Sourdough buckwheat waffles

waffles
Sourdough buckwheat waffles

Sundays were our usual pancake day, well until I ordered the waffle iron that is. I don’t know why I delayed this and it’s already been a year since we moved to Seattle. May be my mind is a bit reluctant to accept that, we might have to settle down here at least for a couple more years and that I have to buy every piece of kitchen gadget all over again! exhausting to think about it!

waffles
Served with banana and syrup

Ah well, back to waffles… so yes I very much like the idea of having waffles for breakfast, as they are so easier to make and you can have several verities. Plus, it is crispy unlike pancakes and it’s perfect with maple syrup. Yum!

After trying numerous recipes, well, I came up with this sourdough version and I think this is a keeper. This is similar to my sourdough pancake recipe. This uses buckwheat, which is an ancient grain, full of nutrients. Also this gives these waffles a nice dark chocolate color and a nutty taste. I’m also using coconut sugar but you can use dark/light brown sugar instead. Also almond milk could be replaced with any plat-based milk you like.

waffles
Look at that color!

These tasted great and healthier too, so all the more reasons to make these more often. Here we go!

starter

Prepare the starter several hours prior to making the mix. I feed the starter in the afternoon if I am making the batter in the night.

mix everything

Mix everything except, butter and buckwheat flakes(oats)

Stir thoroughly, until a smooth thick batter is produced. Cover and let this sit for an hour. the fermentation will start, but you won’t notice anything in an hour visually. This will help the fermentation to continue in the refrigerator. After an hour, place in the fridge overnight/several hours.

batter

Next day morning bring the batter out and let sit for an hour to thaw. Then add the melted butter and the buckwheat flakes (or rolled oats) and fold slowly and gently, until just combined. Now let this sit for another hour minimum or longer (up to 2,3 hours) until you are ready to make the waffles.

The more it sits, the more airier it will get, which is a good thing

waffles

Preheat he waffle iron and make the waffles as per the directions. I like uneven edges, so I deposit about 1/4 cup of batter into the centers of each square.

let them cook for about 4 minutes or until they turn golden brown.

Cool them on a wire rack. Do not stack on top of each other.

waffles

Look how aerated the interior is.

Make sure to NOT stir the batter when you scoop out, as it may knock out too much air.

Serve warm with syrup and the topping of your choice. I love these with Maple syrup and a sprinkle of nuts.

Sourdough buckwheat waffles

Waffles

Servings: 10 waffles

waffles

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup buckwheat flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup starter (fed active starter)
  • 2 table spoons coconut sugar (brown sugar)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1/4 cup butter melted ( oil is an option)
  • 1/4 cup buckwheat flakes (or rolled oats/ quick oats)

Instructions

  1. Make the starter several hours before ( I used a 100% hydrated starter)
  2. To make the batter, mix everything except butter(oil) and buckwheat flakes in a large glass/ plastic bowl (use a non reactive container)
  3. Mix thoroughly to create a smooth thick mixture and let this sit covered, for about an hour. If it’s cold, make it an hour and a half
  4. Then place the container in the fridge and let it slowly ferment overnight
  5. Next day, bring the batter out and let thaw for an hour
  6. Melt the butter and add it to the batter along with buckwheat flakes (oats) and gently fold to incorporate. Do not mix vigorously as it might knock out too much air
  7. Let this sit for another hour minimum. It is okay to let this sit for 2-3 hours until you are ready to make the waffles
  8. Preheat the waffle iron and make the waffles according to the instructions
  9. Cook the waffles until golden brown and interior sounds hollow when tapped
  10. Let rest on a wire rack. Do not stack them
  11. Serve warm with your favorite topping
https://myloveofbaking.com/sourdough-buckwheat-waffles/
waffles
Serve warm with your favorite toppings

There you have it! Do not be afraid to try new flours in place of buckwheat. You can make this with plain white flour too and it is still delicious. Also you can add grated, apples, pears to the batter instead of oats to give a nice texture. Make sure to sneeze out excess water before you add them.

Try this out and let me know how it went.

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Orange scented fruited sourdough pan loaf

fruit loaf

Of all the things I miss most of Melbourne is the morning stroll we did to get coffee. We lived on the hills of beautiful Emerald and there was this nature trail that connected Belgrave and Gembrook, which followed the famous Puffing Billy Railway line. It was our Saturday ritual to take this trail to a hidden cafe to get the morning coffee. This was our fasted-cardio for the weekend and it was about good 10 – 12 km (round trip) distance, and by the time we reach the cafe, we are usually starving and I look forward to my piece of raisin toast like my life depended on it!

toast
Slice or two toasted and with butter and syrup…is the best!

It was just a slice of plain mass produced sandwich loaf, but boy! it tasted amazing! I missed this so much, that I had to recreate the recipe at home. But, as you know, I’m a hard-core sourdough lover/devotee, so here is the sourdough version of a fruited pan loaf.

I wouldn’t call this a sandwich loaf, as it is not as enriched. This loaf has still got a nice byte to it and got a chewy texture. It is not a fluffy, cake-like bread at all.

fruit loaf
open crumb with a texture and a real byte

The only thing is I have added a little milk, oil and honey to make it a little bit flexible, so I can proof this in a pan. This additions resulted with a softer crumb (than a usual sourdough with just flour, water, salt) and crust. This makes it is easier to slice and hence perfect for toasts.

fruit loaf
Not the prettiest from outside…but wait till you cut into it!

So here are the steps:

mix

Make the starter the previous night (or several hours before you start making the recipe)

Mix everything in a bowl, except the fruit. Transfer to a stand mixer and just mix until everything is hydrated.

Remember to add water gradually as you go, to create a soft dough

dough

This is the dough that’s just been mixed. It is a little bit sticky, but not too much. Now let it rest for a bout 30 minutes.

And then mix on medium-low speed until a smoother dough is developed ( for a bout 3 minutes) You can use your hands if you like.

smooth dough

See how smooth dough is. It is not completely developed yet. Now place the dough in a plastic bowl, cover and let ferment for 45 minutes.

After 45 minutes, do a stretch and fold and let rest for about 30 minutes.

This is a good time to prepare the fruits.

figs

You can skip figs or replace it with more Sultana or raisins. If the figs are soft, just slice them thinly and set aside. If they are very dry, soak them in boiling water for a few minutes and drain before cutting.

soak fruit

It is a good idea to soak the cranberries and Sultanas/raisins in boiling water for a couple of minutes. This will soften them and hydrate them. This will ensure that they won’t absorb moisture from the dough and also will blend in nicely without tearing the gluten stricture.

stretchy dough

After the stretch and fold and the resting time, the dough is now fully developed. Look how stretchy it is. Now is a good time to add the fruit.

adding fruit

Stretch the dough as much as you can like shown in the picture. Scatter the fruit evenly. And then, roll the dough from one end to the other. Shape in to a ball and place back in the container.

Cover and let ferment/bulk for about 3 hours

bulked

Bulked dough will be softer and bigger (not doubled, but noticeably grown). You will feel lots of air bubbles inside it.

Drop the dough on to a floured surface and pre-shape into a ball. Cover and let rest for 20 minutes.

shape the dough

Shape the dough like shown in the picture. If you don’t know how to shape, a pan loaf, checkout a video on you tube.

dough in pan

Place the shaped dough in a lightly greased loaf pan. Cover this/place in a plastic bag and refrigerate over-night or several hours (minimum 12)

proofed loaf

It will be proofed during the long retardation. ( 18 hours) But if you wan to bake earlier than this, take the loaf out and let it sit out-side (at room temp.) until it’s risen well above the brim of the pan.

Fully proofed loaf will be doubled in size. Do a poke test to see it is ready. When you press lightly with a finger, if it bounces back slowly, then it is ready.

baked loaf

Pre-heat the oven to 420 F

Lightly egg wash the top and bake; 15 minutes at 420 F and then a further 20 at 375 F.

Once done cool on a wire rack for about 5 minutes and demold the loaf and leave to cool completely

toast

Slice with a serrated knife and enjoy!

Best served toasted

Orange scented fruited sourdough pan loaf

Bread

Servings: 1 loaf

fruit toast

Ingredients

    For the starter
  • 70 g flour
  • 30 – 35 g water
  • 1 tsp starter culture
    For the dough
  • 200 g all purpose flour
  • 100 g strong bread flour
  • zest of 2 medium oranges
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp oil ( or butter)
  • 15 g honey
  • 70 ml full fat milk
  • 100 ml water
  • 100 g starter ( 50% hydrated)
  • 1/4 cup each dried sultana, cranberry, figs ( can use all sultana or all raisins if you prefer)

Instructions

  1. Make the starter ahead of time
  2. To make the dough, mix everything except fruits and water in a bowl. Add water gradually and mix to incorporate everything
  3. Transfer to a stand mixer(or you can continue to hand knead) and mix until a dough is formed. Add more water if the dough is stiff
  4. Let the dough rest for 30 minutes
  5. Mix again on medium-low speed until a smoother dough is developed ( for about 3 minutes)
  6. Round the dough up and place in a bowl, cover and let rest 45 minutes
  7. After 45 minutes, give one stretch and fold and let rest for another 30 minutes
  8. Prepare the fruit in the mean time (check post for details)
  9. Stretch the dough as wide as you can and scatter the fruit evenly
  10. Roll the dough from one end to the other and then shape into a ball
  11. Place in the same container, cover and let bulk for about 3-4 hours
  12. Once bulked, pre-shape the dough and let rest for about 20 minutes
  13. Shape in to a loaf and place in a greased pan
  14. Cover and refrigerate for several hours (over night)
  15. Check the loaf before baking. If it hasn’t proofed enough, bring it out and let proof further at room temperature until ready
  16. Pre-heat the oven to 420F
  17. Lightly egg wash the top and bake for 15 minutes and a further 20 minutes at 375 F
  18. Once done, let cool in the pan for 5 minutes and then demold the loaf
  19. Cool completely before slicing
https://myloveofbaking.com/orange-scented-fruited-sourdough-pan-loaf/
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Sourdough Brioche loaf

I was asked several times if I have a sourdough brioche recipe and unfortunately I had to reply with a very polite NO and it didn’t feel right. So here it is! I am thrilled to finally write this down and so grateful for the encouragement I receive from many of my followers on IG and this blog.

french toast
french toast made with sourdough brioche

So, long story short, I bought a brioche loaf (not a sourdough one) from the whole foods for breakfast last Saturday. I know, I bake all the time and still run out of bread every now and then. But I don’t usually buy super-market bread except when I’m in a hurry or at a loss of ideas, like that Saturday. And that’s not even the worst part. The worst bit is, that it really hurt when you have to buy bread, ever since I started making my own bread. I felt like I’m cheating or betraying something or someone. As funny as it may sound, it is true.

sourdough brioche
sourdough brioche

We made some nice french toast with that brioche and I knew at that moment ” we are so going to eat home-made sourdough brioche next weekend”. So here it is, my homemade sourdough brioche.

sourdough brioche
sourdough brioche

I made it as indulgent and rich as I could, with all the butter and eggs, pushing the limits really.

stiff starter

Make the stiff starter, several hours before (preferably overnight) making the dough. It is as easy as mixing everything together and kneading into a smooth dough ball. This is how its inside is going to look once fermented.

mix the dough

Next step is to make the dough. To start with, weigh everything except butter into a bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with dough hook. Mix on low speed until everything comes together. Scrape down with a spatula to encourage.

mixed dough

Once everything is mixed, increase speed a notch and mix until a smooth dough is developed. Scrape down the bowl as necessary. Use the extra 2 tbsp of milk as you go to loosen up the batter if it feels too stiff.

This will take about 4-5 minutes.

silky dough

Once the dough is developed, then add the softened butter, a bit at a time and continue to mix. The dough will end up very sticky but looking silky like shown in the picture. Empty the dough into a greased bowl. Cover and let ferment until almost double in size.

This may take roughly about 4 – 6 hours depending on the room temperature

dough

This is the dough doubled in size. If you put this is a smaller bowl, it will be easier to judge. Next picture is a better one.

Once it has doubled, we need to punch this down before chilling it in the refrigerator.

dough

Easiest way to punch down the dough is to drop it on to a floured bench and use a scraper to fold it. Avoid handling it with your bare hands as it is extremely sticky.

Once the dough it punched down, place it back in the same bowl, cover and refrigerate for at least 8 hours or over night.

shaping dough

We need the dough to be chilled to be able to handle it, but as soon as you take it out of the fridge, it will be too hard.

Let the dough thaw for about 30 minutes or until it is malleable but still cool. Dump the dough on to a lightly dusted bench and roll into a log.

If the dough becomes too sticky, place it back in the fridge

divide the dough

Divide the log into 8 equal pieces

Remember the dough should remain cold and still firm all the while

shape dough

Shape each dough piece in to a nice smooth round ball, as if you are making dinner rolls. Use flour to stop dough from sticking. Use the scrapper to help release the dough.

Use as little flour as possible when dusting. We don’t want a thick flour coating around the outside of the dough.

dough

Grease a loaf pan and place the dough balls like shown in the picture. Pack them snug, so they will rise upwards as they proof.

Now egg wash the tops lightly. You can use a bit of milk too. this is to stop it from drying.

Cover and leave in a warm place to proof

proofed dough

In a cool temperature (19 C), the proofing will take up to 8 hours. In a warm atmosphere, this will be around 5 hours.

But keep an eye, you can clearly tell when it is ready. The loaf will fill the tin and expand into a fluffy wobbly thing

baked brioche

Next step is to egg wash and bake the loaf. Be very gentle while egg washing, no to deflate or damage the fragile skin.

Bake at 400F for about 15 minutes. Then another 20 – 25 minutes at 350F.

If the top is going too brown too quickly, reduce the temperature earlier than mentioned.

brioche

Let the loaf cool off in the pan for about 10 minutes and then slide it off on to a cooling rack. Let the loaf cool completely before cutting into pieces or storing away.

By all means, feel free to dig into it while still warm, if you like it that way.

french toast

You can use the brioche for anything. I mainly use this for french toasts.

This brioche is softer on the day it was made and tend to get a bit dry the next day. But it doesn’t really matter if you toast it or made french toast with it like I do. The slices has more body and will hold nicely, so it is perfect for french toasts, which is the main purpose behind me making brioche.

sourdough brioche
soft crumb
Sourdough Brioche loaf

Bread

Servings: 1 loaf

sourdough brioche

Ingredients

    For the starter
  • 20 g fed starter culture
  • 70 g flour
  • 30 g water+/-
    For the brioche
  • 100 g of the above stiff starter
  • 250 g all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp sugar (use 4 if you want the bread sweeter)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 160 g softened butter
  • 2 tbsp milk (to be used if necessary)
    Egg wash
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tbsp milk

Instructions

  1. Make the starter the day before (at least 8 hours prior )
  2. Weigh everything except butter and milk into the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with a dough hook
  3. Mix on slow speed until combined. Use milk if the dough is stiff
  4. Increase speed and mix until a smooth dough is developed ( for about 5 minutes). use milk if dough is stiff. Dough should be wet and sticky (check the blog photos)
  5. Then add the softened butter, a bit at a time and mix to incorporate
  6. Scrape down the bowl every now and then
  7. Once all the butter is incorporated mix on medium for another minute or so
  8. The dough is silky, wet and extremely sticky
  9. Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover and set aside for the fermentation to take place. Dough should be almost doubled in size
  10. This will take about 6-8 hours depending on the room temperature
  11. Once the dough has doubled, punch it down using a spatula or greased palms(check blog description for more detailed)
  12. Place back in the same bowl, cover and refrigerate for at least 8 hours (or overnight)
  13. When ready to make the brioche, take the dough out and let it sit outside for about 15-20 minutes
  14. Then take the dough onto a floured bench and shape into a log
  15. Divide the log into 8 equal pieces and shape each piece in to smooth dough balls
  16. Grease a loaf tin and place the dough balls in, placing them close together in pairs
  17. Apply a light coating of egg wash/milk, cover loosely and leave in a warm draft free place for the final proof ( 5 – 6 hours)
  18. Once the dough has risen(proofed/doubled in size) preheat the oven to 400 F
  19. Egg wash again and bake for about 15 minutes
  20. Reduce the temperature to 350 F and bake for a further 20 minutes
  21. Remove the pan from the oven and let it sit for about 5 minutes to cool down
  22. Slide off the loaf and place on a wire rack to cool down further
  23. Once the loaf is completely cooled, you can either slice it or store in an air-tight container
  24. Best consumed on the same day
https://myloveofbaking.com/sourdough-brioche-loaf/
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Sourdough Apple Fritters

apple fritters

Apple fritters has become one of my favorite naughty snacks, ever since we moved to Seattle. I call it apple stuffed dough nuts! whats not to like about it? Really?!!! Donuts are fritters are so much different here and there are so many varieties but apple fritters with its sweetness and tang, cannot be beaten.

I always get a fritter ‘for the road’ on my way back from weekend grocery shopping. I have to be honest though, I am not a fan of overly sweet things, so I can never finish a whole fritter in one go. So it has become a thing now, that we share a fritter instead of two. But, one thing is sure, we can never resist it!

apple fritters

Every time I bite into one, I dream of making them at home. I would imagine what I would do differently, so I can finish an entire one and go for a second. For example, I’d definitely add more apples, make it sourdough (surprise!) and way less sugar in the glaze. And this is exactly what I did. It was a lengthy (somewhat messy) process, but totally worth it. So let me explain it step by step below;

fed starter

Feed the starter as usual, several hours before you plant to use it. I do it overnight.

I’m using a 100% hydrated starter. That means 1:1 water to flour ratio to feed. If you are new to starters I have a post about sourdough starter.

Mix all the ingredients to make the dough, using a stand mixer. ( you can of course do this by hand) We are essentially making a doughnut dough. Mix on medium until the dough comes together. It should be a softer, sticky dough. Take the dough on to a floured bench and slap and fold a few times to bring it together. Now place it in a plastic tub, cover and leave to ferment. In colder weather this may take about 6-7 hours (overnight is fine too)

fermented

After several hours, you will see some expansion in the dough and few air bubbles. Punch down and round the dough to a smooth ball and cover and place in the fridge for at least 8 hours. Use the same container. This will harden the dough, develop gluten strength, ferment slowly, develop flavor.

apples

To prepare apples; peel and core the apples of your choice. Cut into 1/2 inch cubes (or smaller if you prefer that way) Melt butter in a saucepan, add the apples, cinnamon and sugar and cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes. make sure to stir and with time, the juices and sugar will turn in to a thick syrup and coat the apples.

cooked apples

This is how it should look like once cooked. Apples are softer but still hold its shape and got a bite to it. The sugar syrup has thickened and coated the apple bits. Its not watery. Cool completely and refrigerate until needed.

dough

When you are ready to make the fritters, bring the dough out and let it come to room temperature. This will take a few hours depending on the room temperature. But do not worry if it happen to sit around for a little bit longer.

Let the apple mixture come to room temperature if it was in the fridge.

roll out

Roll-out the dough on a floured surface and scatter the apple pieces. This doesn’t have to be any exact length or width, we are just trying to incorporate apples in to the dough. Press down apples so they get tucked in.

Roll it like you’d do with a cinnamon roll. Lightly press again.

cut the dough

using a knife or scrapper, cut the dough as shown in the picture.

cut the dough

Then cut length-wise too. This will help get the apples mixed with the dough. This doesn’t have to be perfect. All we are trying to do is mixing apples with the dough.

dough

This is the messy bit. Flour the bench generously. Pres the dough and with your fingers try to incorporate everything together. And shape the dough back into a log, like shown in the picture.

cut the dough

Now using a sharp knife/scrapper divide the log in to 8 or 10 pieces. I think 10 is better, so you get smaller fritters and they are manageable. Prepare a tray with a parchment dusted with flour generously.

fritters

Take one dough piece at a time and shape it in to a disk using your palm and fingers. Tuck in any exposed apple pieces and place on the tray. Cover and let proof for about 5-7 hours. It’s winter and it took 7 hours for mine to rise.

proofed

This is how they looked like after proofing. Puffed up and softer dough. It’s time to heat up the oil now. In a deep pot bring oil to medium-high heat. ( if you have a thermometer it should be around 180 C) I don’t have one so I always use a tester fritter 😉

Make the glaze before frying and keep it ready

apple fritters

Once oil is hot drop one fritter or two at a time and fry turning until deep chocolate color is achieved. I like mine crispier. Once cooked, let the excess oil drain for about 30 seconds and dip both sides with glaze. Leave the fritter on a wire rack placed on a tray

Do this while still hot, so excess glaze is dripped off leaving a thin coating. You can reuse the glaze dripping.

apple fritters

Let these cool. As they cool, the glaze will firm up and become less sticky. Now take a good bite out of one, close your eyes and thank yourself!

There are several ways to make a glaze, choose your favorite:

  • Using just water and icing sugar
  • Using milk powder, water, icing sugar, vanilla
  • Using condensed milk, water, icing sugar (I went with this as I had some leftover condensed milk )
  • using lemon juice, icing sugar

Make sure the glaze is thick but runny. If it is too thick, add a drop of water and if it is too watery, add a table spoon or so icing sugar.

apple fritters
goodness of deep fried apples and dough
Sourdough Apple Fritters

Snack

Servings: 8-10

apple fritters

Ingredients

    For the dough
  • 250 g flour (all purpose) and more for dusting
  • 1 small egg
  • 40 g castor sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of butter softened
  • 70 ml full fat milk ( extra if needed)
  • 100 g fed starter
    For the apples
  • 2 big honey crisp apples (use any type of apple)
  • 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/8 cups castor sugar ( or more if you like it sweeter)
    For the glaze
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 4 tbsp water/milk
  • 1 tbsp milk powder
  • (Use 4 tbsp condensed milk instead of water and milk powder)

Instructions

  1. Weigh everything for the dough into a bowl of a stand mixer and mix on low speed until incorporated
  2. Mix on medium until dough is developed (for about a minute), add water or flour to adjust consistency
  3. Take dough out onto a floured surface and fold (slap and fold) several times to form a smoother dough ball
  4. Dough should be soft, slightly sticky
  5. Place in a bowl, cover and let ferment for several hours ( 5-7 hours or until you see it expanded a bit and air bubbles formed) You’d feel dough fluffier than it used to
  6. Now punch it down or rather round it up to a smooth ball. Surface is much silkier now and less sticky
  7. Place in the same container, cover and refrigerate (mini 8 hours/ overnight)
  8. Make the apple mixture in the man time
  9. Peel and core the apples, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  10. Melt butter in a saucepan,add the apples along with cinnamon and sugar
  11. Cook string for about 10 -12 minutes until apples are a bit softer and syrup thickens and coated the apple pieces
  12. Let cool and refrigerate if using following day
  13. Next day or when you are ready to make the fritters, bring both dough and apples to room temperature
  14. Prepare a tray with a parchment dusted generously with flour, set aside
  15. Dough can stand for a few hours until it thaws and start to ferment again. If you didn’t see a lot of action in the first proof, this is a good time to let the dough ferment a bit further
  16. Flour a bench surface and roll out the dough ( 1 cm thickness roughly, it doesn’t matter really)
  17. Scatter the apple pieces on the dough, press lightly and roll to form a log.
  18. Using a sharp knife or scrapper, cut the log in to slices and repeat length wise
  19. The idea is to incorporate apple bits into the dough. The cutting action would cut the apples and force them into the dough
  20. Now use your fingers to mix everything and form the messy dough into a log again
  21. Use flour to stop it sticking
  22. Once a log is formed, divide into 8-10 pieces (you can decide how big or small)
  23. Take one piece at a time, on to your palm, form in to a disk, tuck any lose apple pieces in and place on the tray
  24. This doesn’t have to look pretty nor perfect
  25. Once done cover the tray and leave aside for the final proof
  26. This might take 5-7 hours
  27. When ready, they will look puffed up and dough will be fluffier and softer
  28. Make the quick glaze and have it ready
  29. Heat oil in a deep pot ( 180 C – medium-high temperature)
  30. Drop one/ two fritter at a time and fry turning (about 1 minute each side) until deep chocolate color is achieved.
  31. Let excess oil drain ( 30 seconds) and dip both sides in the glaze while fritter is still hot( you can choose to drizzle instead)
  32. Leave on a wire rack so excess glaze can drip away. Place a tray underneath to catch the dripping glaze and you can reuse it
  33. Once done let then cool
  34. As they cool, the glaze will set and harden.
  35. Enjoy!!

You can easily double the recipe

https://myloveofbaking.com/sourdough-apple-fritters/
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Sourdough baguettes

A complete guide to crusty homemade sourdough baguettes!

baguettes

I was on a mission to finding the secret or holly grail to making perfect sourdough baguette at home. In a bakery, this would be a no big deal with all the state-of-the-art mixers, proofers and ovens. But it can be quite challenging at home.

baguettes
open crumb and crispy crust

First of all, a baguette is nothing but a type of bread in the form of a long stick. The main reason for shaping the dough into a long stick is to get more of the crust. Baguettes are usually broken by hand rather than sliced and served with stews. If not they are split lengthwise used to make sandwiches. There are a few characteristics to a baguette:

  • long stick like shape
  • Crusty exterior
  • Very open crumb
baguettes
Open airy crumb/ sliced length wise

So in-order to achieve the above, we need to make sure to do the following;

  • Shaping/molding to create tension
  • Use steam while baking
  • a higher hydration ( above 70% is recommended)

You can use a basic bread recipe and turn it into a baguette. The only differences are in retarding and shaping. It is best to let the dough retard as a bulk. If you shape the baguettes and try to retard, they tend to lose their shape and sometimes, become too wet or soft to handle. This makes it harder to score and transfer to the oven. So the best practice is to bulk retard the dough and shape prior to baking.

baguettes
open crumb/ sliced

I have figured out, with time, the less you knead the dough, the better. Gluten is developed over time. And we will only use stretch and folds at intervals to create the strength. This will require no mixer at all.

With all the basic sorted, lets get to the steps

Starter

A first step is to get the starter ready. Feed the starter 6-7 hours before making the bread. Use a 100 % starter, meaning 1 part water to 1 part flour to feed the culture.

e.g: 50 g flour, 50 g water to feed 1 tsp starter

This is how my ripe start looked like at it’s peak

More about starter

Autolysis

Mix the flour, water (leave 3 tbsp of water for later) and starter in a large plastic bowl. Mix only to combine everything just like shown in the picture. Now close the lid and leave for about an hour to autolyze.

Gluten will be developed during this time, without our intervention

Adding salt

After about an hour, add the salt. Dissolve the salt in the left out water and add to the dough. Mix until a smooth dough is formed. Place in the plastic bowl, cover and leave to rest for 45 minutes until the first stretch and fold (s&f).

we will do 3 s&f during bulk

Stretch & fold

Give a stretch and folds (s&f) at 45 minutes and repeat two more at 45 minute intervals. At every fold, you should see the air bubbles on the outside. With every s&f, the dough will start to feel more elastic and stronger. At the end of 3 rd s&f, rest the dough for about 2 hours .

Retardation

Then, cover with a well-fitted lid and refrigerate for several hours/ overnight

Final bulk

On the following day, take out the dough and leave at room temperature for 4-5 hours, until you start to see air bubbles and the dough is risen considerably

Pre-shape 1

Tip the dough slowly on to a floured surface and form a dough ball, without knocking out too much air. The dough should be wobbly and full of air pockets. let this rest for about 5-10 minutes.

This step will make it easier to handle the dough when you try to divide and pre-shape

Pre-shape 2

This is important to create the necessary stretch of the outer skin. Divide the dough in to two pieces, and shape each into a log shape.

Cover with a light dusting of flour and leave uncovered for about 30 minutes to rest.

Cloth/couche

Traditionally a couche is used for this purpose. But you can substitute this with a thick clean tea towel. Dust it with flour and semolina generously.

This is where we are going to proof the baguettes

Shaping

Shape the dough into baguettes and place on the prepared tea towel. Let these rest and proof for about an hour or 1 1/2 hours. Preheat the oven in the meantime.

Check the video attached below for shaping

scoring

Scoring

Transfer the proofed baguettes on to a peel or on to a tray lined with parchment as shown in the picture.

Dust the baguettes with a little flour and score the top using sharp blade.

Once the oven is ready place in the oven, on the pizza stone/skillet along with the parchment and bake according to instructions below.

Steam

This is what I use to generate steam. A bread loaf pan with a tea towel tucked in. Pour boiling water until tea towel is covered and place this during the last few minutes of preheating

  • Preheating and baking instructions
  • Get a oven thermometer, this is your best friend. Place it in the oven.
  • Place a pizza stone or a large enough cast iron skillet on a rack placed at the top half of the oven
  • Preheat oven. I had to set digital display to 520 F and heat for 45 minutes to get to 500F on the oven thermometer inside
  • Get a bread pan, lay a tea towel and fill it with boiling water(check image above)
  • Place this pan in the oven on a lower rack during the last few minutes of the preheating
  • Let temperature reset, if it dropped when you opened the door
  • Be careful when you open the door next, the oven will be full of hot steam, waiting to be released
  • Transfer the baguettes on to a peel
  • If you don’t have a peel, place a parchment paper on the back of a cookie sheet or a large tray and use this to transfer baguettes to oven, along with the parchment
  • Score the baguettes while on the peel/parchment
  • Place the baguettes in the oven on the pizza stone and close the door
  • Temp will plummet right down (450F on thermometer) but that’s okay, it will come back up to 475 F. Maintain at 475 F.
  • Keep an eye and bake at 475 F for 15 minutes
  • Then reduce the internal oven temperature to 450 F(thermometer will read something around 450 – 430)
  • Remove steam and bake for another 12 minutes
  • When you remove the stream, the temperature will drop, so keep an eye and adjust accordingly
  • Then, switch the oven off and bake for a further 10 minutes, with the residual heat

Cool baguettes on a wire rack.

baguettes
Baked baguettes

There you have it. This is everything I have learnt and I hope you will find answers to you questions/problems in this post. When it comes to baguettes, the recipe is only 20 % of the whole process. It is the timing, dough consistency, bulk proofing, shaping and most importantly baking is what matters most.

baguette
even crust on the outside

Following is a simple recipe for two baguettes which I used for experiments. Once you have mastered the technique, feel free change the recipe and try something different!

Sourdough baguettes

Bread

Servings: 2 baguettes

baguettes

Ingredients

  • 250 g strong bread flour
  • 200 g water
  • 60 g fed starter
  • 5 g salt

Instructions

  1. Mix flour, starter and 190 g of the water and autolyse for an hour
  2. Dissolve salt in 10 g of water, add to the dough and mix to form a smooth ball
  3. Let rest for 45 minutes
  4. Give a stretch and fold and let rest for 45 minutes
  5. Give 2 more s&f at 45 minutes apart
  6. After the final (3rd) s&f, leave the dough to rest for about 2-3 hours
  7. Place the dough in the fridge for a slow/cold proofing (retardation) for minimum 8 hours or overnight
  8. After cold bulk, let the dough rest in the room temperature for 4-5 hours or until you see a considerable rise in the dough and air bubbles. Dough would be wobbly
  9. Tip the dough on to a floured surface and round it up gently. Do not let too much air out. Rest for 10- 15 minutes
  10. Divide the dough to two equal parts and pre-shape in to logs. Again be careful not to knock out air. Rest the dough pieces for 30 minutes. Leave them open so the exterior will be dry and would be easier to handle
  11. Shape the baguettes(check video below) and place on the couche or the prepared tea towel
  12. Let the baguettes rise for a final time ( 45 to 90 minutes)
  13. Preheat oven in the meantime (check instructions above in the post)
  14. Bake the baguettes @ 475 F with steam for 15 minutes
  15. Reduce heat to 450 F and bake for a further 12 minutes without steam
  16. Switch off the oven and bake for another 10-15 minutes under the residual heat
  17. Check for dark brown color and when tapped, should sound hollow
https://myloveofbaking.com/sourdough-baguettes/

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Mini flourless orange cakes

flourless orange cake

These are the easiest thing to make when you have a couple of Oranges at hand. The whole Orange is used in this recipe, YES! the skin too. This can be made in steps so even if you have a busy schedule, it is still possible to whip his up without much hassle.

The best part of these dainty cakes in the syrup. Orange syrup helps keep the cake moist and enhances the flavor greatly. You can infuse the syrup with different flavors. I threw in a few springs of lemon thyme. You can spike the syrup with rum or Orange liqueur too. To enhance the Orange flavor, throw in an Orange peel. It’s your chance to be creative here!

flourless orange cake

These cakes are naturally gluten free, and the rising agent is the beaten eggs, just like in sponge cakes or sponge fingers. We beat the eggs and sugar to ribbon stage and then fold in rest of the ingredients. It is easy as that. But there are a few crucial steps, that you have to follow correctly, in order to get the perfect cake. I will highlight those steps with pictures below.

boiled orange

First up, the Orange/oranges need to be boiled for at least an hour or until it becomes soft. Submerge the orange in water when boiling, to remove bitterness. Discard the water and cut the Orange in to pieces, removing any pits and the top bit(where the stem used to be). Place in a food processor/ blender and grind into a pulp.

Orange pulp

This is how the Orange pulp or puree would look like. Place this in a bowl and move on to the next step. This pulp can be refrigerated in a closed container for a few days.

prepare pan

This step is to guarantee the easy removal of the cakes from the pan. Apply a thin layer of butter in the cases. Place teaspoon of flour (rice flour or all purpose flour) in each case and turn and tap the tray so that the inside of the mold is evenly coated with a thin layer of flour. Discard the remaining flour. Set aside.

It is a good time to pre-heat the oven to 160 C (convention/without fan) at this stage.

almond meal

Sieve almond meal and baking soda to remove lumps. The little amount of baking soda is used as a guarantee for the rise, but is not necessary. The sifting will also contribute towards a airy texture of the cakes.

beat eggs and sugar

Place the room temperature eggs and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer and whisk on medium high, until the mixture becomes pale and thick. You will start to see the streaks as it thickens up.

thick and pale

Check the mixture for the consistency. I call this the ribbon stage. You can draw a ribbon with the batter and it will stay for a second before disappearing. This is a crucial step. The air that we incorporate at this stage is what gives the body to the cake.

mixing

Carefully fold in the Orange puree to the beaten egg and sugar mixture. Be gentle and try not to knock out a lot of air out. Follow with the almond meal and once again, fold gently. If you mix vigorously, the batter will lose the air and deflate, resulting in flat, dense cakes. The final batter should have a considerable volume and should feel light and airy.

This mixture can be refrigerated for a day or tow, so it is such a good make ahead dessert.

fill the tray

Pure the batter carefully into the molds of the prepared pan. I like to use a piping bag to ensure clean edges and even, controlled distribution of the batter. Once done, smooth out the tops with a wet finger. You can fill close to the brim, as they will not rise. When ready, place in the oven.

Orange syrup

While the cakes are baking, make the orange Syrup. Place Orange juice and 1/2 cup sugar in a saucepan and bring to boil. Simmer for a about 5 minutes until Syrup start to thicken and remove from heat. It is a good idea to pure the syrup in to a pouring jug and have it ready to use.

You can infuse the syrup with different things. Lemon thyme, lemon rind, rum or orange liqueur and some of the suggestions

baked cakes

They should be done in 30 minutes. Check for doneness by using a cake tester/skewer. If the tester or skewer comes out clean, they are done. You will notice the golden tops too. They will shrink a bit and release from the sides too. Remove from the oven and set aside for a couple of minutes.

prick a few wholes on the cakes while you wait. This will help absorb the syrup later.

Soak with syrup

Use a knife or a offset spatula to release the cakes. They should pop out effortlessly. Place on a wire rack and place a tray underneath to catch any dripping syrup. Heat the syrup if it has gone cold. then pure a generous amount onto each cake. let the syrup seep in and go for a second round. make sure the edges are covered too. Any remaining syrup can be poured when serving.

serve

Decorate however you like and serve with extra syrup

If you prep your Orange puree and the syrup before hand, this recipe would only take about 10 minutes to prepare and 30 minutes to bake. The baked cakes stays fresh for longer due to the syrup.

flourless orange cake

I keep them in a air tight container, in the fridge for about 4 days. You can keep them even longer, but they honestly don’t last that long. You can even freeze these. If you plan to freeze, do not use the syrup. Instead, let the cakes, cool completely and place on a tray. Place the tray in a freezer for a bout an hour, place the frozen cakes in a zip lock bag or a freezer safe container and freeze for several days. I haven’t frozen beyond a month, so I cannot guarantee that.

flourless orange cake

To serve frozen cakes, bring them to room temperature, warm up in the oven or microwave and pour the hot syrup over. They will be as good as new.

flourless orange cake
Mini flourless orange cakes

cakes

Servings: 10 -12 cakes

flourless orange cake

Ingredients

    For the cakes
  • 1 large Orange washed and cleaned
  • 140 g almond meal
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp castor sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
    For the syrup
  • Juice of one Orange
  • 1/4 cup sugar

Instructions

  1. Boil the orange in a large pot of water until soft
  2. Discard the water and puree the orange. Remember to remove any pits
  3. Prepare a 12 hole muffin tray and set aside. Use butter and flour to make it none stick. Check instructions in the post
  4. Pre-heat the oven to 160 C ( without fan)
  5. Whisk eggs and sugar using a stand mixer, until thick and pale
  6. Fold in the Orange puree followed by the almond meal and baking soda
  7. Deposit batter evenly into the prepared muffin tray
  8. Bake the cakes for 30 minutes
  9. Always check at 20 minute mark and if top is browning too quickly, cover with a foil
  10. To make the syrup, bring sugar and Orange juice to a boil and let it simmer for about 5 minutes until syrup thickens a bit
  11. Once cakes are done, done remove from oven and leave to cool for few minutes
  12. Remove the cakes, prick with a tooth pick and soak with warm syrup
https://myloveofbaking.com/mini-flourless-orange-cakes/
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Pineapple macarons

macarones

I still remeber clearly, the first time I bit into a proper macaron, about 8 years ago, at Ladurée in Paris. I was amazed by the elegant, classy spread of pastries and other sweets sitting in that luxurious gold framed cabinet and the macarons caught my eyes immediately.

A picture I took at the Laduree

I had always thought of it as an overly sweet candy full of calories. But, these Oh my God! the not too sweet, yet flavorful, fragile smooth exterior with the soft chewy center….the experience kind of registered in my brain forever!

laduree
Boy! I wanted to buy the whole place

I wasn’t into baking back then, had only made a few cakes here and there, but I tried to replicate the macaron when I returned home. I couldn’t find almond meal (wasn’t common in Sri Lanka back then, not sure about now)so I used peanut flour and came quite close but I wasn’t happy. Long story short, this became one of the many bakes I enjoyed making later after I migrated to Australia, where finding ingredients wasn’t a problem and I was way ahead of my baking game by then.

macarones

So I had several failed attempts like everyone else. But every time, I learnt something new and moved forward. Also I learnt making macarons in bakery school, but they were my least favorite so far. Because the recipe is fool-proof, it uses a different technique, which resulted in a hard, grainy macaron, but they were quite stable of course (bakery style). So I stick to this recipe which is fiddly, tricky yet produced a much delicate and elegant macaron shell, which is very closer to the one I had in Paris years ago.

I will explain the most crucial steps. If you get these steps right, you’ll get the macarons right the first time!

flour mix

Getting the dry ingredients right is very important. Grind the icing sugar and almond flour mixture in a food processor and sieve it twice. If you think the particles are not fine enough, process again and sieve once more, until they are very fine to the touch. There shouldn’t be any grainy bits or lumps.

egg white

Next is getting the meringue ready. For best results use a day(or more) old egg whites. Separate the egg whites, place in a container, close the lid and refrigerate for at least a day. This will remove some of the moisture.

Bring the egg whites to room temperature and beat them to soft peaks before adding sugar.

You can add a pinch of cream of tartar or a drop of vinegar to stabilize the meringue (I have not)

merigue

Use super fine castor sugar for best results.

Add sugar bit by bit while beating the egg white on high speed. When the meringue is thick and glossy, add the gel coloring and the essence. Beat a few seconds to incorporate. Taste the meringue to check on flavor and adjust.

Meringue should be shiny and very stiff. (same consistency you get to make a pavlova)

mixing

The most important step out of all is the mixing of flour mixture and the meringue. Add half the dry mix and fold a few times. No need to mix all the way. Add the other half in one go. Now start mixing using a spatula. Fold and cut through the middle and repeat, until flour is incorporated. Now you have a thick batter. Keep mixing until you reach the ribbon consistency. That means, you should be able to draw a figure 8 without breaking and the figure should disappear slowly into the batter. At this stage STOP mixing!

One more stoke could ruin your batter

stencil

If you don’t have a fancy macaron mat, use a stencil like shown in the picture. Place it underneath the parchment and remove it once you have piped and reuse it!

I like parchment paper over silicon mat, as it dries out macarons really nicely

piping

Transfer the batter in to a piping bag fitted with a round tip (13 mm).

Hold the bag perpendicular to the tray and pipe a dollop. It shouldn’t cover the whole circle. Because the batter is going to spread a bit and we are going to tap the tray later. So pipe a smaller circle than you actually want it to be.

piped macarones

Once done piping, bang/tap/drop the tray on the table several times. This will release any over sized air bubbles trapped inside the batter. Trust me there is a lot. If you didn’t do this then you will see cracks everywhere and big blisters on the surface, when baked.

If you are like me, take a tooth pick and pop any visible air bubbles on the surface. This is optional 🙂

dry to the touch

Now that you are done piping and tapping, leave the macarones in a cool area to dry out. This may take anywhere between 30 – 60 minutes or more in very humid atmospheres. You can use an exhaust fan or a normal fan to speed the process up!

They should be dry to the touch. You should be able to touch the surface without batter sticking to your finger. It is almost like a skin has formed on top. This skin is what gives the nice feet!

baked

Bake the macarones in a (150 C) 300 F oven for 17 – 19 minutes. But check them at 15 minutes, every oven is different. They should peel off easily once fully done, without anything sticking to the paper.

cool

Once baked, let the shells cool completely. If you are not filling them, on the same day, you can pack them in an air tight container and store in the refrigerator or at room temperature in cooler weathers (18 C – 19 C) Humidity/moisture is their main enemy.

pineapple jam

I’m using a simple butter cream and some homemade pineapple jam to fill these. You can use cream cheese or pineapple flavored butter cream instead. Even store bought jam works too. So be creative with the filling.

filling

This is how I chose to do it!. Apply a light butter cream later on both shells to prevent shells going soggy. And pipe a ring of butter cream on one side. Fill the center with pineapple jam. Place the other shell on top and press to sandwich.

macarones

As bizarre as it may sound, the macarones need to mature a day or two for maximum enjoyment. Place the sandwiched cookies in an air-tight container and refrigerate. This will help firm up the cookie and the filling and also give it’s characteristic texture to the macaron. But nothing is stopping you if you just want to pop them in your mouth right there!

That is it! You have made a batch of macarones. There are many recipes and blog posts and videos on the internet, about getting the perfect macarone, and they all are great!. If you can find time, I suggest, that you check as many as you can. Every person has their little secret and you can learn more by watching a video/tutorial. This is just my two cents!

pineapple macarons

No matter what flavor you want, the basic steps are the same. So try basic vanilla ones if it is your first time. Work on getting the technique right. Once you are there, then play with different flavors and colors. It will be really fun.

close up
Here’s a close up for your maximum enjoyment

Following are some matcha macarones I made some time back, using this same recipe, method and techniques. I only added 2 tablespoons of matcha powder to the flour mixture and sandwiched the cookies with lemon cream cheese.

matcha macarones
Matcha (green tea) and cream cheese macarons
Pineapple macarons

cookies, dessert, snacks

Pineapple macarons

Ingredients

  • 3 (90 g) egg whites ( day old) at room temperature
  • 70 g super fine castor sugar
  • 100 g almond meal
  • 170 g icing sugar
  • 1 tbsp pineapple extract or more to taste
  • few drops of yellow coloring ( Jell paste works best)
  • Pineapple jam ( 2/3 cups)
  • Buttercream frosting ( 1 stick butter + 2- 21/2 cups icing sugar + 1 tbsp milk)

Instructions

  1. Separate eggs and refrigerate the egg whites, in a closed container, at least a day prior to making this recipe
  2. Prepare trays lined with parchment paper and get a stencil ready if you like
  3. Bring the egg whites to room temperature ( let them sit for 30 minutes on the counter)
  4. Grind and sieve the almond meal and icing sugar to obtain a finer texture. See picture and explanation above in the post
  5. Whisk egg whites (using stand mixer) to soft peaks stage
  6. Start adding sugar a tea spoon at a time and continue to whist on high speed
  7. Do this until all sugar is gone and the meringue reach stiff peaks
  8. The meringue should be very stiff and shiny
  9. Add the flavor and color at this stage and whisk to incorporate
  10. Add half of the dry mix to the meringue and mix just to start combining
  11. Then add the rest and mix to incorporate using a spatula
  12. Read the instructions on the post for more details
  13. Keep mixing until the desired batter consistency is achieved (check the post for details and photo)
  14. Transfer the batter into a piping bag fitted with a 13 mm round tip
  15. Pipe circles onto the prepared parchment paper
  16. Leave space around
  17. Once piped, tap the tray several times on the bench
  18. And leave the macarones to air dry for 30 minutes or more
  19. The top should be dry to the touch
  20. Preheat oven to 300 F or 150 C
  21. Bake the macarones one tray at a time for 15 -19 minutes
  22. Always keep an eye and check them at 15 minute mark ( the size of the macarone will affect the time)
  23. Once done take the trays out and let cool for a few minutes
  24. If macarones are releasing without any effort, then they are ready, otherwise they need another 2 minutes or so.
  25. Once done let them cool completely before handling/filling
  26. Fill the macarone with butter cream and pineapple jam. Check post for more information
https://myloveofbaking.com/pineapple-macarons/
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Thyme infused sourdough dinner rolls

dinner rolls

I think I invented the most perfect dinner rolls recipe ever! That sounds a bit too dramatic, but trust me, that’s how I felt when they came out of the oven. They smelled so good and tasted even better with a slathering of butter, still warm and fresh.

These are NOT super enriched, brioche style buns. But they are soft, aromatic, nutty and wholesome. I think these are the perfect side to serve with your main or the bread and butter course it self. They don’t taste overly sweet, jut a touch of honey, so the thyme flavor is the real hero here. Just 10% each of wholemeal and rye makes a world of difference, by adding that nutty texture and the tiny brown color speckle to the crumb.

Thyme infused dinner rolls

Lastly, this is a recipe that can be stretched well over three days and the dough is very forgiving. So you don’t have to be precise about fermenting duration and retardation. I will mention this at each step.

Baked long rolls

To start with, as usual, with any sourdough recipe, you need the fed starter. I’m using a 100% hydrated fed, ripe starter for this recipe. If you want more details about starter head over to this link.

infused butter

Infuse butter by heating the butter with a bunch id thyme over medium heat. Let the mixture come to room temperature before removing the thyme stems.

dough

Mix everything as described in the recipe until a dough is formed, Knead it by hand until smooth. Place in a closed container and let ferment until almost doubled in size.

doubled dough

Once the dough is almost doubled, punch down lightly and refrigerate over night ( or at least 10 hours) You can extend this time up to 24 hours

divided dough

Divide the dough in to pieces and let them rest, covered for 15 minutes before shaping

shaped dough

Shape the dough pieces in to rounds or cylinders and place them in the baking dish/tray leave space around

shaped dough

Shaped into cylindrical shape and stacked in a deep loaf tin works too

proofed dough

proofed dough (after 6-8 hours depending on the temperature) The slower the proof, the better the flavour

proofed dough

proofed long buns. once the buns are proofed, preheat the oven, brush the buns with a whisked egg, and bake for 20 minutes

baked rolles

Once baked let the rolls cool on a wire rack

baked rolls

Baked rolls (long)

These rolls are perfect served warm with butter.

These rolls can be kept in a air-tight container at room temperature for up to two days. You can freshen them up in the microwave (20 sec), then will be soft and lovely as good as new.

Thyme infused dinner rolls
Thyme infused rolls

If you wan to freeze them, seal them tightly in a freezer bag before freezing. To serve the frozen rolls, first let them come to room temperature and warm them in microwave (20 sec) or in a moderate oven (10 minutes).

Soft rolls

I guess these can be infused with other herbs you like, so go ahead and try with your favorite herb like rosemary, sage etc. I have used a mild honey because I wanted to hero the thyme flavor. You can substitute honey with sugar, or maple syrup.

Soft rolls
Thyme infused sourdough dinner rolls

Bread

Thyme infused sourdough dinner rolls

Ingredients

  • 140 g ripe sourdough starter
  • 200 g bread flour
  • 200 g all purpose flour
  • 50 g rye flour
  • 50 g wholemeal flour
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp honey
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cups milk
  • 1 stick butter (110 g)
  • a bunch of thyme
  • 1 egg to egg wash

Instructions

    For the infused butter
  1. Place the stick of butter and a hand full of thyme(with stems) in a pot and melt over medium heat
  2. Stir until butter melts
  3. Once the butter is melted, let it simmer for two minutes and take off the heat
  4. Let the mixture cool to room temperature
  5. Once cooled, remove the thyme stems, leaving some of the leaves
    For the dough
  1. In to a bowl of a stand mixer, add all the flours and salt
  2. Lightly mix to combine
  3. Add the eggs, honey, starter, butter mixture and 1/2 cup of the milk and start to mix
  4. Add the rest of the milk as you go, to make a soft dough
  5. Once the dough comes together, bring it over to an oiled surface and knead by hand until smooth (for about a minute or two)
  6. Place the dough in a plastic tub (non reactive container) close the lid and set in a warm draft free area to ferment
  7. The dough need to be roughly doubled in size (should take about 5-6 hours or more)
  8. Once the dough is bigger, punch it down slightly, place in the same container and refrigerate overnight (minimum of 10 hours)
  9. When you are ready, take the dough out and let it come to room temperature and soften up (should take about 4 hours)
  10. Place in a warm oven (27 C – 30 C) to speed up
  11. Once the dough is soft, divide into pieces ( 14 pieces of 70 g or 12 pieces of 80 g)
  12. Cover and let these rest for 10 – 15 minutes
  13. Then shape them in to rounds or cylinders (shape of hot dog buns)
  14. Once shaped, place them in on a lined tray or a greased deep baking dish
  15. Leave about 1/2 inch gap all around for the will grow bigger as they prove
  16. Now cover them with plastic wrap and place in a warm draft free place for the final rise(may take several hours ~6 or more)
  17. To speed up place in a warm oven (27 to 30 C)
  18. When they are proofed, preheat the oven to 400 F (200 C)
  19. Lightly egg wash the buns on top, and bake for about 20 minutes or until top is golden brown
  20. Once baked, remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack
  21. Serve warm

Microwave for 20 seconds to warm these buns before serving

Store then in an air-tight container for up to two days at room temperature or freeze in a freezer bag

Thaw frozen buns ans microwave to freshen them up

https://myloveofbaking.com/thyme-infused-sourdough-dinner-rolls/
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Cranberry marzipan sourdough couronne

cranberry couronne

I watch baking videos on my way to work and that is why I love to take the bus. This is the time I use to visualize, sketch and brain storm about my bakes and plan in my head about what I am going to tackles next. I thought of revisiting some of the older seasons of GBBO last week, and this couronne of Paul Hollywood took me in complete awe.

So, I created something in my head, that ticked the following boxes

  • an enriched dough
  • naturally leavened
  • use my cranberry jam
  • tastes and look festive
  • indulging but packs a punch

And as a result, this recipe was born, last weekend. I didn’t know what to expect, up until the time I actually took a bite. Well, I couldn’t believe what I just put in my mouth! It was that good! If I eat this with my eyes closed, I wouldn’t know what to call this. It feels like a bit of mince pie, an orange pond cake, a frangipane tart and brioche all mingling in your mouth harmoniously.

I will mention what each component does in this couronne, so you can substitute these with your favorite things. But I seriously recommend you try this combo.

Homemade Cranberry jam – color, tartness cuts through the sweetness. It is chunky, so adds texture

Orange marzipan – adds fragrance from orange, adds sweetness and texture, keep the bake moist

Crystallized ginger – adds warmth, adds a punch

Sultana – texture, flavor of mince meat (Christmacy in other words)

Orange glaze – adds a shine to the finished product, keeps it moist for longer, enhance flavor

Here is the step by step process:

starter

Get the sweet stiff starter mixed. Form in to a tough dough ball and place in a container, closed. Let this ferment until it is doubled in size. Could take between 8-12 hours depending on the room temp.(overnight works for me) If you wan to delay the process, place this in the fridge for a few hours to slow down.

starter

I forgot to take a picture before opening up the fermented stiff starter ball. Here is an inside shot anyway. This is ready to be mixed with the dough now

dough

Mix everything according to the recipe below to make the dough. Dough will be sticky. Notice there is no sugar in this dough, just in the starter. Once mixed, take it out on to a floured surface, and fold a few times to make it smooth, check the next image.

dough

Once the dough is smooth like this, place it in a greased container, cover and place in a warm draft free area to ferment, until it is nearly doubled in size.

This is a good time to make the marzipan too. Use the same mixing ball, no need to wash it. Mix in all the ingredients in the recipe, and get it shaped nice and smooth like in this picture. Wrap this in cling wrap, and place in the fridge.

dough

The dough is nearly doubled in size. (this took about 6 hours at 20 C) Now place this in the fridge for several hours. Time these to suite your schedule. It is alright to leave it out or in the fridge for couple of extra hours.

At this stage, the dough is too soft to handle. By placing in the fridge, this will firm up.

marzipane

Final big step is to put all these together. Ready your jam, ginger, sultana and set aside. Take the dough out and let it soften a bit. In the meantime, roll the marzipan as thinly as possible. Use two parchment papers or use a Silpat like i did. The marzipan should be the same size as your dough sheet. Get it roughly to what you plan to get your dough at. If your kitchen is warm, place this in the fridge until you roll the dough.

dough

Roll the dough on a well floured bench. The thickness shouldn’t be less than 3/4 of a centimeter. If you roll it too thin, it will break when you spread filling and also will tear when rolling.

dough

Spread the jam on the dough. I use my fingers. A spatula may tear the dough underneath. Leave space here an there. Check the picture. And then scatter the sultana and ginger pieces.

dough

Now lay the marzipan over the filling. Simply take the marzipan you rolled, take the top parchment paper off, tip it over the dough, so marzipan is facing the filling. Peel off the Silpat/parchment that was underneath.

Trim the marzipan edges if it overhangs. Press gently so it sticks to the filling.

dough

Now roll the dough as you would do with a cinnamon roll. Flour your hands generously.

dough

This step is similar to any babka, if you have made that before. Cut through the rolled dough, length wise, using a sharp knife. Turn the strands upwards. Twist the two strands to form a spiral. Try not to lose too much filling in this process.

dough

Once twisted, form a ring with the dough by joining the two ends. Do this on the tray if you like. Or do it on the bench and carefully transfer it onto the tray. Now this has to rest/proof for a few hours. (3-4 hours I would say) You wouldn’t notice much difference in the size. But the dough will spring back when gently poked. The resting will help relax the dough.

Bake in a hot oven (410 F) for 40 minutes. If top start to burn, cover with a foil during the last 5-10 minutes

couronne

While the couronne is baking, get the orange glaze ready. Bring freshly squeezed orange juice and sugar to a boil and simmer for 3-4 minutes until thickens.

You can of course use apricot jam glaze instead.

Once the loaf is out of the oven, glaze while it is still hot. And then let it cool down on a wire rack

That is it! You can then decorate this however you like. You can drizzle this with white lemon icing or even royal icing for a fancier finish. Decorate with red and green cherries for an even better look! I kept is simple with some sugar coated cranberries, few rosemary ends and a light dusting of icing sugar.

You can of course, use mince meat instead of my cranberry filling.

Give this a go and leave a comment

Bon Appétit !!

Cranberry marzipan couronne

Bread

cranberry couronne

Ingredients

    For the starter
  • 70 g flour
  • 1 tbsp active starter
  • 2 tbs sugar (brown or white)
  • +/-30 g water
    For the dough
  • 70 g of above sweet starter
  • 250 g flour
  • 5 g salt
  • 1 egg
  • 50 g butter (soft, cubed)
  • 125 ml milk (+/-)
    For the Marzipan
  • 200 g ground almonds (almond flour)
  • 100 g icing sugar
  • 60 g castor sugar
  • 1 egg
  • zest of one orange (very important)
    For the spread
  • about a 3/4 cups of Cranberry jam (preferably homemade)
  • 1/3 cups of sultana
  • 1/4 cups of crystallized ginger cut into small pieces
    For the glaze
  • Equal parts of orange juice and sugar
  • OR
  • 1/2 cup apricot jam

Instructions

  1. Make the starter ahead and let ferment.
  2. To make the dough, mix everything except milk in a bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with a hook attachment.
  3. Start mixing on low and slowly add milk, to bring the dough together
  4. If necessary add extra milk or a little water (tablespoon at a time). The dough should be soft and sticky
  5. Take the dough off on to a floured surface, and knead by hand to form a smooth ball
  6. Place in a covered bowl and leave in a warm place for several hours
  7. Make the marzipan, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.
  8. The dough will be risen considerably (almost double) if not leave for another hour or two
  9. Then refrigerate the dough covered for several hours or overnight
  10. When you are ready to make the couronne, take the dough out and let it soften (not too much, its easier to handle when cold)
  11. Prepare a tray lined with a parchment paper and set aside
  12. Prepare the filling and set them aside
  13. Roll out the marzipan between two parchment papers. Check the post and the pictures.
  14. Now take the dough on to a floured surface and roll out to a rectangle
  15. About 45 cm by 35 cm( the dough thickness should be no more than 3/4 cm)
  16. Once done, spread the pear jam, sprinkle with sultana and ginger (you don’t have to use all of the filling)
  17. Place the marzipan layer on top of the filling. Press gently. check the images above
  18. Starting from one end roll the dough tightly length-wise
  19. Using a sharp knife cut the rolled cylinder in half along the length ( see picture)
  20. Now twist the two strands (look at the photos in the post)
  21. Make sure to have cut sides exposed.
  22. Once twisted, bring the two end together to form a ring
  23. Tuck the end bits underneath
  24. Place on the prepared tray
  25. Leave covered in a warm place for about two – three hours (or more depending on the temp.)
  26. The dough will be softer to tough and will spring back when poked gently
  27. Preheat the oven to 410 F
  28. Bake for 40 minutes, turning the tray half-way through to the bake
  29. In the meantime make the Orange sugar syrup
  30. Once done remove the baked couronne from the oven
  31. Top should be golden brown and should sound hollow when tapped
  32. Lightly brush with the sugar syrup or melted apricot jam
  33. Once done let this cool completely before cutting in as the filling need setting
  34. Decorate with whatever you like
  35. Slice with a serrated knife
https://myloveofbaking.com/cranberry-marzipan-couronne/
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Pear & Walnut Sourdough Babka

babka

I have been all about apples and pumpkins lately and I almost forgot pears, until I accidentally bumped into a stall at the farmers market, flooded with multi-colored pears.

I have been eating them from the start of the season, but didn’t think of baking with them. So I thought, this is a good chance for that. I have been baking more bread than cakes lately as my household solely depend on my bread. Plus we are controlling our sugar intake. It’s not like we are on a strict diet or anything, just that we try to balance what we put in our bodies. So something along bread line seemed more appropriate than an indulgent cake.

babka

The thing is I don’t bake for the sake of IG or my blog. Everything I bake gets eaten to the last crumb, in other words, I can only bake what we could consume.

So back to the babka. For this one, I’m using a sweet starter with less hydration. This allows you to control moisture later. The starter can be made ahead (6 or more hours prior to making the dough). Use 50% – 75% hydration. It is important to use fed, ripe starter to make this to get the maximum volume.

babka

The pear jam could be made ahead too. The jam need to be cold when spreading over the dough. And it wouldn’t hurt to toast the walnuts before hand too.

I will mention the step by step method below.

dough

Mix the dough according to instruction on the recipe. Place the dough in a lightly greased plastic bowl and cover. Let it double in volume. In a warm, draft free place, this could take up to 5-6 hours. The starter strength is a factor here too.

dough

This is how the dough looks like, when it is doubled it’s size. It’s grown sideways and upwards too. (the picture doesn’t show the upwards rise) But roughly twice the size is good enough. At this stage, lightly punch the dough and re-shape in to a ball (it will shrink to a smaller dough ball) and place back in the same container. Close the lid tightly and place in the fridge for 10-12 hours or overnight. This can be longer, even up to 24 hours.

dough

How the dough looks like right out of the refrigerator. It will be firm to the touch. Let this thaw for a bout 5- 10 minutes, but not longer. We just need it to be workable but not too warm. It is easier to roll-out and cut a firmer dough.

dough

Lightly dust the bench and the dough with flour. Start to roll the dough to a rectangle. If dough starts to shrink back, let it rest for 5 minutes. If your kitchen is warm, cover refrigerate the dough for 5-10 minutes to let it relax.

dough

once rolled out, it should be about 1/2 cm in thickness. Do not roll out too thin, the dough might tear when you spread filling. Too thick and you won’t get may swirls.

Pear jam

There’s no specific recipe for this. Peel and core two pears, cut into cubes. Add to a saucepan with 2 tbsp dark brown sugar, 1 tbsp sugar, 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer. Smash the pears once soften. I left few chunks. Simmer for about 30 minutes or so until reduced and thickens to a jammy consistency. Let this cool.

walnuts

Toast walnuts until golden. then chop the roughly. Set aside.

dough

Spread the pear jam evenly, and sprinkle with walnuts. Scatter some dark brown sugar if you like.

rolling

Start rolling the dough. This could be along the length or width. If you like more swirls, roll it along the width wise. I’m doing length-wise here. I like medium swirls as it is easier to handle when twisting.

dough

cut the dough in half along the length. And slowly turn the cut sides up, without losing the filling.

dough

Pinch one end together and start inter-twining. Twist the two strands all the way down, keeping the cut(open) side up, all the while. Pinch the end bits too. If the dough is too long for the tin, using both hands, lightly squash the dough from the two ends until it becomes a bit shorter, so it fits the loaf tin.

dough

Lift the dough and place carefully in the greased tin. Adjust to fill the tin evenly. Do not disturb the layers. Now cover this with a plastic, with ample room to grow. The top shouldn’t be touching the cover. let this prove in a warm place. This might take up several hours. (4-6 hours) Warmer the room temperature, the quicker the rise

proofed dough

This is how the proofed loaf will look like. It is slightly jiggly, softer to the tough and considerably grown to fit the tin. the dough will spring back when poked. Pre-heat the oven to 360 F and place the rack in the bottom 2/3 of the oven. This will stop from top catching too much. Ans back for 40 – 50 minutes. Turn the loaf around after the first 20 minutes, so that both sides will be baked evenly.

Once the loaf is baked (golden brown and sound hollow when tapped) take it out of the oven. Brush with a light sugar syrup. This is optional, but will help keep the loaf moist for longer, and add a shine to the top too. (Sugar syrup is 1:1 water and sugar, boiled for few minutes until slightly thick)

Once baked, this need some time to cool down. Do not cut it while warm, the filling need to settle and the crumb will be too wet and the layers will fall apart.

I loved the flavor so much. The pear jam is sweet and tart at the same time. Goes well with the mildly sweet brioche like bread and the nuts add a crunch, which is perfect!! The most delicious bit for me is the gooey top. It’s crispy, sweet, and crunchy with nuts and sugar crystals. Oh it’s pure heaven on a plate.

Let me know, if you try this out. And as always shoot any comment or question below or on IG.

Pear Jam and Walnut Sourdough Babka

Bread, snacks

babka

Ingredients

    for the dough
  • 120 g fed active sweet starter
  • 300 g flour
  • 1 egg + 1 egg yolk
  • 50 g butter (soft, cubed)
  • 100 ml milk (+/-)
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
    for the spread
  • about a 3/4 cups of Pear jam (made from 2 pears)
  • 1/2 cup of toasted chopped walnuts
  • 1/4 cups dark brown sugar (optional)
  • 1 egg to egg wash

Instructions

  1. Make the starter ahead. ( mix roughly 75 g flour, 35 g water, 10 g culture)
  2. Make the Pear jam and ready the nuts ( you can do this while the dough ferments)
  3. To make the dough, mix everything except milk in a bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with a hook attachment.
  4. Start mixing on low and slowly add milk, to bring the dough together
  5. If necessary add extra milk or a little water (tablespoon at a time). The dough should be soft
  6. Once the dough start to form, increase the speed to medium and mix for about 5 to 8 minutes, until dough becomes smooth or do this by hand.
  7. Take the dough off on to a floured surface, and knead by hand to form a ball
  8. Place in a covered bowl and leave in a warm place for about 5 hours
  9. The dough will be risen considerably (almost double) if not leave for another hour or two
  10. Then pat down the dough and form in to a ball again, place in the same container and refrigerate for several hours or overnight. (I left it overnight and a whole day and it still turned out good)
  11. When you are ready to make the babka, take the dough out and let it soften (not too much, its easier to handle when cold)
  12. Prepare a loaf tin lined with a parchment paper or grease it with spray
  13. Take the dough on to a floured surface and roll out to a rectangle
  14. About 45 cm by 35 cm( the dough thickness should be no more than 1/2 cm)
  15. Once done, spread the pear jam, sprinkle nuts and brown sugar evenly
  16. Starting from one end roll the dough tightly length-wise ( or width-wise if you prefer)
  17. Using a sharp knife cut the rolled cylinder in half along the length ( see picture)
  18. Now twist the two strands (look at the photos in the post)
  19. Twisting will make it shorter and would fit in the loaf tin
  20. Make sure to have cut sides exposed.
  21. Once twisted, pack the dough in the loaf tin
  22. Tuck the end bits underneath
  23. Make sure the dough is spread as evenly as possible across the tin
  24. Leave covered in a warm place for about two – three hours (or more depending on the temp.) for the final rise
  25. The loaf will expand and fill the tin and will look fuller and softer
  26. Preheat the oven to 360 F ( 180 C)
  27. Brush the top with egg wash and bake for 40-50 minutes, turning the pan half-way through to the bake
  28. In the meantime make the sugar syrup
  29. Once done remove the loaf from the oven
  30. Top should be golden brown and should sound hollow when tapped
  31. Lightly brush with a sugar syrup if you like
  32. Once done let this cool completely before cutting in as the filling need setting
  33. Slice with a serrated knife
https://myloveofbaking.com/pear-walnut-sourdough-babka/
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