Had I known making my own Vogel’s was so easy I wouldn’t have begged all those fabulous Kiwi’s to drag their suitcases laden with the glorious bread across the ditch for the last four years.
But, after doing a quick Google search it turns out not only are there a lot of recipes for the magic loaf. These clever bakers/food bloggers take their Vogel’s seriously trying different recipes and tweaking them to get the perfect loaf. All the work now done and dusted – yes a flour pun. Thank you very much, generous cooks.
Essentially we are talking a no-knead bread and it looks like this style of bread goes back to Great Britain and war time rationing when Doris Grant invented a no-knead loaf that became known as the Grant Loaf.
As a “start first, then read the instructions to make sure I have everything I need after it’s way too late” sort of person. I ended up resorting to the small jar of odds and ends I’d collected for the next batch of muesli. This maiden loaf has almond slivers, pine nuts, and sunflower, pumpkin, possibly sesame and definitely caraway seeds.
No, I don’t use caraway seeds in my muesli. But there is something so right about the smell of yeast and caraway that just seems so sensory and right.
A year or so back I tried my hand at sourdough. It was weeks of festering flour, little midges invading the kitchen and dough in different stages of rising. My family eventually asked me to stop making it because they were “sourdoughed out”. That was the last time I used the tins and when I pulled them out today there was a slightly alarming rust tinge in the grooves. The porridge-like dough was all ready to go so, I lined the tins with baking paper and poured the dough and popped the tins in the oven for that first rise.
I’ve never had a lot of luck with that yeast you have to mix with water and sugar then leave to foam. So, I use the lovely stuff in a packet. No mixing or guessing water temperature for me. I’m guessing I got the number of packets right. The rise certainly rose. The recipe states if the first rise gets to the top of the tin, great. If it looks like it’s about to spill over, even better.
Because I used paper to line the tins, and possibly more yeast was used than was needed. My rise was way up above the lip of the tin but the paper kept it uniform. Unfortunately, that didn’t stay the case as it cooked and the second loaf is spilling down the tin. I’ve just broken off a lump of spilt dough for a taste and it’s just like the real deal only warm and a lot fresher than the frozen crust I had for lunch earlier today.
So a cup of tea and an actual slice later – here is the final cut.
Credit where credit is due: This recipe was from The Good Life A city girl gone rural. New Zealand writer Annabel Langbien’s brilliant cookbook called Free Range Cook has a very similar recipe to the one I used called busy people’s bread.