Showing posts with label sourdough. Show all posts
Showing posts with label sourdough. Show all posts

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Twisted Raisin and Hazelnut Breadsticks

I had a reason for a small happy dance yesterday ;)

About five years ago was the last time I was on holiday in the Netherlands.

One thing I remember very distinctly apart from the beach, the wind and having a great time kite flying are Twisters. Twisters? Yes, Twisters.
You haven't heard of them? I have to change that!!! The probably most common supermarket in the Netherlands, AlbertHeijn, sells twisted bread with raisins and nuts in them and I absolutely loved them. You can see them here, but we always bought baked ones to eat right away and not frozen ones like on that website. Sadly, I couldn't find a recipe anywhere for how to make them :(

Two years ago I gave it a try, but wasn't completely happy with it and the procedure was a bit too complicated be justified by the outcome.

After my recent sourdough experiments I decided to give it another try. Also, with me starting my job soon (yay!), I remember that it has proven to sometimes be more practical to be able to just grab a twisted bread stick from the freezer in the morning than to cut the bread loaf and butter the slices and wrap them up.

And surprise, surprise, even though I made the recipe up completely by myself without any references...

... using this chaotic note, but I'm quite sure that doesn't help anyone ...
... they turned out really well! I am so happy about that!

I've had one test eater confirm that and my Mum baked the Twisters herself today and she agrees. As As apparently you say round here .... Happy Days ;)

Twisted Raisin and Hazelnut Breadsticks

Recipe by Ines Feucht

Prep time: 18 hours
Cook time: 3 hours
Total time: 21 hours
Yield: 6 bread sticks


  • 125 g wheat sourdough
  • 125 g rye flour
  • 125 g water

  • 300 g wheat flour
  • water
  • 1 tsp dried yeast (or 8 g fresh)
  • ½ tsp honey
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 8 g salt
  • ½ cup raisins
  • ½ cup hazelnuts, chopped roughly
  • 1 tbsp cocoa powder, unsweetened
  • 1 tsp cookie and cake spice (nutmeg, clove and cinnamon - you can mix this yourself*)
  • flour for dusting


  1. The afternoon/evening before (or 12 hours before you plan to bake) mix sourdough, rye flour and water in a bowl. Cover and let rest at room temperature for 12 hours.
  2. Dissolve yeast and the ½ tsp honey in some warm water (max. 100 ml).
  3. Add wheat flour to your sourdough mixture. Also sprinkle salt on so that it is evenly distributed. Add yeast-water-mixture, honey, raisins, nuts, cocoa powder and cake & cookie spice. Start kneading. Gradually, if needed, add more water. Knead until you have a soft pliable dough that is not overly sticky.
  4. Put back into the bowl and let rise in a warm (!) place (preferably on a radiator or a warm cherry stone pillow) for about two hours or until doubled in size.
  5. Line a baking sheet with non-stick baking paper / foil or dust heavily with flour. Then knead the dough again and divide into 150 g pieces. This works better with wet hands.
  6. Have some flour ready and dust part of your work surface next to your kneading area. Roll the dough pieces into ropes of about 18 cm length. Then lay them one side down on the floured surface so that they have a lengthwise white stripe. Twist each one about three times and place on the baking sheet.
  7. Let the twisted bread sticks rise for half an hour in a warm (!) place. If necessary preheat your oven to 230°C (210°C if you have fan heat). During the last ten minutes place an oven-safe baking dish with a bit of water in the oven.
  8. Place the bread sticks in the oven and bake for 15 minutes at 230°C (210°C fan heat). Then turn down the heat to 210°C (190°C fan heat) and bake for another 10 minutes.
  9. Take the bread sticks out of the oven and let cool on a rack or freeze immediately in freezer bags. If you do that let them defrost in the bags and after a few hours re-crisp on a toaster rack.
* If you do mix the spice yourself grind approx. two small cloves, add a pinch of nutmeg and top up the the teaspoon with cinnamon. DO NOT use equal amounts of the spices! Too many cloves can be quite....strong ;)

my Mum's baking =)

Friday, 31 July 2015

Homemade Sourdough

These past weeks I've done so much, and time seems to pass so fast.

Still, there was time for a trip each week and after the Isle of Wight, last week we went to explore the area around Chichester by bike. We stopped in West Wittering, which has the most impressive beach I've seen since the last holiday in the Netherlands, which was about four years ago.

West Wittering Beach

It was low tide when I took that photograph, but this    s p a c e  ... isn't it amazing :)
I just love the beaches and the waves. Oh, and if you happen to come to this area, do take the ferry from Bosham to Itchenor. It was the most amazing ferry I've ever been on! A three meter boat was totally not what I had expected xD

But now that's enough of impressions ;)

Exciting things have been going on in our kitchen this week! And no, this is not a joke! I was actually jumping around excitedly when my first ever half-sourdough-bread started to RISE in the oven. It had been a very dense ball of dough and it did in fact look less than promising, but it turned out just as if my Mum had made it =) And according to my housemate it looked as if was from the lovely Czech bakery we have in town.

...That's just to let you know what you can expect if you choose to take up the experiment challenge =P
If you want to jump around excitedly then give it a try!

But to start from the beginning: I finally started a sourdough about two weeks ago! Something I'd wanted to do for ages, waiting for the right time to come, which of course has never happened. ... So I just went for it.

Basic Sourdough

Recipe by Ines Feucht

top left: directly after mixing, bottom left: day 1, right: day 3

Prep time: 1 week


  • flour
  • water
  • 1 big glass jar
  • 1 cloth
  • 1 rubber band
You can use wholewheat flour or regular flour. Don't use any self-raising flour, though!


  • Day 1: Start with ½ cup flour and and ½ cup lukewarm water. Place in the jar and mix well. Place cloth over the jar and secure with a rubber band. Place the jar in a dark, warmish place.
  • Day 2: After 24 hours add ½ cup flour and ½ cup lukewarm water. Mix and cover and return to the warm place.
  • Days 3 & 4: Each day empty the contents of the jar into a bowl. Clean the jar, since otherwise mold may develop if the sides of the jar are not clean, since you are keeping it in a warm place. Mix the starter in the bowl. Place ¼ cup of the starter back into the jar. Add ½ cup of flour and ½ cup lukewarm water and mix well. Cover and place back in the warmish place.

You can use the leftover starter in waffles or pancakes - I will post a recipe for you.

  • Day 5: Proceed as on days 3 and 4, but only add ¼ cup of flour and ¼ cup of water.

After this time you can use your starter as in any recipe it is asked for.

  • Feeding: For feeding keep ¼ cup of starter and add ½ cup of flour and ¼ cup water.
    • If you use it on a daily basis, proceed each day as on day 5.
    • If you use it on a weekly basis, proceed the same way once a week, keeping the starter in the fridge. In this case you can put a lid on your jar.

Minor deviations from your feeding schedule (missing one day or getting the time of the day wrong won't affect your sourdough, but make sure to maintain your overall pattern.

Note: After day three the sourdough became less bubbly and didn't seem as active anymore. I was a bit worried, but it doesn't seem to have done any harm. So if the same happens to yours, don't freak out and just keep on feeding it.