Country bread

This is what I would call a Christmas bread (at least from the photo :)) ). Very easy to make and very rewarding the result. It is a straight bread, so no preferment overnight. However, the taste is impressive for a straight bread. This recipe worth to be repeated many times and bookmarked. Here it is the recipe:

Tuna fish quiche

It has been a long time since I made a quiche. It was now the perfect moment after all the heavy dishes of Christmas to eat something more light. So, I took my new large tart pan and I invented on spot a recipe that worth to be done again and again.

Almond, Turkish delight and cocoa sweet bread (Cozonac)

It's Christmas time so I couldn't miss to do a cozonac (a traditional Romanian sweet bread).

Merry Christmas my dear readers!

 If you think of panettone, you are right, this cake is very similar to it. Only the shape is different and probably the filling.


This type of Italian bread became very popular for my relatives lately. As I was baking bread a lot, this type was kindly suggested to me. I had in mind that difficult wet dough to work with and a flat bread with big holes inside. What turned out to be was not quite this way. The dough was not at all difficult, the bread was not flat and the size of the holes in the crumb was disappointing. I can guess also why this happened: the more hydration the bigger the holes in the crumb and this dough didn't have enough water to achieve this. I'll probably make again ciabatta but not with this recipe.
However, the resulting bread, even if it has nothing to do with ciabatta that I had in mind, was not bad at all. It was just another type of bread! Tasty, with a gentle aroma ... so finally was not really a failure.

Traditional flan

A simple and classical recipe for a flan. It is very soft and has an incredible vanilla aroma.

Brioche loaves with sourdough

This is a so enriched bread that I am not sure if the right name is bread or cake. It is so soft like a sponge and so melting into your mouth! If I have to put a name for this bread I'll call it the morning bread because seems to be perfect to put something over a slice and eat it in the morning.

Chicken with sweet potatoes

I love cooking in a Dutch oven or a cast iron pan or in a cocotte. They all mean the same but the food cooked in it is delicious. I made many times chicken recipes inside and they are incredible because the meat cooks well also inside. To get this, the principle is simple, first cook with the lid on, then remove it to achieve a nice roasted skin. Adding potatoes to it is another classical ingredient that I cook inside. But this time I have changed the types of potatoes and the result was different. I have used sweet potatoes instead of normal potatoes. They are sweet and combines well with chicken. the recipe is again a simple one (haven't I told already that I simply hate to do complicated and time consuming recipes). The rest of ingredients add flavor to the meal, so if you do not have exactly those one you can chose some others or you can skip them.

66% sourdough rye bread

I have at home a lot of cooking books and sometimes I say that if I would do one recipe from each I could fill my meals for months. I have books from which I didn't do any recipe but I have also favorite books from where I count how many recipes I didn't do. This is the case for Hamelman's book from which I have the feeling that the recipes with sourdough are running out. Of course I have plenty of other recipes and I can do them over and over again but I loved Hamelman's book so much that I feel sad not to continue. Every singe recipe was a challenge and I learned so much from it. It was my first serious bread baking book and will remain the best for me. Bellow there is another rye bread recipe with sourdough that raised like a beauty in the oven.

Bacon and mushroom gratin

I love almost any time a quiche. They are very easy to make and in the same time so delicious. But what happens when you remove the pastry part from a quiche? You get a gratin! This is what I have done with this recipe. I have started from a quiche recipe and I ended up doing a gratin for the simple reason that I needed it quickly done for the dinner. The result was better than expected.

Vanilla biscuits (snowman)

Lately my trains are always late and I find myself waiting and waiting together with my daughter on the platform. One evening, she was bored and we had a walk around the station. It was the perfect moment for Irina to put her eyes on a vending machine with chocolates and biscuits. As you can imagine, I faced a real show to convince my 2 years old daughter that those were not good for her. And I made a promise to her: "mama will make you some biscuits at home !" This kind of promise you cannot fail and I have taken a very simple recipe and made vanilla biscuits for my daughter. More, we had such a nice time together making these snowmen shapes. My daughter made herself some of the biscuits too and I am very proud of her!

The resulting biscuits are amazing, they are simply melting into your mouth and the flavor of vanilla gives you the desire to want more and more.

Organic white bread

Although winter is not my favorite season, I have to recognize that has its special spirit as well. And when its about cooking, then winter is perfect. I love those weekend days when you heat your house with your oven and an amazing smell of bread comes out of it. Then you take out your bread and set it aside to cool and you look at it anxious to taste it as soon as possible.
This time I chose a white bread made from organic white flour. It is a straight dough without any preferment. Even if the water is 62% I managed to have a very wet dough difficult to work with it. Probably it would have been better to cook it in a Dutch oven, but I went for the classical method on the stone. The resulting breads were a bit deformed as shape but they rose nicely in the oven.

Rye and flaxseed bread

This is a simple bread. Easy to make, it doesn't take so long to rise, the dough is quite easy to work with and the result is amazing. I baked this bread this afternoon and it was full of nice surprises. First of all, it raised beautifully in bannetons and then, in the oven the loafs made impressive ears. The first 15 minutes I took a chair and stayed in front of the oven to see with my own eyes how they were opening and extending. Very exciting experience and I can declare it as being the bread with the biggest ear I've ever made. As for the taste, there is no need to tell you that is fantastic.... I'll just tell you DO IT at home!

Carrot and hazelnuts bread

I've marked this recipe a while ago and every time I wanted to do it I was missing something. First time there were the carrots. Second time, I was running out of hazelnuts. But for this weekend I had them both available and as I wanted to do an "exotic" bread, this recipe was the perfect one.
I have made the preferment the evening before and the next day, I have started to prepare the carrots and the hazelnuts. I am not kidding, the preparation of the carrots took me almost one hour with the whole mess to clean after extracting the juice of the carrots. But I drank the carrot juice and it was so good!
To grate 750g of carrots by hand was a lot of work and then to squeeze the juice out of the grated carrots using a gauze ... I had enough ... I swore I'd make myself a present and buy a juice extractor. Or... I'll put it on my list for Christmas presents :D. But well, when carrots were squeezed and dried, to make the bread was a piece of cake.
Now, regarding the bread, with 12g of yeast in it, the dough raised quickly. The impressive part was that it raised a lot outside but in the oven didn't raise so much. Nevertheless, the resulting bread look was acceptable. Inside, the bread had small bubbles in the crumb, normal for a more tougher dough. The color was obviously almost orange because of the carrots. The taste.... hmm... I might say that hazelnuts flavor was stronger than of the carrots but still, this was a bread not a cake. 
As a conclusion, it was an interesting bread with an interesting taste and look but, to be honest, I've made more basic breads who caught me more.