Baking History

A Taste For The Past

Archive for June, 2007

Angel Food Bread (with Sage)

Posted by bakinghistory on June 26, 2007


“Bread with herbs” is the theme for bbd#01 (bread baking day #01), as proposed by Zorra . The warm fragrance of Sage (Salvia Officinalis) is well suited to this bread with a thin, crisp crust and a chewy, airy crumb very similar to Italian focaccia.

Here is the link to the bbd#1 Roundup.

From the original recipe by Aunt Babette

In “‘Aunt Babette’s” Cook Book” 1889–USA


1 lb (454 g) bread flour, sifted

2 tsp (8 g) active dry yeast

1/2 tbsp (6 g) sugar

1/2 tbsp (9 g) salt

2 cups (475 ml) whole milk, divided

2 oz. (60 g) fresh sage leaves

1 tbsp (30 g) melted butter to glaze the loaf + extra to grease the pan

Wash and dry the sage leaves, then mince them quite fine.

Take 1 cup of milk from the total and scald it, dissolve the sugar in it then set aside to cool. When the milk is lukewarm (100°F–38°C), add the yeast and let it ferment.

Scald the remaining milk, add the salt, then set aside until lukewarm.

Sift the flour in a stand mixer bowl, add the minced sage leaves and mix well; pour in the yeast milk mixing on the lowest speed with the paddle attachment, then add the remaining milk.

Stir well on the lowest speed, the mixture will have the consistency of a cake batter. Then beat with the paddle attachment for 15 minutes. Cover the bowl and let raise until doubled in bulk and bubbly.

Gently pour the dough onto a lightly greased board, and work it lightly with a dough scraper, gathering the dough always towards you and being careful not to deflate it.


Grease generously with melted butter one 9.1 x 5.4 inch (13.6 x 23.2 cm) loaf pan and gently pour the soft dough in it. Cover and let rise until the bread has doubled and reached the rim of the pan. Brush carefully the surface of the raised loaf with melted butter and bake in a preheated oven at 400 F (200C) for about 45 minutes, until golden.

Take the bread out of the pan and cool on a wire rack.

breadbakingday #01 - bread with herbs


Posted in Blog Events, Herbs, Yeasted Breads | 4 Comments »

Cocoa Bread

Posted by bakinghistory on June 19, 2007


A really outstanding recipe for a bread with many desirable qualities: a billowy soft crumb, a deep cocoa flavor and just a hint of sweetness. Good on its own, with butter or cream cheese, or for an alternative version of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. My favorite: lightly toasted and spread with a thin layer of orange marmalade.

From the original recipe by The Fleischmann’s® Company

In “Excellent Recipes for Baking Raised Breads” 1920–USA


For the Sponge:

2 tsp (8 g) Fleischmann’s® active dry yeast Or 1/2 cake fresh yeast

2 cups (475 ml) whole milk, scalded and cooled

1 tbsp (12 g) sugar

3 cups (411 g) bread flour

For the final Dough:

All of the Sponge

2-1/2 (342 g) cups bread flour

1/2 cup (100 g) sugar

1/2 cup (45 g) unsweetened cocoa powder

1/4 cup (60 g) butter

2 small eggs

1/2 tsp (3 g) salt

1 tbsp (15 ml) Milk to glaze the loaves

Make the Sponge: Dissolve the yeast in the lukewarm milk with 1 tbsp of sugar, let stand 5 minutes than add the flour and mix well (if using a stand mixer beat the mixture on the lowest speed using the flat beater attachment). Cover the bowl an leave the sponge to ferment for about 1 hour, or until doubled and bubbly.

Make the final Dough: Sift cocoa powder and flour together through a fine sieve and set aside. Cream the butter and then add the sugar, until well incorporated, finally add the eggs and mix well.

Add the butter-eggs-sugar mixture to the sponge and beat well (on the lowest speed with the flat beater attachment if using a stand mixer). Add the flour-cocoa mixture and then the salt, and knead (switch to the dough hook and knead at the lowest speed) until the dough is smooth and elastic, very soft but supple and only slightly tacky, and with tiny blisters all over the surface 1cocoa-bread-100_4906.jpg.

If it is too soft and sticky, you need to adjust the amount of flour by adding it 1 tbsp at a time until the dough reaches the right consistency. Shape the dough into a ball and place it in a greased bowl to rise, covered, for about 2 hours, or until doubled in bulk.

Shape the loaves:

1. Take the raised dough, divide it in half and pat and gently stretch each half into a rectangle 2-cocoa-bread100_4907.jpg

2. Fold each rectangle into thirds, starting with one of the short sides 3-cocoa-bread100_4908.jpg 100_4909.jpg

3. Flatten and fold the narrow rectangle into thirds again 100_4910.jpg 100_4911.jpg

Flatten the square of dough one last time, and fold in half, pinching the seams on all sides. Roll the dough under the palm of your hands to stretch and elongate it and then place it, seam side down, in a lightly greased 9.1 x 5.4 inch (13.6 x 23.2 cm) loaf pan 100_4912.jpg

Repeat with the remaining dough. Cover the pans with lightly greased wax paper and let the breads rise until they reach above the sides of the pans by about 1 inch.

Lightly brush the surface of the raised breads with milk

Bake in a preheated oven at 350° F (180°C) for 40-45 minutes.

Take the loaves out of the pans and cool on racks.

Posted in Chocolate, Yeasted Breads | 3 Comments »

Barches (Challah)

Posted by bakinghistory on June 15, 2007


Barches is the name for Challah in German and western Yiddish. This version is the traditional old-fashioned kind made with a minimal amount of fat and sugar and no eggs except in the glaze. It has a thin crispy crust and a chewy crumb with a plain but excellent flavor. It is often a nice change from the Challah rich in eggs and honey that I usually bake.

From the original recipe by Lizzie Black Kander

In “The Settlement Cook Book” 1901-USA


2 cups (474 g) boiling water

1 tbsp (18 g) salt

1 tbsp (12 g) granulated sugar

1 tbsp (15 ml) oil

1-1/2 tsp (6 g) active dry yeast

1/2 cup (118 ml) water at 100° F (38° C)

6-1/2 cups (890 g) bread flour

To Glaze: 1 yolk +1 tbsp (15 ml) water

Poppy seed (optional)


Dissolve the sugar and salt in the boiling water and add the oil; set aside to cool until lukewarm. Dissolve the yeast in the 1/2 cup of warm water(100°F–38° C), and set aside for 5 minutes. Add the yeast water to the flour and then the remaining water to which you had added salt, sugar and oil. Knead in the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with the dough hook, at the lowest speed until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. Leave the dough to rest in the bowl, covered, for about 20 minutes,then place in the refrigerator to rise overnight.

The following day, take out the dough and, without kneading it, divide it in half. Divide each half into 3, 4, or 6 pieces, depending on how many strands you want for shaping the braids. Roll each piece into a long, even strand, not too thin, and shape the braids. It is better to lightly flour each strand before braiding them, this will help keep the braided shape neat during baking.

Sprinkle generously a peel or a baking sheet with fine cornmeal or semolina and place the shaped breads on it, cover and leave them to rise for 1-1/2 or 2 hours, then brush them with yolk mixed with 1 tbsp of water and sprinkle with poppy seed if you like.Bake the bread in a preheated oven 425° F (220°C) for about 45-60 minutes.

Note if you have a baking stone, preheat it for at least 45 minutes and bake the breads directly on it. Let the breads cool on a rack.

Posted in Jewish Cooking, Yeasted Breads | 4 Comments »

Moravian Sugar Cake

Posted by bakinghistory on June 13, 2007


Cinnamon is the spice that gives this cake its wonderful aroma. In the very words of Miss Leslie, author of this recipe, “this is a very good plain cake”. I do agree.

From the original recipe by Eliza Leslie

In “Directions for Cookery, In Its Various Branches” 1840-USA


1. For the Sponge

1/4 lb (115 g) unsalted butter

2 cups (475 ml) whole milk

3/4 lb (340 g) bread flour

2-1/4 tsp (1/4 oz–7 g) active dry yeast (or 0.6 oz–14 g fresh yeast)

1/4 tsp (1.5 g) salt

2. For the Dough

1 large egg

1 tbsp (7 g) ground cinnamon

3/4 lb (340 g) bread flour

3. For the Filling

5 oz (3/4 cup–140 g) brown sugar

2 oz (2 tbsp–60 g) unsalted butter (room temperature)

2 tbsp (14 g) ground cinnamon

2 tbsp (28 g) brown sugar to sprinkle on top of the cake

Make the Sponge: Scald the milk, then let it cool to 100°F (38°C). In the bowl of a stand mixer pour the warm milk and dissolve the yeast in it; add the softened butter and stir on the lowest speed (use the flat beater attachment) to mix them well, then add the flour and finally the salt. Continue mixing on the lowest speed for 1 minute. Cover the bowl and let the sponge to rise until bubbly and doubled in bulk.

Make the dough: Add the beaten egg to the sponge and mix with the flat beater at the lowest speed until well mixed. Switch to the dough hook, add the flour sifted with the ground cinnamon and mix on the lowest speed for about 10 minutes. The dough will be soft, supple, and only barely tacky. Let the dough rest for about 15 minutes, covered.

Line a 9 x 13 in. (23 x 33 cm) pan with aluminum foil, then generously butter the aluminum foil. Arrange the dough in the pan, flattening it with the palm of your hands to cover the bottom of the pan; let rise, covered, until the cake is light and almost doubled in bulk.

Preheat the oven at 350°F (180°C).

Make the filling: Mix brown sugar, cinnamon and butter and set aside.

Filling the cake: when the cake has risen make deep parallel slits all over it using sharp kitchen scissors. Fill each slit with about 1/2 tbsp of the cinnamon filling, pushing it down almost to the bottom, then pinch the edges closed after filling each slit.

Sprinkle the extra 2 tbsp of brown sugar over the cake and bake it for about 45 minutes, or until golden brown. Take the cake out of the pan (the liner makes this really easy) and let it cool on a rack.

Posted in Spices, Yeasted Cakes, Kuchen, Coffee Cakes | 2 Comments »

Coriander Seed Ice Cream (Gelato di Crema)

Posted by bakinghistory on June 12, 2007


The almost citrusy aroma of coriander seed gives this classic Italian-style ice cream a somewhat unusual but really delicious flavor.

From the original recipe by Pellegrino Artusi

In “La Scienza in Cucina e l’Arte di Mangiar Bene” 1891–Italy

Vanilla, coffee or coriander seed are among the flavorings that Artusi suggested for this rich and smooth ice cream. Even if today coriander seed is not as commonly used as are vanilla or lemon zest in this type of frozen custard, in Artusi’s time it was often chosen given its lower cost compared to other spices.

An important note about preparing this custard is that since it does not contain any type of starch in its ingredients, it needs to be cooked on very low heat and stirred constantly. If heated at too high a temperature the mixture will invariably curdle. If this happens, the custard can be restored to (nearly) perfection by processing it in a blender until completely smooth–an immersion blender works also very well.


1 quart (1 Liter ) whole milk

8 yolks

1 c (200 g-7 oz) sugar

1/4 cup (30 g-1 oz) whole coriander seed

Crush the coriander seed in a mortar or with a rolling pin, then add them to the milk. Scald the milk then put it aside to cool to lukewarm, leaving the coriander seeds to infuse.

Meanwhile, beat the yolks with the sugar until the mixture is thick and pale yellow in color. Strain the milk and discard the coriander seeds. Add the lukewarm milk to the egg-sugar mixture, slowly, and mix well. Cook on very low heat stirring constantly, until it thickens slightly. Take off the heat and let cool. Place the custard in a covered glass container and refrigerate overnight. Process the very cold custard in an ice cream maker.

Posted in Gelato, Ice Creams, Sherbets, & Ices, Italian Cuisine, Italy, Spices | Leave a Comment »

Bundt Kuchen No. 1

Posted by bakinghistory on June 8, 2007

Ethereally light, with the richness of butter and eggs balanced by the warm aromas of lemon zest and nutmeg. Something worth having for coffee with one’s best friends.

From the original recipe by Lizzie Black Kander

In: “The Settlement Cook Book” 1901-USA


1. For the Sponge

1/2 tbsp active dry yeast or 1/2 oz of fresh yeast

1 cup warm milk (about 100F-38C)

1 cup (4.5 oz-125 g) bread flour

2.For the final dough

2 cups (9oz-250 g) bread flour

1 cup (7 oz-200 g) sugar

1/2 cup (4 oz–115 g) butter

4 eggs

zest of 1 (organic) lemon

2 tsp (4 g) (or to taste) freshly grated nutmeg

3. For the Icing

1 cup (4 oz-120 g) confectioners sugar

1-2 tbsp (15-30 ml) boiling water or milk

Make the sponge: Dissolve the yeast in the warm milk, mix in the flour and let stand, covered, until it doubles and looks bubbly.

Make the dough: In a stand mixer fitted with the whip attachment beat the butter to cream, until very light and fluffy, then add the sugar and the lemon zest and nutmeg, when well mixed add the eggs, one at a time. Now switch to the flat beater attachment and add the sponge and then the remaining 2 cups of flour. Mix on medium speed until you get a very soft but elastic dough (about 10 minutes). At the end, it will look more like a batter than dough, almost pourable.

Grease very generously a 9-cups Bundt® pan, then put the dough in it leveling it with a spatula. Cover the pan and let the dough stand until very light, about 1 hour. Preheat the oven to 350F (180C)

Bake the kuchen for 45 -60 minutes, until golden brown and a cake tester comes out clean.

Take out the kuchen from the pan and let it cool on a rack.

Make the icing, mixing the sugar and water or milk (the icing should be spreadable but not too thin), then ice the cake once it is cold.

Posted in Jewish Cooking, Spices, Yeasted Cakes, Kuchen, Coffee Cakes | 1 Comment »

Peach Ice (Gelato di Pesche)

Posted by bakinghistory on June 6, 2007


White peaches are preferable to make this simple and delicious frozen treat with a smooth, snowy texture and a pure fruit flavor.

From the original recipe by Pellegrino Artusi

In “La Scienza in Cucina e l’Arte di Mangiar Bene” 1891–Italy


White peaches (ripe) 0.882 lb (400g)

Sugar 1/2 lb (250 g)

Water 8 fl oz (500 ml)

1 large lemon (juice)

1/8 tsp pure almond extract (optional)

Put water and sugar in a small pan and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Let the syrup simmer for 10 minutes, set aside to cool, then refrigerate, covered, for at least a few hours but preferably overnight.

Peel the peaches and cut in small pieces, taking care to save any juice, put them with the cold syrup, the lemon juice and the optional almond extract in a blender or food processor and puree, until very smooth. Freeze the mixture in an ice cream maker.

Posted in Gelato, Ice Creams, Sherbets, & Ices, Italian Cuisine, Italy | 4 Comments »

Cardamom Cookies

Posted by bakinghistory on June 1, 2007


These cookies have a soft, crumbly texture because they are made with hard boiled egg yolks. Cardamom, rose water and almonds provide their delicate yet complex flavor.

From the original recipe by Florence Kreisler Greenbaum

In “The International Jewish Cookbook” 1919–USA


6 hard boiled egg yolks

1/2 lb (230 g) sugar

1/2 lb (230 g) butter

grated zest of 1 lemon

2 tbsp (30 ml) brandy

1 tsp (2 g) ground cardamom

2 tsp (10 ml) rose water

1 lb (454 g) all-purpose, unbleached flour (or as needed)

To garnish

1 oz (30 g) blanched almonds (raw)

1 oz (30 g) Demerara sugar

1 egg

Cream the butter and set aside.

Place the sugar, yolks, cardamom, rose water, lemon zest and brandy in a food processor and blend until it all forms a smooth paste. Add the creamed butter and process until well blended. Add the flour, starting with 1/2 lb, pulse for a few seconds, then add as much flour as needed to have a soft, smooth dough that can be rolled.

Wrap the dough in wax paper and refrigerate at least 1 hour or overnight. Roll on a slightly floured surface (1/8 in-3mm thick) and cut with cookie shapes.

Preheat the oven to 350 F (180 C).

Beat the egg, brush the top of the cookies with the beaten egg, sprinkle with sugar and ground almonds and bake for abut 10 minutes (or until lightly golden). Cool on racks.

The dough is soft and a little tricky to roll and cut.

Alternatively, the dough can be formed into little balls, flattened and then garnished. Or it can be formed into a log, wrapped in wax paper, refrigerated or frozen and then thinly sliced, garnished, and baked.

Posted in Cookies, Bars, & Biscotti, Jewish Cooking, Spices | Leave a Comment »