Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Butter knots

We love to eat croissants. From time to time I bake them. I've baked them using different recipes, with and without sourdough. Some pretty good and some pretty bad. A good reason to keep on trying so one day I can bake that 'close to perfect' croissant. 

When I saw these butter knots on Levine’s page I knew I would bake them one day. She made them look absolutely delicious. They smell like croissants. They are easier than croissants because or their shape. You make a knot of the strip of dough instead of rolling them. It's difficult to adjust the temperature of my oven and this makes it mostly too hot. Sometimes the outside of the croissant will be crispy before the inside is well done. These butter knots don't have this problem. 
Levine had a good tip for the roll-in butter. As you might know it takes time and strength to pound the butter before it's thin enough to use it as roll-in butter. With temperatures of 30°C in the house I don’t have much time when I want cool dough. Levine cuts the butter into thin slices and suggests it’s also possible using a cheese slicer. This is what I did and it works great! I could work quicker than before and kept the dough cooler this way.

This is an easy recipe with great success. I loved playing with the knots. The only thing I changed is that I brushed some whisked egg on top of the knots.

These Butter Knots are dangerously delicious

I baked them in two batches. The first batch was cooling on wire rack when the next batch was in the oven. We couldn’t wait until they were cooled enough and we had  fresh strawberries in the fridge. Only a few weeks during winter time we find strawberries in the North of Thailand. We already made 2 jars of strawberry jam and last night we had a Dutch treat: vanilla vla (a thin custard dessert) with strawberries. And now we have all those great smelling butter knots waiting for us to put strawberries on.

Live can be a joy when you see it, don’t you agree! 

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Brown Sourdough Bread with Soya, Oats, Flax and Sunflower seeds

This month I baked bread using the pre-mixed flour given to me by Schmidt from Chiang Mai, Thailand. This time I choose Multi Malt Mix.

In the mix you find: Soya, Oats, Flax seeds and Sunflower seeds. This all makes it healthy bread. The malt gives it a nice color without the taste of molasses. For many years’ people thought brown bread is healthy. We know it’s not the color that makes bread healthy, but the ingredients like whole wheat, oats, flax seed and using unbleached flour.

The original recipe uses baker’s yeast which I changed for my own sourdough starter. I have good results with the stiff starter, especially during hot weather. The 100% sourdough starter sometimes grows too fast during the night, even with a pinch of salt. The 66% sourdough starter acts more stabile and gives me more time in the morning to get started.

It’s delicious bread. The malt gives it a nice soft crumb and a nice smell. The soya, oats, flax and sunflower seeds give this bread a good taste. Luckily there’s enough mix left in the bag to bake more loaves.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Assyrian spinach pies

It’s been 5 years since the Bread Baking Babes started. Every month they bake a recipe and all Buddies can bake along. I've been baking along for about 2 years now and still enjoying it! Babe Tanna found these good looking Assyrian Spinach Pies.

We just bought some spinach and I made a nice quiche with it. Luckily I had some spinach left to put in these pies. They’re easy to make; the dough is smooth and soft and the filling has a good bite. Tanna uses mahlab, made from the pits of sour black cherries. Since I don’t have this I omitted it and have no idea what I missed. I saw Babe Lien used raisins instead of pomegranate seeds and hard cheese instead of feta. This worked great for me too. For the bite I added fresh chili.

We loved them! I baked only 4 pies because I didn’t have enough spinach and we ate them with a nice salad for dinner. But, next time ……….. for sure.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Frankisher Kipf with Sourdough and 7-grains

About one week ago I baked these delicious Frankisher Kipf or Crusty Rolls. Today I wanted to bake them with sourdough and 7 grains. It's a great recipe which allows you to play with it. 

Bakers yeast doesn't goes well with gout and arthritis so whenever I can, I will use sourdough instead. And we like grains in our bread. 

So here are the crusty rolls with grains! 

I did the same as with the other Frankisher Kipf or crusty rolls. I changed the 2.6 grams yeast for 150 grams of active sourdough and instead of the rye flour I added 25 grams of 7-grains. 
For the poolish I kept with the 0.03 grams of dry active yeast.

Did you like them too?

Friday, February 8, 2013

Crusty rolls or Frankish Kipf

The first time I baked these rolls we had our friends Ning and Chue over and we ate the rolls with French onion soup. This was the first time they ever ate this soup. They liked the soup and loved the crusty rolls. We had a nice talk about good bread in Thailand.

Thailand doesn’t have a bread baking history, so not many people have an oven in their house. Most cooking is done on 1 burner and a small wood or charcoal burned bbq. Some dishes require a steam pan, but most cooking is done with the wok. In the big cities you see more and more people changing their lifestyle to a more Western one. The food preferences change too. In the shopping malls you’ll find products from all over the world and there you’ll find all the Western fast food too. Some Thai people eat factory made sandwiches with their coffee or with a scoop of ice. You’ll find Artisan bread in some stores. Mostly it’s bought by foreigners living in Thailand. But, we see something changing here. Ning and Chue love my Artisan bread, even though they have to get used to the crunchy crust and the chewy crumb of sourdough bread.
When we talked about good bread in Thailand they came up with the idea of baking their own and selling it to Thai people. Off course I agreed to teach Ning how to bake bread.

When we talked about good bread in Thailand we also talked about unbleached and bleached flour. They had no idea what the effects can be of bleached flour for your health. They were surprised to hear that bleached flour is banned in most or all Western countries.  Now they only want to use unbleached flour when they start baking.  

Today its baking day and we started with crusty rolls. I found this recipe at Ploetzblog. Lutz had a reader who asked for these rolls and the found them and shared the recipe and the beautiful result with us. Now we have new favorite rolls in our house, and car, and garden, and …. Thank Lutz.

I wanted to show Ning how to bake these delicious rolls with minimum materials. She needs to buy an oven, but maybe she could do without an electric mixer? I showed Ning how to “pull and throw” the sticky dough until it’s smooth and cleans the work counter. Its tiresome work, but it can be done. Even though I enjoy sometimes kneading by hand I’m happy to have an electric mixer. Beside the kneading by hand we followed Lutz’s instructions. Ning translated this into Thai.

 For lunch we baked 2 pizzas; a Thai version topped with Yam Pla Kapong; (spicy salad with canned sardine) with sardine in tomato sauce, onion, chili, lemon grass and an Italian version with slow roasted tomato sauce, mushroom, olives and parmesan cheese.

After this delicious lunch we baked the rolls. This is how they came out of the oven.

It was fun baking with Ning!