Step for Step I move nearer to my whole grain sandwich bread with a great amount of ancient grain. After the variant of with 30% whole emmer flour and white wheat flour worked so well, I tried this time a spelt sandwich bread with 60% whole grain. I decided to use a whole egg instead of egg yolk, as the egg white helps to stabilize the crumb. The rose hip powder adds vitamine C which enhances the gluten network. Instead of rose hip powder you can use acerola cherry juice as well. A well developed gluten network is one key to a fluffy bread with a good volume. Butter helps to keep the crump tender.
I am very happy with the result. The flavour is nutty and mild, the crumb as fluffy as a good sandwhich bread should be. The next step is adding Emmer to the mixture…
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!
There is one big christmas tradition in our Family: Cheese fondue with Grandparents, Grandaunt and –uncle, Parents, Aunts and Uncles, Siblings and Cousins and little nieces, nephews and great cousins. The recipe for the cheese fondue I published already some years back. Last year we had a little bread desaster. The bread was not only undelicous but crumbly and break rather than holding the cheese. A lot of bread got lost in the pots… And so my Mum and me volunteered (of course without any thinking) to bake baguette for all in the next year.
Over the year I did some researching and stumbled over the swiss fondue bread, something even my Swiss Grandaunt did not knew.
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!
The moment I took the Luftikusse from the oven my never resting mind started to muse about a whole grain variant. And it needed just Michas comment to sent me straight to the kitchen to try it.
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.