The name “Neujährchen” is used in different regions of Germany for a wide variety of bread and pastry baked for new years eve or new years mornig. This variant stems from the Westerwald. I stumbled about it when I researched recipes for Neujährchen from the rhineland. I was fascinated by the dark crust which is archived by glazing them with cold coffee. And I was thrilled by the interesting mixture of spices and the fact that it is baked with a good amount of rye flour. The dough is mixed with a generous amount of butter, too, which is rather seldom for rye bread. The mixture of spices seems to vary from village to village. Adding Pepper and cinnamon seems to be common everywhere, but if anise or clove or both is used is different from recipe to recipe. As I do not like anise very much, the decision for my recipe variant was an easy one.
The hearty mixture of spice makes the rolls special, but very delicious. They taste great with honey, but would go as well with a mild goat cheese and some cranberry jam, too.
In the last years I tested several speculaas recipes without finding “the one”. I was searching for a recipe which yields tender but crisp cookies. But most of the time I ended up with cookies that where rather hard. And so Charlotte had my full attention when she posted the speculaas recipe from Ottolenghi & Gohs Book “Sweet”. “Terrific” she called them.
And so I had to try them instantly. I followed Charlottes advice to cut down the amount of sugar and made some small adjustments in the spice mixture as no one here likes anise. With my speculaas roller I cut the dough into speculaas which worked perfectly with this dough.
And in the end, when I sampled the first cookie, I was ready to chime in the choir: they are terrific! The only drawback is, that they seem to evaporate from my cookie bin much to fast. If they keep vanishing in this rate, I have to bake another batch before Christmas….
Honey is a stable in our pantry. There is no weekend breakfast without honey for me. Luckily we have some beekeepers in the family, so we are always well provided. Honey is although a delicious part of Christmas Baking, as for Turrón or Pepperkakror. And so I was hooked when I stumbled over a recipe of soft ginger bread in an old christmas cookbook.
and because I read a lot of using rye flour in such cakes lately I decided to modify it a bit and add some rye to the recipe. I tweaked the amount of liquids and spices as well a bit and was then very pleased with the outcome: The ginger bread is soft and fluffy and so delicious that is has to be hidden to survive until Christmas!
Heißewecken – sometimes called Hedewäggen, Hetwegge, Heiteweggen or Heetwich, too – are spiced raisin buns which are typical for North Germany. Their form vary from region to region, sometimes they are baked in bun shape, in others regions they are baked as flatbreads. They are baked traditionally in the feasting time between carnival and Easter and often served with warm milk and butter.
I have them on my list of regionals breads I want to bake for already one year. And before it is Easter again I finally managed to bake them. I chose the bun shape over the flatbread as I find the buns easier to eat for breakfast. But you can easily roll the dough to small flatbreads, too. Both forms are baked fast and hot which ensured a moist crumb.
I like the fine crumb and soft crust of this rolls very much. Cinnamon and Cardamom add a delicious deepness to the flavour and I ask myself why it took me so long to bake them …
There are nearly no good sides of being ill. But the flu that put me out of order beginning of December let me discover this terrific recipe and that is definitively a good thing. As I was dozing on the sofa the TV show “hier und heute” was running on TV. And with amusement – and bit of envy – I saw how the moderator nibbled one after the other of the beautiful cinnamon stars. His delighted face told more than hundreds of words how delicious they were- And so I put the recipe directly on my mental “to bake” list for Christmas. The recipe from Marcel Seeger was already downloaded and saved.
This weekend I was finally fit enough for baking cookies. And this recipe was on position one for testing. And after I eat the first cookie I knew why the moderator was so delighted. They are gorgeous, a new keep for my favourite list!
Like each year at this day in November I want to add a “can you believe this” when I write down the age of this blog. With now nine years the blog feels sometime like a mammoth in a modern time. And just like Micha I sometimes miss the gone days when the blog world was small and young and mainly add-free. I miss the times when every blog had its own blog roll. Past then I could spent hours surfing through the favourite blogs from other bloggers, finding new favourites while I travel through the sites. Nowadays my journeys are often interrupted as many blogs does not share their favourites anymore. Why I can’t understand but I moan about the lost connections and interactions. And I’m more then happy when I find a blog that stands out from the mass and which has a blogroll of its own. Then I will add it to may blogroll, for which I still care a lot. I keep an eye on it so it contains only active blogs (inactive but good blogs can be found have their own special blogroll). You can the blogroll on the left side when you scroll down a bit. Continue reading
Since I discovered the Kieler Semmel for me, they rank very high on my personal favourite roll list. I love their tender crumb and the crisp buttery-salty crust with the slight hint of cinnamon. And so it was an easy decision what recipe I would bake at my course at the Brotzeit.
But the recipe vary a bit form the two recipes already published on the Blog: this time I use poolish as preferment and I had to use more yeast to compensate the short time window in the course. But I added a variant for more time below.
The dough of this rolls is rather firm and can be formed round easily. After forming the rolls need to be rubbed in a butter mix which works some fat into the seam. This prevents the seam from sticking and so the rolls open nicely in the oven. To get enough butter in the seam needs a bit of practice – and this can only be gained by practice 😉
Spelt is a favourite and so I was regulary asked if my Stollen can be baked with spelt flour, too. I answered “theoretically yes” and decided to bake a Stollen with spelt flour instead of wheat, too. I like to have a practical background for those answers.
The dough contains only minimal changes to the regular recipe: I used a mixture of sultanas and currants instead of raisins and I reduced the amount of yeast, too. And I replaced the wheat flour with spelt flour, of course.
After three long weeks of resting time we cut the spelt stollen for the first Advent. And it was as moist and mellow as a good stollen has to be. Maybe it is a bit more mellow then the normal recipe, but that was the only difference I recognize. The different spices are stronger then the slight spelt flavour and I doubt that I could tell the spelt and wheat stollen apart when blind testing. And so I can tell now with own experience: Yes, you can bake a spelt stollen!
I met Honigreingerl some time ago and they trigger my “Have to bake” reflex of immediately. They are small Austrian pastries which are filled with a honey and cinnamon mixture. In their crumb you can find many small openings filled with the flavour of honey and cinnamon.
Original the Honigreingerl are baked in a slightly higher form, but using a muffin tin and brioche forms work good as well. The dough is made with ten percent spelt flour like I used it in the Butterzopf recipe, as this makes rolling the dough easier. The other components of the dough are the “usual suspects”: Biga, some egg and butter – a guaranty for a fluffy crumb and good flavour. And so are my homemade Honigreingerl: a golden crust and a very fluffy crumb filled with the flavours of honey and cinnamon – a divine treat!
The first version of the Kieler Semmel was already catapulted into the first ranks of my personal best of list of blog recipes. And I planed directly to make a second version with preferment. And took me a while to come back to this plan but finally I bake them. I choose a preferment which enhance the gluten structure, a sweet starter or its cousin, which is made with commercial yeast – a Biga. And I opted for diastatic malt as I wanted to make the crust very crisp. This makes the recipe unsuitable for a cold overnight proof – a reason why I always shied away from diastatic malt before – a mistake as I knew now! The crust gains a lot through the enzymatic processes due to the malt, it is crisp but easier to bite at the same time. I get a better volume and fluffiger crust then the last time, too.
Helga, a reader from Kiel, suggested some changes in the form and gave me some advices on the intensity of the cinnamon flavour. I decided to use cylon cinnamon, which has a more subtle and complex flavour then the warm, but more acerbic and blunt flavour of Cassia. I added one gramm to the butter which yields a slight cinnamon note. If you prefer a stronger cinnamon taste I would double this amount.
At the end, I have not to emphasise that I’m in love with this rolls, have I? They are maybe the most perfect rolls I bake (until now)!