Saturday, December 16, 2017

Bread Baking Babes go Festive

And the Bread Baking Babes end this year with a festive bread with champagne. I am the Kitchen of the month and I’d like us to bake some Baba’s. A syrup drowned brioche-like bread. Well known is the Rum Baba, but to make it even more festive this one is drenched with a champagne-based syrup. You can choose another liquor or dessert wine or flavour with a light coloured fruit juice (like pineapple juice) to your liking.

You can make one large or smaller baba’s. The large one makes a nice centre piece when you’re having it for dessert, but it is a lot harder to get soaked enough. I made some extra soaking syrup in a little jar to pour over when served, to solve this.

I made one large Baba, but also made 12 smaller baba’s and I loved these even more. Easier to drench with syrup and much more festive to plate up as a lovely dessert. You can of course make 1 X-large, 2 large, 12 mini or something in between. Just keep an eye on the baking time time and check the core temperature in the bread if it's done.

They're not difficult to make, so have a go and bake these for Christmas or as a delicious in-between for new years eve. Become our Bread Baking Buddy, mix, bake, post and enjoy this recipe and let us know how they turned out. Send you details to me (notitievanlien (at) gmail (dot) com) and I'll send you the Bread Baking Buddy Badge for your efforts to place with our post, if you like. Please have your entries send in before the end of the year.  

BBBuddies are not very active lately, but if there are any of course I'll make a round up. Happy Baking.... and remember you only need a little champagne for this, so you can party with what's left in the bottle. Happy baking and Happy holidays! 🎄🎄🎄
Champagne Baba
(1 large or 12 small baba’s)
(PRINT recipe)
100 g water
1 tsp instant dry yeast
1 TBsp sugar
100 g bread flour

180 g bread flour
½ tsp fine salt
¼ tsp instant dry yeast
1,5 tsp vanilla sugar
3 large eggs
90 g melted butter

soaking syrup:
150 g sugar
150 g water
120 g champagne (or Asti Spumante or fruitjuice)

200 g apricot jam (or use a sugar glaze)

Mix all the ingredients for the sponge together in a large bowl (the one you’ll be kneading the dough in). Now sprinkle 180 g bread flour over the sponge, so it is covered and leave to rest for about 1 hour.

Now add the salt, ¼ tsp dry yeast, vanilla sugar and eggs. Start to mix this. If using a standmixer, use the paddle attachment. When it comes together after a few minutes, add the melted (and slightly cooled) butter and keep working it. The dough is a bit batterlike, but be sure to get some gluten developed.

For one large Baba:
Place it in the moulds. You can use a loaf tin or a round baking form (I used a paper Panettone mould (Ø13,4 x H 9,5 cm), filled about half way up. Cover with plastic and leave to rise until 2-3 cm under the rim of the mould.

In the meantime don’t forget to preheat the oven to 180ºC (350-360ºF).

Bake for about 45-55 minutes, until golden brown on top. If the bread gets too dark too soon, protect the top with a sheet of tin foil. Check the temperature in the bread with a thermometer, it should be about 93ºC.

Take out of the oven and the tin and place on a deep dish. Poke the bread with a long wooden skewer from top to bottom. Brush the syrup all over it, and get as much as possible inside the bread, so take your time. Collect the syrup from the plate and keep pouring and brushing it, until all in absorbed in the bread.

For 12 small baba’s:
Grease a tray with 12 little moulds (containing about 75 ml each) and divide the dough in them. The dough shouldn’t be filling more than half of the shapes. Cover with plastic and let rise until almost to the rim.
In the meantime don’t forget to preheat the oven to 180ºC (350-360ºF).

Place in the oven and bake for about 18 minutes, The Baba’s should be golden on top. Check the temperature in the bread with a thermometer, it should be about 93ºC.

Take them out of the oven and out of the mould. Place them in a wide shallow dish in one layer. Pour the champagne syrup over the baba’s. Now keep turning the baba’s one by one on all sides, including top and bottom, until all the syrup is absorbed.

Topping and serving:
Now heat the apricot jam in a small pan and let it boil, add a little water if it is too thick. Brush or pour it over the top. You can also opt for a simple sugar glaze. This topping keeps the moisture in. If you eat the baba’s on the baking day, you can also skip the topping

For an extra festive feel, serve with whipped cream and fresh fruit or jam.
The baba is best eaten on the day that it’s baked. But if not, keep in the fridge.

(inspired by a Beth Hensperger recipe)

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Bread Baking Babes bake breakfast

I made other recipes of these several times before; the English Muffins that our dear Kitchen of the month Babe Elle Baker ("Feeding my enthusiasms") picked for us. This time they're sort of no-knead, which is easy. And the dough is made the day before baking, so they are ready to bake (on the stove) for breakfast without preparing anything. 

I was to lazy to make eggs florentine (with spinach), eggs royale (with smoked salmon) or eggs benedict (with bacon, which I don't eat) but just put a slice of baked pastrami and a stirred fried egg on my muffin and that was a wonderful breakfast. It is a treat to have fresh baked bread like that in the morning. But do not be mistaken, they're great for lunch too!

The original recipe called for 100 g honey, I reduced that to 40 grams so there was not a sweet taste to the bread, for me that worked better when combined with eggs. I didn't make any other changes to the recipe. With these sort of rolls you always need a lot of cornmeal or rice flour to keep them from sticking, especially because they rested overnight, I always find it a shame that I have to throw that out after using it. The chickens didn't want it. That was the only thing that is not good about these.

So wanna treat your family or yourself to a luxureus breakfast with these delicious English muffins.... go and bake some too. Become our Bread Baking Buddy, Tell us how it went, post, make a picture of it ad send all of this to Elle (look for her email at her blog; deadline 29th of this month. Happy baking!

English Muffins
Makes 8-12 muffins
(PRINT recipe)
285 g bread flour
140 g whole wheat flour
10 g fine salt
4 g instant dry yeast
340 g cold milk
40 g honey
1 large egg white, cold
145 g fine cornmeal, for dusting
30 g butter, for griddling

In a large bowl, mix bread flour, whole wheat flour, kosher salt, and yeast together until well combined. Add milk, honey, and egg white, stirring with a flexible spatula until smooth, about 5 minutes. Cover with plastic and set aside until spongy, light, and more than doubled, 4 to 5 hours at 21°C. (The timing is flexible depending on your schedule.)

For the second rise: Thickly cover a rimmed aluminum baking sheet with an even layer of cornmeal. With a large spoon, dollop out twelve (or less) portions of dough; it's perfectly fine to do this by eye. If you'd like, pinch the irregular blobs here and there to tidy their shape. I ended up making just 9 muffins, more didn’t fit on my sheet. Sprinkle with additional cornmeal, cover with plastic, and refrigerate at least 12 and up to 42 hours. MIne came out quite flat, don't be alarmed, this will fix itself when baked.

To griddle and serve: Preheat an electric griddle to 160°C or warm a (cast iron) skillet or griddle over medium-low heat. I used a frying pan. When hot, add half the butter and melt; griddle muffins until their bottoms are golden brown, about 8 minutes. Flip with a square-end spatula and griddle as before. Transfer to a wire rack until cool enough to handle, then split the muffins by working your thumbs around the edges to pull them open a little at a time. Toast before serving and store leftovers in an airtight container up to 1 week at room temperature (or 1 month in the fridge).

(source: Serious Eats, Stella Parks,

Monday, October 16, 2017

Bread Baking Babes bake seasonal bread (or rolls)

This month our lovely Judy ("Judy's gross eats") is this months Kitchen of the month for the Bread Baking Babes challenge. And I love her delicious choice that is perfect for this autumn: Pumpkin cornmeal bread. You can make the bread the shape you like, or divide the dough in rolls. I used half the amount of the original recipe and turned the dough into 12 rolls. And that was the only bad thing about it... I should have made double that amount! They are delicious and have a little sort of bite from the cornmeal. I used honey instead of molasses. We all loved them here.

And you will love them too, bake along with us and become our Bread Baking Buddy. Bake and make some pictures, then send your baking story to Judy (jahunt22 dot gmail dot com) and she'll add you to the round-up. Deadline the 29th of this month. So get baking!!

Pumpkin Cornmeal Bread
Yield:  1 loaf or 12 dinner rolls
(PRINT recipe)
1 tsp active dry yeast
pinch of sugar
124 g lukewarm water
124 g lukewarm buttermilk
45 g  melted butter or oil
40 g honey
70 g pumpkin purée (either canned or homemade)
1 tsp salt
70 g fine- or medium-grind yellow cornmeal
60 g medium rye flour
About 360 g bread flour
In a large bowl, combine yeast, sugar, salt, cornmeal, and rye flour. Whisk to mix well.
Add warm water, buttermilk, melted butter/oil, honey, and pumpkin purée.  Beat until smooth (1 to 2 minutes) using either a whisk or the paddle attachment on a mixer.
Add the unbleached all-purpose flour or bread flour, 70 g at a time, until it becomes a soft dough. Knead until smooth and slightly tacky, either by hand or with a dough hook.
Place in a greased bowl, turning once to coat the top; cover with plastic wrap.  Let rise at room temperature until double, about 1 ½ to 2 hours, depending on how warm it is.
Turn onto work surface and divide the dough into 12 equal round portions for the rolls or 1 large round for the loaf.  Place on parchment-lined baking pan, cover loosely with plastic wrap, and let rise at room temperature until doubled, about 45 minutes.
Place on parchment-lined baking pan, cover loosely with plastic wrap, and let rise at room temperature until doubled, about 20 minutes, or place in refrigerator for 2 hours to overnight.
Twenty minutes before baking, heat the oven to 180ºC, using a baking stone, if you wish.  While the oven is heating, brush the tops with melted butter.
Bake in the center of the preheated oven until golden brown:  40-45 minutes for loaves or 15 to 18 minutes for rolls.  Remove from oven, let cool on rack until completely cool.
(adapted from Bread for All Seasons by Beth Hensperger)

Saturday, September 16, 2017

BBBabes: 2 starters, 1 mouthmask & 0 goggles

This month a recipe from our Bread Baking Babe extraordinair Cathy ("Bread Experience") chose a rye bread for us to bake, with two starters. Fortunately I still have a wheat starter on stand by, so I used that and fed it with rye flour. The other starts is a poolish, so that's even easier. O yes rye flour... I must say I hardly ever use it anymore, because I'm just not a fan of it, but most of all, because I think it might cause me some allergic reaction. So I forgot to take a precausionary measurement, to put on my mouthmask. It came to me when I was making the starter... ah well, so I thought, it's just a little bit I need, it'll be OK.

Did I mention I am probably allergic to ryeflour? As I made the prepararions before I went to bed, It took me several hours to get back to normal. Sinuses blokked, eyes red, itchy and watering.. well I think I can safely say: rye flour in the air give me an allergic reaction. I not only will need my mouthmask, but some goggles too next time. Which means I can't ever visit a bakery (not the shop, but where they bake) or attend a workshop, without looking like a surgeon on her way to the swiming pool. Bummer!
But back to the bread, it was quite a dense crumb, but I totally expect that when using a lot of rye flour in bread, so that's either to like or not. I don't, husband does. It didn't rise very much, which is also to be expected with less gluten in the bread. The original recept calls for light rye flour, I used half white and half whole rye flour. I adapted that in the recipe below. This is a ring shaped loaf, I like to bake recipes in their traditional form, but it's a bit awkward to get slices from the ring loaf and fit them in a lunchbox. Thanks Cathy for this recipe, I always like baking these bread that are traditional for a country or region. Next time I just should take precautions! Wanna bake along? Become our Bread Baking Buddy and earn a nice BBBuddy Badge to add to your post if wanted. Bake, tell us about it and send it to Cathy. She'll put the entries together in a post the first week of October. Latest entry date is the 29th of September. Get your goggles out (if needed) and bake some rye with us. Happy baking!

Swiss Rye Ring/Brasciadela/Kantonsbrot Graubünden
Yield: 2 (575 g) loaves
(PRINT recipe)
Rye %:  69%
Stages: rye sponge, wheat poolish, final dough
Leaven: rye sour culture, instant yeast
Time: 13-15 hrs
Hands-in time: 30-35 min.
Rye Sponge:
150 g whole rye flour
150 g white rye flour
200 g luke warm water
20 g (rye) sour culture
-Combine the ingredients by hand into a stiff dough, cover and ferment at 21°C until doubled in volume 10-12 hours or overnight.
Wheat Poolish:
200 g bread flour
200 g cold water
8 g instant yeast
-Mix the poolish ingredients by hand, cover and refrigerate 10-12 hours or overnight.
Final Dough:
520 g rye sponge
408 g wheat poolish
60 g whole  rye flour
260 g white rye flour
82 g bread flour
170 g warm water (40ºC)
20 g salt
In the mixer, combine the final dough ingredients and use the dough hook at low (KA2) speed to mix into a stiff, slightly sticky dough that leaves the sides of the bowl and gathers around the hook, 6-8 minutes. Cover the dough and bulk ferment at room temperature until doubled in volume, 60-75 minutes.
Turn the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and divide it into two pieces weighing about 750 g each. Form each piece into an oblong about 45 cm long and 5 cm in diameter. Shape each into a ring, wetting the ends to seal, and place on a well-floured peel, if using a baking stone, or parchment-lined sheet pan.
Cover and proof at room temperature until the breads have visibly expanded and surface shows cracks or broken bubbles.
Preheat the oven to 250°C with the baking surface in the middle and a steam pan on a lower shelf. Dock the surface of each loaf thoroughly and evenly to a depth of at least 0.6 cm. with a fork, chopstick or docking wheel.
Bake with steam 15 minutes, then remove the steam pan, reduce the temperature to 210°C and bake until the loaves thump when tapped with a finger and the internal temperature is at least 92°C, about 30 minutes. Transfer to a rack and cool thoroughly before slicing.
(adapted from: Stanley Ginsberg

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

BBBabes bake Bulgarian bread

And off to Bulgaria we go this month for our bread recipe. Tanna ("My kitchen in half cups") is our Kitchen of the month and she choose a savory bread recipe with feta and herbs for us to bake. (she will be on with her bake later).

I just had baked this one from Jane Mason's book "Book of buns". In fact I finished baking all the recipes from her book recently and I can highly recommend her book when you love bread and especially small breads.

The bread is baked as a whole and cut it pieces afterwards.. so not a real "small bread" or bun in my book, but who cares.
I used a little less feta than the recipe said (I didn't have more) and some flat leaf parsley.

You can bake along with us as a Bread Baking Buddy, post about it, tell us about is and sent all this to Tanna and she will send you the Bread Baking Buddy Badge to add to your post if you want. And most important of all you get to bake this wonderful bread and eat it too! Get baking!

(makes 9 to 16 pieces)
(PRINT recipe)
450 g bread flour
2 g instant yeast
250 g milk, warm to room temp.
9 g salt
100 g butter

1  egg
200 g feta cheese crumbled
50 g butter melted and cooled
paprika powder for garnish, optional
fresh herb(s), optional

glaze: 1 egg and 1 tsp water

20 x 20 cm tin at 5cm deep, greased and lined

Add the salt and knead it by hand or with a dough hook in the standmixer, until the dough is souple and elastic. Then add the butter in pieces and knead for 10 minutes. Place the dough in the bowl, cover and allow to rest for 2 hours.

Mix the egg together with the feta cheese in a bowl.  Melt the butter and allow to cool.
Pull the dough out of the bowl onto an unfloured surface.

Divide the dough into 9 equal pieces.  Dust with flour and roll one piece out into a rectangle of  10 x 10 cm. If the dough springs back, cover and let rest for 10 minutes until it relaxes. Brush with melted butter.
Put the flour into a bowl and make a well.  Sprinkle the yeast in the well and pour on the milk. Sprinkle the top with the surrounding flour and let rest for 1 hour.

Take another piece of dough and roll it out the same size, place on top of the first and brush with butter. Then place the third piece of dough, rolled out the same size and place on top of the first two, this time don’t brush it!

Using a rolling pin, roll the stack of dough into a rectangle the size of your baking pan and lift it up (you can roll it around your rolling pin if that is easier) and place it in the prepared baking pan.

Repeat with the final 3 pieces of dough, and place the stack on top of the dough in the pan.

Seal in the cheese by pressing together the outside edge of the dough stack with your hands.  Pull down the very top layer of the bread and stick it well on or even under the rest of the dough, so the dough will stay in place during baking. Cover with a dry tea towel and allow to rest for an hour.

Preheat the oven to 230°C. Brush the top of the dough with the melted butter and sprinkle some paprika on it if you like.
Pop the pan in the preheated oven and immediately turn the oven down to 200°C.
Bake for 35 minutes.

Remove from the oven. Place on a wire rack and allow it to cool down a bit.  When it is still warm (not hot), cut it into squares and enjoy with a salad or some soup.
Brush it with melted butter and spread over half the feta cheese mixture and soeme fresh herbs if wanted. Repeat with the next 3 pieces of dough, and place that stack on top of the first stack.  Brush this with melted butter and spread it with the remaining half of the feta cheese mixture and any optional toppings.

(Adapted from “Book of buns" – Jane Mason)