On of attractions in cologne is the shrine of the holy three kings in the cologne cathedral. The story how this relic was brought is not a nice one. They were part of the loot that Barbarossa take from Milan. The shrine attracted since then pilgrims to cologne and due to many people that came to see it, the decision to build the cathedral was made.
But something like the three kings bread (german: Dreikönigskuchen) is not know here. When I saw the bread that Claudia baked, I had to know more about this swiss tradition. And so I started reading and learned that it is an old tradition that was resurrect in Swiss during the fifties.
The Bread is made of the sweet dough, and shaped as a flower. A small figure, a bean or an almond is hidden in the bread and who finds this will be the king for one day. That is a niece tradition.
For my Three kings bread I choose a sweet dough like for a challah, containing some orange juice which adds a niece flavour to the dough. The vitamin C in the orange juice helps to strengthen the gluten network and so the bread could rise very nicely. For a more complex taste I added some Lievito madre, too. The bread tasted very good, sweet and fluffy, perfect for our breakfast on Sunday.
Today I post the Bread we had for Dinner at the holy night, as I promised yesterday.
I like pull apart breads, like the “Brötchenkranz”, a typical german way to serve rolls at parties. When I saw a Christmas tree shaped “Brötchenkranz” I fell in love with it immediately. Sadly, I cannot remember anymore where I saw it the first time. I thought that it was yeastspotted, but I could not find it there. The Google picture search shows me a lot of baked Christmas trees.
Which was my original Inspiration? I can’t tell.
As dough I choosed an overnight recipe, which I could shape and bake in the morning of December, 24th. The Rolls had a nicely soft and fluffy crumb and a complex taste due to the long rise.
Today the day was a little bit more chaotic then planed. The boyfriend had to head to Bonn to rescue his sister, who had problems with the car, while I take care of the last Christmas preparations. And so I have to postpone my planed post for a Bread-Christmas tree to tomorrow.
And so I would like to wish you shortly, but deep from my heart: Merry Christmas, dear readers!
There was a small Booklet with cookie recipe in the Magazine Landlust in the November/December Issue. I fell in love with the recipe they put on the cover “tender hazelnut bars” – and so it was on top of my mental “have to try” list for Christmas baking this year.
The cookies are easy to made, you just have to form finger thick strands and cut them into 5 cm pieces. And for decorating the cookies with some chocolate stripes, they are put close to each other, so that there is no gap between them. To pipe the chocolate on all them is then easily done.
I like the Cookies very much. They are simple, but delicious– no spices will overpower the taste of hazelnuts here. And that is the magic of these cookies, they just relay on the quality of their ingredients. A perfect addition for my christmas cookie plate!
When I’m baking for my colleagues like for our christmas party today, I always try to find special forms for the rolls that fits to the season. This time I got inspired from a recipe from the TV show WDR Servicezeit and bake little Santa Claus Hats. The dough for this rolls is the same like the Spelt Rye Swirls and I let them ferment and bake them like described in the recipe.
The little Hats are easy to make. You have to roll the dough into a ribbon with 1 cm thickness and 12 cm width. Cut the ribbon into triangles with a 7cm width base (1). Now stretch the base and fold it over to form a 1.5 cm width brim (2). Then take the tip and fold it down, too (3). Wet the brim with some water (4) and sprinkle with sesame. To avoid sprinkling all over the hat, use a dough scrapper to shield the rest of the hat(5). For the pompon form a little dough ball with 1 cm diameter, dip on side in sesame and press it on the tip of the hat.
There are only two weeks left until the first Advent! So its really time to bake some Christstollen.
I baked, without a change (!), my Christstollen recipe – like I did it in the last four years. I know that its unusual for me not to change a recipe, but this recipe did not only convince me but although my gourmet collegues and my unbribable honest father.
This christstollen stays very moist due to the water roux I included in the recipe and the spices I use (vanilla, mace, cardamom and cinnamon)makes it very delicious. Only a little bit of patient is needed because the Christstollen should be rest for some weeks before eating it. It needs the time so that all aromas can infuse the stollen and merge to a heavenly taste.
The recipe can be found here and the “How to form a christstollen” can be found here.
I sent this entry to Yeastspotting, Susans weekly showcase of yeast baked good.
I have to take one look back at christmas. Every year we have a cheese fondue with the family at the 26. December which normally is prepared by my grandaunt. It started once small with my grandparents and their daughters, but nowadays we have to rend a room because for all the children plus partners, the grandchildrens with partners and the contiously rising number of great-grandchildren is no space in grandmothers kitchen anymore.
I normally help my grandaunt with the her preparations (continuously stirring the melting cheese). This year she called to ask me if I could do the cheese fondue on my own because she fell down a stair and had some broken ribs. She already bought everything needed and would write me a recipe, and would be around if I had questions. I said yes, of course. The recipe get lost when she and my granduncle travelled to us, and so she wrote down the short version for me: 5.5 kg cheese, 3 litre white wine, 6 teaspoons starch for each pot (4 pots at all). This is the amount for about 25 persons – most of the small kids prefer chocolate fondue.
I calculated it down for 5 persons:
Because we will have no snow this year to Christmas, I want to whish all my readers “Happy Christmas” with a Snow-Picture I took last christmas. I hope you have a peaceful christmas!
The last Bread Baking Day of the year 2012 has the theme “X-mas Edition” and is hosted at Cindystar. I get the idea for a bread fitting to this theme some days ago, when I was on my way back home from work. It was already very late, I had lunch about 7 hours ago and I was hungry. So I stopped at the bakery in railway station and bought a bun called “Little cinnamon almond cloud”. That sounds good, doesn’t it? But when I take the first bite I was disappointed. The bun was not stuffed with crunchy almond pieces but with very sweet marzipan in a very sweet dough overpowering completely the faint cinnamon taste. Not what I expected when I read the beautiful name!
When I was sitting in the train I started to think about how I would do such a kind of bread. And so I used the time to develop a recipe for a sweet bread seasoned with cardamom, Cassia buds and allspice and enriched crunchy almond pieces. Its a rich bread with a lot of egg and butter and its perfect for breakfast on Christmas mornings. I achieved a cloud like look with dusting the bread thickly with powdered sugar baking.
This bread with its delicate spices and almonds resembles much more my idea of an almond cloud
Its already the third advent and I still did not post a single Christmas cookie recipe! I have to change this immediately!
But until now I bake the traditional cookies in our family: Vanilla crescents, Liebesgrübchen, Black and white Kisses and Linzer Rings. But in the December Magazine of “Schrot and Korn” there were a cookie recipe that temped me very much. Little Plum Packets a butter cookie filled with plum butter and ground nuts.
They looked very complicated but when I read the recipe I realise that they are much easier to do the I thought. You just has to cut out stars, place a little bit of the filling in the middle and fold the pointed ends of the star over the filling and close everything with a hazelnut.
The cookies are great: a soft fruit and nut filling with hints of vanilla and cinnamon. I like them very much!