this tests: Sandwich bread with Emmer, Spelt-Sandwich bread, Spelt-Emmer-Sandwich bread und spelt brioche. And this whole grain Spelt & Emmer Burger Buns are from this series, too.
The flour bag with white kamut flour contained still 400g flour which had to be used. And that was the beginning of this delicious rolls. They contain some sweet starter made of spelt which I used directly from the fridge. Using a ripe starter adds a lot of flavour to a bread and is an easy way to use up leftover starter. And the complex aroma notes of the starter harmonize very well with the deep nutty flavour of the Kamut flour.
Kamut is not very complicated to use. It needs just a bit of care while kneading as it tends even more to get over kneaded then spelt. And so I kneaded it only a short time and developed the gluten network with strech and fold circles during fermenting. And you can feel how the dough build up strength while folding. Kamut is really the easiest of the ancient grains!
Since some months I did not bake breads made with sweet starter alone. But just now my starter is so active as never before. It just need 90 minutes to double its volume. It is in the perfect condition to rise even a bit heavier dough with some butter. And so it is in the perfect condition to rise burger buns.
You need a real fit starter, so it makes sense to feed it two or three times before baking. Another important point is proofing the buns in a warm environment. The warm environment can be a slightly heated oven (30°C), then add a pot with boiling water on the bottom of the oven. This helps to keep the surface of the buns warm and moist and let them rise very well.
The aroma of the buns is delicious, the cold rise of the dough and the combination of hazelnut oil and butter makes them very flavourful. The hint of hazelnut flavour goes very well together with my favourite vegan patty. But my dearest liked it very much in combination with a beef patty, too.
I posted our family favourite cake already some years ago here in the blog. When we have to choose between torte and goldknödel on a birthday celebration, all of us will take a piece of the goldknödel. It is THIS kind of favourite of extended family!
The cake stems from the Transylvanian and Hungarian part of family heritage and is all by it self a rather simple pastry. It is made from a sweet yeast dough which is formed into small balls and coated with warm butter and a mixture of grounded nuts and sugar. While baking in a kugelhopf pan the sugar caramelize and adds another delicious flavour to the aroma of nuts and butter.
A Kugelhopf pan is mandatory for this cake. Wen the Teflon coat of my – rather cheep – pan started to fall apart after ten years of using I decided that I need something longer lasting. And so I bought an ancient brass kugelhopf pan. It has very good baking qualities, is rather everlasting and looks beautiful on my kitchen wall when not in use.
Some breads sneak their way into my my mind and stay there for awhile while my subconscious mind works on the recipe. This time it was a short sentence about a bread MC from Blog Farine tasted in Sandeep Gywalis Bakery: Porridge and roasted buckwheat, filled with many complex flavour notes. There was not much more information but this was enough for my brain to come up with a recipe.
The monthly bread baking day in the local museum Bergneustadt was the perfect opportunity to bake the bread. Because what can make a delicious bread even more delicous? Right – baking it in an old wood fired community oven! And so I roasted the buckwheat the night before and then milled the roasted kernels to a fine, dark brown flour. The smell of the flour was astonishingly delicious: Malty and buckwheaty notes creates a rich and deep flavour. And it was suprising how much water the flour needed when I mixed the sourdough with this flour. The sourdough developed rather strong sour note.
The moment I took the Luftikusse from the oven my never resting mind started to muse about a whole grain variant. And it needed just Michas comment to sent me straight to the kitchen to try it.
Whole grain flour needs more water then white flour, that is a well known fact. And the psyllium hulls can bind a lot of water, too. Nevertheless I was surprised by the amount of water I needed to reach the right consistency when I prepared the dough. At the end there was more water then flour in the dough. It yielded good rolls but I found the amount of water a bit to much, anyway. And so I changed the recipe, using less water and bit of sugar beet syrup to break the slight bitterness of the bran.
And with this second try I was happy. They have a nice, moist crumb and stay fresh for a long time. They are not as airy as their siblings but a delicious, more healthy variant. The right roll for a healthy lunch break!
The first post in 2017 found its inspiration back in 2016. When I put together my “Best of 2016” I stumbled upon upon a readers question for rolls with open crumb. Back then I suggested this Baguette rolls and then the question slowly slipped from my mind. It has a simple reason: I normally prefer rolls with a finer crumb as we eat them mainly for breakfast and a wide open crumb means honey dropping all over the place. But during vacations we like to eat rolls for lunch or dinner, too. And with a slide of cheese a chiabatta-like roll is a delicious thing.
But the infection I catch before christmas was a mean one and so I spent most of my vacation on the sofa with hot tea and a good book – slowly recovering. I slept a lot, but baked nearly nothing and we went not for shopping food either but feed on our well stocked pantry and fridge. When we finally had to buy some groceries I discovered something new in our supermarket: organic pysillum hulls. I find their water binding capacity fascinating and so a package went home with me.