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

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

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!

Wheat-Rye Bread with Kefir

About a year ago we started using kefir as a part of our daily nutrition. Kefir has multiple benefits for your body and can be used as a plain drink, a smoothie, and can also be mixed into pancakes, breads and other baked goods since it contains some beneficial yeasts. Fresh (24 hour kefir) is very mild and yogurt-like tasting. After 48 hours it becomes somewhat sour and after 72 hours quite sour. It is still good to use, it just depends on what you prefer. Today I was experimenting a little with the 72-hour kefir just to see what kind of flavor my bread will have. In the back of my mind I had this idea that it may taste like sourdough bread…

 WHEAT-RYE BREAD WITH KEFIR            Printable recipe

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups (500 g) bread flour (wheat)
  • 1 cup (100 g) rye flour
  • 1 tsp yeast
  • 1 ¼ tsp salt
  • ¾ cup (175 ml) kefir (room temperature)
  • 1 ¼ (300 ml) warm water
  • Flour for kneading
  • ½ cup (125 ml) water for baking

Preparation:

  1. In a bowl of a stand mixer combine wheat and rye flour, add yeast and keep mixing for a minute or two.
  2. Now add kefir, warm water and salt and keep mixing for about 5 minutes. Let it rest for 10 minutes and again mix for another 5.
  3. Put the dough on a flour dusted surface and knead for a few minutes. Form into a ball, place it back into bowl, cover it and let it rise for about 1 – 1 ½ hour.
  4. When the dough looks double its size, place it back on the working surface, knead it thoroughly and form it into a desired shape. Dust it with flour, cover it and let it rise for about 30 minutes.
  5. While the dough is resting, heat the oven to450 F. Placea baking dish (oven safe) into the oven for 10 minutes to heat it.
  6. With a sharp knife cut a lengthwise ½ inch slit in the bread. Pick it up from the working surface and place it in the hot baking dish. Place a ½ cup of water on the bottom of the oven. This will provide necessary moisture and the bread will get a nice thick, crunchy crust.
  7. Lower the oven temperature to 430 F and bake for about 40 minutes.
  8. Cool down completely and enjoy!

*** This bread made with sour kefir tastes so much like a real sourdough bread!

Pretzels – Remembering southern Germany

At the beginning of the 90’s when there was a war going on in Bosnia, we spent about six years in south-western Germany. That time was kind of a bitter-sweet time for us. Bitter, as we were adjusting to the completely new life, new language, new country, new people, and we worried about the loved ones that were still in Bosnia. Sweet, because we got married and had our babies, and we have learned a lot about life and to always look forward no matter what the circumstances are.

Well, how do the pretzels tie into this whole story? Simply, every time I see them, a wave of memories splashes over me and brings back the pictures of the beautiful German towns, walks and bike rides along the Rhein river and Fairytale-like Black Forest villages and small bakeries filled with the best bread and pretzels in the World.

The preztels have somewhat crispy crust and are soft inside. In southern Germany, they are called Laugenbrezeln because of the specific way they are made. Before baking they are dipped in a NaOH solution, which is neutralized during baking and gives the pretzels their distinctive taste.  When made at home they are dipped in solution of baking soda and they taste fantastic (maybe not 100% as the German original, but 90% for sure).

Ingredients:                                  Printable recipe

  • 3 ¾ cup (500 g) bread flour (used King Arthur)
  • 1.5 oz (42 g) fresh yeast***
  •  ½ TSP salt
  • 3 ½ TBSP (50 g) butter (room temperature)
  • 1 cup (250 ml) warm milk
  • 3 quarts (3 liter) boiling water
  • 5 tbsp baking soda

Preparation:

  1. Sift the flour mixed with salt into a bowl and make a small hole in the middle. Thinly slice butter and place around the hole.
  2. Dissolve the fresh yeast in the warm milk and start pouring into the flour, mixing at the same time.
  3. Knead the dough by hand for at least 5 minutes. Dough will be quite firm and smooth and not sticky at all. Form a dough ball and let it rest covered for about 30 minutes.
  4. Place the dough on a work surface and cut into 10 equal pieces. Form the pretzels or rolls.
  5. Butter the baking pan. (Do not use parchment paper!)
  6. Boil the water and add the baking soda. Adding soda to the boiling water will make quite a reaction, so be careful!!! Let the water simmer and place each pretzel in the solution for about 30 seconds.
  7. Take out pretzels with a skimmer spoon and place them onto a well buttered baking pan.
  8. With a sharp knife or a razor cut the small slit on a top of each pretzel or a small cross on each roll. Sprinkle with coarse salt.
  9. Bake at 395 F (200 C) until golden brown.

Bavarian pretzels are usually served sliced horizontally and spread with butter.

*** Fresh yeast can be substituted with the dry yeast (use 1 and ¾ TSP). Mix the yeast with flour and salt, then add butter and warm milk and make the dough.

Buchteln – Sweet pull-apart Rolls

Buchteln are Bavarian/Austrian sweet rolls or dumplings usually filled with jam. I’ve seen them served with warm vanilla sauce poured on the top of them. They are also popular in other regions of Europe, including my homeland, Bosnia. They are very simple to make. I love how they snugly fit together in the pan and how easily they come apart when you need one. They are great for breakfast or any other time of the day. My Grandma often used to make them filled with rosehip jam.

This cold winter morning seemed perfect for Buchteln, so I made them for breakfast filled with homemade plum jam and nutella.

Buchteln                                                         Printable recipe        

  • 4 cups (500 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp active dry yeast (or 40 g fresh yeast)
  • ½ cup (100 g) sugar
  • 1 vanilla sugar (1 tsp vanilla extract)
  • Zest of one small lemon
  • 7 tbsp (100 g) butter (soft)
  •  1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 cup (250 ml) warm milk

For filling:  Your favorite jam, nutella, sweetened cream cheese and raisins, etc.

For brushing: 1 tbsp melted butter

For dusting: Powder sugar

  1. Combine flour, yeast, sugar, vanilla, lemon zest and mix well for few minutes.
  2. Add half of the milk and start mixing.
  3. Add egg, egg yolk and butter and remaining milk, continuing mixing for another 3-4 minutes or until the dough stops sticking to the walls of the mixing bowl.
  4. Knead the dough by hand for few minutes, form it into a ball, cover with kitchen towel and let it rise for about 1 to 1 ½ hours or until double in volume.
  5. Now roll it into a 1/3 in (about 8 mm) thick rectangle and with a pizza cutter, cut into smaller squares (about 3 x 3 in, 8 x 8 cm)
  6. Place a tbsp of jam on each square and close by bringing together opposite corners, pinching them tightly and making a small ball.
  7. Place formed buchteln into a round spring form lined with parchment paper. Melt 1 tbsp of butter and brush over buchteln, cover with kitchen towel and let rise until double in volume.
  8. Bake at 380 F (190 C) about 30 minutes. Cool down slightly, dust with powder sugar and serve warm.

Enjoy!

Dinner Rolls from scratch

Delicious dinner rolls are pretty simple to make if you have a little time. They are great, not only for breakfast, lunch or dinner, but for special occasions and holidays as well.  I like to shape them like knots, pull-aparts or crescents, just for a fun of it! 🙂 Homemade dinner rolls are super yummy and soooo much better tasting than the store bought ones! In addition to that, they don’t contain any preservatives and questionable ingredients. You may sprinkle them with your favorite topping or just leave them plain!

Ingredients for about 15-16 rolls:

  • 4 cups ( 512 g) all-purpose flour*
  • 2/3 cup (75 g) dry milk powder
  • 1 pack of active dry yeast
  • 1 tbsp sugar*
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp (42 g) butter (room temperature)
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • about 2 1/4 cup (500 ml) warm water
Egg wash:
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp milk
1. In a large bowl (or a stand mixer bowl) combine and mix well all dry ingredients, add thinly sliced butter. Pour little by little water into the bowl and mix slowly for 2-3 minutes, add oil and continue mixing for the next 5 minutes.
2. When the dough doesn’t stick to the walls of the bowl and it looks shiny and smooth, form it into a ball, cover with a clean dish towel and let it raise over night or at least 1 to 1 1/2 hour. The dough needs to double its volume.
3. Sprinkle your working surface with flour, roll the dough into a 10 X 15 inch (25 X 35 cm) rectangle. Prepare a baking sheet and line it with parchment paper. Grease your muffin pan.
4. For the knot shaped rolls cut the dough at the shorter end into 1 in (2.5 cm) strips. Tie a strip into a knot with ends placed on the bottom. Allow some space between knots as they will raise and expand during baking.
5. For the pull-apart rolls, form 1 inch balls, putting three together into a muffin pan.
6. For the egg wash, lightly beat an egg with two table spoons of milk, brush over rolls and sprinkle with your favorite topping or just leave plain. Let the rolls raise for about 30-45 minutes.
7. Pre-heat oven to 400 F (200 C) and bake about 20 minutes or until beautiful golden-brown color.
*Note:
For bread and rolls I always use “King Arthur” all-purpose or bread flour. I think it is the best flour on US market.
If you like sweeter rolls add 2 more tbsp of sugar into the dough.
Bon Appetite!

Homemade Bagels

On weekend mornings our family eats what we call a “Big Breakfast”. We take time making food we love, we take time setting the table and take time eating. It is important for us just to slow down, relax and eat this most important meal of the day. Everyone in our family always looks forward to the Big Weekend Breakfast! 🙂 Usually we have what we call an “European Breakfast”, but on some days we have also an “American Breakfast”. This weekend we had an American Breakfast and homemade bagels were on the menu.

Homemade Bagels

Ingredients for 8 large bagels:

  • 4 1/2 cups (520 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp dry yeast
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 cups (355 ml) warm water
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 tbsp water
  • sesame seeds, poppy seeds, shredded cheese, onion flakes, etc.
  • 3 quarts (about 3 liters) water
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp molasses
Note: To have fresh homemade bagels in the morning, I always start the dough the night before. I enjoy making the dough by hand, but Kitchen Aid is a great helper too. 🙂
1. Combine all dry ingredients and mix well for about 1-2 minutes. Combine warm water and oil. Slowly pour the liquid into the dry ingredients and start forming the dough.
2. Bagel dough needs to be firm. It is ready when it becomes smooth and doesn’t stick to the walls of the mixing bowl.
3. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough rise until it doubles its volume or over night.
4. Transfer the dough onto a flour dusted surface and knead for a few minutes. Roll it into a rectangle and cut into 8 equal pieces. I weighed mine and they were all about 4.4 oz (125 g).
5. Knead each piece into a small ball, cover with plastic wrap and let it rise for about 30-45 minutes.
6. Poke a whole in the middle of each dough ball (swirl around your point finger a few times) to form a bagel.
7. In a bigger pot boil the water, add salt, molasses and mix well. Reduce the water to simmer. Place each bagel into the simmering water and cook 30-45 seconds on each side. If you like chewier bagels you can boil them for about 2 minutes. Take them out and place on a wire rack.
8. For egg wash mix together egg white and water, brush over bagels and sprinkle with sesame or poppy seeds, shredded cheese, onion flakes (or whichever topping you prefer).
9. Pre-heat the oven to 420 F (215 C). Line a large baking pan with parchment paper, sprinkle with corn meal and place the bagels on the pan.
10. Bake for about 20 minutes or until nice golden-brown color. For a crispier bagel, place a cup of water on the bottom of the oven, while baking.
All is left now is to enjoy them! 🙂
Here they were just the dough balls.
Already looking like bagels! 🙂
Our favorite toppings – sesame and poppy seeds!
They smelled so good, even a wasp came to have a taste! 🙂