Sunday, August 10, 2014


Hier geht's zur deutschen Version dieses Posts
Before I present you with the amazing bread collection you submitted for my Knight with the Iron Hand challenge, I owe you my own creation!

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These goals I had in mind when I thought about the formula. I wanted to create a bread with grains and seeds used in German breads, preferably growing in the Baden-Württemberg region.

Though worthy of Schloss Jagsthausen's long tradition and its noble, iron-fisted ancestor, my bread should meet modern baking standards, not authentic medieval bread tradition (weevil-count >100/kg!)

Flours in my bread (from left): rye, wheat, einkorn, spelt and (top) barley

I also aimed for a bread that was not too fussy, and could be prepared either by the pastry chef of Schlosshotel Götzenburg's fabulous restaurant or outsourced to a local bakery. Therefore no holey loaf à la Tartine, and no overly complicated procedure.

Introducing a porridge to power up the hydration without making a whole grain dough too wet - this idea I happily took from Chad Robertson's "Tartine No. 3". It would work its magic in my less holey bread, too.

BreadStorm did the math for me, and this is the result:

Götzenburg Bread - a multigrain sourdough with millet porridge

This hearty loaf with a nice crust and moist crumb (or another one of the fabulous challenge breads) is exactly what we would love to find on Schlosshotel Götzenburg's breakfast buffet, when we visit next time!

Millet for a porridge to add moisture and a little crunch


Rye Starter
21 g rye mother starter 100%
40 g water
34 g whole rye flour
30 g whole spelt flour

Millet Porridge
18 g millet
37 g water

Final Dough
all porridge
all starter
243 g water
2 g instant yeast
205 g bread flour
60 g whole spelt flour
40 g barley flour
60 g einkorn flour
8 g sea salt
7 g honey

Mix starter. Cover, and leave at room temperature.

Place millet and water in small sauce pan. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for about 15 minutes, until millet is soft (add a little more water, if necessary). Set aside to cool.

Mix all dough ingredients at lowest speed (or by hand) for 1-2 minutes, until all flour is hydrated. Let dough rest for 5 minutes. Knead at medium-low speed (or by hand) for 6 minutes (dough should still be somewhat sticky).

Stretch and pat dough first into a square...
...then fold like a business letter... three parts.
Repeat the folding from right...
...and left to make a package.

Transfer dough to an oiled work surface. With oiled hands, stretch and pat into a square. Fold from top and bottom to the middle in 3 parts, like a business letter, then from both sides. Gather package into a ball and place, seam side down, into an oiled bowl.

Cover, and let rest for 10 minutes. Repeat stretching and folding 3 more times at 10-minute intervals. After the last fold, place (well covered) overnight in the fridge.

Remove dough from refrigerator 2 hours before using.

Preheat oven to 450ºF/232ºC, including baking stone and steaming device.

Transfer dough to lightly floured work surface, and shape into a boule or bâtard. Place, seam-side up, in well-floured rising basket.

Proof for 45 - 60 minutes, or until bread has grown 1 1/2 times its original size (finger poke test). Turn out on parchment lined baking sheet (or on peel to bake directly on baking stone). Score as desired (don't be too timid, cut decisively!).

Bake bread for 20 minutes, with steam. Rotate bread 180 degrees for even browning, remove steam pan, and continue baking for another 20 minutes, or until loaf is nicely browned and registers at least 200ºF/93ºC on an instant read thermometer.

Let bread cool on wire rack.

Medieval Castle Jagsthausen - nowadays Schlosshotel Götzenburg
Submitted at Yeast Spotting

Monday, August 4, 2014


My bake station

Hier geht's zur deutschen Version dieses Posts

In a recent blog event, Steph from Kleiner Kuriositätenladen asked what our kitchen looks like behind the scenes, which cook books we use, and where we do our blogging.

Inquiring minds want to know - as my husband always says - so I will just open the door for you:

Behind the Scenes vom 01.06.-30-06-2014

Since 5 years I am licensed to sell breads (and cupcakes) from my home. My kitchen was officially inspected, and I'm paying every year 20 bucks for the renewal of my Home Processor's License.

I am therefore legally:

I bake European breads for A&B Naturals, our our local natural food store - in summer twice, in winter once a week.

Since my breads are quite popular (modest blush!), it's more our less "baker's choice" what I want to make for them - as long as my rustic baguettes and Multigrain Pitas are also in the basket!

Delivery basket with baguettes, pitas and Pane Siciliano

Of course, a baker who enjoys experimenting, needs a lot of ingredients - here you can see a small part of my flours:

Backstair storage for rye, wheat, spelt & Co.

Our basement is too damp, therefore our kitchen backstairs was re-purposed for flour storage.

For larger amounts of dough I need a reliable work horse. Mine is a 20-qt Hobart, purchased from a store for used restaurant appliances. Though moaning and groaning loudly when it kneads, it handles even the stiffest multigrain doughs.

My Hobart mixer (20 quart)
When not at work or digesting, my other helpers reside in the fridge:

Sourdough family: rye, Forkish, Tartine and whole wheat starters

The inspiration for my breads I get from an ever-growing book collection, baking facebook friends,  Fresh Loaf bakers, and other bloggers. 

English-German bread baking books

And if I take a break from bread baking, I do other interesting things for a change - like baking CAKES:

No wonder that I have to fast now and then....

My mobile workplace is my Mac, I carry him up and down in the house. My recipe management programs are Paprika, and BreadStorm (especially for breads).

And sometimes a Queen (of the Night) keeps me company!

Of course I also have a desk - but there I'm not that often - it's occupied by somebody else - Toby!

Mess or creative chaos?

Flour on the table, pitas on the rise, freshly baked breads in the background, mixing bowls on the dishwasher, and I'm spraying baguette pans with oil - a typical baking day.

My kitchen is my working and living room!

My kitchen is my working and living room. Here I bake for my customers the (immensely popular) Sunflower Ryes, for example:

Sunflower Rye - one of my most popular sourdough breads

and for my family Strawberry-Rhubarb-Pie, always faithful to my credo: "Life is uncertain - eat the Dessert first!"

FB-friend and food journalist Kim Ode's Strawberry-Rhubarb-Pie