• Apricots and raisins soaked in dark rum entwined in cottage cheese pastry. Sounds intriguing? Tastes excellent. The pastry is really easy to prepare, there are just few ingredients kneaded roughly. The taste is similar to yeast dough but you do not need to knead carefully, wait for rise and be scared if it works. The filling is sour sweet because of apricots and raisins soaked in rum. Do not afraid to serve this dessert your children – the alcohol vaporizes during baking. Yummy tea time for the whole family. Enjoy!

     

    1 babka about 9 x 6 inch

     

     Ingredients:

    • 200 g pressed cottage cheese
    • 8 tablespoons milk
    • 8 tablespoons canola oil  
    • ½ cup sugar
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • Pinch of salt
    • 2 ½ cups all purpose flour
    • 3 teaspoons baking powder

     

    • 1 egg
    • 1 tablespoon water

     Filling:

    • 400 g apricots (about 8 fruits)
    • 80 g raisins
    • 3 tablespoons dark rum

     

    Filling: wash and pit apricots. Chop them finely and place in a medium bowl. Add raisins, mix together. Drizzle with rum, cover and place in the fridge for few hours (or overnight). Remove the bowl from the fridge just before starting to prepare the pastry and mix fruits carefully with a spoon.

    Preheat oven to 350°F. Line the baking tray with parchment paper.

    Grind the cheese in a meat grinder or press with potato press. Place in a large bowl and add milk, oil, sugar, vanilla extract and salt. Mix until combined with a spoon or electric mixer. Add flour mixed with baking powder. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead it shortly. Roll out onto a 16 to 9 inch rectangular. Divide it into three even vertical parts (do not cut off). Each part should be about 5.5 to 9 inch. Two outside parts cut in  thin, almost horizontal (slightly bent down) stripes – see the three last pictures below the text. Do not cut off stripes of the middle part. Spread the filling onto middle part of the pastry. Cover the filling with stripes alternately from left and right side. The stripes will overlap – see the last picture below the text.  Place the babka on the lined tray. In a small bowl whisk together the egg and water. Brush the top of babka. Bake for 40 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack.


     

    Category: Fruits cakes.

    Tags: apricots, raisins.

  • This is traditional Polish Christmas cake called ‘makowiec’. Made of yeast dough (sweet bread – brioche like) filled with poppy seeds mixture. In a classic version (usually made) is baked as a Swiss roll shape. I tried some new shape – giant spiral and it works fantastic. The filling is more connected to the dough and for me it causes more taste in every bit. The filling is packed with poppy seeds, raisins, almonds and honey. You may also add nuts and candied orange zest if desired. Try some new cake on your festive table. Enjoy!

     

    springpan ø 9 inch

     

    Dough:

    • 180 ml lukewarm milk
    • 4 teaspoons dried yeast
    • ½ cup sugar
    • 2 eggs
    • 1 egg yolk
    • 3 cups bread flour
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 2/3 cup butter, softened

    Filling:

    • 350 g poppy seeds
    • 200 ml milk
    • 7 tablespoons honey
    • 30 g almonds, chopped finely
    • 30 g raisins
    • 30 g golden raisins
    • 1 teaspoon pure almond extract
    • 1 tablespoon butter, softened

    Sugar icing:

    • ½ cup icing sugar
    • 1-2 tablespoons warm water

     

     

    Place the poppy seeds in a bowl and pour over the milk. Stir with a spoon to sink all poppy seeds. Set aside for 3-4 hours.

    Make dough: in a medium bowl mix together yeast, milk and 1 tablespoon sugar. Let stand for 15 until frothy. Add eggs and egg yolk and stir until smooth. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, combine flour, remaining sugar and salt. Make a hole in the center and pour the yeast mixture in.  Mix on medium speed until dough is smooth. Stop mixer, scrap the bowl sides. On the low mixer speed add butter – 1 tablespoon at a time. Add the next tablespoon butter only when the previous is fully incorporated. When you use all butter and the dough is ready (smooth and glossy) shape it in a ball and place in an oiled bowl. Let stand in a warm place for 1 hour until doubled in size.

    Make the filling: drain poppy seeds, discard milk. Process seeds in a food processor for 3-4 minutes until become soft and velvety. Add remaining filling ingredients and mix until well incorporated. Try and add more honey or other nuts if you wish.

    Grease springpan and line the bottom with parchment paper.

    Place the dough on a floured surface and roll out into a 18 x 12 inch rectangular. Rotate the rectangular in order the wider side is its base closest to you. Cut into five straps (each 3 3/5 inch wide and 12 inch high). Spread the filling even on all straps. Roll the first strap into a roll. Place the roll on the beginning of the second strap and roll together with filling. Place this roll on the beginning of the third strap and roll together. Continue with remaining straps. The last strap do not encompass the whole big roll you got. Carefully lift the giant spiral (help yourself with a spatula), rotate 90° and place it in the sprinpan (the cut surface up). The center of the cake should be in the center of the pan. On sides stays empty space for rising. Let stand in a warm place for 1 hour to rise and reach the sides of the pan. Bake in preheated oven in 400°F for 45-55 minutes. After 25 minutes cover the cake with aluminium foil to avoid scorching. After baking cool in the pan then transfer to a wire rack.

    Make icing: beat together icing sugar and water until smooth. If the icing is too solid add more water. Pour the icing over the top of the cake.


     

    Category: Yeast cakes.

    Tags:almonds, Christmas, poppyseed, raisins, yeast.

  • Probably you know these typical Easter buns with cross on the top. In my recipe they are stuffed with soaked in dark rum raisins, cranberries and candid citrus peel. Cinnamon is essential of course. They are often baked in closed pan what gives one big shape of them and quite square look. I decided to save their round shapes however they are very close one by one. The cross on the top and transparent glaze are present too. Enjoy on the Easter breakfast or any other day!

     

    15 buns

     

     Ingredients:

    • 5 teaspoons active yeast
    • 1 ¼ cups (300 ml) lukewarm milk
    • ¼ cup (50 g) butter
    • 1/3 cup (70 g) sugar
    • 2 cups (320 g) bread flour
    • 1 cup + 2 tablespoons (180 g) whole wheat bread flour
    • pinch of salt
    • 1 egg
    • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
    • 75 g raisins
    • 75 g dried cranberries
    • 2 tablespoons candid peel
    • zest of 1 lemon
    • ½ cup dark rum

    Flour paste:

    • ½ cup all purpose flour
    • 2 teaspoons caster sugar
    • 1/3 cup water

    Glaze:

    • 1 tablespoon caster sugar
    • 1 teaspoon gelatine
    • 1 tablespoon water

     

     

    Place raisins in a bowl and pour the rum over until covered. Set aside for 1 hour.

    Make dough: in a medium bowl mix together yeast, ½ cup (100 ml) lukewarm milk and 1 tablespoon sugar. Let stand for 15 minutes until frothy. Heat the rest of milk with butter until melted. Cool slightly. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, combine both flours, remaining sugar and salt. Add yeast mixture, egg and the milk with butter. Mix on medium speed until dough is combined (6-8 minutes). The dough is too wet and will not become tight by mixing. Transfer it to a floured surface and knead by hands about 5-6 minutes until smooth and glossy. 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.

    Drain raisins. Add to them cranberry, candid peel, lemon zest and cinnamon. Mix together.

    Place dough on a floured surface and shape by hands into flat rectangular. Spread the filling over and start to knead the dough until  all is evenly incorporated (about 10 minutes). Shape the dough into ball, 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.

    Once risen divide the dough into 15 pieces (I used the weight to divide evenly). Shape each piece into a ball. Line the large baking sheet with parchment paper. Arrange the balls on the sheet leaving ½ inch (1 cm) free space around each. Let stand in a warm place for 30 minutes to rest.

    Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C) by fun forced mode or 430°F (220°C) by traditional oven mode.

    Make flour paste: mix all ingredients until smooth. Spoon the paste to a piping bag ended with medium plain nozzle. Pipe the cross on the top of buns. Bake for 20-25 minutes until brown and sound hollow.

    Make a glaze: mix all ingredients in a small bowl. Heat the bowl in a double boiler or microwave until mixture is liquid. Brush the top of buns immediately after baking. Cool on a wire rack.


     
     

    Category: Yeast cakes.

    Tags: cranberry, Easter, lemon, raisins, yeast.

  • Simple and quick in preparing but very tasty. That is the decribing of carrot cake. Today shaped as mini loaves, slightly bigger rectangular muffins. The top is covered with a dollop of mascarpone cheese what is always a good idea and gives a bit of delight. Enjoy!

     

    8 small loaves or 1 large

     

     Ingredients:

    • 125 ml canola oil
    • ¾ cup sugar
    • 2 large eggs
    • 1 ½ cups all purpose flour
    • 2 teaspoons baking powder
    • ¼  teaspoon soda
    • ¼  teaspoon salt
    • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
    • 1 teaspoon pumpkin spice mix
    • 50 g raisins
    • 50 g pecans (chopped finely)
    • 1 ½ cups fresh carrot, shredded

    Frosting:

    • 125 g mascarpone cheese
    • 2 tablespoons icing sugar
    • few pieces whole pecans

     

     

    Preheat oven to 350°F. Line pans with parchment paper.

    Mix in a bowl oil, eggs and sugar. Add raisins and pecans. In another bowl mix together flour, baking powder, soda, salt, cinnamon and spices. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix until well combined. Add shredded carrot and mix until incorporated. Spoon the cake mixture into pans up to ¾ capacity. Bake for 30 minutes (until the skewer inserted into the center comes out clean). Leave in pans for 1 hour then remove the loaves and cool completely on a wire rack.

    Make frosting: mix together mascarpone cheese and icing sugar until smooth mixture. Cover the top of each loaf with a spoon of frosting. Decorate with whole pecans.


     

     

     

     

     

    Category: Tea- and bundtcakes.

    Tags: autumn, carrot, cinnamon, pecans, raisins.

    Tags: chocolate, orange, strawberry.

  • Of course they are not real bread – they are cakes. The name is connected to the size and shape of loaf. Maybe they should be called rather square muffins. We have Autumn season so the right time for pumpkin baking. Here the combo with maple syrup what is very successful if we speak about taste. For more joy the top is poured with maple caramel. The cake smells like Autumn and is very moist (maybe even sticky). It matches perfectly the Autumnal vibe (and a cup of coffee). Enjoy!

     

    6 mini loaf or 12 – hole muffin pan

     

     Ingredients:

    • ½ cup plant oil
    • ¾ cup maple syrup
    • ½ cup dark brown sugar
    • 2 eggs
    • 1 ½ cup pumpkin puree (store bought or home made)
    • ¼ cup kefir or buttermilk
    • 1 tablespoon orange zest
    • ¼ cup pecans (cut roughly)
    • ¼ cup raisins
    • 1 ¾ cup all purpose flour
    • 1 teaspoon soda
    • ½ teaspoon baking powder
    • ½ teaspoon salt
    • 2 teaspoons cinnamon

    Maple caramel:

    • ½ cup maple syrup
    • 3 tablespoons butter
    • ¼ cup whipping cream

     

     

    Grease and dust with flour mini loaf pan or line 12 – hole standard muffin pan. Preheat oven to 350°F.

    In a bowl of a stand mixer beat oil, sugar and maple syrup until light. Add eggs, one at the time beating until combined. Add pumpkin puree, kefir and orange zest. In a separated bowl mix flour, soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Gradually add flour mixture to the oil mixture mixing until just combined. Add pecans and raisins. Fill each pan hole to the ¾ of capacity. Bake for 40-45 minutes (the wooden skewer inserted into the centre could be a little covered with crumbs). Leave in the pan for few minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.  

    Prepare maple caramel: pour maple syrup to the sauce pan and heat until boiling. Boil for further 5 minutes until darker slightly. Stir in butter and cream and cook for 5-10 minutes until slightly thicken. Cool slightly. Pour over cakes before serving.

     

     

     

     

     

    Category: Tea- and bundtcakes.

    Tags: maple syrup, pecans, pumpkin, raisins.

  • Rugelach are small, filled crescents. They are traditional Jewish baking and stem from Jewish society located in Poland. You can find them nowadays in many bakeries in Israel. The pastry for rugelach is neither typical shortbread nor yeast. It consists of butter, cream cheese and flour, which composition gives flaky and soft dough at the same time. Traditional filling contains nuts however the combos could vary depending on baker’s taste. Rugelach are delicious and still fresh on the next day unlike yeast dough. Enjoy!

     

    36 cookies

     

     Ingredients for pastry:

    • 200g butter, soften
    • 200 g cream cheese
    • 5 tablespoons icing sugar
    • 2 ¼ cups all purpose flour

    Filling:

    • 5-6 tablespoons plum marmalade (optional mixed with 1 tablespoon cocoa powder)
    • 1 cup walnut pecan nuts
    • ¼ cup raisins
    • 1/3 cup sugar
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 1 egg

    Egg wash:

    • 1 egg
    • 1 tablespoon milk

     

     

     

    Make pastry: in the bowl of a stand mixer place the softened butter, cream cheese and sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Gradually add flour still mixing on medium speed until the dough forms a ball (the sides of the bowl should be almost clean). When is ready, remove it from the bowl, wrap in a cling film and let cool in the fridge for at least 1-2 hours.

    Make filling: chop nuts finely. Add remaining ingredients (except marmalade) and mix until combined.

    Preheat oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

    Place the cooled pastry on a lightly floured surface and divide into three. Roll out each part into 1/5 inch thick and circle shaped piece. Cut each circle into four quarters. Cut each quarter into three identical triangular pieces. You will get 12 triangles of each piece of dough. Spread thin layer of marmalade over each triangle piece. Place 1 teaspoon of the filling  onto wider end of each triangle. Roll each piece starting with the wide end with filling. Make egg wash: in small bowl whisk with fork egg and milk.

    Place prepared crescents onto baking sheets and brush their tops with egg wash.

    Bake cookies (one sheet at the time) for 20-22 minutes until golden beige. Cool on a wire rack. Dust with icing sugar before serving.

     

     

    Category: Cookies.

    Tags: chocolate, pecans, plus, raisins, walnuts.

  • Stollen is traditional German Christmas cake. It is a yeast dough with plenty of dried fruits, marzipan and icing sugar on the top. Dried fruits are firstly soaked in strong liquor which gives the specific savour and then kneaded into dough for even and generous distribution. After baking the cake is repeatedly and rich sprinkled with icing sugar for snowy look. The whole cake is very tasty and contrary to appearances not very sweet. Dried fruit protect the cake against drying and it safes the freshness up to three weeks (however in my home it lasted for three days only). Enjoy!

     

    2 pieces

     

     Dough:

    • 2 ¾ cups plus 1 tablespoon bread flour
    • 4 teaspoons dried yeast
    • 125 ml lukewarm milk
    • 1/3 cup sugar
    • pinch of salt
    • ½ cup plus 1 tablespoon butter, soften
    • 2 eggs
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

    Filling:

    • ½ cup raisins
    • ½ cup golden raisins
    • ¼ cup dried cranberries
    • ¼ cup dried cherries
    • 8 dried figs (black mission)
    • ¾ cup Brandy
    • 1/3 cup Rum
    • zest of 1 orange
    • zest of 1 lemon
    • 150 g raw marzipan masse

    Icing:

    • ¾  cup icing sugar
    • ¼ cup butter, melted

     

    The day before: in a medium bowl place both raisins, dried cranberries and cherries and figs cut into small pieces. Pour over Brandy and Rum, cover and leave for overnight.

    Make 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 vanilla extract. Mix with the hook attachment on medium speed gradually adding butter (one tablespoon at the time) until dough is smooth (8-10 minutes). Once the dough is ready place it in an oiled bowl, cover and let stand in a warm place for 1-1.5 hours until doubled in size.

    Grease and line with parchment paper large baking sheet.

    Place the dough on a floured surface and flatten slightly with hands. Drain tightly soaked fruits and place them all over the dough. Start to knead the dough in order to incorporate all the fruit in. Divide the dough into half. Roll out each half into 9x13 inch oval shape. Divide the marzipan into half. Shape each into roll about 12 inch long. Place one marzipan on the first dough oval and fold the dough covering the marzipan but do not go to the end of the dough (you should become asymmetric shape partially two-ply, partially single-ply). Repeat your work with the second piece of dough and second marzipan half. Place both cakes on prepared sheet. Let stand in a warm place for 15-20 minutes to rest and preheat oven to 350°F.  Brush tops with melted butter and bake for 30-35 minutes until light brown in colour. After baking immediately brush with melted butter and sprinkle richly with icing sugar. Before serving sprinkle with icing sugar.

     

     

    Category: Yeast cakes.

    Tags: Christmas, cranberry, figs, marzipan, raisins, yeast.

  • In many European countries traditional Easter cake is sweet bread shaped tall or bundtcake like. For instance is called ‘baba’ in Poland or ‘kulitch’ in Russia or ‘potica’ in Slovenia. This is yeast dough richer than common babkas and stuffed with dried fruits or nuts. After baking the dough is very soft, delicate and cloudy like. Baking in pans gives the naked skinless surfaces easy to ice. I baked here something new – using vegetable cans I got the soft delicate cake ended with harder ‘head’ with skin and almonds on the top. Two in one. I used various sizes of cans so all my cakes are different. Two of them are stuffed with cranberries and orange zest and three with raisins and lemon zest. Using this batch below you may bake one big cake shaped as tall bundtcake. Enjoy!

     

    1 big or few smaller

     

     Ingredients:

    • 5 teaspoons active yeast
    • 1 ¼ cups (300 ml) lukewarm milk
    • ½  cup + 1 tablespoon (120 g) butter
    • ¾ cup (150 g) sugar
    • 3 cups + 2 tablespoons  (500 g) bread flour
    • pinch of salt
    • 4 egg yolkes

    Filling:

    • ½ cup raisins
    • zest of 1 lemon
    • ½ cup dried cranberries
    • zest of 1 orange

    Top:

    • 3 tablespoons coarsely chopped almonds
    • 2 tablespoons sugar
    • 2 tablespoons egg whites

     

     

    You may bake only one big cake with one preferred filling or few smaller all with one filling. In that case double ingredients of your preferred filling.

    Make dough: in a medium bowl mix together yeast, ½ cup (100 ml) lukewarm milk and 1 tablespoon sugar. Let stand for 15 minutes until frothy. Heat the rest of milk with butter until melted. Cool slightly. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, combine flour, remaining sugar and salt. Add yeast mixture, egg yolks and the milk with butter. Mix on medium speed until dough is combined (10 minutes). The dough is too wet and will not become tight by mixing. Transfer it to a floured surface and knead by hands about 5-6 minutes until smooth and glossy. 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.

    In one bowl mix together cranberries and orange zest. In second bowl mix together raisins with lemon zest.

    Place dough on a floured surface, divide into half and shape both by hands into flat rectangulars. Spread the one filling over one piece and second filling over the second piece. Start to knead the both dough (separately) until  fruits are evenly incorporated (about 10 minutes). Shape the both dough into balls, place in two oiled bowls, cover with plastic wrap and let stand in a warm place for 1-1.5 hours until doubled in size.

    Once risen divide the dough into as many pieces as cakes you want to get. Baking in vegetable cans wash them, grease with butter and line with parchment paper (bottom and sides). Fill each can (pan) with the dough to the 2/3 of capacity. Let stand in a warm place for 20 minutes to rest. They should rise until the top of cans. Mix the ingredients for top together and sprinkle cakes. Do not sprinkle if you bake one big bundt cake (it will turn upside down after baking).

    Meanwhile preheat oven to 400°F (200°C) by fun forced mode or 430°F (220°C) by traditional oven mode. Bake for 20-25 minutes (depending on size) until the skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. One big cake requires about 40-45 minutes.

    Remove the cake/s from cans or pans when warm but not hot. Cool on a wire rack.


     
     

    Category: Yeast cakes.

    Tags: cranberry, Easter, lemon, orange, raisins, yeast.

Join my Newsletter

Subscribe to get my latest recipes and tutorials by email.

    We respect your privacy. Unsubscribe at any time.

    Powered By ConvertKit