Basket Bread with Figs

Basket Bread with Figs

Ingredients

25 grams of fresh yeast
3 1/2 deciliters of warm water
3 deciliters of yoghurt
1 deciliter of buttermilk
1 table-spoon of light/bright syrup
2 tea-spoons of salt
600 grams of plain flour
250 grams of rye flour
150 grams of oats (finely ground)
1/2 deciliter of olive oil
100 grams of dried figs
(2 bread baskets to shape the breads)

Making Basket Bread with Figs

Crumble the yeast into a large baking bowl. Mix yoghurt and buttermilk with warm water so that the mix reaches room temperature. Add the liquid to the yeast and stir until it dissolves. Add syrup and olive oil. Measure out your flours and your oats and add it in a little by little, together with the salt. Chop the dried figs into thin strips and add to the dough. Start kneading the dough and be sure to have a dough scraper and extra plain flour to hand. The dough is wet and it will take a while until the gluten is stretched enough so that it starts forming into a bread shape. Use the dough scraper to maneuver your dough and be patient at kneading. Unless you have a kitchen machine that will do this for you. When you have kneaded the dough so that it starts releasing the surface, and you are more or less able to form it into a round, add some flour to your work surface to help you form the dough into a round. Cover with a kitchen towel and leave to rest for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile take out your bread baskets and plain flour. Line the inside of the baskets with flour so that the dough will not stick while resting in them. When the 20 minutes are up, part your dough in two, use a scale to be more exact, and form the two doughs into a round. Add the rounds to each their basket, and leave to rest for another two hours. Before the two hours are up, set your oven to 250 degrees Celsius. Measure up 2 deciliters of water and put a baking tray in the bottom of the oven. When the oven is preheated, turn your breads onto a baking tray lined with baking paper, the basket will give them a nice pattern. Score the breads in a circle on the top, somewhat like this, to avoid your bread cracking up when the steam releases as it rises in the oven. Put the breads in the oven and pour the water into the bottom baking tray. Turn the oven off completely, and wait 5 minutes until you turn the oven onto 200 degrees Celsius. Leave the breads to bake for 30-45 minutes. Baking time varies from oven to oven, and you can only be sure when you take the bread out and knock on the bottom for a hollow sound.

If your bread is slightly under baked it is not a crisis. If you put your bread in a cold oven and warm it up to a 150 degrees, when serving it or having taken it out of the freezer, the bread will finish baking. This bread has a nice crust, a soft middle and tastes excellent with cheese. It will also keep well if kept in an airtight plastic bag. I ate three slices this morning, and its been three days since I baked it, it still tasted fresh.

Inspired by  Politikens Bog om Brød by Lone Kjær

Tear and Share Rolls

Tear and Share Rolls

Ingredients

500 grams of plain white flour
60 grams of butter
15 grams/1 table-spoon of sugar
10 grams/2 tea-spoons of salt
20 grams of fresh yeast
60 grams of eggs
210 millilitres of warm water
60 millilitres of milk
Toppings: Sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, linseeds, sesame seeds, corn flour, plain white flour and caraway seeds.

Making Tear and Share Rolls

Cut the butter into smaller chunks and add to a food processor with the flour, mix until the flour reaches breadcrumb consistency. If you don´t have a food processor add both to a bowl and use your hands, rubbing the butter into the flour. Mix in sugar and salt. Whisk the eggs, ca 1 1/2 small eggs, together and weigh them up. Don´t throw the leftover egg away as you will use it for the egg wash at a later stage.

Measure up your milk and add warm water to the same measuring cup, attempting to get a lukewarm temperature. Put your finger in, the mixture should be neither cold nor warm. Crumble the yeast into a bowl and pour over the water/milk mix and the eggs. Dissolve the yeast using a spatula and add in the flour mixture. Fold the flour in until it all becomes one dough. Pour the dough onto your baking surface and start kneading it. The dough will be quite wet at this point, but just continue to knead the dough and use a dough scraper to assemble it back into a “ball”. This is a lengthy process, so put on some good music.

When the dough starts sticking less to your hands and becomes more elastic, add a little flour to the surface to help shape it into a tight ball. Place the dough back into the baking bowl, make sure you clean it out first, and leave to rise somewhere warm under a cloth until it has doubled in size. Take out your toppings, you can use alternative ones like poppy seeds, nigella seeds and so on, and place them on small plates. This way its easier to put the toppings back into their containers. Add some milk to the leftover egg and whisk together.

Take out a round baking tin (22 -25 centimeters in diameter, mine was 22) and line it with baking paper. Butter some baking paper and butter up the side of the tin. When the dough has doubled in size add it to your baking surface and take out your scale. Measure out 19 approximately similar sized buns, ca 50 gram each, and roll them into small buns. Use a baking brush to brush the milk/egg mix onto the top of the bun and roll the top in the topping of your choice. Continue until all the buns have been covered and make sure that you have different type toppings all around for a more interesting look. Cover with a kitchen towel and leave to rest for about 20 minutes.

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius and place the tin onto the middle shelf when the 20 minutes are up. Leave in for about 25-30 minutes, it really depends on your oven. Check after 25, and give it a little extra if it seems a bit too soft. Take the tin out of the oven and remove the ring around the buns. Lift the baking paper off the bottom, check to see that your buns are brown underneath,  and place on a baking grid to cool off. Serve for breakfast, brunch, dinner or soups.

Inspired by the Great Irish Bake Off

Fruity Breakfast Scones

Fruity Breakfast Scones

Ingredients

125 grams of dried fruit (raisins or cranberries)
Pressed orange juice
450 grams of plain flour
3 teaspoons of baking powder
120 grams of margarine
1 pinch of salt
5 table spoons of milk
2 eggs

Making Fruity Breakfast Scones

Set your oven to 200 degrees Celsius. Add the fruit to a bowl and pour over just enough orange juice to cover the fruit. Add flour, margarine (this goes easiest if its room temperature) and baking powder to a bowl. Mix together until it becomes a crumbly mass. Make an indentation in the mix. Whisk eggs and milk lightly together in a bowl or a cup. Pour the fruit mix through a sift to get rid of the juice. I suggest having a  bowl underneath so you can drink the juice, such a waste if not, it tastes really good as well. Add the fruit to the egg and milk mix and pour it in the dent that you made in the crumbled dough. Mix well  until it all makes one dough.

Add the dough to a lightly floured work surface and roll it with a rolling-pin until it is about 2 centimetres thick. Stick out rounds ca 7 cm across, use a jar a cup or a christmas cookie form. Make as many rounds as you can, and fold the rest of the dough together, don’t knead it, and roll it out again and stick out new rounds. Do this until you’ve used up all the dough. The last one I just made with my hands. Add the scones to a baking tray covered in baking paper, brush milk on top and put the tray in the pre-heated oven. Let them sit for 12-15 minutes. When they are golden brown on top they are perfect. Take them out and let them rest on a baking grid. When they are lukewarm and ready to be eaten, cut them in half, mine halved themselves easily for some reason, and add a your favourite jam and a touch of sour cream.

Tip: I’m gonna freeze some of mine, because well we are two people and can’t eat them all. I read up on it online and it seems you can freeze them well. I would recommend popping them in the oven on a 150 degrees Celsius and give them a few minutes. Have a look at them and figure out how long you should give them. Every oven is different.

When you know one scone recipe its easy to vary the recipe. Have a look at my Bacon & Cheese Scones, my Apple & Cinnamon Scones and Ham & Cheese Scones.

Inspired by Jamie Oliver

Homemade Croutons

Homemade Croutons

Ingredients

220 grams of day old bread
4-5 table-spoons of homemade rosemary oil
Grated sea salt
1 small handful of parsley
1 big garlic clove

Making Homemade Croutons

Making croutons is absolutely awesome I have to say. And what is the point of buying them really, its oil old bread and herbs. I have old bread and herbs and some really good oil. Not even 10 minutes of work and suddenly the house smells absolutely amazing and I’m eating croutons that top the best store brand.

What you need is some day old bread, that is ready to soak up oil and herbs, a preheated oven, 175 degrees Celsius a bread knife, a mixing bowl and a baking tray covered in baking paper. Some would say that the crust must go when you are making croutons, but I chose to keep the crust. Seriously, what a waste, and they didn’t look or taste any worse for it. In fact I think it made them even more crispy. In any case I cut the bread in cubes and added them to a bowl. I took out a small bowl and added oil, finely chopped parsley, pressed garlic and a round of grated salt. Mix it well together before you pour it over the bread, mix well to make sure that all the bread has soaked up some oil. This is when I added my 5th spoon of olive oil. I’m not sure if it was even a whole table-spoon, but it was enough to cover all the pieces. Transfer the bread pieces on to your paper covered baking tray and fry in a preheated oven for 15-17 minutes. I say 17 because well I forgot mine and they didn’t take any harm from that. Leave to cool on a baking rack and store them in an airtight container. Serve with salad or soup.

Norwegian Breakfast Rolls

Ingredients

50 grams of fresh yeast
7 deciliters of skimmed milk
1/2 kilo of plain flour
1/2 kilo of wholemeal flour (Grahamsmel)
1 tea-spoon of salt
2 table-spoons of honey

Making Norwegian Breakfast Rolls

Warm the milk on middle heat until it is lukewarm, mix the milk and yeast in a bowl and add honey and salt. Add the flour and knead. You might need some extra flour to make the dough release the bowl. Just work in as much as you need for it to release the bowl and become smooth. Shape the dough into a round and put back in the baking bowl. Clean it before and add a tiny bit of oil to the surface this way the dough does not stick to the bowl. Cover with a kitchen cloth and leave to rise somewhere warm (hot water in a kitchen basin works wonders) until it doubles in size.

Put the dough back onto the baking surface, bake in some more flour if it is sticky. Part into 2 smaller rounds and roll them into long baguette like shapes. Cut them into equal small pieces, 12-15 each. Shape them into a round by cupping your hand and pressing the bun down, before you slowly release the pressure. If haven’t shaped rolls before its worth having a look at as training video (from 1.54 on) and then you just practice. Take out two baking trays and cover them in baking paper, add the rolls and cover with a kitchen cloth. Leave to rise for about 30 minutes until they double in size. Bake in an oven preheated to 220 degrees Celsius for 10-15 minutes. Mine took 12 minutes, but the baking time differs from oven to oven. Check after ten and then you decide.

Good for breakfast, lunch and tastes wonderful with soup.