Bread – Walnuts and Olives

This bread is inspired by the Mediterranean cuisine. The walnuts and the olives give the bread an aromatic taste that you can already smell while it is baking in the oven. Fresh out of the oven, it tastes best with just a bit of butter. It is also a great way to impress family and friends during the next brunch or dinner. 😉

Ingredients

  • 350 g whole grain rye flour
  • 200 g spelt flour (type 630)
  • 2 tablespoons honey or maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground caraway
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 150 g active sourdough
  • 20 g yeast
  • about 150-170 ml lukewarm water
  • 150-160 g black olives
  • 100 g walnuts

How to Make It

  • Take a bowl and add the rye and spelt flour, then mix it.
  • Add the honey (or maple syrup), the salt, the caraway, and the rosemary.
  • Add the active sourdough and mix it all.
  • Take about 50 ml of the lukewarm water and dissolve the yeast in it.
  • As you mix your dry ingredients, slowly pour the yeast water into the bowl.
  • Mix for 10-15 minutes. Slowly add the rest of the lukewarm water until you have a moist dough.
  • Pit the olives (if necessary) and chop them up coarsely. Add them to the dough and knead them in.
  • Chop up the walnuts. Add them to the dough and knead them in.
  • Cover the bowl and let the dough rest in a warm spot overnight.
Baking with a Clay Pot
  • Soak the clay pot for a good 30 minutes.
  • Once the pot and the dough are ready, pour out the water, dry the pot, and put the dough into the pot.
  • Take a sharp knife and make three diagonal cuts across the loaf. Sprinkle the loaf with a bit of water and a bit of flour. If you have a pot with a lid like I do, just close the pot with the lid.
  • Put the pot into the oven and turn the oven on to 250° C. This is important as the pot needs to heat up slowly; putting the clay pot into a pre-heated oven can cause the clay to break.
  • Bake for 30 minutes, then take off the lid and bake for another 40-50 minutes.
  • Once the bread is done, turn off the oven and let the bread cool inside the oven.
Baking the “Standard” Way
  • The next morning, grease a baking tin and pour the dough in. Let the dough rest for at least another hour.
  • Take a sharp knife and make three diagonal cuts across the loaf. Sprinkle the loaf with a bit of water and a bit of flour.
  • Preheat the oven to 250° C.
  • Bake the bread for 60-70 minutes.
  • Once the bread is done, turn off the oven and let the bread cool inside the oven.

Bread – Potatoe and Spelt

This potato bread may seem a bit unusual at first glance, but it is absolutely worth a try. It has a crunchy crust and is quite light and fluffy inside. Tastes great with self-made cream cheese, fruity jam, or aromatic ham. 🙂

Ingredients

  • 350 g cooked potatoes (from the previous day)
  • 300 g whole grain spelt flour
  • 100 g rye flour (type 1150)
  • 1 tablespoon honey or maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon ground caraway
  • 1 tablespoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 140 g active sourdough
  • 20 g yeast
  • about 30-50 ml lukewarm water

How to Make It

  • Mash the potatoes thoroughly. You want to have a mass without any chunks.
  • Add the spelt and rye flour and mix it.
  • Add the honey (or maple syrup), the caraway, the nutmeg, and the salt.
  • Add the active sourdough and mix it all.
  • Take about 20 ml of the lukewarm water and dissolve the yeast in it.
  • As you mix your dry ingredients, slowly pour the yeast water into the bowl.
  • Mix for 10-15 minutes. If necessary, add 10-20 ml of lukewarm water. Make sure that the dough is not too moist, though.
  • Cover the bowl and let the dough rest in a warm spot overnight (or at least 3-4 hours).
Baking with a Clay Pot
  • Soak the clay pot for a good 30 minutes.
  • Once the pot and the dough are ready, pour out the water, dry the pot, and fill the dough into the pot.
  • Take a sharp knife and make three diagonal cuts across the loaf. Sprinkle the loaf with a bit of water and a bit of flour. If you have a pot with a lid like I do, close the pot with the lid.
  • Put the pot into the oven and turn the oven on to 220° C. This is important as the pot needs to heat up slowly; putting the clay pot into a pre-heated oven can cause the clay to break.
  • Bake for 30-35 minutes, then take off the lid and bake for another 35-40 minutes.
  • Once the bread is done, turn off the oven and let the bread cool inside the oven.
Ready to go into the oven.
Baking the “Standard” Way
  • The next morning, grease a baking tin and pour the dough in. Let the dough rest for at least another hour.
  • Take a sharp knife and make three diagonal cuts across the loaf. Sprinkle the loaf with a bit of water and a bit of flour.
  • Preheat the oven to 220° C.
  • Bake the bread for 50-60 minutes.
  • Once the bread is done, turn off the oven and let the bread cool inside the oven.

Bread – Oatmeal & Rye

We are currently eating a lot of oatmeal, in part because we “rediscovered” it as breakfast option in the form of porridge. So naturally I wanted to try to put it into bread as well. I love how it turned out, especially the aromatic flavor of the oatmeal flakes.

Lovely aromatic flavor because of the oatmeal flakes. I just failed at cutting it properly.

Ingredients

  • 250 g spelt flour (type 630)
  • 250 g rye (type 1150)
  • 250 g oatmeal flakes
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup (or honey)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 120 g active sourdough (make sure to activate it in time)
  • 280-300 ml lukewarm yeast water (if you do not have any at hand, just use regular water)

How to Make It

  • Mix the two types of flour and the oatmeal flakes together. Add the syrup (or honey) and the salt and mix it. Add the sourdough and mix it.
  • Keep mixing and slowly add the lukewarm yeast water.
  • Knead the dough for at least 10 minutes.
  • Put the dough in an oiled bowl, cover it, and let it rest in a warm spot for at least 2½ to 3 hours. The dough should have grown significantly in size.
  • Take a spatula and fold the outer edges into the middle of the ball of dough and put the loaf into a proofing basket (really, any kind of breadbasket works fine in my experience). If you do not own one, no problem at all – just form a loaf with your hands. Cover the loaf with a moist towel and let it rest in a warm spot for another 2-3 hours (the longer, the better).
  • Preheat the oven to 250° C. If you have a pizza stone, great – put it on the oven now and heat it up thoroughly. If you do not have a pizza stone, also no problem – you can bake your bread on a normal baking tray. I recommend heating up the tray in the oven as well.
  • Take a sharp knife and make three diagonal cuts across the loaf. Sprinkle the loaf with a bit of water and a bit of flour.
  • Fill a fire-resistant small bowl with water and put it on the floor of the oven.
  • Bake the bread at 250° C for 10 minutes. Then lower the heat to 200° C and bake the loaf for another 30-40 minutes.
  • Once the bread is done, turn off the oven and let the bread cool inside the oven.

Bread – Wholegrain Rye & Nut Mix

I love bread made with rye flour – especially wholegrain – because of its aromatic, intense flavor. In this version, I added some nuts and seeds to the dough to make it a bit fluffier and juicier. The loaf develops its full flavor range after a day or two in the bread box and then it tastes delicious with a slice of cheese and/or Black Forest ham.

Aromatic and full of nuts and seeds.

Ingredients

  • 175 g nut mix (e.g. pine nuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds)
  • 350 g wholegrain rye flour
  • 150 g rye (type 1150)
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup (or honey)
  • 1½ teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon caraway
  • 135 g active sourdough (make sure to activate it in time)
  • 200-220 ml lukewarm yeast water (if you do not have any at hand, just use regular water)

How to Make It

  • Soak the nut mix in water for 1-2 hours. Drain the nut mix thoroughly before using it.
  • Mix the two types of flour. Add the syrup (or honey), the salt, and the caraway and mix it. Add the sourdough and mix it.
  • Keep mixing and slowly add the lukewarm yeast water. The dough should be fairly moist.
  • Add the nut mix and keep kneading. Knead the dough for at least 10 minutes.
  • Put the dough in an oiled bowl, cover it, and let it rest in a warm spot for at least 3 to 4 hours. The dough should have grown significantly in size.
  • Take a baking tin and grease it. Fill the dough into the baking tin and cover it with a moist towel and let it rest in a warm spot for another 2-3 hours (the longer, the better).
  • Preheat the oven to 250° C.
  • Take a sharp knife and make three diagonal cuts across the loaf. Sprinkle the loaf with a bit of water and a bit of flour.
  • Fill a fire-resistant small bowl with water and put it on the floor of the oven. Bake the bread at 250° C for 10 minutes. Then lower the heat to 200° C and bake the loaf for another 30-40 minutes.
  • Once the bread is done, turn off the oven and let the bread cool inside the oven. Make sure to take the loaf out of the baking tin once it is cool enough to touch.

Bread – Rye and Caraway

My grandmother loves bread with a strong taste of caraway, but ever since restrictions were put in place to slow down the corona virus pandemic, she has rarely left the house and does not go grocery shopping anymore. I wanted to cheer her up a bit and ended up baking caraway bread for her, which I then sent to her by mail. She loved it and it turned out to be a present which made both of us happy! Food is a great connector, especially in these troubled times.

Healthy and savory at the same time.

Ingredients

  • 300 g wholegrain rye flour
  • 300 g rye flour (type 1150)
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground caraway
  • 1 tablespoon caraway seeds
  • 130-150 g active sourdough
  • 280-300 ml lukewarm yeast water
  • extra caraway seeds to sprinkle on the bread before baking

How to Make It

  • Activate the sourdough the night before.
  • Mix the two types of flour together.
  • Add the salt, the sugar, and the ground caraway as well as the seeds.
  • Mix it all and as you knead the dough, slowly add the lukewarm yeast water.
  • Knead the dough for about 10 minutes.
Baking with a Clay Pot
  • This was the first time I tried my new clay pot and I am absolutely thrilled with the outcome. Here is how to do it:
  • Since the clay pot needs to be “watered” (i.e. completely soaked in water) for 30 minutes, simply let the dough rest in a warm spot for 8-9 hours and make sure to soak the pot in advance.
  • Once the pot and the dough are ready, pour out the water, dry the pot, and fill the dough into the pot.
  • Take a sharp knife and make three diagonal cuts across the loaf. Sprinkle the loaf with a bit of water and a bit of flour. If you have a pot with a lid like I do, close the pot with the lid.
  • Put the pot into the oven and turn the oven on to 200° C. This is important as the pot needs to heat up slowly; putting the clay pot into a pre-heated oven can cause the clay to break.
  • Bake for 30 minutes, then take off the lid and bake for another 10-15 minutes.
  • Once the bread is done, turn off the oven and let the bread cool inside the oven.
The “Standard” Way
  • If you do not have a clay pot, do not worry. Proceed according to the instructions below. Your bread will be just as delicious.
  • Oil a bowl, put the dough in it, cover it and let it rest for 3-5 hours.
  • Put the dough in a proofing basket (really, any kind of breadbasket works fine in my experience), cover it again with a moist towel and let is rest in a warm spot for another 3-4 hours.
  • Preheat the oven to 200° C. If you have a pizza stone, great – put it on the oven now and heat it up thoroughly. If you do not have a pizza stone, also no problem – you can bake your bread on a normal baking tray. I recommend heating up the tray in the oven as well.
  • Take a sharp knife and make three diagonal cuts across the loaf. Sprinkle the loaf with a bit of water and a bit of flour.
  • Fill a fire-resistant small bowl with water and put it on the floor of the oven. Bake the bread at 200° C for 40-45 minutes.
  • Once the bread is done, turn off the oven and let the bread cool inside the oven.

Bread – Wholegrain Spelt & Hazelnut

Here comes another tasty bread recipe, this time with an interesting twist: hazelnuts. I like this bread because the hazelnuts add such a distinct flavor to it. I baked this one for my grandmother last week and sent it to her to give her some joy during the Corona virus pandemic – and she loved it! Since this one is grandma-approved, there is no reason why you should not give it a go as well. 🙂

Self-made and grandma-approved!

Ingredients

  • 400 g wholegrain spelt
  • 100 g ground hazelnuts
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup or honey
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 100 g sourdough (make sure to activate it in time)
  • ca. 180-200 ml lukewarm yeast water (if you do not have any at hand, just use regular water)

How to Make It

  • Mix the spelt and the hazelnuts. Add the syrup (or honey) and the salt and mix it. Add the sourdough and mix it.
  • Keep mixing and slowly add the yeast water.
  • Knead the dough for at least 10 minutes.
  • Put the dough in an oiled bowl, cover it, and let it rest in a warm spot for at least 2½ to 3 hours. The dough should have grown significantly in size.
  • Take a spatula and fold the outer edges into the middle of the ball of dough and put the loaf into a proofing basket (really, any kind of breadbasket works fine in my experience). If you do not own one, no problem at all – just form a loaf with your hands. Cover the loaf with a moist towel and let it rest in a warm spot for another 2-3 hours.
  • Preheat the oven to 250° C. If you have a pizza stone, great – put it on the oven now and heat it up thoroughly. If you do not have a pizza stone, also no problem – you can bake your bread on a normal baking tray. I recommend heating up the tray in the oven as well.
  • Take a sharp knife and make three diagonal cuts across the loaf. Sprinkle the loaf with a bit of water and a bit of flour.
  • Fill a fire-resistant small bowl with water and put it on the floor of the oven. Bake the bread at 250° C for 40-45 minutes.
  • Once the bread is done, turn off the oven and let the bread cool inside the oven.
Out of the oven and with a yummy crust.

How did your bread turn out? Let me know in the comments below or on Instagram and Twitter. I would love to hear from you!

Bread – Rye & Walnut

I love slightly unusual bread flavors and this one is another example. The chopped walnut pieces add a tasty element to the whole affair and make the bread quite juicy.

What do you think? Let me know in the comments below or on Instagram and Twitter!

Ingredients

  • 350 g rye flour (type 1150)
  • 150 g ground walnuts
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup (or honey)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 135 g sourdough (make sure to activate it in time)
  • ca. 160-180 ml lukewarm yeast water (if you do not have any at hand, just use regular water)
  • 100 g chopped walnuts

How to Make It

  • Mix the rye and the ground walnuts. Add the syrup (or honey) and the salt and mix it. Add the sourdough and mix it.
  • Keep mixing and slowly add the yeast water. Knead the dough for at least 10 minutes.
  • Put the dough in an oiled bowl, cover it, and let it rest in a warm spot for at least 3-4 hours. (Rye flour takes longer to rise.)
  • Chop up the walnuts and knead them into the dough.
  • Put the loaf into a proofing basket (really, any kind of breadbasket works fine in my experience). If you do not own one, no problem at all – just form a loaf with your hands. Cover the loaf with a moist towel and let it rest in a warm spot for another 3-4 hours.
  • Preheat the oven to 250° C. If you have a pizza stone, great – put it on the oven now and heat it up thoroughly. If you do not have a pizza stone, also no problem – you can bake your bread on a normal baking tray. I recommend heating up the tray in the oven as well.
  • Take a sharp knife and make three diagonal cuts across the loaf. Sprinkle the loaf with a bit of water and a bit of flour.
  • Fill a fire-resistant small bowl with water and put it on the floor of the oven. Bake the bread at 250° C for 10 minutes, then lower the temperature to 220° C and bake for an additional 25-30 minutes.
  • Once the bread is done, turn off the oven and let the bread cool inside the oven.
Fresh out of the oven and with a lovely crust.

Enjoy… and do not forget to send me your pictures on Instagram and Twitter!

Types of Flour

In Germany, different types of flour are distinguished through a “type number”. The type number states how many nutrients per 100 g the flour contains. Hence, type 450 wheat flour contains 0.45 g of nutrients per 100 g of flour.

Generally speaking, the higher the type number, the darker the flour and the more vitamins and nutrients it contains. Flour with a high type number also creates more savory, hearty flavors.

Whole grain flour does not have a type number because the entire grain is ground up to produce the flour.

There are many different types of flour.

Here are a few examples:

  • Wheat Flour Type 450: the most basic flour and used for all types of white bread and bread roles, pasta, cookies, cakes, …
  • Wheat Flour Type 1050: darker wheat flour, can be used for all kinds of baking activities, can be mixed well with rye flour, works really well for pizza dough
  • Whole Grain Wheat Flour: for wholesome, robust breads and bread rolls; can be mixed well with whole grain rye flour
  • Spelt Flour Type 630: spelt is closely related to wheat, so they have similar characteristics and spelt flour type 630 is similar to wheat flour type 450; you can use this flour for pastries and white bread
  • Whole Grain Spelt Flour: for wholesome, robust breads and bread roll; slightly nutty flavor; usually made with sourdough
  • Rye Flour Type 1150: used in basic brown breads
  • Whole Grain Rye Flour: for wholesome, robust breads and bread roll; usually made with sourdough
Flour is an essential ingredient to most baking.

Tips & Tricks

This is a list of little tipps and tricks that you may find helpful when baking and cooking. I will continue to update this as I grow the blog further. Let me know if there are things you feel are missing here! Simply comment below or contact me on Twitter or Instagram.

Read the Recipe Beforehand

Before you begin, read the instructions carefully.

Before you start cooking or baking, read the entire recipe at least once or twice! It will help you to understand what the process will be. By reading the recipe beforehand, you can also ensure that you have all the ingredients and equipment you need, and whether you know how to do all the steps involved.

How to Check Whether Your Baked Goods Are Done

Take a toothpick and stick it into the dough. If dough sticks to the toothpick, leave your goodies in the oven a little longer. This technique works for any baked goods, really.

If you want to check whether a loaf of bread is done you can either use the toothpick trick or take the bread out of the oven and knock on the bottom side. If it sounds hollow, then the bread is done. Make sure to wear oven mitts, though.

Check whether your baked goods are done.

Additional Tips for Baking Bread

If you want to check whether the dough has risen enough, poke a hole with your finger into it. If the hole closes up (at least ¾), then the dough has risen enough.

You should keep the finished bread in a dry and airy place. Do not put it in the fridge! Fresh bread and bread rolls made from wheat flour lasts only a day or two, bread made from flour mixes (wheat, rye, spelt, …) up to 10 days, and bread made purely from rye over 10 days. The more rye a bread contains, the longer it remains fresh.

Bread that has dried out a bit can be “refreshed” by spraying it with a bit of water and crisping it up in the oven.

Bread comes in all shapes and varities.

A Note on Resting Times

Generally speaking, for loaves of bread made with sourdough, the longer the resting periods, the better! This means you have to plan a bit when you bake with sourdough and allow the dough enough time to rise, easily 5-6 hours in total. As with most cooking and baking, it is impossible to give definite time periods here, so you will have to try a bit on your own to get a feel for it. It is important, though, that the dough can rest in a warm spot so that the sourdough can work its magic comfortably. You should also use a bowl (or proofing basket) that is big enough so that the dough can expand unhindered. While this may sound tedious, the time is worth the wait because you will get a richly flavored loaf of bread in the end!

Bread – Whole Wheat & Almond

This week, I wanted to bake a classic whole grain wheat bread but decided in the last moment to make it a bit more interesting by adding almonds to it. I like that the loaf came out quite moist and that the nuts add a bit of a crunch.

What do you think? Let me know in the comments below or on Instagram and Twitter!

Ingredients

  • 100 g chopped almonds
  • 350 g whole wheat flour
  • 150 g ground almonds
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 100 g sourdough (make sure to activate it in time)
  • ca. 180 ml lukewarm yeast water (if you don’t have any at hand, just use regular water)

How to Make It

  • Soak the chopped almonds in water over night.
  • Mix the wheat and the ground almonds. Add the honey and the salt and mix it. Add the sourdough and mix it.
  • Keep mixing and slowly add the yeast water.
  • Knead the dough for at least 10 minutes.
  • Put the dough in an oiled bowl, cover it, and let it rest in a warm spot for at least 3 to 4 hours. The dough should have grown significantly in size.
  • Add the chopped almonds and knead them into the dough. Put the dough into a proofing basket (really, any kind of breadbasket works fine in my experience). If you do not own one, no problem at all – just form a loaf with your hands. Cover the loaf with a moist towel and let it rest in a warm spot for another 2-3 hours.
  • Preheat the oven to 200° C. If you have a pizza stone, great – put it on the oven now and heat it up thoroughly. If you do not have a pizza stone, also no problem – you can bake your bread on a normal baking tray. I recommend heating up the tray in the oven as well.
  • Take a sharp knife and make three diagonal cuts across the loaf. Sprinkle the loaf with a bit of water and a bit of flour.
  • Fill a fire-resistant small bowl with water and put it on the floor of the oven.
  • Bake the bread at 200° C for 35-40 minutes.

Enjoy… and don’t forget to send me your pictures on Instagram and Twitter!