Baking fritters is something very typical for this season. And while I have still not much love for celebrating carnival, I like to bake fritters once in a while. These apple fritters were inspired by some left over miniature apples, we used as decoaration for our christmas. After christmas I kept this cute little apples in my open kitchen shelf for because they were to beautiful to eat. But now the started to shrivel and so apple fritter were my new idea for them.
When baking apple fritters you can find two kinds of recipes in Germany: Some are baked with a yeasted dough only, while others use a additional layer of Pâte à Choux to keep the apple piceses fixed in the fritters. I opted for the second variant and choose my favourite Pâte à Choux recipe and a standard yeast dough. From there it was only a short way to a delicious afternoon treat…
The Ausgezogne is a south german deep fried cake which is similar to a doughnut but instead of a hole there is a very thin dough layer in the middle. Sometime this cake is called Knieküchlein (literally knee cake), too as the thin dough layer can be archived by stretching the dough over the knee. But it can be stretched by hand, too, and is very similar to forming pizza dough.
To get a good stretchable dough it is important to develop the gluten network fully. To support the gluten development a pâte fermentée is added to the rather soft dough. This makes it easy to form the Ausgezogne dircetly before frying. The thin part gets crisp while the outer rim is soft and fluffy. And this contrast is typical for the little cake and makes it so delicious!
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 have to warn you: the next posts will be sweet ones! It is partly due to the Christmas time and partly due to sweet things I made for two Ph.d. defence parties in the institute. And I will start with one of those recipes. It was part of the pumpkin buffet we whipped up for one of my former colleagues who is a pumpkin lover. This year, writing and defending her thesis kept her away from enjoying the pumpkin season and so we decided to cook everything with pumpkin for her. We had baked pumpkin, pumpkin soup, pumpkin pie and a savory pumpkin tart and I made pumpkin ice cream and baked Pumpkin chocolate cake and pumpkin fritters for her.
The pumpkin fritters are very much my own style as I worked with yeast instead of baking powder. A bit of sourdough gives them a deeper flavour, but this is optional. Turned either in powdered sugar or cinnamon and sugar they taste best when still warm. But even the next day they are still a treat!
I told you already in the last years, that I do not like carnival so much. What I like is baking and eating “Berliner Ballen”, the yam filled german doughnut which is served traditionally during the carnival days. And so I created a new recipe with a lot egg yolks for a very soft crumb and sweet starter for a good flavour and oven spring.
While frying the Berliner I learned a lesson I – in theory – already knew: A glass lid is not as effective in shielding the heat in the pot as a black enameled metal lid. For the first batch I used the glass lid so I was able to observe the doughnuts while frying. But the oven spring was not as good as it should be. So for the next batch I took the metall lid that belongs to my frying pot. And now the oven spring was perfect. The Berliner got the white “collar” – a part of the dough which is lifted out of the hot fat due to the oven spring and which is a sign for a well made Berliner Ballen.
Normally I blog about bread and other delicious things and not about politics. But like Eva I feel stunned about the Pegida demonstrations. And I want to shout loudly: “You are not “the nation”! You are not representing the majority!” And everyone who walks side by side with neonazis is not longer walking in the middle of society but on the very rim! And so I follow Sherrys Appeal and state my opinion here. I want a Germany where we welcome every other culture and in which everyone can find a home. A Germany in which we act upon the human right declaration:
“All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood. Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty. “
In my little corner of the world we often experience other culture through food.
I’m always relieved when the time of carnival lays behind us, as I told before. Sarah of Life ain’t no ponyfarm draws comics that perfectly shows how I feel during the “Fifth season”.
So only good thing in carnival for my opinion are the sweet pastry which is baked during the “jecken Tage”. And baking some kind of fried pastry is the only thing related to carnival I do each year. This year I did Berliner and something which my family calls “Geknotetes”.
This year I used a new recipe which I developed using Water Roux and Poolish for a extra soft crumb and for a aromatic taste. I made the Berliner small and proofed them shorter then last, which created a strong ovenspring which results in Berliner with the typical white “Collar” I am try to get for years. The other important thing is that the frying temperature should not be higher then 160°C.
For filling the Berliner I used the same construction as two years ago: a syringe which I combined with a 10 cm long cut of a drinking straw. That works like a charm and I don’t have to buy an extra filling tip.
I am a little bit proud of my Berliner this time, I never get this beautiful collars before and they tasted good, too.
I like carnival only in very small doses. Because I am working in one of the strongholds of carnival in Rhineland and because I am living in a small town that is as “jeck” as cologne its impossible for me to avoid carnival and all the drunken people. Drunkard are the most annoying part of carnival for me. But carnival has a delicious side, too. There are all the baked goodies you can get at this time of the year. I like Berliner, a kind of jelly filled donut, very much. According to Bäcker Süpke there are two possibilities to get delicious Berliner for Rosenmontag: To buy them in the best bakery around or to bake them by yourself. Continue reading