Bread with Walnuts and Carrots

Bread, Recipes

Last weekend was weird. I had had enough cakes, cookies and jelly donuts for a while, so I did not feel like baking anything sweet. I still wanted to bake, but did not know what.

One reason for my frustration with sweets was that my last attempts at baking did not work out. Friday I wanted to bake Chocolate-Peanutbutter-Whoopies. Instead of pretty round whoopies, I created rock-like lumps. They got bigger in your mouth if you tried to eat them – not good. I must admit that I cannot blame the recipe, but only myself. I had been distracted when making the batter and had made a mistake – oops, my own fault.

The next day, Saturday, I made marble cake. I thought I could fight the Whoopies-frustration this way, and I also needed something to post on my blog. Well, the cake turned out great, but the frosting did not really go with it. No blog post. Frustrating again.

So Sunday I was running back and forth between my kitchen and my baking books. I wanted to bake, but what?

The solution was baking bread. I would be able to roam about the kitchen, and the result would not be sweet (we still had to eat the marble cake, which was more than enough sweet stuff for the weekend). Also, not much could go wrong. Fresh bread smells and tastes incredible, especially if it still slightly warm. Each bite is pure pleasure.

Brot mit Walnüssen und Karotten 3

Brot mit Walnüssen und Karotten 4

There are so many recipes in this book that I always find something I am curious to try – this time light yeast bread with walnuts and carrots. As with carrot cake, the carrots make the bread moist, but do not make the bread taste like carrots.

Brot mit Walnüssen und Karotten 5

Brot mit Walnüssen und Karotten 6

The bread saved my baking-weekend and (partially) brought back my belief in my baking skills. I had already started to doubt those.

Ingredients:
1 ¾ cups (200 g) flour
¾ cup (100 g) spelt flour, light
1 ¾ cups (200 g) whole wheat flour
1 package (7 g) active dry yeast
1 egg, room temperature
½ cup (⅛ l) milk, lactose-free, lukewarm
½ cup (⅛ l) water, lukewarm
1 teaspoon salt
50 g walnuts, coarsely chopped
100 g carrots, finely grated

Preparation:
In a big mixing bowl, combine flour, spelt flour and whole wheat flour, salt and dry yeast. Add lukewarm milk, water and eggs. Knead to a smooth dough with the kitchen machine, using the dough hook. Add the carrots and the walnuts and knead for about five minutes. Cover with a kitchen towel. Let the dough rise in a warm place until doubled in size. This will take about an hour.

Cover a baking sheet with baking parchment. Preheat the oven to 355° F (180° C) (conventional oven).

Thoroughly knead the dough once more. Separate into two equal halves. Form each half into a longish bread. Place the two loaves onto the baking sheet, cover with a kitchen towel and let them rise for about 30 minutes.

Brot mit Walnüssen und Karotten 1Having risen for the second time: off to the oven!

Sprinkle the bread with water, or slightly brush it with water. Bake for about 30 minutes. The bread will be done if a knock against the bottom sounds hollow.

Brot mit Walnüssen und Karotten 2

From: Ager, B. (2010). Lass dich verführen 3. Hall in Tirol, Wien: Berenkamp.

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Graham Rolls

Bread, Recipes

Who doesn´t like the smell of home-made bread in the house? Biting into a warm, fresh, crisp roll? I love that. I am always overjoyed when I have the chance to eat home-made bread.

Grahamweckerl 3

Recently I came upon a book on baking bread. There were lots of wonderful recipes in it, so I immediately bought the book . It was worth it. If you ask me, spending money on good-quality, inspiring cookbooks and baking books always is! I found myself drooling over the pictures and recipes while looking through the book.

Here is the recipe for graham rolls. Don´t worry about making yeast dough. I always make yeast dough using active dry yeast: I just knead all the ingredients together and let the dough rise in a warm place. It always works.

Grahamweckerl 1

Grahamweckerl 2

Ingredients:

10 oz. (280 g) water, lukewarm
7 g (= 1 bag) active dry yeast
2 cups plus 1 tbsp. (250 g) plain flour
2 cups plus 1 tbsp. (250 g) whole wheat flour
3 tbsp. (25 g) oat bran or wheat bran
1 ½ tsp. (10 g) salt
1 tsp. (5 g) sugar
2 tbsp. (20 g) vegetable oil

Cover a baking sheet with baking parchment.

Put all the ingredients into a big bowl. Either use a kitchen machine with a dough hook, or knead by hand until the dough is soft and silky. With a kitchen machine, this will take about five minutes.

Cover the bowl with a clean cloth or kitchen towel. Let the dough rest at a warm place for about 40 minutes. It should now have risen and be notably bigger and fluffier than before.

Knead the dough again, either using a kitchen machine or by hand. This will remove the air from the dough.

Form a kind of „sausage“ and cut it into six pieces of about the same size. With a rolling pin, roll each piece into a thin oval sheet.

Roll each oval sheet into a graham roll, starting with the narrow side. Put the six graham rolls onto the baking sheet, with the seam at the bottom. Cover the rolls with a moist cloth or kitchen towel and let them rest for 35 minutes.

While the rolls are rising, preheat the oven to 390° F (200° C; conventional oven).

Bake for about 20 minutes.

From: Ager, B. (2010). Lass dich verführen 3. Hall in Tirol, Wien: Berenkamp.

Nut Wedges

Cookies, Recipes

Last weekend I realized that it was only just about four more weeks until Christmas! It is not even really December yet and does not feel like pre-Christmas-time at all! Never mind. Pre-Christmas time means baking, so off to the kitchen I headed.

Each year I start my Christmas-baking with Nut Wedges. This has become something of a tradition. Nut Wedges are ideal, as with one baking session I will get a big tin of cookies. This immediately gives me the feeling of having achieved something, and also of having a bit of a stock of cookies. Nut Wedges are also my son´s favorites – another reason to start my baking with them!

Nussecken 1

The list of cookies I want to bake this year is a long one! “Linzer Augen“, „Linzer Stangen“, Vanilla Crescents, Heart-Shaped Cookies with Rose Hip Jam, Star-Shaped Cinnamon Cookies, Caramelized Nuts in Chocolate, Coconut Wedges, Nut Cookies with Marzipan, and more… Let´s see how far I´ll get!

The recipe for these Nut Wedges is ancient – it is from a TV magazine from the late 80s or early 90s, I do not really remember. Nut Wedges were among the first Christmas cookies I ever made. As back then I was just getting started with baking, I found the recipe challenging, especially as there was a mistake with the measurements. Meanwhile I know how to make these cookies fast and without problems, and I have corrected the measurement-mistake long ago.

I always bake Nut Wedges according to this recipe, as I know it will work!

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Ingredients:

Short pastry / Dough:
2 cups (250 g) flour or whole wheat flour
⅓ cup (70 g) brown sugar
1 stick (125 g) butter
1 egg
1 pinch of salt
½ jar of apricot jam (or another jam you like, e.g. strawberry)

Topping:
3 cups (300 g) ground hazelnuts
1 stick (125 g) butter
½ cup (100 g) brown sugar
3 tbsp. water

Chocolate glazing:
8.8 oz. (250 g) dark chocolate, lactose-free
⅓-½ cup (80 g-100 g) butter

Nussecken 2

Preparation:
Short pastry / dough:

Cover a baking sheet with baking paper.

Preheat the oven to 400 ° F (200° C).

Put flour, sugar and salt onto the work surface. Cut the cold butter into small cubes. Add egg and butter to the flour mixture. With your hands, quickly knead to a dough. If possible, let the dough rest in the fridge/a cool place for half an hour.

Alternatively use a kitchen machine:
Knead the ingredients with a dough hook until you get a firm dough. I mostly use this method when making short pastry. It is fast and works well. It also keeps my hands clean!

Roll the dough into a rectangle of about 8×12 inches (20×30 cm). You can do so either directly on the baking sheet (covered with baking paper), or on a sheet of baking paper which you then transfer to the baking sheet together with the dough. Put a baking frame around the dough so you can spread the topping right to the edge.

Evenly spread the apricot jam on the dough.

For the topping, cut the butter into small pieces. Put butter, sugar and water into a small pot and bring to a boil. Remove from the oven and stir in the ground hazelnuts. Allow the mixture to cool.

Evenly spoon the hazelnut mixture over the jam. Spread with a knife or a pastry spatula and press down a little (using your hands helps!).

Bake for about 15-20 minutes until golden brown. Cut into small triangles while still warm. You do not have to separate the triangles yet.

Let the triangles cool on the sheet.

For the chocolate glazing, cut (or break) chocolate and butter into small pieces. Put chocolate and butter in a small pot and melt in a double boiler, or at low heat on the oven. Stir well. If the glazing is runny, add more chocolate. If it is not runny enough, add more butter.

Dip the Nut Wedges into the chocolate glazing and let them cool on a cooling rack.

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Keep in an airtight cookie tin.

Curd Cheese Rolls

Bread, Recipes

I have been struggling with this recipe for a while. I have made the rolls several times, but I was never happy with the texture of the dough. It was soft and sticky, and I had to add a lot of flour in order to be able to form rolls. The taste was great, though.

Topfenbrötchen 4 Website

The last time I made the rolls, I reduced the amount of milk from one cup, as stated in the original recipe, to half a cup. It worked. The dough was just right, not sticky, not dry. I could knead, form and cut it really well.

I can only recommend this recipe. It´s easy, it works, and it tastes perfect.

Topfenbrötchen 2 Website

Ingredients:
½ cup (⅛ l) milk, lactose-free
2 tbsp. brown sugar
1 package (7 g / 2½ tsp.) dry yeast
4 cups (500 g) whole wheat flour
10.7 oz. (300 g) curd cheese, lactose-free
2 eggs
5 g (1 tbsp.) fennel seeds or bread seasoning
10 g (2 tsp.) salt

Preheat the oven to 355° F (180° C).

Put baking paper on two baking sheets.

In a small pot, heat the milk and the brown sugar over medium heat until the milk is lukewarm and the sugar has dissolved. The milk must not get hot!

In a mixing bowl, mix whole wheat flour and dry yeast.

Add the curd cheese, the eggs, the warm milk, the salt and the fennel seeds / the bread seasoning to the flour mixture and knead to a dough.

If the dough is too dry, add a bit of milk. It it is too sticky, add a bit of flour.

Cover the bowl with a clean kitchen towel. Let the dough rise for about 20 minutes.

Separate the dough into two parts. Form each part into a strand.

Slice each strand into 10 pieces of roughly the same size. Roll each piece of dough into a ball. Put the rolls onto the baking sheets, with a little distance between them.

Topfenbrötchen 1 Website

Cover the two baking sheets with clean kitchen towels. Let them rise for 15 minutes.

Bake the rolls for about 20 minutes, until medium brown.

Adapted from: Gasteiger, H., Wieser, G., Backmann, H. (2008,12. Auflage). So kocht Südtirol. Bozen: Verlagsanstalt Athesia AG.