Breakfast Kifle

Kifle (sing. kifla) are one of the most popular Bosnian breakfast breads. In the US kifle are known as a Christmas pastry filled with walnuts, but in Bosnia, kifle are actually any type of bread or pastry made in a shape of a crescent and today I wanted to introduce the most loved and known kind.

Kifle

Every Bosnian bakery or a grocery store sells kifle. They are always fresh, airy and super delicious. They are usually served at breakfast with variety of spreads such as butter, paté, cream cheese, jam, honey, nutella, etc. Sometimes we slice them length-wise and make sandwiches or they can be served instead of bread at a lunch or dinner table.

They are made out of most simple ingredients, found in every pantry and can easily be prepared at home. I usually make them for a weekend breakfast when everyone is home and can take time to enjoy them.

BREAKFAST KIFLE

[Printable recipe]

Ingredients:

  • 650-700 g (about 5 cups) all purpose flour
  • 1 envelope active dry yeast
  • 1 TBSP sugar
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 300 ml (1 + 1/4 cup) warm water
  • 200 ml (about 1 cup) warm milk
  • 50 ml (1/4 cup) oil

+

  • 1 egg white (lightly beaten)
  • Salt for sprinkling
  • Butter (melted) for brushing

How to prepare:

  1. Combine all dry ingredients in a mixer bowl and start mixing slowly
  2. Combine water, milk and oil and while mixer is on slow, start adding liquid to the bowl with dry ingredients.
  3. Increase the speed to medium and mix for 3-4 minutes
  4. Now let it rest for about 5 minutes and then mix again 3-4 minutes. Kifle dough is supposed to be medium firm. If it’s too soft, add more flour.
  5. Dust your working surface with flour, remove the dough from the bowl and knead it by hand 10-20 times. Place it back into the bowl, cover with a kitchen towel and let it rise until double in volume (about 1 hour).
  6. Kifle preparation 1Divide the dough in two. Roll each piece into a 45 cm (18 inch) circle. With a pizza cutter, cut each circle once vertically, once horizontally and twice diagonally to get 8 triangles.
  7. Kifle preparation 2To form a kifla, first fold in both corners at a short side of the triangle. Now pressing down roll the bread until the end tip. You can also shape it to look like a crescent. Place it onto a greased baking sheet with the end tip facing down. Repeat will all remaining triangles.

Kifle preparation 3

8. Cover them and let rest and rise for about 30 minutes.
9. Heat your oven to 400 F (200 C).
10. Lightly beat an egg white and brush over bread.
11. Sprinkle each kifla with salt.

Kifle preparation 4

12. Bake about 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.
13. Remove from the oven, brush with melted butter and cover for 10 minutes.

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Kifle

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Enjoy! :)

Beef Stew with Rutabaga

This is a stew the way my grandma made it; very simple, no fancy ingredients here. It just takes time and Love to make it perfect. My grandma usually made the stew with potatoes and sometimes also with rutabaga which is in my language called “repa”. She would also shred rutabaga and pickle it, or just peel it, cut into thin slices and give it to grandchildren to eat it fresh because it’s healthy.

You will notice this not being a conventional way of preparing a stew (no meat searing); still it works wonderfully and the end result is an amazing combination of tender beef, delicious vegetable and hearty soup.

Beef stew with rutabaga

Beef Stew with Rutabaga

[Printable recipe]

Ingredients:

  • 2 TBSP cooking oil (I use sunflower)
  • 1 small onion (finely chopped)
  • 3 garlic cloves (minced)
  • 1 medium carrot (chopped)
  • 1 medium parsnip (chopped)
  • 2 lb (1 kg) stew beef (cut into large cubes)
  • 1 tsp Vegeta spice
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 4 cups (1 l) water (+ a few cups more while cooking)
  • 1 lb (500 g) rutabaga (peeled and cubed)
  • Fresh flat leaf parsley

Preparation:

  1. In a heavy bottom cooking pot sauté onions, garlic, carrots and parsnips for about 4-5 minutes.
  2. Place cubed beef on the vegetable bed and let it brown well on all sides.
  3. Slightly cover pan and keep sautéing beef and vegetables together for 20-30 minutes. Beef will release juices, so just let everything slowly simmer until all liquid evaporates.
  4. Soon you will hear a frying sound. Make sure you stir well so beef or vegetables don’t burn.
  5. Now is the time to add spices: vegeta, salt, paprika and pepper. Stir once again and make sure meat is well coated with spices.
  6. Add water, bring it to boil and then turn down to medium cover and let is simmer for 2 – 2.5 hours. Some of the water will evaporate, so make sure to check the pot every 20-30 minutes to see if you need to add any water. Meat needs to be covered with water at all times while simmering.
  7. The last 45 minutes of cooking add peeled and cubed rutabaga; adjust spices if needed. Serve warm , garnished with fresh parsley.

Beef stew preparation

Beef stew preparation 2

Beef stew preparation 3

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Beef stew with rutabaga

 

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Cream Cheese Crepes

These are my favorite kind of crepes: filled with cream cheese and raisins, with a hint of lemon, covered with heavy cream and baked in the oven. I know, you may think what a calorie bomb, but all resistance melts away with the first bite. :D This is not your ordinary crepe! They can be served warm or cold and will taste just superb either way!

Cream Cheese Crepes

 

Cream Cheese Crepes

[Printable recipe]

Yields 12 small or 8 medium crepes

Batter:

  • 125 g (1 cup)all-purpose flour
  • 25 g (2 TBSP) vanilla sugar***
  • A pinch of salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 dl (1 cup) milk
  • 30 g (2 TBSP)butter (melted)
  • 1 TBSP rum or brandy

+

  • Butter for pan

*** Vanilla sugar can be purchased in most stores with an international section. If you can’t get vanilla sugar, use regular white sugar and add 1 tea spoon of vanilla extract into batter.

Cream Cheese Filling:

  • 450 g (16 oz) cream cheese (I used the one with 1/3 less fat)
  • 100 (1/2 cup) sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 lemon (zest finely grated)
  • 100 g (3.5 oz) raisins (soaked in rum or brandy)
  • 250 ml (about 1 cup) heavy cream

+

  • Oven-safe rectangular baking dish

Preparation:

See pics here

  1. Combine flour, vanilla sugar and salt into a medium bowl.
  2. Add eggs and mix at a slow speed, gradually adding milk
  3. At the end add melted butter and 1 TBSP of rum.

I usually don’t use mixer for this batter; I just make sure to whisk eggs very well into the flour so the batter is smooth.

Prepare a 6 – 7 inch pan, put a thin slice of butter on the pan, let it melt and heat well. Pour a 1/2 – 1 ladle of batter onto the pan. Take the pan off the heat and move a few times in a circular motion until all batter is spread evenly over the bottom of the pan.

Place the pan back on heat and allow all batter to change color, then flip a crepe using a thin spatula or if you’re a risk taker throw it in the air and let it flip then catch with the pan. :D

Stack a crepe on a top of another to keep them warm. I usually cover them with a piece of aluminum foil too.

For the filling, beat cream cheese and sugar at a high speed until all sugar is well incorporated, add vanilla and beat for a minute more. Mix in lemon zest and raisins by hand.

Prepare your baking dish.

Divide your filling into equal portions depending on how many crepes you have. I had 8 crepes, so I divided my filling into 8 equal portions.

Place the filling at the end of a crepe, fold over crepe from the left and right side (see below pic), then fold over longer side, roll it (as an egg roll) and place into the dish. Repeat until all filling and crepes are used up.

Pour the heavy cream over crepes. Place it in a 200 C (400 F) oven for 15 – 20 minutes or until cream starts thickening and changing color.

Serve warm or cold! Bon Appetit!

 

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Simple Crepes

Hello Friends,

It’s bee too long… I have firmly decided that this year will not be as the last. Despite being extremely busy I will find time to get back to my love of baking and sharing my recipes here with you.

This recipe is proven over and over again in my mama’s and my kitchen. It’s from an old French cookbook of 750 pages. More about it you can read here.

You would think something as simple as a crepe can not go wrong, but in my experience it really can if you don’t have a right recipe. They can turn out too thick, too though or kind of chewy. This recipe gives you a perfectly textured, thin crepe that you will want to make again and again. This time I filled them with nutella and served with some ice cream on top.

Next time I will share another way I serve them. In lack of better term I call them “Crepes au gratin”, but more about that in my next post.

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Simple Crepes

[Printable recipe]

Yields 12 small or 8 medium crepes

Ingredients:

  • 125 g (1 cup) all-purpose flour
  • 25 g (2 TBSP) vanilla sugar***
  • A pinch of salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 dl (1 cup) milk
  • 30 g (2 TBSP)butter (melted)
  • 1 TBSP rum or brandy

+

  • Butter for pan

*** Vanilla sugar can be purchased in most stores with an international section. If you can’t get vanilla sugar, use regular white sugar and add 1 tea spoon of vanilla extract into batter.

Preparation:

  1. Combine flour, vanilla sugar and salt into a medium bowl.
  2. Add eggs and mix at a slow speed, gradually adding milk
  3. At the end add melted butter and 1 TBSP of rum.

I usually don’t use mixer for this batter; I just make sure to whisk eggs very well into the flour so the batter is smooth.

Prepare a 6 – 7 inch pan, put a thin slice of butter on the pan, let it melt and heat well. Pour a 1/2 – 1 ladle of batter onto the pan. Take the pan off the heat and move a few times in a circular motion until all batter is spread evenly over the bottom of the pan.

Place the pan back on heat and allow all batter to change color, then flip a crepe using a thin spatula or if you’re a risk taker throw it in the air and let it flip then catch with the pan. :D

Stack a crepe on a top of another to keep them warm. I usually cover them with a piece of aluminum foil too. When they are all done, flip the whole stack over and start spreading them with your favorite filling; jam, honey, nutella, nuts, apple butter just to name a few.

Serve warm! Bon Appétit!

Crepes preparation

 

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Fancy Flower Rolls

These fancy rolls are not only beautiful, but they taste like a little piece of Heaven. They are probably one of the best I’ve ever had and I will be making them over and over again. Even after a few days they keep soft, which is not always the case with homemade rolls. As of their taste, they remind me somewhat of brioche. I also had them split and toasted like a bagel and they were great. I imagine they will look beautiful on any Holiday table and will be gone in a matter of minutes! Have a wonderful weekend friends! :)

Fancy flower rolls

Fancy Flower Rolls

{Printable recipe}

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup (236 ml) warm milk
  • 1/2 cup (118 ml) warm water
  • 1/4 cup (50 g) sugar
  • 2 tsp dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) oil
  • 3 ½ TBSP (50 g) butter-melted
  • 1/3 cup (67 g) granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • All-purpose flour (approx 4 and 1/2 cups or 580-600 g)
  • 2 eggs, whites and yolks separated

Topping:

  • egg yolks + 1 tsp milk
  • Sesame seeds, poppy seeds, etc.

Preparation:

  1. First combine warm milk, water and sugar. Mix well and sprinkle dry yeast over it.
  2. Divide eggs
  3. Place egg yolks in a small bowl and cover with plastic.
  4. In a medium bowl lightly whisk egg whites, then add oil and melted butter.
  5. Combine flour, salt and sugar in a mixer bowl with dough hooks.
  6. When the yeast mixture becomes bubbly slowly pour into flour mixture and start mixing slowly. Just when combined, add egg mixture and mix until you get a compact, shiny dough ball.
  7. Brush with oil, cover with plastic and let it rest until double in volume.
  8. This dough will be really easy to work with, almost like the play dough.
  9. Flour your working surface, place the dough on it, divide in half and then each half into 12 equal parts.
  10. Lightly oil your hands, press and roll each piece into a 10 inch (25 cm) long stick, with about ½ inch (1.5 cm) diameter.
  11. Take two sticks together and swirl them around as to a get a braid.
  12. Connect the ends to form a bagel-like roll and place on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper.
  13. Preheat your oven to 385 F or 195 C
  14. Whisk egg yolks with 1 tsp of milk and brush the rolls
  15. You may sprinkle them with sesame seeds, poppy seeds or any seeds of your choice.
  16. Bake for about 25-30 minutes or until golden brown.

ENJOY!

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Summer Slices

This is a nice summery dessert which I created using a batter recipe for a marble cake, minus the cocoa and instead of in a bunt cake form I baked it in large baking pan with addition of some fresh fruit on the top. I call it Summer Slices for every piece has a nice amount of summer fruit and berries and it looks so colorful. This cake is perfect for a family gathering or a party, it’s simple to make and super delicious!

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Summer Slices

[Printable Recipe]

Ingredients

  • 300 g butter (10.5 oz or 65 sticks)- softened
  • 275 g (9.7 oz or 2 ¼ cups + 2 tbsp) sugar
  • 1 pack vanilla sugar (or 1 tsp vanilla extract)
  • A pinch of salt
  • 5 eggs
  • 2 tsp lemon zest
  • 375 g (13.2 oz or about 3 cups)all-purpose flour
  • 2 – 3 tsp baking powder
  • 3 tbsp milk
  • Various fruit (peaches, plums, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, etc.)
  • Slivered almonds (toasted)
  • Powdered sugar
  • Baking pan 32 x 44 x 2.5 cm (12 X 17 X 1 inch)
  • Parchment paper (size of the pan)

Preparation

  1. Beat softened butter, sugar, vanilla and salt until nice and foamy 1 – 2 minutes.
  2. Add eggs one by one mixing ½ minute after each addition.
  3. Mix in lemon zest.
  4. Combine flour and baking powder and stir well, then start adding to the butter mixture mixing at a medium speed.
  5. At the end add milk and stir until all well combined.
  6. Line a baking pan with parchment paper and spread the batter evenly on the pan.
  7. Lightly toast slivered almonds and set aside.
  8. If you use peaches you will need about 4 large. Boil some water and immerse peaches into boiling water for about a minute. Peel them and slice into thin slices (about 1.5 cm or 1/2 inch).
  9. Spread them on the batter, sprinkle with berries and toasted almonds
  10. Bake at 195 C or 385 F until lightly brown on the top.
  11. Let it cool down and sprinkle with powdered sugar. Cut into slices and serve.
 ♦

Summer SlicesSummer Slices

Summer Slices

Summer Slices

Summer Slices

Summer Slices

Summer Slices

Summer Slices

Summer Slices

Tarhana Soup {Sour Dough Soup}

Tarhana soup is a well loved soup in my native Bosnia, as well as in some other countries such as Greece, Turkey, Albania, Bulgaria, Egypt, etc. The noodles are made from sour dough and give a soup that specific taste and tomato sauce just enhances its flavor. So, if you like your sourdough bread, I am sure you will like Tarhana as well.

My maternal Grandmother used to make the noodles from scratch. I am not quite sure of how the whole process works, but I can tell you what I remember from my childhood.

The dough is made with flour, water, salt, possibly yeast (some say yogurt too, or with tomato sauce) and it’s left to ferment for 3-4 days (or more). More flour is added to the mixture each day. When the dough is ready, it is divided into hand-size patties which are then left to dry (best in the airy and sunny spot). After they’re dry they are shredded or coarsely grounded into noodles and stored in plastic containers or jars.

I buy my noodles at the store with Bosnian, Balkan or Middle Eastern products. Tarhana soup can be made in several different ways and with various ingredients. This is my family recipe.

Tarhana soup, trahana

Tarhana Soup {Sour Dough Soup}

[Printable recipe]

Ingredients:

  • 2 TBSP cooking oil
  • 1/2 medium onion
  • 1 medium carrot
  • 1/4 of a medium green bell pepper
  • 1 celery stalk (optional)
  • 1 small zucchini (optional)
  • 3/4 lb (about 350 g) ground beef
  • 1 tsp “Vegeta” spice
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • A pinch of ground white pepper
  • 15 oz (425 g) can tomato sauce
  • 5 cups (1 liter + 200 ml) water
  • 1 cup (about 200 g) tarhana noodles
  • Chopped parsley
  • Sour cream (optional)

*** All vegetables finely chopped

Preparation:

  1. Heat the oil in a cooking pot and add all finely chopped vegetables. Sauté for 5 minutes then add ground beef.
  2. Sauté ground beef and veggies for another 5-10 minutes, then add spices, tomato sauce and water.
  3. Bring it to boil and add tarhana noodles. Stir well. Let the soup simmer for another 10-15 minutes. Stir occasionally as the noodles tend to stick to the bottom.
  4. Noodles will thicken the soup. If it’s too thick for your taste, you can always add a little water.
  5. Serve garnished with fresh chopped parsley or a tablespoon of sour cream
  6. ENJOY!

Tarhana

Tarhana soup preparation

Tarhana soup - trahana

Tarhana soup - trahana