This month’s Fresh From the Oven baking challenge was hosted by Jo from Jo's Kitchen. It was also my first submission, although, I admit it, I left it rather late to begin. Hence the fact I’m writing this part of my post pre-baking! I’m a little daunted, if I’m honest, and although I really do want to be a better baker, I don’t seem to have time (a poor excuse I know). So, having fretted about it all month after the initial excitement, here I am, the Saturday before I’m meant to submit my post on the Sunday, still fresh yeast-less. Having tweeted Jules, (Butcher, Baker), with this problem, she admitted having used fast-action instead, so there’s still hope for me! She was even so kind as to send me the conversions, so here they are, just in case you, or me, ever need them!
10g fresh = 5g dried = 3g fast action yeast
Writing this, I’m actually beginning to revive some of my initial excitement. Having never heard of ‘Kringel’ (an Estonian sweet or savoury bread) before I quickly searched various recipes and ideas, to find out a little more about what I should be baking and what the final results should look like! Jo found her recipe from the Hairy Biker's programme, Mum's Know Best, so, not being great at following recipes, but knowing this is essential when baking, I stuck to it like glue! Especially having located my fresh yeast in a little independent Colchester bakery.
Mix the yeast and sugar, then add the milk and stir. Add the eggs, then flour, then butter. I used 600g plain flour and certainly didn’t need any more as the dough was quite dry, but became more moist as I kneaded. I let it rest for just over half an hour and it had risen beautifully after that time.
Ensure the oven is heated to 200 degrees c.
Knock the air our of the dough then roll out to a thickness of about 1cm. First, spread softened butter evenly all over, then sprinkle generously with raisins, then sugar. I felt that the butter helped keep the dough moist and stopped it from being too crumply once cooked.
Next was to roll it up ‘like a swiss roll’ but I failed to understand the next instruction, but think I got it right. What I did was turn the swiss roll vertically, then slice from the bottom to the top, but leave it joined at the top.
It was the word ‘plait’ that confused me as I couldn’t understand how to plait with only two strands, so I twisted instead! Twist the two pieces around each other, then form the long, twisted sausage into a capital B shape. I then glazed with the leftover egg white. Pop into the oven for 20-25 minutes until browned and crisp on top.
While it’s cooking, melt 150g dark chocolate with 75g butter over a bowl of hot water. Drizzle this over the bread once cooled slightly from the oven. I over did this part, enjoying rather too much the chocolate patterns I was making, but I think I just stopped in time from covering the whole lot!
I couldn’t believe it, and certainly couldn’t wait to taste it so made a cup of tea and broke off a large, warm part for breakfast, well, lunch by the time I’d finished it all! Soft and fluffy in the middle with a crispy, crunchy outside, covered in sweet chocolate! You could do this as a savoury bread to serve with dinner, and sprinkle cheese (Cheddar) inside instead of raisins and sugar, popping some on the top to bubble in the oven. I’d also add a little salt to the dough mix too.
So it goes to prove, if you actually follow the recipe, they usually work. I think the fresh yeast also helped a lot! Hopefully I’ve included all the requested information in this post, my first Fresh from the Oven offering, and I look forward to many more baking attempts! As does the OH who stated that the bread was ‘amazing’! High praise indeed!
Don’t forget to look at the round-up of all our efforts later this month!