Posts Tagged ‘baking’

It’s been too long since I posted a pie recipe, I feel. Let me remedy that.

This pie is a recipe that I adapted from the medieval recipe for Torta of Herbs in the Month of May, and I think that it works just as well as a savoury entree or main dish as for a sweet dessert. Personally, I prefer the savoury version, substitute my own favourite herbs and reduce the sugar in it, so here’s my personal recipe:

Spring tarte

For the pie shell: 2 cups of flour and 1 cup of rolled oats, 150g (salted) butter, a dash of water.
Makes a standard pie shell, but the oats give the whole thing an interesting bite! If the dough doesn’t want to come together, add a bit more flour or reduce the amount of oats.

For the filling:
2-3 eggs (depending on size)
2Tsp. thick Turkish yoghurt
ca. 75g yellow cheese (Gouda works well)
1 big handful of fresh herbs of your choice, e.g.:
– Basil
– Mint
– Oregano
– Parsley
1tsp. honey.
Grind the cheese in the blender first, then add the rest of the ingredients and blend until the herbs are chopped fine. Pour out into your pre-baked pie crust and bake at 200C for ca. 20 minutes (or until done).
For a sweet variant add grated ginger and more honey/sugar, and perhaps replace the yoghurt and yellow cheese with some sort of fresh cheese or cream cheese.

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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.

500g flour
30g yeast (the non-dry kind)
125ml milk
4 yolks
1 yolk + 1 whole egg for brushing
125ml dry white wine (can substitute water&lemon zest)
5 Tsp. sugar
100g butter
pinch of salt
lemon zest.
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).

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This is how I roll!

(Get it? Roll. Hur hur. I kill myself)

I somehow don’t think I’ll ever really understand baking.

You may have noticed that I’ve been trying to teach myself to bake recently. :) Although I haven’t been blogging everything yet (I’ve also been a bit too stressed to blog) I think I can say that I’ve made progress.
But then you might call it stubborn of me that, even though I’m an inexperienced baker, I keep trying to throw myself at two of the harder incarnations of bread – sourdough and ciabatta. And sometimes both. And it takes a lot of time, and it’s hard, and I’m reminded every time of how little I know.

But then today I gave up and just threw caution to the wind. “Can you make a bread after the flatbread recipe, but with a sourdough starter and in less than one day?”
Turns out that I could! And it was much easier and much quicker than the ciabattas.

I made my starter with one spoon of culture, one cup of flour and one cup of water at lunchtime (when I got up – it’s Sunday after all!) and left it to rise during the afternoon. Some time later, I mixed it with three more cups, half a cup of lukewarm water, olive oil and salt to form a springy, not too sticky dough.
I had learned from my flatbread experiments that it rises best in an oiled bowl that you set into another bowl of lukewarm water. So that’s where it went. It didn’t quite do much for a long while though – until I remembered that being sourdough, it probably wanted to be folded! And indeed – after a single folding it began to rise beautifully!
At that time I ran out of time and patience and time, so I didn’t let it rise as much as it probably could have. But when I poured it out of the bowl, it was indeed a bubbly and smooth dough. I gently cut it into six buns and let them rise a bit more before baking (with steam in the oven) at 230 deg C for five minutes.

When I looked into the oven again, I had – sourdough zeppelins! :D

Crusty outside, with a moist crumb and big bubbles inside – they were simply fantastic with fried Halloumi, lettuce, tomatoes and red onions and a little reduced balsam vinegar dressing.

So, today’s lesson – I seem to bake better when I don’t worry so much about what the grownups are doing :)

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Pide on a Thursday!

To all my readers from the USA, happy Thanksgiving! We don’t celebrate it here, but my thoughts are with you. Mmm… a holiday dedicated to having delicious food… what’s not to love?

From my side, I’ll be sharing some baking love:
I love Turkish flatbread (Pide) and I couldn’t resist making it myself. I’ve been wanting to do it all week, but I couldn’t find the flour I wanted (SaltĂ„ Kvarn wheat flour, biodynamic and all that) until today.
I took a very basic recipe from RecipeZaar but halved it and added some of my own decorations.

Two comments to the recipe in advance:
1. The dough gets less sticky if you add as little water at one time as possible and stop as soon as the dough is not crumbly anymore. It still rose beautifully for me.
2. DON’T roll it out, toss the circles gently by hand.

Here are the rolls covered in olive oil, ready to go into the oven.
I love the taste of Nigella seeds – but until last week I didn’t know the name of the spice! Now that I do, I plan to use it a LOT. I know it’s used on bread a lot, so that was my first test.

This photo is taken literally seconds after the first breads went into the oven. See how poofy they became immediately?

And done. They bake quite quickly! Super stress free, cooking with half an hour intervals where you can get other work done and then you just pop them into the oven and WHOOSH! Delicious bread in 5 minutes!

Look at the pretty, pretty crust and bubbles!

And yes – delicious! Happy Thanksgiving!

PS: It also works great as Focaccia with coarse salt and rosemary on top:

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Raspberry-almond muffins

Makes 6 muffins.

50g butter
0,75dl sugar
1 handful of grated almonds (or almond mass/marzipan)
2 eggs
2,5-3dl flour, e.g. 1dl Graham- and 1,5-2 dl plain wheat flour
1/2 tsp. vanilla sugar
1/2 tsp. baking powder
0,5dl milk
1 handful raspberries (frozen works very well for mixing them in easily)
butter and almond shaves for lining the muffin tin

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius.

Mix butter, sugar and almonds well. Add in the eggs one by one and whip.
Mix the dry ingredients (flours, baking powder and vanilla sugar) and mix just to combine. Add milk as necessary.

Line a 6pc. muffin tin with butter and almond shaves. Carefully mix the raspberries into the dough using a spoon and spoon the dough into the tins.
Bake at 200 deg C for 15-20 minutes, cool covered with a towel.


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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.
500g flour
100g sugar
100g butter
40g yeast
250ml milk
5-6 yolks
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!

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