Savory Muffins with Queso Fresco

Queso Fresco Muffins 2

Hello Friends, I hope everyone is doing well! 🙂 Spring is my favorite time of the year, I feel inspired to paint, bake and do all sorts of creative projects around the house. I made these savory muffins last Sunday for breakfast and they were a hit with my family. They are easy to make and you can have them on the table in less than an hour. They go well with butter, pate, cream cheese, jam or even just plain they taste wonderful. I imagine adding some bacon bits into batter would work great. Instead of Queso Fresco you can also use Feta cheese or any crumbly cheese. I absolutely loved the taste and the texture and will be making them again soon.

Savory Muffins with Queso Fresco

{Printable recipe}

  • Yields 12 muffins

Ingredients:

*** Use dry measure cup for all ingredients

  • 4 eggs
  • 1 ½ cup plain yogurt
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 2 TBSP butter (melted)
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 ½ tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 5 oz Queso Fresco (or Feta cheese) finely crumbled

Preparation:

  1. Beat eggs, yogurt, oil and melted butter at a high speed until smooth.
  2. Combine flour, baking powder and salt and mix well.
  3. Lower the mixing speed and slowly add all dry ingredients into the egg mixture.
  4. At the end mix in Queso Fresco.

Queso Fresco Muffins

5. Brush the muffin form with melted butter.
6. Fill the batter into 3/4 of the muffin forms.
7. Bake at 400 F (200 C) for about 20-25 minutes.

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Here they are right out of the oven:

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And on the table:

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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! 🙂

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!

Fancy Flower RollsIMG_0867IMG_0868

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IMG_0876Fancy Flower RollsFancy Flower RollsFancy Flower Rolls

Bosnian Pancakes {Uštipci}

In Bosnia, we love our pancakes, our bread and just dough-y things in general. 🙂 We make two basic types of pancakes. The first kind is a simpler, less time consuming and I am talking about those today. The second kind is made with yeast and I will share the recipe some other time.

My recipe may differ a bit from others, but basically there are three main components for a good pancake: eggs, flour and some type of liquid (water, milk, yogurt, buttermilk, etc.)

I make my pancakes with Greek yogurt and I really love them. They have a nice texture and they remain soft even when cold (IF there are any left). What I  love about them is that they are small, so you can grab one or two on your way out. They are a perfect bite (or two) size and make a really delicious breakfast. We spread them with variety of savory or sweet spreads or make them into sandwiches. Some people serve them coated in sugar/powdered sugar. I also had them with maple syrup and they were great, even though traditionally we don’t use maple syrup.

If you are interested in how to pronounce “uštipci”, it would sound something like “oosh-tipsy”  🙂

Bosnian Pancakes Ustipci

Bosnian Pancakes {Uštipci}

[Printable recipe]

Ingredients:

  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup of yogurt (I like to use Greek Yogurt)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder

 

  1. Whisk the eggs until foamy, add yogurt and mix until smooth, add salt and water.
  2. Combine flour and baking powder and start adding to the egg mixture, stirring the whole time.
  3. Batter needs to be a bit thicker than for the American pancakes.
  4. Pour cooking oil into a large frying pan just enough to coat the bottom.
  5. Set the heat to medium.
  6. Prepare a large tray and cover with paper towel.
  7. Grab a spoonful (I use soup spoon) of batter and pour onto the heated oil.
  8. Make sure pancakes have enough space to expand.
  9. When you see bubbles forming around the edges of the pancake, it’s time to turn them over.
  10. Fry them until golden brown on both sides.
  11. When done, place on a paper towel.
  12. Bosnian pancakes can be served with a variety of spreads, such as cream cheese, pâté, jam, nutella, honey, etc. You can split them and make mini sandwiches too. They are firm enough to be picked up and they are usually one or two-bites-size. They are delicious warm or cold.

Have fun making them!

Bosnian pancakes prep

Bosnian pancakes prep 2

Bosnian Pancakes Ustipci

 These are some of the ways to enjoy them:

Bosnian Pancakes Ustipci

Fancy pull-apart Dinner Rolls

Hello my friends, HAPPY NEW YEAR to each and every one of you! 🙂

I hope you had nice and relaxing Holidays with your family and friends. My wish is that this New Year will bring us all peace, love and compassion toward one another and a lot of good memories and joyful moments and that we will get to spend a while here in this virtual world and share some good cooking and baking recipes and stories.

In today’s recipe I wanted to introduce a fancy and an easy way to make holiday/celebration dinner rolls. These rolls are soft and flaky and can be served warm or cold. I made these for our Christmas dinner and they looked just gorgeous and tasted fantastic.

Fancy pull-apart dinner rolls

Fancy Pull-Apart Dinner Rolls

[Printable recipe]

Dough:

  • All-purpose flour: 500 g ( 4 cups)
  • Fresh yeast: 20 g (or 1 envelope dry yeast)
  • Warm milk: 2 dl (3/4 cup + a few TBSP if needed)
  • Sugar: 1 tsp
  • Salt: 1.5 tsp
  • Cooking oil: 5 TBSP

To brush the dough layers:

  • Butter: 120 g (1 stick) at room temp.

Also needed:

  • Round baking pan (or a spring form) 25 cm or 9-10 inches
  • 1 egg
  • Sesame seeds (or any other desired seeds)

Preparation:

  1. Place flour into a mixing bowl, make an indent and crumble up fresh yeast, add sugar and a little bit of milk, mix, cover and let stand for about 10 minutes. If using dry yeast, proof as directed on the package.
  2. Turn the mixer to low setting and while mixing start adding milk and salt. When the flour and milk start forming a dough, add oil and let it stir for another 2-3 minutes to get a shiny and firm ball of dough.
  3. Place the dough onto a floured surface, knead it by hand for a minute or two and then place back into the bowl, cover and leave it at a warm place until double in size.
  4. Divide the dough into 5 equal pieces. Knead each piece and form a small dough ball. Let them rest for about 10-15 minutes.
  5. Divide butter into 4 equal pieces. Roll out each dough piece into a 10 inch (25 cm) circle. Spread first circle with butter, put second circle on the top, then butter again and so on until you end up with the fifth circle on the top.
  6. Now roll it all together into  a large 18 in (45 cm) circle. With a pizza cutter cut off about 1 ½ inch (4 cm) all around the circle to get a “hoop”. Place the hoop on a flat surface and cut once vertically and once horizontally to get 4 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a bun (like a cinnamon bun) and place in the middle of the greased baking pan.
  7. What’s left now is a smaller circle which you will cut to get 16 equal triangles. Roll each triangle not like a crescent, but more like a cone or along one of the longest sides of a triangle. That way you will get a nice swirl. Place all the cones all around the 4 middle rolls with a little bit of space in between.
  8. Cover and let it rise for about 30 minutes. Lightly beat an egg, brush all over the rolls and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
  9. Bake at 395 F (200 C) about 30 minutes or until deep golden brown. Serve warm or cold. The rolls will be soft and flaky and will look just amazing on your holiday table.

Fancy Pull Apart Dinner Rolls Fancy Pull Apart Dinner Rolls

Fancy Pull Apart Dinner Rolls

Fancy Pull Apart Dinner Rolls

Fancy Pull Apart Dinner Rolls

Fancy Pull Apart Dinner Rolls

Fancy Pull Apart Dinner Rolls

My Favorite Croissants

For a long time I’ve been searching for a croissant recipe that will suit my taste. I’ve tried many recipes and they were all good, but still not what I was looking for. I really like a rustic kind of croissant, that’s crispy outside and has nice, textured layers inside. If you like the same, look no further because this recipe from the Bourke Street Bakery Cookbook is the right one for you.

This baking book is SO good, I absolutely love every single recipe inside of it. There are also step by step directions and pictures for making bread, croissant dough, danishes dough, etc. If you didn’t get the book yet, please do, you will be inspired, mesmerized and if you are not already in love with baking, you will definitely be after going through this book. Please read David Lebovitz impression of The Bourke Street Bakery – Sydney, AU.

This recipe might seem a bit too long and complicated, but in the end it’s just repeating one same process three times.  Once you start making it, it is really simple and the results, oh the results are exceptional! 🙂 Give yourself plenty of time. I usually start making the dough in the late afternoon or evening. There is a lot waiting and resting. I do the final two steps the next morning when I plan to have croissants for breakfast.

This quantity of dough will make about 18 large croissants. That was way too much for the four of us, so I divided the dough in half and made bear claws the next day. Making pain au chocolat would be an idea too.

Croissants - bourke street bakery recipe

My Favorite Croissants

[printable recipe]

(Recipe from The Bourke Street Bakery Cookbook)

Makes approximately 18 large croissants

For the ferment

(Ferment is a small amount of dough that needs to be made first and will help your croissant dough develop and rise):

  • 100 g plain flour, chilled (3.5 oz)
  • 55 ml whole milk, chilled (1 ¾ fl oz)
  • 5 g (or 1 tsp) brown sugar, chilled
  • A pinch of salt, chilled (1/2 tsp)
  • 5 g fresh yeast, chilled (1/8 oz)
  • 20 g unsalted butter, softened (3/4 oz)

Make the Ferment:

Mix all ingredients together in a bowl until it becomes a ball. Knead it for about 10 minutes until becomes elastic and smooth. If using electric mixer, use dough hook and mix on low speed for 3 minutes.

Put the ferment in a bowl covered with plastic and leave at room temperature for 2 hours to ferment. After, store the pre-ferment in the fridge overnight (this can be kept for few days in the fridge).

For the croissant dough

(Chill everything in the fridge before you start making the dough, including the flour and sugar):

  • 935 g strong white flour (2 lb 1 oz)
  • 550 ml whole milk (19 fl oz)
  • 60g brown sugar (1/3 cup)
  • 15 g salt (3 tsp)
  • 35 g fresh yeast (1 ¼ oz)
  • Plus 500 g unsalted butter (1 lb 2 oz)  for laminating (the rolling and folding process for the dough)

For the egg wash:

  • 1 egg
  • 80 ml (about 1/3 cup) milk
  • Pinch of salt

Make the Dough:

Divide the ferment into 8-10 small pieces, mix it together with all other ingredients, except butter, in a mixing bowl until a dough ball is formed.

Transfer the dough ball to a bench and knead for 10 – 15 minutes (by hand) until the dough becomes smooth and elastic, and doesn’t tear when stretched gently. If using electric mixer, using dough hook, mix on low speed for 3 -4 minutes, followed by high speed for another 2 minutes.

Put the dough in a bowl covered with plastic bag or cling wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.

Laminate the Dough:

Before starting the dough laminating (i.e. incorporating butter into the dough) remove the butter from the fridge. Pound the butter with rolling pin between two sheets of baking paper into 20 cm (8 inches) flat square. If the butter becomes too soft, store it in the fridge for 15 minutes before using.

Take the dough out of the fridge, using a lightly floured rolling pin, roll the dough out into a rectangle about 20 x 40 cm (8 x 16 inches). Place the butter in the centre of the dough and fold the dough over the top. Seal the edges of the dough together to ensure the butter is completely enclosed in the dough.

Gently and carefully roll the dough out into a rectangle, about 20 x 90 cm (8 x 35 inches) (approximately 3 times longer than the piece you started with). Mentally divide the rectangle into three equal sections, top, middle and bottom. Fold the top section over the middle, and fold the bottom to the middle, like folding a letter. Wrap the dough in a plastic bag or cling wrap and refrigerate for 20 minutes.

Take the dough out of the fridge and rotate the dough 90 degree so that the dough will be rolled in opposite direction from previous fold. Repeat the rolling, folding, and resting process as above two more times. There will be three foldings and rollings (the term is “three turns”) altogether and you need to rotate the dough 90 degree with each rolling.

After the final rolling and folding, store the laminated dough in the fridge for 20 minutes before shaping into croissants.

Make the egg wash by mixing all ingredients together in a bowl and set aside.

Take the laminated dough out of the fridge and roll it out into a rectangle about 25 x 100 cm (10 – 40 inches) with 5 -8 mm (1/4 inch) thickness.

Trim the edges of the dough so that it becomes a neat rectangle.

Cut the dough into triangles with 9-cm (3.5 in) base and 21-cm (8 in) height. Stack triangle sheets on baking sheet/papers and chill for 10 minutes.

Shape the Dough:

Take the chilled triangles out of the fridge and shape into croissants. Gently pull the tip of triangle to make the triangle longer. Working from the base, roll it towards the tip. Make sure that the tip is tucked underneath the croissant.

Place shaped croissants on trays lined with baking sheet or paper.

Shaped croissants can be kept in the fridge overnight and baked the next day. Take them out of the fridge next day and follow the proofing and baking steps as below. Brush the surface lightly with egg-wash. Cover the tray with tea towel. Let it stand at warm room temperature for 2 hours until it almost double in size. Croissants are proofed and ready for the bake when the layers become visible and the croissants are very soft and wobbly.

Bake the croissants:

Preheat the oven to 240 C (465 F)

Brush the surface of croissants with egg wash before baking. Put the croissants into the oven, then immediately reduce oven temperature to 190 C (375) and bake for 20 – 25 minutes until deeply golden brown.

Adding ferment to the dough mixture
Adding ferment to the dough mixture
Rolling butter into 8X8 inch square before putting in the fridge to chill
Rolling butter into 8X8 inch square before putting in the fridge to chill

Croissant preparation 1

Croissant dough up close - notice all the layers!
Croissant dough up close – notice all the layers!

Croissant preparation 2

Almost ready for the oven
Almost ready for the oven
Fresh from the oven!
Fresh from the oven!
Layers of goodness!
Layers of goodness!
 Croissants - bourke street bakery recipe
 

Poppy Seed Challah

The month of March was just not very productive for me in any segment of my life… After shredding a part of my finger early in the month, I didn’t have much desire to cook, bake or type. Lack of sunshine and warmth took its toll… I was so hoping for spring to come and all we got was snow and bitter cold. As I write this it’s still cold out, but the sun is shining, the trees and flowers are budding and it makes such a difference. I also took a few days off from work to spend with my family and to do the things I love – bake and paint.

Poppy seed challah

I really missed getting my hands sticky with dough and having the aroma of fresh baked goods around the house. All I could think of was to bake something good, warm and familiar and nothing sounded better than this challah bread topped with poppy seeds. Every bakery in Bosnia sells this bread. Their sizes range anywhere from a small knot, to an individual size challah to a large family challah. For me, it is an essential part of a good breakfast! It can be eaten just plain or spread with butter, jam, honey, paté or anything you may like. It can be used for a sandwich or for the bread pudding. It looks great on a holiday table!

I painted this while taking a break from baking
I painted this while taking a break from baking

Poppy Seed Challah

{print recipe}

Ingredients:

  • 500 g (4 cups) all-purpose flour (+ flour for kneading)
  • 21 g (0.7 oz) fresh yeast
  • 1 TBSP sugar
  • 200 ml (3/4 cup + 2 TBSP) warm water
  • 1 egg
  • 50 ml (about 1/4 cup) sunflower or vegetable oil
  • ½ TBSP salt
  • Milk for brushing
  • 2 TSBP poppy seeds

Preparation:

  1. Place the flour in a mixing bowl. Make a deep indent in flour, add 1 TBSP of sugar and crumble up the yeast. Lightly mixing by hand, add ¼ of the quantity of water. Mix only inside the indent, just to get a small ball of starter. Cover and let it rest for about 10 minutes.
  2. Combine the rest of the water with oil, egg and salt and stir well. Put the flour bowl back on the mixer and mixing at a slow speed start adding the liquid. Switch to medium speed setting and mix for about 3-, rest for about 3- and then mix for 3 more minutes.
  3. Dough will look nice and smooth. Cover it and let it rest for 30 minutes.
  4. Lightly dust your working surface with flour and knead the dough by hand for a few minutes. Divide the dough into 3 or 4 pieces, depending on what you want to make, a three- or four-strand challah.
  5. Shape each piece into a foot long strand. Transfer all the pieces onto a baking sheet covered with parchment paper. Braid the strands to form a challah. Cover the bread and let it rest and rise for about 30 minutes.
  6. Brush the bread with milk and sprinkle with poppy seeds.
  7. Bake at 200 C or 395 F for about 35-40 minutes or until challah gets a nice,  golden-brown color.

***More about shaping a four-strand challah here.

Proofing yeast for challah dough
Proofing yeast for challah dough

Making challah dough

Making challag

Poppy Seed Challah

Poppy Seed Challah

Poppy Seed Challah

Poppy Seed Challah

Poppy Seed Challah

Poppy Seed Challah

Easy Honey-Wheat rolls from scratch

Last week I  was experimenting with the bread dough again. Not so much because I wanted to experiment, but more because of lack of necessary ingredients and being lazy to go to the story at a late hour. I would usually make these kinds of rolls for a party, because they are easy to make, look pretty on the table and taste delicious just warm from the oven. However, there was no party, I just wanted to spoil my family a little, because I had a day off and I felt like baking. Reason enough to do so, don’t you think?! Even with limited ingredients, these turned out far, far better than I thought. My husband said I should write down the recipe so I can make them again. He suggested they would be also excellent as burger buns. So here they are:

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Easy Honey-Wheat rolls from scratch

[printable recipe]

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups (385 g) all-purpose flour (used King Arthur)
  • 1 cup (125 g) wheat flour (used King Arthur)
  • 1 ½ TSP salt
  • 0.7 oz (20 g) fresh yeast
  • 1 ½ cup (350 ml) warm water
  • 1/2 cup (115 ml) heavy cream
  • 2 TBSP honey
  • a bit of cooking oil
  • 1 TBSP heavy cream
  • Flax and sesame seeds

Preparation:

*** If you are going to make these rolls for dinner, I suggest make the dough in the morning and let it rest until ready to make them. I made my dough at night since I wanted to make the rolls for breakfast.

  1. Combine all-purpose flour, wheat flour and salt and mix it thoroughly. Combine warm water and cream and dissolve fresh yeast in the liquid.
  2. Set your mixer on slow and start pouring the liquid into the flour mixture, add honey and now switch to medium speed and knead for about 5 minutes.
  3. Sprinkle your work surface with a bit of flour and transfer the dough on it. Knead the dough by hand for a minute or two, make it into a ball, brush with a bit of oil, cover and let it rest for several hours, best overnight.
  4. Prepare a greased large round baking pan.
  5. Empty the dough on a floured surface and knead it a few times. Weigh the dough and decide how many rolls you need.  Cut the dough into desired number of pieces. I weighed mine so they can be a similar size.
  6. Knead each piece of dough 8-10 times and form a ball. Place all the dough balls into the greased pan, cover lightly and let rise for at least 1 ½ – 2 hours.
  7. When they have doubled in size, brush them with some heavy cream and sprinkle with flax and sesame seeds.
  8. Bake at 400 F (200 C) for about  20 minutes or until golden.

All is left is just to enjoy them!

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Honey-Wheat dough

Honey-Wheat dough

Honey-Wheat rolls from scratch

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Honey-Wheat rolls from scratch

Honey-Wheat rolls from scratch

Honey-Wheat rolls from scratch

Honey-Wheat rolls from scratch

Crusty Bread with Yogurt and Honey

Yesterday was definitely a bread baking day! From the time I woke up I couldn’t stop thinking about making bread. It may seem strange, but I get all consumed thinking about it, planning in my head and just can’t wait to get home and start working on it. I remembered the time when I lived in Germany, I had a part-time job in a bakery. I loved that job, I loved the smell of the fresh baked goods and just the whole busy atmosphere of the place. One of my favorite breads from the bakery was Yogurt Bread. It had a crusty outside and was chewy and moist inside. Pure enjoyment! This was my attempt to recreate this wonderful bread and I am more than pleased with the results! In fact, I am so pleased that I am making a loaf again today! 😀

Crusty Bread with Yogurt and Honey                         Printable recipe

  • 1.2 oz (35 g) fresh yeast
  • 5 oz (150 ml) cold water
  • 8 oz (225 g) plain yogurt
  • 6 oz (175 ml) water
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 26.4  oz (750 g) flour (used all-purpose King Arthur)
  • flour for kneading
  • olive oil for brushing
  1. Dissolve the yeast in the cold water. In another dish combine yogurt and water, add honey and salt.
  2. Place the flour in a mixer bowl with the hook attachments. Start mixing slowly adding the yeast mixture. After that slowly add the yogurt mixture.
  3. Let it mix on a slow-medium setting for about 10 minutes. The dough will be firm.
  4. Cover and let rise on a room temperature for about 3-4 hours. Collapse it, cover again and place in the fridge for another 20 hours. The dough needs to rest for about 24 hours.
  5. When ready to shape the bread, remove from the fridge and leave at room temperature for couple of hours. Dust your working surface with flour, knead the dough thoroughly and shape into an oval. Brush all over with olive oil and liberally dust with flour, cover and let it rise until double in size. Score it in the middle.
  6. Heat the oven to 425 F (218 C), place the baking stone/dish in the oven for at least 30 minutes. Place a cup of water on the bottom of the oven. Put the bread onto the stone and bake for about 45-60 minutes.
  7. Cool completely, slice and enjoy!

Bon Appétit!

Fresh yeast dissolved in cold water
Combining honey with yogurt mixture
Adding dissolved yeast to flour
The dough is quite firm
Dough right after removed from the fridge and 24 hour rest.
Forming the oval shaped bread
Scored and ready for oven

Sweet Yeasted Buns: recreating mom’s recipe

Numerous times I tried to recreate these sweet, fluffy buns that mom used to make when we were children. I don’t have a recipe because mama always made these without one! I think today they have turned out just right – right amount of sweetness, softness, right texture and above all the right taste! I know she would be proud of me – Happy Birthday Mama! 🙂

Sweet Yeasted Buns                    Printable recipe

(KORPICE- is the name of these buns, which in Bosnian language means “little baskets”)

Dough:

  • 4 cups (512 g) all-purpose flour
  • 2.8 oz (80 g) sugar
  • 1 ¼ cup (295 ml) warm milk
  • 0.7 oz (20 g) fresh yeast
  • ½ lemon (zest only)
  • 1 egg
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2.8 oz (80 g) butter (softened)
  • Flour for kneading

Filling:

  • 3.5 oz (100 g) finely chopped walnuts
  • 3.5 (100 g) fresh blackberries (mashed)
  • 5.2 oz (150 g) blackberry jam
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch

***1 Tablespoon powder sugar + 1 pack of vanilla sugar for dusting

Preparation:

For the dough combine the flour, sugar and vanilla sugar in a mixing bowl. Make an indent in the flour. Dissolve the yeast in the warm milk and lightly pour the milk into the flour. Mix the dough until almost combined, add the egg and the yolks, mix some more and at the end add butter.

Place the dough on a floured surface and knead for a few minutes. Form into a ball, place into a buttered bowl, cover and let it rest until double in size. The dough supposed to be medium firm. Once is rises is will be stretchy, soft and easy to work with.

While the dough is rising, prepare the filling. Just mix all ingredients together and set aside until needed.

Once the dough is ready place it on a floured surface and roll it into a rectangle (approx. size 12 X 24 inches or 30 X 60 cm). With a pizza knife cut it into 24 squares.  Place some of the filling in the middle of each square, pick up opposite corners together as to form a little basket. Pinch the sides good so the filling doesn’t come out.

Cover and let it rest for about 15 minutes. Bake at 400 F (200 C) for about 15 minutes or until you see nice golden-brown tops.

While still warm, dust with mixture of sugar and vanilla sugar. Serve warm with coffee or a cup of milk.

YUM! ENJOY! 🙂

Easy Sandwich Buns

I so enjoy making my own bread and buns. What’s better than a fresh, golden-brown bun right out of the oven?! Here is just a quick and simple recipe for some excellent sandwich buns.

Easy Sandwich Buns                              Printable recipe

 Ingredients:

  • 4 cups (512 g) all-purpose flour (used King Arthur)
  • 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup +/- ¼ cup (250 ml) warm water
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • Flour for kneading

Preparation:

In a large bowl combine flour, active dry yeast, sugar and salt. Mix well and start adding water. Quantity of water will depend on the flour.

Add the olive oil at the end and mix for 4-5 minutes. Cover the bowl with a kitchen towel and let the dough rest for about 5 minutes.

Now turn on the mixer for another 5 minutes. The dough will look nice and smooth. Shortly knead it by hand on a flour dusted surface. Shape it into a ball, place it back into the greased bowl, cover and let it rise until double in volume (1 to 1.5 hours).

When double in size, place the dough on your working surface, roll it into a square and cut into square shaped buns. I made bigger buns, so I had 9.

Make sure buns are nicely dusted with flour when you place them onto a baking sheet. Cover them and let rise for another hour.

Heat the oven to 450 F (230 C). Bake the buns for about 12-15 minutes. For extra crunchy buns place a cup of water on the bottom of the oven.

Bon Appétit!

Yeast Strudel with Hazelnuts

I haven’t baked in a while, partly because the summer calls for the resfreshing, no bake, fruity desserts and partly because I was on vacation and just didn’t feel like doing much except relaxing, painting, shopping, and such… Well, last night I got a huge urge to bake! Without a particular reason, without an occasion in sight I just HAD TO BAKE SOMETHING! Those passionate about baking will understand! 😀

Ideas started forming in my mind while I was still at work – something yeasty, but not too heavy and good for breakfast… Strudel! That’s it! We, Eastern European People love our strudel! I think most of every nation of Eastern (and some of Western EU) has one or the other version of the strudel. I usually make two types of strudel – one with a very thin, phyllo-like dough and the other with the yeast dough. Fillings can vary – from a lighter cherry, apple or jam filling to a richer poppy seed, walnut, hazelnut, almond or cream cheese and raisins filling. More info about strudel here.

Yeast Strudel with Hazelnuts                      Printable recipe

Yields two 5 X 9 inches (13 X 23 cm) loafs

Filling:

  • 12-14 oz (350-400 g) ground hazelnuts
  • 3/4 cup (180 ml) milk
  • 1/2 cup (100 g) sugar
  • 1 pack vanilla sugar (or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract)
  • 2-3  tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Dough:

  • 1 pack of dry yeast (or 20 g fresh yeast)
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons warm water
  • 4 cups (512 g) all-purpose flour (used King Arthur)
  • 1/2 cup (100 g) sugar
  • A pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest (if desired)
  • 1 egg (beaten)
  • 1 cup (236 ml)warm water
  • 6 tablespoons (85 g) butter (very soft)

Preparation:

Filling:

Pour the milk into a cooking pan and let it boil lightly. Add hazelnuts, sugar, vanilla, honey and cinnamon and mix well for a few minutes until the filling thickens. Make sure the filling is spreadable. If is too runny add more hazelnuts. ***You may divide filling into two parts and add 1 tbsp of cocoa or melted chocolate in one half (or add some different flavor to it).

Dough:

  1. Mix the yeast, 1 tsp sugar and 2 tbsp warm water. Set aside for 5 minutes until becomes foamy.
  2. Combine flour, sugar, salt and lemon zest. Make an indent in the flour and pour in the yeast mixture. Mix lightly, add the egg and then start adding water. When almost combined, work the butter into the dough.
  3. Lightly dust your working surface with flour and knead the dough by hand for about 5 minutes. Grease a bowl with butter and place the dough ball into the bowl. Cover with a kitchen towel and let it rise until double in volume.
  4. Prepare two 5 X 9 inches (about 13 X 23 cm) loaf pans, grease them with butter. Cover your table with a cloth which will be used for rolling the dough. Sprinkle the cloth with flour.
  5. When the dough is ready, divide it in two. Using a rolling pin roll the dough as thin as possible. Make sure it keeps its rectangular shape. The size of my dough was approx. 12 X 20 inches. Spread the filling as thinly as possible. Lift up the cloth and roll the dough as a jelly roll. Do the same with the second piece of the dough.
  6. Shape one roll into “S”, form the other dough into a two-strain braid and place each into a loaf pan. Cover and let is rise for about 1 to 1.5 hours.
  7. Bake at 375 F (190 C) for 10 minutes, then lower the temperature to 350 F (175 C) and bake for another 30 minutes. Cool for at least 30 minutes in the pan. Remove from the pan and cool for another 30 minutes, slice and serve.

ENJOY!

Piquant Cheese Pepper Bread

Every day when I come back from work I make dinner for my family. During a working week this is the only time when we sit together for a meal. This was a busy week with a lot of after work/school commitments, some take outs and dinners out of the home. Today I didn’t have enough time to cook something big, so I decided to make this delicious cheesy pepper bread paired up with some fresh mozzarella cheese, Bosnian smoked sausage (sudžuk) and campari tomatoes. The recipe for the Cheese Pepper Bread comes from an old country cookbook I bought a few years ago at a yard sale. It was well worth the 50 cents I spent for it. This bread is simple to make, it is done in less than an hour and tastes wonderfully cheesy and piquant.

Cheese Pepper Bread                                           Printable recipe

 Ingredients:

  • 1 stick (113 g) butter (melted)
  • 2 ½ cups (312 g) flour
  • 2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 – 1 ½ teaspoons black pepper (freshly ground)
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 8 oz (226 g) shredded cheddar cheese (or any you like)
  • 2 eggs
  • 8 oz (236 ml) plain yogurt

Preparation:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 F (190 C). Line your 9x5x3 inches (23x13x7 cm) loaf pan with parchment paper.
  2. Melt butter over low heat and set aside to cool.
  3. Combine flour, baking powder, black pepper, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Stir in cheddar cheese. (I’ve used 4 oz cheddar and 4 oz mozzarella)
  4. In a medium bowl lightly beat eggs, add yogurt and melted butter. Pour this mixture into flour just until moistened. Spoon into prepared loaf pan..
  5. Bake about 35 minutes until golden brown or until tooth pick inserted in center comes out clean.
  6. Cool in pan about 10 minutes, remove from pan and serve.

Braided Breakfast Bread

Every time I want to bake something with yeast I remember my mama. She was the queen of yeast doughs. She didn’t use any recipes either. She would throw together a little bit of this, a little bit of that and it would turn into one of those things that people write a two page recipe for. Mama enjoyed making everything fresh and from scratch, of course! 🙂 She would get up early in the morning, I mean really early! She would start a dough, and by the time my sister and I were getting ready for school the whole house would be enveloped in the fragrant aroma of mama’s baked goods. After all that early morning work she still had plenty of energy to dress up, do her hair, put some make up on and go meet some 25 other people’s children and teach them with a smile.

This morning I tried to throw together few things my self, hoping it would turn into one of mama-like heavenly breakfast breads. I would say it turned out ok. I should have let it rise longer, but impatient me didn’t… Anyway, the house smelled wonderfuly and the bread tasted great, but it just wasn’t as mama’s…

Braided Breakfast Bread                                 Printable recipe

Ingredients:

  • 3 ½ cups (450 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup (65 g) dry milk powder
  • ¼ cup (50 g) sugar
  • 1 ½ tsp dry yeast
  • 1 lemon (zest)
  • 1 1/4 cup (300 ml) warm water
  • ½ stick (50 g) butter (soft)
  • 1 egg
  • 3.5 oz (100 g) raisins
  • 3.5 oz (100 g) dried apricots (chopped)
  • 1.8 oz (50 g) dried cranberries

Egg wash:

  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp milk or cream

Preparation:

  1. Soak all dried fruit in warm water for about 30 minutes.
  2. Combine flour, dry milk powder, sugar, yeast, and mix well. Gradually start adding water. Add lemon zest. When almost combined, add egg and butter. Mix for few more minutes, then add in dried fruit.
  3. Cover and let it rest for about two hours or until doubled in volume.
  4. Now place the dough on a flour-dusted surface and knead it for few minutes. Divide it into 4 equal pieces.  Roll each piece into a long 12-14 inch (30-35 cm) log. Pinch all four pieces together and form a braid.
  5. Place the braid onto a baking pan, brush with the egg wash, cover and let it rise for another 45 minutes to an hour.
  6. Preheat oven to 375 F (190 C) and bake for about 30-45 minutes or until nice, golden-brown color.

Enjoy!

Turkish Pide Bread

For a few weeks now, my son has been asking me to make Turkish Pide Bread. He calls it Turkish Pizza. In many ways pide is similar to pizza, with a somewhat different taste. Honestly, I like it better than pizza. This recipe yields 6 quite large pide breads. It requires some time to make it, and I got a bit tired, but seeing my son so happy to have one of his favorite foods, it was well worth it! 🙂

Pide dough:

  • 4 1/2 cups (500 g) all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp yeast
  • 1 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup (250 ml) warm water
  • 1 1/2 TBSP olive oil

Filling:

  • 1/2 lb (250 g) tomatoes
  • 2 medium onions
  • 1/2 long red sweet pepper or red bell pepper
  • 1/2 large green bell pepper
  • 3/4 lb (350 g) ground beef
  • 1 TBSP Vegeta spice (not in original recipe, but I use it)
  • salt, pepper, cumin to taste
  • 3 TBSP olive oil
  • 6 thick slices of Swiss cheese (or any cheese you like)

Preparation:

1. First prepare the dough. Sprinkle yeast and sugar over the warm water, cover and let it rest for 5 – 10 minutes. When bubbly, pour into flour and mix well. Add salt and olive oil and form a ball of dough. Let it raise for about 30 – 45 minutes.

2. While dough is resting, prepare filling. Put 3 tbsp of olive oil into a pan. Place tomatoes in boiling water for a minute, peel them and coarsely chop them. Slice onions into thin rings, chop red and green bell pepper, saute it in olive oil shortly. Add ground beef, add all the spices and tomatoes and saute only until beef gets just brown. Set aside.

3. Divide the dough into 6 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a long oval shape. Fold the sides inward and then twist one end to the right and the other end to the left. Put them onto a greased large baking pan. Place a slice of cheese in each pide.

4. Divide filling into 6 equal amount and put on the top of each pide. Bake at 400 F (200 C) for about 15 minutes or until golden brown.

Enjoy!