Sweet Grapevines

Dietmar & Food-Pairing?

An amazing synergy was brought to life by the wine expert Michael, and it is shown in this incredible recipe. The goal was to create a connection between a singular wine and dried wine grapes. My understanding was to create a bread as a platform for these two strong characters; to create a portal, that raises the expectation and ushers in the feeling of goosebumps like when entering a cathedral. The requirement to align the taste, smell, and mouth-feel of this pastry was a challenge for me. The result was a new experience, a new tier. But read what Michael writes:

On the occasion of a visit to New York, on the agenda was a culinary survey of the local bakeries. Especially the smaller, family fun bakeries that are known for specific hand made items that often sell out before noon.

One of them is Amy’s Bread on Manhattan’s Ninth Avenue. After all, the small chain consisting of 6 bakeries was rated as one of the “10 Best Bread Bakers in America” (Dessert Professional Magazine). In the pleasantly smelling shop, a small, dark crusted twist-roll immediately caught our eye. Crunchy, sweet, complex in flavor, a seduction and and absolute revelation on the palate.

So why not take some back home with you to share with your friend, the baking virtuoso, Dietmar? Now highly motivated, he immediately got to work in his bakery, and after a few attempts, he was able to come up with something that surpassed the original. Together we came up with the idea of using a sweet wine as part of the bulk liquid in the dough. Not just any sweet wine or honey, but a sweet wine that could not just bring sugary sweetness, but complexity, exotic flavors, and depth to the bread. Thus, the name SÜßE WEINREBEN (sweet grape vines) came to mind. On the one hand, this epicurean bread temptation is reminiscent of old grape vines in its shape and form, and on the other hand there is actually sweet wine in the dough. After a few attempts, the choice fell on TORO ALBALA, with their 2018 DON PX 2018, which is vinified from sun-dried Pedro Ximenez grapes, and brings an immensely complex sweet wine that is also affordable. Don’t worry, not all of it goes in the dough. Just like the motto: “I love baking with wine, sometimes I even put some in the dough.”

The production process is both fascinating and impressive. TORO ALBALA harvest the PEDRO XIMENEZ grapes and dries them directly in the sun at temperatures of 35 ° C – 55 ° C for about 2 weeks. Then the raisined grapes are pressed, which from seven kilograms of grapes gives 1 liter of juice with around 500 grams of sugar per liter. The subsequent fermentation results in 5% alcohol. As a result, the wine is increased to 17% alcohol, similar to port wine. This is done using a special process. TORO ALBALA uses a double-distilled product of grapes from the previous year’s harvest. This is how this extremely complex, deep and sexy sweet wine is created, which, together with our sweet grapevines, results in a flavor experience that has to be tasted to be believed. And in combination with the right cheese ….


Total Recipe

570gWheat Flour Type 700/55052%
520gWholegrain Spelt Flour48%
100g2018 DON PX 20189%
80gchopped dried pears7%
80gchopped dried figs7%
50gchopped prunes5%
100gHazel nuts9%
80gSugar Syrup7%

Lievito Madre

220gWheat Flour Type 700/550
110gWater 35°C

Mix all ingredients on slow for 3-4 minutes in the kneading machine. Then let it rise for 4 hours at room temperature.

Fruit Mixture

100gHazel nuts
80gchopped dried pears
50gchopped prunes
80gchopped dried figs
50gSugar syrup

Soak fruits with sugar syrup for 12-24 hours. The amount of sugar syrup was adjusted to the moisture level of the respective fruit. Too much soaking with syrup leads to mushy fruits – these would be completely crushed when kneaded.

Main dough

520gWholegrain Spelt Flour
350gWheat Flour Type 700/550
330gmature Lievito Madre
(reserve the starter and store in the refrigerator)
480gWater, cold
100g2018 DON PX 2018
(with an active rising Madre, the yeast can be omitted)


  • Knead the ingredients from the main dough for 6 minutes on slow and 5 minutes on fast.
  • The fruit mixture is mixed in on slow speed as soon as the dough is well kneaded..
  • After the dough production place it in an oiled tub and allow to rise for 90 minutes. Fold the dough once after 45 minutes!
  • To work the dough, turn it out onto a floured work surface. Make sure the dough is in a rectangular mass.
  • Divide the dough into 6 equal sized pieces and form into rectangles.
  • Allow to relax briefly for 15 minutes.
  • To work up further, divide each piece into 4 equal sized pieces with a sough knife or a pizza cutter.
  • Now twist each dough piece twice from each end and place close together in groups of 4 on a baking tray.
  • 30-45 minute final proof
  • The twists are baked at 245°C with strong steam.
  • Reduce the oven temperature to 230°C after 5 minutes.
  • Appro. baking time of 18-20 minutes.