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Muesli Rolls or Don't Give Up!

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hanseata's picture
hanseata

Muesli Rolls or Don't Give Up!

 

A while ago I admitted neglecting some of my baking books, never giving them a second look, while shamelessly favoring others. To atone for my neglect, I pledged to give every book a fair chance with my "Equal Opportunity Baking" list, with one recipe from ALL of my baking books.

After a smooth start - three breads that turned out really well - I got bogged down with recipes that somehow didn't work quite right the first time I made them. It always took me a while before I felt like tackling them anew. The Muesli Rolls was one of them.

Published in 1997, I use "Brot und Kleingebäck" mainly as resource, adapting the old, labor intensive, same day methods to more modern techniques, like stretch-and-fold (S&F) that require less brawn and hands-on work, thanks to longer fermentation and refrigerator sleepovers.

I started the evening before, kneading the dough, then let it slowly rise overnight in the fridge. The next morning I baked my rolls. When they came out of the oven, they looked - and smelled - very appetizing. I couldn't wait to take my first bite, but..... what a disappointment! I found that "the proof was in the Muesli Rolls". They tasted good, yes, but were much too dry!

I was baffled. The dough had been well hydrated the night before, even a little sticky, as it should be with S&F doughs. If I hadn't really liked the taste of the rolls, I would have written off the recipe with a scribbled comment: "not that great!" So I took on the recipe again to find out what had caused this lack of moisture.

Was it the different fat content of German "saure Sahne" and American sour cream (10% vs 12-16%?) Not likely: more fat will make the crumb softer, not drier. American molasses instead of German sugar beet syrup? Nope!

But there was one ingredient that had puzzled me from the beginning - the "hearty muesli mix" ("kernige Müslimischung"). There are many muesli mixes on the market, and they differ quite a bit from one brand to the other.

I looked at the list of ingredients on the package. Bob's Red Mill's "Old Country Style Muesli" had rolled oats, wheat, rye, triticale and barley flakes, dates, raisins, sunflower seeds, almonds, flax seed and walnuts.

Peter Reinhart's S&F method (from ABED) doesn't require any pre-doughs (except for sourdough breads, of course). The understanding is that whole grains and seeds have enough time to soak when they spend the night in the fridge. But I find that pre-soaking coarser grinds doesn't hurt. And whole flax seed I always soak for 24 hours - to make them better digestible.

Even though my dough seemed well hydrated after the last S&F, those whole grain flakes and dried fruits obviously had swallowed every drop of water overnight.

The original recipe even mentions overnight refrigeration as a do-ahead option, but without the muesli mixture. That should be kneaded into the dough in the morning, before baking. But with just 10 minutes rising time for the shaped rolls, the flakes and dried fruits really don't have time to absorb much liquid - and the original recipe requires (besides sour cream) only 5-6 tablespoons water!

I do like chewing on nuts, but on hard chunks of dried fruit? No, thanks!

In a comment, the recipe suggests using a mixture of rolled oats, chopped raisins and hazelnuts, instead of store bought muesli. And that's exactly what I did when I made the rolls again - to have better control over the hydration. I hoped these tweaks would work, and I wasn't disappointed. The second batch of Muesli Rolls turned out just as nice as they looked!

Find the recipe here

Comments

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

Karin,

Very timely post....I am right in the middle of mixing up DonD's Pain Aux Cereales (Dough is 'resting' as I type.) and I did not pre-soak any of the seeds that are in the recipe....your mention of the thirsty Muesli struck home so I upped the hydration by 10% since this dough will spend the night in the refrigerator.  I am hoping that will be enough water so I don't end up with a solid dry dough by morning.....

Will have to add your new rolls to my list with the changes you made in the recipe.  Sounds like a nice combination and my kids like the golden raisins when I use them - which isn't often because they cost almost 3x more than 'regular' raisins.  I have not tried using coriander in any breads yet though I did buy some awhile back.  This will give me a chance to actually use them:-).  I will have to cheat and use yogurt instead of sour cream though.  I just made a batch of new yogurt so I have a lot to spread around!  I would make sour cream but last time I did my kids turned up their noses at it so I gave all of it away.....

Thanks for something new to add to my baking list.  Your equal opportunity challenge is not only motivating you but it is giving me a nudge too and I like finding out about these different bakers as well.

Hope your weather is staying cool.  Hot, hot, hot here so I had to give in and buy a 'mini oven' ( a large toaster oven ) which I put in our garage so I can continue to bake through the summer without overheating us all.  I now have the best smelling garage on the block.  :-D

Take Care,

Janet

hanseata's picture
hanseata

I'm sure the rolls will be as good with yogurt - especially with your homemade one. And you will love these rolls!

I just looked at my notes for Pain aux Cereales again, I don't think you have to worry about the seeds, if you have the dough well hydrated. I added all the flax seeds to the final dough, since they have to soak to be digestible. As decoration they are only fibers and can't be metabolized.

Did you make sour cream yourself?

Today we have just one nice day - it's going to be cloudy and cool again - no need to evacuate the baking, on the contrary... I just found a used copy of Laurel's Kitchen Bread Baking: another book to add to my E.O. list (my husband only rolled his eyes.)

Good luck with your baking,

Karin

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

Hi Karin,

Thanks for the reply.  The P a Cereales turned out really nicely.  If I hadn't added the extra 10% water the loaves would have been too dry.  Last night the dough was slack and sticky after adding the seeds but by morning everything had tightened up to just the right 'tightness' and the loaves had a very nice oven spring and look to them. Both gone now.  One to neighbors and one to crew who have been doing work on our sidewalks lately.  Figured they could use a healthy snack!

Sounds like your weather is perfect baking weather.  It was cooler here today - 75° which I can tolerate but I still used the toaster oven in the garage to bake to help keep the kitchen/house cool.

Yes, I did make the sour cream and it was really easy. Ordered from this company.Got the starter that will make either buttermilk or sour cream and all you do is heat up either milk or cream and then cool it down to about 75° then let it ferment overnight.

You will like using Laurel's book.  Her recipes are very easy to convert to Peter's pre doughs or to sour doughs.  I just do the math and pretty much ignore her mixing instructions since she kneads by hand.  I use my DLX and also use S&Fing to get the dough where I want it.  She has some good tips on working with whole grains and she knows a lot as that is all she bakes with.  I am just surprised that most of her recipes use IY.  Her directions for a sd starter are very complicated.  One can get the same results much more easily.

Take Care,

Janet

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

Today was Muesli Roll day.

A few changes were made....I used all barley flakes in the soaker with the raisins and I used sd as the leaven with no IY.  I also shaped in my usual knots due to 'head room' in the toaster oven.  I also put all the hazelnuts on the inside :-)

These turned out really nicely.  No crumb shot because they are going to a friend but they fell nice and light and the aroma is wonderful.  My garage is the best smelling one on the block :-D

This is a keeper recipe :-)

Thanks for the post!

Take Care,

Janet

hanseata's picture
hanseata

How much sourdough did you use? I'm sure that the barley flakes taste good with it, too. I admire your willpower to give them all away without eating one.

Take care,

Karin

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

Hi Karin,

Thanks for your kind words :-)

I fermented 13% of the total flour and it was hydrated at 60%.  I have found the with freshly ground grains if I go too much higher % wise, especially in this heat wave we are in the middle of (100°F )which is almost unheard of this time of year here, it will over ferment. ( Leaven made up 21% of the whole formula.)

I soaked the barley and raisins in 250g of the total water and added the remainder (70g) to the final dough.  My autolyze was with all of the ingredients except the molasses and the hazelnuts.  Your hydration changes worked great and I didn't have to add any extra water.

I considered adding .08% IY in the final dough due the high sugar content (the molasses was 12% of the total formula) but held back to see what would happen.  No delay in rising at all :-)

'Tis not willpower that keeps me from tasting my wares;  'tis sheer terror of the pain eating them would cause :-O.  I have about zip will power but pain is a great motivator *-)

Thanks again for this wonderful recipe.  Next time I might toss in some triticale flakes too.  Pat   (Proth5) got me interested in those and I was able to find some at my grocery store that are not expensive.

On that note....I was at Costco yesterday and they are now selling large bags of hemp seeds!  Don't recall the price but it wasn't as high as the bags I was looking at last winter.  Not sure if you found a 'cheap' source nearby so I just thought I would let you know.

Take Care,

Janet

hanseata's picture
hanseata

I'll try that next time. What a shame that you can't enjoy your breads - all of them?

Karin

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

Probably a good thing I can't eat or taste any of them or else I would be really picky about outcome :-)

I do not mind a bit because I love playing working with my leavens, the doughs and all the ways I am learning to use other ingredients in them.  I also love the way it makes my house smell and now, how baking in my garage is making it smell so wonderful. These rolls of yours smelled wonderful before they were baked and while they baked. :-)  I am anxiously waiting for my friend to send me a taste report....but I already know what it will be :-)  She will want more!

Janet

hanseata's picture
hanseata

Karin

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

German beet juice thing you could have had going on in your rolls instead of molasses?  But we think it would be great and would prefer the purple red color of the beets.  Another new ingredient for Ian,  but when I use granola, muesli or anything with dry oats and other dried fruits and nuts like those examples, I soak them in water or milk for an hour after microwaving them for 30 seconds or so to 175 F.  Squeeze out the liquid before dough dumping and no dryness to be found later.  Do the same thing with 6 grain cereal too.  If I am grinding them up to a finer flour, I just up the hydration to account for the wholeness thirst factor.  I usually follow recipes to a tee though , especially yours and never stray very far :-)

But, when you are following a recipe you would expect that the author had accounted for this instead of liking dry rolls way more than nice soft moist ones :-)

Your new batch looks great and the crumb looks like YW was working on it - soft and moist.  Love the decorations on the tops too.  At first, we almost thought they were chocolate cup cakes they were so pretty!  Can't get the red puple variation out of my mind.

Nice baking

hanseata's picture
hanseata

Sadly, I have to correct you, Dabrownman - I've seen mud splashed carts with loads of sugar beets in the German country side. They are NOT red, but boringly brown-yellowish. And the syrup looks much like molasses. I never made a taste test, but I don't think it makes much difference.

I'll keep your micowaving tip in mind, good to know, especially if you don't have much time for long soaking.

You should try them (you can always add some hemp seeds...:)

Karin

 

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

without chia, some fragrant seeds and nice schnapps! They don't have red sugar beets there? We need to send them some seeds!!!!  Where is the Queen of Seeds when you need her!

isand66's picture
isand66

Very nice bake Karin.

Your rolls look like they would be right up my alley.

As far as cook books go, I have about 7 book shelves from floor to ceiling in my basement devoted to cook books.  If I made each recipe I would need another lifetime to complete them all!  Most are my wife's baking and cooking books but I have my fair share of bread books, pizza books and barbeque books.  Funny thing is that I usually prefer to make my own recipe adaptations rather than follow a book, but sometimes it doesn't hurt to try an experts recipe.

Regards,
Ian

 

hanseata's picture
hanseata

Your lifetime estimate is most likely true. And when I consider the other baking books, cakes, desserts etc. - that would probably be another lifetime. Unfortunately I have a hard time resisting new baking books, and, also, there always new must-have kitchen gadgets.

I often just take the ingredients from a recipe, and change the procedure to what I like to work with best (usually Peter Reinhart's methods).

Karin

 

isand66's picture
isand66

Karin, you are very much like me.  I follow Peter Reinhart's methods almost exclusively with some adaptations based on some other methods I have seen here on TFL.

I find it usually works best for my schedule and I can't complain about the results mostly.  I do branch out once in a while and dry some other methods as well.

I have a separate room in my house shared by my cats litter boxes and all of our baking and cooking supplies and gadgets.  I am running out of space already!  My wife's baking bundt pans have a home all their own in my boiler room and basement!

Regards,

Ian

hanseata's picture
hanseata

My flour bags (50 lb) are stacked in the kitchen backstairs, smaller ones in a basement refrigerator and window sill, and the gadgets, bowls, bannetons etc. on top of microwave, and everywhere else I can cram them in.

My husband can't complain because his guitars and recording equipment fill the third flour, his picture framing machines and moldings a great part of the basement, and his tools usually one kitchen countertop .... our last move was something of a nightmare....

Karin

 

isand66's picture
isand66

I can't even imagine moving....I think I would have to drink heavily and take some tranquilizers!

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

slit my wrists, lay down in the gutter and cover myself in hemp $17.99 a pound hemp seeds! Or possibly have one of hanseata's fine rolls.

isand66's picture
isand66

Are you eating those hemp seeds or smoking them?  In this case smoking them would probably be the way to go :)

hanseata's picture
hanseata

Karin