Thursday, March 16, 2017

BBBabes bake raisin bread!

Did you know there are times that I crave for raisin bread, yes I just love it, and add some cinnamon and I'm a very happy camper. So this months bread chosen by Elle ("feeding my enthusiasms") turned out to be a raisin bread with cinnamon, I was very pleased/ Great choice Elle!

The raisins and cinnamon are combined in a struan style bread, this is a multigrain bread, so there is a little texture from the coarse polenta, oats and bran. There is no fat in it really, as there is buttermilk instead of milk and only some butter brushed on top after baking. This made it go dry faster, but an easy solution is to just smear some butter over your slices!

There will be buddies here I'm sure, so bake, enjoy and tell us about it. Send your details to Elle (visit her blog to find out where and how), deadline 29th of this month. You won't be sorry, it's delicious!
Cinnamon Raisin Struan Bread
makes 1 loaf
(PRINT recipe)
490 g high-gluten bread flour
45 g uncooked polenta (coarse ground cornmeal)
30 g rolled oats
35 g brown sugar
4 g wheat bran
12 g salt
2 tsp instant yeast,mixed with the dry ingredients
40 g cooked brown rice
35 g honey
90 g buttermilk
± 200-260 g water (be prepared to add more if needed)
225 g raisins
50 g cinnamon sugar (1 part cinnamon to 2 parts granulated sugar)
36 g melted butter, margarine, or vegetable oil

In a large bowl, combine all the dry ingredients, including the salt and yeast

Add the cooked rice, honey, and buttermilk and mix together. Then add 180 g water, reserving the rest to add as needed. With your hands, squeeze the ingredients together until they make a ball. Sprinkle some flour on the counter and turn the ball out of the bowl and begin kneading. Add small quantities of water as needed. (or use a standmixer to knead)

Because Struan has so many whole grains, it takes longer to knead than most breads. Allow at least 15 minutes, but be prepared to knead for 20 (when using the standmixer with dough hook about 10-12 min). The dough will change before your eyes, lightening in color, becoming gradually more elastic and evenly grained. The finished dough should be tacky, not sticky, lightly golden, stretchy and elastic, rather than porridge-like. When you push the heels of your hands into the dough it should give way but not tear. If it flakes or crumbles, add a little more water.

When the dough seems ready, add the raisins and knead for 2 more minutes, until the raisins are evenly distributed.Put in the dough in a lightly greased bowl and cover with a damp towel or plastic wrap, or place the bowl inside a plastic bag. Allow the dough to rise in a warm place for about 1 hour, until it has roughly doubled in size.

Place the dough on a lightly greased counter and with a rolling pin, roll out into a rectangle. Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar over the surface, spreading it evenly. From the bottom of the long side, roll up the dough into a tight loaf, tucking and pinching the seams into one line on the bottom. Put the loaves, seam side down, in a greased bread pan and cover and allow the loaves to rise until doubled in size.

Preheat the oven 180ºC. When the loaf has risen, cresting over the top of the pans, place on the center shelf and bake for about 45 minutes. The loaves should be nicely domed and dark gold. The bottom and sides should be a uniform light gold and there should be an audible, hollow thwack when you tap the bottom of the loaf. If the loaf is not ready, remove them from the pans and place them back in the oven until done. They will bake quickly when removed from the pans.

When done, brush a little butter, margarine, or oil over the top, then sprinkle with the remaining cinnamon sugar, coating each loaf with a layer of cinnamon crust.

Allow the bread to cool on wire racks for at least 40 minutes before slicing. This bread makes exceptional breakfast toast and French toast!
(from “Sacramental Magic in a Small-Town Cafe” - Br Peter Reinhart)

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Longest bake ever for the Bread Baking Babes this month!

And it has been nine years now that we first started baking together. And for this anniversary I picked a 'strange' bread. This recipe was stuck in my head for a while. I guess the 12 hour baking time did that. Then I wondered is this a bread? No yeast, but baking powder?! No yeast can still make real bread, think flatbread, wraps and so on. But baking powder is linked to pastry in my brain. Things like banana bread (with baking powder/soda) is called a bread in English, but for me that's a loafcake and absolutely not a bread. So I let it sink in for a while to decide if it was bread worthy or not. It is not sweet, not eaten with sweet things, even if it is a breakfast item. And it's function is a bread... I can see it like that, and so it is, and that's what we're baking.

The bread is from Yemenite Jewish origin. Clever thought out to be able to eat fresh warm bread on the Sabbath, but without having to prepare it or having to turn the oven on (as work and lighting fires is not allowed). It is quite a rich dish, so a little keeps you going a long time.

Traditionally served with hardboiled eggs (those are boiled in the bread pot), grated tomato and Zhug, a spicy hot saus.

It is still eaten in Israel, though not many people make it from scratch anymore. The fat used can be oil or margarine, which make the bread 'parve' which is important to Jews who keep the foodlaws, so it's easier to combine with meat or milkproducts (not both).
For us it's probably more important to know that the oil gives it a less fatty feel (you can use that thinner than smeared butter) and the jachnun will feel 'drier', but butter wil give an extra flavour of course.

The recipe calls for white flour, you can make them with whole wheat too (or half/half), but it will be harder to get the dough really thin.  Maybe this would work better when the fibers in the whole wheat are cut smaller. But it's up to you what fat and flour to use.
And then the overnight bake... you could if you wanted to, eat them for dinner and schedule the making early in the morning and bake during the day, but to have a 12 hour bake, means getting up quite early. I found that it is very easy to bake them whenever you have time and just reheat them in the oven before you want to eat them (makes them a bit crispier too!).
And then about the eggs, they are boiled in the pot for 12 hours, I will place 1 in the pot, just to see how they turn out, but boil the rest the next morning, because I really, really find boiled egg with green coloured rims around the yolks very unappetizing. And indeed that egg was very "well done" and we didn't eat it. TIP: boil the eggs just before you're going to eat the jachnun.

You can easily make the dough the day before, to split up the workload, leave it in the fridge, but let it come to room temperature, otherwise it will tear even more. My dough was a little cold, so I had holes in it, but in the end it really doesn't really matter, by rolling them into a  little log, all holes are gone.

I placed a layer of stale bread on the bottom of the pan, in which I baked the Jachnun. I had some stale shop bought bread, otherwise I wouldn't have used it. I saw that in some video's. It'll be nice to find out how it turns out without the bread, just using parchment paper.

After 12 hours, the bread still looked... well sort of dead somehow. I let it bake for about 3 hours more (maybe my oven wasn't warm enough). I added one egg on top, just to see how that turned out, I took it out after 12 hours.... and it was cooked, slightly green edge around the yolk, not my kind of boiled egg.
So after 15 hours I took the pan with the rolls out of the oven. I peeled off the lid and paper, and it looked very unappetizing, greasy and pale. Not at all like the picture in the book with a crispy golden top. So I place the pan bak in the oven without the lid and baked it for about 20 minutes on 200ºC in a fan oven. Well that improved a lot, the top was now golden and flaky.

We ate them for dinner, with boiled eggs, tomato, Z'hug (with less peppers and without the seeds). And some vegetable soup. I took the rolls out of the pan, the bottom ones were of course still very pale. So I took them apart and let them bake on a baking sheet in a fan oven until sort of crisp. The bread was -as expected- very heavy. A teenage boy can help to get them cleared, but in all honesty I would have preferred freshly baked naan, any flatbread or any bread really. And even if it was a nice thing to do, but I don't think these will be baked again here. Of course we have no problem putting our oven on any time of any day, so we don't have to bake our bread like this. I guess if you have been brought up with this tradition, you can probably appreciate it better.

It is an adventure bake. Wanna give it a go, be Brave and become our Bread Baking Buddy. Shape, bake, sleep, taste, take a picture, tell us about it and sent it to the Kitchen of the month (that's me this time: notitievanlien(at)gmail(dot)com) subject: BBBread february. And I'll send you the Bread Baking Buddy Badge in return, to add to your post if you like ánd I'll add you to the BBB Round-up, which will be on around March first. Deadline 29th of this month. Have fun baking!

(makes 6)
(PRINT recipe)
500 g bread flour (you can use whole wheat or half/half, but the dough will be harder to                                                 stretch without tearing)
25 g date syrup (or sugar/honey)
20 g honey
pinch of baking powder
12 g fine salt
± 300 g water (or more to make a springy dough)
60 ml oil (or 100 g margarine or butter)
To add later:
6 eggs
1 large tomato (or 2 smaller ones)
zhug (* recipe below)
Mix the flour, honey, date syrup, baking powder, salt and water together to form a sticky wet  dough and knead for a few minutes. Let it rest for 10 minutes to let the gluten relax.

To develop gluten you now start to knead the dough for 5 minutes. Place it in a lightly greased bowl and give it a stretch and fold like this: Lift up the side of the dough and fold it over, turn the bowl and repeat this for about 7 or 8 times. Check by making a window (stretch a piece of dough between your fingers as thin as possible, if it doesn’t tear the gluten have developed as they shoot, otherwise knead or fold some more)
Cover with plastic and leave to rest at room temperature for 1 hour. (you can also leave your dough overnight, it might give more elasticity, but you have to let it come back to room temperature, otherwise it will be hard to stretch it out without too many tears)
prepare the pan and oven
You can use a (ovenproof) cooking pan or springform (about 20 cm in diameter). It’s optional to place some slices of stale bread on the bottom of the pan, this can prevent the jachnun from burning and absorb access fat. You also can place the parchment on the bottom as it is. I used the bread. Fold a long piece of parchment paper lengthwise and place it in the pan, so the ends hang over the rim of the pot.
Preheat the oven to 105ºC/225ºF and place a rack in the lowest position in your oven.
Divide the dough in 6 more or less equal pieces, shape them into a ball and leave to rest 10 minutes before the stretching begins.
To shape these rolls you have to stretch them using butter, oil or margarine.
Grease your work surface, place one piece of dough on it, grease the top and start working to make it the thinnest possible, while greasing it constantly. It is best to do this by hand, other methods (rolling pin) do not give the thinness.
When the dough is very thin (preferably like filo or strudel dough) fold 1/3 of one side over onto the dough, repeat with the other side (like a business letter). You now have a long strip, keep buttering/greasing the top, while you roll – starting at the narrow edge- the dough in a tight cilinder.
This video will show you how:

Prepare for the oven
Place three rolled logs next to each other, crosswise over the strip on the bottom of the pan. Place the other three crosswise on top of the first layer.
Grease/butter a double layer of parchment paper on one side and place on top, greased side down.
Now you can place the (raw, uncooked & unpeeled) eggs on top of the parchment paper. (you can also cook the eggs the next morning, to avoid green rims along the yolk, which I really detest)
Take a double layer of aluminum foil, cover the pot, securing the edges of the pan. Use a lid or a sheet pan to place on top of the foil. (or use a lid if available to keep it tight).
Place it on the rack in the oven and bake for 12 hours. (mine took 3 hours longer)
To crisp up the top, take lid and parchment paper off and bake in a fan oven for 20 minutes (200ºC) or until golden.
The next morning you take out the pan, place the jachnuns on a plate and serve it with the peeled eggs around them. Serve with grated tomato and Zhug (hot, spicy and garlicy dipping sauce) for breakfast.
So you now understand you have to plan this… or get up in the middle of the night. You can also bake when you like and just take the rolls out and preheat them on a baking sheet with fan oven (to crisp them up a little too).
*Zhug (traditional accompaniment; a dipping sauce with garlic, pepper and herbs)
3 dried red chili peppers, or 1 fresh red chili pepper (or 1 tsp chili flakes)
1 tsp black pepper, ground
1 tsp cumin seeds
½ tsp coriander, ground
4 medium garlic cloves
Pinch of cardamom, ground
Pinch of cloves, ground
½ tsp salt
30 g coriander leaves (or parsley if you dislike coriander)
Olive oil, enough to make a sauce-like consistency
Place all ingredients in a bowl and crush it to a sauce in a blender or with a stick blender.
Place the Zhug in a clean jar, tighten the lid and keep in the fridge until use.
(Fridge shelf life about 2 weeks, with a small layer of oil on top)
(inspired/adapted by/from: “Breaking breads” – Uri Scheft and “Cafe Liz” (

Monday, January 16, 2017

BBBabes give you an orange flower

This month we make a fragrant, delicious loaf, with orange. I love breads, pastries ecc with citrus, you can't go wrong with that. Elizabeth ("Blog from OUR kitchen") picked a wonderful recipe, that originates from another BBBabe: Jamie ("26 rooms in Chinon" aka "Life's a feast"). Elizabeth made the bread a little more healthy with the addition of wheat germ and whole wheat.

It is a very slow rising bread, but don't be alarmed, it will have ovenrise when it's in the oven. It was a delicious bread with a lot of orange (orange liquor, orange blossom water, orange zest). Enriched with eggs and butter, but for me that could have been even richer (more butter) more like a brioche. Wanna bake this delicious fragrant bread too and become our Bread Baking Buddy? Bake, post tell Elizabeth about it all and she'll send you a Bread Baking Buddy Badge and and add you to the monthly Buddy round up. Deadline the 29th of this month. Have fun baking!

Fouace Nantaise
(makes one loaf)
(PRINT recipe)
50 g unsalted butter
60 g milk
3 g active dry yeast
1,5 tsp orange blossom water
45 g orange liqueur - Grand Marnier or Cointreau
2 eggs, body temperature, lightly beaten
50 g whole wheat flour
185 g unbleached all-purpose flour
15 g wheat germ
zest of one orange
25 g sugar
4 g sea salt
milk or cream, for wash on shaped loaf
mixing: Melt the butter. Pour milk into a large mixing bowl. Add the melted butter to the milk to raise the temperature to body temperature (check with a thermometer). Add yeast and whisk in until it has dissolved.
Adding them one at a time, whisk in eggs, then pour in orange liqueur and orange blossom water. Place flours, sugar, salt, and orange zest on top. Using a wooden spoon, stir until the flour has been absorbed kneading: Using one hand to turn the bowl and the other to dig down to the bottom to lift the dough up to the top, turn, fold, turn, fold, etc. the dough until it is smooth and elastic. As you knead, resist the temptation to add more flour or water.
Once the dough is kneaded, cover the bowl with a plate and allow the dough to rise, until almost completely doubled, on the counter in a non-drafty area.
shaping: When the dough has doubled, it's time to shape. (To check to see if it's ready, poke a hole in the top of the dough If the hole stays in exactly the same configuration and the dough remains otherwise intact, it is just right.) Turn the risen dough out onto a very lightly floured board (just the smallest dusting will be enough). Divide the dough evenly into 7 pieces.
Shape each piece into a ball. Place one ball in the center of a parchment-lined cookie tray. Arrange the other six balls of dough loosely around the center ball - to form a flower. Cover with a damp (clean) tea towel followed by plastic grocery bags and leave to rise until almost doubled. (To test, using a floured finger, gently press against the side of the shaped bread. If it gradually fills in, it's ready to go.)
baking: Preheat the oven to 180ºC. Gently brush the top of the risen bread with milk (or cream). Put the tray onto the top shelf of the oven (to prevent the bread from burning on the bottom) and bake for about 30 minutes until the bread is a "deep golden brown". Jamie also writes that the outer "petals" of the flower "will have just started to pull away from the center ball".
(based on Jamie Schler's recipe for Fouace Nantaise)

Friday, December 16, 2016

Bread Baking Babes bake a bread with beets!

This month for the Bread Baking Babes a bread from our super Bread Baking Babe Cathy ("Bread Experience") who baked a bread with beets!
If you go to her blog you can see that she tried out some different versions, made with raw, roasted and cooked beets. I used cooked beets and adapted the recipe below to how I did it. I thought the bread would be more red in colour, but it has a nice pinkish colour. I used a little less sugar and omitted the vanilla, cause I didn't want a sweeter bread.
It is perfect for lovely sandwiches without it, but I might try it again with the sweet hint and then use the roasted beets. It was a lovely recipe to make, love the braiding and fun to bake a bread with beets for the first time! Thanks Cathy! You wanna bake along right, real fun to make and
eat your own pink bread. Cathy is our Kitchen of the Month, so you can send your bakes to her, well a picture of it. Here is what she said on her blog about you coming a Bread Baking Buddy: Just bake some beet bread and post about it on your blog and on the Bread Baking Babes FB page by the 30th of this month. If you don’t have blog, please post a photo of your bread on the BBB FB page.

Send an email to breadexperience at gmail dotcom with BBB December Beet Bread in the subject and Cathy will send you the Buddy Badge to display on your blog. Have fun baking!

Beet Bread
(makes 1 large loaf)
(PRINT recipe)
30 g sourdough starter (or 1/2 teaspoon instant yeast)
80 g bread flour
40 g water
Put the sourdough starter in a small bowl and pour in the water.  Mix to break up the starter.  Add in the flour and mix until thorough incorporated.  Cover and let it rest at room temperature for 8 -10 hours.  If your house is cold, it might take longer. To test if the levain is ready to use in the dough, perform the float test by taking a little bit of sourdough and dropping it in a bowl of water.  If it floats, it is ready. If not, let it rest a while longer and try the test again.

final dough
700 g bread flour (divided 500, 200)
2 TBsp sugar
1 tsp fine sea salt
3 TBsp oil
135 g sourdough starter
60 g water
¼ tsp instant yeast
2 ½ large eggs, lightly beaten
230 g cooked beets, turned to a puree

Poppy seeds, optional
Egg wash: ½ left over egg, beaten
Puree the beets in a blender, adding the water gradually. Puree until the mixture is completely smooth.
Mix the flour (reserving 200 grams), sugar and salt together in a large bowl.  In a separate bowl, mix the pureed beet mixture, beaten egg and oil.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix well.  Add the sourdough on top and mix thoroughly.
You can mix by hand or using a stand mixer.  Gradually mix in up to 200 grams of flour.  Let the dough rest for 30 minutes.  

Remove the mixture to a lightly floured surface and knead the dough. Add a little more flour if necessary to form a supple and workable dough.
Clean out the bowl, and grease it lightly with oil. Shape the dough into a ball and place it back in the bowl. Cover with a kitchen towel.  Let it proof for 2 -3 hours.  Perform a fold after the 1st hour, place back in the bowl. Repeat at the 2nd hour.  You can let the rest for the final hour or place it in the refrigerator overnight
After the bulk ferment, at room temperature or in the refrigerator, divide the dough into 3 equal pieces and shape them into a ball. Let them rest a few minutes, then divide each ball into 3 equal pieces.
To make the braids, shape them into a batard and seale the seams.  I let the batards rest for a few minutes before rolling out the strands. Roll into strands, and braid the loaf
Place the braided loaf on a parchment-lined baking sheet and brush with egg wash. Cover gently with oiled plastic wrap so it doesn't stick to the braids and let them proof about 1 1/2 hours, until they have grown to about 1 1/2 times their original size.  If your kitchen is cold, it may take longer.
Preheat the oven to 180ºC and place the oven rack on the middle shelf.
Brush the loaf again with egg wash and sprinkle the top with poppy seeds.

Bake the loaf for 15 minutes, rotate the pan for even baking, then bake an additional 15 minutes depending on the size of the loaf. It should register 96ºC in the center.
Transfer the loaf to a wire rack and let it cool for 1 hour before slicing.
(adapted from the adeption from 'The bread bakers' apprentice' - Peter Reinhart)

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Bread Baking Babes and rye porridge

A great choice this month by our Babe Kelly ("A Messy Kitchen"), a bread with rye flour and grits. You start by making a porridge of the rye ingredients.... no work whatsoever, boil, pour, stir and leave for the night. This is your starter of a delicious, healthy bread.

I made this bread once before in 2006, it turned out better than that time, so I must have learned something in the years in between.. or it's just luck. It is a lovely bread and a nice bread to bake, it reminded me of several breads from the third "Tartine" book that I baked in the meantime. UPDATE: thanks to Elizabeth I discovered that I totally missed that the baking starts in a cold oven. I adjusted the recipe as I just baked in a pre heated oven as I normally do.

We would love you to bake this great loaf with us and become our Bread Baking Buddy. Here's how: (I copied this from Kelly)  Just bake your version of this bread by November 30th and send her a note with your results and a picture or link to your post at eleyana(AT)aol(DOT)com with Buddy Bread in the subject line and she will include you in our buddy round up at the beginning of next month and send you a badge to keep and/or add to your post.  You don't have to have a blog to participate, a picture is fine!

Thanks Kelly for having me revisite this lovely loaf! Get baking Buddies and have fun.

Porridge Bread (Pain Bouillie)
makes two small loaves in one pan
(PRINT recipe)
18 g honey
410 g boiling water
110 g whole rye flour
150 g cracked rye grain

1 tsp active dry yeast (3 g)
45 g warm water, divided
All of the bouillie from the previous step
10 g sea salt
2 tsp caraway seeds
1 TBsp raisins
± 240 g unbleached white
make the porridge starter: Mix the honey into the boiling water until dissolved.  Pour it over the rye flour and grain in a bowl.  Let it soak for a few minutes, then give it a stir to make sure all the flour is moistened.  Cover the bowl and set aside overnight in a warm area.

For the dough:
Dissolve the yeast in 2 TBsp of the warm water.  Put all of the porridge (bouillie) into a madium bowl or stand mixer and mix in the salt.  Crush the caraway seeds with a mortar and pestle until fragrant and broken.  Add the raisins and grind into a paste.  Stir the last 1 TBsp water into the caraway/raisin paste.  Add 2 tsp of the resulting caraway flavoring into the porridge.  Slowly 200 g of flour, mixing in on low speed or with a plastic dough scraper.  Mix in the yeast.  Continue adding the remaining flour slowly until the dough is a medium firm consistency.  Knead for 5-8 minutes, adding a little more white flour if necessary.  The dough will be sticky but should be firm.

Put the dough in the bowl, cover with a moist towel, and let rise in an unlit oven (or warm place) for 1½ - 2 hours.

When the dough has doubled, cut into two pieces.  Shape into two short logs.  Grease 23 cm x 13 cm bread pan (or another size that fits them) and oil one side of each loaf.  Place them together in the pan with the oiled sides touching.

Cover again with a moist towel and let rise for 30-45 minutes in a cold oven until the dough has crested the edge of the pan by 1 cm.

Slash the top of each loaf with a little 5 cm cut, and brush tops with oil.

Preheat the oven to 230ºC and put the loaves in to bake, with added steam.  Bake for 15 minutes.  Reduce heat to 200ºC and bake for 15-25 minutes longer.  They will be quite dark,  but you can tent with foil before it gets too dark (I did).  Check the core temperature of the loaf: it should be 96ºC.

Cool on a wire rack and slice thinly when bread is completely cooled.
(source: Joe Ortiz – the village baker)