When I heard the term “Scharwaie” the first time, I had to asked my badish host to repeat the word. Spoken with Baden accent it sounds similar to “sha – wai”. Even a second repletion didn’t help me. Finally Iasked to write the word down, as my brain struggled to get the letters on the right places. The Term “waie” means flat bread or cake while “Schar” is thought to come from scrabbing left over dough pieces together after forming the regular bread. It is a traditional flat bread that is baked in Baden, a region in the south west of Germany. And as I am a collector of traditional bread I was hooked.
Back home I had to wait for another baking day at the wood fire community oven in our museum. But as I knew that our leftover dough pieces would not enough to feed the whole crowd, I prepared a dough just for this case. It is a dough with 80% wheat and 20% rye which rises over night in the fridge. In combination with some added sourdough, this creates a delicious flavour. Backed for a short time at high temperature, the bread is soft and fluffy and so delicious.
Last weekend I felt a hunger for rustic rolls with a good portion of rye. As the weekend was crowded with appointments, I opted once again for my favourite schema for easy sunday morning rolls: Proofing the dough over night. Forming, proofing and baking is something I can normally fit into our sunday morning routine easily. And having still warm rolls for breakfast is something, we love, too.
For the form I opted for simple but pretty pattern made by a roll stamp. This time I decided to press it down through nearly the whole roll which resulted in a beautiful flower-like looking roll. And so the rolls fulfil all my criteria for good weekend rolls: easy to make and delicious! Is there anything else to wish for?
Last autumn we spent a week in East Frisia. Our land lady told us, that the bakery around the corner should be the best of Leer and so we had to buy some bread there, of course. Something that rouse my curiosity was a small package of sliced raisin bread called Krintstuut. As it was a busy morning in the bakery, I didn’t ask about the ingredients. Tasting the bread back in our cottage, I was sure that it contained a good portion of rye. And so I used a quieter time in the bakery to confirm my assumption.
Finding rye in a sweet bread is nothing that surprises me any longer as I learned about so many traditional sweet breads baked that way. And it makes sense so much: Rye growth even in regions which are not suitable for wheat. So rye was always a grain used for many peasant breads. Wheat bread was something baked only for holidays. And even sweet breads with rye was something most families ate only on Sunday.
My interpretation of the recipe takes into account what I learned about bread baking in the 19. century: It uses sourdough but as well yeast. Back in time, the yeast was bought often at breweries and used for the “finer” breads like raisin bread.The sweetness stems from raisins alone as sugar was scarce back then. And that is really sweet enough. The bread is delicious, especially with some butter and honey.
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!
And sometimes a new recipe starts like this:
When filling the dried potato flour into a container I was left with a leftover that would not fit in. So what to do?
I opted for putting it in my dough bowl and started to build a recipe around it. As it was already late that evening, it was clear that I would do my favourite variant of rolls: Overnight rolls.
As I’m still testing coconut oil in baking, I used it here, too. But if you prefer butter, replacing the coconut oil with butter is possible, too!
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.
Honey is a stable in our pantry. There is no weekend breakfast without honey for me. Luckily we have some beekeepers in the family, so we are always well provided. Honey is although a delicious part of Christmas Baking, as for Turrón or Pepperkakror. And so I was hooked when I stumbled over a recipe of soft ginger bread in an old christmas cookbook.
and because I read a lot of using rye flour in such cakes lately I decided to modify it a bit and add some rye to the recipe. I tweaked the amount of liquids and spices as well a bit and was then very pleased with the outcome: The ginger bread is soft and fluffy and so delicious that is has to be hidden to survive until Christmas!
No, I will not start complaining about the rain. I am honestly glad about the constant pouring as the hot and dry summer and autumn left nature thirsting for water. But my foodblogger heart is still grumbles a little bit about the dull light we have. It is rather bad for taking pictures. But that’s what high Iso and the golden side of my reflector is for, isn’t it?
And when it’s raining cats and dogs it is the perfect weather for baking bread. And so I spent the last sunday with baking another regional bread. The Kassler Bread (or short Kassler) stems – as its name suggest – from the city Kassel, but is nowadays baked often in the Rhineland, too. It contains about 30% Rye and 70% Wheat flour and it’s a kind of bread I call lovingly “everyday bread”. It is flavourful and goes well with every kind of topping: from honey to cheese, everything fits with this kind of bread.
The “Bergische Land” is a hilly region next to cologne. Its name stems from the former Duchy of Berg and not from the hilly (which means “bergig” in German) landscape. It was for a long time a poor region as the ground is stony and loamy. Most farmers grew rye which can better cope such conditions.
And if you look for recipes which are from this regions you will inevitable find mainly rye breads. But for special occasions a whet bread was baked. It is called Nullbruut.
The origin of this bread stems either from the flour or because of its form. The Rheinische Wörterbuch explains that “dubbel genullt” means a flour is extra finely milled and such is the flour need for this bread. But “null” is also an old word for “parting (hair or landscape)” and could refer to the fact that the bread is slashed lengthwise prior to baking.