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What a better time to crawl back from six feet under than when corona virus is knocking at your door. I do hope my fatigue has more to do with the daylight saving time than any sickness. These days it though to tell..

Anyway, a few days ago I still found myself energetic and felt like updating my blog should be next thing on the list (hey c’mon, it’s been only.. 6 years?). And also I had been presented with the wish to make hamburgers for dinner. And since the recipe I have for burger buns is quite a good one, I would love to share it here.

Some years ago my mother found a great recipe for burgers from the magical world of internet. What made this recipe special, was the fact the butter and flour are rubbed together before adding other ingredients. I decided to do some googling before posting my own version, to give the glory for the original version as well.

Hamburgers (8 or 12 pieces)

560g Wheat flour (12% protein)

30g Butter

60g Whole milk (3,5% fat)

250g Water

Egg (M)

20g Fresh yeast

11g Salt

30g Sugar

Egg for glazing, sesame seeds (optional)

Start by measuring the flour and butter into a bowl. Rub the butter into the flour, either by hand or in a kneading machine. Then measure your liquids into another bowl and warm the is mixture slightly so it’s luke warm. Dissolve the yeast in the mixture. If you are using dried yeast (about 10g is enough) make sure to warm the liquids to 40 degrees Celsius, in order for the yeast to wake up. After yeast, add the egg, salt and sugar to the mixture and whisk together until smooth. Then pour the liquid into the flour-butter-combination and knead together. This will form a very soft dough, and might be a bit tricky to work per hand. Still do not add much flour, we don’t want dry buns.

After letting your dough rest covered for about an half an hour, divide it into equall pieces. I prefer my hamburgers somewhat smaller so I cut my dough into pieces average 80g each. For 8 buns you have about 120g for each to use. Form balls and let them rest a while. Prepare a baking pan with baking sheet. Reform the balls to give them some extra springiness and place them on the baking sheet as shown in the picture below.

Let the buns rise under a kitchen towel. The time varies a lot depending on the temperature. In summer time the buns might have proofed in half an hour whereas in winter you might have to leave them for an hour and a half. Do not let them puff up too big though, for the moist dough tends to lose its structure quickly. We do not want flat and airless buns! I think I have often turned on the oven too late, so I prefer to turn it on right at the same time buns are formed. Then it’s ready for them when they need it. So heat up your oven to 220 degrees celsius.

After rising, brush the buns with egg and springle with sesame seeds. I was unfortunately out of any. Then place the buns to bake on the low level in the oven. Turn the heat down to 200 degree celsius. Bake for about 15 minutes, turning the tray in between to guarantee an even bake. Pull down from the tray to cool down.

Prep meat, salad, tomatoes, onion, pickles, cheese, sauces.. all your preferred hamburger fillings and enjoy the most delicious meal. I used to prep my meat very simple. Just using a minced cow with salt and pepper. With children I’ve become to prefer a more meatball type of dough including bread crumbs, egg, salt, paprika spice, black pepper.. it’s not as chewy and makes it easy for the whole family to eat.

And now I gotta come up with the next food already, since burgers are long gone.. hope you guys enjoy the recipe as much as we do!

~Marika

Haven’t forgotten how to bake, and I think I can still recall how to type, too. Think I just haven’t done anything so special lately – say for 6 months, well hmm.. No, actually I have learned to make excellent choux pastry and so delicious éclairs out of it with the most gorgeous vanilla-pudding filling. You ain’t getting that recipe (yet) though. Instead this post is about something more christmassy, and actually, I’m quite happy to serve you the recipe for marzipanstollen.

Sliced

I’ve tried making stollen before and somehow then they weren’t that successful at all. And something about the usual over-powering amount of raisins kills it for me. Therefore, these marzipanstollen are simply made with almonds and candied peel, no raisins included. And I always thought stollen were a tricky bake. Ha, these were simple to make, trickiest part would the the buttering-sugaring-action after baking, but it can be done.

Marzipanstollen (2 medium ones)

Mother dough:
175 g   Luke-warm milk
200 g   All-purpose-flour
35 g   Yeast

Actual dough:
300 g   All-purpose-flour
60 g   Sugar
200 g   Butter, cold
50 g   Egg (1 egg)
5 g   Salt
Aroma (lemon, vanilla)

Fruits and almonds:
100 g   Almonds (slivered, chopped)
50 g   Candied orange peel
50 g   Candied lemon peel

And
200 g   Marzipan (Almond paste)
100 g   Sliced almonds
100-150 g   Butter
Sugar, vanillasugar

1. Make the mother dough. Warm up the milk, dissolve the yeast into it and knead together with the flour into an elastic dough. Let it stand covered for 30-45 minutes in room-temperature.

2. Meanwhile, measure the slivered and chopped almonds into a cup. Pour warm water over them, so that they are covered. This way they soften and do not suck away the moisture from the actual dough.

3. After your mother dough is ready, add the ingredients for the actually dough into it (flour, sugar, butter, egg, salt and aromas). Use cold butter, for too warm butter melts into the dough and ruins its structure. Knead into a smooth dough and let it rest covered for another 30 minutes.

4. Drain the almonds. After the actually dough has rested for 30 minutes, knead the almonds and the candied peel gently into it.

5. Divide the dough into two (about 600 g each) and form balls. Divide the marzipan into two as well and form sticks (about 10 cm long). Flatten the dough balls and place the marzipan sticks in the middle of them. Close the dough around the marzipan. Brush the stollen with water, or go over them with wet hands. Then roll them in the sliced almonds and place on a baking tray with a paper with the seam side down. Let the stollen proof covered for 30-45 minutes in the room-temperature.

6. Heat up the oven to 210°C.

7. After proofing, place the stollen into the lower level of your oven. Turn the temperature down to 190°C as the stollen go in. Bake for 45 minutes.

8. Melt butter in a pan. Mix an amount of sugar with vanilla sugar in a box enough big for the stollen to fit in.

9. Once your stollen and nicely browned and baked, cover them properly with the butter using a brush or by plunging them shortly in the melted butter. Roll the buttered stollen in the sugar mixture and leave them to cool on a baking rack.

Out of oven

10. Cut and enjoy once cooled. Stollen ough to keep good for quite the time, and this really is the Lembas come true. Even the smallest piece fills you up for the day (me and Carlos might be Hobbits, since half a stollen seemed to make just a nice mid-day snack for the two of us…).

Merry not-so-white Christmas (+7°C and raining, yay..)

-Marika

Close up

My boyfriend loves these puff pastry bakings, and well, I do also have trouble keeping my fingers away from them. But being a baker, I’m the most excited about the fact that all one needs for such a delicious treat is flour, butter, sugar and water. The trick lies in the lamination of the dough, the key to which is using cool ingredients and giving the dough a plentiful resting time between the folds. I’ve had my practice with this dough, so I think, I can now share it with full confidence that it indeed, does work.

Serve

Elephant ears

250 g   All-purpose-flour
250 g   Butter (83 + 167 g)
150 g   Cold water

and quite an amount of sugar

Mix the flour with one third of the butter (83 g), ’till crumbly. Add the cold water and mix quick and shortly into a smooth dough. Roll out into a rectangle, about 1cm thick. Wrap the sheet into a cling film and place into the fridge.

Crumbly

Dough

Rolled

Roll the rest of the butter (167 g) into a rectangle as well, this being about half the size of the dough sheet. Place the butter sheet into the freezer.

Rectangle

Do dishes, take a walk or find something else fun to do, while waiting for the ingredients to cool. I always tend to let my butter get too cold, and then it starts crumbling into pieces as I’m rolling out and folding the dough. Too warm butter can start melting through the dough layers, thus resulting into a faulty lamination. You can try to rescue the situation either by placing the dough into the fridge for a time, or letting it warm up on the table, depending on the case. Anyway, do not panic. You’ll still end up with a puff pastry in the end, after all rough puff pastry works, too.

So, once your butter feels ready for it, start the folding. First place the butter in the middle of the dough and seal it in. Don’t be afraid to use some flour to keep the dough from sticking to the table.

Perfect fit

Seal

Roll the dough out ’till about 1,5 cm thick and make a simple fold. Fold one third in the middle, and the rest on top of this.

Simple fold

Roll the dough out again and make a double fold. Fold the dough almost in half, leaving the bottom part just a bit longer. Then fold this end towards the middle meeting the other end of the sheet. Finally fold this in half.

Double fold

Double done

Now let your dough rest wrapped in cling film in the fridge for a minimum of one hour. After the resting time, make another doubled fold and finally one last simple fold. Then leave your dough covered in the fridge for overnight. This is required for the dough to rest and not to shrink when working it further. At this point the dough is very bland having no flavor to it. From this same dough I have made salty puff pastry bakings, filled with tuna or minced meat.

The next day start by rolling out your dough to a rectangle of 30cm x 40cm, using just enough flour to avoid it from sticking to the table.

30cm x 40cm

Now cover the dough with sugar, turn it over, and cover the other side with sugar as well. Roll out slightly to make the sugar stick into the dough. With a ruler, make a marking to the middle point of the side that is 40cm wide, also to 20cm. Then turn the ends towards the middle, so that they are in the halfway to the middle point. Put some more sugar on these folds.

10cm in

Then carefully turn the folds to the middle, so that they meet.

In the middle

Cover with sugar, and fold one side over the other, so that you are left with a long, somewhat-roll-like-shape.

Like this

Be patient, and freeze the dough for a while now. It makes a lot easier to divide into equal pieces and to place onto the baking sheets. Meanwhile, you can heat up your oven to 210°C degrees and prepare two baking sheets for the elephant ears.

Once the dough is cold, divide it into 18-20 pieces and place onto the two sheets, leaving enough room for the puff pastry to PUFF. Be sure the elephant ears are totally unfrozen and then bake in the middle of your oven for about 7-10 minutes, keeping an eye on the color. My oven heats up quite well from the bottom, so I usually have to place the tray a bit higher in the end, so that they brown evenly.

Divided

Two sheets

Hot hot hot!

Be careful, they are hot when eaten straight out of oven. But don’t worry, they cool down pretty quickly, too.

One of my earlier versions, think I’ve improved.

Marika~

Made the first and most likely the last wedding cake of my life. At least the last one with fondant, god my. That stuff sure is nice to work with and fun and all, but there are more delicious things to eat on this planet. And were it my wedding, I’d rather have something yummy. But still, I was pleased how it this mission impossible of my baking career turned out.

Done

Done done

Underneath the fondant is a milk chocolate ganache (1kg of chocolate went into this cake) and cake out of Wiener Masse with oil (15 eggs went into this cake). I will post the recipe for the Wiener Masse, for I really enjoy it, since it requires no baking powder and still has a nice volume. Used some orange liqueur for moisture and for the extra flavor.

Done done done

Done done done done

Lego-effect, since the couple wished to have this Lego-couple on the cake. Roses and hops as decoration, also something for each.

These pics were taken home, before the two hour drive in a nice warm car and then another 10 hours in the fridge of the restaurant were the wedding was held. So, the cake had to go through a bit, and did somewhat suffer. Few wrinkles and such, but god, it survived. So happy I worked with ganache in this case, butter-cream might have not held so well…

And to the wedding. Had no idea I’d be attending a wedding like that ; 85 guests, party on ’till 5 am, food and drinks unlimited, all so fancy. And I went and caught the wedding bouquet. Oops.

Done did it

Marika~