Monday, April 14, 2014

March Bread

As I've mentioned before, I think it's important to not sugarcoat your life on the social media. So in order to live up to my own principles (which is hard) I'll post about my March bread adventure. I'm almost afraid to tell you what this was supposed to be. But here we go: I thought it would be fun to try to bake my own croissants. It appears that I have boundless optimism when it comes to cooking, baking etc. And there is absolutely no past experience to justify this optimism.

This is how I thought my croissants would look like...paper-thin, buttery, and light.

image from here

And this is what came out of the oven....

 
 
They don't look like croissants, they don't feel like croissants, and they don't really taste like croissants either. They taste nice, but not like croissants. So if you want to bake bread crescents with a slight taste of butter, here's the recipe:
 
Croissants:
(10-12)
 
25 g yeast
1½ dl milk
150 g flour
1½ dl milk
ca. 300 g flour
150 g butter
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon sugar
125 g cold butter
1 egg
1. Warm the milk and pour over the yeast and whisk away.
2. Add 150 g of flour and whisk again. Leave the dough.
3. Warm the rest of the milk.
4. Crumble the butter in the rest of the flour and add milk, salt, and sugar.
5. Knead the two doughs together.
6. Leave the dough to rise somewhere cool for app. 3 hours.
7. Roll the dough into a rectangle on a surface sprinkled with flour.
8. Cut the butter into very thin slices and put them on one half of the rectangle.
9. Fold the dough over the butter and roll the dough into the original size again.
10. Fold and roll three times.
11. Finally, roll the dough until it is very thin. Cut into two rectangles. Cut each rectangle into 5-6 triangles.
12. Roll into crescents.
13. Put them on a baking sheet and leave them for 30 minutes.
14.  Brush with the whisked egg and bake them at 230° C for 15-20 minutes.
 

Sunday, March 09, 2014

February Bread

Late as usual, but here's my February bread: Cinnamon bread


 
 
I'm a big fan of baking things that make my house smell good, and I love the smell of cinnamon. The bread collapsed a bit, and frosting things isn't one of my talents, but it tastes delicious. Here's the recipe if you'd like to try:
 
 
Cinnamon bread
(for 8)
 
 
1 dl milk
50 g butter
25 g yeast
1 egg
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon cane sugar
1 teaspoon salt
250 g flour
 
Filling:
80 g soft butter
40 g brown sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon

Frosting:
150 g icing sugar
1/4 dl boiled Water

1. Heat the milk and butter in a saucepan until the butter melts. Take it off the heat and let it cool.
2. Crumble the yeast into a bowl and pour the milk/butter mix into it. Whisk until the yeast is dissolved.
3. Add the egg.
4. Sieve flour, cinnamon, sugar and salt into the mix.
5. Stir until it becomes an even dough and knead the dough on a table sprinkled with flour.
6. Leave it for 30 minutes.
7. Meanwhile: mix the filling; butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon
8. Roll out the dough (20x30 cm)
9. Spread the filling evenly on the dough
10. Roll the dough into a bread.
11. Put it into a 1 litre bread pan covered with baking paper.
12. Cut into the top of the bread and leave it for 30 minutes again.
13. Bake it at 200 degrees C for 15 minutes. Take the bread out of the bread ban and bake for 5 more minutes and then let it cool.
14. Mix icing sugar and boiled water and pour the icing on the bread.

Monday, February 10, 2014

January Bread

After a year of cakes and a year of cookies, I've decided to make 2014 a year of bread. Late as always, but here's my January bread: Nøddestollen.

They are my niece's favourite so I make them quite often. They taste really well and as a bonus, they fill your rooms with a wonderful smell!



Here's the recipe if you'd like to try:

Nøddestollen
12-15

100 g hazelnuts
20 g yeast
1 dl milk
3 eggs
1 tablespoon sugar
1,5 teaspoon salt
1  tablespoon vanilla sugar
150 g soft butter
400 g flour

+
30 g butter
2 tablespoon powder sugar
0,5 tablespoon vanilla sugar


Chop the hazelnuts into 'flour.'
Crumbl the yeast into a bowl.
Heat the milk until 40 degrees C and mix with the yeast.
Add eggs, sugar, salt, vanilla sugar, hazelnut flour and ¾ of the flour.
Knead dough in a mixer for at least 20 minutes at a slow speed.
Add the soft butter.
Add the rest of the flour if necessary. The dough must be greasy, but still possible to work with.
Put the dough on a table sprinkled with flour. Leave for 20 minutes.
Divide the dough into 90 g pieces. Leave for 5 minutes.
Form the dough into oblong buns.
Place them close to each other - almost touching - on a baking sheet covered with baking paper.
Cover them with a tea towel and leave them for 30 minutes.
Bake in a 190 degrees C hot oven until golden, app. 15-20 minutes.
Let them cool.
Melt the butter and leave until the whey 'sinks'.
Brush the bread/buns with the clear butter and sprinkle with the vanilla/powder sugar mix.
Serve with butter.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Blog Is 4 Today!

 
It's 4 years since I pushed the 'create blog' button. Some years have been more active than others, but I still feel that I should keep it alive. It is my own little part of the enormous web, and I've 'met' great people through this blog. But I hope that I will be able to post more regularly in the future. I'm happier when I use this blog to focus on the stars, but the past two years have been difficult and busy, so at times it has been difficult to see those stars. I haven't been commenting on friends' blogs as much as I would either, but I do read and love to follow what everyone's up to. Here's to one more year of blogging! Thank you for sticking around.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

December Cookies, Part 4


The fourth and final traditional Danish Christmas cookies are 'brunkager' meaning 'Brown cookies'.
It's a really delicious cookie which simply smells of Christmas.

Here's the recipe (by Mette Blomsterberg) if you'd like to try:

Brunkager
250 g butter
125 g golden syrup
250 g brown sugar
3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground allspice
500 g flour
60 g pickled orange in tiny cubes
150 g whole almonds
25 g unsalted pistachio kernels (pretty difficult to get in Copenhagen. You can buy salted pistachio nuts and remove as much of the 'skin' as possible until you get just the light green flesh)
2 teaspoons potash
1 tablespoon of cold Water

1. Melt butter, syrup and brown sugar at medium heat. Take off heat.
2. Mix cinnamon, cloves, ginger, allspice, and flour.
3. Add pickled orange, blanched almonds and pistachios into the flour mix.
4. Mix with the melted butter mix.
5. Mix potash and water in a cup and add to the dough.
6. Knead the dough in a mixer.
7. Put the dough in a container (18x18 cm) completely lined with baking paper.
8. Press the dough into the corners and cover dough with baking paper.
9. Leave the dough at room temperature for the next day.
10. Cut into 5 long pieces. Cut each piece into thin slices (this is difficult, especially because of the whole almonds in the dough, but as thin as possible)
11. Put on a baking sheet covered with baking paper and bake for 9-12 minutes at 180 degrees C.
12. Let the cookies cool before putting them in an airtight container.

 
If you put the dough in a 18x18 cm container as the recipe says, you will get very pretty square cookies. I didn't do that, so I got these - what shall we call them - rustic looking cookies! But the taste is the same:-)

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

December Cookies, Part 3


Today we move on to the third of the traditional Danish Christmas cookies 'jødekager' meaning 'Jewish cakes'. There's some confusion as to how they got this name, but one explanation is that it was sold at the Jewish baker shops in Copenhagen more than 100 years ago, but I don't know. What I do know is that they are now inextricably linked to Christmas.

Here's the recipe if you'd like to try:

Jødekager
(App. 40 cookies)

250 g flour
½ teaspoon powdered ammonia
½ teaspoon ground ginger
200 g butter
125 g sugar
1 egg

For 'decoration':
1 egg
2 tablespoons sugar
1-2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
Chopped blanched almonds

1.Mix flour, ammonia, and ginger.
2. Cut butter into smaller pieces and crumb butter and flour.
3. Add sugar and egg and knead dough together.
4. Leave in the fridge for at least an hour, preferably for the next day.
5. Roll the dough very thin and cut out circles with a cookie cutter.
6. Put cookies on a baking sheet covered with baking paper.
7. Brush with egg, sprinkle with the cinnamon sugar and finely chopped almonds.
8. Bake for 7 minutes at 175 degrees C or until golden.

Monday, December 16, 2013

December Cookies, Part 2


The next traditional Danish Christmas cookies are called 'pebernødder' meaning 'pepper nuts.' Some put a little bit of white pepper in the dough, but you don't have to. Regardless, they are still called pebernødder. Danish kids eat a substantial amount of pebernødder during the month of December. They are small and can be put in cornets and baskets on the Christmas tree, and you use them to play a game called 'mouse'.



Here's the recipe if you'd like to try:

Pebernødder
(App. 100)

250 g flour
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon powdered ammonia (a weird thing you buy for Christmas and only use for Christmas cookies:-)
100 g butter
175 g sugar
1 egg
2 tablespoons of cream

1. Mix flour, ammonia, and spices.
2. Cut the butter into small pieces and crumb butter and flour (see the vanilla wreath post)
3. Whisk sugar and egg white and mix with the flour mix.
4. Add cream and knead the dough together.
5. Roll the dough into long sticks (the width of a finger).
6. Cut the sticks into small pieces (1 cm) and roll into small balls and place on a baking sheet covered with baking paper and bake  for app. 12 minutes at 180 degrees C.
7. Let cookies cool before putting them in an airtight jar.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

December Cookies


For the December cookie I decided to share a traditional Danish Christmas cookie with you. However, I went a little overboard in the kitchen and baked four different kinds of Danish Christmas cookies. As usual I can't choose, so I thought I'd share all four cookies with you. You can buy all these cookies in Danish shops from the middle of November and it's the first sign of Christmas. But most of us also bake some of them ourselves to serve for guests over Christmas. The homemade ones are of course the best, but also a bit time-consuming.

Let's get started. The first cookies are called 'vanillekranse' which means 'vanilla wreaths.'


Some put ribbons through the holes and hang them on the Christmas tree, but they will of course not be as delicious to eat as the ones you keep in a jar.

Here's the recipe if you would like to try them:

Vanillekranse
(50-60 cookies)

250 g flour
125 g sugar
Seeds from1 vanilla pod
50 g almonds
200 g butter
1 egg

1. Scald, blanch and chop the almonds as well as possible without blending them. It takes quite some time!
2. Mix flour, sugar, vanilla seeds and almonds.
3. Cut butter into small pieces and crumb (is that the right word?) the butter and flour. (you put the butter into the flour and sort of rub the butter and flour together between your fingers and thumbs. You do this until the lumps of butter are gone and the mix looks like crumbs.
4. Add the egg and knead the dough together.
5. Put in the fridge for at least an hour, but preferably for the next day. (I can remember the plates with the dough in the fridge as a child. My mother always made it in the evening and left it in the fridge overnight.)
6. Cut the dough into 4-5 pieces and knead it soft before you put the dough into a meat mincer/mincing machine with a star attachement so it is turned into long star-shaped strips of dough. (Kids love this part of the proces!) Cut these strips into smaller pieces and form into a circle. Place them on a baking sheet with baking paper and bake for about 8 minutes at 200 degrees C or until they are golden. Cool before putting them in a cookie jar.




Thursday, December 12, 2013

Gift Guide: Boys and Girls

For my niece, nephew, and friends' children, I have my eyes on the following...

The heartbreaking but beautiful book The Brothers Lionheart by Swedish author, Astrid Lindgren

Danish design, the wooden bear by Kay Bojesen

Glow-in-the-dark pj for the boys

Madeline pj and book for the girls

Pierre le Baer is too cute

Wooden toy grill set


Sharon Montrose's baby animal Photos are always a hit with children as well as their parents
 
Do you have any great gift ideas for boys and girls? I'd love to hear!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Gift Guide: Gifts for Him

For the men in my life, I have my eyes on the following items....

cord tacos from This Is Ground on etsy


Balloon dog book end

Tramps like us...T-Shirt


Self tie bow tie in every possible colour and pattern from Bartek Design on etsy


 
Do you have any great gift ideas for the men in your life? I'd love to hear!
 

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Gift Guide: Gifts for Her

I'm way behind on my Christmas shopping! But at least, I finally have an idea of what I could buy or would like to buy. For my mother, sister, and girlfriends I have my eye on the following.....

My sister's computer is officially dead, so I think we have to join forces and give her a new one.


 
Grey cashmere cardigan with black star elbow patches

One of my best movie experiences this year, Springsteen & I 

I keep giving these ballerina slippers to everyone

Ceramic bowls, the so-called bonbonnières by Danish ceramic artist Julie Bonde

The third Before-film, Before Midnight

Chanel's nail polishes are always a hit

 
Helena Rohner's tea egg for Georg Jensen
 
If you have any ideas for the women in your life, I'd love to hear!

Friday, December 06, 2013

November Cookies


I once again like to stress that this hasn't become a baking blog, but life is busy right now, so I never seem to manage to upload images and post them. But better late than never. For the November cookies I decided to try 'broken dreams.' I couldn't resist baking cookies with a name like that. It's not as depressing as it sounds - it's just because the surface of the cookie is meant to break.

 
 
If you'd like to try them, here's the recipe:
 
Broken Dreams
(App. 35 cookies)
 
2 dl sugar
3,5 dl flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
A pinch of salt
2 tablespoons vanilla sugar
2-3 tablespoons cocoa powder
½ dl olive oil
2 eggs
+ icing sugar
 
1. Mix all the ingredients (minus the icing sugar) into a bowl and mix.
2. Put in a bag and leave it in the refrigerator for an hour.
3. Roll the cookie dough into 35 balls and dip them into icing sugar.
4. Put them on a baking pan with baking paper. They will flatten during baking so they need a bit of space.
5. Bake for 10-15 minutes at 150 degrees Celsius.

Monday, November 11, 2013

October Cookies

Better late than never. I haven't had time to post my October cookies yet. It's not that I believe you are all holding your breath, waiting for my next baking adventure to go online, but it would be great if I manage to post my November cookies before the end of November. Fingers crossed!

But back to October. I feel that my year of cakes and my year of cookies are an endless line of 'nailed it' episodes:-) 

Here's the image from my Pinterest board:

http://www.pinterest.com/pin/2674081002266139/
 
 
and here's my attempt
 
 
If you'd like to try them - they taste really good - here's the recipe:

Thyme & blackberry jam thumbprint cookies:

Makes 16-17 cookies

125 g butter, softened
1/4 cup (50g) sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 teaspoons finely chopped thyme leaves (fresh is best, but freshly dried thyme works too)
3/4 cup (105g) flour
1/2 cup (50g) cornflour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/3 cup (35g) almond flour (ground almonds)
Approx 1/4 cup (60ml) blackberry jam

Preheat oven to 180°C.
Line a baking tray with baking paper.
Cream butter, sugar, vanilla and thyme in a medium bowl using an electric beater or wooden spoon. Sieve over flour, cornflour and baking powder, add almond meal and mix well to form a soft dough.

Roll tablespoonfuls of dough into balls, place onto the tray and flatten just a little. Flour your thumb and press into each dough ball to create a little indent. Fill each with a little jam and bake for 10-12 minutes or until just a little bit golden around the edges and the jam bubbling up.

Remove from the oven and set aside to cool on the tray.


Recipe slightly altered from here

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Before, Before, Before

I'm a big fan of the Before movie trilogy so I really like these posters by Claudia Varosio from her etsy shop.
 
 
She has a lot of great movie poster designs and a few books as well. I'm quite fond of these two as well.
 
 
 
 


Saturday, October 05, 2013

September Cookies

For my September cookies I looked through my Pinterest board and decided to try these outmeal and lavender shortbread.

 
 
They looked rustic already, so I hoped these would be the ones which would actually look similar to the Pinterest image. Well....you'll be the judge:-)
 
 
 
 
If you'd like to try them, here's the recipe (from here):
 
Oatmeal and lavender cookies
(24 cookies)
 
1 1/4 cup rolled oats
8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, softened
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 tablespoons dry lavender flowers
 
1. Toast the oats for about 10 minutes. Let the oats cool completely and then process in a food processor, until powdery.                 
 
2. Beat the butter with sugar until creamy. Stir in the oats, flour, salt, and lavender. Mix on low speed until the dough comes together. Scrape the dough out onto a work surface and pat it into a log 1 1/4 inches in diameter. Wrap up the log in plastic wrap and refrigerate until very firm, about 2 hours.                
 
3. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Slice the dough into 1/4-inch thick slices and arrange on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Prick the top of the shortbreads with a fork. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until golden. Let the shortbreads cool. 
            
4. The shortbreads can be kept in an airtight container for about a week.