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vrijdag 18 mei 2012

Baking something like buchteln

At home we have this book called 'International Dishes' (in Dutch 'Internationale Gerechten') for years. It's a book full of recipes of all over the world. It's quite old, having been my mom's for decades. Russia doesn't exist in the book for example, the countries Yugoslavia and the USSR on the other hand are present. For me, born in the year 1990, it's a souvenir from an age I haven't experienced myself.

The book wants to teach us the art of cooking of all sorts of countries around the world, by presenting you with some specialties from each of them. I might say that the authors haven't always taught their readers the correct recipes. I as a Belgian can say that the signature dish from Ghent presented in the book (Gentse Waterzooi - a kind of soupy dish including potatoes, chicken, carrotys and leeks) looks quite alien to me.

Anyway, the book is great. It's been the book I've used the most often too. 

One of the first things I learned to make from the book was an Austrian recipe: 'buchteln'. It's a kind of brioche-like bread, scented with lemon zest. It's a wonderfully delicate taste. It's good enough to eat just like that, warm from the oven, but I tend to spread some good jam on top of it.

When I made it for the first time, I must have been about 13 or 14 years old. And since that time, my mum loves it.

Here's the recipe as mentioned in the book:

- 500 grams plain flour
- 30 grams fresh yeast (or 7 grams dried yeast)
- 50 grams white sugar (I used sugar infused with vanilla pods the last time)
- 1/4 l luke warm milk
- 40 grams butter (I used only 25 grams and it was great already)
- 2 eggs
- 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
- grated zest of 1 lemon
- 75 grams butter for baking
- powdered sugar for serving

How to:
In a bowl, make a heap of flour. Make a little pit in the middle in which you can mix the yeast, a little sugar, a little milk and a little flour. Leave it for about 15 minutes so that the yeast can start working.
Melt the butter and pour it in the bowl. Add the rest of the sugar, salt, milk, the whisked eggs and the grated lemon zest. Knead it all together until you get an elastic dough. It's quite sticky, but that's normal.

Leave the dough to rise for another 15-20 minutes.

Preheat the oven up to 220°C. Melt the 75 grams of butter on low heat. In the mean time, make little balls of dough of + 50 grams each. Roll them in the melted butter and place them one next to the other in a baking dish.
Bake the buchteln for about 20-30 minutes in the oven. 

Before serving, sprinkle with the powdered sugar.

As you might have seen in the pictures, I'm not the kind of cook to follow a recipe from A to Z. I can say that I ALWAYS do something else than mentioned. Because I feel like cooking but the ingredients mentioned are not there, because I don't like the look of it, because ... 

This time I put the zest of the lemon (all of it) in only half of the dough. In th rest of the dough, I put around 50 grams of chopped milk chocolate. The reason? My sister is a chocolate addict and doesn't like the taste of the tangy lemon at all. The dough is quite brioche-like, so replacing lemon with chocolate would work, I figured.

It turned out great. I ate the lemon buchteln with strawberry-rhubarb jam and that's a real recommendation!

I hope you enjoy this too!

P.S.: Any Austrian readers feeling offended for messing with their recipe: I'm really sorry! ;)

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