ALMOND BREAD

Kneading time: Mix for 2 minutes on a low speed in the food processor and then knead quickly for 4 – 5 minutes on a medium speed. Knead the pre-dough vigourously in the food processor to a dough temperature of around 24 °C and let the dough rest covered for 40 – 50 minutes.

Heat the MONOLITH to 230 degrees C with the deflector stones and drip pans in place (for steaming), place your pizza stone on the highest level, ideally on the third level grate if you have one (or purchase one from your MONOLITH dealer).

Briefly toast 200 g of whole almonds in a cast iron pan on the monolith at about 220 degrees and deglaze with about 100 ml of water.

Now add all the ingredients and the prepared pre-dough to the food processor and knead to form the main dough.

Kneading time: mix for 2 minutes on the lowest speed in the food processor and then knead quickly for 7 – 8 minutes on medium to high speed.

Carefully fold in/under the 200 g roasted almonds after the kneading time. The dough temperature should be around 22 – 24 °C.

Leave the dough covered in the kitchen (at room temperature) for at least 30 minutes to rest. Then weigh into four loaves of around 750 grams each, round (form a ball).

Brush the almond loaves with water, sprinkle with the unroasted 150 grams of chopped almonds and place on a tray with baking paper and let stand for about 45 minutes covered to proof.

After proofing, place the almond loaves on the tray directly in the preheated MONOLITH (230°C) on the pizza stone and pour into the drip trays about 150 ml of water for steaming. Close the lid and the top exhaust cap and bake for approx. 35 – 40 min. at 200 – 210 °C with the lid closed. Depending on the size of the tray, 2 almond loaves can be baked at the same time.

Tip: Dust with powdered sugar after baking.


BLITZ PUFF PASTRY

Blitz puff pastry / Dutch puff pastry is – with the right recipe – quick and easy to make by puff pastry standards and makes a fine base for various puff pastries: from savoury – filled vegetable – and cheese-ham wedges, to sweet variations, to cream puffs.

Blitz puff pastry / Dutch puff pastry has one advantage over store-bought puff pastry: You can make it with butter and not with vegetable fats, as they are often used in the industry – and of course that it is guaranteed to be fresh. This puff pastry preparation results in a puff pastry that is not quite as drippy, so it’s perfect for our savoury puff pastries.

Put all the dry ingredients into the food processor. Cut the cold butter into larger pieces (approx. 4 × 4 cm wide pieces) and add to the machine. Mix everything together briefly on the lowest setting of the food processor. This takes no more than 2 – 3 minutes, the dough should still have coarse pieces of butter.

The ingredients should not mix too much, this will happen when the dough is then toasted.

 

Touring

Step 1: The first simple tour (folding the dough together):

Once the ingredients have come together to form the dough, place it on a well-floured work surface, press it slightly flat with your hands and roll it out into a rectangle (approx. 40 × 80 cm, thickness: 1 cm).

The piece of dough is rectangular before rolling out, i.e. we have a long side and a short side. Roll out the dough slowly, loosening it up a little in between.

Once the dough is rolled out to the desired thickness, “touriest” it together. To do this, take the LEFT side of the rolled out dough and fold it to the middle, fold the RIGHT side over the LEFT side (Easy Tour), then let it relax covered in the fridge for 10 minutes.

Step 2:

The double tour: roll out the dough, if possible again to 40 x 80 cm, now fold in 1/4 of the left side, place the right 3/4 side in front of the left side and now place the left side over the right side, the double tour is now ready!

Step 3: The single tour: repeat step 1. Roll out the dough, tour and leave to rest briefly.

Step 4: The double tour: Repeat step 2. Roll out the dough and tour.

The dough should now rest briefly in the refrigerator until further processing.

After this short rest, take the flash pastry out of the fridge, roll it out on a floured work surface to approx. 40 x 80 cm, divide into squares approx. 1 cm thick and top the puff pastry pieces as you like.

For the filling: anything you like! Cut the vegetables into small pieces and roast them briefly, deglaze with wine or similar, season the meat and roast it, e.g. on the Monolith fire plate.

Now heat the Monolith to 220 – 230 degrees: insert deflector stones, drip tray (use for steaming), grill grid, second level and the pizza stone.

Now brush the edges with ice cream spread (1 egg, 50 ml milk and a pinch of salt) (not too thick), cover the puff pastry pieces as desired, press the corners towards the centre and then brush the puff pastry pieces with ice cream spread. Place the pastry pieces on a baking tray lined with baking paper and brush again with the ice cream spread (for shine).

Now place the baking tray with the puff pastry pieces on the pizza stone, pour approx. 100 ml water into the drip tray and close the lid, the air supply at the bottom and the valve lid at the top.

Baking time: approx. 18 – 22 minutes at 210 – 220 degrees.

 

Important:

The grill should have the preheated temperature for at least half an hour so that the lid also has enough heat to bake.

Also during touring, make sure that the flash puff pastry is rolled out slowly to the desired thickness (do not press with the rolling pin) so as not to destroy the layers of pastry.


EASTER WREATH

To begin, make the dough.

Pour the lukewarm milk into a bowl, crumble the yeast into it and add the sugar. Let the yeast mixture rest for about 5 minutes. Add the flour, salt and eggs to the yeast mixture and knead the dough with a dough hook for about 5 minutes. Gradually add the butter. Cover the bowl with a damp kitchen towel and leave to rise in a warm place for about an hour.

During this time, heat the Monolith indirectly to about 180 degrees. Chop the mountain cheese and the chives.

After an hour, roll out the dough thinly on a floured work surface. Then spread the dough evenly with the cream cheese. Spread the cheese, chives, salt and pepper and divide lengthwise into three equal parts. Roll up lengthwise and then braid the three pieces together to form a wreath.

It is best to place the wreath directly on the pizza stone and then whisk the egg yolk with the milk and carefully brush the wreath, spread the sesame seeds evenly and bake everything indirectly at 180 degrees for a good 40 minutes.

The hearty Easter wreath is ready!


EASTER PASTRY: NUT PLAIT AND PALM PRETZEL

Spring is on its way and Easter is just around the corner: it’s time to start thinking about the right pastries for the festivities. Kamado master baker Günter Müller, also known as der_feuerbäcker on Instagram, has prepared two recipes for sweet Easter pastries for you. You can use the same dough for both versions – if you like it nuttier and sweeter, you can make some wonderful nut plaits, while the delicious palm pretzels are a bit more classic. In any case, we hope you enjoy baking them!

To prepare the dough, put all the ingredients in the food processor and mix on low speed 2. After about 2 minutes, increase the speed to speed 3 – 4, depending on your food processor. Leave the dough to proof for about 8 – 10 minutes. Then remove the dough from the food processor, knead briefly and form a ball, cover with a pastry cloth and leave at room temperature for 50 minutes to rise.

For the glaze, add the lemon juice and sugar to the egg whites and mix everything together until there are no lumps. At this point at the latest, you should decide on one of the two recipes – or simply bake both.

 

Nut plait

First prepare the nut filling. To do this, roast the hazelnuts and almonds in a frying pan. Put the roasted nuts in a bowl with the sugar, the sponge crumbs and the cinnamon and mix everything well. Add the milk and the juice and zest of the lemon to the nuts. Then mix everything further and leave it covered.

Sprinkle the work surface with flour. Weigh out 6 dough pieces of 300 g each and roll out as rectangularly as possible to a thickness of approx. 3 – 4 mm. Mix the nut filling again and weigh out 6 portions of approx. 220 g each, then spread this on the 6 pieces and spread. Then roll up each piece of dough tightly. Place the right end of the strand in the middle and press firmly, now place the left end through the loop and upwards. Take the current right end, twist it away from you and finally pull the left end through the loop. Then place the braided pigtail on a tray with baking paper and let it rise, covered, at room temperature for about 45 minutes. In the meantime, heat the MONOLITH with deflector stones in place for indirect heat to 220 °C.

After rising, bake the plaits in the preheated MONOLITH at 220 °C for approx. 22 – 28 minutes on the highest level. Finally, brush the hot nut plaits with the glaze.

 

Palm pretzels

Weigh out approx. 100 g of the dough and roll long strands of dough – always 3 pieces for a palm pretzel. Place the 3 strands of dough next to each other on the table and start braiding. To do this, always alternate the outer strand of dough over the middle one. When the plait is made, place it lengthwise in front of you. Roll the ends of the dough tightly together. Cross the ends once and do the same a second time – this creates the classic pretzel shape. Then press the ends firmly together.

Place 3 palm pretzels on a tray with baking paper and let them rise, covered, at room temperature for about 35 – 45 minutes. In the meantime, heat the MONOLITH with deflector stones in place for indirect heat to 220 °C. After the pretzels have risen, bake them in the preheated MONOLITH for approx. 18 – 22 minutes on the highest level. Then brush the warm palm pretzels with the glaze and sprinkle with toasted almonds.


Alebatta

Ciabatta with beer? Okay, not really authentic and traditional – but still very tasty with many barbecue dishes or simply for breakfast or dinner.

As you know, the Monolith is wonderful for baking bread. Italian ciabatta is an absolute classic that I like to bake again and again. But of course you can also experiment with baking. So a while ago, while waiting for the bread to be ready, I had the idea of baking a beer ciabatta. Some rye flour provides a very harmonious taste in combination with the delicious full-bodied Indian Pale Ale.

Preparation:

Heat the beer to about 30 °C and dissolve the yeast and honey in it. Wait 10 minutes, then process the yeast/beer mixture with the flour and 3 tbsp. olive oil in a food processor or by hand to a soft but no longer sticky dough. If necessary, adjust the dough if it is too wet with a little flour, or if too dry with a little beer or water.

Grease a large bowl with the remaining olive oil and leave the dough in the bowl, covered, to proof for several hours – or even overnight – in the refrigerator.

Then leave the dough to rise further at room temperature and pull it outwards in the bowl to all sides and fold it back to the centre. This process should be repeated about 3 – 4 times at 30 minute intervals to build up the gluten structure and provide nice bubbles in the dough.

After the dough has been allowed to rise and folded for a few hours at room temperature, it should be nice and soft and bubbly. Then turn the dough out onto a floured board and, without kneading or shaping it, divide it into 2 loaves with a knife or dough spatula. Carefully flour and lightly shape on all sides and then place on a tray with baking paper, lightly score diagonally with a sharp knife and let rest again at room temperature covered with a cloth for at least 1 – 2 hours.

Fill the monolith with fresh charcoal and light it. Insert both deflector stones and place a heat-resistant container on the deflector. I like to use an old cast iron pan or a Dutch Oven lid for this, but the SGS drip pans would also work. Insert the grates and place the pizza stone in the middle.

With the air supply and exhaust open, let the grill reach about 260 °C and then adjust the vents to maintain this temperature and allow time to heat the ceramic through.

Meanwhile, heat about 1 litre of water.

Carefully lift the bread dough by hand or with the Monolith pizza peel onto the hot pizza stone (tip: cut baking paper to the size of the pizza stone) and then pour the water into the hot container on the deflector to create steam. Be careful not to spill any water on the deflector stones or in the embers and be careful not to get caught in the steam cloud! A clean watering can is also ideal for this. Close the lid of the Monolith and also close the vents almost fully to bake the bread in the hot steam, which provides a wonderful crust. The temperature will then drop to about 200-220°C over the next few minutes.

After about 10 minutes, open the air vents again to about halfway and bake the breads for another 10 – 15 minutes, depending on their size.

Remove the breads from the Monolith with the pizza peel and leave to cool on a wire rack.

 

Tip: The tap test helps to check the degree of cooking: if you gently tap the underside of the breads they should sound hollow and not dull. A pair of heatproof gloves like the Monolith leather gloves are helpful here.

The bread tastes wonderful with good butter or a little olive oil and salt, but of course it also goes well as a BBQ side dish with many dishes. Marco Greulich wishes you lots of fun!