Monday, January 23, 2012


Hier geht's zur deutschen Version dieses Posts

My first "Equal Opportunity Bread" (see my last post) had to be a batch of rolls. I like having a supply of rolls in my freezer, when we come home from a trip, and want a bread that thaws less sluggish than a large loaf.

So I grabbed one of my most favorite baking books - hey, who said I couldn't include my favorites in my fair baking? - "Brot aus Südtirol". Richard Ploner's breads are all small, mini breads, or rolls. The (professional baker's) reasoning: "They should all have the same size in a mixed bread basket".

This baking book has everything going for it, interesting recipes and appetizing photos. Unfortunately, it has not been translated into English, yet. Because of this sad omission I am happy to be able to translate at least some of its wonderful recipes for English speaking bakers.

The one thing I always change - apart for an adaptation of the ingredients to what is available in the US - are the very short fermentation times. Ploner doesn't retard his doughs, but I do, using either pre-doughs or the Stretch-and-Fold technique (S + F) and I am sure that even these nice breads benefit from it.

The original recipe lists sugar caramel color (15 g) - I didn't have it and didn't see a real need for it, either. Richard Ploner lets you choose between toasted soy flakes and pumpkin seeds - for me a no-brainer, since I love toasted pumpkin seeds, and buy them in bulk. The sesame seeds I toasted, too, to enhance their "nuttiness".


    6 g instant yeast (or 9 g active dry)
280 g water, lukewarm
300 g all-purpose flour
100 g medium rye flour
100 g whole wheat flour
    5 g malted barley flour (non diastatic) (1 1/2 tsp)
    5 g sugar (1 tsp.)
    6 g sesame seeds, toasted (2 tsp.)
  50 g pumpkin seeds, toasted, chopped
    3 g caraway (1 tsp.)
  10 g salt

DAY 1:
1. Dissolve instant yeast in warm water. (Though this is not strictly necessary, it helps with the stretch-and-fold technique.) Mix with other dough ingredients to form a rough ball, 1 - 2 minutes on low speed (or with a wooden spoon). Let dough rest for 5 minutes.

2. Knead on medium-low speed (or by hand) for 2 minutes, adjusting tablespoon-wise with more water, if needed (dough should be a bit sticky). Continue kneading for 4 more minutes, the last 20 seconds at medium-high speed (dough should still be more sticky than tacky).

3. Transfer dough to a lightly oiled work bench, and, with wet or oiled hands, stretch and pat into a rough square, then fold it in thirds like a business letter. Fold it the same way again from the short sides. Tuck sides under dough to shape a ball, and place dough package in oiled bowl, seam side down. Cover, and let rest for 10 minutes.

4. Repeat S & F for 3 more times at 10 minute intervals (total time 40 minutes). After the last fold, place into oiled container, cover, and refrigerate overnight.

DAY 2:
5. Remove dough from refrigerator, it should have doubled in size.

6. Preheat oven to 428ºF/220ºC, including steam pan. Divide dough into 10 equal pieces. Pre-shape into rounds. Cover and let relax for 5 minutes.

7. With both hands, roll rounds into 10-cm/4" long strands, with tapered ends. Place, seam side down, on parchment lined baking sheet. Score lengthwise. Mist with oil spray, cover with plastic foil, and let rolls rise for 45 - 60 minutes, or until they have grown ca. 1 1/2 times their original size.

8. Bake rolls for 12 minutes, steaming with 1 cup of boiling water. Remove steam pan and rotate rolls 180 degrees for even browning. Continue baking for another 13 minutes, until they are golden brown. Leave rolls in switched-off oven with door slightly ajar for 5 more minutes, then let them cool on a wire rack.

Submitted to Yeast Spotting.


Hier geht's zur deutschen Version dieses Posts

Like some teachers have their "pets", I have some favorite baking books that I always turn to when I'm looking for new recipes.

 These books have old envelopes, supermarket receipts, movie tickets, and other odd papers stuck between pages as markers, my own volume/weight conversions (or corrections), and lots of scribbled comments.

And, they are also graded with stars, enthusiastic exclamation marks, or a scathing: "Not that great!"

Then there are The Others, bought or received as presents, that, for some reasons, never captured my attention.

Either because they have no appetizing photos, their layout is too dull, their write-up too boring (yes, I am that shallow!), or I just forgot all about them.

They end up in a dark corner of my bookshelf, forsaken and forlorn, probably hiding treasures that no one will ever know in the Anderson house - and NOBODY CARES!

This shameful negligence has to come to an end - these books are people, too! They, too, deserve a chance to be looked at, taken seriously, and, maybe, supply the next candidate for Karin's Bread Hall of Fame.

So my New Year's Resolution is this Equal Opportunity Pledge -  fair treatment of all my baking books, every one shall have a chance, no more "pet baking", but equal opportunity for all those disadvantaged recipe collections, that never saw the light of my kitchen!


Malzbrot - Malt Rye Rolls (Richard Ploner:"Brot aus Südtirol")

Saatenbrot - German Many Seed Bread ("Die besten Rezepte aus der Allgemeinen Bäckerzeitung")


Müslibrötchen - Muesli Rolls (Erika Casparek Türkkan et al.:"Brot und Kleingebäck"

Beer Rye Bread (Bill Middeke:"Baking with the St. Paul Bread Club") 

Country Bread (Jeffrey Hamelman: "Bread")

PENDING: Arkatena Bread (Andrew Whitley: "Bread Matters")
PENDING: French Walnut Bread - Pain au Levain Complet aux Noix (Daniel Leader: "Local Breads")

 PENDING: Camembert-Trauben-Brot - Camembert Grape Bread (Bernd Armbrust: "Brot")

PENDING: Mandel-Vollkorn-Brot - Wheat Almond Bread (Cornelia Zingerling:"Brot backen")

PENDING: Pain au Levain de Sarrasin (Niels Schöner: "Notes From a Floury German Kitchen")

Jan Hedh: Cosa Nostra Bread ("Swedish Breads and Pastry") 
Peter Reinhart: Croissants ("Artisan Bread Every Day")
Fany Gerson: Conchas Blancas ("My Sweet Mexico")
Dan Lepard: Red Wine Loaf with Pine Nuts and Figs ("The Art of The Handmade Bread")
Bauernbrot - Farmers' Loaf ("Brotrezepte aus ländlichen Backstuben")
Vollkorntoastbrot mit Leinsamen - Whole Grain Toast Bread with Flaxseed ("Brot backen - Köstliche Rezepte aus der guten alten Zeit")
E. and J. Wood: Cranberry-Nut Sourdough ("Classic Sourdoughs")
Ute-Marion Wilkesmann: Allerweltsbrötchen - Ordinary Rolls ("Brötchen statt Brot")
Chad Robertson: Basic Country Bread with Sesame ("Tartine")
Rose Levy Beranbaum: Golden Semolina Torpedo - Altamura ("The Bread Bible")
Richard Bertinet: Breton Bread ("Crust")
J. Alford and N. Duguid: Ethiopian Spice Bread ("Flatbreads and Flavors")
R. Topp and A. Riffert: Heilkräuterbrot - Healing Herb Bread ("Vollkornbäckerei zu Hause")

So far, so good. There might be more..... 

Friday, January 13, 2012


Hier geht's zur deutschen Version dieses Posts

Americans like their pancakes big and fluffy, with butter not only in the batter, but, also on top of them. I grew up with thin, crispy German Pfannkuchen, and can't get used to thick, doughy ones.

Though pancakes are, in my opinion, the wrong place to go low fat, I prefer the butter in the skillet, for crisp baking, not melting on top of my pancakes.

The sugary sweet sirup, poured over the stack, was another novelty for me, Germans sprinkle their pancakes with cinnamon sugar, and serve them with fruit compote..

Since the best of all husbands and I love pancakes for brunch, we found a good compromise. 

My Omi was a very good cook
Either I follow my grandmother's Pomeranian recipe, or Richard mixes the contents of some packages, throws an egg in, and dilutes it to Pfannkuchen consistency.

Meanwhile, I grew fond of maple syrup, but I need some tangy fruit sauce to balance its sweetness.

Omi's recipe can serve as base for sweet and savory pancakes.

 I changed it a little bit, adding vanilla extract and substituting some of the white flour with whole wheat, but otherwise it remains:

(2 - 4 servings, depending on your appetite)

100 g all-purpose flour
 25 g whole wheat pastry flour (or more AP)
 2 eggs, separated
125 g buttermilk
1/8 tsp. baking powder*)
1 pinch salt
1 tsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
sparkling water, for adjustments

berries, banana or apple pieces (optional)
almond slices or chopped nuts (optional)
butter, for baking

How to make:
In large bowl, mix flour, baking powder, egg yolks, buttermilk, salt, sugar and vanilla extract until well blended. Adjust with sparkling water, until mixture is fairly thin, like crêpe batter. Fold in add-ins.

In separate bowl, whisk egg whites until soft peaks form. Fold into flour mixture.

Whipped white makes the pancakes light

Heat heavy skillet over medium heat. Melt 1 tbsp. butter, and, with a ladle or large spoon, pour batter for 1 large or 3 small pancakes into pan. When edges start to brown, after 2-3 minutes, flip pancakes over (adding more butter to pan if necessary,) and bake until they are golden brown. Place on warmed plate and keep warm.

Repeat, until all batter is used. Serve with maple syrup, or sprinkle with sugar. We like them with blueberry or other fruit compote.

Savory Pancakes:
Substitute 1 tbsp. grated Parmesan for the sugar and vanilla extract. Fold in cubed ham, grated cheese, chopped fresh herbs or other savory add-ins.

*)My grandmother didn't use any baking powder - the whipped egg whites and the sparkling water can do the (not so) heavy lifting quite well. If you leave it out, let the batter rest for 30 minutes, before folding in the egg whites.

(Post re-written and updated 2/26/14)