Egg Coddler

I went on an early morning run today and took some photos along the way.

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When I got back I was very hungry for something savoury and salty. I remembered buying egg coddlers ages ago and used those to make eggs for breakfast.
I buttered the coddlers and layered bread, cherry tomatoes and anchovies in them before adding an egg into each coddler.

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The eggs are cooked in a bain marie with the water coming up to about 1cm below the lid.

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The eggs are cooked in about 12-15 minutes, longer if you want the yolk to be firm, too. I served them with bread with tomato purée spread and coarse sea salt. A simple but satisfying breakfast!

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Plum and Almond Bread

I ‘found’ a cube of fresh yeast in my fridge today. It was 5 days past its use by date but I used it anyway hoping that it would still make the dough rise.
I chose a recipe from the British magazine Woman (issue unknown) for a plum bread.
For the bread I dissolved the yeast cube (42g) in lukewarm water and 1 teaspoon sugar. I poured the dissolved yeast in the middle of a bowl of 1kg flour (with a pinch of salt), mixed in a bit of flour and left it to throw bubbles for 15 minutes.

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Next I poured in 5dl milk (room temperature) and 2dl lukewarm water, added 2 tablespoons of cinnamon and a packet of vanilla sugar and brought the dough together kneading like a maniac.

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After a further rising session I worked in 350g plums (destoned and quartered), 100g sliced almonds and some more cinnamon and sugar.

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I put the breads into cake tins (buttered and floured) and left them to rise for another 30 minutes.

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After I had brushed them with milk I made some incisions on the top and off they went into the oven for 55 minutes at 200C.

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The breads look fantastic. The taste test will be postponed until tomorrow because the breads need to cool down first. I already burnt my fingers getting them out of the oven.

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Sarnies for the road

I overslept this morning and was very pressed to make some sarnies for today’s road trip. I already sorted out my recipes yesterday. They are from hand outs by Betty Bossi, I once did an afternoon tea cooking class with them.
I opted for the classic cucumber and a Harry’s Bar anchovies and egg sandwich.
The cucumber sandwich is made with cream cheese, cucumbers and dill.

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The Harry’s Bar sarnie is made with egg, mayo and anchovies. I made a lighter version by using half mayo half curd cheese and I did not butter my bread. Still tasted grand!

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Perfect fingerfood for the car ride into the mountains.

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Vogelheu – using what’s in stock

I am doing a race tomorrow and went on a training run this morning. I came back very hungry and to a almost empty fridge and cupboard.
What I had plenty of was stale bread and a handful of plums. Luckily there was also eggs, curd cheese and milk. Enough ingredients to make one of my childhood favourites: Vogelheu. Translated it literally means ‘bird’s hay’. It is a messier version of french toast.
First you cut a few slices of stale bread into squares. Then soak them in an egg wash consisting of eggs (I used 2), curd cheese (1 tablespoon) and milk (about 1dl). You can make sweet or savoury Vogelheu. I made a sweet version and only addeda tiny pinch of salt together with 1 tablespoon of sugar.

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After soaking the bread in the egg wash you can fry it in a little butter.

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I added sliced plums to the pan and sprinkled a little sugar over them. After 10-15 minutes the Vogelheu was ready to serve.

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Lovely!

Speedy Cinnamon Buns

It’s a public holiday today and the weather is lovely but fairly chilly.

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So I needed a sunny and warming breakfast. What fits the bill, to speak Great-British-Menuish? Cinnamon buns!
I used a recipe from the book Home Made by Yvette Van Boven.
It is easypeasy. Mix 350g flour with a pinch of salt, 3 teaspoons baking powder and 75g cold butter.

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Add 1 to 1.5dl buttermilk or milk (I used milk).

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Knead it into a dough.

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Work it with a rolling pin on a floured surface until it’s about 5mm thick.

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Top with butter, sugar and cinnamon. The recipe also uses raisins and nuts. I went for a little cocoa powder because I’m not too keen on raisins and the cinnamon/cocoa combo worked well in my Rugelach.

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Roll the dough up and cut it into buns. Put the buns on a baking tray (close together) and bake for about 30 minutes at 180 degrees Celsius.

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Divine!

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And if you’re not careful, someone will nick your bun!

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Thank God there’s more where that came from.

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This is such an easy and speedy recipe that you could make a second batch in no time. Beware of the calories, though. There must be loads in there…

Daffodil Honey

The fields were a sunny yellow today thanks to the blooming daffodils. One of the Swiss newspapers (BaZ) printed a recipe for daffodil honey. So off I went and picked daffodils.

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To make 3-4dl honey you need 50g daffodil flowers. I suggest you use gloves to remove the yellow flower leaves otherwise your fingers look like you’ve been smoking 2 packs of Gitanes a day.
Add the rind of half a lemon and boil the flower leaves and rind in 5dl water for 7 minutes.

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Next you cover the pan and leave the infusion to soak overnight.

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To be continued…
After leaving the daffodils to soak overnight, I strained the infusion to remove the flowers. The liquid went into a pan with 250g sugar and the juice of half a lemon.

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Then I cooked it until it had a sirupy consistency and filled it in jars.

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Wild Garlic Soda Bread

I bought a bunch of wild garlic at the market in Freiburg yesterday. I love warm fresh soda bread and for today’s Sunday brunch I baked a soda bread with wild garlic.
I know a lot of people who collect the wild garlic themselves. When you do you have to make sure that you don’t mix up wild garlic with lily of the valley otherwise you’re in trouble. I hope the people from the market stall knew their botanics…

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For the soda bread (recipe from bbcgoodfood.com) I mixed 125g white flour, 125g wholemeal flour, 50g porridge oats, half a teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda and half a teaspoon of salt.

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Then I rubbed in 125g butter. Irish butter, of course.

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At this point I also added the wild garlic (half a bunch).

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Then I added 2dl buttermilk…

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and brought the whole thing gently together and formed the typical soda bread shape on a floured surface.

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The bread baked in the oven at 200 degrees Celsius for 35 minutes.

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It was delicious and the wild garlic added a nice twist without being overwhelming. One other thing probably also added a twist. I only realized my mistake when I wrote the blogpost: I rubbed in 125g butter instead of the 12.5g as stated in the recipe.

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I think this turned out to be an accidental improvement!

Yoga Monday

I briefly thought about doing a juice detox. Biotta Juice Week is a very popular juice fast in Switzerland. I also own a book called The Holford 9 day liver detox. The only problem with these programs is that I could murder and kill anything near me two days into a fast. Also, it would make for a series of very whiny blogposts. I’ve been going to yoga classes on Mondays for a couple of weeks now. Thus, I thought I’d make Monday my juicy day of the week and stick to healthy liquids for breakfast.
This morning I opted for a celery, cucumber apple juice with Twinings Cleanse Tea. I don’t have a juicer so I blended the veggies and fruit with the tea.

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A lovely mix of green colours:

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It tastes okay. I am off to my yoga class now and I am already looking forward to lunch!

Sunday bake off

I had half a cube of fresh yeast left from my Faschtewäje and since working with yeast is a piece of cake to me now, I thought I’d save myself the trip to the local bakery this morning. Instead I turned to Rachel Allen’s book ‘Bake’ for white yeast bread. You can find the recipe here.
It was really fun watching the yeast rise at all the different stages.
From this:

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To this gooey mess:

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To a proper dough:

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Rising:

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And rising:

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Make your rolls in all shapes and sizes and leave to rise again.

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Brush with egg wash and sprinkle with toppings of your choice. I made rolls with flaxseed, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds and a cinnamon sugar mix. That’s what they look like before baking:

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And this after 20-25 minutes in the oven at 220 degrees Celsius:

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Cinnemony loveliness!

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And airy & light, too. I am chuffed to bits!

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Faschtewäje

Oh boy oh boy, had I read that today’s recipe properly, I would not have done it in the first place!
Today’s recipe for Faschtewäje, a type of small bread typical for the Basel carnival, had me work on a yeast dough for bloody ages! It involves a total of 3h20 of resting the dough and in between you have to work it in different ways.
I won’t give you this recipe, it’s torture! There must be an easier one on the Internet somewhere. Just google Fastenwähe or Faschtewäje (see for example this recipe).
Mine started off with this (resting 20 minutes):

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Turned into this:

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Then this (resting one hour):

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Were shaped into oval shaped buns and put in the fridge to rest for 1 hour 30 minutes:

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Then shaped into the typical Faschtewäje form (and off resting another 30 minutes):

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Brush with a beaten egg mix, sprinkle with caraway seeds and off in the oven at 200 degrees Celsius for 15 to 20 minutes.

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Yummy Faschtewäje. Lots of work but worth the effort (once a year, max)!

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