We spent a relaxed New years eve with some dear friends and I promised to bring bread. As always, I like to bring a wide variety and so I decided for caraway seed bread, wheat and rye bread, and my favourite spelt, nut and fruit bread. As addition I liked to have small rolls, similar to the little rolls my mum sometimes bought when I was little. They were called bread confection and where turned in a mixture of cheese and different seeds.
For my own variant I decided to go for a classic roll dough with some active malt and sweet starter for flavour. And as I did not planned to spent a lot of time with weighting 32 to mini dough portions I divided the dough into four equal parts and rolled them into strands. Each strand was then cut into eight equal sized parts and each piece then turned in the cheese mixture. That went very well and easy.
The resulting rolls turned out even better then I hoped. They gained a good volume due to the malt and a bit of egg yolk as lecithin source while the sweet starter gave them a good flavour. Just as a good roll should be!
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 …
We spent our summer holidays this year near Plön. The landscape is very beautiful there and we enjoyed it so. And we fell in love with the small farmers market in Plön. We bought regional cheese from Ulrikes cheese monger with the great assortment of cheese and fresh fruits and vegetables from an organic farm nearby and we fell in love with the fresh fig pecorino ravioli sold from a small pasta manufactory. They had other great combinations as well (zucchini-sesame or porcino) but the combination of fig and pecorino was gorgeous! We bought them at every market day (twice a week) and even stopped for them on our way back home.
Home again we decided to create a recipe similar to them. Our variation is not a perfect copycat but has its own character. But the ravioli taste divinely, the sweetness of the figs is balanced by the hearty pecorino and both are enclosed by the creaminess of the mascarpone. To let their taste stand out, we served them only with some brown butter and grated pecorino and with a bowl of salad as side. That’s enough for a good meal!
And what did I bake with the homemade puff pastry?
Delicious Cheese and Herb swirls, made after a family recipe of my boyfriends family. The boyfriend loves them and eat the first batch faster then I could take a picture. For the second batch I forbid him to test them before I photograph the swirls – afterwards the swirls were nibbled away fastly.
They are really delicious and are easy to vary, depending what cheese or herbs are used. At the moment, during spring time, I like to use fresh springs of clives, wild garlic, parsley and garden burnet. In the winter I prefer using frozen herbs, when there are no fresh herbs available.
And of course you can used bough puff pastry, then the swirls a made quite quickly. Its definitely a favourite recipe.
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:
The oven was broken this week (he is repaired now, but I will tell about this later) but luckily we own the small pizza oven Alfredo and could bake our Dinnete!
Dinnete is the swabian variation of Tarte Flambee. It is a flatbread topped with sour cream and onions, potatoes, bacon or cheese. We decided to try a combination of thin potato slices, onions and cheese.
My boyfriend look a little bit unhappy when I told that I would like to top the Dinnete with potato slices, but the taste of the baked Dinnete won him over.
This is a recipe we will bake again!
Wild garlic is still in and so some pepole wrinkle their noses if you admit that you like wild garlic, too. But luckily I do not have to run after trends and I do not have to run away from trends. I just eat what I like.
And I like wild garlic very much, so I was very happy when I found some in our Greenbag last week. Instantly I began to plan what to cook with it.
We had no homemade ravioli for a long time, so we decided that we would like to have some wild garlic ravioli. But when I check our fridge I realize that we had only two eggs left and that was the amount I needed for the dough. So I needed a filling without egg. Looking around in the kitchen I saw some bread that was going to become stale on the counter. Some months ago I bookmarked a recipe for ravioli with a bread filling on Mestolo (and I have not cooked it untill now). I take the inspiration for the filling there and mix a filling containing bread, wild garlic and a little bit cream. I soak the bread before in hot water to soften it.
A Tart filled with cauliflower and onions sounds not exiting. But if you roast the cauliflower in the the oven and caramelize the onions and if you then add mustard and a flavourful cheese you get a small explosion of diffrent tastes with every bite. There is the sour taste of mustard, sweet from onions, the dark down-to-earth taste of cauliflowers topped with flavour of baked cheese.
I have to admit that it was the mustard that make me curious about this recipe at Smitten Kitchen. Mustard in a Tarte? That sounds good! And it tastes good!