Thursday, December 29, 2011

Delicious fresh Oregano Baguette

During those days with longer weekends and people coming over for brunch or lunch or...I need quite a lot of bread. Of course there is some in the freezer and then there are the breads that you finish by only baking them. But I find that they do not taste as well as a fresh bread from the baker. Some weeks ago I discovered on the King Arthur  website a recipe for a Artisan Bread. And they say that you can store the dough for up to one week in the freezer. In fact for a long time I could´nt understand that one can regfrigerate a dough with yeast and that it will nonetheless raise perfectly. The first time I tried such a "refrigerated dough" was the recipe for a Focaccia that I found in the book "Delicious Days" from Nicole Stich. I made many variation from this Focaccia  (you can find the recipe on my Blog or the original recipe on the Blog from Delicious Days). And now a second recipe for bread where the dough is stored in the fridge. And it also works! You get great perfect crunchy fresh Baguettes! When I served them the last days no one could believe that I´ve done them by my own... So really a great recipe that needs no much time for preparation but needs enough time to raise at room temperature to get a delicious puffy and crispy Bread.
You need (for about 6 small Baguettes or 3 bigger one):
3 cups hot water
8 cups all purpose flour
1 Tbsp. salt
1 Tbsp. quick yeast
2 Tbsp. dried Oregano
To prepare:
1. In a large bowl pour the water, add the dry ingredients and stir to combine. Mix until there are no dry spots; the texture of the dough should be fairly soft and shaggy looking.
2. Knead the dough gently for a few minutes, by hand or with the dough hook of your kitchen aid (or any other machine). Cover the container and let the dough rest at room temperature for 2 hours.
3. Refrigerate overnight, or for up to 7 days!
4. To bake baguettes; scoop as many pieces of dough as you want and depending of the size of the Baguettes you intend to make. Place on a floured parchment paper (or work surface) and turn over to coat both sides of the dough with flour then shape into a rough, slightly flattened oval. Sprinkle some of the Oregano over the dough.
5. Fold the dough in half lengthwise, and seal the edges with the heel of your hand. Flatten slightly, sprinkle once again with some Oregano and fold one more time lengthwise and seal again.
6. With the seam side down, cup your fingers and gently roll the dough a little bit.
7. Place the Baguettes seam-side down onto a parchment-lined baking sheet.
8. Cover and allow the baguette to rise till it's very puffy, about 2 hours.
9.When the bread is puffy and doubled in size, slash the baguette several times on the diagonal with a very sharp knife.
10. Spritz the baguette generously with warm water, (this will make the crust super crisp and crackly) and bake in the 220 C preheated oven for about 25 minutes, until golden brown.
Would wonder if you would not fall in love with this recipe. In fact there is some dough in my fridge..think that there will be some fresh Baguettes this weekend... :)

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Prosciutto - Chickenbreast with potatoe gratin

 Of course during those festive days you eat quite a lot of sweets. Everyone bringing, offering his home made biscuits. All of them delicious, all of them "the one biscuit" that you have to try... But let´s confess - and even sweetlovers like me - we are looking for something salty after these sugarmarathon... Looking through my new cookbooks that Santa Claus brought me, I found quite a lot of delicious proposals for cooking. But to try a new recipe I like to have more time and not to try it the first time by an invitation dinner or lunch... So thinking about what to cook and getting satisfiyed the whole family I rememorated this recipe from Jamie Olivers Cookbook "Ministry of Food". It´s one of my favourite cookbooks. The recipes are simple but nonetheless with a certain twist... The potatoe gratin is one of our try and error family recipes that combines the "assignments" from different cookbooks.
You need (serves 4 person):
- 600g chicken filet
- 80 g Prosciutto di Parma (thin slices / 1 per person)
- 1 organic lemon
- 1 Tbsp. thymeleaves
- 50 g fresh grated Parmeggiano
For the Potatoe gratin:
- 800 g Potatoes
- 400 g heavy Cream
- 3 big eggs
- Some butter
Salt and pepper to season and some olive oil
To prepare:
1. Start with the Gratin as it needs about half an hour to bake and some preparation time until ready for baking in the oven. Peel the potatoes and cut them in rather thin slices. Put the potatoes in a bowl filled with very salty water and let soak for about 30 minutes (or even longer)
2. Mix together Cream and eggs and season enough with salt and pepper.
3. Butter small ramekins (or one pieform) all over. Drain the potatoes and dry them with a some kitchen paper. Lay the potatoes in the oven prooved ramekins a little bit overlapping. Pour over all your Egg-Cream-Mix and place in the 180 C preheated oven for about 25 minutes (until the surface gets a little bit brown and crusty)
4. Meanwhile cut your chicken breast in pieces adapted for 1 person. Score the underside with a small knife in a cris-cross fashion. Season with some pepper. Grate some lemon zest on them and sprinkle some fresh grated Parmeggiano and the thymeleaves on each Filetpiece.
5. Lay some Prosciutto on each Filet to cover it on one side. Then drizzle with some olive oil.
6. Cover the filets with a clingfilm  and give the filet a few bashes with the flat side if a meat tenderizer (or the flat bottom of a pan) until about 5 mm - 1 cm thick.
7. Pour some oil in a non sticking pan (you want need very much) and heat up to medium heat. With the Prosciutto side down transfer the filets in the pan and fry for some minuits. Then turn over and fry the other side.
8. Serve together with the potatoe gratin and some green salad....

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Nut Macaroons

These are now for sure the last biscuits for Christmas this year ! Did you already have all prepared? Or are you sitting in between gifts and wrapping paper and gift cards and thinking about your menu for dinner? Nonetheless this biscuits would be missing when sitting together, looking at our gift, drinking some tea, wine, laughing, talking.. and crunching, trying our biscuits variation.
You need:
- 140 g sugar
- 140 g ground walnuts
- 140 g ground almonds
- 2 eggwhites
To prepare:
1. Whisk the eggwhites until it forms stiff peaks. Add the sugar and continue whisking for 1 - 2 minutes.
2. Now add the ground nuts
3. With two teaspoons form small piles, put them on a oven tray lined with parchment paper and decorate each with an almond.
4. Bake in the 160 C preheated oven for 20 - 25 minutes
And now relax and enjoy those festive Days! To preserve those biscuits put them in a airtitght box.

Merry Christmas to all of you!

Friday, December 23, 2011

One more Biscuit: Sweet Chocolate-Butterbread

At the moment every shop, every shopping center is crowded... What the hell are they all buying? :) Is it more than last year? Don´nt know. So everywhere one need more patience and more time. Thank god that I have not to work tomorrow and can do my last buys in the morning. Hope that there will be not so much people having the same idea! So the time for baking is also less or did I start to late? :) Here is one more recipe for a last minute biscuits. They also don´nt need to rest for some days, they are delicious right from the beginning. They look a little bit like a dark bread with butter...that´s the reason for their name.
You need:
- 100 g ground dark chocolate
- 100 g butter (at room temperature)
- 100g flour
- 2 eggyolks
- 100 g icing sugar
To prepare:
1. With your hands kneed together butter, chocolate and flour until well combined. Reserve for about 1 hour in the fridge.
2. Form out of the dough a roll and cut in slices
3. Put on a oventray with parchment paper and bake at 160 C for 8 minutes.
4. Meanwhile mix together eggyolk and icing sugar.
5. Let the biscuits cool down before you smear on each a little bit of the yolk-sugar-mix (as if you would smear butter on a bread).

Feel free to decorate for example with some green glitter as if you would disperse some herbs on your bread with butter...

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Schoggifrätzli - chocolate macaroons

This are sort of a last minute biscuits for Christmas because they need only some few minutes to be prepared. And even regarding the ingredients you don´nt need much things. I like them because they are crispy at the first bite and chewy at the second one...
You need:
- 100 g dark Chocolate
- 200 g finely ground Almonds
- 2 Egg whites
- 100 g sugar
- 1 Tbsp coffee
- 30 g pinenuts
To prepare:
1. Melt the chocolate and let cool down for some minute
2. Mix with a fork the eggwhites until foamy
3. Combine Chocolate, almonds, sugar and coffee and add as much eggwhite as needed to obtain a well combined, moist mixture
4. With two Teaspoons form little balls and put them on a baking tray with parchment paper. Decorate each ball with a pinenut

5. Bake at 150 C for 14 minutes (the bakingtime depends on the size of your biscuits and may vary).

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Vanillekipferl - a very traditional christmas biscuit

There is no family without his own, very special recipe for Vanillekipferl. And I can´nt remember any Vanillekipflerl that tastes like the other. Even if the recipe used is the same, the result is never the same. I don´nt know what´s the reason for... the nuts used... the storage... the oven.... But also the shape differs: small or a little bit bigger, thin or thick, pale or little bit darker... Better to use almonds or walnuts or hazelnuts or a nutmix? However there is no Christmas without those Biscuits. And here is my very special recipe for the Vanillekipferl of my family. You need:
For the dough 
- 200 g Butter
- 250 g Flour
- 100 g fine ground Walnuts
- 70 g icing Sugar
- 1 Tbsp. Vanillasugar
For dusting:
- 2 Tbsp. Vanillasugar
- 150 g Icing sugar
To prepare:
1. Crumble butter and flour and add quickly the rest of the ingredients until all is well combined
2. Reserve in the fridge for 30 minutes to 1 hour. Take the chilled dough out and form rolls with the fingertips and then small corns. Place on a oven tray armed with parchement paper.
3. Place in the 180 C preheated oven and bake for about 10 minutes. The corns should stay pale.
4. Mix together in a plate icing sugar and vanillasugar. Let cool down the corns only for a few minutes. Then turn them, still warm, in the sugarmix to be covered with sugar all over. Be aware: they break easily.

When completely cooled down, put them in some storage-container. They will be better after some days... so try to be patient...
You even may reserve the Vanillekipferl in some airtight container for some weeks. But who wants to reserve them? Christmas is now, is´nt it?

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Almond Biscotti

Now, it´s really time to start to bake your christmas cookies! That´s what I said to me this morning. For this year I have decided to not bake too much biscuits as it´s mainly me that eat them all. Here a cup of tea and some bsicuits, there a cup of tea and some biscuits... and alle the biscuits are gone... not this year. This year only the indispensable ones, those if we would´nt have them Christmas would not be complete. This means: Vanillekipferl, Schoggifrätzli, Nutmacaroons (not comparable, complety different to the french macarons), buttered chocolatebread and of course my Almond Biscottis that I love especially because they are not too sweet and because you can store them for some weeks. They are crispy and nutty, simply delicious with a cup of hot tea... The only difficulty is to cut them in thin slices before you have to put them in the oven a second time.
I think this year I have found  the best knife: it´s my electric knife. With it, the slices gets really thin and are more or less equal. But try yourself. One thing is sure: you need a very sharp knife. But lets go for the recipe.
You need (for 2 small, but quite long loafpans):
- 4 eggwhites (reserve them for 1 or 2 days in your fridge before using them. the result will be better. Don´nt ask me why... - ? -)
- 120 g sugar
- 1 Tbsp. vanillasugar
- 120 g all purpose flour
- 200 g almonds
To prepare:
1. In a bowl mix together eggwhites, sugar and vanillasugar until it forms peaks
2. Fold in flour and in a second step the whole almonds

3. Fill the dough in a small loafpan, armed with baking foil and bake in the to 150 C preheated oven for 35 minutes
4. Let cool down your loaf before you cut him in thin slices. Put those slices on a baking tray armed with parchement paper and put again in the 150 C preheated oven for about 15 minutes.
Turn the Biscottis after 7-8 minutes to dry on the other side. This way they will become delicious crispy.

I like to fill some Almond Biscottis in glasses as a little present when beeing invited for some Adventinvitation or as a surprise for the Adventcalendar.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011


Ok I confess I have also started to bake my christmas biscuits. Did´nt you? This year I swear, I will do less different sorts than the years before... Let´s see... At the moment on any occasion one offers you some biscuits to taste. I love biscuits, especially those that you only get during christmas time. But eating all the time so much sweet things I feel the strong need for something salted. So this Onion-Bacon-Cake was the right treat to balance my "oversugared" stomach.
You need:
-  1 roll  puff pastry (275 g)
- 3 medium - big onions
- 200 g bacon
- 200 g sour cream
- 100 ml liquid cream
- 200 g grated cheese (I used a Pizzamix)
Salt and pepper to season
To prepare:
1. Roll the puff pastry on a oven tray armed with parchment paper
2. Bake for 10 minutes in the oven (preheated to 210 C). Do´nt be afraid the puff pastry will rise...

3. Meanwhile cut the onions and the bacon in fine slices
4. Put onion and bacon in a pan and fry them until transparent

5. Mix together sour cream, cream and cheese. Season with salt an pepper (be aware: onion and bacon might be spicy enough)
6. Put on the prebaked puff pastry the onion-bacon and cover with the cream-cheese mix. Bake for 20 min. at 225 C and then for further 15 min. at 180 C until golden brown and crispy.
7. Cut in slices with a sharp knife or a pizza cutter and savour hot (wait some minutes because right out of the oven it is very hot!) or cooled down

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