For example from the book "Einfach natürlich backen" by Carolin Strothe and Sebastian Keitel (Dorling Kindersley, 19,95 €). Biggest fan of the book? Star chef Jamie Oliver. "My favorite baking book of the year" he comments in the foreword. The two authors present 70 recipes with mostly natural ingredients, they use less sugar, flour alternatives, original grain, and unprocessed ingredients to create cakes and biscuits. They also pay attention to seasonality and regionality. Here come our three favorite recipes for the pre-Christmas season.
If we were to find another term for the word "cosiness", we would opt for "pie". When it gets cooler, there's nothing better than baking these sweet yet hearty little pies and enjoying them with a cup of fruit punch.
FOR 18 PIES
Melt the coconut oil in a saucepan at low heat and put aside for about 15 minutes. In a bowl, mix both kinds of flour, whole cane sugar and salt. Add the coconut oil and knead quickly with your hands. Do not work too long, the dough should still be a little coarse. Add 70 ml water and knead briefly. Wrap the dough in cling film and let it rest in the fridge for 20 minutes.
In the meantime, peel and quarter the apples for the filling, remove the core and cut them into small pieces. Wash the cranberries and pat dry. Bring the apple pieces, cranberries, 120 ml water and the remaining ingredients for the filling to the boil in a saucepan. Then reduce the heat and simmer for 5-7 minutes until the cranberries burst open. Let the filling cool down.
Preheat the oven to 175°C. Roll out the shortcrust pastry 3-5 mm thick on a floured work surface and cut out circles (Ø 8 cm). Spread half of the circles on two baking trays lined with baking paper. For the lids, cut out three small circles each from the remaining circles with a spout or thimble. Alternatively, use a knife to cut three small slits in the middle of the lids. Spread the filling in the middle of the pie bases, leaving 1cm of edge free. Place the Pie lids on top, press the edges down well and press them down all around with a fork. Coat the Hand Pies with vegetable milk and sprinkle with whole cane sugar. Then bake in the middle of the oven for 25-30 minutes per tray until golden brown.
Panettone is a Milanese cake speciality that is traditionally baked there during the Christmas season. Since the classic is always a little too dry for us, we have made our mini version juicier with previously pickled dried fruits. Hazelnuts and almonds provide the bite.
FOR 12 MINI- PANETTONE
It is best to chop the dried fruits roughly the evening before or a few hours before baking, put them in a bowl and pour the rum and orange juice over them. Leave the mixture to stand as long as possible.
For the yeast dough, heat the milk lukewarm in a saucepan. Add the whole cane sugar, vanilla, yeast and salt and mix well until the yeast has dissolved. In a bowl, mix spelt flour, yeast mixture, butter, eggs and citrus peel rubbing with the dough hooks of the hand mixer in a few minutes to a shiny, smooth dough. The dough appears very soft, but it is precisely this consistency that later makes the panettone juicy. Cover with a tea towel and leave to rise in a warm place for 1 hour to 1 hour 30 minutes at double volume.
Line a muffin tin with twelve paper moulds. Coarsely chop the hazelnuts, drain the dried fruit and squeeze well. Work both into the dough. On a floured work surface, divide the yeast dough into twelve portions with well-floured hands, form into balls and place each ball in a muffin bowl. Cover with a tea towel and leave to rise in a warm place for another 20 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 180°C. Whisk the milk and egg yolk together, spread the mini-panettone with the mixture and sprinkle with the almonds. Bake in the middle of the oven for 15-20 minutes until the panettone is golden brown. They taste best still lukewarm.
We bake our darling of the Advent season with whole spelt flour and almonds.
The most important ingredients for the taste are many freshly ground spices, orange peel and honey. Instead of icing sugar, almonds, pumpkin seeds and cranberries decorate the honey cake.
FOR ABOUT 40 PIECES
Grind pepper, pimento, cloves and cardamom finely in a mortar and mix with the other spices. Heat honey, spices and orange peel in a saucepan over low heat, stir, set aside and let cool.
Mix wholemeal spelt flour, ground and chopped almonds, baking powder and salt in a bowl. Add the honey mixture and the eggs and mix everything into a dough in a few minutes using the dough hooks of the hand mixer. Form into a ball, wrap in cling film and let rest in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 180°C. Roll out the dough to a thickness of about 5 mm on a floured work surface and cut out various figures as desired. Divide the gingerbread between two baking trays lined with baking paper. Brush with egg whites and decorate with almonds, pumpkin seeds and cranberries as desired. Bake the spice cakes on the middle rail of the oven for about 10 minutes per tray until they are slightly brown at the edge. Take them out and let them cool on a cake rack.
Keep the cooled gingerbread airtight and refrigerated for 4-5 weeks.
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