Sunday, 10 July 2016

Spelt Bread Souls - schwäbische Seelen

This is a regional specialty of Swabia, the south west of Germany. It is an old traditional baked bread that reminds a bit of a baguette.
Stories are told about it, in the Middle Ages around the day of All Souls, the people gave bread to the pour souls in their hometown. But since the people of Swabia were well known for their penny pinching and still are :-) , the bread turned out to be much smaller. Bread for the pour souls - the name stuck and just became Seelen. It is eaten for breakfast.
When I go down there visiting friends, I turn up for breakfast and always look forward to have one or two of these.
They are mostly topped with caraway seeds and salt, but poppy seeds and sesame seeds are popular too. Sometimes you get some topped with cheese.

You can prepare them with 100 % spelt flour, but a mixture with wheat flour is ok too. It is very important to give the dough a rest in the fridge or in a cold basement over night.

recipe for 12 souls:
250 g spelt flour T 630
250 g plain flour T 405
1 1/2 tsp salt
350 ml warm water
40 g fresh yeast
2 tbsp baking malt (optional)
carraway seed
coarse salt
poppy seeds
sesame seeds

Get the ingredients for the dough into a kitchen machine and knead it for 6 - 8 minutes until the dough looks glossy.
Get it into a big bowl with a lid and put it in the fridge over night.

Preheat the oven 230 C.
Get some flour on the table, knock back the dough and pour it on the table, just strech it with wet hands. Use a skewer skimmer and cut off  chunks of dough, with wet hands pull it into longer strips and let them rest on baking paper for 15 minutes.

Get the seeds on top.
Baking time is 20- 25 min, after 15 minutes spritz some water into the oven on top of the souls.
When you want to reheat them the next day, put them into a plastic bag after they are cooled down.

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