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süßes Hefegebäck

Kürtőskalács {Baumstriezel | Chimney Cake}

On Monday my coworkers were discussing which weihnachtsmarkt (Christmas market) they had visited on the weekend. An outsider would have assumed they had travelled to different cities to shop for gifts and drink glühwein. But no! They all went to different markets here in Dresden. I like to joke that I can usually leave my house and walk to the main station while getting completely drunk on the way only from glühwein fumes. There is a Christmas market on every street!

Every year on the first Advent weekend Dresden turns into Christmas market headquarter with locals and tourists crashing the famous Striezelmarkt and bakeries selling the original Dresden stollen by the metric tonne. I do admit that I usually try to avoid this whole spectacle. There’s just way too much glühwein, bratwurst, and people. But of course that is not so easy.There is a Christmas market right next to our daycare, too. F loves it. There’s a carousel she can ride, a booth with wooden swords and arrows, and a smith she loves to watch.

Last year, when I waited next to the carousel for my daughter to finish her after kindergarten ride I noticed something I’d never seen before. Next to the stollen, bratwurst, and hot alcoholic beverages, there were a few stands selling Hungarian kürtőskalács (translation: chimney cake), or baumstriezel, as it is called in German. I’ve read about these cakes a couple of times as travelling vegans sometimes seem to get lucky and find vegan versions of this treat in Hungary, Austria, or the Czech Republic. I don’t really remember if this cake has been a weihnachtsmarkt thing in the past before and if, it must be a local thing, of course influenced by our neighbouring countries in Eastern Europe. My Northern German sister had no idea what this chimney cake was when I showed her a picture.

Baumstriezel are made from an enriched yeast dough that is cut into long stripes and wrapped around a thick spit. The cake is sprinkled with sugar and baked over an open fire or in special electric ovens. You can choose between different toppings like nuts and sprinkles.

Kürtőskalács {Baumstriezel | Chimney Cake}

After a quick google search I found a really wonderful recipe with lots of helpful instructions on the German blog Hefe und mehr. Instead of a spit Stefanie uses a plain old baking pin and instead of the open charcoal fire she recommends the oven broiler. Wow, that sounded almost too easy to be true. But it worked like a charm and we had such a wonderful Saturday making our own kürtőskalácsok!  It was like in the old days when we kids sat in front of my grandmother’s oven to get warm. And now we were sitting in front of another oven to watch the caramel melt. We had to turn the cake a bit every minute. It was a lot of fun and in the end we had an amazing huge pipe that was sweet and amazingly crispy on the outside while being fluffy and hot on the inside. It was the perfect treat. I was very satisfied with the results and never would have thought that this treat is so easy to make at home. Of course you have to watch the cake and make sure the caramel doesn’t burn. As you can see from the pictures my cake didn’t come out completely flawless and evenly browned, but I think that’s part of the fun.

Kürtőskalács {Baumstriezel | Chimney Cake}

It’s important to preheat the broiler to a very high temperature (250°C) and place the log as close to the heating element as possible. But make sure it doesn’t get too close! I put mine on the highest rack first and it got stuck to the heater element and burnt immediately. The rack right under the top rack is just fine. Mind you, I am talking about German equipment here and I have no idea what your oven looks like. Same goes for baking pins. Use a standard wooden roller type one with handles.

For broiling, the pin is placed on top of a baking dish. It shouldn’t touch the bottom of that dish and you should have enough room to turn the pin around while baking. Also, cover the handles of the pin and everything that is not wrapped with dough in aluminum foil, so it won’t burn. Then grease the uncovered part of your pin with a lot of margarine. To wrap it around the pin I used Stefanie’s method of rolling the dough into a disk that was about 0.5 cm thick and then cut it into a spiral, like the you can see in one of the pictures at the bottom.

Kürtőskalács {Baumstriezel | Chimney Cake}

Baumstriezel {Chimney Cake}

3 pieces

Ingredients

350 g all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teasponns instant yeast
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
190 ml oat milk (or other plant milk)
70 g melted margarine
additional sugar and margarine for brushing and sprinkling

Instructions

To make the dough place the flour in a large bowl.

Add yeast, sugar, and salt.

Mix with oat milk and melted margarine.

Knead into a smooth dough and cover with a kitchen towel.

Let rest for two hours.

Preheat the broiler of your oven to 250°C.

Grease a rolling pin with margarine and wrap the handles in aluminum foil.

Divide the dough into three pieces. Roll one piece into a disc, 0.5 cm thick and cover the remaining two pieces with a damp kitchen towel.

Cut the dough into a spiral, so that you get a long string that is about 1 cm thick.

Tightly wrap the string around the rolling pin.

Brush with melted margarine.

Generously sprinkle with sugar.

Place the rolling pin over a baking dish so that the handles will rest on the edges of the dish but the centre of the pin with the dough wrapped around it won't touch the dish.

Place under the broiler and bake for about one minute or until the sugar starts to caramelise and changes its colour to brown.

Rotate the pin a bit and repeat.

Bake and rotate until the cake is evenly browned.

Carefully remove from oven. Cover with a kitchen towel and push the cake off the pin.

Serve and eat immediately.

Bake the remaining two chimney cakes.

Notes

Recipe method courtesy of Hefe und mehr. Recipe adapted from the same site.

http://www.seitanismymotor.com/2016/12/kurtoskalacs-baumstriezel-chimney-cake/

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I have to admit that I don’t know much about Halloween. It has become very popular in Germany lately, mostly because companies and shops have been pushing it. When I grew up I only knew Halloween from US-American pop culture and I don’t think it would ever have occurred to us to celebrate it in any way. We didn’t celebrate All Hallows’ Evening, we kind of celebrated All Hallows’ Day or All Saints’ Day, which, of course, is the day after Halloween. “Kind of celebrated” means that we might have had a day off from school so we’d get the chance to go to Catholic mass. And a day later, on Reformation Day, all my Protestant friends would get a day off from school. Kind of funny that we’d remember the saints one day before the Protestants celebrate that there are no saints. Or something like that.

Saxony is the area where the Protestant Reformation started and the 31. of October is a civic holiday here. And while many bakeries sell bright Halloween treats, you will also find a local bake right next to them. It’s a yeasted roll made from a very light stollen dough, which is decorated with jam and powdered sugar. It is called Reformationsbrötchen (Reformation Roll). It’s shape is supposed to look like a Luther Rose, although a very sloppy version. I have to admit that I do not know much about this baked good, I looked up both its history and a recipe online and adapted it. Instead of zitronat (German for candied citrus peel) I used dried and ground clementine peel. And instead of regular all-purpose flour I used gelbweizenmehl (yellow wheat flour). Yellow wheat flour is something I discovered recently. According to the mill’s website this flour is an old wheat variety which has a lot of carotenoids. They give the flour a light yellow tint. It makes for very beautiful plain rolls:

rolls made with yellow wheat flour (gelbweizen)

I couldn’t find much information about this kind of wheat online, but from my experience I can say that although this flour makes beautifully golden baked goods, you have to get used to working with it. A dough made with yellow wheat flour will need much less water than a dough made with regular all-purpose flour. That is especially the case for unenriched yeast doughs, it seems. For the following Reformationsbroetchen I didn’t have to make a change at all. Which means that you should just go ahead and make them with regular white flour.

To make dried ground clementine peel  – you can use lemons or oranges as well, but clementine peels dry much faster –  simply peel a couple of clementines and let the peels dry. This works faster if you place them on your central heating or dry them in the oven at a very low temperature. Then all you’ve got to do is pulverise the peel in a coffee grinder. (Or just use a teaspoon or two of freshly grated peel.)

clementines

 

Wow, I just realised that this post is all over the place! You probably wanna know how the rolls are, right? They are fabulous! Lots of juicy raisins, a couple of chopped almonds, and the clementine peel make them indeed taste like a very light stollen. Plus they have fig jam in the centre and lots of powdered sugar.

Reformationsbroetchen

Ingredients

500 g yellow wheat flour (or regular all-purpose), divided
20 g fresh yeast, divided
150 ml water
150 ml soy milk
100 g raisins
50 g sugar
50 g chopped blanched almonds
50 g margarine, softened
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dried clementine peel (or fresh, or lemon zest)
water for brushing
6 teaspoons red jam of choice
powdered sugar for dusting

Instructions

To make the dough, place half of the flour in a large bowl.

Crumble 5 grams of fresh yeast over the flour and add the water.

Let sit for 5 minutes.

Knead everything into a stiff dough and let rise at room temperature for 5 hours. (Or over night in the fridge. If you use the fridge, let the dough come back to room temp before proceeding.)

Once your dough is ready, combine soy milk and raisins in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and remove from heat immediately.

Let cool to room temperature, then stir in remaining yeast and sugar.

Stir until yeast is dissolved.

Add the soy milk mixture, the remaining flour, chopped almonds, margarine, salt, and dried clementine peel to the prepared dough and knead until all ingredients are incorporated and the dough is smooth.

Place in a bowl, cover, and let rest for 45 minutes.

On a floured surface, roll the dough into a rectangle, about 36 x 48 cm.

Cut the dough into 12 12x12 cm sized squares.

Brush the corners of each square with a bit of water, then fold each corner into the centre and press down gently. Transfer the squares to two baking sheets lined with parchment paper.

Cover with clean kitchen towels and let rest for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile preheat the oven to 200°C.

Place 1/2 teaspoon of jam in the centre of each roll.

Place 1 baking sheet in the hot oven and bake for 15 minutes, or until golden brown.

Repeat with the other sheet. Let the rolls cool completely before dusting with powdered sugar. Serve on the same day.

http://www.seitanismymotor.com/2016/10/reformationsbroetchen-reformation-rolls/

reformationsbroetchen

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These are my invention. Mohnkringel don’t exist, I think. Well, okay. That is not true. Here is a wonderful recipe by the very talented Maikki, for example. But at least I can claim that in Germany Maikki’s version would be called kranz and not kringel.  Isn’t it fascination how words travel though time and space via food? I think kringel or kringle came to us via Scandinavia while all those poppy seeds hail from Eastern and Central Europe. I didn’t look this up, but I suppose there’s a lot of Jewish food history involved here, too. Whoever invented this or wherever it came from, I am thankful for another idea to fuel my poppy seed addiction. But before I write something about these mohnkringel, I want to thank you all too for welcoming me back into the blogging community. I’ve read all of your comments and every single one of them made my day. I am very grateful that you’ve kept me in your readers and that many of you even took the time to come here and leave a comment. You all are awesome.

For me there is almost nothing better than a quiet Sunday morning with a cup of espresso and a yeast based treat. These things are magical and great pick me ups for morning grouches like me. Yeasted pastries and sweet breads are a cosy and comforting way to celebrate a holiday as well. In Germany they are an essential part of Easter. Here you can find all kinds of stuffed or plain yeast braids or bunny shaped rolls and even yeast based easter baskets with a boiled egg in the middle. For many people the soft and sweet dough is a perfect comfort food and for others yeasted baked goods are just much easier to make than a large cream or frosting based cake. Well, if you are one of those people who say that baking with yeast is complicated, get over it. It really just does take some practice and I promise you will get the hang of it. Just start. My first rolls looked and tasted like cobblestones and now look at this.

In Germany cinnamon buns are not very common. We like to stuff our rolls and buns with poppy seeds, pudding, or nuts instead. This diversity and a couple of small tins of chestnut spread in our pantry made my mind wander to a chestnut and cinnamon filling for these little Easter treats. Since chestnut spread is mostly sugar, it does caramelise very nicely during baking and also makes for a wonderfully sticky filling. The most widely available chestnut spread is Faugier brand Crème de Marrons, which I used. (Okay, I bought it in France but I can get it at a department store in my town, too.) But you can also make your own, there are a couple of recipes online. For a simple alternative use a regular cinnamon bun filling  and leave out the chestnut spread. (Another idea is to substitute apple butter.) If you look at the preparation method for this recipe you will find that I have already included such a filling. So technically these could be called “double stuffed”. All this folding might look complicated to you, but it will improve the texture and make the buns a bit flakier. Of course you can skip that step and sprinkle the sugar and spice mixture right on top of the chestnut spread. Lots of variation possible here, so you can make the recipe work for you.

cinnamon buns with a chestnut swirl | seitanismymotor.com

 

 

Cinnamon Buns with a Chestnut Swirl

Ingredients

For the dough
250 g (2 cups) all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon instant yeast
50 g (1/4 cup) sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
60 ml (1/4 cup) vegetable oil
150 ml (1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons) luke warm water
For the filling
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cardamom
200 g (7 oz) chestnut spread

Instructions

To make the dough combine flour, yeast, sugar, and salt in a bowl and mix well.

Add oil and water.

Knead dough well for about 5-7 minutes.

Cover and let rest for 1 hour.

Place on a lightly floured working surface and knead for one minute or so.

Roll into a 40 x 30 cm (15.7 x 11.8 inches) rectangle.

Combine sugar and spices and sprinkle on top of the dough.

Fold the dough as if you wanted to fit it into an envelope: Fold the short side over so that you have a rectangle half the size but still the same shape. Then fold it over again to quarter the size.

Roll the dough into a 40 x 30 cm (15.7 x 11.8 inches) rectangle again.

Spread the chestnut spread on top and roll the dough into a log, starting with the long side.

Grease a 12 tin muffin pan and preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F). (I used a square tin pan but a regular one with round indentions works just as well.)

Cut the dough into 12 equally sized rolls and place them in the tins. Cover with a greased piece of plastic or with a damp kitchen towel and let rest for 30 minutes.

Bake for 25 minutes.

Remove from oven, let rest for five minutes, then remove from the pan and let cool completely before serving. (If they are still a touch warm that is okay, too.)

Notes

All your ingredients should have room temperature. (The water should be luke warm.) Let your dough rise in a warm place. If your flat is cold, the dough might take longer to rise. (For your first rise, you can also put the dough in the oven. No temperature setting, just the light switched on.

http://www.seitanismymotor.com/2015/04/cinnamon-buns-with-a-chestnut-swirl/

 

creme de marrons | seitanismymotor.com