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.
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.)
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.
When I was a kid I loved plasticine and fimo. I would build all kinds of things from modelling clay and for about two weeks I even had a very small fimo brooch kid business. (I sold the brooches for 50 pfennig a piece to my aunts.) I still like modelling stuff and so does my daughter. We build a lot of modelling clay animals. Baking with yeast dough is probably my way of finding a more grown up way to handle my plasticine addictions. I love the soft and smooth texture and all the different ways you can knead and cut it.
These pull-apart breads have been out there for quite a while. My version is inspired by Celine, who I test recipes for. She made a wonderful pull-apart bread for one of her new books. I love the technique used for this kind of bread, it’s similar to making cinnamon buns, but instead of rolling the dough up, you just cut it into stripes and stack it. Because there’s so much filling the baked bread is very moist and soft, and with its cinnamon and sugar filling, it’s the perfect comfort food. Well, not quite. Poppy seeds are a much-loved filling for Eastern- and Central-European pastries and who could argue with that? I have to admit that even though I do love a cinnamon roll once in a while, I would always prefer a poppy seed roll. And that’s why I put them in a filling for this delicious bread, too.
Poppy Seed Pull-Apart Bread (makes one 22 cm or 9-inch loaf)
For the dough:
270 ml ( 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons) soy milk
55 g (1/4 cup) refined coconut oil
50 g (1/4 cup) sugar
420 g (3 1/3 cups) all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons instant yeast
1/2 teaspoon salt
For the filling:
70 g (1/2 cup) poppy seeds, ground
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons hot water
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon cornstarch
Place soy milk in a small pot and add coconut oil. Heat gently until the oil has melted. Do not bring to a boil. Let cool until luke warm. Whisk in sugar.
In a large bowl mix flour, yeast, and salt. Add liquid ingredients and knead the dough until smooth, for about 5 minutes. It will probably still be sticky, but that’s okay. A stickier dough with more moisture will result in a fluffier loaf.
Let the dough rise in a warm place, until doubled in size, about an hour. (At this time of the year I put it into the oven and just leave the light on.)
Meanwhile prepare the filling:
Combine poppy seeds and sugar Add hot water and oil. Stir well until everything is combined. Stir in flour and starch.
Transfer the dough to a lightly floured working surface. Your dough should now be smooth and soft, if you feel it is still to sticky, add a tablespoon or two of flour. Roll the dough into a rectangle, 52 cm long and 26 cm wide. (20 x 10 inches) Place the wide side in front of you and spread the filling onto the dough, leaving a small 1 cm (0.5 inch) margin on all sides. Cut the dough into 8 26 cm (10 inch) long strips. Place four strips on top of each other and repeat with the remaining four strips so that you have two long stacked dough strips. Cut each stack into four rectangles.
Grease a 22 cm bread pan (9-inch loaf pan) with oil or line with parchment paper. Place the dough stacks in the pan. Cover with a damp kitchen towel and let rise again for 30 minutes. Meanwhile preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F).
Bake the bread for 15 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 180°C (350°F) and bake for 25 more minutes or until the loaf is golden brown. Remove from oven and serve warm or let cool completely. The bread tastes best the day it’s made.
It’s the time of the year when it’s still summer and already autumn. If you cross the river Elbe in the morning steam rises slowly from the water. A layer of fog covers the hills but you know it’s gone in 30 minutes when the sun breaks through. The early morning and afternoon light is amazing, the sun sparkles through the trees and casts long shadows. Everything shimmers in a golden tone. But not every day is like this. Sometimes it rains for 24 hours and all you wanna do is stay in bed with a hot cup of tea. Or you start baking to warm you up and comfort you. Yeast baked goods are perfect for this. Sweet, warm, and soft rolls that you can definitely eat in bed if you don’t mind the crumbs.
Buchteln are of Eastern European and Southern German origin, they are a kind of dumpling or baked doughnut. There are stuffed and unstuffed varieties, but I like the stuffed kind most. I usually fill them with sea blackthorn jam, with is probably quite a Northern German thing to do. Sea blackthorn berries are bright orange in colour and very tart, they often grow along the coast but I have seen some here in Dresden, too. Sea buckthorn jam has a very unique texture and taste. It’s usually smooth, silky, and runny and it has a slightly tart flavour with a hint of honey, conifers, and resin. If you can get your hands on it you should try it, but any kind of jam will work here as well. In fact, I split the buchteln because I couldn’t decide what filling to use. I filled five with sea buckthorn jam, five with blackberry jam, and five with speculoos spread.
Buchteln (makes 15)
For the buchteln:
270 ml (1 cup plus 2 tablespoons) soy milk
50 g (1/4 cup) sugar
55 g (1/4 cup) coconut oil
420g (3 1/2 cups) flour
20g fresh yeast or 2 teaspoon instant dry yeast
1 /2 teaspoon salt
For the filling:
1 teaspoon of your favourite jam, nut butter, or even cookie spread per buchtel
(15 teaspoons in total)
Combine soy milk, sugar, and coconut oil in a small pot. Warm gently over low heat until the oil has melted. Let cool until luke warm.
Add the flour to a large bowl. Make a well and add the yeast (even if it’s instant). Pour the liquid mixture into the well and let sit for 10 minutes. Add salt and knead the dough well. It’s enough to knead this dough for 2-3 minutes. It should still be sticky and the gluten will continue to develop while you let it rest and rise. So don’t worry about it being sticky. Cover with a damp kitchen towel and let rise in a warm place for 45 minutes.
Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F). Line a 18 x 28 cm square pan (7 x 11 inch) with parchment paper.
Knead the dough for one minute. By now it should be smooth and not stick to your hands anymore. If it still does, add a little bit of flour. Divide the dough into 15 equally sized pieces and roll each into a ball. Place under a kitchen towel, so they won’t dry out. Take one ball and shape it into a flat circle large enough to hold one teaspoon of filling.
Fold over and pinch the edges, then carefully shape into a ball again. Place in the prepared pan, seam side down. Repeat with the remaining dough balls. Cover with a damp kitchen towel again and let rise for another 30 minutes. bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm with more sea buckthorn jam or vanilla sauce.
This entry was submitted to Yeastspotting.