Category Archives: Special Occasions

April 20th, 2014

Colomba pasquale

Colomba (2)When I baked the little Colombinas about five years ago I was already searching for the traditional paper mold for Colomba pasquale. But I had no luck finding one neither in the “real word” nor in german onlineshops. And so I finally give in and bought a silicon mold, ignoring my dislike of this kind of baking molds. And the mold was delivered just in time, so the only thing I had to was to refresh my sweet starter and start baking.

Raisins and candid orange peel would make my beloved one rather unhappy, so I choose semisweet chocolate drops and chopped candid almonds instead. The fits well with my first colomba memory, when some years ago a former colleague brought back a big, chocolate filled colomba after visiting her parents in Italy. The dough for the dove is similar to my pandoro recipe, but this time I kneaded the butter into the dough. The dough was easy in handling and after baking I was able to unmold the colomba without any problems, much to my relief.

After cooling down we cut the dove and the first bite of it was pure delight. The crumb could be torn into long strands and was as light as a feather, and the combination of chocolate and candied almonds is great, too! This colomba is a real dream dove!

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April 19th, 2014

Attendorner Ostersemmel

Attendorner Ostersemmel (1)

It is tradition in Attendorn, a small city in the Sauerland, that the pastor will issue a bless on the “Ostersemmel” (which means Easter bread) on Holy Saturday. It is a big event, that takes place in front of the church where the citizens of the Attendorn will hold their bread into the air. The Bread is forked on both ends, a shape that should depict the Christian symbol of a fish.

It is a bread made with rye, wheat and caraway seeds. My interpretation of the Ostersemmel is made with 30% Rye and Sourdough, and the recipe yields to breads. With a round cookie cutter I make an inprint for the eye, like I saw it in some pictures.

It is a perfect bread for caraway lovers like me, very aromatic with a soft crumb and a shiny crust.

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April 18th, 2014

Dyeing Easter Eggs

Ostereier färben (1)

To dye easter eggs with different natural dyes is always great fun for me. This year I had the idea to use plant juices instead of the time consuming boiling and filtering of plant extracts I used until now.  Since I call an old juice centrifuge my own I bought some red cabbage ad red beet. That the red beet would yield a fair amount of juice I knew, but what would happen with the red cabbage? To my great joy the yield of cabbage juice was amazingly  high, too.

I mixed the cabbage juice with baking soda  or vinegar and let the hard boiled eggs sit in the solutions for some hours.  When I take the eggs from the soution, the red beet juice has dyed them in deep red, while the cabbage juice with soda yielded green eggs. The eggs from the red cabbage juice with pink when I take them out but turned brightly blue during drying. I dipped one of the blue eggs shortly in the red beet juice and so I get a dusky pink egg as well.

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February 20th, 2014

Basler Fastenwähe

Basler FastenwäheSince last year I plan to bake “Basler Fastenwähe”, a special bread which is bake in Basel during Three Kings Day and Carnival. It is made with a very rich dough with a lot of butter,  similar to the swiss butter braid, glazed with egg and sprinkled with caraway.

The form with the four cuts is made with a special tool named “Faschtewaije Yse”. But I don’t own one and so I used a small trick and made the cuts with a not longer used (and very welled cleaned) credit card. The card has the perfect size and making the cuts worked very well.

I liked the Fastenwähe very much, they are very delicious with a rich buttery flavour, which is especially good when the bread is still a little bit warm from the oven!

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January 1st, 2014

New years pretzel 2014

NeujahrsbretzelI hope, you all had a good start into the new year!

We spent our new year’s eve very quite with hot tea instead of sparkling wine because I had to fetch a bad cold – but that’s a kind of unforgettable new year’s eve, too 😉

But (and that should proof once again that I’m crazy) I decided to ignore the fever for a while because I can not start a new year without a homebaked new year’s pretzel! And so I take out a leftover sweet starter I kept in the fridge for 5 days. The Starter didn’t mind the time spend in the cold and tripled in size after feeding in only three hours! I then mixed the dough and trusted the sweet starter once again to be enough for a proper rise. The longer time it need to for rising and proofing was perfect for me so I could sleep in between 😉 If you want to speed up the recipe, at a little bit of yeast. Or make half of the recipe of the swiss butter braid instead, which yields a great bread, too.

The pretzel is very delicous, with a soft crust and a fluffy crumb, just the prefect way to welcome 2014!

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November 9th, 2013



Some recipes are so time consuming that they were only made for big events. The Baumstriezel is one of these recipes, something my Transylvanian ancestors would have bake for weddings and christenings. And maybe for a 5th Blog birthday as well?

A traditional Baumstriezel is baked over red hot coal wrapped around a  big piece of wood, rotating the cake until the sugar starts to caramelize. Even nowadays it is made rather seldom and so I’m always exited when I could get a piece.

So it seemed the perfect recipe to celebrate the fifth birthday of “Hefe und mehr”. But how to make such a cake without open fire in the kitchen (when setting the kitchen on fire was no opportunity)? I decided wrap the dough around a wooden rolling pin  and to use the overhead grilling function of my oven for baking. That means that I had to stay in front of my oven all the time during baking. Every minute I turned the rolling pin a little bit until the sugar caramelized at all sides.

It was quite time consuming but it worked out perfectly. And so I could enjoy some sweet Baumstriezel to honour my Blog Birthday (with ongoing Blogevent).

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September 29th, 2013



To bake a heart shaped cake for birthday (also called “Birthday-Heart”) is an old family tradition. Which cake is baked on the other hand is highly variable. We already baked Cheesecake-Hearts, Goldknödel-Hearts and or the good old Pound-Cake hearts filled with a layer of jam.

For the 80. Birthday of my Grandmother I volunteered to bake a festively decorated cake and the heart shape was mandatory for me! But what cake should I choose?

At the end I decided to use the Praline-Quark-Cake from Petra. Jutta chose this cake as base of her sons wedding cake and she praised the cake so much that it was clear to me that it would be the perfect cake.

To fill the heart springform completely I multiplied the recipe by 1.5, but reduced the amount of sugar a little bit.

And now I can only repeat what Petra and Jutta already told us: It is a great cake, moist and nutty but at the same time very stable, perfect for fondant covered cakes!

This is for you, dearest Oma. Happy Birthday!

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April 1st, 2013

Chocolate Hot Cross Buns

Hot Cross buns

When I saw Hot Cross Buns on an English Blog some years ago, I was fascinated by their look and the describtion of the spices (cinnamon, allspice, cardamom). But living together with a person who does not like raisins at all, baking them never made sense to me.

But this year I learned that in Australia and New Zealand Hot Cross Buns are often baked with chocolate instead of raisins. That was the solution to my problem!

And so I baked Hot Cross Buns for Breakfast on Easter Monday. I made the sleeping long variation – like my Burger Buns the Hot Cross Buns are made with only a tiny bit of fresh yeast, so I can form them the night before. They proof by roomtemperature and the next morning I only had to pipe the crosses and put them in the oven. And until I cooked coffee and prepared our breakfast table, the buns are done.

Is there a better start in a day then with a cup of coffee and still hot chocolate hot cross buns with the flavour of cinnamon, cardamom and allspice?

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March 31st, 2013

Aachener Poschweck


When I saw the Poschweck that Petra baked some days ago, I knew that I had to bake some as well because it looked so delicious!

The Poschweck is a very traditional bread which the Bakers of Aachen gave as present to their customers during Easter since the late medieval. It is first mentioned 1547 in the “Aachener Bäckerverordnung” (Bakers edict). In 1760 some bakers tried for the first time to get rid of this custom but they where forced by the municipality to deliver the sweet breads.  After nearly another 100 years they tried again to break with the tradition, which ended with the so called “Poschweck riot” in which angry citizen demolished shops. To restore the public order the bakers where forced once again to bake and give away the Poschweck. Finally, in 1946 the bakers succeed with their claim to sell the Poschweck instead of giving it away.

I used Petras Recipe as a start for my own variation of Poschweck. With a pâte fermentée and less yeast the bread develops a complex taste. With almonds, raisins and sugar cubes and the hint of orange and vanilla it is a really rich bread. I love the fact that the sugar cubes will melt during baking and leave sweet and sticky holes in the bread (which you can see on the picture below).  A perfect bread for persons with a sweet tooth!

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