Home-made rice wine

While shopping I happened to come across a package of yeast balls for making Chinese rice wine, and bought it on impulse. The week before, I had joined a bunch of friends in brewing beer, and was in the mood for more alcoholic adventures. So I decided to give it a try, with Clara F, who was also a fellow beer-brewer, and some guidance from recipes on the web (here, here, here, and here). It turned out to be remarkably straightforward, and doesn’t require anything special beyond the yeast and glutinous rice. Here is our recipe and some pictures of how it went!

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Rice wine in a glass

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My favorite breads

I happen to live upstairs from a bakery, which is a mixed blessing. It’s great to have bread available so conveniently, but some days it seems that all I eat is bread. After several months of pointing at different things and asking “wie heisst das?” I’ve finally settled on some kinds of bread that I really like.

For breakfast I usually have some Brötchen. My favorites are the cheese buns (Kasebrötchen) and the Ciabatta buns, though when I’m trying to save a few cents I get the Roggenbrötchen, which is pleasantly chewy and full of grains, or the soft Los-brötchen. My only complaint with the baker that’s downstairs is that their Kasebrötchen don’t have quite enough Kase to satisfy me, at least not as much as the other baker’s down the street. But I feel a bit guilty visiting the other one (maybe it’s because I’ve already gotten to know all the ladies working at the shop downstairs by sight) and so I only go down the street to buy Kasebrötchen on Sundays when the one downstairs is closed. Another recent favorite of mine is Camping-brötchen, which as far as I can tell is just a regular bun with honey glazing.

With whole loaves, I’ve settled on either Dinkelbrot, which is made with spelt, or Genussbrot. I’ve no clue what Genussbrot is made from, but it’s entertainingly chewy and spongy, which I like for some mysterious reason. Maybe it’s my love of novelty. Dinkelbrot is much heavier but also chewy, and it’s got a pleasant malty taste from the spelt, presumably. I’ve also gotten myself a bag of spelt grains to cook soups and stews with. Despite my love of chewy grains, I’m more ambivalent towards Pumpernickel bread. The sourness is a bit too sharp for my taste, and it crumbles too readily to make for neat eating.

All this makes it very hard for me to go back to plain white bread, save for one thing: ice cream sandwiches!