Friday, July 16, 2021

Buttery Cruffins #BBB


So what exactly is a cruffin?  Up until our host kitchen posted about them, I had never heard of one!  I had heard of cronuts, which is a hybrid croissant and donut, but not cruffins - a hybrid croissant muffin.  I would honestly categorize it as more of a "croll" for most people.  It's like a very fine peel apart roll in muffin shape.  Bakeries can get lots of flaky layers because they have nifty industrial dough sheeters that can easily roll the dough down to a super thin layer.  Most of the home bakers out there will be rolling these out by hand, or if you're lucky and have a pasta roller, you can use that.  I am lucky there and dug mine out to use.
We were given free reign to use any cruffin recipe and I refrained from going sweet this time, though all the bakeries turn these into fantastic sweet pastries with all sorts of fillings.  I may try them again, as I would like to use more levels on the pasta machine than my method called for.  It said to go up to stage 5 and I could have gone up to 9.  Still, the layers baked up beautifully and the cruffins were buttery delicious!  (Fantastic with jam!)  Eldest would have preferred sweet versions, hubby loved them plain.  I really would love to try a garlic buttered version!  My recipe called for an overnight rest for the dough and chilling before cutting and shaping.  That worked well though I do recommend a very sharp knife or a serrated knife to prevent sealing the layers together when cutting the tubes for shaping.  As with the povitica, a very well developed dough is essential for better ease of shaping.
We would love for you to try these buttery beauties and bake along with us this month!  New recipes are posted every month on the 16th. Check out our Facebook group to see the participants' baking results during that time.

makes 12 
Recipe and method from Bake Street

    300 g all purpose flour
    160 g water
    50 g sugar (I reduced to 25g for the plain butter cruffins)
    15 g milk powder
    4 g instant yeast
    30 g butter at room temperature (I used salted butter here)
    4 g salt
    120-150 g unsalted butter at room temperature for laminating  (I needed the lesser amount)

Day one: make the dough

In the bowl of a stand mixer add the flour, yeast, powdered milk, sugar and salt. Mix together and then add the water. Knead with the dough hook on low speed until the dough is fairly well developed, about 15 minutes.  It will be slightly stiff.  Add half of the 30g butter and knead until it is completely worked in.  Add the remaining half and knead again until completely integrated. Knead the dough until it is smooth and supple and the gluten is very well developed.
Remove the dough and form into a slightly flattened rectangle and cover it with plastic wrap.
Store in the fridge until the next day.

Day two:  Divide and conquer shape

Take out the dough and divide it into 6 pieces of approximately 89 g each.  Roughly form each piece into a ball, cover and leave to rest for 20 minutes.

Roll or stretch each piece individually.  First press or roll the piece out into a rectangular shape that will fit into stage 1 of the pasta machine.   Pass the piece of dough through the pasta machine.  Sprinkle a tiny bit of flour on both sides of the dough to prevent sticking to itself.  Proceed to roll the dough down to at least level 5 thickness.  The dough will become longer with each successive pass. Handle it carefully to avoid tearing.  Once as thin as desired/possible either cut or stretch the ends to square them up and cover with a thin layer of butter.

Use your fingers to carefully butter the entire surface of the dough.  Roll up the dough starting from a short end.  Set that piece aside and repeat the stretching and buttering of another piece.  Once the second piece is buttered, place the first roll right at the beginning to match seams and continue to roll the second layer onto it.


Cover with plastic wrap and repeat the same process with the other pieces to make 3 rolls in total.  Chill the rolls for 1 hour until the butter is well chilled. This step will help prevent the layers from melting while shaping.

Grease a muffin tin with butter and dust with flour as you would for a cake. Set aside. Take one of the rolls and cut it lengthwise using a sharp or serrated knife. 
Cut each long piece in half across the middle and form each into the shape of the cruffin. To do this, curl the pieces up with the cut sides facing out.  Place into the tin and repeat with all remaining rolls and pieces.  We are basically quartering each roll.  I found it necessary to gently stretch a few of my pieces to make them long enough to curl up.  Having a wider roll to begin with will help the length of the final pieces.

Cover the tin with wrap and leave to rise until doubled in size.  This could be 1-3 hours.

Preheat the oven to 390ºF.  Bake on the center rack for 10 minutes, then reduce temperature to 355ºF and bake for an additional 10 minutes. 


Remove from the oven, carefully transfer the finished cruffins to a wire rack and let cool down completely. 

Fill and decorate as desired.  These may be enjoyed plain, with a dusting of powdered sugar, or filled and topped as simply or lavishly as desired. 

The rest of the Bread Baking Babes

Tuesday, July 13, 2021

Cranberry Yeast Bread #BreadBakers

A beloved recipe can be something you make all the time, or only once or twice a year.  This month I challenged the Bread Bakers to share their favorite bread recipes.  This could be a standby, something you make all the time because it's just so good, something you make rarely as a special treat, or something that people request that you make often or for special occasions.  I chose to make something that is a special request.  My mother in law adores this bread and I have been making it for her almost every year for more than 20 years.  I found the recipe around 30 years ago when I was first learning to make bread and it has always been appreciated any time it appears.  As a matter of fact, last month when we all happened to be at my folks' for a weekend, it was snatched up quickly with a "Mine!" the second it was noticed by mum-in-law!  We did manage to save a few slices for my folks for toast and some french toast...  This month, I made a double batch!!

This is a versatile loaf that also makes lovely rolls, knots, and mini loaves.  It was originally 100% all purpose flour, so feel free to use whatever flours you wish.  Baker's note: scalded milk is an old fashioned notion, I think originally meant to deactivate the enzyme in raw milk that eats gluten.  It is not strictly necessary, but I swear the resulting loaves are loftier and have better structure than when you don't do it.  (I love the smell of scalded milk; reminds me of custard.)  Plus, you can toss in the butter cold, and use up crystallized honey and then have it all melted together and proper temperature in minutes.

Cranberry Yeast Bread
makes 1 loaf


1 cup milk, (227g) scalded
2 tbsp butter, (28g)
3 tbsp (63g) or honey
3 tbsp water
2 tsp (10.5g) salt
2½ cups (300g) all purpose flour
1 cup (113g) white whole wheat flour (I used a combination of fresh ground spelt and Edison wheat, sifted)
2¼ tsp (7g) instant yeast
 ¾ cup (~85.5g) dried cranberries
1 tbsp grated orange zest or dried peel

Scald the milk in a saucepan or the microwave.  Stir in the butter and honey.  Cool to about 110ºF. Combine the flours, instant yeast, cranberries and zest in a stand mixer or large bowl.  Add the milk mixture and stir until roughly combined.  (It will be dry and shaggy.)  Mix the salt with the water and add to the dough.  Knead with the dough hook or by hand until the dough is smooth and fairly elastic.  It should be somewhat firm, but not stiff.  Add water by tbsp if the dough is too dry.

Cover the bowl and let the dough rise for one to two hours, until doubled in size.  (Time to double will depend on the ambient kitchen temperature.)  Lightly flour a work surface and turn out the dough.  Pat out the dough into a rough rectangle and fold in the top and bottom in thirds and seal along the long edge.  Then fold in the short ends and flatten the dough again.  Let it rest for a few minutes, then fold the top long edge down to the bottom and seal the edge together once again to form a loaf.  Gently roll the shaped loaf until it is long enough to fit, seam side down, into a buttered 8x4" loaf tin.

Happy dough

 Cover and let it rise for ~60 minutes.  Preheat the oven to 375ºF, and place a rimmed sheet pan or baking dish on the lowest shelf of the oven. Add enough boiling water to cover the bottom of the sheet pan/dish, then bake the bread on the shelf above the water for 40-50 minutes until the inside registers 190-200ºF on an instant read thermometer.

Let the bread cool completely on a wire rack before slicing it. Enjoy!


Bread Bakers Event for July 2021 - Favorite Breads:
Be sure to check out all the favorites baked this week!
#BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. You can see all our lovely bread by following our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated after each event on the #BreadBakers home page. We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient.

Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Gigi's Hungarian Almond Roll #BBB

Our bake for this month was quite the delicious treat!  Thanks to Feeding My Enthusiasms for the pick! This Hungarian Almond Roll was published in Sunset magazine way back in 2001, a recipe shared by a friend from Hungary who always made in for the holidays.  It is definitely a treat for company, and sweet but oh so good.  I reduced the sugar in my dough by half and it could probably go down to 1 tbsp or omit completely.  But this lovely roll was devoured within a few days, either room temperature or reheated, both were excellent!  (It reminds me of an almond Danish.)  I used dried cranberries as my fruit option to add a little zing to the flavor.  (It also just occurred to me that this would be delicious with a tiny bit of rose or orange flower water added!  Do Hungarian recipes do that?)



We would love for you to try this delicious, company worthy bread and bake along with us this month!  New recipes are posted every month on the 16th. Check out our Facebook group to see the participants' baking results during that time.

Gigi's Hungarian Almond Roll
Makes one 2-pound loaf
From Sunset Magazine, Dec 2001

1 pkg active dry yeast (7 g) (I used 2 tsp)
6 tbsp warm water (90 g)
2 tbsp sugar (25 g) (Originally ¼ cup, may be reduced further or omitted IMO)
1 large egg yolk (16 g)
6 tbsp butter, cut into small pieces and softened (85 g)
~1½ cups all-purpose flour (about 188 g)
½ tsp salt
1 cup unblanched almonds (145 g) (I used almond flour)
¾ cup raisins (110 g) (I used dried cranberries)
¾ cup sugar (150 g)
¾ cup milk (180 g)
1 tsp grated lemon zest (2 g) (More would be completely acceptable)
pinch salt 
½ tsp vanilla

1 egg yolk (16g)
1 tbsp milk or water (15g)

Have all ingredients at room temperature except warm water, which should be about 108-110 degrees F.

In a small bowl, sprinkle yeast over the 6 tablespoons warm (about 110ºF) wate.  Let stand until softened and foamy, about 5 minutes.  Mix yolk into the yeast mixture.  In a bowl or stand mixer, add sugar, yeast mixture, flour and salt and combine to a shaggy dough.  Knead in the 6 tbsp butter.  Knead until a soft and supple dough forms, 5-10 minutes by mixer and 10-15 minutes by hand.  The dough will be very smooth and should pull away from the bowl cleanly.  

Cover dough and let rise in a warm place until it's puffy enough to hold an impression when pressed with a finger (dough won't double in volume), about 1 hour.  (I left mine for much longer while I worked on the filling and it did get quite puffy.)

While the dough is rising, make the almond filling. Almond Filling: In a food processor, whirl 1 cup unblanched almonds to fine meal. (I used almond flour as an easy substitute that didn't make me clean the food processor!)  In a a 10-12-inch nonstick frying pan, combine almonds, 3/4 cup raisins, 3/4 cup sugar, 3/4 cup milk, and 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest. Stir over high heat until mixture is thick enough to hold a clean trail for a few seconds when you draw a spoon across pan bottom. Remove from heat and stir in 1/2 teaspoon vanilla. Let cool at least 30 minutes.

Deflate and gather the dough, shaping into a smooth ball. Set in the center of a floured pastry cloth or clean, smooth-textured dish towel. Pat the dough into a general square/rectangle shape, then roll out into a 14-inch to 15-inch square.  (If you want a thicker filling layer, roll a smaller square.  The larger the square/rectangle, the thinner the filling but the more layers when rolled up.)

Spread or evenly dot Almond Filling over dough to within 1-inch of edges. Lift cloth from one side to roll dough into a compact loaf. Gently lift loaf and lay, seam side down, on a buttered 12-inch x 17-inch baking sheet. Pinch ends to seal, then fold under.

Cover loaf loosely with plastic wrap and let stand in a warm place until dough is slightly puffy, about 45 minutes.

In a small bowl, mix remaining egg yolk with milk. Brush loaf with yolk mixture; discard any remaining.

Bake loaf on the center rack in a 325ºF regular or convection oven until rich golden brown, about 45 minutes. Transfer to a rack and let cool at least 1 hour. Serve at room temperature. Cut cross-wise into 1/4-inch thick slices.

The rest of the Bread Baking Babes


Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Breakfast Danish Crisps #BreadBakers


For this month's Breakfast Breads theme, hosted by Zesty South Indian Kitchen, I am making my own adaptation of a recipe that I had stuck on the back burner for more than a few years.  It looks like a palmier in the original recipe and I knew it would be tasty and rich, but I also was pretty sure it would not be as crispy as the name suggests just using an enriched brioche style dough and a few layers of butter and sugar.  Since I do want something more like a crispy puff pastry based Danish, I decided to use the good old morning bun technique on the dough and see how it turns out!  

I found that pressing the crisps down too flat made them a bit less tender.  They remind me very much of pie cookies, or a cross between a pie cookie and a Danish.  I might add another ½ cup of butter to the batter to make them even more flaky next time, there is much less butter in this dough than the true morning bun dough.  But they are still very tasty, good reheated and good with a drizzle of icing glaze or cream cheese frosting à la cinnamon bun style.  The other nice thing is that the discs may be frozen ahead and baked a few at a time as needed.  That's good for portion control!

(I just tried making one of these straight from the freezer in the air fryer, no pressing down...  It turned out just delicious.  Definitely like a Danish.  300ºF for about 20 minutes, on a piece of foil.  What a treat.)

Breakfast Danish Crisps
makes about 1½ dozen

1 pkg (.25 oz) active dry yeast
½ cup sour cream
¾ cup cold 2% milk
1 cup + 2 tbsp sugar, divided
1 cup butter, cut into ¼-in slices and chilled
6 tablespoons butter, softened
1½ tsp grated lemon zest
1 tsp salt
½ tsp ground mace
2 large eggs
5½ to 6 cups all-purpose flour
3 tsp ground cinnamon

In a large zip top bag combine the flour, 2 tbsp sugar, lemon zest, mace, yeast, and salt.  Add the 1 cup chilled butter slices to bag and seal. Shake bag to coat butter. Press all the air out of the bag and seal.  Gently pound all over the bag to flatten all the chunks of butter.  Flip the bag over and repeat.  Be careful not to pound too hard close to the seal just in case it pops open.  Transfer flour mixture to a large bowl. Toss the flour and butter pieces and sheet any lumpy pieces with your fingers.  Combine sour cream, milk, and eggs in a 2-cup glass measure and mix with a fork to combine. Stir and fold into flour mixture until combined.

Turn the shaggy dough onto a floured counter and pat into a rough rectangle.  Using a bench scraper, bring up the sides and fold into the middle a couple times on each side, pressing down between folds.  Knead briefly to form a cohesive mixture. Roll the dough out into a 20x12-in rectangle. Starting at a short edge, roll the dough up into a tight cylinder. Flatten the roll by patting into a 12x4-in slab. Transfer to a parchment lined baking sheet and cover with plastic wrap. Freeze for 15 minutes.  Remove dough from freezer and place on lightly floured counter.

 On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough into a large rectangle, about ¼-in. thick. Spread with 2 tablespoons butter and sprinkle with 1/3 cup sugar. 

 Fold in half lengthwise; roll to 1/4-in. thickness. Spread with 2 tablespoons butter and sprinkle with 1/3 cup sugar.  Fold in half width-wise; roll to an 18x10-in. rectangle. Spread with remaining butter.

 Combine the cinnamon and remaining sugar; sprinkle half over dough to within 1/4 in. of edges. Roll up tightly, starting with a short side; pinch to seal. Cut into 1/2-in. slices.


Place on greased baking sheets (four to six slices per sheet). Cover with waxed paper and flatten slightly with palm of hand. Sprinkle with remaining cinnamon-sugar. Let stand in a warm place for 30 minutes.  Bake at 400° for 12-15 minutes. (Baking longer, until quite golden, will yield a crispier pastry.) Immediately remove from pans to wire racks.

#BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. Follow our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated each month on this home page.

We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient.  Be sure to check out our bounty of breakfast breads!

Sunday, May 16, 2021

Povitica #BBB A variety of flavors

Our challenge for this month is one I have wanted to make for some time.  Some of the Babes have already made one in the past for a different group.  We will be making a Povitica (poh-vee-TEET-sah) or Potica (poh-TEET-sah).  The Slovenian word poviti means "to envelop", and thus the povitica, referencing the enveloping of the filling within the layers of super thin dough.  Various interpretations of this type of roll can be found historically throughout central Europe dating back to the 16th century.  I have broadened the range of options to include the Polish Makowiec as well as savory versions if desired.  The most traditional filling for poticas is made with ground walnut.  Other fillings include tarragon, quark, hazelnut, pumpkin seed or poppy seed, salted ones even with cracklings or bacon.  Nowadays the choice of filling is limited only by imagination.  I liked the old Slovenian saying that states that anyone who can do a walnut potica deserves the title of  "good cook". 
Blueberry Cream Cheese
It is thought that the rolls were originally created in medieval monasteries. The two most popular methods of shaping were to roll the potica in a circular way like the shell of a snail and bake in a earthenware baking tin.  A style where the poticas are baked in rectangular pans, with the roll usually cut into 2-3 equal pieces, closing the ends and placed inside the pan is usually called Štruklji.

I used the recipe from Bake Street for my loaves.  They have a lovely shaping video here.

Apple Cinnamon
 We would love for you to try this impressive looking and very tasty bread and bake along with us this month!  (It's not as difficult as it looks!)  No blog is necessary to participate, a picture will do. Just send a picture or your post of your finished povitica to me by the 30th of this month at eleyana (AT) aol (DOT) com.  New recipes are posted every month on the 16th. Check out our Facebook group to see the participants' baking results during that time.
Poppy seed Date
makes 1 loaf


A baking tin 10 x 4 x 3 inches (25 x 11 x 7 cm) (This pan will yield a taller loaf.  My walnut version was baked in a 9x5 and naturally ended up shorter, the rest were baked in an 8x4 pan, which I recommend)
10 oz (285 g) T45 flour (this is essentially a pastry flour, soft wheat - I ground 250g of soft wheat, sifted off 20g of bran, and made up the difference with all purpose flour)
0.05 oz (1.4 g) dry yeast (~½ tsp) (It's fine to use more, up to 1 tsp to help speed the rise)
4.25 oz (120 g) whole milk (I used 2%)
0.5 oz (15 g) water
0.18 oz (5 g) salt
1 large egg (2.1 oz - 60 g)
1.75 oz (50 g) sugar, divided
0.8 oz (22 g) unsalted butter melted and cooled, divided

Traditional Walnut Filling:

9.9 oz (280 g) walnuts
3.35 oz (95 g) sugar
½ Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
0.1 oz (3 g) cinnamon powder
pinch of salt 
2 oz (58 g) unsalted butter
2.1 oz (60 g) whole milk
1 large egg yolk
¼ tsp vanilla extract
For Topping:
0.9 oz (25 g) unsalted butter melted and cooled
icing sugar (optional)

First, make the dough.
In a bowl or stand mixer, combine the flour together with the dry yeast.  Then add the milk, water, egg and salt.
Mix the ingredients in the bowl until a fairly smooth and homogeneous dough is obtained.
Add the sugar in two additions, kneading each time until it is fully integrated.
Knead the dough until it is smooth and silky with at least a medium gluten development.  Work in the butter in about three additions until smooth again.

Knead for about 12-15 minutes to develop the gluten well and obtain an elastic, soft, and very well developed dough.   It may be slightly sticky but should pass the windowpane test.  If it does not, the final stretching will be difficult to achieve without tearing.

When the dough is properly developed, form into a ball and place in a lightly oiled bowl.
Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until it doubles its volume. This can take up to three hours.
Make the filling while the dough is rising.
In a food processor add nuts together with sugar, cinnamon, salt and cocoa powder.  Blend until the nuts are quite finely chopped and transfer to a bowl.
In a saucepan or microwave, heat the milk along with the butter until it just boils. Remove from the heat.
Pour the milk into the nut mixture.  Add the vanilla and the egg yolk and mix until completely homogenized.
Set aside at room temperature, covered, until ready to fill the povitica.
Stretching the dough:
Lay out a sheet or cloth on a wide, flat surface.  (I used a card table and a linen table cloth.)
Sprinkle the work surface very lightly with corn flour.  (I used all purpose.)
Turn out the dough and de-gas it gently.
Roll the dough out into a very thin rectangle with a rolling pin, then continue to carefully stretch with hand to about 25½x18-in. (65 x 45 cm) rectangle.  (The dough should be about three times as long as your pan.  Very gently and slowly work the dough with your hands, stretching from the center to the edges.  It should remain soft and elastic and stretch without tearing as long as the gluten was developed and the process is taken slowly.
Spread the filling.
Drop spoonfuls of the filling evenly across the dough.  Using an offset spatula and/or your hands, spread and distribute the filling evenly across the dough to all but one long edge that will seal after rolling.  The filling may be dense so just go slowly and try not to stretch or tear the dough.
Roll up the dough.
Starting with the long edge that has filling to the edge, roll the dough on itself making sure that there is no gap between each layer. Start at one end and just turn up the edge all the way across.  Then continue to roll from edge to edge carefully and with the help of both hands. 
Once the entire sheet is rolled up, carefully pinch and seal the long edge.
Shape the roll into an S and place it into the pan.  It will take two hands, scoop in from the ends and carefully lift into the pan.  (Other shaping methods including rolling up in a circle like a snail and baking in an earthenware baker, or cutting the roll into sections and lining them up in the loaf pan.  Using sections and a smaller loaf tin will yield a taller loaf.)
Cover with plastic and let the dough rise until the dough has puffed up somewhat. This will be most evident looking at the ends of the dough to see any increase in size. Again, this can take 1-3 hours.
The finer the grind of the walnuts, the easier to spread without tearing.
Add little more cream or milk to thin the filling enough to spread easily.

Bake povitica.
Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
Brush the top of the loaf with half of the butter and place in the center of the oven.
Bake for 15 minutes, then reduce heat to 300ºF and leave for 45 minutes more. The total baking time is 60 minutes.
Remove from the oven and brush with the remaining butter.
Let it rest in the pan for 20 minutes.  Then turn out the loaf and allow to cool completely on a rack.
This loaf should ideally be cut from the bottom to keep it from crumbling.  Excellent with coffee or tea!

This loaf will keep for 4-5 days in a sealed bag or a week in the refrigerator.  It may also be frozen in portions.

Other fillings I tried: 
♦ Blueberry cream cheese
 a combination of epicurious' cream cheese filling recipe mixed with a small batch of simple blueberry quick jam.
A little bit less filling would have made rolling easier
but this turned out phenomenally tasty.  As it was the
filling leaked out the edges a bit, moving to the pan.
This one was an absolute winner, enjoyed and devoured by friends and family with gusto!  These all freeze well too.

♦ Poppy seed

    300 g ground poppy seeds  (That's a lot)
    125 g sugar
    150 ml hot milk
    75 g dates (optional)
    1 tsp vanilla
    pinch salt
Grind poppy seeds in a spice grinder until they are fine, they will change colors from gray to indigo or black in color.  Pit and chop the dates and soak in the hot milk until softened, then blend to a puree.  Mix dry ingredients together and then add milk mixture to it. If it seems too thick, add a little more milk and cook over low heat for a few minutes until a spreadable consistency is achieved.
Poppy seed batch on the left, apple cinnamon on the right.

Apple cinnamon
a layer of homemade apple butter topped with brown sugar and cinnamon
I would definitely use half the amount of poppy seeds next time and double or triple the dates.  I added quite a bit of milk to make it more spreadable.  It did yield a beautifully swirled filling!  Very good heated and butter spread on top.  The apple cinnamon was a treat, excellent flavor and good cold or warm, or as a dessert with ice cream or whipped cream.
Used up some older apples, some fresh grated ginger, a couple tbsp
brown sugar, and a cinnamon stick.  Crock pot cook with the occasional
stir until thick and creamy.  Use a hand blender to smooth if desired.

If you are looking for more savory ideas, there are any options you can think of but I also found references for bacon, egg and walnut. A simple povitica (prosta povitica) is just lard, salt and eggs washed on and rolled up.  (That is a fascinating video to watch!)  A very unique filling listed here is a Beetroot, cheese and caramelised onion filling using beet marmalade.
The rest of the Bread Baking Babes



Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Modern Art Floral Surprise Bread #BreadBakers

Sometimes you just have to attempt things.  It's fun and it's how you learn.  I have seen some pretty cool bakers who have figured out how to bake pictures right into their bread.  Some are pretty darned ornate and impressive!  I decided to go with something simple, like a flower.  Well it didn't exactly turn out precisely like a flower!  Maybe a Starry Night interpretation?  Or a nerve axon or cellular structure?  There aren't exactly many tutorials out there on just how to make it work.  And bread dough is a little more challenging to work with than say, cookie dough or even hard candy in terms of putting/keeping the pattern together because not only is it rising, it doesn't stick together to maintain the pieces like candy and cookie dough.  Not without help.  So  I get the concept, I just need to work on the execution.  By the way, watch a video on how they make the little hard candies with pictures in them, it's cool.

Does it help if I turn it stem down?  No?
This is a bread Rorschach! ♥

 Anyway, this was a fun baking experience and definitely a surprise inside, which was our Bread Bakers theme from host, Passion Kneaded.  I went with a pattern though we could have done a filling as well.  Now that I have done one loaf, and it sure was fun breaking in my milk bread pan, I have a better idea on how to make a pattern work next time. Definitely need water or a slurry to hold my ropes together.  And smaller pieces.  And more border.  But it was still so fun!  I love baking experiments.


The one thing that particularly helps a pattern loaf where the picture would be deformed by rising in a standard tin is by using a pullman pan with a lid or, in my case, a milk loaf tin that yields a round(ish) loaf.  I will certainly be trying again with both!  This recipe is made to fit the round milk loaf tin perfectly and yields a beautifully textured loaf with a nice close crumb and delicate flavor.  (No, the colors I used did not add any flavor.)

Modern Art Milk Loaf
makes a 1 pound loaf


450g strong white bread flour
2¼ tsp (7g) instant yeast
250-300 ml warm milk
25g melted butter
½ tsp sea salt
1 tsp honey


Place all the ingredients (using 250 ml of milk initially), into a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment.  Mix on low for 5 minutes to 7 minutes.  If dough is too dry, add a little more milk by tbsp until it is somewhat firm but not stiff.  Then knead until the dough is smooth and elastic. 

Butter a 450g/1 lb milk loaf tin or pullman pan.

Once the dough is kneaded, take it out of the mixer bowl and shape it on a floured board.  For a plain loaf, fold in the sides and shape into a roll the length of the milk loaf tin.  Place the loaf in the mold and cover and fasten the lid.  Place the tin in a warm place to rise for 1 hour, or until the dough has reached the top of the tin.  In my tin there are two peep holes on the lid to check.  You have to be more careful with a pullman pan and leave a smidge of an inch open to check.  Opening the lid a lot could stretch and deflate the dough if it is touching.

To make my patterned loaf, I divided up the dough into portions just first generally by eye and then by weight for each separate colored piece.  I colored with turmeric, spirulina powder, and blue butterfly pea flower powder, working in small amounts of the powders with a few drops of water and kneading them in.  The amounts depend on the chosen pattern.  I know next time I need smaller center and petal ropes and more and thicker border pieces and maybe no stem.  A complex picture requires a lot of planning and putting together rope sections.  (Watch those candy videos!)  Then you wrap the whole thing in a final piece of dough and then into the tin to rise.)

Bake in a pre-heated oven 390ºF/200ºC for 30 to 35 minutes.  Allow to cool for 2 to 3 minutes in the tin, and then carefully open the tin and turn out the loaf on a wire rack to cool completely.


For the milk loaf tin you can slice along the indented lines to get about 20 slices of bread!  They make fantastic toast.  Or cut larger if desired for sandwiches or to taste.  I want to turn some into floral French toast! 

Be sure to check out our other surprising bakes! #BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. Follow our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated each month on this home page.  We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient.

It did indeed make fantastic French toast!