Schmorgurken (stewed cucumbers) is a traditional German dish that originated in East Prussia (now Russia). It sounds quite odd and probably not very appealing for people who never had it - a stew of cucumbers, apples, tomatoes, and Hamburger meat - but I assure you, it tastes very good (and there's bacon in it!) My … Continue reading OMI’S SCHMORGURKEN – CUCUMBER-APPLE-TOMATO STEW WITH GROUND MEAT & DILL


(Hier geht's zur deutschen Version dieses Posts) Every year I'm looking forward to the Kneading Conference, hosted by the Maine Grain Alliance in Skowhegan/Maine. Alas, Covid-19 spoiled our appetite for any large gatherings this summer, and the event was canceled. Instead, following Zorra's invitation to contribute to World Bread Day 2020, I will present an … Continue reading SONGBIRD & SEA – A BREAD FROM THE COAST OF MAINE


(Hier geht's zur deutschen Version dieses Posts) When I moved to Maine, I didn't think too much about differences between German and American flours. All-purpose flour was, obviously, your Average Joe among flours. Bread flour was meant for breads. Duh! And whole wheat and rye flours? Stupid question! Exactly the same as German "Vollkornweizen" and … Continue reading AMERICAN-EUROPEAN FLOUR “TRANSLATION” – WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE?


Hier geht's zur deutschen Version dieses Posts Working on some projects in our condo in Portland seven years ago, the best of all husbands didn't want to waste precious time with cooking or going out for dinner. But men have to eat, whether they are tiling and putting up sinks, or whether they are kissed … Continue reading LEFTOVER STOLLEN? STOLLEN CHEESECAKE WITH BLUEBERRIES


When I moved to Maine in 2001 - to get even with the guy who had sold me a houseful of furniture, but refused to give me a discount - I knew I would be in big trouble. And I was right! After two days my stomach started complaining, and my brain kept sending "gag" … Continue reading KARIN’S FEINBROT – GERMAN EVERYDAY BREAD (Updated)


"As a baker, I was always ingredient- and flavor-driven,  so I never spent a lot of time decorating. It’s not in my skill set as it is with others, which I’ll leave to them." I fully agree with David Lebovitz, American pastry chef and author based in France, who writes hilariously about his "Sweet Life" … Continue reading THE RIGHT BLADE TO SCORE AT SCORING


When I'm traveling in Germany and look for a refreshing, non-alcoholic drink with my meal, I ask for Rhabarberschorle (rhubarb spritz). I never liked sugary beverages, and don't care for sweet sodas at all. Rhubarb juice, mixed with sparkling water, is the perfect summer drink, and almost every restaurant in Germany has it on its … Continue reading EXPAT’S CRAVINGS: RHABARBERSCHORLE – RHUBARB SPRITZ


A while ago, A&B Naturals, the local store that sells my breads on weekends, let me know that the "lunch crowd" were hungry for some nice rolls to go with their smoothies. Since I like trying out new things and find it rather boring to always bake the same breads, I jumped at the chance … Continue reading CRUSTY KAMUT ROLLS – FOR THE LOVE OF ANCIENT GRAINS


Hier geht's zur deutschen Version dieses Posts Several years ago, a FB friend and baking buddy, David Wolfe, asked me to help him with a German recipe. Alas, Google Translate is not too fluent in professional German baking lingo. The formula, published by a German bakers' association, seemed quite intriguing, combining rye meal and cracked … Continue reading SENFBROT – MUSTARD CHEESE BREAD


The looming deadline of a blog event, hosted by my blogging buddy Anna Antonia, gave me the much needed kick in the  energy to overcome my dog days’ laziness and write a new post.

What to do with stale bread? For me a no-brainer: baguette or brioche leftovers usually end up as bread pudding. But for sourdough or other hearty breads there’s only one option: grind, toast, and re-bake!

My favorite baker in Hamburg, Jochen Gaues, recycles old bread in many of his baked goods (like Sunflower Seed Rolls.)

Unfortunately, his (visually gorgeous) baking book “Brot” is so sloppily edited that only experienced bakers are able to figure out how to work with sparse instructions and missing ingredients.

One of his breads was the inspiration for my Nice-Twice Sunflower Seed Bread.

Collection of many different kinds of old bread crumbs

What makes a dough with a larger amount of old bread (here more than 13%) so special? Not two loaves are the same, because leftovers of several different (and differently seasoned) breads go into my crumb collection.

Freshly ground rye meal

With the Mockmill I just brought home from the Kneading Conference, I’m finally able to achieve finer and coarser grinds – something my old Nutrimill couldn’t do. (No, I don’t get any goodies from them!)

If you don’t own a mill and your rye meal is drier, you might have to add a little more water to the dough.

Tastes good just with butter alone!

I was very curious how my improvised sunflower seed bread would turn out. We were absolutely delighted!

It had an excellent taste – slightly sweetish and hearty, with a thin, crispy crust. One bite – and it was admitted to my “Bread Hall of Fame”.

My new favorite bread

NICE-TWICE SUNFLOWER SEED BREAD (inspired by Jochen Gaues)

40 g rye mother starter (100% hydration)
30 g whole rye flour
50 g whole wheat
80 g water (lukewarm)

167 g cracked or coarse ground rye
67 g old bread, ground and toasted
234 g water

75 g water
200 g starter (all)
2.8 g instant yeast
468 g soaker (all)
83 g whole wheat flour
83 g whole rye flour
9 g salt
35 g sunflower seeds, toasted

sunflower seeds, for sprinkling

In small bowl, mix all starter ingredients. Cover, and leave for 8-12 hours at room temperature (overnight).

Soaker with rye chops and old bread

Stir together all soaker ingredients in another small bowl. Cover, and let sit at room temperature overnight.

Dough will be very soft and sticky

In mixer bowl, mix all dough ingredients for 6 minutes on low speed (paddle works here better than kneading hook ). Let dough rest for 5 minutes, then mix for 1 more minute. (Dough will be very soft and sticky.)

Smooth surface with wet spatula or hands

Transfer dough to a greased loaf pan. Smooth surface using wet rubber spatula or wet hands, taking care to fill corners. Sprinkle loaf with sunflower seeds, then, with wet spatula or wet hands, press seeds slightly into dough.

Sprinkle with sunflower seeds, pressing them slightly into the dough

Cover pan with aluminum foil, and let dough rest for 30 – 45 minutes (it will not visibly rise.)

Preheat oven to 450ºF/230ºC (no steaming device necessary.)

Bake bread, with foil, for 15 minutes, remove foil, reduce oven temperature to 425ºF/220ºC, and bake for another 35-40 minutes, until it is golden brown and registers at least 200°F/93ºC on an instant thermometer.

Freshly baked Sunflower Seed Bread

Turn loaf out onto wire rack. Let it cool completely before slicing.

If you have the discipline to wait that long – I usually don’t!

I couldn’t wait until it had completely cooled…

Brot & Meer

Wieder mal ist es einer von Zorras Blog-Events, der mir mit seiner Deadline den Tritt in den Ansporn dazu gibt, meine sommerliche Faulheit zu überwinden, und einen neuen Post zu schreiben.

“Altbacken”, ausgerichtet von Christine (alias Anna Antonia), sammelt Ideen, was man alles aus alten Brotresten in der Küche zaubern kann.

Blog-Event CXLIV - altbacken {Resteküche für altes Brot} (Einsendeschluss 15. August 2018)

Während ich misslungene Backversuche von weissem oder süssem Brot durchweg zu Bread Pudding (amerikanischen Brotauflauf) verarbeite, gibt es für Sauerteig- und andere Brotreste von nur eine Möglichkeit: mahlen, rösten und neu verbacken!

Mein Hamburger Lieblingsbäcker, Jochen Gaues, recycelt Altbrot in vielen seiner Backwaren, z.B. in den leckeren Sonnenblumenbrötchen.

Sein Backbuch “Brot” ist zwar optisch ein Genuss, aber leider so schlampig editiert, dass sich nur erfahrene Bäcker einen Reim aus spärlichen Instruktionen und fehlenden Zutaten machen können.

Von einem seiner lückenhaften Rezepte (genervtes Augenrollen!) habe ich mich zu meinem Nice-Twice-Sonnenblumenbrot inspirieren lassen.

img_0980 Mein Altbrot aus…

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