It is already middle of January, but I still have two Recipes from christmas waiting. The first one is the recipe for a spelt panettone. Baking panettone or pandoro on the 23. December is already a kind of tradtion here at “Hefe und mehr”. In the weeks before, I take intensivly care of my sweet starter to make it especially fit for the task.
As baking Panettone is already nearly a no brainer. And so I was looking for a new challange. Switching from wheat to spelt is definitly more challenging, as kneading the sensitive spelt to full gluten development needs experience. And it is a good idea to check which sort of spelt you use. Different spelt sorts behave differently as their gluten composition differs. For Example if you use Oberkulmer Rotkorn you need to shorten the kneading time compare to Franckenkorn, which I used here. But with these in mind, baking panettone with spelt works very well. Just keep a close eye on the gluten development.
I love to bake bread for Christmas. And nearly every Christmas I included one loaf with nuts, as nuts are an essential treat on Christmas for me. So, the 2018 Edition of Christmas Bread is made with walnuts, spelt and emmer. It has a crisp crust and soft and fluffy crumb, perfect to go along any Christmas delicious.
The preferments are inspired by a look in the fridge: a bit of left over Pâte Fermentée and a Sweet starter that needed a feeding. They add complex aroma notes to the dough which is nicely underlined by the flavour of buttermilk and nutty tone from the Spelt and Emmer.
And with this recipe, my dear reader, I start my christmas break here in the blog. For new years eve I will be back for the traditional “Best of 2018” post. I whish you merry and peaceful Christmas Days!
Slowly I find back into my everyday life after summer holidays. And summer seemed to be endless this year. I can’t remember when we had such a long period of hot and dry weather. But now, beginning of september, I feel that autumn is shyly knocking on our door. On my daily way to work I can see how mist is now filling the valleys around me. These are mornings which wake the memory of my favourite poem from Eduward Mörike.
A memory of the fading summer is this recipe for three grain rolls. Made with einkorn, rye and wheat flour the rolls have a delicious nutty flavour. A bit of potaote flakes helps to keep the crumb moist and tender. They are nourishing rolls packed with flavour and a good portion of whole grain flour. And so they were the perfect snack on our long summer trip to the Normandy.
Chocolate is always a good idea. And already since childhood I’m in love with the “Schokoladen-Weckchen” (Sweet chocolate rolls) which the baker in my home town baked. And during the sorting of my baking suppleys I found chocolate drops, which I original bought for baking cookies. But when I saw them, I coudn’t get this rolls from my mind. And so I decided to recreate the treat of childhood days!
As there was a bit of cream left in the fridge, I decided to base the dough loosley on the recipe of my favourite Sunday braid, but with some rye flour to enhance their tenderness and shelf life. This is a lesson I learned from several traditional recipes for sweet bread.
Sometime it is good to have a delicious recipe at hand, which works well for those, who are not eating milk, eggs or wheat. For me, it is important that these recipes do not taste like “replacements” but are delicious stand-alone recipes.
The Spelt Potato Braid is one of this recipes. The dough is made without milk or eggs and if you replace the egg for glacing with the optional shiny glazing mix the recipe is vegan. The potato keeps the dough moist and tender, and a good portion of almond butter supplies the dough with an extra portion of fat and adds flavour. The almond flavour can be further enhanced when some grounded tonka bean is added to the dough, too.
And so, the braid is delicious and full of flavour: a braid with tendency to be a new favourite!
I already baked Pizza in a lot of variants. And as I like to test new recipes, today I present you a variant with firm dough and sweet starter.
The use of an rather firm dough has – especially when you bake in a wood fired oven – the advantage of easy handling. To archive a bubbly crust requires a well proofed preshaped doug. As I learned from a pizzaiolo the dough balls are in perfect condition, if you turn them and there is a lot of small and middle sized bubbles at their bottom. Big bubbles aka “holes” are not so good as they tend to make the dough base uneven. Forming the dough base is very easy if the dough balls are well proofed, too, because the gluten network is relaxed at this point.
Due to the sweet starter and a long cold fermentation in the fridge, the flavour is complex with subtle notes of lactic acid. It adds a deepness to the pizza flavour which makes it to a favourite of mine!
January was extraordinary dark this year. I miss the sun and feel that without I lack creativity. Yesterday, finally, we had a sunny day and so we spent a day outside. Coming home my mind happily mingled different ideas I had recently to bake a whole grain brioche.
As adding some rose hip powered helped me to archive a better gluten structure in this bread I decided to test its power in a whole spelt variant of brioche. With some sweet starter for flavour and some finely grated orange peel to break the slight bitterness of whole grain, I kneaded a dough containing a good amount of egg and butter. Kneading a brioche dough is always thrilling. As soon as the butter is added to the mixture, it turns in a sloppy mess. This happens with wheat brioche dough as well, so do not panic. Just keep kneading. The dough needs time until it starts to come together once again, but it will. As spelt sensitive to overkneading, it is advisable to keep an eye on gluten development . Nevertheless aim for full gluten development. Then you will be rewarded with a delightful brioche with a tender crumb. The flavour is rich and buttery, with delicious orange notes. For me, it is an enrichment of my Sunday morning breakfast, especially in combination with my favourite orange jam!
We spent a relaxed New years eve with some dear friends and I promised to bring bread. As always, I like to bring a wide variety and so I decided for caraway seed bread, wheat and rye bread, and my favourite spelt, nut and fruit bread. As addition I liked to have small rolls, similar to the little rolls my mum sometimes bought when I was little. They were called bread confection and where turned in a mixture of cheese and different seeds.
For my own variant I decided to go for a classic roll dough with some active malt and sweet starter for flavour. And as I did not planned to spent a lot of time with weighting 32 to mini dough portions I divided the dough into four equal parts and rolled them into strands. Each strand was then cut into eight equal sized parts and each piece then turned in the cheese mixture. That went very well and easy.
The resulting rolls turned out even better then I hoped. They gained a good volume due to the malt and a bit of egg yolk as lecithin source while the sweet starter gave them a good flavour. Just as a good roll should be!
I love the Italian Christmas cakes Pandoro and Panettone. And as my sweet Starter is happily active it was no question that I would bake one of this cakes for Christmas eve. And when i found the lovely mini panettone forms for little cakes of 50g each the decision was quickly made. Panettone it would be this year.
My recipe for panettone yields an amount that fits for 3 normal sized cakes or for 30 mini ones. But forming so many minis was a bit to much, even for me and so I went for 2 big and 10 mini Panettone.
I tweaked the recipe a bit, too. I increased the liquid and butter amount but reduced the raisins a bit. The resulting cake was incredible light with a crumb that can easily be shredded into long strands and so tender that it seems to melt in the mouth.
My cold is still persistent but we started to fight the bacteria with antibiotic while I still stay on the sofa. In the meanwhile we eat us through the bread stored in the freezer. That has its advantages: as soon as I’m fit I can bake up a little storm!
And I am not only working my way through the freezer but I am looking through the unpublished posts as well. And there are still some jewels hidden in the dark. Jewels like this Vesper-Wecken. Why I did not publish this recipe before I can not tell anymore. Maybe it got lost during the hectic days before summer vacations. But the rolls were delicious and so it would be sad to lose the recipe.
Their great flavour stems from the sweet starter as sole leavening agent. The key here is the cold overnight rest as it helps to create a deep complex aroma notes with only a minimal acidity. And this makes the rolls perfect for lunch or dinner!