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!
Inspiration is a strange thing. In case of this whole grain bagel it came to me in form of an advertisement “to-go products” at the side of an supermarket. “Bagels” I told my beloved one while musings “are a good idea”. Back home I stumbled across a back of whole spelt flour and the different ideas melted together to one recipe.
As I baked them not in my own kitchen, I simplified the recipe as much as possible: hand kneaded dough and a long resting period in the fridge make sure, that they can be baked with no fancy equipment or preferment at hand.A spoonful sourdough can help to further improve flavour, but it is not mandatory. As the whole grain flour needs more water then white flour, the recipe has a higher hydration then the normal bagel recipe. Together with the overnight fermentation in the fridge this ensures that the bran can soak up all water needed. This helps to keep the crumb chewy and to enhance the bagel shelf life. But anyway – after two days all of the bagels were already eaten as they tasted so good…
For a family BBQ I had opted for bringing bread (anyone surprised by this?). And as I had some left over Einkorn flour from the Ein-Korn-Rolls I baked last week, my plan was made fast: Spelt Baguette with a good amount of whole Einkorn flour.
As Einkorn has the tendency to destablize the gluten network, I decided to use some enzyme active bean flour. The enzymes of this flour start oxidative processes in the dough, which leads to a better links between gluten proteins and thus to a stronger gluten network. If you need alternatives for bean flour please take a look at this post.
To watch the oven spring was mere “oven tv” for me. I sat happily before the oven and watched its oven spring. It was such a beautiful ovenspring, that it was very hard to to wait until the breads cooled before I sliced them. But then I was very happy: the crumb is for baguette with such a weak gluten network and one third whole grain flour surprisingly open. And the flavour is complex with its deep nutty undertones from the einkorn flour.
These Crescents are a spontaneous recipe. I planed to bake some kind of rolls and so I prepared more sourdough than I needed for the Sprouted Spelt Bread the night before. But what to bake – I had no clue then.
Most of the time, I sit down and write down the draft of a recipe before I head to the kitchen. This makes not only baking more easy but helps me to finetune the recipe for publishing, too. The decisions for this rolls, anyway, where made in the kitchen by following my instincts. While proofing, I type down the recipe as fast as I could to prevent me forgetting some detail. And I’m glad I did so as I love the new rolls very much.
It was nearly 10 years ago when I stumbled over a sprouted grain bread. Susan from Wild Yeast baked it for Bread Baking Day with the theme “Bread with Sprouts”. A long, long time ago… I can still remember…
But it needed a second encounter to make me thinking about it. This second time I tasted a bread from sprouted spelt on a bread market a year ago. And this time I was hooked. But as sprouting is time consuming I took some time to start this project. But the Easter holidays were perfect for a new adventure!
Before Easter we had some young visitors. And as I doubted that a hearty whole grain bread would be their most favourite bread I baked a soft sandwich bread instead. But – and aunts can be a little mean – I still added 30 % whole grain flour to make the bread hearty and healthy enough for me to enjoy.
This bread is another step towards the whole grain spelt and emmer sandwich bread I work on already for some month. As the combination of emmer and whole grain tends to destabilize the gluten network I added everything to strengthen it: Egg as lecithin source, rose hip powered as vitamin c source and some physillium hulls to bind more water.
And the bread turned out just like a sandwich bread should be: fluffy with shreddable crumb and a crust that was crisp fresh from the oven but turns softer while cooling. And our seven and five year old guests enjoyed the bread very much. It vanished so quickly that my love complained that he got nearly nothing of this fluffy bread. But, as the first grader happily explained, this is because the bread is perfect to be eaten with tooth gaps. And then she took the last slice…
Sometimes I have “phases” in which I concentrate on a special topic while baking. At the moment it is whole grain. Maybe the very cold or dark winter is the reason why I am craving for grains, I do not know. But it is as it is and so I played a bit with the recipe I posted two weeks ago. The result is a beginner friendly bread which needs not so much planning as works without preferment. To still archive a balanced flavour I opted for a mixture of buttermilk and a tiny bit of balsamico. The amount of balsamico has to be well balanced, as to much can cause a unwelcome stingy tartness. But carefully dosed it creates a flavour with reminders of sourdough taste.
For the rest, I keep the parameters: enough time for kneading and proofing, so the whole grain flour can soak up all liquid its need. And for a little change in the palate I switched wheat with emmer flour. But if you have no emmer flour at hand, it can be baked with spelt flour all along, too.
There is no shortage for burger bun recipes here in the blog. But while I am not willing to discuss a change by the patty (it HAS to be my vegan ABC-Burgerpatty) we like a change by the bun. And when we decided spontaneously that we would like to eat Burger for Dinner, I opted to bake spelt buns this time. When I checked the blog, I realized that I published no spelt variant until now. Something I had to change instantly, of course.
As the recipe is one for baking without long planning, there is no prefermet involved. To deepen the flavour non the less, I added some sourdough from the fridge and used it refresh my sourdough all along. For keeping the moisture in the dough, I opted for physillium hulls (no need to wait for a water roux cooling). And I added a good portion of freshly milled spelt, enough for some nutty flavour but not so much that it would compromise the fluffiness of the bun. It worked well together and after four hours we were able to serve some delicious burger along with sweet potatoe fries.
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!