Baking Challenge – European Style: Week 4 – Dutch Poffertjes

Here they are! Don’t they look awesome? All puffed up and buttery? As you can see the poffertjes turned out well and tasted just as good. As usual, I’ve only made half of the recipe which was plenty for a party of only two. Half the recipe yielded about 12 delicous little poffertjes. I’ve followed the recipe from The Dutch Table. Here goes…

Ingredients Featured image
1 egg
1 cup of flour
1/2 tsp of dry yeast
1/2 cup of warm milk (plus some extra)
some butter
lots of confectioners sugar

Recipe
Mix dry yeast with a little bit of warm (but not hot) milk and set aside for a couple of minutes.

Mix flour, egg and rest of milk well. Add the yeast/milk mixture.

Cover dough and let rise for about 45 minutes in a warm place.

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Luckily, the dough had risen beautifully 🙂

I don’t have a poffertjes pan so I just used a regular frying pan and melted a little bit of butter in it.

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Drop several tablespoons of dough separately into the pan.

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This doesn’t look so nice and round…

When they get a little dry around the edges and little bubbles appear on top, it’s time to flip them over.

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See the bubbles? They are good to be flipped over!

Served with lots of confectioners sugar and butter. Btw – my husband had them with Nutella.

Gereed (Ready)!

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Wonderfully puffed up!!! Yes!

Overall they were pretty simply to make – easier than German pancakes which are rather difficult to flip over. However it takes a batch or two to figure out how much dough you need and how to best put it in the pan (rather piled up than flat). My second batch turned out much better than the first one – which was a bit flat…

They are really good and are now my preferred pancakes!

Baking Challenge – European Style: Week 4 – Netherlands

It’s a new week in the European Baking Challenge which means I have to make a new decision on a delicious treat from one of the remaining countries… 🙂

Since yesterday was a holiday here in Germany (Pentecoast) and I guess in many other parts of the world too, I’ve put off decision-making to today.

Staying close to my home country, I’ve decided to go for the Netherlands. I have to admit that I’ve been there already about 15 years ago for about 3-4 days, but I cannot remember what I’ve eaten and I don’t think it was anything traditional either.

First off, I wanted to go with something savoury again, because bitterballen are a very common Dutch snack. But it has to be fried and I do not own a fryer and I’m somehow weary of heating up a large quantity of oil in a pot. Therefore I’ve set my eyes on another traditional Dutch goody – albeit a sweet one – poffertjes. Yes! 🙂 I’ve never eaten the Dutch original but I guess most countries do have their own version of them since it’s simply pancakes – or in the Dutch case it’s puffed up pancakes. However the recipe is different to how we make German pancakes so I’ll give it a try!

BTW – I’ve found a great Dutch food blog called The Dutch Table with a load of great Dutch recipes. Go on over there and check it out.

Baking Challenge – European Style: Croatian Gibanica (and an extra of free-style Apple Strudel)

The first savoury dish of my 16 week baking challenge was not so much a challenge. Making a gibanica is actually pretty simple – if you don’t make the dough yourself. 🙂 If your bend to make it yourself, then here’s a recipe.

Taste-wise it was really good but neither I nor my husband cared much for the texture of it. I’m not sure if this was due to my baking abilities or if that’s just the way it’s suppossed to be… the texture could probably best described as gummy-like. On top of that I didn’t like the eggy consistency. There are a lot of eggs in it – much like a quiche, eg.- which I personally don’t care for. As a result, I would probably not bake this again or maybe in another version without the eggs.

However if you want to go ahead and try it out, here’s the recipe. I’ve mixed and matched several recipes and adjusted it a bit according to ingredients that I had on hand:

Ingredients (enough for 2)
8 sheets of filo dough
100 gr feta cheese
1 Egg
200 ml milk
2 tsp of creme fraiche with herbs
a little bit of pepper for seasoning
neutral oil

Recipe
Preheat oven to 175° Celsius (app 350° Fahrenheit).

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Oil baking dish (size for two servings) and line with two filo dough sheets slightly overlapping and hanging over the sides.

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Crumble feta cheese and mix with egg, milk and creme fraiche until it has a liquidy texture. Season if you like.

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Take filo dough sheet and completely submerge it in the cheese mixture. Then ball it up and put into your baking dish. I needed about 5 filo dough sheets to fill up my dish.

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Add the rest of the mixture on top of everything.

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Cover the mixture with a filo dough sheet and fold on top the parts of the filo dough sheets hanging over the sides of the dish.

Glaze the top with a mixture of some oil and water.

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Bake for 40-45 minutes.

Enjoy!

Since I had two filo dough sheets left over, I decided to go for a free style apple strudel as dessert. It’s pretty simple and delicious!

Ingredients
2 filo dough sheets
2 apples
2 tbsp of melted butter
2 tbsp of sugar
some lemon juice
some cinnamon
1 tbsp of rum (optional)
raisins (optional)

Recipe
Preheat oven to 190°C (app 365° Fahrheit).

Put one sheet of filo dough on top of the other.

Peel and cut apples in small pieces.

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Cover apples with some lemon juice and add sugar, half of melted butter, rum, cinnamon and raisins. Mix well.

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Pour apple mix onto the filo dough sheets leaving about an inch (about 2-2,5cm) free around the edges.

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Roll it up and place in a baking dish.

Cover it with some of the melted butter.

Bake for about 20-25 minutes.

Let cool for about 10 minutes then serve dusted with confectioners sugar and some vanilla sauce or ice cream.

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Yummy!

This apple strudel has not a lot of dough to it. If you like it with more (and therefore also more traditonal) you might want to add several more layers of filo dough.

Baking Challenge – European Style: Week 3 – Croatia

So, the third week of the Baking Challenge – European style is here and I decided to become a little more “exotic”. The country for this week will be Croatia.

I have never been there nor anyway near. However, I’ve heard that it is a beautiful country with a lot to offer. Maybe someone reading this, can confirm it? If you’d like to get some more information on Croatia, there is a great blog called “Chasing the Donkey“. It has lots of interesting tipps about travel, culture and food and it’s fun to read!

When researching recipes, I’ve discovered that a lot of traditional baked goods there are close to things eaten in Turkey or Austria, for example. It’s interesting to see how cultures have mixed through the centuries.

Anyways, after a lot of research I’ve finally decided to go with something savoury this time. It’s a filo or puff pastry dough called gibanica. According to web sources it’s usually filled with cream cheese. Which sounds perfect to me! There’s also a sweet version. If I have time, I’ll try to do both, but I’ll start with the savoury snack first…

As usual, please feel free to join in!

Baking Challenge – European Style: Austrian Buchteln

A day late, but here they are! Tahdah… Austrian buchteln with cherry jam filling and vanilla sauce. And they are delicious!

Unfortunately the first batch I made, the dough didn’t rise – my guess is that the yeast was just too old – and therefore I had to start all over which threw my whole time management. Hence the delay… 🙂 Otherwise making them was pretty easy although a bit time consuming, because you have to let the dough rise twice.

I used the recipe from Baking with Sibella. She’s originating from Bosnia where Buchteln are also a well known kitchen staple. Sibella has some great recipes on her blog including another famous Austrian baked goody: Vienna Apple Strudel. So, hop on over there and check her site out.

Here is my baking process in pictures:

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Ingredients sans cherry jam and vanilla sauce.

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Dough before rising (forgot to take a picture after).

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Rolled out dough with a dollop of cherry jam.

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Dough balls placed in baking pan lined with parchement paper.

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Dough balls after they have risen and doubled in size. Luckily!

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Fresh out of the oven – and a little on the dark side…

I only made about half of Sibella’s recipe.
My list of ingredients
:
250 gr. flour (I had to add an additional 30-50 gr)
half pck of dry yeast
50 gr. sugar (or a little more if you like it sweeter)
1 pck of vanilla sugar (or tsp of vanilla extract)
125 ml warm milk
50 gr soft butter
1 egg (room temperatur)

Quick recipe (I adjusted it a little bit from Sibellas according to my experiences):
Mix together vanilla sugar, sugar, flour. Add a little of the warm milk to the yeast, mix and pour everything into a mould of the flour. Cover and wait for a couple of minutes. Then add rest of milk, butter and egg. Mix well and knead for several minutes. If the dough is sticky, add some more flour until it doesn’t stick to your fingers and/or sides of the bowl. Let rise in a warm place until double in size. Roll out dough 1/3 inch (0,8cm) and cut into squares or scoop out a small egg sized amount and press flat into the palm of your hand until your whole palm is covered. Fill it with a dollop of jam and cover it with all four sides. Press sides well together and roll back into a ball. Place in baking dish lined with parchment paper or well greased with butter. Melt some butter and rub dough balls with it. Let rise until double in size. Preheat oven to 180° Celsius (360° Fahrenheit) and bake for 25 minutes.

My Buchteln are filled with cherry jam and I served them with vanilla sauce.

Enjoy!

Have you tried them yet? I would love to see how they turned out.

Asparagus Pizza – Yummy

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Who loves pizza? I do. And I’m sure, I’m not the only one. My preferred combination is with red bell peppers, sweet corn an onions. Sounds kind of weird – I know. But I’m up for any other combination too as long as it’s vegetarian.

Last year a friend tipped me off on a delicious variation – asparagus pizza. It’s different and it’s soooo good. On top of it, it’s easy to make.

Here’s the recipe:

The dough
300 gr flour
1 pck of dry yeast
150 ml water (lukewarm)
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt

The topping
1 pck sauce hollandaise (ready made or follow this recipe)
500-700 gr. asparagus
some ham (optional)
200 gr. grated cheese

  • Preheat oven to 425° Fahrenheit (225° Celsius).
  • Mix dry yeast with some lukewarm water and teaspoon of sugar. Set aside until the mixture gets fizzy/bubbly.
  • Peel asparagus and cut off about 1cm (half inch) of bottom. Cut it up in bite sized pieces and cook in water with a little salt for about 10 minutes (or until almost done).
  • Knead together flour, water, oil, salt and dry yeast. Knead for about 5 minutes. Add more flour if the dough is sticky.
  • Set dough aside and let rise for about 30 minutes (it should about double in size – if it doesn’t, don’t worry, it will still taste good :-)).
  • Roll out dough on a baking sheet lightly covered with flour until you reach your preferred thickness.
  • Spread sauce hollandaise evenly all over the pizza.
  • Add asparagus (and ham) and top off with grated cheese.
  • Bake for about 15-25 minutes (depending on how thick or thin you’ve rolled out your dough). Enjoy!

Baking Challenge – European Style: Week 2 – Austria

All Eclairs are gone and now it’s time to start with the second round of baked goodies. 🙂

I decided to go with Austria for my second week of the baking challenge. This is actually due to my mother in law who mentioned that she liked Buchteln which reminded me that I used to like them too as a child. When I googled the recipe I found out that this is a traditional Austrian Mehlspeise (it translates as some kind of baked dessert). And here we go… the second challenge of baking European style is – Buchteln.

If you’ve never heard of them or seen one, they could probably compared to sweet buns. They sometimes come with fillings and are usually eaten with vanilla sauce or some kind of fruit compote. Here’s a recipe I found on the Austrian food site ichkoche.at (it’s all in German – here’s a English recipe).

I haven’t decided which recipe I’m going to use yet. But it’d be fun if you join in and let me see with what you come up!