Bicoloured Japanese milk bread

Milk bread originates from Japan. It is soft fluffy bread, challah like but less buttery. It consists secret ingredient: Tangzhong which is flour-milk paste and guarantees freshness and moisture for many days. I can confirm that the bread was fresh and fluffy to the last (sixth) day when we ate it. In classic recipes this bread is plain without any additional ingredients. I modified it adding freeze dried strawberry powder which gave the pink colour and strawberry smell. The taste of strawberries is detectable however does not overwhelmed another flavours of food put on the slice. Enjoy!

 

2 loaves 5 x 9 inch

 

Dough:

  • 5 ½  cups (880 g) bread flour
  • 5.5 teaspoons dried yeast
  • 1 1/3 cups (330 ml) lukewarm milk
  • 2/3 cup (130 g) sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 6 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 3 tablespoons freeze dried strawberries (powder)
  • 2 tablespoons lukewarm water

Tangzhong:

  • ¼ cup (40 g) bread flour
  • ¾ cup (180 ml) milk

Top:

  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon milk

 

 

Make Tangzhong: place in a saucepan flour and milk and stirring constantly heat on a medium heat until thickens to custard consistency. Let cool to the room temperature.

Dough: in a medium bowl mix together yeast, milk and 1 tablespoon sugar. Let stand for 15 until frothy. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, combine flour, remaining sugar and salt. Add yeast mixture, eggs and Tangzhong. Mixing on medium speed gradually add butter. Knead until dough is smooth (5-6 minutes). Once the dough is ready place it to the oiled bowl, cover and let stand in a warm place for 1-1.5 hours to rest and rise.

Grease two loaf pans with butter. Make the strawberry paste mixing powder with water.

Divide dough into half.  Knead in the strawberry paste into one half. Divide each dough into three equal pieces. Working with one piece at the time shape two white and two pink pieces as that: roll out into an oval 5 x 9 inch. Fold right long side to the center. Fold the left long side over them. Roll out again into 5 x 9 inch oval. Roll into log starting with one long side. Divide the remaining one white and one pink pieces into half each (4 pieces now). Roll out one white and one pink into ovals 5 x 9 inch. Stack one of the other and fold like above: right long side to the center and left long side over them. Roll out into oval 5 x 9 inch and roll into log starting with one long side. Repeat with last two pieces. Arrange three logs in every pan: along the long side – white and pink by the sides and bicoloured in the middle.

Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Let stand pans in a warm place for 30-40 minutes to puff and rise (the dough should be over the pan height).

Make egg wash: in a small bowl beat egg and milk. Brush tops of loaves.

Bake to the ‘clean skewer’ for 30 minutes (after 20 minutes cover with aluminium foil to avoid burning).  Remove from pans just after baking and cool on a wire rack.


 
 

Category: Breads.

Tags: strawberry, yeast.

Fig strawberry and tarragon galette

Galette is a kind of pie: shortbread crust filled with usually fruits, sometimes enriched with nuts, frangipane cream or other creamy filling. The difference is in shape: the pastry is baked without pan, formed with hands into irregular circle with folded edges. The pastry is often prepared with cream cheese which makes it more elastic before and flaky after baking. My today filling consists of fresh figs and strawberries brushed with apple cider vinegar and sprinkled with fresh tarragon. This combo is very delicious and all ingredients suit perfectly. The taste is slightly herbal, slightly savoury, a little sophisticated. It is a dessert rather for advanced than for sweet kinder party. The flavour could be different in every time because is strongly determined by figs’ ripeness and taste – the sweeter the better. Enjoy!

 

1 galette 10 inch

 

Ingredients for the base:

  • 1 ¼ cups (200 g) all purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/3 cup (75 g) cold butter
  • 3 oz (100 g) cold cream cheese
  • 1-2 tablespoons cold water (I added 1.5)

Filling:

  • 5-6 fresh figs
  • 10-15 fresh strawberries
  • 8 tablespoons sugar
  • 4 tablespoons corn starch/corn flour
  • 1-2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon fresh, finely chopped tarragon

Top:

  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1 tablespoon turbinado sugar

 

Shortbread base: in the bowl of a stand mixer mix flour, sugar and salt. Add cold butter cut into small pieces and process until crumble like mixture. Add cream cheese in pieces and continue to process. Gradually add cold water (half tablespoon at the time) until smooth and tight dough (the sides of the bowl should be almost clean). Wrap the dough into cling film and let rest In the fridge for 1-2 hours.  

Remove the dough from the fridge, unwrap and roll out into a circle about 1/5 inch thick. Place onto baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Mark on the dough the shape of the dinner plate – do not cut out only stamp. In a small bowl mix together sugar and corn starch and sprinkle this mixture over the dough – inside the circle shape (save 2 tablespoons of the mixture for later). Slice fruits and arrange over the sprinkled mixture. Pour apple cider vinegar to the bowl and brush it over the fruits. Sprinkle with tarragon and the rest of sugar – corn starch mixture. Fold the free edges of the dough over the filling. Freeze before baking for at least one hour (I  left it for overnight) and bake from frozen.

Preheat oven to 400°F/200°C. Make the egg wash beating egg with milk and brush the dough (do not brush the filling). Sprinkle with turbinado sugar. Bake for 20 minutes, Lower the oven temperature to 350°F/180°C and bake for further 20-25 minutes. The dough should be browned and filling must bubble. Remove from the oven, cool. Serve plain or with ice cream or dusted with icing sugar.

 

Category: Pastries/tarts.

Tags: cream cheese, figs, strawberry, tarragon, vinegar.

Sweet buns with plums and lavender streusel

Yeast round (quite flat) sweet buns are traditional baked in middle European countries and available in almost all bakeries. They are very popular for snack and part of childhood memories. Different called in every country: kolaches, drożdżówka, schnecke… Immigrants brought them to the USA but are hard to find in Canada. What to do if you love them but live in Canada? Bake, bake and bake. There are plenty of fillings and flavours available and the effort is not so huge. Today buns with plums (plumkots actually) and lavender streusel. Lavender refreshes the taste and matches perfectly the sour plums (and apricots as well). Enjoy!

 

12 buns

 

Dough:

  • 4 teaspoons dried yeast
  • ¾ cup (180 ml) lukewarm milk
  • 1/3 cup (75 g) sugar
  • 3 cups plus 2 tablespoons (500 g) bread flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 6 tablespoons (90 g) butter, melted

Filling:

  • 6 large round plums
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon milk

Streusel:

  • ½ cup plus 1 tablespoon (90 g) flour
  • 1/3 cup (75 g) sugar
  • ¼ cup (55g) butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon almonds, finely chopped
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 tablespoons dried lavender flowers or 1 tablespoon fresh lavender flowers

 

 

Make dough: in a medium bowl mix together yeast, lukewarm milk and 1 tablespoon sugar. Let stand for 15 minutes until frothy. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, combine flour, remaining sugar and salt. Add yeast mixture, egg and vanilla extract. Gradually add melted butter and mix on medium speed until dough is smooth (8-10 minutes) and pulls away from the sides of the bowl. If dough does not pull away from the bowl, add more flour, 1 tablespoon at a time. If the mixture remains too dry and crumbly, add lukewarm water, 1 tablespoon at a time. Once the dough is ready place it in an oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let stand in a warm place for 1-1.5 hours until doubled in size.

Place dough on a floured surface and divide into 12 equal pieces. Shape each piece into ball then flatten into a shape of tire/donut. Press the bottom of a small glass into each bun to make an indentation in. It should be the size about ¾ of the surface. Place buns onto two baking sheets lined with parchment paper and let stand in a warm place for 20 minutes to rest and puff while preheating oven to 375°F.

Wash plums, half and remove pits.

Make streusel: mix all ingredients in a bowl with a fork or spoon – it should be irregular, crumbled mixture.

Place one half of the plum (cut side up) into each indentation of puffed buns. Brush the dough around with egg wash (egg beaten with milk) and sprinkle generously with streusel. Bake for 15-20 minutes (depending on the oven type) until the skewer inserted into the dough comes out dry.


 
 

Category: Yeast cakes.

Tags: lavender, plums, yeast.

Dandelion cake

Dandelion is a popular plant taken as a weed. It grows everywhere, especially on groomed lawns. In fact this is underappreciated medicinal plant. All its parts are edible. Roots are used to make healing cordials, leaves are perfect for salads, and flowers.. well, are edible too. I like new experiences in my sweet kitchen so today recipe is for dandelion cake. The taste is not easy to describe. You can detect the lemon taste which is an ingredient here but I would call it: Summer taste. The perfect describing. You may imagine you have a piece of sunny day on your plate. The petals also give the uncommon texture to this cake. It is a kind of crunch but the same way as for instance shredded coconut. It is kind of tender crunch although I know it sounds weird. Try this amazing cake and enjoy! I already started to love it.

 

standard loaf pan

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup (225 g) butter, melted
  • 1 cup (200 g) sugar
  • zest of one lemon
  • 2 tablespoon lemon juice
  • ½ cup (125 ml) milk
  • 3 eggs
  • ½  cup (125 ml) elderflower liqueur (I used St. Germain 20% alc.)
  • 2 cups (320 g) all purpose flour
  • 1 cup yellow dandelion petals
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼  teaspoon salt

Icing:

  • ½ cup (100 g) icing sugar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon elderflower liqueur
  • 2 tablespoons dandelion petals

 

 

Flowers: you need lots of flowers (small basket). Wash heads without stems and dry on a paper towel. Remove yellow petals working with hands or kitchen scissors (it is okay if some green parts go with). Pack them tightly in a cup.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease the pan and line with parchment paper.

In a bowl of a stand mixer stir together melted butter, sugar, lemon zest and lemon juice. In a separated small bowl slightly beat eggs with a fork. Add eggs, milk and elderflower liqueur to the butter mixture and stir (or mix) until combined. You may also use lemon liqueur instead of elderflower but the taste will vary. I highly recommend using elderflower one. Add flour, petals, baking powder and salt and mix until incorporated. Spoon the cake mixture to the pan and  bake for 1 hour (until the tooth pick inserted into the center comes out clean). Leave in the pan until cool (preferably overnight – the cake is best next day). Once cooled remove from the pan.

Make icing: mix icing sugar with lemon juice and elderflower liqueur until smooth, thick but still liquid mixture. Pour over the cake. Sprinkle with petals.


 
 

Category: Tea- and bundtcakes.

Tags: dandelion, elderflower, flowers, lemon.

Elderflower layer cake with cherry mascarpone frosting

This is a birthday cake for my son’s 5th birthday. As for me there are classic June flavours and wonderful Summer delight. Three layers of lemon elderflower sponge are full of flavour and freshness. Mascarpone frosting with cherry puree is light and fruity. Cherries match perfectly this fresh slightly tangy taste of the cake. Outside decoration is made of white chocolate shaped as long narrow tiles covered with elderflower blooms. And a bunch of fresh cherries on the top. The whole cake is perfect for any Summer occasion. Enjoy!

 

3 x sandwich pans ø 6 inch

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup (240 g) butter, softened
  • 1 ¼  cups (240 g) sugar
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 4 eggs
  • 4 tablespoons elderflower liqueur (I used St. Germain) or elderflower cordial
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream
  • 1 ¼ cups (240 g) all purpose flour
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder

Frosting:

  • 200 g cherries (cored)
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 450 g mascarpone* cheese
  • 150 ml whipping cream
  • 4-5 tablespoons icing sugar

Decoration:

  • 150 g white chocolate
  • 1 stem eldrflower bloom (put to the fridge for overnight then removed and dried)
  • 150 g fresh cherries

*please use original Italian mascarpone cheese (36% fat)

 

Cherries, sugar and lemon juice place to the sauce pan and heat until fruits are tender and sugar dissolved. Drain and blend fruits in a blender to puree.

This cake is quite small however tall. It is perfect for 4-5 people. If you need bigger increase the ingredients and bake in pans ø 7-8 inch.

Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Line the bottoms of pans with parchment paper. If you want to be sure your cake rise evenly wrap outside sides of the pans with aluminium foil inside which is wet paper towel.

In the bowl of an electric mixer beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs (one at the time) and mix together. Add lemon zest, mix together. Add liqueur/cordial and sour cream, mix together. Add flour with baking powder, mix until incorporated. Spoon the cake mixture evenly among prepared pans. Bake for 35 minutes (until the wooden skewer inserted into center comes out clean). Remove from the oven, leave in pan for 15-20 minutes.  Then remove cake from the pan and transfer to the cooling rack to cool completely.

Frosting: in a bowl of a stand mixer place together mascarpone cheese, cream and icing sugar and whisk with balloon whisker until stiff and fluffy. Add 4 tablespoons cherry puree and beat for further 2 minutes until incorporated.

Place the first sponge on the plate and spread the 2/5 of frosting over. Cover with second sponge and spread the next 2/5 of frosting over. Cover with third sponge. Spread the remaining frosting over the top and sides of the cake. Place cake to the fridge to set.

Make decoration: melt the white chocolate in a double bath. On a piece of parchment paper draw two parallel lines apart from each other the distance what is the height of the cake + 0.5 cm. Taking one spoon of the liquid chocolate at the time pour ½ inch/1 cm wide straps between lines onto the paper. Place elderflower blooms onto the chocolate before set. After you are done with all straps put the paper on the baking sheet and place it to the fridge for at least 15 minutes. Working carefully remove the straps from the paper and stick them to the sides of the cake. Place cherries on the top.


 
 

Category: Layered.

Tags: cherries, chocolate, elderflower, lemon.

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