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

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.

bulk fermented
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


  • 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)


  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!
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Vegan custard

vegan custard

I tested this recipe just to fill my vegan doughnuts. I have recently become so fond with tofu and trying to incorporate them in to making desserts. I have used tofu in chocolate mousse and in pancakes successfully. So the fact that it’s got a a high percentage of proteins and the no flavor makes them a good candidate in many desserts.

This recipe, makes a smooth, silky custard like cream that you can use to fill doughnuts, drizzle over fruits and spread over chilled deserts. I can eat this by the spoonfuls, it is that yummy.

vegan custard

This has got no eggs, so technically calling this a custard could be misleading. But I was referring to the consistency mostly, when I decided to call it a custard.

I’m using coconut sugar, which is the key ingredient behind the flavor. You can use juggery (rock solid coconut sugar) in-place of coconut sugar. Palm sugar will work too. This gives a nice caramel like flavor and the color. This is far easier than using cane sugar and caramelizing it.

vegan custard
coconut sugar and coconut milk

Next is the coconut milk. Simmering coconut sugar and coconut milk, results in a thick molasses. This syrup has to cool completely. It becomes thicker and stickier when cooled.You simply have to process this with silken tofu to get the custard. It is that easy.

vegan custard
syrup thickens as it cools

Use the firm version of silken tofu which is meant for desserts. Drain the tofu first. Place the slab inside a sieve with a fine mesh and leave for about an hour.

vegan custard
process until smooth

Make this custard a day ahead and chill it for a firmer consistency. And last but not least, the salt is very important as it rounds up the flavor and vanilla is optional, but recommended!

Vegan custard


Servings: 1 1/2 cups

vegan custard


  • 1/2 cups coconut sugar
  • 2 tbsp castor sugar
  • 1/4 cups coconut milk (thick)
  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • 300 g firm silken tofu (drained)
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla/ half a vanilla pod/ 2 drops vanilla paste


  1. In a heavy saucepan, bring coconut sugar, castor sugar and coconut milk to a boil and simmer for a minute, string.
  2. Take off the heat, add coconut oil and mix.
  3. Let cool completely.
  4. Drain the tofu to remove excess water
  5. Process tofu and the above mixture in a food processor until smooth and creamy.
  6. Add a pinch of salt (important)
  7. Add the vanilla in you want then process to mix
  8. Pour into a dish cover with glad wrap and chill several hours or overnight.
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My first attempt at making Sourdough Pretzels

How I prepared for it, what I learnt and what I would do differently next time

sourdough pretzels
sourdough pretzels

I had never ever made pretzels at home before, so thought I should give it a try. In fact I have never made them ever, not even when I was working as a baker. And if you have guessed it already, I am going to use a natural levain or a starter.

I needed a recipe to start with, and also I needed to know the procedure, about the shaping and the infamous lye bath! So I found out on IG that @maurizio has shared a recipe that everyone loved. I am so glad I stumbled upon his IG page and his blog “The perfect loaf“, which is very informative. So I spent a good few minutes reading his blog post on making sourdough pretzels. For the original recipe follow this link!

sourdough pretzels
sourdough pretzels

I did a few changes to the recipe, simply because, I didn’t have few of the ingredients in my pantry. Following are the changes;

I used normal bread flour instead of malted bread flour
I used Rye flour in place of all-purpose flour
I didn’t use Diastatic malt powder
I added 2 tablespoons of organic molasses
I used a solution made out of baking soda in place of lye bath
I used sea salt flakes instead of pretzel salt
Dough was retarded in fridge over night

Except for the above alterations, rest of the process is pretty much similar to the original post. Oh and I halved the recipe, and made 8 pretzels each weighing 100 g(prior to baking)

I had to split the process in to two days, due to time constraints. So I made the dough and shaped the pretzels on day 1 and retarded them in fridge over night, so I can bake them fresh in the morning!

at 6 hour mark
fed starter

I fed my starter in the morning around 6.00 am and by 12.00 noon it has doubled and was fully active and ready to go! I mixed the dough and gave it one fold at one hour mark and let it bulk ferment at room temperature for 4 hours.

dough after the bulk proof

Then I divided the dough in to 100 g pieces and molded then in to tiny tubes. I realized, this isn’t as easy as it sounds. So my molding wan’t perfect. So next-time, I really have to nail this step. And I think I didn’t degas them enough, so I got an air bubble here and there. But other than that, it went pretty well.

pre-shaped dough peices

Then I let them rest and shaped them in to pretzels. Placed them on a tray lined with a silicon mat, wrapped in glad-wrap and in to the fridge they went!

shaped pretzels
shaped pretzels

Next day morning! they were pretty firm to the touch. I took them out, unwrapped and let them sit in the fridge until my water bath boils. Also this is the time to preheat your oven to 475 F (mine is a traditional)

So about the lye bath! I didn’t really want to deal with the lye solution for several reasons. One, I don’t want any accidents in my tiny kitchen. Two didn’t want to store it (we have limited space). Three didn’t have a place to buy that(I could have tried online though). Four, I have heard of the baking soda substitute and was rather curious to try it!

So this is how I made my baking soda solution.

Baked baking soda solution (lye substitute)


Servings: 1 cup


  • 3/4 cup baking soda
  • A baking tray lined with parchment
  • 10 cups water


  1. Preheat oven to 120 C
  2. Spread baking soda on the tray
  3. Place in the preheated oven and bake for about an hour
  4. Let cool
  5. Store in an air tight container
  6. When ready to use, dissolve the baked baking soda in 10 cups of water and bring to a boil
  7. This mixture can now be used to bath the pretzels

Then I simply dipped the pretzels in the above solution, one at a time and placed them on a wire rack to drain excess liquid off. Once done, discarded the baking soda water. Then I transferred the pretzels back on to the lined trays. I placed 4 in each tray.

Next, I slashed the bottom of each pretzel and sprinkled them with sea salt flakes.

They went in to the preheated oven for 10 minutes. At 10 minutes, I rotated the trays(top and bottom) and turned the temperature down to 450 F and gave another 10 minutes. By that time, the pretzels were fully baked and changed their color to a deep brown.

sourdough pretzels
cooling on wire rack

The rest is pretty simple! Let them cool slightly and serve with your favorite dip !

My pretzels were not as soft as I liked them, because of my alterations above. So I need to either find malted flour or malt powder. Or I am thinking of adding all purpose flour instead of Rye and may be to enrich the dough with some milk/milk powder and a pinch of sugar. That is for another day!

Well, I am pretty happy with the color and shape and overall taste. So I will be making several variations in the future and recipes and stories will be shared of course!

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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


    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


  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
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Cherry yogurt cake

Cherry yogurt cake
Cherry yogurt cake

This is something I’v made every cherry season back in Australia. The tradition doesn’t have to change as cherries are in abundance here in the States too. I think I have bought closer to a dozen ponds by now, from various farmers markets here in Seattle and food stores.

They are fresh, juicy and in so many different colors and shapes. Wow! I tried to look up all the varieties but gave it up! I don’t think I will be able to remember all the names 😀 haha. I am especially fond of the sour cherries, may be it’s their color makes them taste better. But I love the sweet and sour notes, that goes really well with bakes.


This cake is a variation of the lemon yogurt cake. Every house-hold or family has their own version of a lemon yogurt cake i guess. It is such a simple one bowl cake batter that can work as a carrier for so many things, like berries, stone fruits, pineapple or just plain as it is with loads of lemon juice. It is usually made into a loaf or mini cakes, drizzled with a thin lemon glaze.

Cherry yogurt cake
Cherry yogurt cake

But I like to make it into a sheet cake, specially when I use cherries. So this will have a nice golden top, crispy edges, and a moist center. The cherries go soft as the cake cooks and taste even better. Some times I think this cake is a mix between a pudding a cake and a torte.

Even though, this is a one bowl cake, its recommended to mix certain ingredients first, just to make your life a little easier. What I normally do is, whisk yogurt and sugar until smooth. And then add eggs followed by oil. Whisk the mixture to emulsify. Add lemon juice and then add the flour. This way the batter doesn’t get lumpy. The batter should be light and at dropping consistency.

batter consistency

If you don’t have self-raising flour, use normal all purpose flour and baking powder ( add 1 1/2 tsp baking powder and 1/2 tsp salt to 1 cup flour )

Coat the cherries before adding them to batter to prevent them from sinking to the bottom. And when folding in cherries, do not over mix as it will break/crush the cherries. We want them in chunks!

flour coated cherries

I bake the cake at 180 C with top and bottom heating. keep an eye on the cake, and let the edges go golden brown. Make sure the center is cooked through.

Cherry yogurt cake
Cherry yogurt cake

This recipe can be doubled or quadrupled. Batter can stay in the refrigerator for up to a week. You can make small individual cakes instead of one large.

Cherry yogurt cake



  • 250 g yogurt
  • 275 g castor sugar
  • 100 g vegetable oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 225 g self raising flour
  • Juice and zest of one lemon
  • 1 cup pitted fresh cherries


  1. Preheat oven to 180C (355F)
  2. Cut then in to halves or quarters
  3. Toss the cherries with some flour to coat
  4. Prepare a 9 by 9 inch heavy cake pan
  5. Whisk yogurt and sugar(with lemon zest) in a large bowl
  6. Add eggs and whist to combine
  7. Add oil and whisk to emulsify (mixture should look like a smoothie)
  8. Add lemon juice
  9. Add the sifted flour in and fold through to create a smooth batter
  10. Fold in the cherries (leave some for the top)
  11. Pour the batter into the pan and place a few cherry pieces on top
  12. Bake for about 40 minutes and check for doneness
  13. Might have to give an extra 5 to 10 minutes depending on the oven and the tin
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Homemade caramel


I am a caramel fan, for sure! And I hate the artificial flavoring that deceive your nostrils and disappoint your taste buds. I have always loved the most authentic version of any food and the way to get that is to make it yourself. This is one of the main reasons, why I learnt to bake and cook my own food. From the most simplest to the most complex.

I have a few caramel recipes I use, depending on the requirement. If your palate is like mine (it is very picky), you will understand the need to have different types of caramels in your food.

I love a pouring caramel on ice cream and stuff, so for that I whip up a simple caramel sauce, by just melting dark brown sugar, cream and butter in a saucepan. I would sometimes add a bit of liquor (rum, brandy or bourbon) This is a quick easy recipe and goes with most desserts. But the main thing this lacks is the distinct deep almost bitter burnt taste, which is what I love. This is why I make the real thing once in a while, when the cravings hit!

Caramel sauce

This caramel can be pre-made and stored for several days, which is very convenient. I used to make this caramel by the gallon, back in the days when I worked as a pastry chef in a small yet sort-after bakery-cafe.

One main issue with caramelizing sugar is the formation of sugar crystals. I used liquid glucose in professional kitchens, but at home, I just go with some lemon juice. But this is optional, all you have to do is, let the sugar and water do its work. If you see sugar catching up the sides of the saucepan, just brush it off with a pastry brush dipped in water.

This recipe can be adjusted to achieve different consistencies.

  • 1 cup cream – caramel sauce good for dipping and pouring
  • 3/4 cup cream – thicker good for spreading
  • 1/2 cup cream – very thick, sets with time, good for tart filling
Thinner while still hot
It starts to thicken up as it cools

Don’t stop there, play with the ratios of cream and butter and you would find a perfect caramel to your liking. Saying that, I have made this without butter and it is still great and rich enough.

So here is the recipe. Go play!

Homemade caramel

dessert, Toppings

Servings: about 1 1/2 cups



  • 1 cup castor sugar
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 3/4 cup cream (adjust cream according to your liking, the lesser the cream, the thicker the caramel)
  • 3 tbsp of butter (optional)
  • few drops of lemon juice/ tsp of liquid glucose/ maple syrup
  • pinch of sea salt (or more for salted caramel)
  • flavor (vanilla/bourbon etc.) optional


  1. Place sugar and water in a heavy saucepan. Add the lemon juice/liquid glucose or maple syrup
  2. Bring to a boil
  3. Stir until most of the sugar dissolves
  4. Brush the sides of the pan with some water to get the clinging sugar particles out
  5. Let this boil on medium-high heat until it starts to color
  6. Once the color starts to show up, gently swirl the sugar syrup to prevent burning
  7. Reduce heat if it is caramelizing too fast
  8. Keep an eye and do not let the caramel go too far
  9. Once it reaches the desired amber color, reduce heat and add cream slowly string with a wooden spoon
  10. It might spit, so be careful and go slow at first and when the sauce settles, add the rest of the cream in one go
  11. Then add the butter if you are adding
  12. Keep string and let this simmer for a couple of minutes
  13. Take off the heat and add salt and any other flavoring, if you desire
  14. Always taste before adding more salt
  15. The sauce is thinner when hot and will get thicker as it cools
  16. Pour in to a glass jar and store away or use as desired
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Sourdough brioche (dairy-free) coconut & matcha

sourdough brioche

I love a good brioche bread. The rich dough is so luscious and silky even to work with. The baked loaf always smells incredible and looks gorgeous with its deep golden crust.

I have made brioche numerous times with different variations. Well I had plenty of time to play with recipes, during my short but sweet bakery career. I used to save the off cuts of danish dough and make flaky brioche loaves.

Just the addition of some eggs, fat and some sugar takes the basic bread dough to whole new level. Brioche are versatile. You can make them in to individual rolls and can be served with any spread. Or use them to make burgers or sliders. Bake it as a loaf and slice it to make incredible french toast. Honestly, I can much it down as is with something as simple as some butter or honey.

sourdough brioche
sourdough brioche

I have been thinking of making a dairy-free version for a long time. I always go towards using coconut products to replace dairy as I am very familiar with flavors and textures that coconut brings to your food. Growing up in the beautiful island of Sri Lanka, coconut was part of our lives. We used several coconuts a week and either grow them r buy them fresh from markets. Even though I don’t have that luxury now, I tend to use coconut as a substitute whenever possible.

Instagram inspires my bakes most of the time!. I borrowed this coconut and matcha idea from @makeitdough. I am glad I tried this combo and couldn’t be happier that it worked both flavor and texture wise. But if you want skip the matcha part altogether and bake this as a coconut loaf or rolls.

sourdough brioche
sourdough brioche

As you can see my plait is not perfect as a result of the white dough having a different constancy. I have mentioned this in the tips section, so you will know exactly how to fix it!

Tip 1:

Use a mild coconut oil if you don’t like the coconut smell or flavor too much. I have used a neutral one which isn’t strong so it doesn’t overpower any other flavors

Tip 2:

Use thick coconut cream/milk not the light version. If you have coconut milk powder, you can use that too. Either add it straight to flour mixture or dissolve in a 1/3 cups of water and use in-place of milk. Make sure to adjust water content depending on what you use. As a general rule of thumb, add water gradually. Coconut oil and milk both help give the crumb a softer texture and keep the loaf moist for longer.
sourdough brioche
soft marbled crumb

Tip 3:

If you are doing the match half, you’ll see after adding matcha powder, the dough becomes slightly tougher to the touch than the other dough half. So add about 4 tbsp of flour to the plain dough to counter balance that. Keep adjusting the consistency until you are satisfied. The two dough pieces should have equal consistency for them to rise evenly. This is not crucial! Don’t worry too much as it will not affect the flavor just the look!
sourdough brioche
braided loaf

Final proof before baking is important. This may take anywhere from couple of hours to several, depending on the room temperature. You can speed this up by placing the dough in a warmer place.

sourdough brioche
final rise

Egg wash is optional but gives a nice shine to the finished product. there are few options:

  • egg white – beat the egg white and brush the tops and sprinkle with sugar or sesame or poppy
  • Egg yolk – dilute an egg yolk with tsp of water and brush the top for a deep golden color, and sprinkle with sugar(optional)
sourdough brioche
golden crust with sugar

Make sure to cool the loaf completely before slicing. This will ensure a clean cut and less drag. And loaf is softer when it’s warm, so might be a little difficult to handle. once completely cooled, it can be stored in a air-tight container at room temperature for up to a day. This can be refrigerated too. Freeze the slices to keep for longer but thaw them before serving, re-heating or toasting.

sourdough brioche

Try the recipe and let me know how it all went. If you have any questions, post them as comments or ask them on Instagram. I’d be happy to help.

Sourdough brioche (dairy-free) coconut & matcha


sourdough brioche


  • 400 g all purpose flour + extra to dust and adjust consistency
  • 3 eggs
  • 200 g active starter
  • 1/3 cups coconut milk
  • 80 g coconut oil
  • 40 g coconut sugar (can use castor sugar too)
  • 10 g salt
  • 5 tbsp (or more to your liking) unsweetened matcha powder


  1. Mix everything except for the matcha powder in a large bowl, using a spatula.
  2. Transfer the mixture in to a bowl of a stand mixture, with a dough hook attached.
  3. Mix on low speed for 5 minutes or until it becomes smooth.
  4. Add a little flour and scrap the sides and keep mixing for another couple of minutes until dough is released from sides.
  5. If you are doing the matcha version, this is the stage to divide the dough in to two equal parts.
  6. Reserve one half in a separate bowl. Add matcha powder to the dough in the mixing bowl, and mix until dough is evenly colored. Once mixed transfer to a separate bowl.
  7. Now mix 3-4 tbsp of flour to the plain dough and mix it for a couple of minutes, until it achieves the same consistency as the matcha dough.
  8. Once done transfer to a bowl.
  9. Cover the two bowls and let it sit at room temperature for 5 hours. Its
  10. Give the dough a fold every two hours to help it get stronger.
  11. Transfer the bowl in to the refrigerator for a long cold bulk proof (this should be several hours at least 8 or overnight)
  12. Take the dough pieces out and let it sit at room temperature until they become pliable, but not too much
  13. You need the dough to be stiff so its easy to handle.
  14. shape the dough however you like.
  15. I have done the braid with four strands (4 over 2, 1 over 3, 2 over 3 and repeat)
  16. You can either make a tin loaf shape or make mini brioche buns or bake the braided loaf straight on a pan.
  17. Let the shaped loaf or rolls rise until almost double in size.
  18. preheat oven to 400 F
  19. Brush with egg wash, sprinkle some sugar and bake for 20 minutes.
  20. If top is too brown, cover the top with a foil.
  21. Reduce temperature to 350 F and bake for a further 20 minutes.
  22. Switch off the oven and let it bake for an extra 10 minutes to dry off.
  23. Let it cool in the pan for a few minutes and then cool the loaf on a wire rack.
  24. Slice once completely cooled.
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Sourdough doughnuts


That title may sound odd to some of you, but I can guarantee that the end results are always yummy. Yes! it is possible to make your favorite doughnuts using natural yeast.

If you have already mastered making sourdough bread, then this process will be familiar to you. But if this is your first time, worry not! I will walk you through the whole process every step of the way. Come along!

chocolate (malt) doughnuts

As a first step, we need to get the starter ready! So if you want to know more about the starter and how to get it ready, I have written a whole post dedicated to that single topic. A bubbly active starter is the key to a fluffier doughnut.

So feed your starer at least 6 hours prior to using and have it ready. It should be at it’s peak. If you think your starter has depleted, feed it half the normal portion and let it get activated.

Making the dough is easier than one would imagine. I use this straight forward method as it is easy to remember and require less time. Weight all the ingredients into the same bowl. Give it a good mix using a spatula. Then transfer to the mixer fitted with a dough hook. This helps bring ingredients together easily without having to stop and scrape your mixer bowl several times. Then let the mixer do all the hard work.

Mixing the dough till the right stage is important. First let the mixer run for about 5-8 minutes on slow speed. If the dough is tough, add a teaspoon of milk at a time and get it to the right consistency. The dough should be loose and easy to mix but not runny. Initially the dough will be stickier. This is okay. As you mix, the stickiness will disappear and the dough will start to look shiny and smooth. At this stage let the dough rest for a couple of minutes and then mix on medium- high speed for about two minutes. Scrape the sides and dust the sides with flour as you go. The dough will be much manageable now and it will start to come together and off the sides of the bowl. At this stage, remove the dough to a floured surface and knead by hand. Use flour to stop it from sticking to your hands or the bench. Form the dough into a smooth dough ball.

dough after 5 hours

Now the dough is ready to be proofed. Place in a large glass or plastic container, cover and let it sit until doubled in size. This can take 5 to 8 hours depending on the room temperature. Leave in a warm place to speed up the process.

The longer it takes the intense the flavor gets. If you don’t like the sour taste in your doughnuts, speed up the process. the sour taste isn’t very pungent, it is very subtle and almost like an after taste, mostly pleasant when paired with a sweet filling.

a sweet filling…like this

Once doubled in size, de-gas the dough (punch it down to release most of the air) and form in to a ball again and place in the same container. Cover tightly and place in the fridge for the retardation process. This will develop flavor and also a good way to time your final product. If you want to make the doughnuts on the same day, then leave the dough outside and let is double in size again.


Shaping doughnuts is easy. Take the proofed dough on to a floured surface. This time, do not punch the air out, but slowly flatten the dough. Use a rolling pin and dust the dough with flour to stop it from sticking. The dough should be of at least 3/4 of an inch in thickness. Cut out doughnuts using a round cookie cutter. (Use a thin drinking glass if you don’t have a cookie cutter/ or anything that does the job works fine). You can even cut them in to square shapes too.

Too much thickness will destroy the shape and it won’t sit flat once proofed. If you roll out too thin, then the doughnuts will be flat and we won’t be able to handle them or fill them with tasty filling.

a plump doughnut can be filled easily

Line a baking tray/cookie sheet with baking paper. Dust the paper with a light coating of flour. Place the cut out doughnuts on the trays wide apart. Leave about half an inch gap all around as they will expand.

doughnuts ready for final proof

Now cover the trays with a cling warp/plastic and leave aside until the doughnuts have doubled in size. They will look plump and wobbly, so you will know when they are ready. Keep an eye, as they might over proof.

Do not throw away any left-over dough. Simply kneed them together, wrap and leave for 15 minutes to rest. Roll out again and cut more doughnuts or make small balls which can be fried into bomboloni later.

Ready to be fried

Fry the doughnut in moderate-hot oil. I don’t measure temperature usually. Instead use some left over dough to test the oil. If the dough browns too quickly or you get lots of bubbles and splashing, the oil is too hot. It should take about half a minute for the dough to turn golden. So half a minute each side and the doughnut will be cooked. A cooked through doughnut is light and when you tap slightly, will sound hollow.

Fried doughnuts

You can use, vegetable, canola, sunflower, grape seed or even coconut oil to fry these.

When the doughnuts are cooked, let them rest on a paper towel for a few seconds and then roll out on cinnamon sugar. Be creative. I sometimes use just sugar, or mix chocolate malt powder with sugar (like these ones in the picture) or use other spices like cardamom, cloves etc. They can be plain too, if you want to glaze them or dip them in chocolate.

Filled with ganache

Fill the doughnuts with any filling. Jam, custard, lemon curd, nutella, ganache, caramel, pretty much anything works!

Filled with custard and strawberry jam

I have used a chocolate ganache mixed with chocolate malt powder. Simply add 1/4 cup malt powder(oveltin) to the cream once boiled (250 g cream to 250 g dark chocolate)I used a bitter sweet dark chocolate (62% cocoa) and this gives a nice deep rich chocolate intensity. Add a table spoon of honey to balance out the bitterness if you like.

chocolate ganache with malt powder
Sourdough doughnuts

dessert, snacks



  • 400 g flour (all purpose or half bread flour)
  • 10 g salt
  • 2 eggs + 1 yolk
  • 110 g castor sugar
  • 3 tablespoons of butter melted
  • 200 ml full fat milk
  • a drop of vanilla (optional)
  • 200 g starter


  1. Weigh the ingredients in to a bowl
  2. Mix with a spatula until just mixed and everything sticks together
  3. Transfer to a stand mixer OR kneed by hand
  4. Mix for 5 minutes in the mixer on low speed (10 minutes or more by hand)
  5. Let rest for a 5 minutes
  6. Mix on medium-high speed for a couple of minutes
  7. Scrap the sides, and use extra flour to help dough come away from the bowl
  8. If doing this by hand, keep stretching and folding until dough is smooth (use extra flour to dust)
  9. Form a dough ball, cover and let double in size.
  10. Once doubled, punch down and form into a ball again.
  11. Retard in a refrigerator over-night or several hours until doubled in size
  12. Or let it rise again at room temperature (r in a warm place) until doubled, if you don’t want to retard
  13. Prepare trays lined with baking paper, dusted with flour
  14. Once ready, flatten dough on a floured surface and cut out doughnuts (any shape you like)
  15. Use leftover dough to make more doughnuts or bomboloni
  16. Place on a prepared tray leaving space around them
  17. Let the doughnuts rise (almost double their size)
  18. Heat the oil to moderate-high temperature (test oil with a dough piece)
  19. Fry the doughnuts until golden brown (roughly about half a minute each-side)
  20. Drain and roll out on sugar if you are doing so or leave them until cool enough to glaze
  21. Fill the doughnuts as desired
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Whole wheat sourdough bread

whole wheat sourdough
Whole wheat sourdough

Making whole wheat sourdough is a challenge. It is not difficult, but it requires some extra attention and tricks to make the bread light and airy. Whole wheat flour has less gluten than the white flour. This is the main reason for whole wheat bread to be dense and not pleasurable to eat some times.

But we can overcome this, by simply following few extra steps in the bread making process. A slight change in the recipe could also help maximizing the bloom. Lets see what they are.

whole wheat sourdough
whole wheat sourdough

First on to the tips:

If the whole wheat percentage in the recipe, is anywhere between 100% – 80%, these tips can help you get strength in the crumb and thus help trap air while proofing, which in-turn will help the bread to expand in the oven with ease.

Tip 1

Use a higher percentage of water. I find this easier to handle the dough as whole wheat is hi-gyroscopic. A tough dough will inhibit blooming and oven spring. More water means a softer dough which could be worked to develop gluten.

Tip 2:

Autolyze the dough. It is important to not add the starter until the very end of autolyzing process. This will give you more control over how your bread is proofed. Autolyze is the word used to describe the simple process of , mixing the flour and water(usually a larger percentage) and letting it sit for an extended period of time. This process helps develop maximum strength of gluten. At the end of the autolyze, add the starter and move on to kneading.

Tip 3:

Give the dough some extra kneading. Kneading help strengthen the gluten too. Since our whole wheat has less gluten, we need all the strength we can get out of those gluten.

Tip 4:

Give extra folds. On the same note as kneading, give one or two extra folds while the dough ferments. When doing this, try to stretch the dough on a surface and fold it back so that this will give maximum strength to the gluten strands.

Key is to develop more gluten and to strengthen that gluten as much as possible so we get that nice airy crumb.

whole wheat sourdough

It is always a good idea to add something glutenous to the recipe in addition to the above steps. even a 10% of white flour makes a big difference in strengthening the crumb, without affecting the taste and texture of the whole wheat bread.

whole wheat sourdough
50% whole wheat crumb

I find adding the following help give more body to the bread

  • chia seeds – 2 table spoons per loaf
  • ground linseed – 1/4 cup per loaf
  • psyllium husk – 1 – 2 teaspoon per loaf

I love to experiment with adding these extras to breads and there can be several other great ways to make your whole wheat loaf a success. I am still in the process of finding possibilities and feel free to comment if you know a way to achieve this or simply share your tips and tricks!

Following is a whole wheat recipes I bake often.

Whole wheat sourdough bread



    for the stater:
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon culture
    for the bread:
  • 250 g white bread flour
  • 250 g whole wheat flour (red or white)
  • 10 g salt
  • 15 g oil (of your choice)
  • 300 g + 50 g water
  • 1 cup of above starter (about 200 g)


    To make the starter (at least 6 hours prior to making bread/preferably previous night)
  1. Use a clean jar
  2. mix flour and water until it resembles porridge. Add the culture, mix well again and loosely cover
  3. set aside until ready.
    For the bread
  1. In a large plastic container weigh the flours.
  2. In a separate container weigh the water and oil.
  3. Add wet ingredients into the flour mix. Incorporate well.
  4. Let it sit for about an hour/two.
  5. Then add the salt and starter and mix until combined and knead for about a minute of two and let rest for 10 minutes
  6. Then give another kneading for about 5 minutes. Kneading should involve stretching and folding action. With every stretch and pull, you are making the gluten stronger.
  7. Leave aside for another 10 minutes
  8. Repeat this process three more times
  9. You would notice the dough changes every time. It will become less sticky and much easier to work with. You will also notice it is a lot more “elasticy” now.
  10. At this point its ready for bulk fermentation.
  11. Cover the container and place in a warm draft free place. I usually use my oven (turned off of-course :D) for this. Place a cup of steaming water in the oven to make the environment warm and moist. Or your can use a big plastic tub with lid on or even one of your kitchen cupboards.
  12. After 45 minutes, we will give the sough a fold. So take the container out. With wet hands, stretch and fold and tuck the dough from all four sides like you are wrapping something with it. The idea is to strengthen the gluten even more. Then leave it just as before for another 45 minutes.
  13. Repeat the folding twice more and now its time for the final bulk fermentation
  14. This will depend on your starter activity, room temperature, humidity. So check your dough every 30 minutes. What we are looking for is the dough to have bulked in side and possibly with some few visible air pockets. Usually it will be ready in about 1.5 hours to 2 hours
  15. Its time to shape the loaf now.
  16. Remove the dough on to a lightly dusted surface. Fold it to make a big dough ball. This will be bouncy. This folding and shaping will remove some air but not all of it.
  17. Leave it covered for about 10 minutes to relax.
  18. Then it is ready for the final shaping. Follow some videos to learn how to do the final shaping. Punch some air out first, then stretch and fold to center to make a cob shape which is the easiest.
  19. Place in a proofing basket or in any container. Make sure to lay a flour dusted tea towel or flour the basket well.
  20. Cover it completely and place in the fridge. The bread will now go in to a slow prove/bloom overnight. It will be ready for the oven in the morning
  21. On the following day,place the oven rack in the center and preheat the oven to 260 °C/ 500 °F.
  22. If you have a pizza stone, a ceramic tile, cast iron skillet or a dutch oven, place it in while the oven heats up. Place another deep tray at the bottom most rack of the oven and fill it with boiling water. This will produce steam.
  23. Check if your bread has risen. If you think it need some more time, you can pull it out and leave out for about half an hour or so. You can test this by gently poking the dough with a finger and if it springs back but not all the way back, it is ready.
  24. Once the oven is hot enough, slash the bread and place it in the oven. Bake for 20 minutes. And then take the tray of water out, bring the oven temperature down to 230 °C/ 450 °F and bake for a further 20 minutes
  25. Once the bread is done, remove it from the oven and let it cool on a wire rack.
  26. Once the bread cools down, you can slice it with a serrated knife.
  27. If you want to preserve, slice the loaf, store in an air tight container and freeze.

Another one of my favorite whole wheat recipes is the 90% whole wheat one with 90% hydration. For this simply use 200 g whole white wheat flour, 200 g whole red wheat flour, 100 g of white bread flour. Use the same amount of oil, salt and starter weights as above. Use 400 g of water and autolyze the dough for two hours.

Following photo shows how the bread looks followed by the crumb shot. Incredibly soft crumb for a whole wheat loaf. The crumb is very gelatinous due to the higher water percentage and this stays fresh for longer.

whole wheat sourdough
90% whole wheat
whole wheat sourdough
the crumb
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Tackling croissants at home


I love all things that come out of an oven. But, I have a thing for bread that makes me feel alive every time I watch them bloom. If there is anything that comes close to that feeling, it has got to be laminating pastry.

I still remember the first day I tackled croissants at home and even though they weren’t perfect, I felt truly accomplished. I had little to NO knowledge about pastry or bread whatsoever and boy! I never thought I’d do it for a living, just a year later. Life never stops surprising me !

My first attempt 4 years ago

Quitting my job and getting myself enrolled in the pastry school was the boldest decision I took in my life. But it paid off at the end, in 10 folds. After three years of dedication, pastry school and two very satisfying jobs, I have no regrets.

Making french pastry was particularly one of my favorite jobs. I was lucky to have gotten the chance to work along-side passionate and skillful people. I learnt countless things and mastered certain techniques to the point that I could almost do them with my eyes closed.

The most important lesson I learnt, is that following a recipe is one thing and knowing what you do is another. So if anyone out there attempting to make croissants or any laminated dough at home, I hope, these tips would help in some way.


Choosing butter:
The flavor of the croissants depends heavily on the butter being used. The better the butter, the tastier the pastry. So use a good quality butter.

Making the butter slab:
Decide which recipe you are going to follow. Measure the amount of butter. If you are using salted butter, leave the salt out! Some recipes call for flour, some don’t. This is up to you. In the winter, I’d leave the flour out. Let butter sit in room temperature for about 5-10 minutes so it is workable. If butter has gone too soft, place it back in fridge until desired texture is achieved. It’s important that the butter stays cool to tough all the while you work with it! Use a mixer if you are incorporating flour. Bring all the butter to a single pile (if you are using several sticks). Place the butter between two plastic sheets and flatten to achieve the square shape and 1/8th of an inch thickness. place back in fridge to set.

You can use either fresh yeast, if you can find that or instant yeast. The conversion ratio of fresh to dry/active is 2:1 . Make sure the yeast is not expired and had been stored under correct conditions. These factors matter a lot towards getting the perfect rise to the dough. Test the yeast if you are not sure by doing the following test; Take half a cup of water and dissolve a pinch of sugar. Then mix in the yeast (measured amount) and let sit in a warm, draft free place for about 10 – 15 minutes. You will see bubbles and form, if the yeast is activated. You can use this as is but reduce the amount of water in the recipe.

Making the dough:
The ideal dough should be pliable. Mix the ingredients on slow speed until everything comes together and if the dough is too tough, add some water. Mix for a couple of minutes or knead by hand. The dough should not have any lumps and it should be even, smooth and got a bit of elasticity. make sure it is soft enough, to roll by hand. If it is too soft, butter will try slide and not spread evenly. So it is important to get this right at this stage. Let the dough rest in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. This will do three things;
– relax gluten so it will be easier to roll out without shrinking back
– harden the dough so it is easier to handle
– cools the dough so butter won’t melt away

Wrapping the butter in the dough is the first step. First let the butter slab softens bit. The butter and the dough should have the same softness to start rolling. Find a method that you like, to laminate. There are several articles on-line, so I will skip explaining different methods. What is important is keeping track of the folds you did. Make an indent in the dough itself or write it down as you go. Always remember to make sure the dough remains cool. So what I do is, place it in the fridge as often and as long as it is needed. some times I chill the dough in between two turns of the same fold. Because, we use rolling pins at home and the rolling is harder and takes time, so the dough tend to get warmer and butter would start to melt. Usually on a warm day, it takes several hours for me to do 2 book folds. Once the lamination is done, chill the dough for an extended period of time before rolling out to cut shapes.

Rolling out and cutting:
While rolling out, if you feel it is shrinking back, place the half rolled dough in the fridge and roll out again in 15 minutes. If the dough is too big, cut the dough in half and roll out each half separately. Apply even pressure when rolling out, do not try to force the dough to stretch. The final dough sheet should be about half a centimeter thick. This is again up to you, the rule is;
– too thin, croissant will be skinnier
– too thick, croissant will expand unevenly and interior may not be cooked, and it is harder to roll.
when cutting:
Use a cardboard mold to cut out even rectangular shapes. Or use a ruler and eyeball the shape.
Try shaping one croissant before moving on to cutting the rest.

Once the croissants are shaped, you can freeze these. Spread out the raw croissants on a tray and place in the freezer for about an hour to harden them. Then you can pack them closer, and wrap with plastic. Make sure they are air tight or else the croissants will get freezer burnt!

packed to be frozen

When you want to bake the frozen ones; take the croissants out of the freezer and place on a lined tray and bring them to room temperature.
Make sure to leave enough room to croissants to grow.
Then these need to proof. There are a couple of ways to do this;
– cover with plastic and leave on the bench top. This might take a longer time, depending on the room temperature
– place in a closed environment(oven, microwave oven, plastic tub) with a cup of boiling water. This is the fastest way.

Size difference when proofed

When they are doubled in size, they are ready. They will be wobbly and very fragile. Do not try to handle them at this point.
Preheat the oven to 200 C.
Make an egg wash, with two egg yolks and a teaspoon of water.
Gently brush the croissants with light layer of egg wash using a soft pastry brush.
Do not let egg wash drip to the sides. These will burn in the oven.
Even application of egg wash gives even color.
Place the croissants in the preheated oven and bake for 15 minutes and reduce temperature to 180 C and bake for a further 10 – 15 minutes or until golden brown in color.
If the croissants are stuck together or touching the sides, you can separate them and turn them at the half-way mark. (when you bring the temperature down). This will ensure even cooking and coloring.

Once done, cool on a wire rack and serve.

a light and even egg wash

If you have left over croissants, they can be used in many ways. Wrap them in plastic and leave at room temperature for up to a day or refrigerate to keep for up to a week.

  • Reheat in the oven for 5 minutes to freshen up and server with a spread
  • use them to make ham and cheese toasties
  • make almond croissants
  • make bread and butter pudding. (simply replace bread with croissants)

If you want to keep them for longer, place in a airtight container and freeze up to several weeks.

almond croissants
Almond croissants

My favorite is almond croissants. For this you need some custard, almond cream, a bit of sugar syrup(optional) and almond flakes. Here is how to make them;

  • Preheat oven to 180 C.
  • Move the oven rack one position above the center. This prevents the bottom from burning while the top bakes.
  • If frozen, bring croissants to room temperature.
  • Split open the stale croissant in half , length wise.
  • Brush with a little sugar syrup. (sugar syrup:1 part water to 1 part sugar and bring to boil and let cool)
  • Fill the center with a generous amount of custard.
  • Sandwich the two halves.
  • Spread a thin layer of almond cream on top and roll over almond flakes.
  • Place on a baking tray. (use two trays or line with two layers of baking paper to stop bottom from catching/burning)
  • Bake for about 15 minutes, until almond cream and flakes show color.
  • Cool on a wire rack before serving.

And there you go!

If you have got any more leftovers, freeze them and turn them in to ‘pudding’. Use any bread and butter pudding and replace the bread with croissants. I usually split the croissants in half, length wise and count one half to be a slice of bread.

bread and butter pudding with croissants
‘Bread and butter pudding’ with croissants
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