Once Upon a time: Cooking … Baking … Traveling … Laughing …

BBB logo November 2015



This month’s bread is visually stunning, looks fancy and like it could be fussy.  But it’s not … fussy that is.

Lien, our Kitchen of the Month for November, introduced this bread as savory.  I changed around Lien’s suggested filling slightly but the lamb sounded good and I’m always in for savory.  We really really enjoyed this over several days, for breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner.  I would absolutely bake this again just as I’ve written it below.  I would absolutely recommend you get in the kitchen and bake it too.

Russian Chrysanthemum Bread

Recipe By: Lien:  adapted from:
Yield: one large round loaf; or two smaller

350 grams bread flour
100 grams sprouted wheat flour
50 grams white whole wheat flour
7 grams dry instant yeast
20 grams ground flax seed
20 grams chia seeds
125 ml milk, lukewarm
125 yogurt
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 egg
90 ml olive oil
GLAZE, I omitted this
1 TBsp milk
1 egg yolk
Equipment Needed
1 round cookie cutter 2 1/2 inches in diameter
large shallow pie dish 28 cm in diameter
450 grams lamb ground, sauted
½ red pepper, seeds removed, chopped fine
1 poblano chile, chopped fine
3 garlic clove, chopped
1 red onion, chopped fine
1 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
½ teaspoon all spice
½ teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon smoked paprika powder
1 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon ground coriander seeds
80 grams grated smoked gruyere cheese, grated for topping/garnish
water, to give moisture or tomato sauce


1. DOUGH I omitted sugar called for in Lein’s recipe and mixed yeast and salt with the flours, flax and chia seeds.  I mixed yogurt, egg and oil together.  Then I mixed the dry ingredients with the wet.  Knead into a supple dough.

2. Shape into a ball and let rest in a lightly greased bowl, covered with plastic foil. Let the dough rise for about an hour or until doubled.

3. FILLING I made this several days before baking.
Glaze the chopped onion and garlic in a frying pan. Leave to cool.
Mix the ingredients except the cheese for the filling well. Set aside.

4. SHAPE & FINAL RISE Lightly grease your pie dish.
Work with about ⅓ of the dough at the time.  I didn’t read this and divided the dough in half; really divide in 3 parts would work much better.

Roll it out to a thickness of about 3 mm. Cut out rounds with a cookie cutter.
Place 1 tablespoon of filling on each round and sprinkle with some cheese. Fold the circle in half, and fold the two point together. It now looks like a petal.

Place in the pie dish, starting around the border with the point of the petal facing to the center. Repeat until there is just  a little space left in the middle. Make three slightly smaller circles, fill and fold as the others and place them in the middle. Cover with lightly greased plastic  or foil and leave to rest and rise for about 45 minutes.

5. BAKE Preheat the oven to 180ºC  (356°F)

Whisk egg yolk and milk for the glaze and brush the bread with it. I sprayed mine with water.
Place the bread in the oven on a rack and bake for 25 minutes.
Lower the temperature to 170ºC (340°F) and bake for another 10-15 minutes until golden.
When the loaf is done, take it out of the oven and the tin, place on a wire rack and brush with some melted butter. Let cool or eat warm.



Divide dough into three parts for easier handling.

Recipe makes enough dough for more than one 8 inch pie plate or perhaps I rolled my dough too thin.

Place small round baking dish in center if a dip is desired.


Sometimes stunning can seem like a limit.  By that I mean, at least for me, when Lien introduced this as savory for some reason all I could think of was a meat filling (even though she suggested a bean filling as a meat substitute idea).  Now, that I’ve baked this I’m struck with how fabulous these little pull apart bites are and how incredibly versatile this bread could be.  Perhaps it started when Karen put up her Pizza Chrysanthemum Bread.


Now, I have a constant running loop of “fillings” for this bread and they are not all savory: Peanut Butter & Jelly;  Garlic Butter;  Pepperoni Pizza;  Chicken Enchilada;  Refried Black Bean & Salsa;  Cinnamon Sugar;  Chocolate Chip with Peanut Butter;  …  and with the holidays coming up how about some traditionals like Mince Meat;  Pumpkin Pie; … well let’s just go with Pie as in Apple Pie …  Are you catching my drift?  This is a stunning shape for a bread.  The small bite size makes it perfect for so many different meals and snacks, it’s absolutely a natural for a party of any sort.


Yes, we really did have it for breakfast.  Much better than an egg mcmuffin.

Go BAKE, Be a BUDDY.  Tell me you love me … well, just tell me you love BREAD will be good.

As Lien says it:  Become our Bread Baking Buddy, bake, blog, post, tell us about it and you’ll be added to the round up post on my blog (begin of December) ánd you’ll receive the Bread Baking Buddy Badge that you can add to your post if you want. So get baking and sent you details to notitievanlien (at) gmail (dot) com. Subject: BBBuddy. Deadline is the 29th of November. Have fun baking!



BBB ~ Whole Wheat Tangzhong Bread

Bread … just flour, water, yeast … then maybe salt, butter, an egg … maybe nothing more, maybe just a tiny more … but good grief how as much as we love it and crave it; the variety using the same basics is overwhelming and awe inspiring.


This month Karen K (Karen’s Kitchen Stories) in her debut as a BBB is bringing us a most interesting bread.  Tangzhong Bread (aka Japanese Milk Bread, aka Hokkaido Milk Toast).  The recipe is based on the book 65 degrees C by Yvonne Chen, and adapted by Christine Ho.  You will find several versions of this bread on Karen’s site but with this BBB bake she went with a whole wheat version and that of course really warms my soul.  The bread uses a Tangzhong, a concoction of cooked flour and water that is cooked to 65 degrees C or 149 degrees F.  Sounds pretty much like a roux if you ask me.  If  you don’t have an instant read thermometer cook, don’t even pretend you can make do without it, you need one.

After I’d made the Tangzhong and it was cooling, I started thinking I should really try this baked in my Pullman loaf pan but too bad it wasn’t going to make enough dough to fill my long pan.

READ, I’ll never learn.
It says clearly “makes enough for two loaves”.

I had the final dough ingredients all measured. Luckily for some strange reason I had left the bowl on the scale and tared it out because when I poured the Tangzhong into the bowl it measured 200 grams.  The recipe only called for 100 grams.  Woops.  I was setting up for a mis-measure disaster or total genius.  200 grams of Tangzhong = 2 loaves: That should be enough dough to fill the Pullman pan.  So, I quick like measured all ingredients for another loaf … well except no more sugar, no more butter and no more than the 30 grams of flax seed that I had already added.  I am overjoyed with this bread in a Pullman loaf pan both with and without the lid.


I know one bread baker who says that even bad bread makes good toast and thinks very poorly of toast.  I on the other hand have a very high opinion of toast.  I’ll agree that many times less than great bread makes pretty good toast BUT I find there is a toast continuum as there is with almost anything.  While this bread is marvelous for sandwiches of all sorts, this bread maybe the ultimate toast.  This bread maybe the very definition of toast!

And now if you’re up for my dirty little secret:  While I do finally begin to see that Gorn has really begun to appreciate, taste and even differentiate really good bread from the factory stuff (see how polite I’m being not labeling it “library paste”), he still craves his childhood baloney on white bread.  In his childhood it was WonderBread; today in Michigan it’s there’s … drum roll please … Hillbilly Bread.  I kid you not, it is labeled Hillbilly Bread.  He got one of his cravings the week before I baked this bread.  His Hillbilly was gone when I baked this but there was still baloney.  This bread is the only bread I’ve ever baked that fit’s his craving.  Light and fluffy, awesome.  With that in mind, I think this might be the first bread I bake that my 7 y/o grandson will like.


50 grams bread flour
240 water
110 grams milk
45 grams whisked eggs (about one large egg)
100 grams Tangzhong (half of above) unless of course like me you have that large pullman pan
40 grams sugar (optional: I left out)
5 grams salt
200 grams bread flour
150 grams whole wheat flour
6 grams instant yeast
40 grams unsalted butter, room temperature and cut into pieces

Tangzhong mixture (makes enough for two loaves)
Mix the flour and water together until there aren’t any lumps.
Cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens and registers 149 degrees F or 65 degrees C. If you don’t have a thermometer, then yes, you really need to get one. Llook for lines in the mixture made by your spoon as your stir. Remove from the heat immediately when it reaches 149°.
Scrape the mixture into a bowl, and cover with plastic wrap, pressing it onto the surface of the tangzhong.  Covering the mixture surface eliminates evaporation.  Let it cool, and then refrigerate it for several hours.  I did not refrigerate either time I baked this.

Bring it back to room temperature when you are ready to use it. Or just let it cool to room temp before using it as I did.
This will last a couple of days. If it starts to turn gray, toss it.

Makes one loaf, and is easily doubled Add all of the ingredients except the butter to the bowl of a stand mixer. You can also mix by hand or bread machine.

Mix the ingredients until they form a dough. Add the butter, one tablespoon at a time, until incorporated. Knead until the dough becomes very elastic. More is better.

Place the dough into an oiled bowl, cover, and let rise until doubled, about 40 minutes. I’m sure it could cold ferment overnight, but haven’t done it.


Divide the dough into 3 or four equal pieces and form each piece into a ball.
IMG_9798With a rolling pin, roll each ball into a 10 inch long oval. Fold the oval into thirds, widthwise, like an envelope. Turn the envelope so that the short side is facing you, and roll it into a 10 to 12 inch length.
Roll that piece like a cinnamon roll, with the folded sides on the inside, and place the piece in an oiled bread pan, seam side down.
IMG_9801Repeat with the other pieces, placing them next to each other. IMG_9802Those words “Roll that piece like a cinnamon roll” should tell you this is just begging for a filling!  I had elaborate plans for my second bake (brown sugar butter, cinnamon brown sugar + dried blue berries, etc.) but things consipired against me.  But just think about it.  If you do one loaf, you can have 3 or 4 rollings going into one loaf.  Each one of those rollings gives you the opportunity to leave it as is – just beautifully light fluffy bread – OR put in a filling.  I leave it to your imagination.
Cover and let rise for about 40 minutes, until about 4/5  the height of the bread pan.

Baked in Pullman pan lid off

Baked in Pullman pan lid off

Bake in a 175 degree C/ 350 degree F oven for 30 to 35 minutes. Transfer the loaf from the pan to a wire rack and let cool completely.
Pullman pan with & without lid took 40 minutes.

Baked in Pullman Pan lid on, this is the side. I love those snails swirling.

Baked in Pullman Pan lid on, this is the side. I love those snails swirling.

I baked it with the lid on first and we loved the bread.

Served it one night with  a French Cassoulet.  Delightfully tight but light and fluffy crumb.

Served it one night with a French Cassoulet. Delightfully tight but light and fluffy crumb.

But it made me wonder what the crumb would be like if I baked without the lid.

Maybe the crumb was slightly more open baked with the lid off but it wasn't a great difference.

Maybe the crumb was slightly more open baked with the lid off but it wasn’t a great difference.

What did you say?  Well, of course you want a slice … oh well, yes a loaf would be better.  That’s a great idea.  Just get in that kitchen and bake it!  Then pop over to Karen’s Kitchen and get the details on how to be a Bread Baking Buddy this month.

This is lovely bread.  You’ll want to check out all the Babes baking this month, we are a most creative bunch.

BBB logo July 2015


BBB ~ Power Bread

Is “I’m on the road, over the water and now in Paris” a reason for posting late when I baked the bread two weeks ago for being late? No you say! Well, it’s the only one I’ve got. As much as we enjoyed this bread Judy (Gross Eats) I must make this short and sweet as tomorrow morning we are off onto a new adventure.
BBB logo July 2015
Judy, our new Babe, jumped right in an took the first available open slot for Kitchen of the Month. A bread book that had gotten my attention and Judy’s.  I’ve baked the Brioche, all whole wheat healthy … well butter is healthy too, yes.   Judy looked at several breads before settling on POWER BREAD. It is packed with goodness, health and flavor. Great flavor and an “oh, it’s it ready to come out of the oven YET!” aroma. Then. “NO, you can’t cut it until it’s cooled.” wait.

Let us be clear here. This takes 3 (ok 4 if you don’t read well). BUT, day one and two take a total of maybe 20 minutes. Why did it take me four days, because realized the third day when I went to mix the biga, I should/could have made it the second day with the soaker in seperate bowls, it didn’t need separate days. Reading, yes, that would be a good thing to do. When I worked in the hospital and went into child’s room to give a pill, even an aspirin, there was a check list to go through ~ right name, right medicine, right dose, right time ~ I should do that with each ingredient in a recipe list … I added yeast in the honey amount in grams … yes I did. But, in the hospital it really mattered that I follow that check list … this bread, ha, not so much. Maybe it needed that extra boost in my kitchen.

No, I didn’t add extra flax seed. The recipe supplied all I needed in this one.

Power Bread

Judy(Gross Eats) from Peter Reinhart’s “Whole Grain Breads”

71 g raisins
14 g flaxseeds
170 g water
All of pre-soaker
170 g whole wheat
14 g oat bran
4 g salt
170 g  white whole wheat flour
1 g instant yeast
142 g buttermilk, at room temp
Final dough
All of soaker (at room temp)
All of biga (at room temp)
56.5 g sunflower seeds, ground into a flour
56.5 g white whole wheat flour
28.5 g sesame seeds, whole
4 g salt
7 g instant yeast  plus in my case
21 g agave syrup

The pumpkin seeds were beautiful on top.

The pumpkin seeds were beautiful on top.


Day One: Pre-soaker
Mix all pre-soaker ingredients together in a small bowl, cover, and let sit at room temp for 8-24 hours.

Day Two: Soaker
Puree the pre-soaker in a blender, and mix with the remaining soaker ingredients in a medium bowl. Stir for about a minute, until everything is thoroughly combined and it forms a ball. Cover the bowl and leave at room temp for 12-24 hours (or, refrigerate it for up to 3 days, but let sit at room temp for 2 hours before mixing the final dough). Go ahead and make the biga now.

Day Two: Biga
Mix all of the biga ingredients together in a large bowl. Wet your hands, and knead for 2 min. Then let it rest for 5 min and knead again for 1 min. Transfer the dough to a clean bowl, cover, and refrigerate for 8 hours to 3 days. Two hours before you’re ready to mix the final dough, let the biga sit at room temp for 2 hours.

Day Three: Final dough
Cut the soaker and the biga into 12 pieces each. Grind the sunflower seeds into flour in a blender, food processor, or spice grinder (gently pulse or it will turn into sunflower seed butter, not flour).
Mix ground seeds with remaining ingredients, including the soaker and biga pieces.
Knead the mixture with wet hands for 2 min, or until everything is thoroughly mixed. Dough should be slightly sticky; if it’s very tacky, add more flour; if it’s very dry and not sticky, add more water.

(If using a stand mixer, put the pre-dough pieces and all of the other ingredients except the extra flour into the mixer with the paddle attachment or dough hook. Mix on slow speed for 1 minute to bring the ingredients together into a ball. Switch to the dough hook and mix on medium-low speed, occasionally scraping down the bowl, for 2-3 minutes, until the pre-doughs become cohesive and combined. Add more flour or water as needed until the dough is soft and slightly sticky.)

Dust your counter (or whatever you’re using) with flour, and roll the dough around in it.
Knead it for 3-4 min. Let the dough rest for 5 min, and then knead for another minute. At this point your dough should pass the windowpane test. If not, knead more until it can pass the test.

Then form your dough into a ball, place it into a lightly oiled bowl, roll it around in the oil, and let it sit covered at room temp for 45-60 min (until it’s about 1.5 times its original size).

Lightly flour your counter again, and form your dough into either a loaf shape or rolls. Put the loaf-shaped dough into a lightly oiled 8.5″ x 4″ loaf pan, cover loosely with plastic wrap, and let it sit at room temp for 45-60 min (until it’s 1.5 times its original size). Or, if making rolls, place them on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper or a silicon mat. I want to make this as rolls

Preheat the oven and a steam pan (an empty metal pan on the bottom oven rack) to 425°. Put bread in the oven, pour 1 cup hot water into steam pan, and reduce oven temp to 350°. Bake for 20 min. Then remove steam pan, rotate bread 180°, and bake for another 20-30 min, or until loaf or rolls are brown, have an internal temp of at least 195°, and have a hollow sound when thumped on the bottom. Remove the bread from the pan and let cool completely (at least 1 hour) before serving.


Want to be a Bread Baking Buddy and bake along with us! Oh please do, I think you’ll be pleased.  Check Judy’s post for all the details and go for it.

All the Babe’s posting this Bread:

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Do not forget the oats!


Muesli Rolls ~ BBB

Muesli Rolls ~ BBB

Butter don't forget butter ... cheese was good as well.

Butter don’t forget butter … cheese was good as well.

Our Kitchen of the Month … Karen: Bake My Day and boy did she ever.

Karen found this recipe in Global Baker by Dean Brettschneider

As the baker says: a real breakfast roll for champions, full of seeds, dried fruits and chocolate. They are great fresh, or toasted the next day and the day after.

Karen said to try them with Swiss Emmenthal cheese, perfect partners! but we ran out of rolls before I could get any Emmenthaler.

These rolls may not have transformed us into Champions but they certainly brought joy to the table each time I served them; really that’s saying quite something don’t you think.

I believe if you follow the proportions of bread flour to whole wheat, you’ll get a reasonably light roll.  If on the other hand you are in a whole grain phase as I am and chose to cut the bread flour by half (using 250 grams bread flour instead of the 500 grams) and doing some strange numerical calculation like I did and use 250 grams white whole wheat flour (not the 50 grams of whole wheat called from in the recipe), you’ll take out a delightfully wonderful tight crumbed roll like I did.

Another word on the differences in flours and water or as Karen said: “what’s in a name, that what we call flour by any other name would bake as sweet….” provided that you add enough water that is.”  In all the years our little group has been baking together, the one lesson we all seem to have to learn over and over is flour on the other side of the pond is different.  When Karen, our kitchen of the month who happens to bake in the Netherlands, said this recipe worked perfectly for her that should have set off a warning bell to us on the other side to add a little more water.  I can’t tell you how much more water … just more.

So if you follow the directions exactly as Karen has them posted on her site and you’re using flour from the North American side of the pond, add a little extra water.  If you are so lucky as to have some potato water (and not like me watch it go down the drain and yell “NO wait, come back! I need that!”) or whey from a little cheese making as Elizabeth suggested, replace some or all of the water with it, I know you won’t be disappointed.

Muesli Rolls ~ BBB ~ 15 rolls

250 grams  strong bread flour, (Original:  500 grams)

250 grams wholemeal or whole wheat flour, (Original: 50 grams)

40 grams jumbo rolled oats

2 3/4 teaspoons gr  (2.3/4 tsp) instant dry yeast

10 gr (2 tsp) salt

20 grams blackstrap molasses

20 grams honey

20 ml olive oil

370 ml water (next time 390-400)

60 grams gr (scant 1/2 cup) walnut pieces (chopped small)

30 grams gr (3 Tbs) linseeds/flaxseeds, soaked in liquid

20 grams gr (2.1/4 Tbs) sesame seeds

80 grams gr (1/2 cup) sunflower seeds

80 grams gr (2/3 cup) pumpkin seeds

90 grams gr (1/4 cup) dried apricuts, cut into pieces

60 grams gr (1/2 cup) small chocolate chips/drops (optional: used 40 grams)

100 grams gr (1 generous cup) jumbo rolled oats to decorate

1. Place flours, oats, yeast, salt and wet ingredients in a large mixing bowl.  Using a wooden spoon, combine to form a dough.  Tip dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 15 minutes, resting it for 1 minute every 2-3 minutes until dough is smooth and elastic. Check dough throughout kneading for stickiness; add a little more water or flour if necessary to achieve a soft dough that’s not too firm.

I did, I added mini-chocolate chips ... just not all the recipe called for.

I did, I added mini-chocolate chips … just not all the recipe called for.

2. Add walnuts, seeds, dried fruit and chocolate(if desired). Knead until well incorporated and combined into dough.

FullSizeRender 16

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Have faith, keep kneading, it will all come together!

Place dough in  a lightly oiled bowl, cover with clingfilm (plastic wrap) and leave in a warm place for approximately  1 1/2, until dough has doubled in size. Gently knock back dough in bowl by folding it back onto itself several times. Cover again and leave for a further 30 minutes.

Squares ... that's really easy!

Squares … that’s really easy!

3. Tip dough upside down onto a lightly floured work surface.  Sprinkle flour over top of dough (which was on the bottom of the bowl).  Very carefully turn dough over and gently flatten to 2cm (3/4 in) thick.  Using a dough scarper or large chef’s knife, cut dough into 7cm (2 3/4in) squares.  Using a pastry brush, brush the tops with water.  Sprinkle entire surface of each roll with rolled oats, and pat down gently to stick them on.

4. Line a baking tray (cookie sheet) with baking (parchment) paper.  Place rolls onto lined tray (sheet), leaving a 2-3cm (3/4-11/4in) gap between each roll.  Cover (I always use a shower cap) and leave to prove for 30-45 minutes, depending on room temperature.

5. Place rolls on baking tray (cookie sheet) in a preheated 230C/450F/Gas 8 oven, apply steam and quickly close oven door.  Bake for 20-25 minutes, turning tray around halfway through baking if needed Remove rolls from oven and place on a wire rack to cool.

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Gorn’s comment: I know I’m going to regret this but I can’t stop eating them.  At that point I swiftly packed them up and put them out of sight.  Reports from the other Babes are these are knock their socks off GREAT!

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We enjoyed these for breakfast several mornings, with soup in the evening twice and at least once in the afternoon with some lovely Earl Grey.  They keep wonderfully well in the fridge and then toasted.

Would you like to be a Bread Baking Buddy?

Karen is host kitchen this month and would love to see you baking with us. However… she was so clever to register for KOM in June ánd go on a vacation somewhere around that time. So luckily there is Lien to the rescue!! Lien (from Notitie Van Lien fame) will also be ready to receive your submission ánd send you your Buddy Badge!


Here’s how:

Just make the rolls, then email your link (or email your photo and a bit about your experience if you don’t have a blog) to BOTH  bakemyday {at} gmail {dot} com AND to notitievanlien(at)gmail(punt)com add subject BBBuddy

Submissions are due by July 1st.  Once you’ve posted, you’ll receive a Buddy badge for baking along, then watch for a roundup of all of the BBBuddies posts a few days after the close of submissions, or in this case…. as soon as Karen is home again and the laundry done.
The Bread Baking Babes are:

Hey pssst: have you seen them? We added a couple of new Babes…. and yes they scare us. Just a bit. We now have Karen from Karen’s Kitchen Stories  And we have Judy! Judy blogs at Judy’s gross eats and she has volunteered to be Kitchen of the Month next month! (we would never pressure. Babes just volunteer. by themselves. sure.) 


And the Babes posting Muesli Rolls are:



BBB ~ Flaxseed and Plum Ciabatti-Style Loaves

Well, not exactly … no plums or prunes here but there were gorgeous dried black olives.  Perfect for wine and cheese!  Really this was astronomically wonderful.

Maybe not the world's most beautiful to look at but fabulous in the mouth!

Maybe not the world’s most beautiful to look at but fabulous in the mouth!

Cathy posting at Bread Experience is our hosting Kitchen of the Month with a recipe from the San Francisco Baking Institute.   I love this flaxseed soaker.  The whole flax seeds come through in the baked bread soft enough to give the bread a slight crunch between the teeth.  I believe the softening of the flax seeds would make them as digestible as ground flax meal.   While I’m in love with this bread made with the dried olives, I know there are innumerable combinations of fruits, nuts and olives that would create fabulous combinations.  Next time we have company, I’m making this with apricots and walnuts or with figs and walnuts.

Flaxseed and Plum Ciabatti-Style Loaves

Flaxseed soaker:

48 grams flax seeds

72 grams water

Mix all ingredients until well incorporated, cover and set aside. Let it sit for at least one hour.


125 grams bread flour

125 grams water

pinch of instant yeast

Mix all ingredients until well incorporated with D.D.T. of 70°F. Allow to ferment 12 – 14 hours at room temperature (65 -70°F)

Final Dough:

300 grams unbleached all-purpose flour, 1/2 white whole wheat

50 grams coarsely milled whole wheat flour

25 grams coarsely milled whole rye flour

278 grams water

10 grams salt

84 grams prunes, used dried black olives

2 grams instant yeast, 1/2 teaspoon

Directions: Hand Mix Mix together all the ingredients except the flax seeds, and plums. Once everything is thoroughly incorporated, mix in flax soaker and dried plums. Transfer the dough into an oiled container. Dough Temperature: 76-78°F First Fermentation: a total of 3 hours with 3 folds 45 minutes at room temperature; fold 45 minutes at room temperature; fold 45 minutes at room temperature; fold Divide: I made two loaves.  I placed the shaped dough on ovals of parchment paper.

Parchment paper on the right is darker because I'd used it for baking biscuits earlier.

Parchment paper on the right is darker because I’d used it for baking biscuits earlier.

Rest : 20 minutes at room temperature

Bake:  450°F with 2 seconds of steam. Bake for 20 minutes. Vent an additional 10 minutes. (directions for a deck oven ~ my dream).
Bake:  Preheated 450° oven with baking stone.
Slide ovals of parchment paper onto a preheated baking stone.  I used a preheated cast iron casserole pan and poured ice water into it when the bread went into the oven.  I baked for 15 minutes at 450°; turned the loaves and continued baking another 15 minutes at 430° convection.
So tempting to slice but the amount of whole grains told me I needed to allow this to really cool.

So tempting to slice but the amount of whole grains told me I needed to allow this to really cool.

We almost had gone through both these loaves before I caught the all important crumb shot.
Oh my it just occurs to me that figs would be wonderful in this bread.

Oh my it just occurs to me that figs would be wonderful in this bread.

I really encourage you bake this one.  Go fruit or olive or something none of use has thought of but bake it you should. As always, Cathy will have the round-up of Buddies at the end of the month.  Don’t know how to be a buddy and earn a buddy badge (more important have a great loaf)?  Check out her post.  Check out all the other Babes baking this month, list is on the right side bar.

Thank you immensely for this one Cathy. This is going to often be on our evening cheese plate with wine.

"Almost an Easter Egg"


BBB Romanian Easter Bread ~ Babes go with Braids!

Our kitchen of the month is Pat from Feeding My Enthusiasms.  I never get excited about sweet but being a Babe, I do have to bake and for sure I try my best to bake the monthly Babe bread.

I measured all the ingredients well before Easter … melted butter and milk went back into the fridge as life started coming at me like the steam engine it is and it was fully 10 days later before I got back to this.  Talk about quilt looking at your kitchen counter.  Sweet just isn’t a big motivator for me. I love chocolate but go for the really good dark stuff.  Sweet is nice from time to time but it’s usually salt I crave.
Once I started the mixing of this dough, it was like the heavens were welcoming me in: the dough was silky and easy; the kneading soothing and relaxing; the aroma of cinnamon baking from the oven … all was right with the world.
After his first slice, Gorn’s comment was: I’d really like another slice but I’m not sure I can manage it … he did.  The bread is that good.  Even for me, it is that good.  So good I enjoyed it for toast two breakfasts in a row.

Romanian Easter Braid

"Almost an Easter Egg"

“Almost an Easter Egg”

Recipe By: Pat “Feeding My Enthusiasms” adaptation from The Festive Bread Book, by Kathy Cutler
Yield: 1 large braid loaf

3 1/2 – 4 cup flour, divided: 1/2 King Arthur white whole wheat and 1/2 King Arthur sprouted wheat
1/2 tablespoon active dry yeast
30  grams yellow ground flax meal
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest (or use orange zest), used zest of one lemon
2/3 cup milk, used half & half
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup sugar, used brown
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
Filling:, I doubled the filling.
1/3 cup water, used lemon juice
1/3 cup sugar
1 cup finely ground almonds (or walnuts, poppy seeds, etc)
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest (or use orange zest), used zest of one lemon
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 egg beaten with 2 tablespoons milk

1. Combine 2 cups flour , the yeast, and lemon zest in mixing bowl.

Heat milk, butter, sugar and salt until butter melts; remove from heat and let cool until it reaches 105 – 115 degrees F.

Add milk mixture and eggs to dry ingredients. Mix thoroughly.

Add enough remaining flour to form a soft dough.   I used about 3 1/2 cups total.

Knead on lightly floured surface until smooth – about 10 minutes.  This became a very soft and smooth easy dough in about 5 minutes.

2. Place in greased bowl, turning to coat top. Cover; let rise in warm place until double – about 1 hour. My kitchen was very cool (62°) and took 3 hours.

3. Punch down dough. Divide dough into 3 equal pieces. Roll each into a 7 x 16-inch rectangle.

I did double the nuts and sugar! Forgot an extra touch of cinnamon ~ my bad. Absolutely DO DOUBLE the filling.

I did double the nuts and sugar! Forgot an extra touch of cinnamon ~ my bad.
Absolutely DO DOUBLE the filling.

Use 1/3 of filling one each rectangle, spreading filling, but leaving a margin around edges; roll up jelly-roll style. Seal seam and ends. You will have three filled and sealed ropes.

Braid ropes; place on greased baking sheet.

Before rising.

Before rising.

Cover; let rise in warm place until double – about 30 minutes.

4. Make glaze and brush on loaf.

Bake in a preheated 350 degree F oven for 40 minutes or until done.  NOW, a word of caution.  Pat’s directions say to bake this on a baking sheet I believe.  As you can see from above I put mine on parchment and slid it onto the hot baking stone in the oven.  I got a wonderful oven spring … but I also got a great out pouring of brown sugar melt.  I have a small Breville Convection table oven.  I really is a marvel BUT it really is small.  One normal rise sandwich loaf is the capacity and only then on the lower rack.  This braid fit in the middle but it did melt sugar all over the stone and a little onto the bottom of the oven.  I was astonished that just running hot water over the stone and the slide out oven bottom easily rinsed away the sugar.

Cool on wire rack.  Do let it cool.  Melted sugar is too hot for the tongue.

"The Crumb"

“The Crumb”

It is so good.  Don’t wait for next Easter.  This is just great for a special Brunch or nice breakfast any day.  Become a Bread Baking Buddy ~ don’t you know the drill by now?  ;-)  Bake the bread, send your e-mail to Pat with BBB Buddy Easter Bread in the subject line along with link to your web site or FaceBook link and you’ll get a buddy badge and be in the month’s round up post!

Easter colors.

Easter colors.

I think I can guarantee you are going to love this one.

And now for something completely different … a rant … why am I late.  For whatever reason my IP blocked my posting to WordPress on my laptop.  No idea.  So we drove into town (30miles) to the library where everything works like greased lightening.  Enjoy all those cliches.



BBB ~ Kouign Amann

BBB logo February 2015

… and the crowd goes wild to celebrate our 7th Anniversary.

Kouign Amann


So wild, I’ve been threatened with being chained to the oven until I bake them again.  Chained to the oven … no wilder than 7 years of Bread Baking Babes!  Beautiful bread baking Babes, thank you all.

Lien is once again our KOM (Kitchen of the Month).  I am once again blown away by a bread I would never have picked: it looks intimidating (that wow factor is very high with this one) and it’s sweet, something I just almost never volunteer for.  But, I am totally won over by this one and will probably be making it again…like on Tuesday or Wednesday.

Kouign Amann
from Lien by Paul Hollywood – BBC “The Great British Bake Off
Yield: 12 – 16 pastries
300 grams strong plain flour: I used half bread flour & half white whole wheat , plus extra for dusting
5 grams fast-action yeast: I used reg instant
1 teaspoon salt
200 ml warm water
25 grams unsalted butter, melted
250 grams cold unsalted butter, in a block
100 grams caster sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
1.  Put the flour into the bowl of a freestanding mixer fitted with a dough hook. Add the yeast to one side of the bowl and the salt to the other. Add the water and melted butter and mix on a slow speed for two minutes, then on a medium speed for six minutes.
***Not sure why, but I actually used the kitchen aid for this one.
I’ll probably do it by hand next time. This is a really lovely satiny like dough, easy to knead.  I see no reason this would be difficult without a stand mixer.
2. Tip the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and shape into a ball. Put into a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with cling film and leave to rise for one hour.
***I figured this is all about butter so took a small pat of butter and rubbed it into my palms and then onto dough ball.
Here I go again. I wanted to get this started but knew I’d have a long wait time before starting the laminating process SO it went into the fridge at this point. Slowly rising about 3 hours before I got back to it.
Next time I will be using salted butter.
3. Sandwich the butter between two sheets of grease proof paper and bash with a rolling pin, then roll out to a 14 cm square. Place in the fridge to keep chilled.***I just used parchment paper.
4. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to a 20 cm square. Place the butter in the centre of the dough diagonally, so that each side of butter faces a corner of the dough. Fold the corners of the dough over the butter to enclose like an envelope.
5. Roll the dough into a 45×15 cm rectangle. Fold the bottom third of dough up over the middle, then fold the top third of the dough over. You will now have a sandwich of three layers of butter and three layers of dough. Wrap in cling film and place in the fridge for 30 minutes. This completes one turn.
***Do not feel you need to be exact at 30 minutes. It’s chilling in the fridge, up to another 30 minutes (an hour total) it’s going to be fine.  If the dough resists rolling, extra time will allow it to relax and making the rolling out easier anyway.
6. Repeat this process twice more, so you have completed a total of three turns, chilling the dough for 30 minutes between turns.
***Do allow a full 30 minutes between turns.
I’ll be very tempted to do an extra sprinkling on this third turn, lighter than the next. The limiting factor might be it will cause the butter to break through.  I did not have any difficulty with the butter popping through the dough.  I’m thinking regular brown sugar would be lovely here and may give that a go next bake.IMG_7970

7. Roll the dough into a rectangle as before. Sprinkle the dough with the caster sugar and  fold into thirds again. Working quickly, roll the dough into a large 40×30 cm rectangle. Sprinkle the dough with caster sugar and cut the dough into 12 squares.

***My math/division skills can be limited some days more than others.  Twelve evaded me. I cut it into 16 pieces. Actually, that was probably idea for how many people were putting these into their mouths. As it turned out, I only got one because I snuck off with it first thing. I’ll do 16 again. I will however try for more square shape than the rectangle I ended up with on most.

I don’t believe I used the measured amount of sugar. I just tried to cover the rectangle and rolled the sugar in so that it stuck in the dough.


8. Grease a 12-cup muffin tin well with oil. Gather the dough squares up by their four corners and place in the muffin tins, pulling the four corners towards the centre of the muffin tin, so that it gathers up like a four-leaf clover. Sprinkle with caster sugar and leave to rise, covered with a clean tea towel, for 30 minutes until slightly puffed up.

***I used butter in the pan.


9. Preheat oven to 220ºC.
Bake the pastries for 30-40 minutes, or until golden-brown.
Cover with foil halfway through if beginning to brown too much.
Remove from the oven and leave to cool for a couple of minutes before turning out onto a wire rack.
Be careful not to burn yourself on the caramelised sugar, but don’t leave them to cool for too long, or the caramelised sugar will harden and they will be stuck in the tin. Serve warm or cold

Mine took 32 minute in regular bake (no convection) oven at 405°F .
Watch these. Almost exactly at the 15 minute mark I covered these with foil or they would have been black. As it was the color came out gorgeous.
I had absolutely no difficulty removing these from the pan.


10. Serve warm or cold. Warm is best!
***Warm, you really want them warm. You really want that flaky crunch!

11. If you don’t want to eat them all in want go (of just if you want to, but shouldn’t), bag and freeze them. Before you eat them: Defrost them and place them in a warm oven (180ºC) for about 4-6 minutes or until warm, they will crisp up again.
***I didn’t see this the first time I baked them.  Believe me I will be trying this.



2 1/2  hours preparation time (mostly resting in the fridge time)
30 mins to 1 hour cooking time

We have France to thank for these caramelised buttery, sugary parcels. Lien’s been an internet sleuth and has more on how these came about.  The are perfect with a café au lait. Equipment and preparation: for this recipe you will need a 12-cup muffin tin and a freestanding mixer fitted with a dough hook.  (Personally I don’t think that dough hook is necessary but haven’t done it without yet.)

If you don’t want to eat them all in one go (or just if you want to, but shouldn’t), bag and freeze them. Before you eat them: Defrost them and place them in a warm oven (180ºC) for about 4-6 minutes or until warm, they will crisp up again.
I know the crumb shot is woefully lacking but I was lucky to get even that considering how fast these went.  Lien does have the perfect crumb shot!
You simply must bake these. Chain yourself to the oven door until you do. Bake, write, post and let us know how it worked out. Send your info + picture to the Kitchen of the month (that’s Lein this time, so send it to: notitievanlien(at)gmail(dot)com, add subject BBBuddy). Deadline 1 March.
Become our Bread Baking Buddy, you’ll get a BBBuddy Badge for your entry (you can add that too your post if you want) and will be added to the Buddy round up later.  Mine may look good but Lien’s are gorgeous!   I mean BAKE these. You’ll be hooked for life!