30 October 2009

47 letters to name a single bread

I have already written about Bäcker Süpke's wholegrain spelt bread with whole grains a few weeks ago.

But since then, I've made this bread several times, and it always turned out flawlessly. It's nothing I could claim any credit for, but I thought it too good a recipe not to post it here. And, seeing how charming Meister Süpke is in his comments, I don't really think he'd mind the extra publicity.

So I sat down and translated the original recipe, hoping to spread this around the blogosphere a little.

There are only two minor changes I made to the original recipe, apart from the translation, that is.

For one, I balked at the thought of adding the soft, boiled grains to the dough at the very beginning and kneading them for half an hour. I feared they would completely disintegrate and so I decided to add them only for the last ten minutes. And it works very well, the grains remain whole and apparently it makes for something like a double hydration technique, with the dough being able to build up strength before I add the final bits of liquid with the grains.

Also, the original recipe calls for a bit of 'Brotgewürz', bread spices. Which is all very nice, but also entirely undefined as far as I know. So I guessed and used ground caraway and coriander seeds in equal proportions. Which turned out to be one of my smarter ideas lately. Both spices blend pitch perfectly with the taste of the spelt, warming and brightening the taste without being really distinguishable on their own.

This bread has become a constant fixture of our diet, and I can only stress that it is the least 'healthy' tasting whole-grain bread I've ever come across. It never stops to amaze me that it's really brown and not grey, that it's rather sticky than crumbly, open-crumbed and yet perfectly sliceable with a nice but demure crunch to the crust.

Roasted in the oven with just a few drops of honey until the corners start to turn dark, this bread makes a perfect treat on its own, or a great coaster underneath a grillt goat's cheese, or basically anything that needs a solid, earthy partner.

The only thing I am not really happy with is the name, unwieldy as it is. Even in German with its infatuation with endless strings of words it's a rare thing to need 47 letters to name a single bread. But for a bread with such a long list of strong points, I am more than willing to put up with a lot, even this behemoth of a name.

Bäcker Süpke's
wholegrain spelt bread with whole grains

(translation and any mistakes are mine)
(makes two 850g loafs)

for the boiled grains
200g spelt grains
400ml water

for the sourdough
340g wholegrain spelt meal
10g ripe sourdough starter
340g warm water

for the soaker
200g wholegrain spelt flour
20g salt
120g water

for the final dough
190g wholegrain spelt flour
10g dry yeast (one sachet)
40g runny honey
1 heaped teaspoon ground caraway
1 heaped teaspoon ground coriander seeds (or more, to taste)

for decoration
rolled spelt, about 2 tablespoons

On the day before baking, bring the grains and the water to boil in a small pot. Cover and leave to simmer gently for about 10 minutes, then take off the flame, stir, and set aside, covered.

Mix all the ingredients for the sourdough until just incorporated. Cover and set aside.

Mix all the ingredients for the soaker until just incorporated. Cover and set aside.

Leave all three bowls to ferment overnight in a cool room, but not the fridge, for a minimum of 16 hours.

On the day of baking, combine the sourdough, the soaker and the final ingredients in the bowl of your mixer and knead at lowest speed for twenty(sic) minutes.
I am not kidding. The original recipe says twenty minutes and the dough really needs every second of it. You'll see, in this case it makes all the difference between wet flour and a dough.

Leave to proof for an hour.

Deflate the dough and add the boiled, cold grains.
The original recipe says to discard eventually remaining water, but I add it to keep the amount of added water identical each time. Never had much of it left with the grains, anyway.

Knead at low speed for another ten minutes.
That's half an hour kneading all together. Any wheat dough would be a neat rubber ball by now, but here, it just works perfectly.

Pour into a rectangular baking tin lined with non-stick paper. Even the dough and cover loosely with the rolled spelt.

Leave to proof in a warm place for about an hour to one hour and a half.
The dough will increase about 20% in volume at most, and when ready will stop springing back if gently poked.

Preheat your oven to 220°C. Bake with steam for the first minutes and immediately reduce temperature to about 160°C.

Bake for 100 minutes.

Take out and leave to cool on a rack. Rest a day or at least until fully cooled before cutting.

Freezes perfectly well, and tastes especially well toasted.
We usually bake on stock and freeze the sliced  bread, thawing individual slices in the toaster. Talk about two sparrows and one stone.

Some more wise remarks of Bäcker Süpke:
  • Always add all the salt to the soaker. Otherwise, the enzymes of the wholegrain flour will produce harmful byproducts leading to a grumbling stomach.
  • Wholegrain doughs, especially wholegrain spelt doughs, have to be wet - rather add a little more water.
  • Bake long and 'slow' to get all that moisture out of the bread.
  • Always use very little yeast and long final proofs, else you wouldn't get a sliceable bread.
  • Playing with the honey and the spices is a great way of tweaking this recipe!

P.S.: And once more, this post wil be sent to the YeastSpotting section of Susan's formidable blog Wild Yeast, a home baker's resource I can hardly recommend too much.


Susan/Wild Yeast said...

Great loaf, Reuben! I have found most 100% spelt breads to be very dry but this doesn't look dry at all. Worth the 47 letters!

MC said...

Completely my kind of bread! I love your idea of keeping the spelt berries for the end. There is nothing I like best than encountering cooked berries in my bread. I also like the blend of caraway and coriander. Another bread for my to-make list!

Anna said...

Wonderful bread. Thank you for posting. Is it possible to omit the yeast?

Reuben Morningchilde said...

@ Susan - thanks, and it definitely is not dry - due to the high amount of spelt berries, it's one of the moistest breads I know.

@MC - So happy I could come up with something someone of your experience didn't already know by heart. Hope you'll like it!

@no dragons - You're most welcome. I have never tried to omit the final bit of yeast, but theoretically it should be possible. The final dough rises rather sluggishly despite the added yeast, so a sourdough-only version might have to struggle hard for a decently open crumb, but I wouldn't rule it out per se. If you try, I'd be very interested in your findings. You'll let me know, will you?

Mimi said...

Your bread sounds delicious!

The name is rather long. Maybe you can drop one of the whole grains to make it shorter, lol!

Reuben Morningchilde said...

@Mimi - Actually it can be said much less awkward in German, as we have different words for wholegrain (Vollkorn) and whole grains (Ganzkorn). But I'm really at a loss on how to name this bread in a shorter way without losing information in english.