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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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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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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Spicy Ginger cookies

Make these ahead for the winter!

ginger cookies

These ginger cookies resembles, my favorite ginger biscuit I used to eat back in Sri Lanka. Oddly enough, I used to hate these as a kid but fell completely in love with, growing up. I remember the mini me wondering why would anyone want to eat the fiery biscuit when there are so many other sweet and delicious stuff out there let along enjoying them.Funnily enough, I took a packet of these to Sweden, and my colleagues at work, allegedly burnt their throats trying to eat them.

So undoubtedly, this is an adult cookie, despite not having any booze. And these are not for the faint-hearted. If you can’t handle spices, you should consider cutting down on the amount of fresh ginger used in the recipe. I used 4 tsp but the recipe states 3, as I thought this might be too much for anyone trying this for the first time.

ginger cookies

This cookie is very similar to a gingerbread except for the fact that it uses a lot of freshly grated ginger to give it’s characteristic heat. The fresh ginger is a great addition for desserts and I love to use it in place of or in combination with ground ginger. The flavor is very pungent and it really adds warmth to a dish.

ginger cookies

The ginger that’s grown in South east Asia is different to the ones I found here in the US and back in Australia. The Asian version is smaller, more compact and very strong. A little goes a long way. But the ginger I buy here are huge, watery and very mild in flavor. So I had to use a considerable amount to get the same heat.

I’m using both fresh and ground ginger

Make sure to grate the ginger finely, using a micro-plane. This ensures a smooth batter and the heat is distributed evenly.

If you can’t find fresh ginger, you can substitute that with ground ginger, but the flavor won’t be the same, but it will still be a warming cookie. If you feel experimental, try adding crystallized ginger for an extra kick and texture.

ginger cookies
baked ginger cookies looking all crispy and inviting

Feel free to adjust the heat, by varying the amount of fresh ginger you use. I suggest you give this a try first, may be make half a batch and adjust the recipe to your liking. If for any reason you didn’t like the cookie as is or if it is too pungent to eat on it’s own, you can use it in desserts. These can be used in trifels, biscuit puddings and even in tiramisu.

I have coated the ginger cookies in turbinado sugar/ raw sugar, just to add extra crisp and texture. This is entirely optional. The original biscuit was plain anyway.

dough should not be sticky so you could roll it in between your palms into ball

coat the dough ball with raw sugar crystals

place on a tray and bake until golden brown and firm to the touch

Finally, these are great for dunking! makes the perfect treat with a warm cup of tea on a cold winter evening. I love these with a glass of milk in the night.

So give these a go, burn your lips and think of me!

Spicy Ginger cookies

cookies

ginger cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp bi carbonate of soda (baking soda)
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 3/4 cup dark brown sugar (lightly packed)
  • 1/8 cup molasses
  • 1/2 cup butter (1 stick) at room temperature
  • 1 small egg at room temperature
  • 1 tbsp ground ginger
  • 3 tsp freshly grated ginger
  • 1/8 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp Ceylon cinnamon
  • turbinado sugar/raw sugar to coat (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 360 F
  2. In a bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with a paddle, beat the butter with brown sugar until combined
  3. Add molasses, ground ginger and mix to combine
  4. Add the egg and beat to clear
  5. Sift flour, baking soda, salt and other spices into a separate bowl
  6. Add the flour mixture to the above wet ingredients
  7. Beat/mix on slow speed until everything combines together to form a dough and sides are cleared
  8. This dough should not be sticky, you should be able to form a ball easily by hand
  9. If it is too sticky, place in the fridge for 5- 10 minutes to firm up
  10. Prepare two baking sheets lined with parchment paper
  11. Take a table spoon of dough, squash it and roll between the two palms to form a ball
  12. Coat the dough with raw sugar and place on the rack and press to flatten a bit. Check the photo in the post
  13. Bake for 17 minutes. But check for doneness at 15 minute mark
  14. * it is always a good idea to bake a tester cookie, just to make sure the oven temperature is right and the cookie comes out the way you like! Depending on the tester, you can tweak the cookie size and the oven temp.
  15. Let cool off on the tray before removing on to a wire rack to fully cool the cookies
  16. Store in an air-tight container
https://myloveofbaking.com/spicy-ginger-cookies/
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Tahini and Brown Sugar cookies

Disclaimer!!! This is a crispy cookie and it’s got tahini in it…a lot of tahini.

tahini cookies

If you are still reading, then you’ve got to be sesame crazy like me! It’s not everyone’s cup of tea when it comes to this much sesame and tahini. A lot of people don’t mind the sesame in a stir-fry but that’s it. Due to it’s distinct taste and overpowering quality tahini and sesame oil are used with caution in cooking and baking.

tahini cookies

We make a large variety of sweets for our New Year celebrations in Sri Lanka, where I grew-up. Though I haven’t done that in years, I still relive those moments . I was a massive fan of these celebrations, all because we get to make and eat sweets.

tahini cookies
It’s loaded with sesame flavor

One of my favorite things to make was the Sesame balls. This uses toasted sesame, coconut, coconut palm sugar (jaggery) and this was a flavor bomb! which got me thinking, that, I haven’t tried making it yet (it require a stone mortar and a pestle… rather a large one, not sure what to substitute this with..) If I did, I will have to share the recipe, it is so yummy!

This cookie takes me back to those days. That’s why I love this so much. If you are a lover of all things sesame, then this recipe is for you.

tahini cookies
place on tray, sesame coated side up

I love to experiment with my food. You can safely say that this is a mashup of a Brown sugar cookie and a tahini cookie. Tahini was new to me and it was love at first sight. I use it in several dishes from stir-fries to cakes. It is something you can’t eat on it’s own, cos of the bitter after taste, but works like magic when added to something.

tahini cookies
Baked cookies

This is the easiest cookie recipe ever ( okay may be one of the easiest) You can really mix everything in one bowl and bake them straight away and enjoy. The whole process won’t take more than 25 minutes from measuring ingredients to actually eating a baked cookie. No need to chill the dough!

tahini cookies
cool on a wire rack

One important thing, make sure you stir the Tahini before you pour it out!. Natural tahini, tend to separate and if you don’t stir, chances are you will only be using the oils (the liquid part) leaving the solids at the bottom of the jar. We don’t want this!

tahini cookies
with a glass of milk before bed

This cookie is great with tea or coffee and you can actually dunk this as it is crispy and would hold it’s shape. Great with a glass of milk before bed too.

Tahini and Brown Sugar cookies

cookies, snacks

Servings: 2 dozens

tahini cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp bi carbonate of soda (baking soda)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar (lightly packed)
  • 1/2 cup coconut palm sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter (1 stick) at room temperature
  • 1 small egg at room temperature
  • 1/2 cups tahini
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • about 1/2 cup sesame (raw, not toasted) to coat

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 F
  2. In a bowl of a stand mixer, beat butter with brown sugar and coconut sugar until combined. It should look like a paste
  3. Add the egg followed by tahini, vanilla and blend to combine
  4. Mix flour, baking soda and salt in a separate bowl and add to the above mix
  5. Beat/mix on slow speed until everything combines together to form a nice dough
  6. This dough is not sticky, you should be able to form a ball easily by hand
  7. Prepare a baking sheet or two lined with parchment paper
  8. Spread the row sesame on a flat plate
  9. Take a table spoon of dough, squash it and roll between the two palms to form a ball
  10. place the dough ball on the sesame and press lightly. Check the photo in the post
  11. Place the cookie on a tray, sesame coated side up
  12. Bake for 15 minutes
  13. * it is always a good idea to bake a tester cookie, just to make sure the oven temperature is right and the cookie comes out the way you like! Depending on the tester, you can tweak the cookie size and the oven temp.
  14. Cool on a wire rack before storing
  15. Store in an air-tight container
https://myloveofbaking.com/tahini-and-brown-sugar-cookies/
tahini cookies
great served with tea or coffee
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Hoppers (Sourdough coconut crepes)

fermented rice flour and coconut milk pancakes/crepes

hoppers

If you have been to south east Asia, specifically Sri Lanka or southern India, chances are that you’ve already eaten these. If not, these should be on the top of your “must have food” list, when/if you go there.

These are a very popular staple in Sri Lanka, where I was born and a family favorite in almost every household. There are different recipes and a few variations to this versatile oriental pancake.

hoppers

The crispy, melt-in-your-mouth, tuile like edges are addicting! The center is soft and naturally mildly sweetened by the thick coconut milk. They have to be eaten as soon as they are made which makes the experience even more exiting. Due to this reason, you’ll always find a “hopper station” in buffets and restaurants, where hoppers are made to order.

hoppers
tuile like edges

The recipe is so simple, it only has five ingredients including the salt. This is a mixture of rice flour, coconut milk, water, salt that is fermented using either commercial yeast or a sourdough starter. The instant version, use baking soda(sodium bicarbonate) to get the bubbly effect and so you can skip the long fermentation. But you’ll get an after taste, which I personally don’t like.

stacks of crepes

In lot of house holds, they use a piece of bread instead of the yeast. This is a cleaver way of using the leftover yeast in the bread. Yes! apparently, some yeast survive the heat of the oven. All you have to do is mash up a piece of bread in a little water and add it to the rice flour mix and let it ferment!

If you want them to be completely gluten free, feel free to use commercial yeast or use a gluten free starter. Remember commercial yeast is fast acting so your batter will be ready in 2-3 hours. Use 1 tsp of instant dry yeast to ferment, roughly about two cups of flour. Activate the yeast first! Stir the yeast in a little water and a pinch of sugar and let sit for 10 minutes. Then mix that with water and rice flour to form a thick batter. This should now be left in a warm place until doubled in volume. After which you can incorporate coconut milk and salt. There you have it! GF version done!

rice flour
white rice flour

In my case I’m using my trusty sourdough starter! So my hoppers aren’t gluten free. If you have a gluten-free starter, then of course you can follow these same steps and make sourdough hoppers that are gluten free!

The only difference when you are using a sourdough starter to ferment something, is that it takes a longer time. So if you use 1:1 ratio of rice flour and starter, it takes about 4-5 hours to ferment. You can double that time if you use 1:2 ratio. So one part starter to two parts rice flour. This is my preferred method as it allows me to mix these the night before, so I can make hoppers in the morning. Or you can mix in the morning and make your hoppers in the evening for supper. This works perfectly with my schedule, that I can actually make them on a weekday!

Ideally, for this, you need ripe starter. So feed your starter and let it get activated. If you are using leftover starter, then it might take considerably longer to ferment so keep an eye on your batter.

To make the batter, all you have to do is mix rice flour, starter and water in a big plastic bowl. Do not add all the water in. Add half of the water in the recipe and mix well. Then keep adding more water until the batter is thick but not firm. It shouldn’t stick to your hand but look like a past than batter.

batter
paste like batter

Now all you have to do is let it sit in a warm place covered. You will see some activity in about 4-5 hours. There won’t be bubbles or visible action but you will see the batter rising upwards slowly. At the end of the fermentation, there will be a considerable increase in volume. But more than that, when you touch the batter, you will feel it has lightened up and aerated. This will look like, cottage cheese and you will see bubbles underneath the dough. Also it will smell acidic or yogurt like!

batter
overnight fermented batter
batter
It will look like cottage cheese

All you have to do now is add thick coconut milk and salt. Again go slowly when adding coconut milk. We need a runny batter but not watery. It is runnier than a normal pancake batter.

add coconut milk
batter
This is how thin it should be

To make the hoppers, ideally you need a hopper pan and the lid and an open flames that heats the sides of the pan.

hopper pan
traditional hopper pan

Spray the pan with cooking oil and remove excess using a paper towel or piece of cloth. Too much oil will prevent batter sticking to the sides. Heat the pan to medium hot, (shouldn’t be smoking) and ladle about a 1/4 cups of batter and swirl the pan to let the batter flow around to cover the entire area. Place on medium heat, cover with lid for 30 seconds. Then remove the lid and let the sides go golden brown and crispy. Once done, use an offset spatula or a knife to carefully release the crepe from the sides. Slide the knife all around until it is completely released and toss on to a plate.

If you don’t have a hopper pan, worry not. You can use a non stick pan to make these. They will be of a different shape, but will taste the same.

pan
use a frying pan

Or if you have a cast iron skillet, that’ll work too. Make sure to spray and wipe excess oil off. Heat the skillet and drop about 1/3 of a cup batter and spread the batter quickly to form a thin crepe. If you have a crepe tool, use that or use the back of a ladle. Or if you can, swirl the skillet so the batter will spread evenly. These will be flat, thin and crispy.

skillet
or use a cast iron skillet

Egg hoppers is another variation, where you break an egg to the center and it will cook the same time as the hopper.

egg hoppers
an egg hopper

Hoppers are really neutral, so you can serve them with anything. We love it plain, with butter ,with a curry, coconut chutney, salsa, honey, maple syrup you name it!. This can be served as a dessert too, if you pair with cream and strawberries. You can also add brown sugar to the batter and make these extra sweet! Really the possibilities are endless.

hoppers
crispy edges

They will lose their crispness over time, so eat them as soon as they are made. You can refrigerate the batter though, for up to a day. Any longer and it will be turn sour.

So give these a go. It is worth it! I’d love to here or see if you try it so please either leave a comment or tag me on Instagram.

Hoppers (Sourdough coconut crepes)

pancakes, snacks

Servings: 15 – 20 crepes

hoppers

Ingredients

  • 2 cups white rice flour
  • 1 cup starter
  • 1-2 cups water
  • 1 can of thick coconut milk
  • 1 tsp salt (or more to taste)

Instructions

  1. Mix starter, flour, and 1 cup of water in a plastic bowl. Mix well.
  2. Keep adding water a little bit at a time and mix until a thick paste like batter is formed
  3. Close with a lid and place in a warm place to ferment (8-10 hours or overnight)
  4. Add the coconut milk, salt and stir
  5. Spay a pan or skillet and wipe off excess oil
  6. Heat to a medium hot stage (precise heat will produce more bubbles and give a nicer lace like edge. If it’s not hot enough, there won’t be any bubbles, so the crepe will be like a sheet. We want a net like texture with a lot of tiny holes. That’s what makes it crispy
  7. Once the pan is ready pore 1/4 cups of batter and quickly swirl the pan to spread batter evenly as thinly as possible. Thinner the better
  8. You will need to practice this a few times
  9. Now let the crepe/hopper cook and crisp up.
  10. Once it’s edges are golden brown, use a thin offset spatula or a knife to release it from the pan
  11. Repeat until the batter is finished
  12. Best eaten while still warm and crispy!
https://myloveofbaking.com/hoppers-sourdough-coconut-crepes/
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Sourdough blueberry coconut pancakes

This is a dairy and egg free recipe and for a vegan option, simply swap honey with maple syrup

sourdough blueberry coconut pancakes
sourdough blueberry coconut pancakes

Who doesn’t love a good pancake? right? But for me it has to be a good old-fashioned, made-from-the-scratch kind. Supermarket shelves are flooded with pancake mixes that comes in plastic containers, where all you have to do is add water and shake. But where’s all the fun in that!

I always love to make my pancakes from the scratch and I save the store bought ones for hiking, camping and trekking. The good thing about whipping up your own pancake mix is that you can be creative. I use different flours, oils, sugars, and milk to create unique flavors. Another good thing about pancakes is that they are like carrier for all the good produce like berries, bananas, stone fruit, nuts, chocolate to name a few. And my favorite has got to be the blueberries, when they are season!

blueberries
Fresh blueberries

Well, this recipe has it all. I’m using a natural leavening to give the rise to the pancake. Also the eggs are being replaced with tofu, milk with coconut milk and the butter with coconut oil. So this is a almost a vegan recipe, if I didn’t use a dash of honey that is. But you can replace honey with any sweeter of your choice, like, maple syrup, rice malt syrup, molasses or agave syrup.

sourdough blueberry coconut pancakes
sourdough blueberry coconut pancakes

This recipe actually takes much longer to prepare than a usual pancake. As we are using natural yeast, the mixture need time to ferment and get bubbly.

But it’s very simple and only got four steps to it.

Mix the ingredients, let it ferment slowly overnight, loosen batter, final fermentation of two hours. That is it!

batter
batter is thicker

The key to remember is that the final fermentation is where the magic happens. The yeast that multiplied during the overnight will start to speed up their activity. The batter will rise considerably and will be bubbly. So it is important not to disturb this process. The batter shouldn’t be sired after the final fermentation so as not to knock all the air out. Instead, we slowly scoop out spoonfuls and drop on to a hot skillet. This trapped air bubbles will then expand and will give the pancakes a good lift and a soft pillowy texture.

Final stage… notice the air bubbles

This is what baking soda or baking powder does for us in a traditional recipe.

And also, I add the blue berries while the pancake cooks. So just after you drop the batter to a pan, scatter few blueberries. This way we can make sure everyone gets berries. And the batter won’t turn all blue or purple. you can use either fresh or frozen. I like to add frozen wild blueberries, as they are tiny and sink in to the pancake nicely.

Serve these warm, drizzled with honey and more fresh blueberries!

honey and blueberry
serve with honey and blueberries

Here is the recipe! Give it a try!

Sourdough blueberry coconut pancakes

pancakes, snacks

Servings: 2 dozen medium pancakes

sourdough blueberry coconut pancakes

Ingredients

  • 2 cups flour (all-purpose)
  • 1 cup starter (sourdough starter fed/mature)
  • 120 g silken tofu (soft or firm)
  • 1 cup thick coconut milk
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cups coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp ground linseed (optional)
  • 2 tbsp honey (or more if you like it sweeter)
  • 1 cup blueberries (frozen or fresh)
  • 1 1/2 cups water (lukewarm)
  • extra honey and berries to serve

Instructions

  1. Mix all the ingredients except for the water in a large glass bowl. You can use a food processor for this. Batter should be thick but dropping consistency. If batter is too thick, add a splash of water.
  2. Cover the batter and leave at room temperature for about and hour. (if its cooler extend by half an hour)
  3. Then place in the fridge for overnight (or several hours)
  4. In the morning, add the 1 1/2 cups warm water to loosen up the batter. Check batter consistency carefully and adjust it with more water if necessary. It should be thicker than normal pancake batter, but still dropping consistency (closer to a porridge)
  5. Leave in a warm spot for about two to three hours(depending on how warm your kitchen is)Speed this up by placing the bowl in the oven with a cup of boiling water.
  6. After this final fermentation, the batter should have expanded considerably and you will notice bubbles on the surface
  7. DO NOT stir the batter!
  8. Heat a nonstick pan or a skillet
  9. Deposit roughly about 1/3 cups of batter onto the pre-heated pan.
  10. Scatter blueberries and turn the pancake over before the top cooks completely. (30 seconds from dropping blueberries)
  11. Remove cooked pancake and place on a plate
  12. Continue until the batter is all used up.
  13. Serve with honey and more fresh blueberries.

Resist the urge to stir or mix the batter while making the pancakes, as his will knock all the air out and the pancakes will be flat.

https://myloveofbaking.com/sourdough-blueberry-coconut-pancakes/
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Vegan sourdough donuts

vegan sourdough doughnuts
vegan sourdough doughnuts

Veganism has been embraced by many over the world and it is definitely a growing trend. It is a very unique dietary practice and if you ask me, I am not a vegan myself, but I am fascinated by the idea as always. As a baking enthusiast, this challenges me to create new things and experiment on substitutes.

vegan sourdough doughnuts
bomboloni

So this quest was to re-create the vegan version of the sourdough doughnuts. If you really think about it, scientifically, if you can substitute the animal products with a plant counterpart, then you have solved the puzzle right there. But it might not be this simple. Well one, you can’t really find the match from the plant world. And second, they taste differently. So this has to be a harmonic balance between a few ingredients, rather than just one.

vegan sourdough doughnuts
vegan sourdough doughnuts

Lets see what we need to replace, in a basic sweet dough, to make it plant-based.

Butter: This can easily be replaced by oil. My favorite in this case is the coconut oil. Use a good quality coconut oil, that doesn’t have a strong smell or flavor. (well if you are a coconut fan, by all means, use the strong flavorful version). Other substitutes will be canola oil, rapeseed oil, vegetable oil. I wouldn’t recommend using olive oil, peanut oil or sesame oil as they are have go a very strong flavor which might be not pleasant if used in these quantities.

vegan sourdough doughnuts
vegan sourdough doughnuts

Eggs: Well you can omit eggs altogether! But it is going to take that extra richness away and we don’t want that, right! So my substitute for eggs in this recipe is tofu. I am using silken tofu. It can be either soft or firm, doesn’t really matter. This adds protein to the dough, same as egg white.

Milk: Yes you can skip this one too if you like. But again the dough won’t be as soft. So why not substitute this with a plant milk. Well we have so many options there don’t we? But guess what? I am going with thick coconut milk. It is richer and silkier than most plant milk. Choose a brand that don’t use thickeners. Coconut milk has got a high fat content too, not to mention the all the other good stuff that comes with it!

So there we have it! Now it is only a matter of mixing these in the right proportions. The recipe below does just that!

If you want to know about sourdough starter, read my post about making, feeding and maintaining a starter. This recipe can be executed on the same day or the dough can be retarded overnight(several hours) for convenience.

dough
bulk fermented
dough
punched down

If you are retarding the dough, cut down on the initial bulk fermentation. may be take an hour away. This really depends on the room temperature and the final dough temperature.

vegan sourdough doughnuts
cutting shapes

The shaping is really up to you. If you have a doughnut cutter, use that, or simply make bomboloni. Or cut the dough into squares! Just make sure they are not too big (shouldn’t be bigger than the size of your palm) the smaller they are, the faster and better they will cook. It is easier to handle smaller dough pieces, once proofed.

If it the dough is warmer, it will continue to ferment rapidly in the fridge until, its completely chilled to the core.

Once they are proofed, deep fry them until nice and golden all around. Make sure to test oil temperature. I use a small dough ball for this. If it browns too quickly, its too hot. Ideally it should take about 30 seconds to start browning and there shouldn’t be a lot of smoke. If you have a candy thermometer, make sure oil is at 190C/375F.

vegan sourdough doughnuts
ready to be fried

Once fried, let them drain for a couple of minutes before coating them with cinnamon sugar. Wait until they are cooled to fill them, else the filling would melt and ooze off.

You can fill these with either jam, nutella or my vegan custard. It is an easy custard to make, but make sure you make it ahead of time and chill for at least a few hours or overnight.

vegan sourdough doughnuts
Fill them… with your favorite filling

You can also serve bomboloni as is, or drizzled with chocolate or a dipping of your choice. But seriously, these are so tasty on their own too.

Vegan sourdough donuts

Bread, dessert, snacks

Servings: 3 dozen bombolini/ 15 donuts

vegan sourdough doughnuts

Ingredients

  • 400 g all-purpose flour
  • 12 g salt
  • 85 g castor sugar
  • 160 ml coconut milk (full fat)
  • 30 g coconut oil
  • 75 g silken tofu
  • 150 g active starter
  • 2 tbsp water (if necessary)

Instructions

  1. Weigh all the ingredients except water in to the bowl of a stand mixer. (you can mix by hand too)
  2. Start mixing on low speed until everything is incorporated.
  3. If the dough is tough use the 2 tbsp of water.
  4. Scrape the sides and mix on medium for 5 minutes.
  5. If the dough is too firm for the mixer, kneed it by hand on the bench top.
  6. Let it rest for about 10 minutes.
  7. Then mix for another couple of minutes and take on to a floured surface.
  8. Stretch and fold lightly until dough is smooth.
  9. It should be a soft smooth dough.
  10. Place the dough in a bowl and leave to bulk ferment for about 4 – 5 hours.
  11. If you are retarding, then bulk proof for 3 – 4 hours, punch the dough down and refrigerate covered.
  12. Dough should be close to doubled it’s size at 5 hour mark. This depends on the room temperature. Place the dough in a warm spot to speed up.
  13. Punch the dough down, and let it rest for 10 minutes, covered.
  14. If you have retarded, the dough, take out of fridge and let thaw for about 20 minutes (until the dough has softened)
  15. Roll out the dough on a floured surface and cut doughnut shapes (either round or square)
  16. Or divide in to dough pieces and mold in to dough balls to make bomboloni.
  17. Place these on a lined tray leaving enough space all around, as they will expand.
  18. Leave in a warm place, covered, for the final proof. (dough doesn’t have to be doubled in size)
  19. This could take anywhere from 3-5 hours.
  20. They should look bigger, softer to touch and wobbly.
  21. Heat the oil to 190 C
  22. Fry the doughnuts until golden brown
  23. Leave to drain excess oil
  24. Coat with cinnamon sugar
  25. Let them cool completely before filling them
  26. Best eaten on the same day!
https://myloveofbaking.com/vegan-sourdough-donuts/
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Sourdough chocolate babka

chocolate babka
chocolate babka

A babka for me is another way to eat brioche, my favorite sweet bread. The combination of rich soft brioche and chocolate can only be described as heavenly. I have made this a few times before for get-together, tea parties and pot lucks. Those were made with commercial or instant yeast.

With my obsession with sourdough, lately, I have tried to replace instant yeast with natural yeast. It has been successful in almost all the cases. I guess once you get the hang of it, everything just falls in to places. Once you know your starter, you can predict it’s activity and how much rise you can get with what quantity and in how many hours and so forth. And after-all for me it’s a game of all senses. I clock my process and keep track of time, but at the same time, I touch and feel my dough and eye-ball too. This is what makes baking so much enjoyable and engaging.

chocolate babka
chocolate babka

So back to the babka. The brioche dough I’m using is comparatively less richer than a normal brioche or a traditional babka. Reason begin, I wanted to fill it with a much richer chocolate spread that would be oozing with butter and cocoa. So I thought, to take some of the richness off of the brioche would balance out the flavor and the consistency. Also I am using natural yeast, so less microbes than instant.

chocolate babka
Dough rolled out
chocolate babka
Nut and crumb on top of chocolate spread

A lot of recipes use some sort of nuts sprinkled over the chocolate spread. I am going with toasted almonds. I love almonds and the crunch they add. But you can use other nuts too or even a mix. Make sure to toast the nuts and chop them coarsely.

chocolate babka
twist the two dough strands

Some recipes call for a crumble instead of nuts or alongside the nuts. I have come across various recipes, that use different crumbs. This crumb gives a chewy texture and is a great addition. This can take an average babka to a whole new level of indulgence. In my case, I am using cookie crumbs. This makes it easier. I used some store bought brownie cookies. You can use any cookie, like chocolate chip, double chocolate, fudge etc. If you don’t like the crumb, omit this step completely. The babka will still be ohhh so good!!

chocolate babka
fit the twist in to a tin
chocolate babka
Let it rise and fill the sides

And that brings us to the most important thing, the chocolate. Use a good quality 70% dark chocolate. This elevates the cocoa flavor and it will prevent the spread from becoming super sweet. Recipe use both chocolate and cocoa powder. This is to reduce sweetness while lifting the deep chocolate flavor. Use unsweetened, dutch processed cocoa powder, again, make sure it is of good quality.

Those are my tips for nailing a great sourdough babka. Take these tips home and make it your own. Play with the recipe, use different ingredients and create something fun, share and enjoy!

chocolate babka
Let it cool completely before slicing
Sourdough chocolate babka

Bread, snacks

Servings: 1 loaf

chocolate babka

Ingredients

    for the dough
  • 100 g fed active starter
  • 300 g all purpose flour
  • 1 egg + 1 egg yolk
  • 40 g butter
  • 20 g oil (use olive/vegetable/canola)
  • 100 ml milk (+/-)
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
    for the spread
  • 80 g butter melted
  • 50 g castor sugar
  • 50 g brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup 70% dark chocolate chopped
  • 5 tbsp of cocoa powder (unsweetened)
  • hand full of toasted nut of choice (coarsely chopped)
  • brownie or chocolate cookie crumbs (optional)
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 1 egg white to egg wash

Instructions

  1. To make the dough, mix everything except milk in a bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with a hook attachment.
  2. Start mixing on low and slowly add milk, to bring the dough together
  3. If necessary add extra milk or a little water (tablespoon at a time). The dough should be soft but not runny
  4. Once the dough start to form, increase the speed to medium and mix for about 5 to 8 minutes, until dough becomes smooth
  5. Take the dough off on to a floured surface, and knead by hand to form a ball
  6. Place in a covered bowl and leave in a warm place for about 5 hours
  7. The dough will be risen considerably (almost double) if not leave for another hour or two
  8. 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)
  9. 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)
  10. Prepare a loaf tin lined with a parchment paper
  11. Make the chocolate spread
  12. Melt butter and pour over the chopped chocolate
  13. Stir the chocolate and add the sugar
  14. Then add the cocoa powder and mix to a smooth paste. It’s okay to have undissolved chocolate pieces and sugar
  15. Add the salt
  16. Leave aside to cool (as it cools it will become spreadable)
  17. Take the dough on to a floured surface and roll out to a rectangle
  18. About 45 cm by 35 cm( the dough thickness should be no more than 1/2 cm)
  19. Once done, spread the chocolate mixture evenly
  20. Sprinkle the nuts and the cookie crumbs
  21. starting from one end roll the dough tightly length-wise
  22. Using a sharp knife cut the rolled cylinder in half along the length
  23. Now twist the two strands (look at the photos in the post)
  24. Twisting will make it shorter and would fit in the loaf tin
  25. Make sure to have cut sides exposed.
  26. Some nuts and crumbs may fall off, but its okay, you can toss them back in the pan
  27. Once twisted, pack the dough in the loaf tin
  28. Tuck the end bits underneath
  29. Make sure the dough is as evenly as possible spread across the tin
  30. Leave covered in a warm place for about two – three hours for the final rise
  31. The loaf will expand and fill the tin and will look fuller and softer
  32. Preheat the oven to 200 C
  33. Brush the top with egg white and bake in the center rack for 30 minutes
  34. Top should be golden brown
  35. Once done let this cool completely before cutting in as chocolate need setting
  36. Slice with a serrated knife
https://myloveofbaking.com/sourdough-chocolate-babka/
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