Multigrain bread

The time before Christmas and New Year is my preferred one to clean and refill my cupboards. If with my last bread I was finding a pizza flour mix, this time I have found a box of multigrain flour. Its destination was of course another bread. This one...

Date yogurt

The Christmas spirit goes well with dried fruits. Dates are ones of my favorites. So let's make an exotic yogurt.

Spelt and oat bread

Once I have received a pizza flour mix as a promotional package. It was forgotten for some months in my cupboard and I found it back when cleaning the cupboard. I did not use it for making pizza but to make bread and this was the result. This bread, near this pizza flour contains flakes of spelt and oat, chia seeds and other interesting ingredients. With such great ingredients, the resulting bread couldn't be different. An on the spot invention but an excellent rich bread.
Aaa... and one thing more... there is no salt in this bread ... so there is no mistake. You can put if you like ... I preferred to taste the bread without.

Quince in white sauce

This is a dish that my mother was doing a lot when I was a child. It is an autumn dish. The quince it is a symbol of the autumn.
As strange as it might look, although the quince is a fruit, this dish is not a dessert but rather a dish in itself that you can eat with bread or a side dish near some meat.
Every time I see quinces in a shop my mind go straight to this dish. As it is December, I was very lucky to still find them. In Belgium, these fruits are not very common and I needed to chase them in Turkish shops. And I am wondering why ... in Romania, my grand mother had a quince tree in the middle of her yard. When the autumn was coming, the parfum of the quince was all over the place.
I also remember my grandma's dog who was eating the quinces when they were falling down from the tree.
As a child, I hated to wash the fuzzy quinces. We were eating them after cutting them in slices as they were too hard to bite. My relatives were making this dish or jam from them. I did not appreciated them so much back then, but now I miss them so much ...

Whole wheat sunflower seed bread (version 2)

There are 2 ingredients in this bread that I have not tried before: barley malt and gluten powder. A dear friend of mine, not only recommended me these but also brought them to me as a present. I didn't have the chance to try them so far, so I have felt that this was the appropriate moment.

The first ingredient, the barley malt, you can find it in 2 shapes: as syrup or as powder. In this bread I have used the powder. This is a well known ingredient for bakers as it gives an improved fermentation. For commercial bakers is a secret as it also decrease the proofing time while increasing the volume. Even more, after baking the bread, it increases the life of the bread. No wander that is seen as a secret for bakers. The barley malt also darkens the color of the crumb and makes it more soften. It also gives a "malty" taste. But on top of this, this is a 100% natural ingredient.
I remember when I have opened the bag of barley malt powder it smelled strongly as coffee.  I checked again the package to be sure I was not mixing something else, but it was the right one. I was wondering at that moment if this would have not give a coffee aroma to my bread as well, which would have been a total failure as I am not a coffee fan. But it didn't. The final taste and aroma had nothing to do with coffee.

The second ingredient, was the gluten powder. Well, if you are gluten intolerant, forget about it. But I am not, and none of my family members is. This one is exactly what the name indicates: just gluten powder. If your wheat is weak in gluten, add a teaspoon to your bread and it will make miracles. Also, if you are making a bread with special flours that are not so reach in gluten / proteins, use it. Mine was whole wheat flour predominant so I have decided to try it. Again a natural ingredient, so no worry.

The result you can see it with your eyes: a nicely raised bread with lovely ears.

Olive and tarragon bread

I have the feeling sometimes to come back from where I have started. It was a day when I was looking for some Romanian specific pastry (merdenele) and I have found the amazing blog of Codruta Popa. I have started looking for something else and found my passion for bread. There has been years since then and if it lasted so long it is clear that was not just a temporary mood, it is a passion that we are talking about here. The passion of baking bread. I've read many books and blogs since then but I feel coming back to her blog all the time as it is so reach in details and accurate. However, what is the most impressive about Codruta's blog is her enthusiasm, her discovery of the world of baking bread with each post. It is the discovery of her passion that was so contagious to me as well. How pity that she stopped blogging as she was doing such a great job.
Coming back here, this is a bread with the recipe adopted from her  blog. I am always sure that her breads are a successful story so why stopping trying them?

Whole spelt bread

Lately I find myself running and running around to finish all my daily tasks. This is happening to me almost every year before Christmas season. I am really looking forward for the coming holidays to have a nice rest. But having bread in the house is a must. I can miss a lot of other dishes but not bread. This is how I arrived to simply invent a bread on the spot. I had no time to open a book and read a recipe. So, I have quickly checked my cupboard to empty all open flour packages or other related ingredients to put them into my bread. Quickly, quickly ... between other things, a mix, a stretch and fold, a shape of the dough, and a bake and voila.... look how it turned in the end: full of baubles and energy. And when I am thinking that with every single bread I made I was doing my best to get a nicely raised bread with ears.... and this dream bread comes exactly when I was just wanting a simple, no fancy bread to put on my table. 
As for the taste ...there is no negative critique to give.... just positive and superlatives. I let the comments to people eating, trying it or just looking at it ...

Poppy seed sweet bread (cozonac)

Christmas is coming and I needed to refresh my skills to bake our traditional Christmas cake. I also had a very nice occasion to share it, the Romanian national day, the 1st of December.