Posts Tagged ‘baking’

How to make traditional Elisen Lebkuchen

Traditional Lebkuchen come from a region in Bavaria, the town of Nuernberg. The tradition reaches back to the 12th century where Nuernberg was a major trading center at the crossing of several middle age high ways.

These Lebkuchen are very different to normal ginger bread. They contain ginger but no honey or flour. They are baked on a wafer. I used fresh group spices, as these give more flavor and so come closer to the original. The content of these Lebkuchen are eggs, sugar, a nut mixture and spices.

They need to be beaked at a hot temperature for a short time, just 10-15 minutes and they need to be still soft in the center.

I store them in a tin box and if they get to dry you can add some slices fresh apple to the box, separated from the Lebkuchen by a sheet of baking paper.

How to make traditional Elisen Lebkuchen

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Traditional Lebkuchen like these are a must at each German Christmas tea.
Ingredients
  • 470 g sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 480 g hazelnuts, half of it ground fine and half coarse
  • 50 g walnuts, ground coarse
  • 200 g citrus peel, glacé
  • 1 tbsp fine chopped fresh ginger
  • peel of one lemon and one orange
  • 2 -4 tbsp rum
Spices
  • cinnamon
  • coriander
  • all spice, pimento
  • mace
  • cloves
  • star anise
  • cardamon
you also need
  • wafers
  • chocolate or icing
Instructions
for the Spices.
  1. Use about the double amount of cinnamon than from each other spice.
  2. In total you need about 2½ to 3 tbslp of spice.
  3. Beat the eggs in a mixer and add all of the sugar and the seeds of one vanilla bean.
  4. beat until it is creamy and doubled in size.
  5. Add all other ingredients and mix well.
  6. Let rest for 24 hours minimum.
  7. Place a bit of the dough on a wafer, lave a 1,5 border on the wafer to allow the Lebkuchen to expand.
  8. Bake at 200C / 395F for about 10 to 15 minutes or until the edges start to brown. They need to keep soft in the middle.
  9. glaze with chocolate or icing while they are hot and let cool down before putting them in a box. Allow one week to develop flavor before serving.

 

Grandma’s Christmas Stollen

Today I made a Christ Stollen or Christmas Stollen. 

This is a traditional Christmas cake in Germany. There are many recipes. What I like about this one is it’s buttery taste and the flavors.

Stollen needs to rest some time before being served. Some say several weeks, but I think some day’s is just fine. You also need to keep in mind that in Germany it is Winter time, cold and in a food storage probably fridge cold.  
Not everywhere you have these kind of cold conditions in the winter time.

I will cut my one in 2-3 day’s because longer I cannot withstand the fine perfume this cake gives off. 


Grandma's Christmas Stollen

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Serves: 24

This is a traditional Christ Stollen recipe from Grandma's recipe book.
Ingredients
  • 1 kg all purpose flour
  • 125 g sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 330 g almonds slivered
  • 170 g citrus peel
  • 400 g raisins
  • 500 g butter, unsalted
  • 330 g milk
  • ½ wine glass of rum
  • Peel of one fresh lemon
  • 10 g salt
  • 100 g fresh yeast or 37 g instant yeast
  • butter and icing sugar for topping
Instructions
  1. On the evening before making the dough, soak the raisins with the rum.
  2. Make a pre-dough with the yeast, some sugar and some lukewarm milk.
  3. In a big bowl mix all ingredients to a dough and let rest for 12-24 hours.
  4. Half the dough and form a bread out of each half. Flat the dough to a 3cm thik oval.
  5. Fold ⅓ of the oval over the other and shape it nicely.
  6. Bake at 160 C / 320 F (top / bottom heat only !) for about 60 minutes. If it gets too dark cover it a bit.
  7. Once out of the oven brush the Stollen generously with melted butter and sprinkle with icing sugar.
  8. Let the Stollen rest at a cool and dry place for some days before serving it.

 

Gluten free Orange Polenta cake

Sometimes there is not much time to prepare a cake because there are many other things to do.

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This cake is ideal for such a day. it takes just some minutes to combine the ingredients and to bake it.

Sure it needs some time to let the oranges cooling down, but you can prepare that already a day before.
This cake is moist, gluten free and full of flavor .

To make this cake take 3 Oranges and cook them for about 45 min to 1 hour. Just use enough water to cover them. They should be soft.
After they are cooled down cut them in half and take all seeds out, if there are any and then put in your blender.
Blend for some seconds until smooth.

Then add the liquid ingredients and mix again until smooth.

Add Polenta, Almonds and baking powder and mix again.

Fill in a 20cm pan laid out with baking paper and bake at 160C , 320F for 45 minutes.

For the Syrup use the cooking water and add 100g sugar. cook until about half of the water evaporated and you have a smooth syrup.

After the cake baked and cooled down a bit cover the cake with your syrup.

Gluten free Orange Polenta cake

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This is a simple Orange cake recipe.
Ingredients
For the dough
  • - 3 Oranges, whole with skin
  • - water to boil the ornages
  • - 6 eggs
  • - 50 g unsalted melted butter
  • - 110 g polenta
  • - 120 g ground almonds
  • - 100 g sugar
  • - 1 tsp baking powder
  • - Vanilla extract
for the Syrup
  • - cooking water of the oranges
  • - 100 g sugar
Instructions
For the Dough
  1. Preheat your oven to 160C / 320 F.
  2. - boil the whole oranges in the water for about 45 min to 1 hour till they are soft.
  3. - take the oranges out of the water and keep the water aside. Let the oranges cool down and then cut them in half to remove any seeds.
  4. - put Organs in the blender and mix for about 20 seconds.
  5. - add butter, sugar, eggs and mix again until smooth.
  6. - add almonds, polenta and baking powder and mix again.
  7. - lay a 20cm pan out with baking paper and fill the dough in.
  8. - bake for 45 min at 160C / 320F
for the syrup
  1. Add 100 g os sugar to the boiling water and let reduce until you have smooth syrup.
  2. Pour the syrup over the warm cake and allow to soak for some minutes.

 

 

 

 

Bread baking in harmony with nature

Today not a recipe but a video about a French baker growing and milling his own flour.
He has some cool techniques for folding, shaping and scoring. (from minute 6)

From the seed to the peasant bakery with Nicolas Supiot from Natasa Djuric on Vimeo.

Rhubarb cake with custard cream and crumble

Yesterday on the Saturday Market I got some fresh rhubarb and I thought to make a juicy creamy crumbled cake with it.

Rhubarb

There are so many recipes for rhubarb cakes but I want it to be like my grandmas cake. It was not so sweet, and I like the sourness of the rhubarb. But it was creamy as well with a shortbread like crust. And on the top some tasty vanilla crumbles.
Without having my grandmas recipe I had to start making my own one.

And here it is.

rhubarb cake

 

First I washed the rhubarb and cut it in small pieces, and added sugar to it so it get some juice from it. This took about 3 hours

Then I prepared short pastry but added some baking powder to it. This makes it more crisp and not so hard.

short pastry filled baking tin

While this was pre-baking for 8 minutes, I prepared a custard pudding.

I used the juice from the rhubarb and filled it up with some milk to get the right amount of liquid for my custard. Once this was cooled down I added about 100 gr of yogurt a tablespoon of butter and 2 eggs.

After the pastry cooled down a bit the custard came into the tin and the rhubarb on top.

This I topped with some Almond Vanilla crumble.

The result is very satisfying. Next time I will take some less liquid for my custard, so it is more stiff, just a little bit. The recipe below reflects this already.

cake

 

Rhubarb cake

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this is a recipe I redeveloped from mind from one of my grandmas cakes.
Ingredients
For the Fruit filling
  • about 700g fresh rhubarb
  • 50 g sugar
for the short pastry
  • 250 g plain flour
  • 60 g sugar
  • 120 g unsalted butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1½ tsp baking powder
  • salt
for the custard
  • all juice from the rhubarb
  • milk to fill up to 400g in total liquid
  • 35 g custard powder or one package vanilla pudding
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 50 g yogurt
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • vanilla extract
for the crumble
  • 150g plain flour
  • 60 gr ground almonds
  • 2 tsp ground vanilla or 2 vanilla beans
  • 125g butter
  • 100 g sugar
Instructions
Prepare the rhubarb
  1. wash the rhubarb and cut the green top and the white bottom off.
  2. cut in small pieces about ½ cm thick
  3. add sugar and mix well
  4. let rest for some time, about 2-3 hours
Prepare the crust
  1. mix all ingredients in a mixer to a smooth dough.
  2. take a 26cm (10 inch) baking tin and outlay with baking paper
  3. take ⅔ of the dough for the bottom
  4. form a long roll out of the ⅓ of the dough and form the side of the cake out of it.
  5. take a fork and prick the bottom several times
  6. Bake at 175C (347F) for 8-10 minutes. The dough shout rise a bit but should not puff.
For the filling
  1. take all of the rhubarb jiuce and fill up to 400g with milk
  2. heat up 300g of the milk juice mixture
  3. mix the custard powder with the remaining milk-juice and add to the boiling milk.
  4. cook until thick and let cool down
  5. Once cooled down add the yogurt and the eggs. Add some more vanilla flavor if you like.
For the crumble.
  1. add all ingredients to a bowl and mix till combined well and crumble develop.
Now put everything together to the cake.
  1. Take the cooled down crust and add the vanilla cream.
  2. place the drained rhubarb on top
  3. spread the crumble on top of the rhubarb
  4. bake at 175C (347F) for 30 to 40 minutes till the crumble are lightly brown.

 

The Chemistry of Bread-Making

Bread baking involves quite some chemical reactions, and not only chemical, but biological as well.

I came across an article of bread baking chemistry I would like to share with you. They have a nice chart of what happens within the bread making process.

The-Chemistry-of-Bread-Making-768x543

But not only the chemistry is important, the flour is important as well and flour is not just flour. There are many types of flour, not only the different grains, but also the method of milling makes a difference.

Here a table of different wheat flour types in the different countries. Similar charts you find on the internet fro rye and other grains.

Ash Protein Wheat flour type
US UK German French Italian
~0.4% ~9% pastry flour soft flour 405 40 00
~0.55% ~11% all-purpose flour plain flour 550 55 0
~0.8% ~14% high gluten flour strong or hard 812 80 1
~1.1% ~15% first clear flour very strong or hard 1050 110 2
>1.5% ~13% white whole wheat wholemeal 1600 150 Farina integrale di grano tenero

Quick Sunflower Seed Rolls

Sunflower Seeds Roll

Saturday evening I realized there is no more bread for the Sunday breakfast. My other bread will need until Sunday afternoon, so I new have to find a quick but tasty solution. After some research I found a method that sound to easy to be true and just the right thing when you are in a hurry.

In a larger bowl mix

275 gr rye flour, type 1150
115 g wheat flour T80 or high gluten flour
50 g mature sourdough
5 g yeast (or less if your sourdough is strong on yeast)
270 g water
1 tbsp honey
8 g salt
100 g sunflower seeds roasted in a pan

mix all to a soft dough but do now over knead. Cover with a plastic bag or foil and let rest over night at room temperature.
On the next morning, preheat your oven at 250C / 480F.

Transfer the dough on a floured surface and form an about 8 cm thick roll. Do not knead the dough.

Slice the roll in thumb thick slices and put them on a perforated baking tray.

Let rest for 30 minutes on a warm place.Then put in oven and fume oven with water. Bake for 10 minutes and then reduce to 220C / 430F and bake until brown, about 10-15 minutes.

Bread rolls

 

Quick Sunflower Seed Rolls

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Some simple and easy to make bread rolls.
Ingredients
  • 275 gr rye flour, type 1150
  • 115 g wheat flour T80 or high gluten flour
  • 50 g mature sourdough
  • 5 g yeast (or less if your sourdough is strong on yeast)
  • 270 g water
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 8 g salt
  • 100 g sunflower seeds roasted in a pan
Instructions
  1. Mix all ingredients to a soft dough, but do not knead to much
  2. Let rest at room temperature over night
  3. preheat oven to 205C / 480F
  4. Form roll out of the dough and cut into thick slices
  5. Place slices on a baking tray and let them rest for 30 min.
  6. Bake at 250 C 480 F falling temperature for about 20-30 minutes.

Classic traditional German Strawberry Cake

Fresh Strawberry Cake

We got some fresh strawberries at the pick your own and so I made this cake.

It is an easy dough, made of

75g butter
60g sugar
vanilla paste
2 eggs
salt
150g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder

Mix the ingredients, butter sugar and eggs first and then add the flour.
Spread the dough evenly in your tin and bake for about 15 minutes at 175 C / 347 F.

Melt some chocolate and spread on the cake.
Put the strawberries on the cake.

Now you need some “Tortenguss”. I got my one from the Dutch shop. Have a look at your local shops if you get a clear glaze.
It is made out of a mixture of gelatin, agar agar and pectin. There are different types.
You can also use 1tsp gelatin, 1 tbls of potato or tapioca starch (no corn starch) with some sugar or syrup and water / fruit juice. It will not have the same texture but will be fine as well.

Cook the glaze and put on cake while hot. Let cool down.

Serve with some freshly whipped cream.

 

Classic traditional German Strawberry Cake

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Traditional simple fruit cake. You can use any soft fresh fruit, like apricots, strawberries or canned fruits as well.
Ingredients
  • 75g butter
  • 60g sugar
  • vanilla paste
  • 2 eggs
  • salt
  • 150g plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 package "Tortenguss" - Glaze
Instructions
  1. Mix the ingredients, butter sugar and eggs first and then add the flour.
  2. Spread the dough evenly in your tin and bake for about 15 minutes at 175 C / 347 F.
  3. Melt some chocolate and spread on the cake.
  4. Put the strawberries on the cake.
  5. Make a glaze and put on the top.

 

Traditional Apple Strudel with stretched dough

It is autumn and we were invited to a pot luck dinner. So what to bring? As it is the season for fresh apples, I thought making a traditional apple strudel.

IMG_3930

In general there are two types of strudel common in Germany. In the northern region strudel is mainly made with puff pastry in the south a stretched dough is more common. This type comes originally from Austria.

As I like this Austrian version more than the puff pastry, I made this type of strudel.

For the dough mix

200g of pastry flour
125g of hand warm water
1 tbsp oil, I take a tasteless oil like rice bran
a pinch of salt

Mix it to a smooth dough and place it in a bowl. Brush the dough with some oil, cover with an other bowl and let rest at a warm place for at least 30 min.

In the meantime peel

1.5kg sour apples and cut in fine slices. Add
some lemon juice sot the apples do not turn brown and
100g sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Vanilla
80g raisins
2 tbsp rum or some rum flavor (you can skip this easily)
Mine looked like this:
Apple for Applestrudel

Next to do is to roast in a pan

150g bread crumbs
80g butter
until golden brown. Set aside to cool down.
IMG_3919

Finally melt 100g of butter and let cool down so it is still molten but not hot anymore.

 

Preheat your oven to 200C  (390F)

Now it’s time to prepare the dough for the strudel.
You need a large table, covered with a table cloth. Place the dough from your bowl on the flowered table cloth. The dough should have a very smooth and soft structure.

IMG_3922

Roll out the dough with some flour on the top. Take care that the dough does not stick to the fabric of the table cloth.
Once it is rolled out about 2 mm thick, brush the dough with some of the melted butter and let rest for 5 minutes. Cover with a cloth.

IMG_3924

Now the dough should be elastic enough to be stretched to a very thin film.
To stretch the dough, go with both hands under the dough and use the back of the hand to stretch it out to the sides of the table. Do this from the middle to the sides of the dough until you have a thin film of dough. When you can read a newspaper through the dough it is thin enough.

IMG_3925 IMG_3926

Once you have stretched the dough cut off the thicker edges and place the bread crumbs on 1/3 of the dough.

On top the apples, but take care you do not pot the liquid on it as well. You can drain them before you do this.
IMG_3927

Now start to roll it all up, starting at the side where apples are placed using the table cloth to roll it up.

Fold in the sides of the dough and continue to roll the strudel until all dough is rolled up.
IMG_3928 IMG_3929

Place the strudel on a baking tray with some baking paper and remove any access flour if some.
Brush the strudel with some of the butter, but not to much.

Place in the oven and bake for about 40 – 45minutes at 200C / 390F.

Once it is baked, get it out of the oven and brush with plenty of butter. Decorate with some Icing sugar and let cool down a bit until cutting in pieces.

Traditionally this dish is eaten warm with some vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.

 

Traditional Apple Strudel with stretched dough

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This is a traditional strudel baked throughout the year, but best with fresh apples.
Ingredients
For the dough
  • 200g of pastry flour
  • 125g of hand warm water
  • 1 tbsp oil, I take a tasteless oil like rice bran
  • a pinch of salt
for the filling:
  • 1.5kg sour apples and cut in fine slices. Add
  • some lemon juice sot the apples do not turn brown and
  • 100g sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Vanilla
  • 80g raisins
  • 2 tbsp rum or some rum flavor (you can skip this easily)
  • 150g bread crumbs
  • 80 gr butter
  • 100 g butter melted for brushing
Instructions
For the dough
  1. Mix it to a smooth dough and place it in a bowl. Brush the dough with some oil, cover with an other bowl and let rest at a warm place for at least 30 min.
for the Filling:
  1. Roast bread crumbs with the butter in a pan
  2. Melt the butter
  3. Peel the apples, slice them and mix with the other incredients
  4. Baking at 200C / 390F for 40-45 minutes

 

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