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St. Gallen Country Bread with Overnight Fermentation

Friday, June 24, 2022

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St. Gallen Bread with 100% Bread Flour

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© 2022 | http://angiesrecipes.blogspot.com


St. Gallen Bread is a traditional Swiss bread loaf that is shaped into a round knot with a torn front with a very crunchy, thick crust and a dense, soft and tender interior. It is one of the most common and popular breads found in almost every region of Switzerland, esp. in German-speaking region, and in almost every grocery store and bakery. Originally, St. Gallen bread was common in the cantons of St. Gallen, Thurgau and both Appenzells, although in Appenzell it is called "Appenzeller Brot" and in Thurgau "Thurgauer Brot". Today it is mostly made in loaves of 500 g or 1 kg, sometimes 250 g. In the past, loaves of 2.5 kg were common.
I simply shaped my St. Gallen bread into a big knot, very much like a snail shell. If a traditional St. Gallen bread shape is desired, then divide the dough into thirds and shape each into a ball. Place them on a floured parchment paper and chill in the fridge for 12-18 hours. Lightly flatten a dough ball and fold in two thirds of the dough from the back side to the front side, then one quarter from the upper left side. Now you will have kind of a “nose” in the middle, and with the sides of your hands, press the dough a little on the left and right side of this nose. This will result into kind of little wings – fold the wings into the middle. Repeat with remaining two dough balls. Place them together on parchment paper or into a loaf pan. Check out the Kochtopf's blog or Marcel's video below if you need more details on shaping process.

St. Gallen Bread with Overnight Fermentation

adapted from Marcel Paa
  • 350 g Cold water
  • 500 g Bread flour #1050 (or 400 g #480 white wheat flour + 100 g Dark rye flour #1150)
  • 5 g Fresh yeast
  • 8 g Salt
  1. Place water first into the mixing bowl of your mixer fixed with a dough hook, then add in the rest of the ingredients. Mix at slow speed for 2-3 minutes. Increase the speed to medium and knead the dough for about 10 minutes. Check the dough with the "window test". If the dough is still sticky and cracks, continue kneading until it passes the window test.
  2. Transfer the dough into a greased mixing bowl, cover with a kitchen towel and place in the fridge for 12-18 hours.
  3. Place the dough on a lightly floured work surface, and roll the dough into a 80cm long rope. Now form the rope into a snail shell. Place it on a piece of parchment paper dusted with flour. Cover with a kitchen towel and set aside to proof for 60-90 minutes.
  4. If a traditional St. Gallen bread shape is desired, then divide the dough into thirds and shape each into a ball. Place them on a floured parchment paper and chill in the fridge for 12-18 hours. Lightly flatten a dough ball and fold in two thirds of the dough from the back side to the front side, then one quarter from the upper left side. Now you will have kind of a “nose” in the middle, and with the sides of your hands, press the dough a little on the left and right side of this nose. This will result into kind of little wings – fold the wings into the middle. Repeat with remaining two dough balls. Place them together on parchment paper or into a loaf pan. Before baking, make a deep cut in the dough directly under the "nose" with a sharp knife.
  5. Preheat the oven to 230F/445F with a baking tray at the bottom of the oven for the steam and a baking stone in the middle.
  6. Place it in the middle of hot oven and pour 200 ml of water into the baking tray at the bottom of the oven. Close the door immediately. Bake for 20 minutes. Open the oven door briefly and let the steam escape. Lower the temperature into 210C/410F and bake for a further 30 minutes until golden brown and crisp.

St. Gallen Bread with 100% Bread Flour


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Watermelon Salad with Cumin Maple Syrup Vinaigrette

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

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For the perfect combination of sweet and salty, you can't go past this watermelon, blueberries and feta salad with cumin maple syrup vinaigrette. Serve this vibrant salad that's bursting with flavour, colour and nutrients, as a side to your favorite protein dish (we enjoyed it with a bone-in, skin-on pork shoulder roast flavoured with fennel) for the ultimate summer feast. It's refreshing, deliciously healthy and a perfect dish for entertaining. The sweetness of watermelon and Gorgonzola would make a great combination too if you prefer a stronger flavour of cheese or ricotta if you want a milder variety.

DressingSalad
  • 1 Lemon, juiced
  • 4 tbsp Olive oil
  • 1 tsp Maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp Freshly milled cumin
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1 Mini watermelon, cut into triangles
  • 100 g Feta, crumbled
  • Mint, chopped
  • 100 g Blueberries
  • 1 tsp Black sesame seeds
  1. Whisk freshly squeezed lemon juice, olive oil and maple syrup in a small serving bowl. Season with cumin, salt and pepper.
  2. Wash and dry the watermelon. Cut the clean watermelon into triangles, about 2cm thick. Arrange watermelon on a large serving platter with blueberries and chopped mint. Drizzle some prepared dressing over. Crumble feta over the salad and sprinkle the black sesame seed over.
  3. Serve as an easy appetizer, a light snack or as a side to your favourite source of protein, such as meatballs, chicken wings, steak, salmon, or pork roast.




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100% Wholemeal Rye Sourdough Bread

Monday, June 20, 2022

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There's nothing like a good slice of whole rye bread! Spread with butter or topped with cheese, and sausage. It's perfect for breakfast, in between meals or for supper as home-baked always tastes best!Nothing else goes into the dough here but wholemeal rye, water, salt and optional malt extract. A little time, a little practice and you have a hearty and nutritious bread on the table. The bread releases an irresistible aroma as soon as it is baked. You can tell if the rye bread is baked through by tapping on the underside of the loaf. If it sounds hollow, the bread is ready. It is best to let the loaf cool down completely before cutting it.
Wholemeal rye flour is rich in dietary fibre as well as minerals due to the high proportion of husks. Fibre promotes good and healthy digestion, while the minerals perform various tasks; phosphorus, for example, is important for strong bones and zinc ensures good defences. The B vitamins are also essential for the brain and nervous system.

100% Wholemeal Rye Sourdough Bread

inspired and adapted from here and here
  • 5 g Rye sourdough starter
  • 325 g Water, lukewarm
  • 1/2 tbsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Barley malt extract (or molasses)
  • 400 g Wholemeal rye flour
  1. Mix the starter with 25 grams of lukewarm water, add 25 grams of flour, mix well and leave to mature in a screw-top jar with a lid at room temperature for 3-6 hours.
  2. Dissolve the salt and malt extract in the remaining water in a mixing bowl, then add in wholemeal rye flour. Now add in active sourdough starter and mix everything well by hand until a sticky, even dough is formed. Cover the bowl with a large plastic bag and leave to rest at room temperature for 30 minutes.
  3. Wet your hands with cold water and stretch and fold the dough. To do this, reach under the centre of the dough, pull upwards and fold to other end. Repeat this with the remaining 3 sides. Cover and let the dough rest for 30 minutes, then stretch and fold again. Cover the dough and allow it to ferment for 1-2 hours.
  4. Carefully scrape the dough out on a lightly floured work surface and form into a round. To do this, fold the sides of the dough towards the center in clockwise with a little pressure so that the dough does not stick too much to your hands. Place the dough, seam side up, (or down if you like a more rustic look) in a floured, round proofing basket. Cover with a large freezer bag or plastic film and leave to rise in the fridge for 12-16 hours. The dough should at least double in size during this time.
  5. Preheat the oven to 250C/480F with a baking stone in the center and a baking tray at the bottom of the oven.
  6. Turn the dough out onto a piece of baking paper or pizza shovel dusted with flour. Transfer the bread to the hot oven and pour a cup of water to the baking tray at the bottom of the oven. Close the oven door immediately and bake the bread for 15 minutes. Open the door briefly to let the steam escape. Lower the oven temperature to 220C/410F and bake for a further 35-40 minutes. Remove the bread and cool on a wire rack for at least 2 hours before slicing.

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Wild Yeast Pretzel Challah

Friday, June 17, 2022

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A braided pretzel bread made with a wild yeast preferment -- a slow but fun and natural way to rise the bread. A slow fermentaion with natural yeast and beneficial bactaria from the air creates a different bread, that's more flavourful, healthy, and easier to digest. The bread will also have a crisper crust, a chewier crumb and very likely to stale more slowly.
The preparation of the wild yeast is rather easy, but it takes time and patience. For this pretzel challah, I crushed 120 grams of unwashed organic grapes and mixed with 500 ml of filtered tap water. Set aside for 5 days until bubbly and active. You can use dates, figs, raisins or berries to make your own wild yeast water. Store the rest in the refrigerator and simply refresh it with fresh filtered water and fruit when you need it. (you can find more details in this post)
Dunking the pretzel challah in a baking soda bath or food grade lye bath prior to baking is what enables them to develop their distinctive deep brown colour and crispy-on-the-outside, chewy-on-the-inside texture. Natriumhydroxid (NaOH), also known as lye or caustic soda, can be dangerous if misused. So do wear eye protection and rubber gloves if you want to make lye solution for the pretzels. One much easier and safer solution is to use baked baking soda. Simply place baking soda on aluminum lined baking tray and bake for an hour at 120C/245F. When baking soda/sodium hydrogen carbonate/NaHCO3 is heated, it becomes the more concentrated sodium carbonate/soda/Na2CO3, which ensures a darker lye colour when dissolved in water, and better taste than baking soda could.

Wild Yeast PrefermentDough
  • 120 g Organic bread flour
  • 120 g Active wild yeast water
  • Wild yeast preferment
  • 420 g Organic bread flour
  • 180 g Lukewarm water
  • 1 tbsp Olive oil
  • 1 tbsp Coconut sugar
  • 6 g Sea salt
  • 90 g Baked baking soda
  • 2L Hot boiling water
  • Coarse salt for topping
  • 1 tsp Sesame seeds, optional

How To Braid a 5-Strand Challah w/ Michael Kalanty

  1. In a large bowl, stir together the flour and yeast water until well combined. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature overnight. It should be bubbly and double in size when ready to use for main dough.
  2. Combine the wild preferment, bread flour, water, olive oil, coconut sugar and salt in the bowl of your mixer. Knead for 12-15 minutes, until dough becomes soft and smooth. The dough will be a bit sticky. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set aside to rise in a warm place for approx. 2 hours until almost doubled in size.
  3. Divide the dough into 5 equal portions, each about 175 grams. Roll each into a log, approx. 40 cm long, making sure they are all the same size and length. Braid in a 5-strand loaf. Transfer to a lined baking sheet.
  4. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and let rise in a warm spot for 2-3 hours. You’ll know the dough is ready to bake when you press your finger into the dough and the indentation stays, rather than bouncing back. Uncover and refrigerate for 1 more hour.
  5. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 120C/245F and bake the baking soda for one hour. Allow to cool. Increase the oven temperature to 200C/400F.
  6. In a large tray, mix the baked baking soda and 2 liter boiling water, until baking soda is dissolved. Gently dunk the challah in the baking soda bath and let soak for 20-30 seconds. Carefully remove the bread onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Sprinkle the top with coarse salt and sesame seeds if using. You can brush the top with an egg wash for a more shiny finish if desired. Bake for 40 minutes, until golden brown and crispy.

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