Monday, November 2, 2015

Fresh Goat Cheese with Honey, Walnuts & Rye Leaves - Ziegenfrischkäse mit Honig, Walnüssen & Roggen-Blättern

Last week, the owners of the "Minten" Dairy Goat Farm invited the public to visit their farm and their small farm shop located in the picturesque town of Rheinbach, Germany. The idea behind this event was to introduce the visitors to the different varieties of goat milk cheese that they produce at their farm.
Die Familie Minten lud am Samstag, den 24. Oktober zu einem kleinen Hoffest auf ihren Milchziegenhof Minten in Rheinbach ein. Die Besucher waren eingeladen die verschiedenen Ziegenkäsespezialitäten kennenzulernen, bevor Ende November die Milchziegen des Hofs in die "wohlverdiente Babypause gehen".

The owners raise two different breeds of goats. On one hand the very pretty white ones called the "White German Goats" (Weiße Deutsche Edelziege), a species of goats that has been called that way since the year 1928 - it is considered to be the most common kind of goats presently being raised in Germany. These goats produce about 850 to 1200 kilos of milk per year, a very good yield, I was told.
Auf dem Milchziegenhof Minten werden zwei Sorten Ziegen gehalten. Zum einen die Weiße Deutsche Edelziege (WDE). Seit 1928 werden alle weißen Schläge in Deutschland unter diesem Namen zusammengefasst. Die Weiße Deutsche Edelziege kommt hauptsächlich in Baden-Württemberg, Niedersachsen, Nordrhein-Westfalen und Schleswig-Holstein vor. Sie gibt im Jahr etwa 850 kg bis 1200 kg Milchmenge.

The owners also raise the very pretty light and dark brown goats called "Colorful German Goat" (Bunte Deutsche Edelziege). These goats have been called this way since 1928. They produces about the same amout of milk as the white ones do - the owner told me that "maybe just slightly less" - they are considered to be a tad more "lively"  than their white colleagues - hence they were a bit harder to photograph properly...
1928 entstand die Rasse Bunte Deutsche Edelziege (BDE), als man verschiedene Farbvarianten braun getönter Ziegen aus allen Gebieten Deutschlands zusammenfasste. Sie gibt im Jahr ebenfalls etwa 850 kg bis 1200 kg Milchmenge. Der Besitzer sagte mir, dass die beiden Sorten "fast gleichviel Milch geben" - wobei die braunen Ziegen ein wenig "aktiver" als ihre weißen Kollegen sind - und damit auch ein wenig schwieriger zu fotografieren...

The cheeses that are for offered at the shop can vary according to the season. When we visited, the cheeses for sale included soft goat cheese (plain, with herbs or with ramson); goat cheese feta-style (plain, with herbs or garlic); marinated goat cheese (with pepper, herbs, tomatoes and chili); goat cheese gouda-style (plain, with green pepper, caraway, and fenugreek); and a new specialty, namely a goat cheese marinated in red wine. Apart from the fresh cheeses they was also goat salami and goat sausages for the bbq available for sampling and for sale. If you happen to have a suitable container on hand while you visit, yo might also be able to buy fresh goat milk.
Die angebotenen Produkte im Hofladen können je nach Saison variieren. Das Sortiment enthält Ziegenfrischkäse (natur, mit Gartenkräutern oder Bärlauch); Ziegenweichkäse Feta Art (natur oder mit Kräutern und Knoblauch); Ziegenfrischkäse-Bällchen (mit Pfeffer, Kräutern, Tomaten und Chili); Peppenhovener Ziegenkäse (natur, mit grünem Pfeffer, Bockshornklee, Kümmel, usw.) und Peppenhovener Ziegenroter (eingelegt in Rotwein). Neben den verschiedenen Ziegenkäsesorten gibt es auch Ziegensalami und Ziegengrillwurst. Es wird auch Ziegenmilch angeboten wenn es die Saison erlaubt.

When you visit the farm shop, you are likely to find not only fresh goat cheese there but also products from other regional farmers and manufacturers. The shelves were stacked with honey, fresh eggs, jams and pasta.
Man findet im kleinen Hofladen der Familie Minten weitere Produkte aus der Region, zum Beispiel frische Eier, selbstgemachte Marmeladen, Nudeln, Eierlikör und Honig.

As we all know, the longer a goat cheese ripens, the more pronouced it will taste. The young and still soft fresh goat cheese still has a very delicate and mild flavor that harmonizes so very well with fresh or even dried herbs, such as parsley or chives. It is also quite delicious with freshly cracked black pepper or some lovely crunchy Fleur de Sel. Sometimes I also like to serve it alongside some fig jam or apricot compote.

But now, with fall aromas wafting through the cool air, we enjoy the fresh goat cheese with some lovely local runny honey and some walnuts and homebaked warm rye-leaves - you could not ask for a more delicious or more seasonal appetizer than this one.
Die Länge der Reifezeit bestimmt bekanntlich die Geschmacksrichtung des Ziegenkäses. Der junge und noch weiche Ziegenfrischkäse hat einen delikaten und noch sehr milden Geschmack, wobei er hervorragend mit frischen oder getrockneten Kräutern wie Petersilie oder Schnittlauch harmoniert. Lecker schmeckt er auch mit etwas schwarzem Pfeffer aus der Mühle oder Fleur de Sel. Ich serviere ihn auch sehr gerne mit Feigenkonfitüre oder Aprikosenkompott.

Jetzt im Herbst geniessen wir Ziegenfrischkäse am liebsten mit flüssigem Honig von unserem Lieblings-Imker, frisch geknackten Walnüssen vom Markt und noch warmen, selbst gebackenen Roggen-Blättern. Was für eine wunderbar herbstliche Vorspeise!

Fresh Goat Cheese with Honey, Walnuts and Rye Leaves

Ingrediensts for the Rye Leaves
  • 100 grams wheat flour (I use white)
  • 100 gram rye flour (I ususally get my flour from this local mill here)
  • 15 grams fresh yeast
  • 75 ml likewarm water (approx. 37 ° Celsius)
  • 5 tbsps mild olive oil
  • 1 tbsp superfine sugar
  • a pinch of fine sea salt

Ingredients for the Topping
  • 200 grams fresh goats´ cheese
  • 30 grams freshly cracked walnuts
  • some runny honey (preferably from your local favorite beekeeper)
Ziegenfrischkäse mit Honig, Walnüssen und Roggen-Blättern

Zutaten für die Roggen-Blätter
  • 100 g Weizenmehl Type 550
  • 100 g Roggenmehl Type 997, z. B. von der Broicher Mühle (Info hier)
  • 15 g frische Hefe, zerbröckelt
  • 75 ml warmes Wasser (ca.37 Grad)
  • 5 EL mildes Olivenöl
  • 1 TL feinster Zucker
  • etwas feines Meersalz

Zutaten für den Ziegenfrischkäse
  • 200 g Ziegenfrischkäse von Minten (Info hier)
  • 30 g gehackte Walnüsse
  • flüssiger milder Honig (möglichst von einem Imker aus der Nähe) 

  1. For the rye leaves, using the dough hooks of your hand mixer, mix together the wheat flour, the rye flour, the yeast, 75 ml lukewarm water, 2 tbsps olive oil, 1 tbsp sugar, a pinch of salt. 
  2. Cover your mixing bowl with a tea towel and let the dough rest in a warm spot for about 30 minutes.
  3. Roll out the dough on your lightly floured work surface.
  4. Cut leave shapes from your rolled-out dough, either using cookie cutters or collect "real leaves" to use as templates.
  5. Add 2 to 3 tbsps olive oil to a non-stick pan and fry your leaves in the pan, on medium heat, for about 3 minutes on each side.
  6. Transfer carefully to a cooling rack and let cool slightly - so the leaves will not break.
  7. Serve the leaves alongside fresh goat cheese, cracked walnuts and your favorite local runny honey.
  1. Für den Teig der Roggenblätter Weizenmehl, Roggenmehl, Hefe, 75 ml lauwarmes Wasser, 2 EL Olivenöl, 1 TL Zucker und Salz mit den Knethaken des Handrührgeräts zu einem glatten Teig verarbeiten.
  2. Mit einem Tuch abdecken und an einem warmem Ort ungefähr 30 Minuten gehen lassen.
  3. Den Teig auf der leicht bemehlten Arbeitsfläche ausrollen.
  4. Aus dem Teig Blätter ausstechen oder schneiden (am besten ein Originalblatt als Ausschneidehilfe benutzen).
  5. 2 bis 3 EL Öl in einer beschichteten Pfanne erhitzen, die Blätter darin von jeder Seite ungefähr 3 Minuten bei mittlerer Hitze braten.
  6. Auf einem Kuchenrost etwas erkalten lassen, damit sie beim Servieren nicht brechen
  7. Ziegenfrischkäse mit Honig und frisch gehackten Walnüssen und Roggen-Blättern servieren.

The owners make a point of visiting regional farmers´ markets on a regular basis. That way they can introduce more customers to their wonderful products. For example, they also sold some of their cheese at the farmers´ market in the town of Gelsdorf at the end of October (you can vist my post here). You can also find an assortment of their cheeses in some farm shops.
Regelmäßig ist die Familie Minten auf Wochenmärkten sowie auf regionalen Bauernmärkten mit ihren Produkten vertreten, wie zum Beispiel beim Tag der offenen Höfe und Betriebe in Gelsdorf  Ende Oktober) - siehe auch mein Post hier. Auch in einigen Bauernläden in unserer Gegend kann man ihre Produkte finden.

For more information:

Dairy Goat Farm "Minten"
Peppenhoven 8
53359 Rheinbach
Mehr Informationen:

Milchziegenhof Minten 
Hofkäserei mit Bauernladen
Peppenhoven 8
53359 Rheinbach


  1. What gorgeous photos and this post made me hungry. I love the look of your rye leaves and this is a perfect appetizer for fall!

    1. Marcelle, what a lovely comment - you are making me one very happy blogger by commenting on my pictures - taking photographs of these lovely goats proved to be a fun challenge and this post turned out to be one of my favorite posts - I love fall.

  2. Oh Andrea, I love the pictures of the farm animals...they are so cute and yes, the pictures are so real...I almost feel that I am there...thank you for this extraordinary experience.
    I like the simplicity of the the idea of the leaf shape and the creamy goat cheese with honey...
    Have a wonderful week ahead :)

    1. Juliana, aren´t they adorable?! Simple is the best BUT you should make sure to use high quality flours here - I used rye and wheat flour (freshly milled) from a local artisan flour mill, plus a very mild and good quality olive oil for the "pan frying part" - simple also means you have to use the best ingredients that you can.
      So nice to hear from you again, dear friend - hope all is well!

  3. OOOOOOOOOOO, Andrea,
    you are such a Delight, dear.
    The photos are Fabulous. The goats! The cheese next to the leaf cookies! Did I say GOATS?!
    Wonderful! xx

    1. Kim, dear friend - thank you so much - and, yes, you did say "goats" - I like them quite a bit actually. But then I like a lot of farm animals - they certainly liked to have their pictures taken...but in exchange for food only...

  4. Hi Andrea, what beautiful animals, we had one growing up that was a pet and very stubborn used to eat everything my mom did not want him to eat. great pets. Great post.

    1. Thank you, Cheri - do not know about goats being great pets but I do know that goat cheese is unbeatable.

  5. WallysMd November 3, 2015 at 4:12 AM

    Das sind ja traumhafte Fotos mit herbstlicher Komposition und koestlich harmonierenden Zutaten. Erst dachte ich, dass es eine Art Muerbeteig ist, aber das ist ja auch wieder eine Idee, den Heferoggenteig in der Pfanne zu braten und der Backofen mal kalt bleibt. Wie sehr du deine Lieben verwöhnst :-) Herbstgruesse aus FredericKk!

    1. Vielen Dank liebe Wally, dieser ist einer meiner Lieblngsposts geworden - ich liebe Ziegenkäse und Ziegen, die ich unwahrscheinlich photogen finde! Wenn ich könnte, würde ich mir ein paar davon in den Garten holen.
      Liebe herzliche Grüße aus dem traumhaft herbstlichen Bonn,

    2. For some reason your original comment would not publish the regular way - so I took the liberty and did it this way - hope that is alright!

    3. ja, es ist immer irgendwie seltsam, muss manchmal meinen Kommentar zweimal posten....

    4. Liebe Wally, Danke für deine Geduld und für dein Verständnis, aber nach Zeitungsartikeln, Radio, TV usw. über den Kochwettbewerb habe ich den "moderation modus" mal eingeschaltet...
      Liebe Grüße,

  6. You truly captured the "personality" of the goats in your photos! We love goat cheese and are lucky to have a goat farm nearby to supply us with cheese and milk, although no sausages. I got so me fresh cheese on Sunday with no real plan for it, and now I know we can serve it as an appetizer for our dinner party tomorrow with honey and nuts. I will get the rye flour today to make these delightful "leaves!" One question - when you call for wheat flour, are you using whole wheat or white? Liebe Grüße, David

    1. Dear David, love their faces and their expressions - I know fully well that that might sound a little odd but goats are truly pretty animals with strong characters.
      For the leaves I usually buy white wheat flour - in combination with the rye flour that seems to be a perfect match. But by all means feel free to try this recipe with wholewheat flour instead.Same holds true for the rye flour.
      If you have any other questions, please do not hesitate to ask me.
      Happy baking - let me know how they turned out if you get a chance to make them.

  7. What a fun day you had and what a simple but delicious sounding recipe. It's always wonderful to have a quick and easy appetizer that everyone will love. This would be wonderful for the holidays coming up!

    1. Thank you for your kind words, Scott - I truly appreciate them - yes, it will be the holidays before we know it and delicious, straightforward recipes for appetizer all always good to have - as long as the ingredients are first class.

  8. Hello Andrea, what a good story and fun to learn a bit about the producers goats as well. Your rye leaves look delicious alongside, a nice combination. Glad I happened upon it because I never saw this good story in my inbox and am wondering if it was due to a bunch of required updates on my computer, urgh. Anyhow, thanks for sharing such a nice story too.

    1. Peggy, love goats, love a good goat cheese and I love these rye leaves - this post is one of my favorites, combining a bit of facts about the anlmals, the producer and the product itself.
      Thank you for your kind comments!

  9. Since I will spend the winter in California, I will have access to fresh goat cheese and can visit the actual farms (which I intend to do this year). Although I am familiar with the different stages of Parm, I am not very sophisticated regarding cheeses (or anything, really) and need to learn more. And, because I can convert grams into ounces or another measurement, I can do it. Why oh Why didn't we adopt the metric system?