December 19, 2007

18 in A Second

We had 35in rain last night and we still are receiving it today, on and off. It can be really good to receive rain when the garden is really dry or when the rainwater tanks are running down quickly or when the house is grubby and you need to waterblast the green moss off the pathways or walls , but rain often comes with storm which is not a very good day to start the yeast working. The droughts are the worst enemy for the dough to rise beautifully. However, I have found a way to deal with it. I put the kettle on until the water is boiled, then turn it off, take the lid off, then sit the bowl of yeast mixture on top of it to boost it to work. I do the same to raise the dough. The other option is to take the kneaded and covered dough to the greenhouse and sit it on a bench. Sounds funny? Well, it works!

I have been baking kolache lately and, boy, they will always be finished in a second! They become quite popular in my family. Perhaps, the dot of jam can be the attraction. I have put the apricot and plum jam for varieties, but it seems everyone picks apricot to be their favorite, so I don't bother to use other jam but apricot.

Kolache is not difficult to make and pretty quick in the process. It's a delightful special soft and airy bread to be served warm for morning tea. If you're in a bad mood, it is a good idea to make kolache: you can slap the dough on the floured surface several times until you've got rid of what's bothering you without hurting anyone else. Well, it's a safe way to release your negative emotions rather than to slap someone on the face, I imagine. In the end, you can enjoy the labour of your... emotions. Peacefully.

I use freshly grated whole nutmeg [myristica fragrans) for more intense flavour of the bread. They can be found in your local supermarket or Asian groceries. I love using fresh nutmeg not only for bread or cakes, but also for curries or other Indonesian dish.

This is my entry for Bread Baking Day#5, hosted by Chelsea of Rolling in Dough. Check out what Bread Baking Day event is all about, created by Zorra.


This bread comes from Czechoslovakia and is great to replace your mundane toast-and-jam breakfast. It is also delicious served warm for either morning or afternoon tea.

Source: Linda Venturoni. Family Circle. September 7/84.

25g (¾ oz) fresh, or 1 ½ sachets dry yeast,
¼ cup lukewarm to warm water,
¼ cup sugar,
2 ½ cups plain flour,
2 Tbs butter or margarine,
2 eggs,
¼ cup milk,
1 tsp grated lemon peel,
¼ tsp ground nutmeg or mace,
½ tsp salt,
1 egg yolk mized with 1 Tbs cream for glazing,
plum, apricot, cherry or raspberry jam

In small bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water; stir in 1 ½ Tbs each of the sugar and flour. Cover; let mixture stand until frothy, for about 10 minutes.

In large bowl with wooden spoon, beat butter until creamy; gradually beat in remaining sugar until smooth. Stir in eggs, milk, lemon peel, nutmeg, salt and the yeast mixture. Beat in remaining flour, then beat for 100 strokes. Cover bowl; allow dough to rise in warm place for 1 hour.

With spatula, cut through dough to break it down. Using well-floured fingers, pull off pieces of dough about the size of pingpong balls and slap them down on to a floured surface (dough will be soft and VERY sticky). Pat gently—always with well-floured fingers—to make rough circles about 5 to 6cm (2 to 2 ½ in) in diameter. Place each circle about 5cm (2 in) apart on greased baking trays.

Brush tops of buns with egg-cream glaze. Press an indentation with the back of floured spoon in centre of each; fill with about 1 tsp jam. Cover lightly; leave to rise until doubled in volume.
Bake in moderately hot oven until browned, about 15 minutes. Cool slightly on wire rack. Best served warm. (You can reheat buns wrapped in foil in a slow oven for 20 minutes, if desired).

Makes 18 buns.

Happy Ied el Adha
Happy Mother's Day to All Mothers in Indonesia


Deborah said...

Your bread looks delicious! I would go for the apricot ones, as well!

Anh said...

We had some rain over the weekend and last nite, too. It was so refreshing...

Arfi, happy holidays! All the best wishes to you and your family.

Ivy said...

Wow, your buns looks super. I am sure my children will love them and can't wait until June when I always make my own apricot jam (I'll start them with raspberry jam, which is one of my favourites). Your's is definitely on my to do list. Thanks for Bread Baking Day No. 5 giving us the opportunity to share our recipes and thank you for posting it.

zorra said...

I would like to eat one or two right now!

Marta said...

Your bread looks great!! I'll try it soon



Deborah said...

Your kolache looks wonderful! I'm not sure how different it is from the one I made, as it was my first time making it. Mine does have a streusel topping, but I think that's the only big difference. Yum!