Vogel's Bread - no-knead
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The New Zealanders seem to be accredited with the production of Vogel's bread. It was first baked in NZ in 1967 by Hans Klisser who owned a small bakery in Farmhouse Lane, Aukland.
However, as with most stories - it doesn't start there...
Alfred Vogel (1902 - 1996) was a Swiss herbalist, naturopath and writer. He had a keen interest in the relationship of indigenous peoples with their natural surroundings.
From the 1950s onwards, he travelled extensively through North and South America, Oceania and Africa.
He 'collected' information about herbs, remedies and treatments from people he met, including the Echinacea purpurea or purple cornflower from Ben Black Elk, son of Nicholas Black Elk, medicine man of the Sioux First Nation.
These days the commercial firm, A Vogel sells all manner of homeopathic treatments, herbs and remedies.
But, what of the bread? Well, by 1950 Vogel had already formulated a variety of breads using his 'Guiding Principles' - half a dozen key principles to good health and a long life.
However, nowhere has Vogel's bread been taken to the heart as much as in New Zealand.
It was something new, and very different. A dense, dark brick of a loaf with a moist texture and one that was rewarded by lashings of butter, Marmite or peanut butter.
There are varieties of Vogel's bread and the original recipe has been 'tweaked' over the years, adding extra seeds and even vinegar and also leaving out other ingredients.
It's taken a while to pull all the various recipes and sources together. I've compared them and I hope that this recipe, drawn from consideration of the many out there, does justice to what has become an iconic bread.
The original recipe was in metric cups. I've converted main ingredients to grams to make life easier. Remember a metric cup does not weight the same as a US cup. Hence, the conversion.
264 gms strong white bread flour
300 gms wholemeal flour
38 gms rolled oats
1 teaspoon crushed sea salt
1 teaspoon instant active yeast
3 tablespoons of sunflower and / or pumpkin seeds
500 gms warm filtered water
You can also add small quantities of your favourite seeds: e.g. chia, brown linseed, sesame (white and / or black - if you do, reduce your pumpkin / sunflower to 2 tablespoons and then add up to 2 tablespoons of other, smaller, seeds)
Place the flours somewhere warm for about 10 minutes.
Add the warm water and then stir together until everything is well combined and there are no deposits on the edges of the bowl.
Cover with a shower cap or cling-film and leave on the kitchen table or in a warm place for 6 - 24 hours. It'll rise and rise and probably fade back. When you take it from the bowl onto the worktop - you'll be knocking it back, anyway (see below)
When you are ready to bake, roughly shape the the mixture into a suitable shape for your pre-greased tin. Set aside, preferably in a warm place. You're waiting for it to rise - it'll take its time...
An hour later - we're here.....it's doubled
Obviously, if you want 'vertical slices' - it's probably best to bake in a loaf tin.
Preheat your oven to 200⁰C .
Bake for 40 minutes until it's golden on top and cooked through.
Because this is a very moist mixture, it helps to know what the internal temperature should be for a full bake.
Bake until the internal temperature is 88⁰C or 190⁰F. It's not necessary to take it up much beyond this.
Cool on a rack.
The Vogel loaf will freeze - try slicing it before freezing so you have handy slices when you need them.
Serve with lashings of butter and topped with jam, peanut butter or Marmite. Or try as a base for smoked salmon, pâté or to accompany soup.
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