Already with the first recipe for my new “work day breads” there was the wish for recipes with some sourdough. Using a sourdough with a long, cold fermentation can cause problems with both the increasing acidity and the increasing enzyme activity. This can result in a weaker gluten network and a bread with less volume but with very chewy crumb.
There are two strategies to cope with this. The first one is using only a small amount of a very active sourdough. The second one is bowling the sourdough to inactivate microorganisms and enzymes. At the same time the starch gelatinise and binds water, which helps to enhance shelf life of the bread. This second strategy I choose for the summer evening bread.
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 weekend, a reader asked if I had an idea for baking a bread on a busy week night. She had a clear idea of what ingredients she would like in her bread: white flour plus a tiny bit of whole grain mixed with a lot of seeds. And I had a very clear idea on how to make a bread out of this.
As the she needed a bread which ferments over a whole night and day, I decided to make a straight dough. The long fermentation yields enough flavour. And I decided to add the seeds without soaking, too. But before anyone is now worried about the bread going dry: I added enough water for the seeds to soak during fermenting without withdrawing to much from the dough.
I used the recipe directly on this very busy weekend. Normally I would postpone baking to a calmer day, but so it worked like a charm. A great bread for busy days!
They may not the most beautiful rolls in the world, but with the thin, crisp crust, the moist open crumb and their complex flavour they won my heart instantly. These rolls are called Kimmicher. Kimmich is the Swabian term for caraway seeds. The rolls are similar made as the famous “Eingenetzte”. The dough is proofed for a long time and then formed with water and transfered to the oven in a small bowl.
The recipe is once again a regional one and can be found in the Swabian City Reutlingen. It is a traditional recipe, something that is already claimed in an old Diamalt book which dates back in 1938. The dough is very wet and has to proof very long at low temperature. That is what is written in the old book, anyway. As the description is vague, and there are on ingredients listed at all, I had to trust myself when I recreated the recipe of the Kimmicher.
Some times we need some one who point out the obvious. When a reader asked for a recipe for pita bread I wondered why I had not thought about it before.
And so I looked at many recipes and an idea was forming in my mind. When I had my recipe sketched out, I saw that Sara from Sara bakar did published a Pita recipe, too. And so I took some good advices from her: making small sized Pita bread is one of them, the other is the idea to turn the bread after proofing before baking.
Watching the bread in the oven was then my most beloved oven tv. In just one minute the bread puffed up. It was so fascinating. And while the bread cooled down, I prepared some Falafel and had a delicious lunch a short while later!
Tin Breads are so convenient when baking in a kitchen that isn’t yours . No need for a bread baking stone, no need for a lot of fuss. And so I baked an old fashioned white tin bread. In Germany it is called “Kasten-Weißbrot” and is a bread with a lot of tradition. So it fits in my post series of traditional breads.
The bread is baked with a young sourdough to keep the amout of acid low to prevent a gummy crumb. For a young sourdough you need a very active starter so the sourdough can double or triple its volume in the short time. To enhance the fluffy crumb I added a bit of powdered rose hip which is a natural source of vitamin c. The rest of the dough is a quite simple white bread dough with a tiny bit of butter for a tender crumb. A bit of enzyme active malt helps to create a crisp crust.
It is a simple but so delicious bread. It tastes great with cheese or with peanutbutter and honey! Continue reading
In Germany you can finde a lot of different kinds of pretzels. There is the lye pretzel, of course. But there are all kinds of “white” (aka not treated with lye) pretzels as well. There are sweet ones like the Martinsbrezel, the Burger Brezel and the Neujahrsbrezel, but there are hearty pretzels like the Anisbrezn as well.
Todays white pretzels stems from the little town called Biberach. It is said that once upon time there was a lazy baker’s apprentice who forgot to prepare the lye. His Master Baker was very angry about his forgetfulness and tossed the pretzels in a pot with boiling salt water. And that turned out to be a brilliant idea. The so treated pretzels tasted deliciously and so these pretzels are baked during lent until today. Sounds like a real “happy ever after”, doesn’t it?
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!
I am always fascinated how one recipe can lead me to the next (and the next…). Like when I was researching for the Rheinische Neujährchen, which leaded me to the Variant from the Westerwald. And then a reader commented about a tradition from reutlingen called Mutschel day. This day is the first thursday after Three Kings Day and at this day the people in Reutlingen a playing dice games in order to win a mutschel.
The mutschel is a highly decoreated bread made from a very rich dough. The bread has a eight pointed star shape with a bump in the middle. The shape is much easier to form then I first thought as the dough ball just has to be cut like a “#” and the sides then has to be pulled away and shape into pointy tips. I made pictures form the process but used a tinier variant of the mutschel as it was much easier taking pictures from it then from the big one.