19 November 2011

Laugenbrötchen: An Ode to Germany

I don't have many regrets, but I really wish I had been an exchange student. When I think about it, it really is very peculiar that I wasn't, because it was always my intention to live in Germany a year. Why Germany? Well, mostly because I love the country. I really do. I love the language. I love the food. I love the people, the cities, the unique cultural traits and yes, even the coffee. But above all, I love German breads. They make 'em there like no other place on earth.

Yes, I have been busy waxing lyrical about German breads, but it can't be said enough. Therefore it's pretty remarkable that I haven't managed to post anything remotely German here on Ferdakost. Especially considering the fact that I actually do make quite a lot of Germanic-themed food at home. But after a year of not posting anything German, I told myself to shape up and get a move on. Thusly, I intended to make something German for 3rd October, but those plans went down the drain. Then came the 9th November, but yet again, it just wasn't done. A third chance was given to me just a few days later, on the 11th, but alas... well, you all know nothing German was posted.

Making a not-so-logical jump, I did a fair bit of a travelling in Deutschland in my youth, and every single time I was there, I would stuff myself with bretzel (pretzels) and laugenbrötchen (pretzel-buns). They were simply irresistible, but it wasn't always my fault. Sometimes the bretzels would literally jump into my mouth. Honest! Wherever I've travelled in Germany – east, west, north, centre (I haven't been to the south just yet...); the landscapes, the people, the dialects, the culture have changed. But bretzels have remained steadfast friends of mine; there when I needed food; there when I desired them. Usually I eat 'em plain – except during Christmas. 'My' Opa in Hamburg taught me to eat laugenbrötchen with a gingerbread biscuit squeezed in the middle, and I promise you it's good! I know it sounds bizarre, but it's really is!

Laugenbrötchen and I have had a slightly odd relationship over the years. My early attempts were not great. At one point I gave up. I mean, I must have tried ten or twelve different recipes, but none of them worked. A year or two later – long after I decided to never try a laugenbrötchen recipe again – I found this recipe. And I struck gold! To paraphrase Thomas Edison ''I didn't fail. I just found 1000 ways how not to make laugenbrötchen!'' So perhaps it doesn't matter that I didn't go to Germany after all. After all, I have everything I need right here: a laugenbrötchen in the one hand, a cup of coffee in the other. And if I was in Germany right now, I imagine I'd eat a lot of these.

I am submitting my laugenbrötchen to Yeastspotting and this week's host Hefe und mehr.

Recipe by Just Lovin' Cooking

500 g. flour
25 g. fresh yeast
1 tsp. sugar
30 g. butter, cubed
270 ml. tepid water
1 tsp. salt
2 litres water

12 tsp. baking soda

4 tbsp. salt

1.In a bowl, mix the yeast with the tepid water and sugar. Add the flour, knead well, and add the butter. Knead until you're left with a firm and homogenous dough, before adding the 1 tsp. salt. Let the dough rise for 30-45 minutes.

2.Divide and shape the dough into 15 small balls à 50 g. Let rise until doubled.
Preheat oven to 210 C.

3.In a large pot, mix the 2 litres of water with the baking soda and 4 tbsp. salt. Allow the mixture to cook, then add the balls of dough, one by one, leaving each in the solution for about 30 seconds.

4.Place each ball onto a baking sheet lined with baking paper. Cut a cross on each ball, and sprinkle with coarse sea salt or sesame seeds. Place baking sheets in oven for about 20 minutes, or until the breads are golden.

9 comment (s):

Mor said...

It's as good as it looks! Nice pictures :-)

Marion said...

Tusen takk!

lapetitecuisine said...

Hi Marion, these are sweet! Very nice pictures you did and lovely post! I will defintely give this recipes a try. Cheers Susanne

Marion said...

Danke :)

Stefanie said...

To eat a Laugenbrötchen with a ginger cookie is new to me, I prefer the more traditional way of eating them plainly with butter. :-D
Your Laugenbrötchen look very good!

Marion said...

Perhaps it's just a Hamburg thing :) Thanks!

Tabea said...

It definitely is just a Hamburg thing ;)
I prefer eating it with Gelbwurst. Something you only have in Bavaria actually.

Marion said...

:) Hm... I should try it - if I make it to Bayern one day! :)

Baerbel said...

Wrong Tabea! Gelbwurst is also im "Schwabenlaendle"

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