Wednesday, August 16, 2017

BBBabes bake Bulgarian bread

And off to Bulgaria we go this month for our bread recipe. Tanna ("My kitchen in half cups") is our Kitchen of the month and she choose a savory bread recipe with feta and herbs for us to bake. (she will be on with her bake later).

I just had baked this one from Jane Mason's book "Book of buns". In fact I finished baking all the recipes from her book recently and I can highly recommend her book when you love bread and especially small breads.

The bread is baked as a whole and cut it pieces afterwards.. so not a real "small bread" or bun in my book, but who cares.
I used a little less feta than the recipe said (I didn't have more) and some flat leaf parsley.

You can bake along with us as a Bread Baking Buddy, post about it, tell us about is and sent all this to Tanna and she will send you the Bread Baking Buddy Badge to add to your post if you want. And most important of all you get to bake this wonderful bread and eat it too! Get baking!

(makes 9 to 16 pieces)
(PRINT recipe)
450 g bread flour
2 g instant yeast
250 g milk, warm to room temp.
9 g salt
100 g butter

1  egg
200 g feta cheese crumbled
50 g butter melted and cooled
paprika powder for garnish, optional
fresh herb(s), optional

glaze: 1 egg and 1 tsp water

20 x 20 cm tin at 5cm deep, greased and lined

Add the salt and knead it by hand or with a dough hook in the standmixer, until the dough is souple and elastic. Then add the butter in pieces and knead for 10 minutes. Place the dough in the bowl, cover and allow to rest for 2 hours.

Mix the egg together with the feta cheese in a bowl.  Melt the butter and allow to cool.
Pull the dough out of the bowl onto an unfloured surface.

Divide the dough into 9 equal pieces.  Dust with flour and roll one piece out into a rectangle of  10 x 10 cm. If the dough springs back, cover and let rest for 10 minutes until it relaxes. Brush with melted butter.
Put the flour into a bowl and make a well.  Sprinkle the yeast in the well and pour on the milk. Sprinkle the top with the surrounding flour and let rest for 1 hour.

Take another piece of dough and roll it out the same size, place on top of the first and brush with butter. Then place the third piece of dough, rolled out the same size and place on top of the first two, this time don’t brush it!

Using a rolling pin, roll the stack of dough into a rectangle the size of your baking pan and lift it up (you can roll it around your rolling pin if that is easier) and place it in the prepared baking pan.

Repeat with the final 3 pieces of dough, and place the stack on top of the dough in the pan.

Seal in the cheese by pressing together the outside edge of the dough stack with your hands.  Pull down the very top layer of the bread and stick it well on or even under the rest of the dough, so the dough will stay in place during baking. Cover with a dry tea towel and allow to rest for an hour.

Preheat the oven to 230°C. Brush the top of the dough with the melted butter and sprinkle some paprika on it if you like.
Pop the pan in the preheated oven and immediately turn the oven down to 200°C.
Bake for 35 minutes.

Remove from the oven. Place on a wire rack and allow it to cool down a bit.  When it is still warm (not hot), cut it into squares and enjoy with a salad or some soup.
Brush it with melted butter and spread over half the feta cheese mixture and soeme fresh herbs if wanted. Repeat with the next 3 pieces of dough, and place that stack on top of the first stack.  Brush this with melted butter and spread it with the remaining half of the feta cheese mixture and any optional toppings.

(Adapted from “Book of buns" – Jane Mason)

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Bread Baking Babes bake with beans

And I'm here for another episode of the baking adventures of the Bread Baking Babes, this time with a recipe chosen by our lovely babe Kelly ("A messy kitchen").
It's a bread that I've baked before, but so delicious to bake time and time again, you can make your daily sandwiches and put anything you like on it. The bread itself has a soft crumb because of the mashed cooked white beans. So you have veggies in your bread too! This soft bread is much appreciated in our home (although they really do eat any bread I make). And this is a very nice way to make it softer without any weird additives. You can soak and cook dried beans, or just buy a can/jar with cooked beans. And of course a great way to use up some left over beans from your meal. This bread is made with white beans, my hunch is that's for keeping it a light colour, but you could use any bean you want (well not like runner beans).
Have a go and bake along with us and treat your family with this beautiful loaf. Become our Bread Baking Buddy, check out the details on Kelly's blog. Send your findings, details about the bread to Kelly, she's our Kitchen of the month, deadline 29th of this month. Happy baking!
Velvety Bean Bread
(makes 2 small loaves or one large)
(PRINT recipe)
2 tsp active dry yeast
250 g lukewarm water
200 g drained cooked or canned navy beans, room temp (or white beans or cannellini beans)
130 g whole wheat flour
1 TBsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
± 320 g bread flour (more or less depending on the moisture in the beans)

Dissolve yeast in water.  Process beans until smooth, transfer to a large bowl or stand mixer.  Stir yeast mixture into beans.  Add the whole wheat flour and stir for one minute, in one direction, to develop the dough.  Add the oil and salt and stir them in.  Add 120 g of the bread flour and stir in.  Add the remaining flour and knead in with a dough hook, or work in and knead by hand for about 5 minutes, until smooth.

Place dough in a bowl, cover, and let rise for 3 hours, or until almost doubled in volume.

Turn out dough and divide in half.  Butter two small bread pans.  Form each portion of dough into a loaf and place seam side down in the pans.  (or use one large tin)
Cover with lightly greased plastic and let the dough rise.  Check at 1 hour and continue to proof if needed.

Preheat oven to 200ºC, have a spray bottle or small cup of water ready for steam.  Slash each loaf lengthwise, place in oven and bake for 5 minutes, adding steam at the start of the baking.  Bake for 15 minutes, then reduce heat to 180ºC and bake for 25 minutes until rich brown with a matte finish.  Turn the loaves out and check for doneness. Finish cooling on a wire rack before slicing.
(recipe: “Home Baking” - Jeffrey Alford & Naomi Duguid )

Friday, June 16, 2017

Bake a purse! BBB in June

Another month with another Middle Eastern recipe for the Bread Baking Babes to bake; thanks Karen ("Bake my day!") for this lovely choice. The fun bread shape looks like a purse and is meant to carry around after buying it from a street cart in Lebanon that sells these. You can bake them yourself and please feel free to parade in your house and/or street! Bake these in a weekend and eat them for dinner or take them on a picnic! Bake with us, taste, post about them en sent your details and findings to Karen (bakemyday(at)gmail(dot)com) and become our Bread Baking Buddy!! Enter before the 30th of this month!

Kaak bread (a Lebanese bread with sesame seeds)
(makes 6 large Kaak)
(PRINT recipe) 

235 g milk
230 g water
2 TBsp olive oil
1 ½ TBsp sugar
1 ½ tsp salt
1 TBsp instant dry yeast
135 g whole wheat flour
490 gr all purpose flour, you may need a little more, but don’t add too much flour
1 egg for egg wash
1 TBsp sesame seeds per kaak
You will also need lined baking sheets
Mix all the dough ingrdients in a standmixer bowl and knead it until souple dough. What you'll be looking for is a malleable non-sticky dough.
Shaping; divide dough into 5 parts of 200 g (or make smaller ones about 100 g each) and ball up. The last part of dough will be smaller, but you add all the cut out circles to that one, so it’ll be about the same size. Let rest to relax and using a dough pin roll each ball into a circle approx. 18 cm diam., about 1 1/2 cm.
Place the shaped breads on lined baking sheets, be careful not to stretch the dough. Use a large cookie cutter to cut out a circle near the top to form the "handle". and loosely cover to rise another 25-30 minutes. Add all the cut-out circles to the last smaller piece of dough and shape this one like a purse without cutting a whole (make a hole with your finger and carefully open it up. Or do it as it’s done in this video )

Egg wash the breads, sprinkle with sesame seeds.
Bake for ±15-18 minutes or until golden and puffed in a pre-heated oven 200-220°C. I think they will benefit from a bit of steam in your oven. Use your preferred method; either ice cubes, boiling water in a heated pan... bake on a stone...

Let them cool on a wire rack. You can eat them like they are or make a horizontal slit in the bottom part of the purse, which you can fill with whatever your fancy.
We stuffed them with lettuce, tomato, cucumber and some vegetable "sausages"

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Bread Baking Babes bake Shubbak el-Habayeb.

This month it is Karens ("Karens kitchen stories") choice and it's a great one! A delicious little bread with a slight sweet taste. It's the second time I've baked them. The first time I rolled them too thin, this time it was better, a bit thicker that made a lovely crumb. Even though I didn't make the slices right :) . It's a lovely little bread to bake along with us. So give it a try and become our Bread Baking Buddy by baking and telling us about it.

Send your findings and results to the Kitchen of the month to Karen (, check out her blog for more information. Deadline 29th of the month. Have fun baking!

Shubbak el-Habayeb
Yield: 12 rolls
(PRINT recipe)
600 g  all purpose flour
3 g tsp instant yeast
100 g sugar
225 g milk, scalded
2 large eggs
1/2 tsp orange blossom water
1/2 tsp rose water
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
1/2 tsp ground mahlab
12 g salt
50 g butter, melted and cooled
about 100 ml water, added to the dough by wetting your hands as you knead the dough.
1 egg
1 TBsp water
Pinch of salt
Pinch of sugar
Sesame seeds (white and/or black)
Pour the flour into a bowl, and create a well in the middle. Sprinkle the yeast and sugar into the well, and add the milk. Cover the milk with some of the flour from the sides. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a towel, and let rest for one hour.
Add the eggs, flower waters, cardamom, mahlab, and salt to the mixture in the bowl and mix with your hands to form a rough dough. Turn it out onto an unfloured counter, and knead for 10 minutes.
Add the butter, and knead for 10 more minutes. While kneading, if the dough is too stiff, dip your hands in the water, and continue to knead. Continue to dip your hands in the water until you have a supple dough. You can also do this with a dough hook, adding the water, one tablespoon at a time. Place the dough into an oiled bowl and let rise in a warm spot, covered, for about two hours, until doubled.
Turn the dough out onto a clean work surface. Divide the dough into 12 equal pieces and form them into balls. Cover with a towel or oiled plastic wrap, and let rest for 15 minutes.
Roll each ball with a rolling pin into a square that is about 1/2 inch thick. Cut the dough with a sharp knife to make short vertical cuts in each quadrant of the dough. Open the slits with your hands to make sure they are cut through.
Place the squares on baking sheets (two sheet pans, prepared with parchment), six squares per pan.Cover each sheet pan with oiled plastic wrap, and let rise for one hour. In the meantime, preheat the oven to 220ºC) with a rack in the middle of the oven.
Whisk together the glaze ingredients and brush the glaze over the rolls on one of the sheet pans. Sprinkle with the sesame seeds. Bake the first pan of rolls for 15 minutes, until golden. Remove them from the oven and cool on a wire rack. Repeat with the second pan of rolls.
(source: Jane Mason – “Book of buns”)

Sunday, April 16, 2017

BBBabes make curry 'eggs' for Easter

This month there is a delicious treat for you to bake with us. I was very pleased that our Indian Babe Aparna ("My diverse kitchen") came up with these lovely vegetarian "great balls of curry". Deep fried round balls with a superdelicious curry (recipe included) inside. How perfect to have egg-like balls for a Easter-recipe!
I made them on a Sunday for diner. I made 12 balls, that were big enough as they puff up a little in the oil. Everybody loved these a lot. Cripsy on the outside, soft bread and a fabulous curry on the inside. Thanks Aparna, that was just perfect for us! So bake fry along with us, and become our Bread Baking Buddy. Make it, fry it, eat it, and blog about it, or let us know how they turned out. Send your details to Aparna (aparna(at)mydiversekitchen(dot)com), deadline 29th of this month and she'll add you to the round up of all the Buddy Bakers, Of course you'll also receive a Buddy Badge to add to your post (if you like). You won't be disappointed with these delicious breadballs! So go and bake (fry) and have fun.

Kare Pan (Japanese Curry Buns)
(PRINT recipe)
3/4 tsp instant yeast
1 tsp sugar
300 g all-purpose bread flour
70 g whole wheat flour
70 g cake flour
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 TBsp oil
200-250 g water
2 1/2 cups diced mixed vegetables (carrot, cauliflower, beans)
1/3 cup frozen green peas
3 big potatoes
2 TBsp  oil
1 tsp garlic paste
1 tsp ginger paste
2 big onions, chopped fine
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp chilli powder (adjust to taste)
1 1/2 tsp coriander powder
1 1/2 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp garam masala
Salt to taste
3 to 4 TBsp coriander chopped fresh (optional)
A thin almost watery slurry/ mixture of all-purpose flour and water (or two eggs beaten well)
1 1/2 cups Panko crumbs
Oil for deep-frying
You can make this ahead or do it while the dough is rising. Steam cook the mixed vegetables and the potatoes till well done. Mash them very well and keep aside.
In a largish wok, heat the oil. Add the ginger and garlic pastes and saute taking care to see it doesn’t burn. Add half the onions and sauté again it is soft and translucent. Add the chopped tomatoes and cook them till they’re soft and mushy.
Use your potato masher, or a wooden spoon, to mash the onion-tomato mixture further. Cook until the oil appears on the edge.
Add the turmeric, chilli, coriander, cumin and garam masala powders. Cook over medium heat for a couple of minutes, stirring often, until the raw smell of the spices disappears. Add the mashed vegetables, salt and about quarter a cup of water. Cook for another 5 to 10 minutes until everything blends into a homogeneous thick moist consistency with no gravy. Mix in the chopped coriander and let it cool. Use to fill the Curry Buns. I used a large ice/cookie scoop to portion the filling out in 12, places them on a lightly floured plate until the dough was ready to be filled.
Dough / Kare Pan
Mix instant yeast and the sugar into the flours.
In a large bowl (or use your food processor/ kneading machine), mix together the flours and the salt. Add the oil and the water. Knead well, adding as much more water (or some flour if needed ) as necessary to form a smooth elastic dough.
Roll the dough into a ball and place in an oiled bowl, coating it with the oil. Cover loosely and let it rise till double in size (should take about 1 1/2 hours or so).
Deflate the dough and divide it into equal 12 pieces. Place them on your lightly floured work surface, cover and let them rise for about 30 to 45 minutes. Get the Curry filling ready. Also get the flour slurry or beaten egg, and the Panko crumbs all ready.
Working quickly with one piece at a time, gently press down a piece of dough and roll it out into a circle about 6 mm thick. Place a generous amount (not too much) of filling in the centre and bring up the side together over the filling to shape into a ball. Otherwise, fold over into a half-moon taking care to seal the edges very well. Use water or egg if necessary to seal. (I used the ‘slurry’ that is used for the coating)
Dip the dough ball into the flour slurry (or beaten egg) and then roll it in the breadcrumbs till it is coated well. If shaping into a ball. Use your palms to gently press in the breadcrumbs. Keep aside. Quickly repeat with remaining dough pieces and filling. Let them rest for about 10 to 15 minutes. (If you have some left over filling, just make small balls coat with the slurry and crumbs and bake in a frying pan, or just heat up without the coating, a delicious snack!)
In the meanwhile heat enough oil in a wok or fryer for deep frying the dough balls. Once the oil is hot enough (185ºC), gently drop 2 or 3 of the dough balls in the oil turning them over so they brown evenly. Once they’re a deep golden brown (should take about a couple of minutes) remove them from the oil with a slotted spoon or spatula and let them drain on paper towels.
Serve them warm as they are or with sauce. They will be crisp and crunchy on the outside and a little bready on the inside with the filling.
(adapted from