If you’re following along with my carrot/apple kraut adventures, we were gifted several boxes of McIntosh apples last week, so along with making sauce, butter, and drying them I decided to make some apple/carrot kraut. I’d used apples in cabbage kraut before with fresh cranberries and loved it. Then came another off-the-wall idea from reading around in Fermented Vegetables to design a recipe to make a apple/carrot kraut cake. I did and it was good, but I couldn’t get over the fact that it just tasted like a good carrot cake, because I couldn’t taste the sour at all.
A good trick huh, ha-ha: You love that cake you just ate a big slice of?... and surprise it’s sauerkraut cake! I just pulled that trick on my daughter and her boyfriend this morning, haha. They did love the cake, and didn’t believe it was made out of kraut, which neither likes. Anything to amuse myself.
But the whole cake experiment left me wanting to taste what kraut’s like in bread, thus this recipe. So what is carrot/apple kraut like in a sourdough rye bread? It’s good, think Reuben with the kraut already in the bread. I made it a steamed bread, although I’m going to try a Boule in the oven next. Overall I was happy and will make it again, it didn’t rise as high or as quickly as my regular steamed rye loaves, but only by a bit. It rose to the top of the loaf pan, and took an hour longer to get there. My guess is that the lacto-bacteria become very active from both the levain starter and kraut, creating an acid environment that’s a little too much for the yeasts to optimally thrive. The dough is also denser with the kraut and sunflower seed additions, so the yeasts were having to work harder, and in more difficult circumstances. I could have added the kraut right before proofing with the salt, and maybe I will next time.
It’s texture is like a whole grain sandwich bread. I especially like the oats, and the way they taste toasted. I like the bits of sunflower seeds. It’s a good toast/sandwich bread, great with sharp cheese, and mustard. The two sour hits, but with different flavor profiles are worth it; the rye sour and then the kraut sour.
Overnight Ingredients 1 ½ cup/136g oatmeal ¼ cup/30g ground flaxseed 1 cup/150g gluten free mix ( ⅔ cup sorghum flour and ⅓ cup potato starch) 2 cups/240g rye flour ½ cup/100g firm gluten free levain (or firm sourdough starter) 2 cups/200g apple/carrot kraut ½ cup/65g sunflower seeds 1 ⅓ cup/315ml filtered water
Morning Ingredients 2 teaspoons sea salt 1 tablespoon honey
Evening Instructions I use a food processor for mixing, but it can be done by hand. Grind flaxseed in a spice grinder and set aside Measure oatmeal into food processor and spin until fine Add gluten free flour, ground flaxseed, rye flour, sunflower seeds spin Crumble firm levain over mix and spin for a minute. Add kraut and pulse to briefly combine Dump into a mixing bowl, add water, stir until combined, cover and let sit at room temperature 65-75F for 12 hours or until fermented.
Morning Instructions Turn large oval slow cooker to high for 20 minutes with the lid on Sprinkle salt over fermented dough Add honey and combine with your hands thoroughly Butter loaf pan, smooth batter into pan. After 20 minutes, turn OFF slow cooker and set the loaf to proof inside. It should reach the top of the pan within 2-3 hours. Pour 3 cups water into the bottom of slow cooker and set to high for 4 hours. The loaf is done after four hours, its internal temp. should be 202-205F. Turn it out of the pan and let cool completely before slicing, This bread slices well when it’s fresh. It also re-steams nicely when dried out, makes wonderful toast, freezes well pre sliced. Store in a cloth, or paper bag at room temperature.
Another interesting note: we’ve had a few fruit flies in the house with all the apples and pears. They're after this bread but not anything else baked. Which makes me feel the bread's super alive sweet, ripe and in harmony with the season.
It has the brief sour of a fresh kraut, bite of ginger, melding melodic of cinnamon, sweet/tart of apple, a raisin depth and carrot crunch. As my Granddad always said "Good Deal".
couldn’t leave it alone
I was reading through Fermented Veggies by Kirsten & Christopher Shockey, owning hundreds of cookbooks, and a short list of my workhorses, this will definitely be on that list. I glanced at their recipe for carrot kraut carrot cake, and was intrigued, cool idea. But I couldn’t leave it alone, and with all the apples in my house thought about making a carrot/apple/raisin/cinnamon kraut? Kinda riffing off the carrot cake idea, I thought after it fermented then I’d try making a cake out of it. Well, it fermented and exceeded my expectations, and it may become a favorite. I developed the cake recipe and made it up last night, it worked but wasn’t completely what I wanted, meaning it just tasted like a good carrot cake, you’d never have known it was made with kraut. It used sorghum flour, potato starch, flax, butter, and only a ⅓ of the regular sugar in carrot cake. But, the more I thought about it, the more I wanted to know that it was made with kraut, and I didn’t want it to be so sweet. By the way, if you do want a sweet carrot kraut cake, just substitute pound per pound of kraut for grated carrot in your C.C. favorite recipe. I put the leftover carrot kraut cake into the food dehydrator, because I’m into making rusks out of everything this week. It smells wonderful as I type. I've already gone ahead and mixed up a sourdough carrot kraut bread with rye. It’ll be ready to bake tomorrow, and if it turns out I’ll write it up. My recipe idea started with rye, sour, yet apples, in a bread so it didn’t have to feel like it had to be sweet. I hope it works, kinda looking forward to it.
Serve carrot kraut as a side salad to people who don’t think they like kraut
Makes 2 quarts Ferment time at room temperature is about three days Ingredients 3 lbs/1.42 kg grated carrots 1 ½ lbs/589g small dice chopped cooking apples 1 tablespoon/17g sea salt 1 cup/115g raisins 1 teaspoon/2.6g cinnamon 2 tablespoons/10g fresh ginger grated
Instructions Grate carrotsI use a food processor Chop apples I used local McIntoshfrom old friend’s trees. Add carrots, apples, raisins, spice and salt to a large mixing bowl Massage the mixture with your bare beautiful hands, singing blessings, thinking good thoughts, and being grateful for the wonders of fermentation. If you do this correctly the juices will begin to run, a miracle. I use a ½ gallon mason jar but any big jar or crock will work Put kraut mix in by the handful and using your fist press and pack it into the jar, continue until it’s all in and the brine from the packing covers the carrots and apples. Leave two inches of headroom at the top The mantra is: “Under the brine doing fine” meaning as long as the veggies are covered in brine they are happy, safe, content and fermenting. Tuck a grape leaf, or cabbage leaf over the veggies, tuck-tuck like a child for bed. Set a jelly jar on top and press down pushing the brine to the top of the mason jar. Set a bowl under the jar to catch any drips or spills Put your fermenting kraut in a cool room temperature out of direct sunlight Check it after three days, or everyday it’s ok if you’re the fussy type. It’s done when it tastes pleasantly sour, instead of salty. Repack into smaller jars, making sure some brine covers the top It should last several months or longer in the fridge, but it won’t, it’s so good. I made my ½ gallon a on Saturday and it’s already half gone.
Love apples in ferments!
Apple Spice Additions Caraway Cinnamon Anise Seed Nutmeg Black Pepper Ginger Cardamom Coriander Herbs Thyme Fennel Mint Rosemary Sage
Big Apple Ferment
More posts to ponder
I’ve added apples in with cabbage, carrots, cranberries beets, mustard greens, lemons & onions.
Levain means sourdough Links to gluten-free baking mix and firm levain are below. Any sourdough starter will work in the 1/2 cup portion, just mix starter with flour until the consistency of pie dough to make it firm. Wheat will work in this recipe. Makes: 9-inch bread in a springform pan or three small quick bread loaves, or 1 large bread loaf Days To Make: 2 Prep. Time: 15-20 minutes Overnight Fermentation Ingredients ½ cup/50g gluten free oatmeal pulsed until fine in food processor 1 cup/150g gluten free flour mix 1 ½ cups/170g rye flour 2 tablespoons/12g ground flaxseed ½ cup/85g firm active levain 1 cup/100g toasted walnuts chopped ½ cup/45g dried pears cut with scissors 1 cup/100g/ one pear small dice ½ cup/113g unsalted butter small chunks ½ cups/175g raw honey ½ cup/125g pear sauce
Before Baking Ingredients 1 ½ teaspoons sea salt 2 teaspoons dijon mustard 1 teaspoon baking soda 1 teaspoon baking powder 1 tablespoon water
Overnight Fermentation Instructions In the work bowl of a food processor Add oatmeal and spin until fine Add flours, ground flaxseeds Crumble firm levain into work bowl Pulse 6-8 times until combined Add butter chunks and pulse several times, Add honey, pear sauce and pulse until combined Add chopped walnuts, dried pears and pear Pulse briefly until combined Empty contents of work bowl into a large mixing bowl. It should be a moist batter. Cover the bowl with a clean cloth and Ferment 16 hours at room temperature. We turn our oven to warm, then turn it off, and ferment the batter in the oven, especially in the winter. The batter should taste slightly sour and fermented, with small bubbles in the dough. It won’t have risen much if at all, and that’s ok.
Before Baking & Baking Instructions Preheat oven to 350F/ 160C Cut a round piece of parchment to fit into springform, butter the tin and then dust with flour. Grind spices together, sift and set aside, Grind ginger paste and set aside. Mix all of the before baking ingredients together into a slurry. Mix the slurry completely into the batter until you can't see it, Important! Spread batter evenly into a 9 inch buttered and floured springform Bake for 35 minutes or more for large loaf and spring-form or 30 minutes for small loaves. knife should comes out clean from the center. Let cool before serving. With Love Enjoy! More rye and levain recipes under RECIPES
I’m tasting the pear spice bread as I write, my first reaction is that I could eat this bread often; often and with pleasure; pleasure because I’m feeling the exciting pull of the spices, the background subtle sweetness of honey, the walnut crunch, but then I wonder isn’t this suppose to be pear bread? Where’s the pear taste, and supposedly three kinds of pear; dried, fresh and sauce? So, I go back for another slice to find out where the pear went, and I find it, but it’s so allusive that it’s alluring; alluring in this age of wham-your-tastebuds. It turns out not elusive, absent, but the walls and windows of the bread/room, supportive and clear but not demanding. Isn’t that the way of pears in the Fall? I can see this bread being served with cheeses who love fresh pears. It would be good with a hard pear cider, or a hot pot of black tea. I’m contemplating taking one of the small loaves and dehydrating it into pear rusks.
Q & A After the Pear Play
Q: So where did the sourdough taste go? A: When you add baking soda, and or baking powder to a sourdough it will neutralize the sour taste because they're alkaline, which reacts with an acids of the sourdough neutralizing them.
Q: Why did you add the baking soda and powder? A: Two reasons
To quickly insure that the bread would rise in the oven. Baking soda would work by itself because of the acid in sourdough, but there’s the extra insurance in baking powder....
While I like the taste of sourdough, it can confuse a sweet bread, so the soda neutralizes the acid but doesn’t get in the way of all of the other flavor-building properties of a long fermentation.
Q: Why bother with making this recipe sourdough, why not just make it as a straight quick bread? It seems like unnecessary trouble? A: Several reasons
The microbial community helps to pre digest the starches and sugars in the dough, which in turn helps me to digest the bread, and with more available nutrition. This is especially important with rye baking. My personal experience is that I crash and feel disoriented after eating a slice of regular sweet bread, even my low sugar recipes, but I’ll have little to no adverse effects if it’s been fermented.
Because of the enzymatic dramas that take place during fermentation, the rise and fall of micro-empires, the flavors gained in a long slow fermentation are beyond compare. It’s worth the wait.
Rye and sourdough go together. It’s necessary to acidify rye flour because of its high level of enzymes. When unchecked they contribute to gumminess. The acidity in sourdough reduces the enzymatic activity, which promotes good crumb structure and superior flavor.
Q: Can I make this recipe 100% sourdough, without using chemical leavening? A: Yes, and it’s challenging. I’ve done it successfully and the flavors are incredible, but it’s a lot to ask of the yeasts to work through honey and butter. The bacteria don’t have any difficulty fermenting with fats present, which surprised me at first, but the yeasts get bogged down. If you are patient, use a vital starter for the initial fermentation, and have a warm proofing area for the final rising…. I’ve just become spoiled, and don’t want to bother with a long iffy proofing. My regular rye loaves proof in an hour... 2) I don’t see chemical leavening as cheating. I care about the fermentation process and benefits, and not so much about what lifts it in the oven. I’m not a purist. I do like the flavors in the sourdough, and for regular bread will always head in that direction. I also know that the sour taste is important signal to the body. But, if I need to use chemical leavening after the initial fermentation to easily and reliably make cakes, sweet breads, cookies then I’m ok with that.