Baking Bread without Yeast

There are many of us who are baking at the moment as we spend our days at home, maybe to avoid having to go to the grocery store but for many of us, it is also like therapy.

Unfortunately yeast is now hard to come by, so I thought I would share this bread recipe that doesn’t call for yeast.

I always weigh my flours but in case you don’t have a scale, I added how many cups to use. Also, if you don’t have buttermilk, I provide an alternative. I used buttermilk powder but that’s usually not something most people have in their pantry.

When I made the bread yesterday, I had just run out of parchment paper, so instead I slightly greased the cookie sheet and added a little flour before I placed the dough on the sheet. If you’re out of parchment paper too, you can do the same.

When the bread comes out of the oven, you may be able to smell the baking soda but don’t worry.  That dissipates and the taste is nice. When my my son tasted it, he said it tastes of something familiar. I told him it’s Irish Soda Bread and he agreed. But this bread doesn’t contain either butter or sugar.

Give it a go!

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Reminiscing over Waffles

I made my go-to Honey Yogurt Waffles for breakfast this morning.  I make them quite often and sometimes I make a double batch because they are great to have in the freezer for mornings when time doesn’t allow me to make them fresh. Not like these days when time almost seems to stand still because we’re all homebound.

I actually never had a waffle for breakfast until I came to the U.S.! In Denmark it just isn’t, or at least it wasn’t when I grew up, something considered appropriate to eat in the morning. It’s more of an afternoon treat or perhaps a mid-morning Sunday treat.

Thinking of waffles and my childhood I can easily tell you where I had the best waffles! My parents, sister and I had traveled to Sweden during the summer to visit family and to join them for a trip to the Swedish fell (fjäll) where we had rented a house. While there, we did lots of outdoor activities and one of course was to hike. On a hike that lasted all day (at least in my memory it did), we took a break at a cozy cabin café and this is where I had the most delicious waffles. I am sure it had something to do with the cozy surroundings, the craving I felt for something sweet but it definitely also had something to do with the whipped cream and the outstanding cloudberry jam that topped the waffles.  To this day I can still taste them.

The waffles that I make for my family now are different for sure. But that’s probably good. Good because those waffles in Sweden will forever stand as a delicious and unmatched memory for me.  But also good because they are healthier, as they should be when they are served for breakfast on a regular basis. 🙂

If you want to try the waffles I make for my family, here comes the recipe.

Honey Yogurt Waffles

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Ingredients

  • 3 Tbs salted butter
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat or white whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup old-fashioned oats (not quick oats)
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 1/4 cups milk
  • 3/4 cup plain yogurt
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Preheat waffle iron.
  2. Melt butter and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together all dry ingredients.
  4. In another bowl, whisk together milk, yogurt, honey, eggs and vanilla until well blended.
  5. Pour the liquid ingredients over the dry ingredients until just combined.
  6. Fold in the melted butter.
  7. Lightly butter or spray the grids of the waffle iron. Spray again if the waffles stick.
  8. Pour 1/2 cup of batter onto the waffle iron (or whatever amount works best with your iron). Close the lid and bake until the waffles are golden and set.
  9. Serve immediately or keep them warm in the oven (preheated to 200°F). Place the waffles on a rack in a single layer.

Enjoy!

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Try these Raisin Rolls

My mom has always baked rolls for all kinds of needs and occasions – breakfast, birthday celebrations, when guests come over for afternoon coffee, etc. What type of rolls would depend on how they would be served. Some were sweet, some were savory, some were made with plain white flour, some were filled with whole grains.

These Raisin Rolls remind me so much of my childhood. There was nothing like the wonderful, warm smell that filled the house when they came out of the oven. That wonderful smell filled my house today and my son noticed!

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The recipe is simple and is easy to make with younger children. They can help knead the dough and shape the rolls. Having them be part of the baking makes it a fun family activity.

Ingredients

  • 500 gr unbleached white flour (or you can reduce it to 400 gr and add 100 gr of white whole wheat flour)
  • 4 tsp dry yeast
  • 1 Tbs sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp of cardamom (optional)
  • 100 gr raisins
  • 75 gr butter
  • 1 egg (plus one to brush the rolls)
  • 2.5 dl milk

Directions

  1. Combine all dry ingredients and the raisins.
  2. Using a mixer, a pastry fork or your fingers, work in the butter until it’s evenly distributed and no large chunks remain.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the milk and egg. Pour this mixture into the dry ingredients and knead the dough until it’s smooth.
  4. Set the dough aside to rise until about double in size.
  5. Shape the dough into rolls and let them rise while preheating the oven to 350°F.
  6. Brush the rolls with a whisked egg.
  7. Bake the rolls for 10 minutes or until golden brown.

Enjoy!

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Pizza Making – A Family Activity

My family really enjoy homemade pizza with fresh mozzarella. My son likes his Hawaiian style with ham and pineapple. My husband likes his that way too but will add some red onions and black olives. I make mine vegetarian style, often with peppers, red onions, olives and whatever green vegetables we have.

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The pizza dough I make several hours before we need it, sometimes even the day before which makes it even better, and I usually make a double portion, so we have extra pizza to put in the freezer for an easy meal. My go-to recipe comes from King Arthur Flour although I do add my own little twist by adding fresh garlic. Here it is:

Ingredients

  • 1 3/4 cups (206g) Unbleached All-Purpose Flour (sometimes I  replace 3/4 cup with white wholewheat flour)
  • 1 1/4 cups (206g) semolina
  • 1 large clove of crushed garlic
  • 1 teaspoon instant yeast
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup + 2 tablespoons to 1 1/4 cups lukewarm water

Directions

  1. Beat the ingredients at high speed of your electric mixer, using the beater blade, for 2 minutes. Switch to the dough hook, and knead for 7 minutes; the dough should be smooth and quite soft. If kneading by hand, mix the ingredients, then let the dough rest, covered, for about 30 minutes; this will give the flour a chance to absorb the water, which will make kneading easier.
  2. Allow the dough to rise, covered, for 45 minutes; then refrigerate it for 4 hours (or up to 36 hours); this step will develop the crust’s flavor. It’ll continue to rise in the fridge, so make sure it’s in a big enough bowl.
  3. Divide the dough in half. Note: for thick, Sicilian-style pizza, leave the dough in one piece, and press it into a rimmed half-sheet pan (18″ x 13″).
  4. Working with one piece of dough at a time, pick it up and let gravity gently stretch it into an oval. For a more circular shape, move your hands around the perimeter of the dough as it stretches. Once you’ve gotten the dough into its general shape, place it onto a piece of parchment to finish shaping. For thin-crust pizza, make a 12″ round or oval. For thick-crust, make a 9″ round.
  5. Cover the dough, and let it rest while you heat your oven to 450°F. 
  6. After about 30 minutes (or 60 minutes for thick crust), use a giant spatula or pizza peel to transfer the pizzas and parchment to your hot oven stone; or place the pizzas and parchment on a pan, and place the pan on the middle rack of your oven.
  7. Bake for 6 minutes (for a thinner, larger crust), or for up to 8 minutes for a smaller/thicker crust. Remove from the oven.
  8. Top the pizzas with your favorite toppings, return to an upper rack of the oven (not to the stone), and bake for an additional 8 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown and the filling bubbly.

Enjoy!

 

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Pandekager, the Danish crepes

What most Americans call crepes, Danes call pandekager or pancakes. They are thin and easily roll up, deliciously inviting all kinds of fillings. We usually have them with a little bit of sugar and some homemade jam but who can turn down Nutella or fresh whipped cream if offered!

Every time I make pandekager, I reminisce about my childhood. It was a wonderful and special treat when my mom made pandekager for us. The sizzling sound and the wonderful smell of them as they bake on the pan make me feel all warm inside.

Perhaps you feel like making pandekager for your family too, so I thought I would share (and translate) the recipe I’ve been using, courtesy of the Danish Valdemarsro.

Pandekager

Pandekager - Crepes

Ingredients

•  125 g unbleached flour

•  3 Tbsp cane sugar

•  1/2 tsp vanilla powder

•  1/2 tsp ground cardamom

•  a pinch of salt

•  3 large eggs

•  3 deciliter milk

• butter for the pan

Directions

Whisk all ingredients together in a bowl with a håndmixer and let the dough rest for a minimum of 20 minutes in the refrigerator.

Melt a little butter on a pan and when it’s hot,  fry each pandekage (crepe) on both sides until it’s lightly brown.

 

Enjoy! 💛

 

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Fastelavn – a Danish Tradition this time of year

As a child I used to look forward to Fastelavn because it was a day filled with fun and goodies, similar to Halloween. But unlike Halloween, Fastelavn always falls on a Sunday, between February 1st and March 7th, and always 7 weeks before Easter.

My friends and I, like most children in Denmark, would dress up in costumes, walk door to door in our neighborhood and sing a song when people opened their doors asking for treats or else…..

Fastelavn is traditionally marked with special pastries. They are called Fastelavnsboller. These are sweet rolls filled with jam or vanilla creme, or the current most popular filling: whipped cream!

This year Fastelavn was yesterday, Sunday, February 23. Some stores in Denmark already started selling these delicious sweet rolls in early January and I bet there are some who still offer them this week. They are just that good!

 

 

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Valentine’s Day

These days when you walk into almost any store, you’re greeted by all things red and pink. Valentine’s Day playlists pop up in our music apps. Valentine’s Day is here!

Growing up in Denmark I had never heard of this day, but now it is celebrated there as well, at least by some. Many stores and bakeries are reminding the Danes that the day is coming, just like they are here in the US.

It’s nice to have a dedicated day on which we express our love to the special people in our lives because sometimes we just don’t say it enough. But I hope it also serves as a reminder of the importance to let others know how much they mean to us, not just on this day of love but throughout the year.

I wish you all a happy Valentine’s Day!

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A Recipe to Share – Whole Grain Rolls

Yesterday was a day for home baking. It started with whole wheat pancakes for breakfast (although that doesn’t actually count as baking, does it), and ended with puff pastry filled with tuna, kale, sun-dried tomatoes and onion for dinner.

In between I baked whole grain rolls and that’s the recipe I’m sharing below. As the rolls came out of the oven, spreading that wonderful smell of fresh baked bread, I knew that this was a recipe I had to share.

In the recipe, grams are used as the measuring units for the dry ingredients, as in most Danish recipes. I prefer this over measuring cups. If you have a scale, it likely has a setting for grams.

I hope you decide to make these rolls and if you do, let me know what you think.

Whole Grain Rolls

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  • 125 grams grain mix (you can choose your own grains or use this mix from King Arthur Flour)
  • boiling water
  • 2 teaspoons dry yeast
  • 1 egg
  • 2 deciliter buttermilk (6 3/4 oz)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 100 grams whole wheat flour (I use this flour from King Arthur Flour)
  • 400-425 grams unbleached white flour

For topping:

  • 1 combined egg
  • grain mix, same as above or just use sunflower seeds or another seed of your choice

Pour the grains in a bowl and cover with boiling water. Let them sit for at least one hour. Discard any leftover water.

Combine grains, yeast, egg, buttermilk, salt, whole wheat flour and half of the white flour using a mixer until well combined. Add more white flour a little at the time until the dough is no longer sticky but be careful to not add too much.

Let the dough rest in the kitchen counter for 1 1/2 hours.

Shape 8 rolls and put them on a baking sheet line with parchment paper.

Let the rolls rest for 45 minutes, then brush them with the combined egg and spread the grain mix on top.

Bake the rolls in the oven at 350 degree F in a convection oven, a little higher temperature if not convection, for 13-17 minutes.

Remove the rolls from the oven and let them cool on a rack.

 

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A birthday to celebrate

When I spoke to my mom on Saturday (June 15th), she reminded me that it was Valdemarsdag (Valdemar’s Day) in Denmark. She told me that people had their flags out and the entire country was celebrating because this year marked the 800th birthday of the Danish flag called Dannebrog, the oldest national flag in the world.

I had to ask for a reminder of the significance of Valdemarsdag. I didn’t remember what set June 15 as our flag’s birthday and why we call the day by that name.

Well, it’s all because of a legend, a good story we tell and celebrate. Legend has it that the Danish king Valdemar Sejr (Valdemar the Victorious) in 1219 led his army on a crusade in what is today Estonia. During the battle of Lyndanisse, on June 15, the Danes were on the defensive and struggling, when suddenly and miraculously, what later became known as Dannebrog fell from the sky! This sign gave the Danish army renewed hope and courage which ultimately led to their victory. And Denmark got its flag!

That’s the story….800 years old! A pretty good one, don’t you think?

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A little of this, a little of that

When people tell me that they love to cook but don’t like to bake, the reason they give me is usually that they don’t like how baking involves such exact measurements. In cooking you can easily add a little of this and a little of that. Well I beg to differ….. at least in some cases.

Let’s take the Health Muffins that I sometimes make for my family on the weekends. I have a list of base ingredients but then I always add others, whatever I’m in the mood for. This weekend I made them with pumpkin puree, cinnamon, cloves and allspice. Last time I made them with spinach and carrots. Often times I add some applesauce, cinnamon and cardamom.

I love to experiment. Having a sense of what goes well together and what the end result should taste like, it’s fun! Measurements become approximations. I take a little of this and a little of that.

With that in mind, it’s not easy to pass on such recipe but in case you would like to try these muffins, here goes….

Anne’s Health Muffins

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Base Ingredients

1 cup oat bran

1 cup white whole wheat flour

4 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

½ tsp sea salt

¼ cup vegetable oil (I use avocado oil)

¼ cup honey or a little more if you like it sweeter

1 cup yogurt or buttermilk

2 eggs

1 cup raisins (I often use golden raisins)

½ cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Topping

½ cup old fashioned oats

¼ cup brown sugar

1-2 Tbs ghee (clarified butter) or melted butter

Added Ingredients

 Pumpkin version

1 can of pumpkin puree

1 heaping tsp cinnamon

¼ tsp nutmeg

dash of allspice

 

Veggie version

1 handful of spinach

2 carrots or 1 handful of mini carrots

½ cup chia seeds

1 heaping tsp cinnamon

½ tsp cardamom (optional)

 

Instructions:

Turn oven to 3800. Add all dry ingredients, including the spices.

For the pumpkin version, mix vegetable oil, honey, yogurt or buttermilk, pumpkin puree and eggs in a separate bowl.

For the veggie version, add vegetable oil, honey, yogurt or buttermilk, eggs, chia seeds, carrots and spinach in a Vitamix or blender and puree.

Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix. Stir in raisins and nuts if using.  Pour mixture into a greased muffin pan.

Mix all topping ingredients and sprinkle on top of the muffins.

Bake for 20 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

Enjoy!

 

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