As soon as the temperature drops I start longing for hearty whole grain breads. Blackbread would satisfy all my cravings but I have troubles with the amount of rye. It can cause me stomach ache and so I thought about another alternative. For the monthly bread baking day in the wood fired oven I came up with two nutty spelt breads. One was made with white flour (Recipe will follow), the other is made with cracked spelt and mixture of walnuts, hazelnuts and cranberries. As the cracked spelt is soaked overnight, it helps to keep the bread perfectly moist. For the right flavour I used molasses and some spelt sourdough which balanced each other perfectly. Kneading is done in intervals to protect the fragile gluten of spelt and einkorn. This works like a charm and at the end I had a soft but good to handle dough. Continue reading
And the next recipe is again a recipe which circled for a long time in my mind before I would write it down. But as soon as I had penned it to paper I was itchy to try it. But with sometime circumstances slowing me down. This time it was first the bread baking course I gave and then the monthly bread baking day in the old wood fired community oven in our local history museum which keeps me from testing. And as I bake more then one bread in the wood fired oven my freezer was afterwards well stocked and with no free space. But…
… I found an excuse for baking the recipe anyway (visiting family or friends is always a good excuse – I can not come with empty hands, can I?).
At the moment my heart belongs once again the wide variety of rolls. Especially the square once which are just cut from a high-hydration dough are favourites. And so it would be sad if this recipe would get lost in the whirlwind of inspirations in the last weeks. I baked this spelt squares already some weeks ago, their were part of our easter brunch as I felt that we would need some whole grainy beside pretzel rolls, cheese rolls, bakers rolls and my beloved Kieler Semmeln. And so I took the same matrix that worked so well for the Luftikus and this whole grain rolls: A long rise and a high hydration.
This time I used the combination of poolish, yoghurt and a long rise to give a complex flavour to the rolls, while the physiilum seed hulls helps to make the highly hydrated dough easy to handle. The Oat bran in which the crust is covered adds a crunchy effect to the crust and helps to achieve a fairly crispy crust which is not so easy for psyllium grain rolls.
Just a few days after I read about Björn’s wood fired oven adventures I stumbled about an older newspaper telling about the oven in the local history museum just 20 km from my home. Each second Saturday of the month the oven is heated and everyone is invited to come and bake their bread – just like it was done traditionally in the old communal ovens. Reading that I got very excited and wrote an email instantly, asking if they still do this as the newspaper was already a bit older.
I got a fast answer and the invitation to join the bakers group the following Saturday as the oven is still used regulary! And so, I must warn you at this point: this post is longer and with more photos than normal because I had a wonderful time in the museum!
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!
This Sandwich bread is a readers wish. But I needed two rounds, until I was really satisfied. In the first Variant I had a boiled soaker with whole spelt flour and seeds, but this added to much liquid to the dough. This resulted in a very instable crumb. The recipe needed adjustments!
The bread (in both tries) is a pure spelt flour with 30 percent whole grain flour and amixture of flax seeds, sesame and sun flower seeds for an extra nuttiness. The preferment is a biga made from whole spelt flour. This has many advantages: the whole grain flour has enough time to soak up the liquid, a biga helps to strength the gluten network and it adds complex flavour nuances, too. As every sandwich bread this bread needs a fully developed gluten network, and spelt is a sensible. So it is needed to keep a close eye on the dough to find the perfect spot.
At the rerun of the recipe I used a bit mashed potato for fluffiness and a soaker with an only moderate amount of water. This makes the dough recognizable firmer, the dough is easier to handle and the fluffy crumb gets enough stability. So what was my lecture of this day? Sometimes less (water) is more!
It makes me always happy to get my hands into flour and I enjoy it very much when I have the opportunity to bake more then one kind of bread. This weekend I baked busily as I wanted to have a selection of bread for the “Schwarzmarkt” – the non-commercial food swap market which took place today. I prepared breads with different seeds, breads with oats and whole grain breads.
The whole grain bread is moist as I added some butter and a hot soaker to the dough. And a long, cold proof and the whole grain variant of my sweet starter build a complex flavour and the oven spring is very good and the slashes opend in a nice way. To archive slashes which open nicely and form nice “ears”, these things has proved themselves: a sharp nice (of course), cutting in a shallow angle and a slash in slight crescent shape.
Oliver asked in December if I had a recipe for a aromatic bread with 90% rye. The orignal bread named “Irländer” is a whole grain bread baked with sourdough only and is originated in Mannheim. As I easily get stomach problems when eating to much rye, I always need someone to share a rye bread with. And so it took some time until a weekend I know that I would see my parents and my sister. Shared with three, the amount of rye bread left for me is perfectly 🙂
This bread has a moist crump and stays fresh for a long time. A so called “aroma stück” and sourdough makes the bread aromatic and the “aroma stück” buffers the acid peaks of the sourdough very well. A very harmonic bread.
I had a nice email exchange with a reader some time ago. She just had started her own sourdough starter and had some questions about it. One was how to replace the bought dried sourdough with her own one. She mailed me the recipe and I adjust it so that it is sole leavend by sourdough. To ensure that the sourdough is strong enough, it is fed twice. I although added a soaker for seeds, to ensure they can take up enough water. As I changed much of the handling as well, add the end there are just the same ingredients but a complete different recipe. But it is worth while as it yields an aromatic, moist bread with a well balanced mild soudough flavour.
As the bread is bake as two loaves set next to each other it is a great bread to be shared with friends. A Bread where one half looks like a twin of the other half. A real ”twin bread”!
Tired, but happy I look back on the last week. Tired because I came back very late Sunday night just to leave again on early monday to morning to a mass spectrometry training in Frankfurt. Luckily there was not as much snow as forecasted and all trains were in time. Thinking on the bread festival in Berlin makes me still smiling, as it was such a good experience. I’m very happy that I met some of my Readers there!
My short stop at home I used to freeze some bread I brought with me from our baking marathon (Spelt seelen and Wheat and rye bread). So our freezer was still well filled when I came home end of week. So there was no need for baking, but some of the starters demanded some feeding. So what to do with the left overs? As I keep part of my sweet starter on whole spelt flour at the moment I decided to bake my beloved gaufres de liège in a whole grain variant. Some Tonkabean in the dough added some slight marzipan and vanilla notes to the nutty and a bit tarter flavour of the whole spelt flour, rounding the aroma very nicely.
I enjoyed them very much together with a cup of black tea. They were a perfect treat for a relaxing weekend!