Spelt Sourdough Bread Rolls

This christmas, we spent at our cottage in the Oderbruch, an hour outside of Berlin. Not only were we blessed with great (though not very wintery) weather but we were finally able to stay over several nights in our new home away from home. As we now have a working kitchen I spent my christmas holidays making old-time favorites but also working on a bunch of new recipes.

One thing which has been on my mind for quite a while now, has been making my own sourdough and with that baking my own bread.

I was surprised to find out that it’s actually pretty straight forward. All you need is a fairly warm place for the sourdough to rest and grow and a lot of patience as it takes three days before you can actually start using it. As slowness is a quintessential part of how I spent my holidays (especially when I’m at the cottage) and we now have a working fireplace, the stage was set. 

How to Make Spelt Sourdough

Ingredients

  • 100g + 100g + 200g spelt flour (strong white/type 1050) 
  • 100ml + 100ml + 200ml lukewarm water 
  • an airtight container (e.g. tupperware) 
  • time ;-) 

Instructions

1. On the first day: Mix together 100g flour with 100ml lukewarm water and put the dough in an airtight container in a warm place (20-25°C). Rest for 24 hours.

2. On the second day: Again mix together 100g flour with 100ml lukewarm water and work into the existing dough. You might already see the first bubbles appearing. Rest for another 24 hours. 

3. On the third day: One last time, mix together the remaining 200g flour with 200ml lukewarm water and mix with the existing dough. Rest for a final 24 hours. 

4. On the fourth day your sourdough is ready to be used! It should be bubbly and have a sour smell to it. You can set aside 3-4 tablespoonful as a starter for your next sourdough. 

There are so so many ways you can now use your sourdough: white bread or wholegrain sourdough bread, bread rolls, pancakes, waffles, pizza crust, and the list goes on. 

Spelt Sourdough Bread Rolls

As I didn’t have any scales at our place in the country, this recipe is merely an estimate. 

Ingredients

  • 200-250 g spelt sourdough
  • 250-300 g wholegrain spelt flour 
  • 1-2 tsp dry yeast
  • 250-300 ml lukewarm water 
  • pinch of salt
  • optional: 1/2 tbsp bread spice (a pinch of fennel, caraway, anise and coriander) 
  • optional: oats, seeds and nuts for the dough or for coating

Instructions

  1. Mix together all the ingredients until you get a smooth dough. Either with your hands or using the dough hook of an electric mixer kneed your dough for at least 2 - 3 minutes. The dough will be pretty sticky. 
  2. Cover with a clean cloth and let the dough rest in a warm place for about an hour. 
  3. Transfer the dough onto a floured surface and knead once more. Use more flour if it’s too sticky to kneed with your hands. If you want to add nuts or seeds into the dough - now is the time. Now divide the dough into 6 - 8 equal parts. 
  4. Brush the rolls with some drops of water and coat with seeds or oats or nuts. Place on a lined baking tray and cover with a cloth once more. Rest for another 40min. Preheat the oven to 200°C. 
  5. Bake for 20 - 25min. until they are cross on the outside. If you tap your finger on the bottom of the rolls, they should make a hollow sound. 

Concord Grape Chia Jam

Autumn has been steeling its way into my heart the last couple of weeks. Days here in Berlin have been beautiful, sometimes foggy and misty, then sunny and those bright autumn colours - and the air, so fresh...Yes, autumn lover, can't mention it too often... 

As we now have electricity and an oven in our home in the country we get to finally spend much more time over there. A couple of weeks back I already plugged some grapes from our little wild wine orchard, but there was still so much, and it was starting to rot away.

So I decided to plug the remaining grapes that still looked edible. At first I had the idea of making grape ice cream - well.. after I googled that I had to find out - that's not possible! Sorbet yes, but I'm personally not that big a fan of sorbet..but no ice cream. Apparently grapes have some sort of substance that keeps them from freezing properly...Wondering what to do with the grapes, I concluded jam. As I'm not that fond of jam either (I'm actually not a picky eater, just those 2 things. Promise.), I came across the way you can make jam without that immense quantity of sugar usually involved by adding chia seeds. So there we go, long story cut short. My jam plan was coming into action. 

Ingredients

  • 1.8 kg concord grapes
  • 5 - 8 cloves
  • 200 g chia seeds (depends on how much liquid you get out of your grapes, I had roughly 1 l grape juice in the end)
  • 6 tbsp date syrup (or sweetener of your choice)

Instructions

1. Wash the grapes and plug them from the stems. Put them in a large saucepan. 

2. With a potato masher or with a large wooden spoon squish the grapes so the juice comes out. Add the cloves and bring to a boil. 

3. Let simmer for 10 minutes, then take off the heat and let infuse for another 20 - 30 minutes. 

4. In the meantime, put half the chia seeds in a grinder or blender and blend until you have a flour-like consistency. I used my old coffee grinder :-) 

5. Using a very fine sieve or a cloth, strain the grapes and collect the juice. 

6. In a clean saucepan heat up the grape juice once more add the date syrup. 

7. Add the chia powder and seeds and stir until everything is well combined. 

8. While the mixture is still hot, pour into clean jars. Let it cool down and soak for a couple of hours or overnight.

Enjoy on a slice of bread, or with yoghurt or use it as fillings for cakes and cookies. 

This jam doesn't keep as long as regular jams, as there is too little sugar in it to preserve the fruit. But it should keep for a week in the fridge. The upside is - jam that actually tastes like the fruit its made off. And who can resist eating it all right up anyway? :-) 

Pumpkin Cinnamon Swirl Buns

Sharing this recipe with you has been on my to-do list for a long time now. I made these for the first time around this time last year and have just been waiting for pumpkin season to come around. So when I returned from a weekend in the country with two huge pumpkins, I knew now was the time to make some pumpkin purée. 

When my friend Natalie from today is beautiful asked me if I had use for her homemade cashew icing which she had leftover from her latest baking session, everything just fell together, and the stage was set for my all-time favourite pumpkin and cinnamon swirl buns.

The fillings are obviously something that can easily be varied, and you can let your imagination run wild here. Basics are just butter and sugar, and anything else can be whatever you like, any spices or fruit. Or you could also make them savoury by making a vegetable sauce or paste. My favourite one still remains chocolate - I mean, nothing beats chocolate. However, yesterday, I was also hit with a craving for cinnamon. And because I can be a very indecisive person, I just went with both! 

Ingredients

for the dough

  • 80 ml warm milk (vegans can sub with nut milk)
  • 4 tbsp butter (or vegan butter)
  • 1.5 tsp dry instant yeast
  • 75 g brown sugar
  • 115 g pumpkin purée *
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten (vegan: sub with 1 chia or flax egg, see here)
  • 315 g flour ( I used a mix of white wheat and spelt flour)
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon 
  • pinch of ground nutmeg
  • pinch of ground cloves

* easily done: Halve and deseed a pumpkin (I used hokkaido), lightly brush with sunflower or coconut oil, place cut side down on a lined baking tray and bake for 20 - 25 minutes at 180°C until the pumpkin flesh is soft. After letting it cool down, peel off the outer skin and using a hand or stand mixer, blend the pumpkin until you get a creamy consistency without lumps (I added 1 - 2 tbsp water just to make it a little easier to blend in the beginning). 

for the chocolate filling

  • 3 tbsp butter (or vegan butter)
  • 50 g coconut blossom sugar (or brown sugar)
  • 100 g dark chocolate, grated or chips
  • pinch of sea salt

for the cinnamon-walnut filling

  • 3 tbsp butter (or vegan butter)
  • 50 g coconut blossom sugar (or brown sugar)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon 
  • 2 handful of walnuts, crumbled into small pieces
  • pinch of sea salt

for the cashew icing

  • 130 g cashews, soaked in water for at least 2 hours
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 400 g icing sugar
  • 60 ml almond milk (or less - depending on consistency)
    adapted from Connoisseurus Veg

Instructions

1. Warm the milk, add the butter, and let it melt. 

2. Mix together all the dry ingredients: flour, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, yeast and sugar. 

3. Add the pumpkin purée and the egg. Add the milk-butter-mix when it is lukewarm and with your hands rub everything together. 

4. On a floured surface knead the dough a couple of minutes until it is soft and stretchy. 

5. Place in a lightly greased bowl, cover and let rise for an hour. In the meantime prepare the filling (or fillings) by mixing all the ingredients until you get a paste-like structure. Set aside. Prepare the cashew icing by putting the cashews in a blender and mixing until you get a thick paste. Add the lemon juice and vanilla. Add the icing sugar bit by bit. Add the milk until you get a creamy consistency. 

6. Roll the dough out into a rectangle. Spread the chocolate filling on one half and the cinnamon-walnut one on the other (if you're doing both). 

7. Cut the rectangle into stripes (roughly 3 - 4 cm) across the shorter side - I'm not that great with thinking spatially, so you'll have to check the pictures or just follow your guts ;-)

8. Roll up the stripes into swirls and place in a greased casserole or cake tin. Let rise for another 20 minutes until you've preheated the oven to 170°C. 

9. Bake for 15 - 20 minutes. While the buns are still warm drizzle on some of the cashew icing and enjoy! 

Apple & Cinnamon Pull-Apart Muffins

Like every other weekend, last weekend was spent in the Brandenburger countryside (you can read my article on the place we are renovating here). The change of seasons is felt even more strongly there than in the city. Not only cause we haven't yet installed any form of heating in our place but mostly outside, in nature. Currently the grass is plastered with apples that have already fallen of the trees, and so that they don't go to waste, I started collecting some. My dog Nelson, who thought that these apples were balls, randomly started to pick them up too, to then drop them at my feet, giving that tilted head expression he does so well, 'hey, wanna play?'. So, in under 10 minutes I, or we, had already accumulated a very heavy 12-kilo bag. 

At home I turned a quarter of them into apple compote. However, as there's still so many left, I will probably be posting a lot of apple recipes in the time to come. But that's seasonal baking at its best, right? So, me and my friend Natalie from Today is beautiful made these apple & cinnamon pull apart muffins. If you wanna see what life behind the scenes of this baking session and photo shoot looked like, you should definitely go check out her photo series on being a foodblogger assistant for a day on her blog. Thanks, Natalie, for such a lovely baking day, and I couldn't think of a better hand model, at all :-)

Ingredients

makes 8
prep time: 1.30 - 2 hrs

for the dough

  • 370 g white spelt flour 
  • 1 package of instant dry yeast (7g)
  • 1 tsp ground flax seeds*
  • 160 ml almond milk 
  • 30 ml agave syrup
  • 110 g vegan butter 
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla

for the filling

  • 50 g brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp vegan butter
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 medium apples

* Flax meal is used as a binding agent/ egg-substitute. You can easily ground flax in a blender to a flour-like consistency and store it in a glass jar.  

Instructions

1. Mix the flour with the salt, dry yeast, vanilla and the ground flax seeds and set aside. 

2. Heat the almond milk with the butter, until the butter has melted. The mixture should be lukewarm (it's important it's not hotter than 40°C or the yeast will die). 

3. Pour the milk-butter mix and the agave syrup into the flour and start kneading until everything comes together. Move dough to a clean surface and knead for 5 - 10 minutes until you have a soft and stretchy dough. 

4. Place dough in a bowl, cover with a cloth and leave to rise in a warm place until it has doubled in size (30 - 45 min).

5. For the filling, use a fork mixing the butter with the sugar and cinnamon until all is well combined. 

6. Roll the dough out, about 5mm thin (I always put a bit of cling foil underneath, so it doesn't stick to the surface). 

7. Evenly spread the cinnamon butter on the dough. Cut the dough into squares that will fit your muffin cups (mine were roughly 5 x 5 cm). 

8. Cut the apples into very thin slices. Now, layer the muffin cups, alternating dough and apple slices. 

9. Let the muffins rise another 10 - 20 minutes while you preheat the oven to 180°C. 

10. Bake for 15 - 20 minutes. When they're done you can sprinkle on some icing sugar or just enjoy them plain. 

A New Spin on Overnight Oats

Lately I have been pretty bored with having the same breakfast day in, day out but I also don't always have time in the mornings for long preparations. Overnight oats are a great weekday breakfast solution cause you can easily prepare them ahead. So, this past week I have been thinking a lot about different ways to make overnight oats. 

As soon as I got my notebook out the ideas just came rushing in, and eventually I ended up with ten new recipe ideas. I'm not really that great at making decisions, and I wish I could present all ten ideas to you today, but for now I want to share two of my favorite new takes on overnight oats with you. 


Chia Coconut Pudding with Avocado Vanilla Mousse

prep time: 10 minutes
for 2 portions
 

This chia pudding is a real power breakfast. Chia seeds hold a lot of sustainable energy, they are high in protein and antioxidants. The avocado provides a lot of healthy fats and nutrients. Maca powder is high in vitamins... And the list goes on. When it comes to chia pudding, I prefer a slightly smoother texture, so I always run mine through the blender - plus it really speeds up the whole soaking process. 

Ingredients

  • 6 tbsp chia seeds
  • 250 ml coconut milk + 2 tbsp reserved for later
  • 1 tsp maca powder
  • 3 dates, pitted
  • 1 tsp vanilla 
  • 1 avocado
  • for topping: cacao nibs, (roasted) coconut flakes

Instructions

1. Put the chia, 250 ml coconut milk, maca powder, 2 dates and 1/2 tsp vanilla in the food processor and blend until everything is combined. 

2. Fill the chia pudding in jars or glasses and let it rest in the fridge. 

3. In the meantime pit and skin the avocado and again using your food processor, blend with 2 tbsp coconut milk and 1/2 tsp vanilla until you get a smooth and creamy mousse. 

4. Spread the avocado mousse on top of your chia pudding. 

5. Before serving, sprinkle with some cacao nibs and (roasted) coconut flakes. 


Quinoa-Millet Porridge with Maple & Thyme Glazed Apricots

prep time: 15 minutes
for 1 portion

 

This version of overnights oats was a real experiment. Before I made it I wasn't sure at all whether the grainy taste of quinoa and millet would go well with the apricots and thyme or whether the whole thing would be too overwhelming. Well let me tell you, this definitely is a version for the grain-lovers amongst you. Nevertheless, the sweetness of the apricots and the maple syrup do supplement the graininess of the oats very well. If you want a slightly less grainy version you could swap the millet with some regulars oats or some popped amaranth. For the non-vegans amongst you, you could also easily substitute the maple syrup with honey, which goes really well with thyme too. 

Ingredients

  • 6 heaped tsp quinoa flakes
  • 6 heaped tsp millet flakes
  • 6 tbsp almond milk 
  • 1/2 tbsp + 1,5 tbsp maple syrup
  • 4 apricots 
  • 2 - 3 sprigs of thyme

Instructions

1. In a jar or a glass mix the quinoa with the millet flakes, add the almond milk and 1/2 tbsp of maple syrup. Stir with a spoon so everything is combined. Set aside in the fridge.

2. Pit the apricots and place in a saucepan. Add the 1,5 tbsp maple syrup. Pick the leaves from the thyme and add. On medium heat, bring to a boil, keep stirring. Take from the heat after about 5 - 8 minutes (depending on the ripeness of the apricots) just before the fruit gets too soft and starts to dissolve. 

3. Top your quinoa-millet porridge with the glazed apricots and place in the fridge best overnight. The next morning they will be fully soaked and ready to devour. 


Thank you to my dear friend from Kilda Nordic Interior for providing these beautiful cutting boards. 

Raspberry Avocado Chia Bowl

It was yet another rainy summer day and I had started eating a lot of chocolates and other junk over the last couple of days. I like eating healthy and balanced, but once in a while I realize I have just eaten a whole box of chocolates by myself and I don't even feel sorry - whoops. So when I got up on this gloomy, grey morning I really felt like something fresh and nourishing. I turned on my favorite gloomy-day Sigur Rós playlist, and let myself be inspired by what my fridge and fruit basket had to offer this morning. An avocado, a banana and some frozen raspberries. 

Pretty basic stuff. Add some chia seeds and almond milk and you're good to go. If you don't have one or the other - improvise. The banana and avocado help in getting a creamy texture so it's good to take at least one of those, but you could add any other seasonal fruits, such as nectarines, or cherries, depending on where you live and what's available to you. 

Recipe

for one hungry person

  • 1/2 avocado
  • 1 banana
  • 1 handful (frozen) raspberries
  • a good splash of almond milk
  • 3 tbsp chia seeds
  • optional: 1 tsp maca powder
  • optional: 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • agave syrup to taste 

Just add everything to your food processor and blend until you get a creamy, slightly thick texture. The amount of almond milk may vary, just add it gradually and stop when you reach the desired consistency. Serve with some fresh berries or fruit of your choice. Sprinkle with some puffed quinoa (in case you wanna keep it gluten-free), or if you prefer oats, or other grains, everything's possible. Your power breakfast is served! 

One last advice: keep away from any dogs lingering under your table making googly eyes at you, no matter how cute they are ;-) 

Vegan Crumpets

Ever since my latest trip to Brighton I have been thinking about making crumpets. You can't really buy them in Berlin (or at least I haven't seen any yet, if you do let me know!) so I thought there must be an easy way to make them from scratch.

So I went out recipe-hunting and found some pretty standard ones, such as this. As you might figure I changed some bits and bobs here and there. I like to use a lot of different nut-milks in my recipes, as I find them much gentler on my tummy, plus you get extra nutrients and flavors. So if you swap regular milk with a nut-milk option of your choice it's very easy to vegan-ise your crumpets. 


Ingredients

Makes about 10 - 12 crumpets

  • 350 g spelt flour
  • 2 packages instant yeast (7g each)
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 350 ml coconut-almond milk (or any other nut milk in case you want the vegan version)
  • 150 ml warm water
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder (or bicarbonate of soda if you can get a hold of it - not easy in Germany)
  • 1 tsp salt 
  • coconut oil for baking 

Instructions

1. Combine the flour with the yeast and set aside. 

2. Heat the milk until it's lukewarm, dissolve the sugar in it. 

3. Add the milk to the flour and beat it with a wooden spatula for at least 3 or 4 minutes (good exercise, phew...).

4. Cover with a cloth and let it rest for at least 20 minutes (not longer than 60 minutes). 

5. Combine the salt and baking powder with the warm water and add to the batter. Mix until everything is well combined. Cover and let it rest for another 20 minutes. 

6. Heat up a griddle pan on the stove, brush with some coconut oil. 

7. Now if you have crumpets rings all the better. But don't freak if you don't, I just used heart-shaped christmas cutters :-) grease them generously and place them in the hot pan. 

8. With a ladel spoon some batter into your prepared cutters. 

9. Fry the crumpets for 5 minutes (it should be solid by now), flip them and fry another 3 minutes on medium heat. If you are using cutters like me, you might have to take the crumpet out of the cutter, after it's been fried on one side. Generally cutters are a little taller, so if you flip the crumpet it might not touch your pan - and, well, that's not the point ;-) 



Thank you to my dear friend from Kilda Nordic Interior for providing these beautiful coffee mugs and decorations. LOVE them!