Tag Archives: Christmas

January 9th, 2016

Pandoro – A Picture Story

Pandoro

The quite days between christmas and new years eve I like to spent with baking time consuming “cake”-breads. My favourite one is the golden Pandoro, who is a laborious with its preferments, but every time I’m so excited how high it rise and what flavour it develops.

This year I baked once again my pure Sourdough variant, which gains it strangth and complex aroma through the sweet starter. It needs more then 24 hours until it is done, but when the tender crumbs nearly melts in my mouth I always think: This feels like eating a cloud.

When I was baking the pandoro this year there was a question about the sweet starter: Does it really rise during fermentation? I looked at my starter who had trippled its volume in 2 hours and decided to snap a photo to show how it should look. And as I was taking photos I decided to follow the whole fermenting and proofing process with the camera. When the pandoro was baked and sat in the kitchen to cool, I checked the pictures on the computer and was very happy with my result. The pictures showed so well how the preferment dobuled, nearly trippled and how the Pandoro gained a nearly the a four times bigger volume during proofing and baking.

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December 26th, 2015

Shooting Star Bread

SternschnuppenbrotMy mother and me are cut from the same cloth. Wenn one of us says the she baked the “favourite bread” we know that we both mean the same bread. It tastes gorgeous and we love its crisp crust and tender crumb, but besides that it is great to play with. And so my mum send me some pictures of some breads she baked for her colleagues shortly before Christmas. Instead of decorating it with a rose, she made breads with a star decor. I fell in love with this idea immediately! Especially as I planed to bake a “thank you” bread for some friends who gave me beautiful paper stars for my christmas tree. A bread decorated with a shooting star would be great gift for them. On the first day of Christmas I then started the dough and decorate the loaf with a star, some long slashes for the comet tail and poppy seeds for the night sky. It worked as well as I hoped and I got a beautiful bread for Christmas time!

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December 24th, 2015

Pompe à l’huile

Pompe à l'huile (4)

The Pompe à l’huile is a traditional french Pastry which is part of the “Les treize desserts”, the thirteen desserts served on Christmas. It is a very rich, sweet Bread and flavoured with orange blossom water and Orange peel. It’s crumb reminds on a rich brioche but it is not prepared with butter but with olive oil. Since I made the Schiacciata di Pasqua for Easter I knew that olive oil in a sweet bread is not a strange but a very delicious idea.

The recipes which I found in the net where all made with a lot of yeast. As this is something I don’t like so much, I decided to use some of my sweet starter as preferment, as I was feeding it anyway to make it strong for the Pandoro I plan to bake. The sweet starter is so mild, that even with this long fermentation it just gives a complex flavour to the bread, but with no sour tones. It harmonize very well with the orange flavour and the subtle spiciness of the olive oil.

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December 14th, 2015

Handbrot

Handbrot (1)When I stroll over the Christmas market I’m often wondering about the enormous prices for little helpings of Schupfnudel, fried mushrooms or molten raclett cheese. And so I’m little tempted to spend my money there. But what I take with me this time was an inspiration for “Handbrot”. The name means literally hand bread and is a pieces of bread dough filled with Cheese, bacon or mushrooms. The versions sold on the cologne Christmas market where baked to pale for my liking and the dough contained surely to much yeast, but while looking on the breads a recipe started to appear in my mind.

As basis I used my favourite bread recipe but added some additional potatoes for a softer crumb. The filling is a mild gouda cheese, mushrooms and crisp fried smoked tofu. For non-vegetarian  persons you can of course use bacon as well! Served still warm from the oven this little breads are a great treat with the gooey cheese. But they taste delicious when cooled, too. Then you can taste the complex flavour of the bread as well as the flavour of smoke tofu and cheese.  And while eating my dearest and I started already to think about new variants: using raclett cheese instead of gouda or filling the breads with feta and dried tomatoes. There a millions of possibilities laying before us …

 

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December 12th, 2015

Cinnamon Mousse Cake with Apple Curd

Zimtmousse-Törtchen mit Apfelcurd-Füllung

Christmas time can be a hectic time as well. To makes things easier, I like to have desserts that can be prepared in advance. Like this little mousse cakes, which can be prepared one week before time and then wait patiently in the fridge for their great day. You just have to remember the night before to take them from the freezer and defrost them in the fridge over night. The next day, they just have to get a little cocoa dusting and their dried apple star decoration and they are ready to be served.

With almond sponge, Cinnamon Mousse and a core of apple curd they are light and delicious end for any festive meal during Christmas time! And if you like to keep life even more simple, then skip the sponge and fill the mousse in little glases. This tealight holders have the perfect size!

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November 29th, 2015

Christstollen with sweet Starter

Christstollen mit süßem Starter (2)Last year I saw a Christstollen with Sourdough which “Ofenkante” published on his blog. This stirred my brain and I started to think about Stollen made with sweet starter. But as I was already done with Stollen baking at this time point, I stored the idea in the back of my mind. After one year of thinking about it I decided to bake directly two stollen for this Christmas: a traditional and a experimental one.

In the experimental stollen with sweet starter I kept the same ratio of ingredients then in my traditional one (never change a winning team) but build the the sweet starter over several steps to get a enough strength for rising. It is always amazing to see how strong the sweet starter gets when fed three times in a row! But as the feeding is time consuming, this recipe needs a day until it is done.

After four weeks of ripening I brought the stollen from the cold attic back to the warm kitchen and sliced it. The crumb was perfect, firm but moist and the different flavours had fused to a harmonic consonance. Compared to the traditional stollen there are subtle differences in flavour nuances, but it is hard to pin them down. After all, both of them taste terrific and I can not name a favourite.

 

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December 27th, 2014

Panettone (pure Sourdough)

Panettone (2)

When I bake my Sourdough Pandoro with the special (not sour) sourdough called sweet starter last year I knew already that I would have to make my own Panettone recipe for the following christmas. Similar to the Pandoro recipe I planed to build the dough in some steps so that the yeasts in the sweet starter would get used to sugar and fat which would help to let the dough rise fast. The sweet starter I kept during 2014 alive and baked rather a lot of different breads with him.

On 22. December I refreshed the sweet starter tree times to make him strong and fast rising. He was so strong and fast rising that he only needed two instead if three hours to double his volume when I started the sweet starter for the Panettone at the 23. in the morning. And even the sugar and the butter in the following first and second dough did not slow him down, and tripled its volume in 90 minutes instead of 2 hours. But anyway the third (and last) dough had to take 3 hours for rising because I had to run some errands. Coming home again I formed the Panettone (Susans Tip to grease hands and counter with a lot of butter is really helpful!) and during forming I calculated: I’m now two hours earlier then planned… but it will need about 12 hours at least to proof… and at seven in the morning I’m normally already awake. So there is no problem at all…

Panettone (3)At five o’clock the next morning, on my way to the bathroom, I quickly checked the Panettone in the kitchen. And turned the oven on. Ten hours were what they needed to reach the rim of the form. And who needs sleep?

One hour later the panettone was already hanging between two chairs and I crawled back into bed to have another little nap. Later that day we took some pictures and sliced one cake. And it was so delicious: soft and fluffy, the crumb could be teared into long strands, flavours of orange and vanilla and subtle, but complex notes from the sweet starter. And it keeps fresh for a long time, we eat one with my family on the first christmas day, and had some on second christmas day as well and it still tasted like freshly baked. It is a fussy cake and I could less sleep then normal but it is worth everything! It is the perfect christmas cake!

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December 24th, 2014

Merry Christmas

Frohe Weihnachten!

Dear Readers,

Christmas Eve is very near now and I want to use the time to wish you all a merry and peaceful Christmas! The dearest and me will have a piece Panettonne (recipe will come soon) before we leave to meet with the family.

All the best!

Stefanie

December 22nd, 2014

Christmas Wreath

Weihnachtskranz

Du you already have a plan for breakfast during the holidays? I prefer baking the one or other  overnight recipe where either the dough rise over night or the already shape rolls. And during the holidays I love everything which is made with sweet brioche dough. But the high butter amount in this dough get solid in the fridge and hinder the dough to rise properly. A solution for this problem is using cream as liquid in the dough. That adds enough fat to make the crumb soft but will not keep the dough from rising.

This Sunday I made a test run and baked already my Christmas wreath. It is made with sweet Starter (if you have no sweet Starter please refer to the Biga recipe at the end of the recipe as replacement) and some cream makes its crumb nicely soft. The segments of the wreath are formed by dough “roses” made of four circles each. I saw this idea somewhere in the internet some time ago but I did not save the site. But luckily it worked with the facts I still had in mind.

As finish I glazed the dough with a cooked sugar glaze. A sweet bread with sugar glaze is somehow essential for my Christmas breakfast!

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