Baking Bread 10

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I haven’t been this fast before … The bread is still warm.
Mr Meike’s Kitchen is returning from a week away for work tonight and since the 3-Korn-Vollkorn-Brot, that I made at the weekend, is the only type of bread left and that is way too exotic for Mr Meike’s Kitchen, I have just made the Wiener Brot (pictured below) from Baking Bread 8 and a rustic peasant bread (pictured above). The Wiener Brot is Mr Meike’s Kitchen favourite bread and I’ve got to admit, it is nice. But for me personally it’s more of a Sunday morning treat kind of bread rather than an everyday loaf.
The recipe for the peasant bread comes from a little booklet charmingly entitled Bread & Butter. It yields two loaves with a combined weight of about 1100g.

Ingredients:
25g fresh yeast (or 1 sachet)
ca. 125ml water, lukewarm
1/2 tbsp sugar
100g plain flour

300g strong white bread flour
100g plain flour
250g rye flour
ca. 350ml water, lukewarm
1 tbsp honey
1 rounded tbsp salt

Method
First stir the yeast into about a third of the water. Mix with sugar, flour and the remaining water to a thick paste. Cover and leave in a warm place for 45 minutes.

Now add the three different flours, water, honey and salt. Knead to a smooth dough. Dust with flour and leave to rise for about an hour.
Knock the air out and leave to stand for another 10 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 250°C. Shape the dough into two loaves. Leave to prove on a baking tray, lined with baking parchment, for about 30 minutes.
Bake for 10 minutes, then reduce temperature to 175°C and bake for another 15 minutes.

I accidentally baked it with steam because the other bread is baked like that. It works too, the crust is just a little bit softer.

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And to end on a positive note: the catastrophes mentioned last time have sort of resolved themselves… Or rather, pain has become less painful and dreaded events have turned out not so bad after all. So all’s well in Meike’s Kitchen tonight! 😀

Baking Bread 9

I actually made this on Saturday but since there have been some major and minor catastrophes, I didn’t get round to writing this up any earlier. (The catastrophes include various colds up to a croup attack, horrible back pain, some nasty burns, a speech and language therapy assessment, a broken waterbed heating unit – do I need to go on?!?)
These are all the reasons, by the way, why there are no photos whatsoever. I needed bread but picking up the camera just seemed too much effort.
I made a wholemeal loaf with three different types of flour and added cereal flakes. I called it the 3-Korn-Vollkorn, literally ‘3 grain wholemeal’. Trust me, it doesn’t make any more sense in German…

Ingredients:
250g wholemeal wheat flour
250g wholemeal spelt flour
250g wholemeal rye flour
50g wholemeal cereal flakes (mine are wheat, barley, oat, rye and rice)
1 sachet dried yeast
1 tsp honey
2 tsp bread spice (see two different mixes here)
150g sourdough starter
600ml water, lukewarm

Method:
Mix the flours, flakes and spices. Add yeast, honey, sourdough and water. Mix, the knead until you get an elastic and smooth dough. Cover and leave to rise for about 45 minutes.
Dust your work surface with flour. Knock the air out of the dough and shape it into a loaf. You could now roll it in some more cereal flakes, if you wanted to. I didn’t. Leave to prove, covered on a baking sheet, for another 30 minutes.
Bake at 250°C for 25 minutes, then at 200°C for 35 minutes.

Baking Bread 8

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My baking day was actually a few days ago but ill children, my niece’s birthday and stuff just got in the way of writing it up.
I’d planned to bake two types of bread but, whilst in the process, thought it might be a good idea to add a third. So I ended up with about 3kg of bread, grand achievement of about four and a half hours of spurts of activity. Master Meike’s kitchen helped by wisely staying out of the way and Miss Meike’s Kitchen licked the bowls clean.
So what did I make? A muesli bread, a Viennese white bread for Mr Meike’s Kitchen and, the unplanned one, a spelt bread, also white but a completely different taste.

I’ve been wanting to try out the muesli bread for some time but never had the ingredients at hand but this time, I persevered and collected grains and dried fruit until I had everything together. Well, not everything, I improvised a bit too… The recipe is from the free magazine of a health food shop.
I like about this bread that every slice is different and every mouthful tastes different. You only need a bit of butter on it! I can also imagine that it’s nice toasted.

Ingredients
100g 5-grain cereal flakes (mine are oat, wheat, rice, barley and rye)
150ml milk
130ml water
1tsp honey
75g dried apricots
2-3 tbsp cranberries (I used some from a jar, the dried ones I see in the shops are always with added sugar)
25g raisins
2-3 tbsp shelled pistachios
50g cashew nuts
21g fresh yeast
50ml water, lukewarm
375g strong white flour
7g salt
1 egg (or a little milk)
cereal flakes

Method
Soak the cereal flakes (you could even use just porridge oats since it all disintegrates anyway) with the honey in the milk and water for half an hour.
Roughly chop the apricots and the nuts. (Again, you could use any combo you like – or what you’ve got available.) Mix in a bowl.
Dissolve the yeast in the water, then add with the flour and salt to the flakes. Mix until you can form a ball, more or less.
On a surface dusted with flour, pull the dough to a rectangle. Spread the fruit-nut mix evenly over one half of the dough. Fold the other half over the fruit-nut mix and knead until the fruit and nuts are evenly spread. Form a ball, cover and leave to rise in a warm place for about an hour until it has doubled in size.
Divide the dough into two equal parts and shape into loaves. Be careful to push all bits of fruit back from the surface into the dough as they will burn! (As I unfortunately had to discover…) Brush them with beaten egg or milk, then sprinkle with cereal flakes.
Cover and leave to prove for 30 minutes.
Bake in a preheated oven (220°C) for 20-25 minutes.

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Bread number 2 is a Wiener Brot, or Viennese Bread, which is a basic white yeast bread with half milk, half water for liquids and a solution of starch and water for brushing the loaf with (1 tsp starch dissolved in 1/4l water, that’s enough for loads of loaves, I keep it in the fridge and just warm it up again before using it).

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And, finally, the spontaneous spelt bread. This is a recipe out of Take a Break’s My favourite recipes. Unfortunately I ripped the page out and copied the recipe into my bread book so I can’t tell you the name of the author but it was in Issue 3 (February 2012) on page 63. I was surprised this time how white it turned out.
I’ve experimented with different proportions of normal and whole spelt flours before and I like them all. A bit of bread spice goes well with it too as do toasted seeds such as sunflower and sesame.

Ingredients
350g spelt flour
150 g plain flour
1 sachet yeast
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
ca. 50g each of toasted sesame seeds and sunflower seeds (that’s for the odd seed here and there, if you want it “seedier”, you’ll need more)
1/4 tsp bread spice (for example 2 parts each of caraway, fennel and coriander and 1 part aniseed or 1 part each of coriander, allspice and caraway – all ground, fine or coarse, up to you)*
50ml milk
250ml water
glug of olive oil

* Of course, you can leave it out completely. 1/4 tsp, however, is a very subtle taste (at least that’s what I tell myself; you can’t really taste or distinguish any flavours) or, if you like it stronger, you can put in more.

Method
Put the flours, seeds, spice and yeast (on one side), salt and sugar (on the other side) into a bowl. Measure out the liquids in one container. Pour into the dry ingredients and mix. When it has come together, turn out onto a lightly oiled surface and knead. Shape into a ball. Cover and leave to rise in a warm place for one hour.
Knock the air out and shape into a round loaf. Cover and leave to prove for 30 minutes. I usually cut it in some way – either a cross or diagonal slashes, depending on my mood…
I haven’t worked out the perfect way to bake this yet. The recipe states 40 minutes at 180°C (preheated) which is obviously pretty low for bread baking. This time my oven was at 200° when I put the bread in and I then lowered the temperature to 180°C. Next time, I might try 25 minutes at 220°C (fan), then 10-15 minutes at 200°. If it works for a wheat bloomer, I can’t see why it shouldn’t work for the spelt bread too.

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And now a look at some slices:

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