Thursday, December 22, 2011

Happy 2012

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Fig and Rosemary Bread

Our friend Ans came for a holiday to Thailand. She asked us what she could bring from the Netherlands. I knew immediately what I liked, because we’ve been looking for figs for a long time. Ans brought 4 bags of Organic Turkish Figs, thanks Ans!
During the visit I had no time bake. We took Ans and her friend Antoinette, for a tour in our neighborhood. We visited some Little Sisters, from our project, a local market where we and the people from the hill tribes do our weekly shopping’s, we did a trekking trough the local hills and mountains and visited hill tribes villages. In between we enjoyed the baked breads from the refrigerator and especially the Stollen I baked for Christmas. 

After a week our friends moved on and today it’s Fig-time. I’m inspired by Hamelman’s hazelnut and fig bread from his book ‘Bread’. In stead of hazelnuts and figs I use rosemary and figs. I cut each fig in four parts, they look so juicy. In our garden we have a rosemary plant, lucky us. It’s hard to find a rosemary plant here. I’m making cuttings to give to our friends, they all want a piece of our delicious smelling plant.
In the original recipe very strong Canadian whole meal flour is used. Since I only have all purpose flour, I used this in stead. I added some whole wheat bran and rye. 

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Sweet Potato Sourdough

We found sweet potato at our local market. We had no idea what to do with these funny looking red roots. Somewhere in my memory I had seen bread with sweet potato. 
The sweet potato were very cheap, so we decided to buy a kilo. Back home I found the recipe at Wild Yeast and the next day I started to bake sweet potato. Of course we had to taste it before adding to the dough. The name says it all; sweet and potato. Because we bought a kilo I started to clean the rest and baked them like baked potato. I added some roasted potimarron with herbs from the oven. What a nice orange treat we had.
Back to the bread; because I added the baked potato in the mixing machine most of the pieces were smashed. It gave the crumb a nice yellow-orange color. The bread had a thick crusty crust and a lovely crumb. The loaf had a nice oven spring.

Sweet potato will be back in our house and in our bread!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Christmas stollen

This is a strange time for us. We live in Thailand, born in the Netherlands. Our families still live in the Netherlands. Since we were children December is a month of celebration. On the 5th Sinterklaas comes and gives presents to all well-behaved children. And on the 25th and 26th it’s Christmas. Our family is in the mood of celebrating these days. It’s difficult to get the feeling of Christmas when the temperature is around or even more than 25˚C and the sun is shining whole day. In our village we don’t see any decoration at all nor hear any Christmas songs when we go shopping.

I just finished my very first Christmas stollen. I found a nice recipe made by Stefanie of Hefe und Mehr. The bad part is; we had to wait for 2 weeks or more before we could taste it! Stefanie said the stollen needs time for the flavors to combine.

Baking this holiday bread was fun. I like it when bread needs time and attention. It’s not difficult, but you need to do some steps before you start the mixing. The evening before you need to make a soaker. I’ve baked many raisin breads, but I never soaked the raisins for a whole night in boiling water. It’s worth it, the taste of the raisin is delicious and they melt on your tongue.
As said before, this was my first stollen. I decided to start with one stollen in stead of two. I divided the recipe by half. I wish I had baked two stollen!