Category Archives: Breads & Muffins

Iron Chef Challenge for January – Krentenbollen

Recently we found a sort of similar challenge to Vegan Mofo that took place some months ago. This time we are talking about Iron Chef Challenge for January and it consists of each month a different ingredient with which you have to cook a creative dish. This can also be fun and less stressful and intense than the Vegan Mofo.
The ingredient this month is:

SQUASH!

Living in The Netherlands, I always wanted to eat krentenbollen but the ones that you can find in stores are made with animal products. They are a tradition here, most of the times people buy them in bakeries or in a supermarket. Usually, Dutch people eat them as a snack at work, when you go for a hike and you want to have something full of energy to keep on walkin, on trips… I have seen them as well with a slice of cheese in the middle but some Dutch would find that weird since it is a sweet bread.

 

Ingredients:

- 150g squash puree

- 300g wholegrain flour

- 150g raisins

- 1/4 cup oil

- 1/4 cup plant-based milk

- 2 tsp cinnamon

- 5g salt

- 6g dried yeast

Procedure:

Mix all the ingredients together without the salt and raisins. Let it puff up for about an hour and later add the salt and raisins. If you are a patient person, let it sit for a while more. Otherwise you are ready to do the balls. It might be a bit sticky, what I did was to have my hands oily so the dough would not stick. Place them in a no-stick tray and bake for about 20-30min. The time depends on how big the balls are, the bigger the longer will take. As a final step, you mix some sugar with a bit of oil and water and with a brush or with your hands spread the liquid on top of the balls. This last step will give a great top coating.

Usually krentenbollen or raisin buns are known as white on the inside. Since we used wholegrain flour our balls are on the darker side, but still delicious and full of goodness from the whole grain.

Have a nice start of the week to all of you. We will start our Monday with great Krentenbollen and pumpkin jam (leftovers from the squash puree with some sugar and ginger).

 

 

Focaccia

Focaccia is one of the flavored breads that we like most. Usually you can mix it with black and green olives, dried tomatoes, thyme, rosemary, basil, onion, garlic, … whatever your imagination comes up with. The key point is that you flatten the dough as a pizza and pour on top some olive oil with salt and spices. In this way, the top never dries out and is flavored with all sorts of things. It goes perfectly with soups, olive paté, hummus, … or simply as a snack.

 

Ingredients:

- 400g all-purpose flour

- 300dl warm water

- 10g salt

- 10g dried yeast

- black olives or green if you prefer

- dried tomatoes

- oregano, thyme, rosemary

- black pepper

- olive oil

Procedure:

In a large bowl mix the flour, salt and yeast, later add the warm water. It should not be boiling but warm enough to accelerate the yeast process. When the mix has formed a uniform dough, leave it to rest for 10-20min. After the resting time, the dough should have doubled in size. Place it in a tray with baking paper and flatten it until 2 fingers thick. Try to stick your fingers deeply in the dough as one of the characteristics of focaccia is the small holes full of oil. Switch on the oven to 190C and add on top the olive oil with the herbs, black pepper and some more salt. Finally place on top the olives and the dried tomatoes, and if you leave it resting at this moment for 10min it will be softer. Put it in the oven and bake for 20min or until the borders are golden.

Enjoy the lovely flavored bread!

Wholemeal bread with pumpkin seeds

Here in the Netherlands bread is serious business, as well as in some other European countries. People often eat sandwiches for breakfast as well as for lunch, and since not much goes in between the slices of bread, the bread had better be tasty! It’s interesting to note that in other countries such as Portugal it’s actually the other way around, where lunch and dinner are basically the same type of hot meal. Often in those countries it’s hard to get a nice loaf of bread to make sandwiches. A good thing of bread is that many of them are vegan, or otherwise relatively easy to veganize. So we’ll start off Vegan Mofo 2011 with a nice wholesome bread.

 

 

 

 
Recently we acquired River Cottage Handbook No. 3, by Daniel Stevens (Bloomsbury, London, 2009), which is dedicated to baking many different kinds of bread at home. It’s a great hands-on guide full of illustrative pictures and practical advice. It spends a good amount of time on getting the basics across, followed by many specialized bread recipes, from classic Italian breads (ciabatta) to more exotic ones (such as vetkoek, which appears to be similar to oliebollen, minus the raisins). One of the final chapters teaches you how to build your own clay oven in the garden, I’m not sure we’ll reach that level (besides the fact that we currently lack a garden…).

We’re slowly starting to explore the book (but a sourdough starter is in the works!), here you can see a nice wholemeal bread topped off with pumpkin seeds. It uses the basic bread recipe provided by Daniel, with the following ingredients:

  • 500g wholemeal flout
  • 5g dried yeast
  • 10g salt
  • 300ml warm water

The bread’s a bit flat, next time we’ll leave it to rise in a bread pan, to give it a more traditional shape. But the consistency and taste are great, and that’s what counts!

Rosquilletes from València

After two weeks in Cargese, Corsica I am back to the Nederlands. This is a typical snack in València made of flour, water, a pinch of salt and some  seeds

Pumpkin bread

Winter and rain are coming to Netherlands and as a result the pumpkin season is here. Now you can get pumpkins almost everywhere and I just thought that why not to start to use them in the kitchen besides as decoration in gardens and houses as some Dutch people do. One of the first ideas was to make bread.

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups of whole wheat flour
  • 2 cups of water
  • 1 1/2 cups of pre-cooked pumpkin
  • 2 teaspoons of salt
  • 3 teaspoons instant dry yeast
  • 3 tablespoons of active gluten flour
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar

Procedure:

Before starting the bread, you have to boil the pumpkin for around 15min after cutting it in dices. Leave it a side to cool down. In some places you can buy the pre-cooked pumpkin in a tin however if you have time it is better to do it yourself.

While it cools down, mix the dry yeast in a bit of water. In another bowl mix the dry ingredients and later add the pre-cooked pumpkin. Then mix as much as you can the pumpkin with the flour, I found easy to just use my hand even if it was sticky. When the dough becomes homogeneous add the sugar to the yeast mix and then add everything to the dough. Keep mixing and adding the remaining water until you get a nice dough. Do not worry if it gets too wet, in my case it was not liquid but it was not easy to remove from my hands. Later place it in a nonstick shape that you prefer and leave it resting for around 40min. Keep in mind that the longer you leave it the fluffier the bread will get however it depends on the time or patience you have :- ). Later bake it at 160ºC for around 35min.

This bread came out really fluffy and moist. As a surprise it was not sweet at all and the pumpkin gave it a really nutty taste (I used butternut pumpkin perhaps if you use another kind of pumpkin might change the flavour). Another surprise was that after 4 days the bread was still really good.

Sunday morning muffins

I had my aunt and my cousin visiting and I baked nice chocolate muffins with some dried banana on top. It was a great way to start the Sunday that later we spent in Amsterdam walking around and getting wet.

Black and white cupcakes

We are going to a barbecue, so a good opportunity to bring some nice vegan food. I thought that some vegan cupcakes would work perfectly.

In the photo you can see the delicious vanilla cupcake with white buttercream frosting and the deadly chocolate cupcake with chocolate buttercream frosting.

Oat – Flax bread

Chocolate cupcakes with coconut fudge frosting

This is a cupcake recipe from the book: “Vegan cupcakes take over the world” that I just got recently. If any one is interested in the full detailed recipe, please contact me.