March 26, 2018

Danish Pastry

Yipee did this. I have earlier tried this once, but it did not turn out that well, simply because I did not follow the basic rule, everything should be cold in making pastry dough. But this time I was determined to get it correct. Though the process of making this dough is long, the results at the end is worth the effort. As always, I believe homemade is always the best.


The crunchy, flaky texture and the layer’s were a treat to the eyes. Eating the pastries straight out of the oven is really a treat in itself. My tummy was full but I wanted to eat more. Yeh dil mange more :-) (As said in Hindi). My pictures are not doing justice to the pastry as we were in a rush and could not resist eating them.













This is the third recipe I am sending for my Scandinavia theme for Blogging Marathon. The earlier two, No-Bake Chocolate Ball (Chokladboll) and Spritz Cookies (Swedish Butter Cookies) were a hit in my family.



A Danish pastry is a multilayered, laminated sweet pastry in the viennoiserie tradition. The concept was brought to Denmark by Austrian bakers and has since developed into a Danish specialty. Like other viennoiserie pastries, such as croissants, they are a variant of puff pastry made of laminated yeast-leavened doughs, creating a layered texture. They are today popular around the world.  (Source Wikipedia)


Danish pastry is made of yeast-leavened dough of wheat flour, milk, eggs, sugar and large amounts of butter or margarine. A yeast dough is rolled out thinly, covered with thin slices of butter between the layers of dough, and then the dough is folded and rolled several times, creating 27 layers. If necessary, the dough is chilled between foldings to ease handling. The process of rolling, buttering, folding and chilling is repeated multiple times to create a multilayered dough that becomes airy and crispy on the outside, but also rich and buttery.  (Source Wikipedia)


In Danish, Norwegian and Swedish, the term for Danish pastry is wienerbrød/wienerbröd, "Viennese bread". (Source Wikipedia)


The key to making pastry flour is everything should be cold from flour to butter to your kitchen. Yes the butter will melt in a hot or even a warm kitchen and you will not have the desired results. The butter will ooze out of the dough and then you will not have the perfect layers. The pastry should be flaky, crunchy and with hundreds of layers. I tried to roll the dough in rectangle shape as much as I can, but used to making round chapati’s/breads/rotis, it is very difficult for me to get a shape which is not round J. But if you can get a rectangular shape it is best as then it will be easy to laminate the butter in it.

Okay, no more talking and straight to the recipe:


Ingredients

  • 250 gm All purpose Flour (Maida)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 60 gm (in the dough) + 130 gm (for laminating)
  • 3.5 gm fast action dried yeast
  • 30 gm granulated Sugar (The original recipe called for castor sugar)
  • 75 ml warm milk
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 1 egg + 1 egg yolk for glaze
  • Strawberry or any type of Jam, Nutella, Chocolate syrup or anything you can think of for fillings

Preparation 

  1. Mix in the sugar, milk and yeast and let the yeast bloom for 10 minutes. (One can mix the yeast directly with flour if the packet instruction says so, but I always find it best to bloom it separately so if the yeast has died out we know)
  2. In a large bowl combine the flour, butter, salt, yeast mixture, egg and  sugar. Gradually work the flour into the liquid making sure that the dry ingredients are moistened.
  3. With your hand, work the dough for a couple of minutes until it forms a rough ball. 
  4. Grease a bowl lightly with butter and place the dough in it. Wrap it lightly with a plastic wrap or just a clean muslin cloth on top should work.
  5. Keep it in a warm surface for 1-1.5 hours.
  6. Once the dough is double in size, roll it into a rectangle shape as much as you can. This is required as we would be laminating the dough.
  7. Transfer the rolled dough to a floured baking sheet, wrap it with cling wrap and let it refrigerate for 4-6 hours or overnight.
  8. 10-15 minutes before you are ready to laminate the dough, take a parchment sheet and draw a rectangle(as a guideline, one can eyeball even). Cut your butter into thin rectangles and place in between the rectangle on the parchment paper.
  9. Fold the parchment paper to cover it from all the sides, taking care the butter should not ooze out. Like making an envelope or a parcel.
  10. With your rolling pin pound the cold butter if needed, to soften it a little. Then roll it in between the rectangle. At the end we should be able to get a rectangular sheet of butter.
  11. If the butter is soft at any time, place it in fridge for 15-20 minutes until chilled.



Rolling out or Laminate the dough


  1. The temperature of the dough, your kitchen and the working area is very important. Be sure everything is cold. If required run an ice pack on the working area.
  2. Remove the sheet of the dough from the refrigerator. Peel off the parchment paper from the butter and keep it in the center of the dough. 
  3. Wrap the edges of the dough over the butter so they meet in the center. Lightly seal the edges. Try to make the edges of the dough and the butter as even as possible.
  4. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface. 
  5. With your rolling pin gently tap the dough and roll it into a rectangle again. 
  6. Keep lifting the dough in between so that it does not stick to the working area.
  7. Roll it into a rectangle big enough so that you can fold it into thirds. (3 folds)
  8. At any point of time if you feel the dough is getting warm or the butter might melt, stop and refrigerate.
  9. Refrigerate again for 1 hour. 
  10. After 1 hour take the dough out and repeat the process from step 4-9 again for the second turn.
  11. Refrigerate again for 1 hour. 
  12. After 1 hour take the dough out and repeat the process from step 4-9 again for the third turn.
  13. Refrigerate again for 1 hour. 

Sheeting & Shaping the Pastries

  1. On a lightly floured surface roll the dough in to a rectangle. Transfer it into a lightly floured baking sheet and refrigerate for one hour.
  2. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. 
  3. On a lightly floured surface roll the dough in to a rectangle, wide enough so that you can make equal size squares.
  4. Work with one square at a time. For pinwheel shape, use a sharp knife or pizza cutter, cut four slits at each corner. Do not cut all the way to the center. Then take the right tip of each triangle and fold it into the center. Press the tips into the center to seal.
  5. Place on your baking sheet and repeat the remaining squares.
  6. One can try different shapes.
  7. The other shape I tried was simply rolled it with a dollop of nutella filled in it. (Pic below)
  8. In a small bowl whisk the egg with the egg yolks. Use a pastry brush , lightly brush the tops of each pastry. 
  9. Cover the baking sheet lightly with a cling wrap and let it proof for 1.5-2 hours at room temperature.





Baking

  1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees C.
  2. Gently press down the center of the pastries to make an indentation or a small well.
  3. Fill with 1 teaspoon of Strawberry jam or chocolate or any other flavor.
  4. Again gently brush the pastries with egg wash.
  5. Bake in the center (or with two trays one at the upper rack and one in lower thirds) for 10 minutes.
  6. Rotate the baking sheet from top to bottom, and if only using the center, turn it around, I do it as my oven has some uneven heating.
  7. Reduce the temperature to 190 degrees C and bake for another 8-10 minutes or until golden brown and firm to touch.
  8. They are best served on the same day.













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March 25, 2018

Spritz Cookies (Swedish Butter Cookies)

As mentioned in my earlier post of No-Bake Chocolate Ball (Chokladboll), I am currently exploring Scandinavia cuisine. The second dish I wanted to try was Spritz Cookies or Swedish Butter Cookies.

I have made our traditional Indian butter cookie, Nankhatai and I think this Spritz Cookies or Swedish Butter cookies are almost similar except for the use of eggs and vanilla extract. In Nankhatai we use cardamom for flavor and eggs are not used at all. 

Spritz cookies also known as Swedish Butter cookies or Pressed Butter cookies. They are tender crisp, have a good amount of butter and lovely vanilla flavor. They look plain but can be decorated with candied cherries or sprinklers or nuts and that really enhances its look. They are traditionally made with a cookie press, but I piped it with a star nozzle as I do not have a cookie press. The dough needs to be kept in fridge for 30 minutes, but do this step only if you dough is soft and you are unable to shape the dough. I kept in fridge and had to again bring it to room temperature as my kitchen was cold on that day. 


Spritz Cookies (Swedish Butter Cookies)




Spritz Cookies



Spritz Cookies


Spritz Cookies



So here goes the recipe:  


Ingredients

  • 1/2 Cup (113 gms) Unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/4 Cup (50 gms) granulated white sugar
  • 1 Large egg yolks (16 grams)
  • 1 Teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 Cup (130 gms) All purpose flour, sifted
  • 1/8 Teaspoon Salt
  • Candied Cherries, nuts, sprinkles or any edible item you can think of for decoration

Preparation 

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degress C.
  2. Place a baking sheet in in refrigerator to chill while you make the batter. It's only needed if you think you are working in a hot environment.
  3. In a bowl of your electric mixer or with your hand mixer beat the butter and sugar until fluffy (2-3 minutes)
  4. Add the egg yolks and vanilla extract and beat until incorporated.
  5. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
  6. Ready a pastry bag with a big size star nozzle.
  7. If your dough is soft, keep it in the fridge for atleast half an hour. Consistency of dough should be as in the picture below.

  8. Fill the pastry bag and holding it perpendicular pipe rosettes or stars or any shape you like.
  9. If you do not have a star nozzle, simply take a zip lock bag fill it with the dough, make a round or v shape cut at the tip and pipe it as mentioned in step 7.
  10. Decorate it with candied cherries, almonds or anything you can think of.
  11. Some examples of piped shapes below. One can skip the decoration if required.

  12. Do keep at least 1 inch space in between as they will enlarge after baking. See below, I should have kept more space.

  13. Bake cookies for 11-14 minutes or until the edges are a bit brown.

  14. Remove from the oven and gently transfer it on a wire rack. Let it cool completely.


  15. Spritz Cookies

  16. Store it in an air tight container. They remain good for 15 days, but best consumed as soon as possible for maximum crunch.


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    March 24, 2018

    No-Bake Chocolate Ball (Chokladboll)

    I am exploring Scandinavian cuisine for blogging marathon and I am simply in love with the wide variety of food it offers. It is just not fish and meats like pork and poultry but it also has different types of vegetables, fruits and much more. 

    The term Scandinavia in local usage covers the three kingdoms of Denmark, Norway and Sweden, but in English usage it also sometimes refers to Scandinavian Peninsula or the broader region which includes Finland and Iceland. The broader region is usually known locally as the Nordic Countries. (Source Wikipedia). 

    The first dish I got fascinated with is Chokladboll.  A Chokladboll literally means chocolate ball. It is a traditional Swedish pastry often eaten with coffee during fika. Fika is a concept of Swedish culture with the basic meaning "to have coffee", often accompanied with pastries, cookies or pie.

    They are quick and easy to prepare, since they require no baking and only a few, common ingredients. It is slightly smaller than a golf ball and consists of oatmeal, sugar, cocoa, vanilla sugar, butter and sometimes coffee. Balls are formed and then rolled into nib sugar or shredded coconut or sprinkles. It can be eaten immediately but usually first chilled in refrigerator. Since it is so quick to make it is popular at children's parties or used as homemade candy. I wanted to make the authentic way and hence I have not changed this recipe. I have adapted the recipe from Gretchen Cooks.

    At first I was dreaded with the quantity of butter, but it is needed to bind it well. The cocoa and the coffee gives it an intense flavor. This chocolate bass are not too sweet, just perfect to satisfy your sugar craving after a meal. Coffee can be replaced with chocolate powder, if one is worried about caffeine. Adjust the sugar accordingly, as chocolate powder has sugar. 

















    So here goes the recipe:  


    Ingredients

    • 1-1/2 Cup Quick cooking Oatmeal
    • 1/4 Cup Sugar
    • 6 Tablespoon Butter, Softened
    • 2-3 Tablespoon Cocoa powder
    • 1/2 Tablespoon vanilla extract
    • 1 Tablespoon coffee
    • Shredded/Desiccated Coconut or Pearl sugar (coarsely ground sugar used for baking) or sprinklers for rolling.



    Preparation 

    1. Combine butter, sugar, Oats, cocoa powder, vanilla and coffee.

    2. Roll into balls smaller than a golf size ball.

    3. Roll balls in Shredded Coconut or Pearl sugar or sprinklers to decorate.

    4. One can eat it right away or better refrigerate it for a great taste or freeze if you prefer a harder consistency.




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      March 12, 2018

      Zucchini chocolate Wholewheat Cake/Bread

      Yes you read it right Zucchini chocolate Wholewheat Cake/Bread and that to with whole wheat and without butter. Isn't it really cool. What can be better than giving your child a healthy cake loaded with vegetables when generally we ask them to limit that. My son knows that I sneak vegetables in cakes, so now he does ask me are you tricking me :-P. But in this cake one really cannot even make out that Zucchini is added. It gets completely hidden by cocoa powder, so bacha happy mumma happy. I make this cake often and is relished by adults and children's equally.  Link to the original recipe is here. I have replaced the all purpose flour with wholewheat flour and white sugar with brown. I found that the sugar was okay not very sweet due to whole wheat. One can add a bit more sugar if needed. This time I made this cake for Blogging Marathon for Kids Delight - Chocolate Dishes and also I am sharing my first cake recipe on my blog.


      Zucchini is loaded with vitamins and nutrients and is made of 95% water and hence is extremely low in calories. Due to its high water content it adds the moistness to the cake. One can check more nutrient information on the net. It is so versatile that it can be used in savory and sweets. Have you checked my other Zucchini recipes like Cauliflower & Zucchini Koftas, Zucchini & Brinjal Pancake, Zucchini, Carrot and Spring Onion Sandwich, Zucchini Fritters


      So here goes the recipe for Zucchini chocolate Wholewheat Cake:


      Zucchini chocolate Wholewheat Cake/Bread

      Zucchini chocolate Wholewheat Cake/Bread




      Zucchini chocolate Wholewheat Cake/Bread


      Zucchini chocolate Wholewheat Cake/Bread




      Ingredients

      • 1 1/2 cups shredded raw zucchini (courgette) (I roughly put it around 1 1/2 cups, a bit more or less is fine, but not too much)
      • 1 cup (130 grams) Whole Wheat flour
      • 1/2 cup (45 grams) cocoa powder 
      • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
      • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
      • 1/4 teaspoon salt
      • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)
      • 3/4 cup semi sweet or bittersweet chocolate chips
      • 2 large eggs
      • 1/2 cup (120 ml) vegetable, sunflower (corn, or canola oil should work, I always use vegetable or sunflower)
      • 3/4 cup (175 grams) Dark brown sugar (one can add white granulated sugar too)
      • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

      Preparation 

      1. Preheat the oven to 180 Deg Celsius. 
      2. Line a Loaf pan with liner or one can just spray or grease the pan with oil.
      3. Grate the Zucchini using a medium size grater.




      4. In a large bowl, whisk together the whole wheat flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, salt and ground cinnamon.
      5. Fold in the chocoalte chips.
      6. In another large bowl whisk the eggs. The add the oil, sugar and vanilla extract and whish until well blended.
      7. Fold in the grated zucchini and then fold into the flour mixture, stirring until just combined. Do not over mix.
      8. Fill in the Loaf pan to 2/3rd with batter and bake for 55-60 minutes or until they are springy or a toothpick inserted into a cupcake comes out clean. Keep your eye after 45 minutes.












    1. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack and let it cool completely.
    2. Yummy and healthy Zucchini Chocolate Wholewheat Cake is ready.


    3. Zucchini chocolate Wholewheat Cake/Bread




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        Srivalli's Kid's Delight event, guest hosted by Kalyani, themed on "Chocolate Dishes" for Kids


        March 11, 2018

        No Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

        I make a lot of chocolate cookies as my son loves them, and I do not like to buy it from the shop due to high sugar content. This time, I wanted to try a different recipe so tried the one with coconut oil. 

        This chocolate cookies are the most delicious, melt in the mouth with a lovely soft texture. They are rich and dense and full of cocoa flavor. This cookies are without butter. I have used coconut oil in this, which to my surprise had added a rich and dense flavor.

        Me and my son enjoyed it with a hot cup of coffee, I bet you cannot stop yourself after eating one. The original recipe is taken from here.

        I am writing this recipe so that all the kids can enjoy and sharing it with "Kids Delight, Chocolate dishes" on Blogging Marathon.


        No Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

        No Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies


        No Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies


        No Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies







        So here goes the recipe:

        Ingredients

        • 1/2 Cup melted and cooled coconut oil.
        • 1/2 Cup dark brown Sugar
        • 1 small egg
        • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
        • 1 cups All purpose flour
        • 1/4 Cup cocoa powder
        • 1/2 tablespoon cornstarch
        • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
        • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
        • 1/8 teaspoon salt
        • 3/4 Cups chocolate chips

        Preparation 

        1. Preheat the oven to 180 Deg Celsius. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
        2. In a large bowl add the melted and slightly cooled oil and stir in the brown sugar.
        3. In a separate bowl beat the egg .
        4. Stir the egg and vanilla extract in the above mixture.
        5. Add the dry ingredients flour, cocoa powder, cornstarch, baking soda and baking powder, one by one in the bowl. Give it a good mix.
        6. Add the chocolate chips.
        7. Make lemon size balls of it with your hand and form a round shape. I use an Ice cream Scooper to take equal portions of the cookie dough.
        8. I took the help of my kid, in forming the shape, he also happy mumma also happy :-)
        9. Do not flatten the cookie.

        10. Bake cookies for 8-10 minutes until the edges are just firm. 
        11. Remove from the oven and let it sit on the cookie tray for another 10 minutes. It will continue baking. 

        12. Let it cool further on a baking tray.
        13. Once cooled store it in an air tight container.
        14. Enjoy it with a cup of coffee or hot milk.


          Love to read your comments and feedback. 

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          Srivalli's Kid's Delight event, guest hosted by Kalyani, themed on "Chocolate Dishes" for Kids


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