Monday, March 11, 2013

Paderborner Landbrot

This is a traditional country bread which comes from the Paderborn region which is actually located 127 kilometers south east of Hanover, where Alexander lives. We have both decided that we will pick up a loaf when (not if) I get to Germany. Actually, when I was talking to Alex about this bread, he also mentioned some other wonderful things to visit when I am there, one being the Wattenmeer or Wadden Sea. Alexander explained:
One of the most powerful experiences I had was walking with my mother alongside the beach in the middle of winter. it was below -10°C and low tide. the movement of the tides and the low temperature turned the sea into a crystal wasteland as the iceshelfs where pressed together and piled up a few feet. There was no wind. Complete silence and it felt like the whole world was frozen in time. We were there just as the tides turning point (they take about 6 hours to completely come from flood to tide until it reverses). Then i heard a very low and eery scratching sound I could not locate. It took me a few seconds to realize it was to coming flood. awfully slow the water coming from below the mudflats pressed against the frozen sea and it began to crack. You could feel the slow yet unstoppable power of the water literally lifting kilometers of tightly packed ice shelves micrometer by micrometer. pressing and pushing the ice until it broke, then squeezing countless liters of water through the tiny cracks and creating a the sound of myriads of little rivers flowing over the white wasteland
Since, I know very little about the natural beuties of germany I will stick to what I do know; rye bread. 

This bread is another formula that was given to me by Karin Anderson, who is another Rye bread baker out of Maine. She actually was speaking to several german bakes from Paderborn, who said that this formula was authentic. She mentioned that there is only one bakery in germany that makes this bread authentically. Now, I of course had to make several changes to this formula because it called for medium rye flour. I am a whole rye kind of guy, so I replaced all of the medium rye flour with freshly ground whole rye flour. I would also like to mention that I am now the very proud owner of 50 pound of rye berries. I got them at a great price, $0.75 per pound. What I am most excited about these berries is that I was able to grind them into very fine flour. I first grind my berries at 3mm to achieve rye chops. Then at 2mm to achieve rough meal, and then at the finest setting the achieve rye flour. I was very pleased that my mill was able to process these berries into such a wonderful soft flour, even the bran was milled finely! 

The other change that I made to this bread was to exchange the 1050 wheat flour for bread flour. 1050 German wheat flour is what is called a high extraction flour, meaning, it is a high protein flour with high ash content. I spoke with Jon at King Arthur and he recommended that I try 'first clear' which is a King Arthur Flour, but since I replaced the medium rye with whole rye I felt that using bread flour would be a fine substitution. Granted, I have never had this bread, I was pleased with the results. 

The finished loaf

This bread, similar to my most previous post, in that it has a fair amount of sourdough starer. This time rye starer was used. Interestingly enough this bread does not have a soaker of any kind. But I am making up for that because my next bread will have two soakers! Another interesting note about this bread is that it is baked in a loaf pan, and it is allowed to proof until the dough reaches the height of the pan. Typically rye breads are not allowed to proof for so long because they begin to break down (at a much faster rate than sourdough wheat breads). Like most german sourdough breads, this bread contains a small of amount of yeast. Prior to baking this bread, the dough is docked. which means that holes are placed throughout the dough, this helps to keep the dough from splitting and to release steam. it also gives the finished product a unique appearance.

I was very pleased with the sourness and flavor that this bread has, although I found it to get boring after a while. I typically like to stick with breads that have something different about them: seeds, nuts, dried fruit, spices. I found that this bread lacked some pizaz but I am very glad that I baked it. It was something different, something new but most of all it was something German.

Bake On

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