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?
The Einback (sometimes called Zeilenweck or Micken, too) is a slightly sweet milk roll with fluffy crumb and soft crust. They got their special form form placing the rolls so near to each other they touch during baking.
I had them on my list of regional breads already for some time. I was fascinated by the fact, that they are only a interstage product of the Zwieback production. But the fluffy rolls gained more and more popularity on their own and at some point “Einback” became a synonym for “fluffy milk roll”.
When I bake the rolls, I decided to try them as Einback as well as Zwieback and I like both very much. The Einback is soft and fluffy and flavourful due to preferment and water roux, the zwieback is crunchy and sligthly sweet. I can’t decided which variant I like most…
The second recipe I got from my parents neighbour which needed a bit of work over was a recipe for whole grain rolls with milk and a good portion of butter. I liked the idea of this rolls instantly.
I added poolish for more flavour and a water roux to make the dough more easy to handle. The other adjustment I made was concerning kneading and fermenting time. Kneading the dough until full gluten development is an important point here as a well developed dough keeps water much better. And as I told already last week, it is important that a whole grain dough gets enough time to soak up the liquid, too. This helps to improve the crumb as well as the shelf life. And in combination these all leads to a dough which is firm enough to get stemped with a roll stemp.
Beside of this I finetuned the recipe a bit, reducing the amount of yeast (once more) and adding an egg as lecithin source. This helps to create a fluffy roll with good volume and fine flavour. The buttery notes pair up very well with the nutty yet slightly bitter flavour of whole grain. These are rolls with potential for favourite rolls.
Goldknödel, the Transylvanian variant of monkey bread, is a all-time family favourite in the extended family. But as we have a genetic deposition for fructose intolerance some family members have to have a close look on their fructose intake. And as my favourite cousin asked for a low fructose Goldknödel for her birthday a work-over was necessary.
The main point was exchanging sugar (saccharose) with glucose. And as I made the experience before that to much glucose will dry the dough, I added a water roux to keep the dough fluffy soft and moist. As my cousin can eat some nuts, I halved the normal amount. Adding some tonka bean helps to replace the missing nut flavour.
And with this few changes on the recipe it results in a cake that tastes nearly indistinguishable with the “normal” variant. If you can not tolerate nuts at all, I would replace it with a teaspoon of cinnamon. That gives the cake a different flavour, but tastes good too.
Since my childhood I love to eat sweet “Hörnchen” for breakfast. But when I try to let the buttery buns rise over night in the fridge I run into a problem. Putting a dough with a high butter content in the fridge makes the butter solid. The solid butter inhibit the prober rise of the dough and this leads to a reduced volume.
Changing butter to a mild sunflower seed oil helped a lot. Similar to the Burger buns I baked two weeks ago, this recipe works with a relative high amount of oil, which makes the crumb soft and fluffy. The taste is different from my standard recipe, missing the prominent butter flavour. But the mild taste of the oil allows the complex flavours of the preferments shine through. And so are this delicious Hörnchen a great alternative for my favourite breakfast!
Where have the past days gone?How could this happen? I missed the fourth Blog-Birthday of “Hefe und mehr”!
And I had already a half ready “Happy birthday” post with the delicious cardamom hazelnut braid! A festive bread, perfect for a birthday breakfast!
The idea to put grounded hazelnuts in a bread was lingering in my head now for quite a while and at some point I decided that using homemade nut butter was an even better idea. Using one of my challah recipes combination with some hazelnut butter and dark cacao created a dark braid with an incredible soft crumb and a well balanced taste of nuts and chocolate. The idea to add some cardamom to the dough was rather spontaneously but the taste of it harmonize perfectly with the cacao and the nuts.
I was very pleased with the braid, and to prevent myself of forgetting the blog-birthday again, I have now a reminder in my calendar on my laptop and mobile
This bread deserves a chorous of praise. Already during baking it filled the house with a seductive chocolate fragrance. And then the first bite of the freshly baked bread … it was everything a chocolate bread can be: fluffy and soft, chocolately, not to sweet, heavenly!
And when you warm a slice of bread a little bit in the toast oven and then add a thin layer of Nutella this slice of bread is a chocolate dream which comes true!
And that makes it worth all the effort you have to put in making this bread. It is – I’m sorry to say this – not a bread for beginners. The dough is very soft and so it is not so easy to handle, but who dare the adventure will be rewarded with a gorgeous bread.
Important for soft crumb is to knead the dough to full gluten development like for the very soft and fluffy sandwich bread or the pumpkin sandwich bread. This strengthen the gluten network and allows the bread to rise highly. It helps to develope an even crumb, too, an effect which is enhanced by flattening and rolling the dough twice during forming the bread.
The second kind of bread I bake for our BBQ-Party was Burger Buns for the grilled Burger we planed to make.
To tweak my recipe I baked them now a couple of times and are very pleased with the recipe. An important point to archive a fluffy, regular crumb is to knead the dough long enough to ensure that the gluten network is fully developed. The crumb will be very soft and pillowy then. The crust is soft, too, like a perfect burger bun, but the bun has much more substance then the buns you can buy in the supermarket.
The slow and long overnight proofing create a complex aroma and prevent the crust of the buns from cracking open uncontrolled. They gain colour fastly due to the egg and sugar in the dough, so it’s better to keep an eye on them while they are baking.
Since some years I always thinking during Eastern, that it would be nice to bake an Easter Pinze. Until now, I never did it, but this year it seems to be the perfect time. After a quick search in the internet showed me that there are two different recipe variation. One is made with anise wine, the other one with grated lemon or orange peel. I would never allow anise seeds into my kitchen, not to mention to bake with them… So it was an easy decison.
As basis for my recipe I started with Petras Recipe, but added a sourdough and a milk roux and changed the rest of the recipe accordingly.
When I take the bread out of the oven, it smells already very good, after fresh lemons. And its taste is great, too. Lemon with the tiny bit of tanginess from the sourdough make the bread taste like the fresh air in spring.
Sunday morning, sunshine instead of the precasted rain, a cup of coffee and a crispy butter crescent – is there a better way to start the day?
I tested a new variation of my overnight recipes – Yoghurt-Butter-Crescents. After the Croissant bread it was time to laminate another batch of dough.
When I prepare the dough I decided to use some of the yoghurt I found in the fridge together with a milk roux as liquid component for the dough. I kept the yeast amount small to enable proofing overnight and this low amount of yeast made laminating easier, too, because the dough nearly did not rise during the laminating.
The yoghurt gave the crescent a slightly tart aroma and the long proofing make the taste more complex. The Crescents are light and crispy after baking and the honey comb structure of the crumb is not bad but still away from perfection. But this are the best croissants I ever bake so I am still happy with them!