When I was growing up, my mom would make a molasses rye bread that we called “Dorothy’s Bread.” As far back as I can remember, it was the only type of bread that we ever made in the house. If we made bread, it was Dorothy’s Bread. Round loaves, soft and brown with a coating of butter fresh out of the oven. And we would never wait. We’d dig in and eat half a loaf of bread in one sitting, covering it with butter and filling up on pillowy soft bread goodness.
I’m going to talk today about butterkäse. It’s a German cheese, mild in flavor, soft and smooth in texture, and highly meltable. In short, it’s a perfect sandwich cheese. It’s made in Germany and also in Wisconsin where I grew up. And now that I know how to make my own cheese, it’s made wherever I live as well.
Milk is just so boring.
Well, let me take that back. It’s not that it’s boring. It’s just that it has the possibility to become something so much better. Something like cheese. Or yogurt. Or kefir. (Or ice cream.) So when I read a recipe that calls for milk, I almost always think about what else I could use. Plus there’s the fact that I’m far more likely to have yogurt in my fridge than milk.
In my last post, I walked you through what diastatic and non-diastatic malt powders were, when you might want to use them, and how to make them yourself from scratch. Basically, they are bread enhancers, and they can help you to get higher rise, browner crust, and tastier crumb. This post will look at three real side-by-side comparisons of homemade diastatic malt powder to see how they help enhance your bread.
I know, it’s got a weird name. But this stuff is magic for bread-baking. It makes your loaves rise higher, brown more beautifully, and taste delicious. When I first saw a recipe that called for optional diastatic malt powder, I just ignored it because I didn’t know what it was or where to get it, and I assumed it was just some unnecessary processed chemical being added. I’ve since changed my tune.
Who doesn’t love soft, warm, pillowy, sweet bread? I don’t make it very often (I have this thing, where I find it almost impossible to make a bread product without adulterating it with whole wheat flour), but it is oh-so-very-good. These are sweet little sourdough surprise buns filled with gooey insides. And if you make them like me (haphazardly and without a map) they really will be a surprise, because you won’t know what’s inside each one.
I make a lot of things by scratch. You . . . may have noticed that, I guess. A lot of it is because I enjoy doing so, and because it tastes a million times better. But I think I also have a distrust of ready-made food products in the store. I think if it wasn’t for James, I would probably take things too far: he is a spontaneous thinker, and this soaking/fermenting grains thing doesn’t always jive with his spur-of-the-moment ideas. Me? I’m perfectly fine planning my menu a week out: feeding my sourdough for a few days before making bread, soaking grains the night before I make pancakes, or boiling corn in lime three days in advance of making tortillas. I’m a planner. That’s the type of person I am.
But even if you’re not a planner, I think you may very well enjoy this recipe. Because it is rather (I have to say) delicious. I have eaten the store-bought corn tortillas. And I have made some with store-bought masa flour (which, I think, was actually a little on the rancid side unfortunately—that may have tainted my opinion of the whole thing). But to do it all from scratch? Well, quite tasty. And rather fun, too.
When I was curating a list of recipes to put on our website, I had to include pepperoni. It’s a quintessential American take on dry cured meats, and it had to be there. It’s the most favorite of pizza toppings. It’s spicy, yet has an overwhelmingly wide appeal. I know there are varying levels of qualities of pepperoni, but I love them all (well, maybe not the turkey pepperoni. . .). The very, very of bestest of pepperonis though? That’s the kind that is homemade.
I’ve been on a sourdough kick lately. I had all these other plans for the blog here, but they’re just going to have to wait. Because, well, sourdough.
Sourdough and me? We get along. But there’s something about sourdough that doesn’t jive with me, and that’s all the waste that seems to go along with it. I hate waste. It’s a huge reason why I could never own a bakery. Or a restaurant. Or anything having to do with food (you know, besides this business). I can’t stand to throw out food. And if you want a healthy, bubbly sourdough starter, you either need to bake with it twice a day (umm, not going to happen), or you need to toss out a good amount of it every time you feed your starter.