Wishing you all a lovely Easter, a few days of rest and relaxation and a fantastic time!
Archive for the ‘weird austrian food’ Category
Because Grandma gave me a packet of instant potato dough when we were visiting her home in Austria, I had to find nice apricots in Sweden (not the easiest task) and make some apricot dumplings. And take a picture and post it here, of course!
Now I just have to learn how to make potato dough from scratch so I can post the recipe. And make them again, because fruit dumplings are delicious! :)
Back from vacation! And a new job just started, so new bentos will be coming soon. For now, I’ll be working up my summer photo backlog…
Happy Easter to all you Werebunnies! Hope you had a great day, spring weather and lovely eggs to munch on.
(also, baking Osterpinzen this year I noticed that WereRabbits is now the #1 Google hit for this search term! Not for “Osterpinze” (singular) though – let’s amend this with an updated recipe:
Makes 4 big ones (with egg) or 6 small-ish, bun-sized ones.
30g yeast (the non-dry kind)
1 yolk + 1 whole egg for brushing
125ml dry white wine (can substitute water&lemon zest)
5 Tsp. sugar
pinch of salt
4 easter eggs for putting in the pinze, if you like.
I liked the assembly instructions of this recipe, and it made the dough a lot easier to handle than the last one:
Put the flour into a big yeasting bowl. Warm the milk to room temp and add the yeast, then pour the mix on top of the flour (best to make a small depression into the flour, like a bowl). Sprinkle with some leftover flour and let yeast for about 15 minutes or until nice and frothy.
In the meanwhile, prepare the rest of the ingredients. Warm the sugar, wine and butter and combine. Part the eggs (if you don’t know what to do with the leftover eggwhites, freeze them for later or – I just saw a video about a nice egg mask for your face…).
When you’re done, add the yolks and the wine-butter-sugar mixture to your dough, and stir until a nice dough is formed and doesn’t stick to the bowl any more. Let it yease until the dough has doubled in volume. In the meanwhile, if you haven’t already, boil and dye your easter eggs.
When the dough has doubled in volume, punch it down, cut into 4-6 pieces (I made 4, which are nice and big enough to stick eggs in them), roll the pieces into smooth balls and put on a baking tray lined with paper. Brush with the remaining yolk-and-egg mixture. Let rise for another 15-30 minutes. In the meanwhile, preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
Brush again with the egg mixture. Using a clean pair of scissors, make three cuts into each ball. Brush one last time. Make an X-shaped incision in the top and gently press the egg into it. Put it in the oven and bake until golden brown (I used 10-15 minutes with steam and another 10 without steam).
Need a last-minute gift to bring to your Christmas party? These homemade chocolates take almost no time at all.
Ice chocolate is also a traditional Christmas candy in Sweden, but I used to make it at home as well. It’s homemade chocolate that comes in little forms – and is cooled down by putting them out in the snow! (But warmer countries need not despair, the freezer is fine as well.)
I put my foot down on using my grandma’s recipe though – I was NOT going to make it with pre-made cooking chocolate. Nope, nothing but cocoa, sugar and cocos fat in this one.
250g Cocos fat
200g powdered Sugar, sifted
50-60g plain Cocoa powder (NOT drinking chocolate!), sifted (Adjust depending on how dark you want your chocolate to be.)
Aluminium foil cups, traditional ice chocolate forms, or even ice cube forms for pouring into
Snow! Or alternatively, space in the freezer.
Melt the cocos fat over a water bath. It only needs about 70 degrees Celsius to melt, so it’ll melt quickly. Stir in the sifted sugar and cocoa powder. Stir well!
Pour into the forms and put the forms out in the snow immediately.
When the chocolate has hardened, stack in a jar (if using disposable forms) or (if not) remove the chocolate from the forms, stack it and pour more!
Store in a jar in the fridge.
The cocos fat makes the chocolate very soft, but also cool in your mouth. Be quick or it’ll be gone before you know it!
Toast on dark sourdough bread? Weird, you might think, but it’s quite common in Austria, and quite tasty. It’s generally known as Bauerntoast, or “Farmer’s Toast” because of the generally homemade farmer’s type bread.
It’s also very easy to make on a foreman grill or waffle maker. Just cut some bread, put it on the grill, toss in sliced cheese (something tasty, please, like Emmental or at the very least Gouda), hardboiled egg (see the lovely golden yolk? YUM), onion and tomato slices, another layer of cheese and top it with another slice (or leave it open if you like grilled cheese).
Eat with ketchup, mayonaise, mustard, all of the above or neither.
The bread I used is the rest of the piece of Spelt bread I took home from Austria, by the way. It is delicious – a slice of this farmer’s bread will leave you completely happy and satisfied even without all the trouble with the toasting. It also will keep for ages even without the modern technology of plastic bags and fridges – a linen sack is quite enough for it, according to the testimony of people who actually lived when everybody was making their own bread still.
I will definitely attempt to get hold of some spelt flour around here and make the bread myself. I assume the dough is quite similar to that of my walnut bread that I made a while ago – the pre-dough is prepared to rise the day before the bread is made, and the dough rises quite a bit more afterwards. Oof – good bread needs time! I’m not sure where I will find that ingredient, either. But it’s worth making some time for lovely bread, definitely!
Hey all, I’m back!
Sorry for the dearth of posts recently – I’ve been on a much needed vacation first to Austria (where apparently Meeta has been as well – view her travelogue starting here) and then chilling with family here in Sweden.
I’ll be back in full swing soon with new ideas I’ve picked up on the way and possibly some details about my native country, Austria!
Being European, I have been known to sneer at American coffee chains like Starbucks. “Frappuchino? That’s not a coffee, that’s a milkshake!”
Which I guess is true.
But I still must admit that ice cream and coffee is an addictive and delicious mix. Here in Austria, we’ve had Eiskaffee*, or ice coffee, for a long time.
To make a delicious cold un-mixed Viennese ice coffee, you need:
1 can of chilled brewed coffee, not too weak
Vanilla ice cream, or rather gelato as we don’t really have anything else in Europe
Optional: Whipped cream
Cocoa or chocolate flakes for decoration
1 highball glass
1 long spoon
Mix the chilled coffee with some milk (don’t make it too light, just a tad or leave it out completely).
Spoon 2-3 balls of delicious vanilla gelato into the highball glass.
Pour the coffee over the icecream (careful, the ice cream does float!).
Make a pretty hat with the whipped cream and the chocolate flakes.
Stick in the straw.
Drink the coffee with the straw. Alternate with spooning the ice cream from the glass. Alternatively, suck the icecream and spoon the coffee. :)
I don’t need to tell you that you should enjoy, right?
* That’s pronounced Ice caff-eh, with a long e. An important difference between Germany and Austria is that the former pronounce Kaffee with a short e, the latter with a long one (stressing the second syllable). ;)
Osterpinzen are a traditional Austrian easter bakery made out of soft, sweetened yeast dough.
Austria is primarily catholic, so there are a lot of traditions around easter! For example, on Easter sunday, this sweet bread, some hard-boiled eggs and a piece of ham or smoked meat are brought to Easter mass, so that the priest can bless them. Every member of the family eats a piece of all three foods later (usually at the Easter brunch after the mass and the egg-hunt!), as it is supposed to pass on the blessing and bring good luck to you.
I baked a second batch yesterday, tweaking the recipe a little and (in my opinion) succeeding much better than last time, so I can pass it on now!
Since I baked more this time, the dough got a lot yeastier, and also softer. The proportions changed a little from the 250g flour recipe I had last time.
Salt, vanilla sugar (about 1 packet or 1-2Tbsp)
Dry white wine (can substitute lemon zest) for taste
1. Warm half of the milk to room temperature in a bowl. Mix in the crumbled yeast and about a tablespoon each of flour and sugar. Cover with a damp cloth and let it rise in a warm place for about 15 minutes. It will rise up and get frothy as the yeast multiplies.
This pre-dough is called a “Dampfl” in Austrian. I admit I had to look it up, much to the chagrin of my mother when I admitted to her I didn’t even know what a Dampfl was! I guess I fail at Austrian baking traditions.
2. Mix the rest of the milk, a splash of wine or lemon zest, vanilla sugar, the sugar and the butter in a bowl and warm to about 30 degrees Celsius.
3. Divide the eggs into whites and yolks. The whites aren’t used in this recipe. Save some of the yolk for brushing the dough before baking, and put the rest into a mixing bowl together with the flour, the milk-sugar-butter mixture and the risen yeast. Knead everything until the dough gets smooth and firm (if you use a food processor, it should be stringy enough to grab hold of the dough hooks).
4. Roll the dough to a ball, put it back into the bowl and cover it with a cloth. Put into a warm place to rise. When you see the surface starting to crack (about 20-30 minutes in), fold the dough again with your hands and let it rise another 30 minutes. It should grow some more by that time.
5. Preheat the oven to about 180 degrees Celsius. Cut the dough into 3-4 parts and form balls from each one. Place them onto a baking sheet or a greased baking pan and cut the top of each ball three times in a star shape. Place a dyed easter egg in the center and brush the dough with egg yolk:
I should have cut them deeper actually – cutting almost all the way through seems to be the ticket!
5a. Alternatively, divide the dough ball into three parts, roll them out to strings and braid to a wreath to be filled later:
6. Bake at 180 degrees Celsius for 30-40 minutes, until the dough is cooked through (try with a needle).
7. Let cool and enjoy with butter and your favourite marmelade!
PS: I’m submitting this to Bread Baking Day #08, a baking roundup over at Wild Yeast. This month’s theme is Celebrations, so take a look and contribute your own spring celebration bakery!
Ooh, do I ever have a backlog from stuff I did this weekend. Expect some spam today!
On Saturday, I attempted to make a traditional Austrian easter bun, called Osterpinze. It’s a soft, sweet yeastdough bun that’s usually presented with a dyed easter egg baked into the middle.
You can find a recipe and a much better writeup of Austrian easter traditions here: http://foodblog.paulchens.org/?p=763 (sadly the writer has disabled comments, because I’d really like to comment and thank them…)
I actually only used 250g of flour, and found a recipe that had the proper proportions of the other ingredients to it. Since it was a test run, only 2 Pinzen were made, but they were a success, so I’m definitely going to make more during the week!
Anyway, apparently eggs aren’t dyed all over in Sweden like they are in Austria, but rather painted on. Since this recipe kind of needs a prettily coloured egg that won’t poison the rest of the bun though, I had a bit of trouble finding the proper dye. In the end, I did find some German cold-coloring. It was… well…
Why does my egg look like something from Alien now?!?
Right. We’ll see how the second batch becomes. I think blue, what do you think?
PS: It still tasted good, and it’s in my bento today as well!
In Austria, the traditional Fat Tuesday food are hole-less donuts filled with apricot marmelade called “Krapfen”.
In Sweden, the traditional Fat Tuesday food is a yeast dough bun hollowed out and filled with almond paste and whipped cream. It’s called a “Semla”.
Do you celebrate Fat Tuesday? What’s the traditional Fat Tuesday food in your country?
Photos not by me. I found them on the web, sadly without source.
Happy new year 2008!
For myself, 2007 was entirely too stressy for my own taste. I hope that 2008 brings, if not relaxation, then stress of the positive, challenging kind!
While Christmas is pretty much the same everywhere (the only difference being that the presents are opened on the 24th evening in Austria and Sweden, and not the morning after as is the case in most English speaking countries), new year has a lot of different traditions everywhere.
The Austrian one (“Silvester”) includes (amongst other traditions):
The operette “Die Fledermaus” will be played on TV sometime during the evening
Typical new years eve dinner includes: fondue, meat table-cooked in soup, water or oil, with various sauces and pickles.
The new year starts with the giant bell in St. Stephan’s church in Vienna ringing, followed by The Blue Danube waltz on the radio. It is mandatory to waltz!
Little cheap talismans are exchanged with friends and family.
In the morning, the new years concert will be played on TV (see the embedded video – my first time embedding, I hope it works!). Also mandatory, but not to waltz this time because most people will be too hung over.
The Swedish one includes:
A black and white version of the theatre skit “Dinner for one” will be played on TV sometime during the evening.
Just before midnight, there will be a recitation of a poem (always the same poem) on TV. It always ends at exactly 00:00, at the first ring of the bell. This is mandatory to watch, but not to cite.
And of course both include fireworks, cheering and clinking of glasses, partying and staying up late!
I hope you had a lovely new year’s eve, whatever it included. And if your country has any different new year traditions, please tell me! I’m incredibly curious to learn about different traditions that I never heard of!