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Biersuppe

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TasunkaWitko View Drop Down
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    Posted: 08 May 2019 at 14:06
As can be seen above,, I agonized quite a bit over which beer to use when I made Biersuppe; this overview of German beers, From Time/Life's Foods of the World - The Cooking of Germany (1969) contains a few inaccuracies, but in general helps to point one in the right direction:

Quote The Many Faces of German Beer

As an accompaniment to dining out, and as a pastime in itself, beer-drinking is one of Germany's oldest and best-known customs, involving a consumption of some 2 billion gallons a year. Generally distinguished as dark or light, German beers also come in sweet and bitter, weak and strong, top- and bottom-fermented varieties (depending on the type of yeast, which floats or sinks during the brewing). Among the bottom-fermented beers is Lager (meaning "to store", which is aged about six weeks to clear and mellow it. Export is a stronger beer, stored about two to three months so it will not cloud up during shipment. Another is the bitterish Pilsener, originally brewed in Pilsen, Czechoslovakia. Pilsener and other light beers are often served with Schnaps. The dark, strong and seductive Bock is brewed in winter and consumed in spring. Märzenbier, with a colour between light and dark, is served at the Oktoberfest in Munich.

Top-fermented beers are cloudy as a result of after-fermentation in the bottle. Among them is the weak, frothy Weissbier or "white beer," which in Munich is served with a lemon slice. The delicate, Champagne-like Berliner Weisse lovingly nicknamed "cook blonde" by Berliners, is brewed entirely from wheat and is customarily served mit Schuss ("with a shot of syrup") Other top-fermented beers include the light Altbier ("old beer"), derived from a Renish favourite called Kölsch, and the sweet, dark Malzbier favoured by women and children because it is nutritious but very low in alcohol.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pitrow Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 September 2017 at 08:57
it's funny that this thread should pop back up. Just the other day I came across a Dutch recipe for 'bierpap' or beer porridge, that's served for dinner. I'm curious to try it alongside the biersuppe to see how they differ and if the results of the pap will be the same underwhelming results the biersuppe gave.  
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 September 2017 at 16:07
Karl - should we start a new thread for Medieval Spiced Cakes?

I imagine that they would span many regions, so perhaps in the "Breads, Grains and Baking" Forum?

Let me know!

Ron
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Karl Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 September 2017 at 15:48
Originally posted by TasunkaWitko TasunkaWitko wrote:

Karl -

This is a pretty cool link; thanks for sharing!

I am going to copy/paste it over to the "Tools of the Trade" section, where hopefully an interesting discussion will take off....   


I am slowly but surely expanding on the spiced cake possibilities in the wedding feast menu.   Some folks who moved away from sunny Juneau to Washington state are at least looking into recreating that fest for an SCA event.  Maybe they will let know how it goes someday. 



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 September 2017 at 08:21
Karl -

This is a pretty cool link; thanks for sharing!

I am going to copy/paste it over to the "Tools of the Trade" section, where hopefully an interesting discussion will take off....   
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Karl Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 September 2017 at 23:18
http://www.cookiemold.com/CookieMolds-History.html  
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Karl Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 August 2017 at 12:28
Once you hang something up as a kitchen decoration it becomes invisible so I almost forgot that I picked up one of these cast iron molds too:

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Karl Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 August 2017 at 12:23
I used this cast iron mold last Christmas to make several kits (both designs) for a DAR bake sale.  I made several extra little people from the mold for the DAR ladies to give out a samples since so many people are underwhelmed by gingerbread.  Due to this apparently none of the houses were actually assembled since the buyers just opened the bags and started eating them there.  Ermm  If I had guessed this it would have been easier to have just made gingerbread cookies. 


I would not mind finding more of these old style wooden molds.  They are a little tedious to use even if you grease them well it is tricky to peel the molded gingerbread out and keep it intact. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gracoman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 August 2017 at 20:44
Originally posted by Karl Karl wrote:

Sorry, I missed the gingerbread mold part.  It has been a long week today.

I've owned the same mold for 30 years.  We bake and decorate a log cabin gingerbread house (flip side of the pictured mold) every Christmas.  Nice post!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Karl Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 August 2017 at 18:26
Sorry, I missed the gingerbread mold part.  It has been a long week today.





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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Karl Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 August 2017 at 18:10
Thank you for the additional spice cake recipe.  The more the better.

Not being a big beer drinker I had not thought about the modern hoppy beers vs medieval brews.  http://www.beerscenemag.com/2010/04/the-short-and-bitter-history-of-hops/  It looks like hops was just beginning to become fashionable about the time this wedding feast was being described and there were still other options around. 

The hops sort of compliments beer&cheese soups more than spiced soup. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 August 2017 at 15:54
Hi, Karl -

Great post! I will read the rest of it when I have more time, but I got to thinking about the soup itself. I can't speak for everyone else who has tried it, but I know that when I made mine, I used an American beer. These seem (to me, at least) to be more aggressively hopped than most of the German beers I have tried. In fact, the German hefeweizens (which generally have spicy and fruity notes, as well), usually have very, very low bitterness, especially compared to American beers.

I am wondering if this is the difference - I have brewed a couple of German-style hefeweizens, and have tried several others; thinking about it now, I could see where they would be much "better" with the profile of this soup. I will probably test this hypothesis, the next chance I get.

I think you are spot-on with your ideas on the spice cakes, as well. It makes good sense, and goes along pretty well with what I know. I was also looking at the recipe for Andy's grandmother's Streuselkuchen:

http://foodsoftheworld.activeboards.net/my-grandmothers-streuselkuchen_topic1271.html

It seems to fit right in, as well.

The idea of these gingerbread molds is pretty cool - I've heard of them but can't recall seeing them, except perhaps simple hearts. Worthy of further discussion, for sure!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Karl Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 August 2017 at 13:26
One of my original guinea pigs just e-mailed me looking for an(other) over-the-top medieval feast to prepare for an event and I recalled this thread.

I am wondering what they meant by "spice cakes" in the first course?  Gingerbread maybe since there was such a following for this as a digestive and treat at that time?  https://germanfoods.org/german-food-facts/guide-to-german-cookies-and-cakes/

"Germany’s world-famous Lebkuchen is a richly-spiced gingerbread made with honey, flour, sugar, eggs, hazelnuts, walnuts, almonds, candied orange and lemon peel, marzipan and spices like cinnamon, ginger, aniseed, cloves, pimento, coriander and cardamom. Please see recipe here.

Although gingerbread has been baked in Europe for centuries, of all the European countries, Germany is the one with the longest and strongest gingerbread tradition, especially in regards to the flat shaped gingerbreads known as Lebkuchen.

Lebkuchen were first baked in the city of Nuremberg in 1395. In 1643, Nuremberg created a Lebkuchen Baker’s Guild, which began with 14 master gingerbread bakers who were required to make the gingerbread following strict guidelines."


Townsend has several excellent gingerbread baking videos in YouTube cooking series like: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gaGnBm_o02k  Apparently medieval gingerbread was very secretive and enjoyed a unique claim to being a chemically leavened bread as opposed to yeast.  This along with the ginger may have made it almost medicinal or at least a palate cleanser.


I was lucky enough to stumble on an old wooden gingerbread mold of a (Polish?) king so I had to try a batch.  To my pleasant surprise, my lovely but picky wife liked it.  She even bagged some up to hide at work.  She doesn't like much so this is noteworthy.   She just bought me a stoneware sheep gingerbread mold as a hint to make more.  I have a couple cast iron molds too so maybe a big batch is called for.  Maybe I'll try pearlash or hartshorn. 

This is another possible spice cake recipe might similar to Springerle:  http://www.thespringerlebaker.com/ken_recipes.html   Since the recipe calls for hartshorn it suggests that it is very old. 



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AK1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 April 2012 at 12:04
I think Karl hit the nail on the head, when he said it was "too beery" . What I found was that it tasted like warm, flat beer with spices added.


perhaps, this is what it is supposed to taste like, maybe, maybe not. I'm not sure if the medieval palate was the same as ours, or whether they ate stuff just for the sake of eating it, and showing off.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 April 2012 at 10:43
hi, darko - very glad that you were able to try this, and i agree with your impression.
 
i am thinking next time, i will try a lighter (in the german context) lager, and will perhaps also try to thicken it just a bit, maybe with a roux.
 
it certainly has potential, because i loved the flavours - the beer was just a little off and it was awfully thin, something i am not used to with soups....
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AK1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 April 2012 at 14:42
I did try this a while ago, and found it "slightly off".  I think that the selection of beer will have a lot to do with the flavour. My impression is that this is one of those recipe's that are very simple to make, but difficult to get "just right".
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 April 2012 at 09:55

say, karl - sorry that you did not find the biersuppe to your liking. i made the heisse biersuppe:

 
and found it to be pretty good, although it could have been a little better. after trying it, i am thinking that a lager might have been a better choice (a little less hoppy or bitter or something) - also, as you noted, it was quite thin, and this made it a little awkward to eat, but basically, i found it to be good.
 
when you get the chance, i think i speak for everyone when i say it would be great if we could see some pictures of these medieval re-creations - the next time you have one, please feel free to post about it! Clap
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Karl Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 February 2012 at 12:09
I tried this recipe Saturday night:

Münchner Biersuppe
Munich Beer Soup
 
2 tablespoons butter
4 cups (1 litre) light beer
Salt, pepper and sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground caraway
A pinch of ground nutmeg
The juice of 1 lemon
2 egg yolks
1/3 cup (100 millilitres) cream
4 tablespoons croutons
 
Melt the butter in a pan. Add the beer, season with salt and pepper, a pinch of sugar, caraway, nutmeg and lemon juice. Bring to a boil, and remove from the heat at once. Whisk the egg yolks with the cream, and stir into the soup. Serve with croutons.

It did not go over well.  It was too thin (even after adding a little flour to thicken it), very beery, and a bit too lemony.  It needs something else.  I think that I'll stick to beer and cheese soup for now.  On the other hand, none of us who tried it are beer drinkers. 

On a better note, I guesstimated the millet gruel recipe which was much better received.   Chop a package of bratwurst into about 1" pieces and remove skin.  Make marble sized balls out of ground lamb, then brown them together.  Meanwhile put 2 cups millet and 6 cups cold water in a dutch oven with a tsp salt, a little pepper, a pinch of saffron threads, and a bunch of shredded kale.  Bring to boil then reduce to simmer and cover for 45 minutes.  Stir in drained meat balls and serve. 

None of us were particularly familiar with cooking or eating whole millet before but it is a pleasantly starchy and slightly sweet grain with no after taste (like quinoa).  There was none left and I might keep experimenting with this recipe like adding tomatoes an spices to make a sort of renaissance German jambalaya. 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 February 2012 at 10:00
For those interested, I added one more biersuppe recipe to the original post. This one reflects the Slavic population of Germany.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 February 2012 at 21:54
>>>I made it with Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, which is a little more hoppy and bitter than the light beers and weiss biers...<<<
 
one that i was considering was trout slayer ale for the heisse biersuppe:
 
 
but i if your pale ale experience was unsatisfactory, it might not be the best choice.
 
i'd like to stick with a montana-brewed beer, if possible - perhaps bayern's pilsener would be the one:
 
 
or, based on it's description, bayern's st. wilbur weizen might be the way to go:
 
 
there might be a couple of choices in the "light, non-bitter" category - which is what i am looking for with this. i will take a look tomorrow or friday.
 
finding out should be fun, though!
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