Curcuma bread

Do you like exotic spices ? Well, curcuma is an exotic spice of a vibrant yellow color and a special taste. When added to bread, you get this ...

I totally forgot that breads that contains sugar needs a lower temperature to be baked and to avoid being brown. Luckily I have not ruined this one ... but it faded away the cocoa powder decoration so I had to use a light trick to make it more visible for this photo. Enjoy!

Linden tea

Do you recall those almost summer days, by the end of May or begging of June when you were walking in a park and suddenly a sweet smell was invading you? You look up and then you see a tree full of yellow flowers with a smell that puts you in a dreaming state. And then you stop and enjoy the moment, the smell, the warm weather, the sun playing on your face between the branches. You breath in, you dream and then you breath out.

Sesame bread

Spring is at the corner and I am looking forward to see it back. This was the first day of this year when the winter was forgotten. How to receive it better than with a hot bread with sesame?

Let's see the recipe.

Chicken couscous

If you are the mother of a small child you know how difficult it is for you to increase the variety of dishes you prepare for you little child. They usually select only their preferred food and they reject anything else. I was in such a moment asking myself what could I do so my daughter diversify a bit her menu. I've got a hint one day from her creche that she ate couscous at lunch. It was like a flash light for me in that moment. Another thing that I know she likes is chicken. Combining the 2 ingredients seemed very tempting for me to try with her. This is how I arrived to this recipe.

Of course the critical moment was how to introduce this to my daughter. As it was 11AM when my couscous was ready, I've decided to wait til noon to put it in her plate. Meanwhile I could have had some time to make a photo of it. And when preparing the plate from the image I was caught by my daughter who became so excited of my hero food. I had no chance than to fill a plate for her as well and watch her eating it completely. And when I say completely I mean all... both chicken and couscous, not fishing the chicken from the couscous. It was this day when in her vocabulary appeared a new word that she kept repeating it during the entire lunch. You can imagine about what word I am talking about: "COUSCOUS" or in her language "kuku:s". Later, she enjoyed it for another 2 meals which for me was a big WOW.

Letting my child aside, I also had some spontaneous guests in the same day and I have served them my new dish. It was for the first time for them to try this. And they liked it so much that they have almost cleaned the plates. My husband who is also a fussy new dish eater didn't say a word and ate it all.

To conclude, I was not expecting that such a simple recipe would have a big success like this.

And now the recipe...

La boule

Happy Valentines Day!

I couldn't miss putting a heart for this day on a bread. A simple bread for a simple but so beautiful feeling.

This is a basic bread made only with bread white bio flour. The hydration is high so I advice kneading it well to develop the gluten chain. You can try the dough using the window pane test.
Baking it in a Dutch oven might be better. I didn't, I've used my classic baking stone for it and the dough lost its shape a bit before rising again in the oven.

No matter the shape, this bread is great and worth to be tried.

65% sourdough rye bread with rye sourdough

I have found back my old good book of bread recipes of Hamelman. Searching between the pages I realized I skipped a recipe with preferment made with rye, 2 things that I like very much: Preferment, because it adds more flavor and taste to the bread, and rye because of its special aroma.

I have prepared these with the idea to give one to a friend of mine, but as always, when I make a bread with a specific purpose something needs to turn not as perfect as you wished to be. In this case, I have not let enough time for the dough to rise and I put it in the oven a bit too soon.The loaves raised but not so spectacularly. In the end, I decided to keep them for myself and I'll give a better one to my friend from my future bakes.

The breads received an interesting nice shape, looking more like a boat, being raised more from the sides. When I look at them, I do not know why, my mind travels to Venice and their gondolas. It's just my mind :) The taste was incredible, remembering of a country bread, strongly flavored with rye aroma.

As for the stencil, because yes, this is one of my latest obsession, I have used one made by myself. How? I took a transparent plastic sheet and cut the model I had previously printed on a paper. When finishing, I have used both pieces: the one cut that I have used for the bread in the middle and the remaining plastic sheet with the model cut that I used for the breads positioned on the sides.

Banana muffins

After the big success with my last Nutella muffins, I wanted to do something without chocolate and I was aiming for the same success. Well, these muffins have another story. For the first time, my daughter wanted to participate in making them. She was mixing the ingredients and I was adding them one by one. This is how I realized that I didn't needed the mixer to do that because my daughter enjoyed so much in mixing them. After she finished to play with this I gave a good stir as well :D and I prepared to pour them in the trays. Well, on this part I was also helped with decorating each muffin with a banana slice.

I can declare these muffins the first cake my daughter did. She enjoyed so much to participate and I was so excited and proud of my daughter new steps. What happened after was an interesting turn, my daughter didn't want even to taste them :D... but I did... and yes there were all for me :).

Replacing sugar with banana sweetness is a big plus in this recipe. These fruits add also a lot of flavor and the crumb is a bit moist.
Another challenge with this recipe was to replace the classic 1 tablespoon of baking powder that I was normally using for muffins with 1 teaspoon of baking soda and 1 teaspoon of dried yeast. The result was exceptionally good, the muffins raised and opened like a rose. After cooling, they have reduced their size but they have remained spongy inside. When I've made this photo they have already aged 3 days and they have started to develop some wrinkles.

In the end, even if my daughter didn't want to try them, they were a success for me.

Dried tomatoes bread

Did it happen to you to buy things for a recipe and to forget later for which recipe they were? It happened to me many times... and this is how I arrived to have 2 little boxes of dried tomatoes in my fridge. And what better place to "through" them away than to a bread.

I have cut the tomatoes and mix them in the dough. The dough received with them a red-orange color. Also the crumb of the bread kept this color. Regarding the taste... well was a new experiment for me. The dried tomatoes I had were seasoned with some olive oil, oregano and salt and had a nice sweet taste. This was also found in the bread in a diluted favor of course. In fact I had the feeling of eating a pizza or a savory cake with this bread. It was not a bad taste at all... it was just different than classical breads I was used to. And the final verdict was that I liked this bread ... and is probably perfect for an aperitif.

Broa bread

Some years ago I had the pleasure to stay for some days in a Portuguese family. They have shared their home with me and my friends and they have treated us as the most special guests. Back then, I was just a student looking to meet people from different cultures and to visit a lot of beautiful places. And what I remember the most was a very nice lady from that family who made my staying there a special one. She has shared with me a lot of traditional food, she has shown me a small part of a Portuguese life. They are very special and warm people, they have a lot of faith and love to share. During my stay there I was almost catching the Portuguese language. I was so impressed about how similar it sounds with my mother tongue. I really felt like home there and I am very grateful to Amelia to give me all these nice memories.

Here is a Portuguese bread that makes my mind to travel back in time ...