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.
When Petra bake Jodekager last year, I realized that it has been ages since I bake the very similar Brune Kager. I couldn’t find my old recipe and so I read different swedish recipes to reconstruct it according to my memory. It is a kind of gingerbread which is made with a light syrup. And as I read the labeling of this light syrup in the supermarket some weeks ago and learned that is just made of glucose and invert syrup, I went directly for my homemade Invert syrup instead. This knowledge is really useful as I have always invert syrup in the pantry for making ice cream!
The Brune Kager made with Invert syrup turned out as good as I had them in my memory: thin, crisp and so delicious!
I told you already here: I made an eBook out of the recipes of the Bread baking course (the book is in German). And as Christmas present for my readers it is can be downloaded for free at all online bookshops. Here is a list (not a complete one) where you can download it:
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 …
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!
For my Blog-Birthday-Event I got many terrific recipes. They range from No knead Breads over different breads with Nuts, Potato Breads to simple Sourdough recipes. I enjoyed reading the mails and Blog entries very much!
It just took me a bit of time to put everything together as round up as we had some very busy weeks here (cooking for Ph.d. Defenses for example). And in the meantime I although put together all of my recipes for the Bread baking course for a little eBook which will be available from Saturday on (but only in German for the Moment). In the first four weeks you can download it for free at Amazon and other online bookstores. Later it will be available for a small fee, so download it now 🙂
And please enjoy all this great recipes for my Birthday Pary!
My second contribution for the pumpkin buffet was a pumpkin ice cream. I used the recipe for gorgeous Marzipan ice cream which I served last Christmas as blue print. And like this ice cream the pumpkin ice cream is very creamy and keeps this creaminess even in the fridge. It is the Invert syrup, which makes it is soft. To balance the sweetness of the pumkin, I added a little bit of buttermilk. The mixture of spices is similar to pumpkin pie spice, but with some tonka bean to add a touch of special. The ice cream fits well into the Christmas time with its flavour of cinnamon, cardamom and ginger. Its bright yellow brings a bit of sunshine into the dark, grey days!
I have to warn you: the next posts will be sweet ones! It is partly due to the Christmas time and partly due to sweet things I made for two Ph.d. defence parties in the institute. And I will start with one of those recipes. It was part of the pumpkin buffet we whipped up for one of my former colleagues who is a pumpkin lover. This year, writing and defending her thesis kept her away from enjoying the pumpkin season and so we decided to cook everything with pumpkin for her. We had baked pumpkin, pumpkin soup, pumpkin pie and a savory pumpkin tart and I made pumpkin ice cream and baked Pumpkin chocolate cake and pumpkin fritters for her.
The pumpkin fritters are very much my own style as I worked with yeast instead of baking powder. A bit of sourdough gives them a deeper flavour, but this is optional. Turned either in powdered sugar or cinnamon and sugar they taste best when still warm. But even the next day they are still a treat!
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.
There is one wish still open for the Bread baking course: yeasted cake! And what would be a better idea to celebrate the seventh blog birthday of “Hefe und mehr” then to make little yeast pastries with a fluffy dough and delicious Quark filling? And as a bonus point this Quark-Streusel-Kolatschen are very variable as well. You can replace the Quarkfilling with a poppy seed filling or make them without quark but with an increased amount of streusel. It is a basic recipe that can changed to meet your own preferences.
When working with doughs containing much sugar and butter you have to take in account that they inhibit gluten development (as described here as well). Due to this fact they are added at the end of the kneading in small portions. And you can feel how the added sugar will change the consistency of the dough and becomes more soft and sticky when the sugar draws away water formerly bound in the dough.