They may not the most beautiful rolls in the world, but with the thin, crisp crust, the moist open crumb and their complex flavour they won my heart instantly. These rolls are called Kimmicher. Kimmich is the Swabian term for caraway seeds. The rolls are similar made as the famous “Eingenetzte”. The dough is proofed for a long time and then formed with water and transfered to the oven in a small bowl.
The recipe is once again a regional one and can be found in the Swabian City Reutlingen. It is a traditional recipe, something that is already claimed in an old Diamalt book which dates back in 1938. The dough is very wet and has to proof very long at low temperature. That is what is written in the old book, anyway. As the description is vague, and there are on ingredients listed at all, I had to trust myself when I recreated the recipe of the Kimmicher.
Baking gluten free bread is not my specialty. But when a reader with a lot of allergies asked for help, I could not do anything but think about a gluten free variant of her favourite recipe. To make recipe development a bit harder, the only grains she can eat are buckwheat and oat. But I had this beautiful package of white buckwheat flour sitting on my counter anyway. The original plan was to use it for Brittonic galette but it would be perfect for the rolls, I was sure of that!
And so I changed my old recipe until it was gluten free. And when the rolls come out of the oven I was so excited. But – like with rye breads – the rolls had to cool completely before cutting to allow the crumb so settle. But when I sliced the first roll, I was satisfied: a rather soft and moist crumb, not so unlike of a good bread with rye. And the taste was delicious: nutty due to buckwheat and oat, sweet due to the fruits and a slight sourness due to the yoghurt. Overall, they are delicious!
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!
It was such a stormy Sunday! The sun was glimpsing through the clouds now and then, but the whole time trees were bending under the power of wind. It was the right weekend to stay home and bake bread.
And so I bake a delicious braid. But as we have a tiny bit of stormy days in our life, too, with a lot of appointments eating up time, there was no time for a preferment. And as I wasn’t baking in my own kitchen, I had no kitchen machine to take up kneading either. These were the facts I had to build my recipe around.
At the end, I opted for buttermilk and a long, cold proof to enhance flavour. And I decided to bake the Braid in Swiss Style, which means: no sugar in the dough. Without sugar, it is much easier to knead the dough to middle gluten development as sugar tends to inhibit gluten development.
My plan worked as well as I could hope for, and the next day I started my morning with some freshly baked bread. Is there a better start in a chaotic week?
When sorting my flour storage boxes I stumble upon a left over bag full of vacation memories. Or, to be more precisely, a half full bag of Ruchmehl. Ruchmehl is a Swiss flour similar to first clear flour. The amount of flour was just perfect for baking some rolls. And so I put together a preferment later that day. The next day I prepared the dough but time was lesser than planned, so I but it into the fridge instead of baking. Early the next morning I finally shape the rolls and baked them on high temperature.
The rolls were delicous: mild and at the same time complex with a crisp, thin crust.
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.
The name “Neujährchen” is used in different regions of Germany for a wide variety of bread and pastry baked for new years eve or new years mornig. This variant stems from the Westerwald. I stumbled about it when I researched recipes for Neujährchen from the rhineland. I was fascinated by the dark crust which is archived by glazing them with cold coffee. And I was thrilled by the interesting mixture of spices and the fact that it is baked with a good amount of rye flour. The dough is mixed with a generous amount of butter, too, which is rather seldom for rye bread. The mixture of spices seems to vary from village to village. Adding Pepper and cinnamon seems to be common everywhere, but if anise or clove or both is used is different from recipe to recipe. As I do not like anise very much, the decision for my recipe variant was an easy one.
The hearty mixture of spice makes the rolls special, but very delicious. They taste great with honey, but would go as well with a mild goat cheese and some cranberry jam, too.
The more often I bake stollen bites, the more I love them. They are the perfect as late afternoon treats with a cup of tea. They are a perfect little Christmas gift for friends and colleagues. And they are perfect for testing new stollen variants in small scale.
The idea of a whole grain stollen grew in the last year somewhere in my mind. And as it happens so often I felt a itching in my fingers to try the variant. But I was absolutely unsure if I would like the flavour of whole grain flour at all in such a festive bread. And so I did a recipe test with half of the recipe of the stollen bites. After two weeks of resting I finally tested them last weekend and I was thrilled. The slight bitter and nutty tones of the flour harmonises perfectly with the spices and the sweet dried fruits. The flavour is deeper and more complex then of the white flour variant. And they stay as moist as the original, too. And I’m now sad that I made just half of the recipe…
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.