Friday, 28 December 2012

Spelt and Einkorn PartyBrot

I’ve wanted to make these rolls for a long time. PartyBrot, as these rolls are called, are traditional Swiss-German white and whole wheat rolls that are baked as one in a round pan. Every time I would look through the Bread Machine cookbook by Jennie Shapter, I would end up on the page with the photo of these rolls and think “one day I’m going to make these rolls.

That day finally came. I made PartyBrot for Christmas Dinner. My family came to my house so I wanted to make something special. These rolls are perfect for entertaining. A few of my family members are trying to eliminate modern wheat from their diet so I made these rolls with white Spelt flour and Einkorn flour instead of white bread flour and whole wheat flour.

As it turns out, Katha of Katha-kocht invited us to bake coloured bread for the December Bread Baking Day. I’m submitting these brown and white rolls with poppy seeds and spelt flakes for BBD #55: Coloured Bread.



To save time and energy, I used the bread machine to mix the doughs on Christmas Eve day. After the bulk fermentation was complete, and I had shaped the rolls, I covered the pan with plastic wrap and let the rolls retard in the refrigerator overnight. Retarding them in the refrigerator overnight served two purposes. It enhanced the flavor and allowed me to coordinate the baking of the rolls with dinner the next day.  This was a definite time saver as well as a stress reliever.


PartyBrot with Spelt and Einkorn Flours

Makes: About 19 Rolls




For the Milk Rolls:

  • Scant 2/3 cup almond milk
  • 2 cups white Spelt flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure cane sugar
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon instant yeast

For the Whole Grain Rolls:

  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 1/2 cups Whole Grain Einkorn flour (I used home-milled flour)
  • 1 1/4 cups 80% Extraction Einkorn Flour (I used Jovial Foods brand)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure cane sugar
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon instant yeast

For the Topping:

  • 1 egg yolk, mixed with 1 tablespoon cold water
  • 1 tablespoon spelt flakes (or rolled oats)
  • 1 tablespoon poppy seeds



Making the Milk Rolls:

Place the ingredients in your bread machine pan in the order recommended by the manufacturer. Mine specifies that the liquid ingredients should be added first. So the instructions below reflect this order.

Add the milk to the bread pan, then sprinkle the flour over it.  Add the sugar, salt and butter in separate corners of the pan.  Make a shallow well in the flour and add the yeast. Make sure it doesn’t touch the liquid.

Set the bread machine to the dough cycle. Press Start.

Lightly oil a mixing bowl and a 10-inch cake pan or springform pan. I ended up using 2 cake pans because a had a few more rolls than anticipated.

Once the dough cycle has finished, remove the milk roll dough from the machine and place it in the oiled bowl. Cover the dough with oiled plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator while you’re making the whole wheat dough.

Remove the milk roll dough from the refrigerator about 20 minutes before the end of the whole-wheat dough cycle.



Making the whole wheat rolls:

To make the whole-wheat rolls, follow the instructions for making the milk rolls, except add water instead of milk.

When the whole-wheat dough has finished it’s cycle, remove it from the bread machine pan and place it it on a lightly floured counter.



Shaping the PartyBrot:

Punch the whole-wheat dough down. Then punch the milk roll dough down. Divide the milk roll dough into 9 pieces and the whole-wheat dough into 10 pieces.  I made the rolls smaller so I ended up with a few more pieces.



Shape each piece of dough into a round ball.  Place the balls, evenly spaced in the prepared pan. Alternate the milk rolls and whole-wheat rolls. I ended up with more rolls in one pan than the other one. If you have a large cake pan, then you can probably use just one pan.



Proofing the PartyBrot:

Cover the pan(s) with lightly oiled plastic wrap and let the rolls rise for 30 – 45 minutes in a warm place or place in the refrigerator overnight to retard.

Note: The instructions that follow are for rolls that have been retarded in the refrigerator.  If you plan to bake them right away, then skip the overnight rest in the refrigerator and go straight to the bake phase after letting them rise for 30-45 minutes.

Remove the rolls from the refrigerator and let them warm up to room temperature for an hour or so before you plan to bake them or until they have doubled in size.


Baking the PartyBrot:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. 

Once the rolls have doubled in size, brush them with the egg wash.  Top the spelt rolls with the spelt flakes or rolled oats and sprinkle the whole wheat rolls with the poppy seeds.  Or use a combination if you prefer.


Bake the rolls for 35 – 40 minutes, or until the PartyBrot is golden brown.  Leave the rolls in the pan to cool for 5 minutes, then remove to wire rack. 

Serve the rolls warm or cold.  They taste really good warm with sweet cream butter.



These rolls tasted good the day I baked them, but I think they tasted better the next day. It could be that we had too much food on Christmas. At any rate, I enjoyed them more the next day. They will keep for several days.  Just warm them up slightly and spread with butter.  Yum!  They make a great snack!

Happy Baking!



Bread Baking Day #55 - coloured bread



Thank you Katha for hosting this month’s event.

Thanks also to Zorra at 1x umruehren bitte aka kochtopf for creating the monthly Bread Baking Day. Be sure to check out previous BBD roundups archived on her blog.

Sunday, 23 December 2012

Give the Gift of Bread

If you’re looking for a special gift for a neighbor or friend, try these Cranberry Orange Mini Loaves. These loaves have a beautiful color and are slightly tangy due to the fresh cranberries and orange zest.

The Holidays can be very hectic, but these quick breads, made with all-purpose and sprouted wheat flour, are quick and easy to prepare. They make a lovely and tasty gift.



Check out my post on to learn how to make this quick bread.


Merry Christmas from the Bread Experience!

Friday, 21 December 2012

Czech Christmas Bread

Czech Christmas Bread (Sváteční Vánočka) is the Bread of the Month for the Artisan Bread Bakers. This bread is similar to the Vanocka Christmas Braid I made last Christmas. It is made with an enriched dough; however, this version utilizes the straight dough method rather than incorporating an overnight sponge. David of graciously shared his recipe (which he adapted from Daniel Leader’s bread). I adapted the recipe a little bit further to suit my tastes.

As David so aptly put it, “This recipe makes a uniquely crusty, tender and tasty bread that is perfect for the Holiday Season!  It also makes incredible French toast. The combination of the sweet raisins and the toasted almonds is a force to be reckoned with! Enjoy!



Czech Christmas Bread

Adapted from:

Makes: 1 large braided loaf


  • 7.4 oz Almond Milk (warm)
  • 2 large egg yolks*
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 13.35 oz (3 1/4 cups) all-purpose flour
  • 1.5 oz (3 tablespoons) unsalted butter
  • 1.6 oz (3 tablespoons) pure cane sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3.2 oz (~2/3 cup) dark raisins
  • * I used the reserved egg white for the egg wash
  • 1 teaspoon Sugar for sprinkling on top
  • 0.9 oz (1/4 cup) slivered almonds



1) Mix the Dough: Pour the warm milk into the bowl of a stand mixer. Add the egg yolks and whisk until combined. Add the yeast, flour, butter, sugar and salt, (Do not add the raisins at this point) and mix on first speed for 3 minutes. Then increase to third speed and mix for an additional 3 minutes. Add the raisins and mix on first speed until they are completely incorporated and evenly distributed throughout the dough.  Place the dough in a clean large bowl and cover with plastic wrap.



2) Bulk Fermentation:  Let the dough proof for 1 – 1 1/2 hours. Fold after 45 minutes, then let the dough proof for an additional 45 minutes.



3) Braid the Loaf:

Divide the dough into 3 equal pieces. 



Form three ropes.  Don’t make the ropes too long.  They should be long enough to braid, but be able to fit on your baking sheet.



Form the braids using the 3-strand braid method.  Start by overlapping the strands in the middle.  Then braid from the middle to one end and pinch the ends of the braid to seal the braid.



Flip the braid (or walk around the table) and continue braiding until you reach the other end of the braid.



Pinch the ends together and place the braid on a greased baking sheet.



4) Final Proof: Cover the braid with plastic wrap and let it proof for 1 – 1 /2 hours.



5) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. and place a rack in the middle of the oven.

6) Brush with egg wash and add toppings: Right before you’re ready to bake the loaf, brush the bread with the egg wash and sprinkle sugar over the top.  Then top with the sliced almonds.



7) Bake the Loaf: Bake the loaf on the middle rack of the oven for 30 – 40 minutes.  If the top starts to get too dark before the loaf is baked all the way through, tent it with foil.  This bread will burn easily because of the egg wash and sugar on the top.  Not to mention the raisins.


8) Cool the Loaf:  Remove the loaf to a wire rack to cool completely before slicing and serving.



9) Slice and enjoy!  This bread does make good French toast. It’s not too rich or sweet so it also goes well as toast spread with butter and served with eggs for breakfast.



Happy Holidays from the Bread Experience!

Monday, 17 December 2012

Braided Cranberry and Orange Loaf with Nuts

They say it’s better to give than receive. I’ve found this to be true, especially when it involves bread-baking. I love to bake bread and sharing it with others just makes it more special. Giving the gift of bread during the Holidays is a wonderful way to do something you enjoy and bless the recipient as well. A double blessing.

I wanted to make a delicious and beautiful braided bread for a special family for Christmas. I was looking for a bread that was easy to transport and would fit in a bread bag. I found the perfect solution. This Cranberry and Orange Loaf with nuts is braided, but it’s baked in a loaf pan which allows it to fit in a bread bag and makes it easy to transport.


To make things really easy, this bread can be made completely in the bread machine. You won’t have the braided look, but if you’re short on time, just let the machine do the work while you’re busy doing other things. Or, if you want to mix things up a bit like I did, mix the dough and let it rise in the bread machine, shape it into braid, then place it in the loaf pan to bake. This way, you get a beautifully-shaped loaf, that is easy to transport, and makes great toast bread. Voilà!


Braided Cranberry & Orange Loaf with Nuts

Makes: One 9” x 5” Loaf or one small bread machine loaf

Adapted from: Bread Machine: How to prepare and bake the perfect loaf by Jennie Shapter


  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1 egg
  • 3 cups unbleached bread flour
  • 1/4 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 1 tablespoon nonfat dry milk
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon instant yeast
  • 2 teaspoons grated orange zest
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries, plumped in orange juice
  • 1/3 cup pecans, chopped



  • 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons sugar (I used sugar in-the-raw)



Use the bread machine to mix the ingredients on the Dough Setting or bake the loaf completely in the bread machine.  Or, if you prefer, mix the ingredients using a stand mixer and bake in a conventional oven.

Step 1: Place the ingredients in the bread pan of your bread machine in the order specified by the manufacturer.

My bread machine specifies that the liquid ingredients should be added first, then the dry ingredients. So I added the water, orange juice and egg in the bread pan.  Then I sprinkled the flour over the wet ingredients and added the nonfat dry milk.  Then I placed the sugar, salt, and butter in separate corners of the bread pan.  Finally, I made a shallow well in the center of the flour, and added the instant yeast.


Step 2: Knead in the orange zest, dried cranberries and pecans.

When the machine beeps (or after the first kneading), add the zest, cranberries and pecans and let the machine mix them into the dough. 

At this point, 

  1. If you are baking the loaf completely in the bread machine, let the machine continue through the baking cycle.
  2. If you are using the machine to mix and proof the loaf, let the bread machine finish through the dough cycle, then remove the loaf to shape and bake. 
  3. Or, if you are tired of the bread machine having all the fun, follow the process below:

I felt the dough after the first kneading and decided I wanted to get my hands on it so I took over at this point. 

Instead of letting the machine knead the final ingredients, I removed the dough from the bread pan and gently kneaded the rest of the dough ingredients into the dough.



Step 3: Bulk Fermentation: Place the dough into a lightly greased bowl and let it rise until doubled, about 30 - 45 minutes.



Step 4: Shaping the Braid

Remove the dough from the bowl onto a lightly floured surface and divide it into three equal balls.



Roll each piece out into ropes. The ropes shouldn’t be too long if you want to bake the loaf in a loaf pan.  If you want to bake the braid freeform, you can make the ropes as long as you want. Just keep in mind, they need to fit on a baking sheet.



Overlap the ropes in the middle.



Start braiding at one end, then flip the braid around (or walk around if possible) to the other end and finish the braid. Gently tuck the ends underneath.

For more braiding options, refer to this post on Making Braided Challah.



Step 5: Proofing the Loaf

Place the braid in a 9” x 5” loaf pan. Cover with plastic wrap sprayed with spray oil and let it rise 30 to 45 minutes or until it reaches the top of the pan. If you want to bake the braid freeform, place it on a greased baking sheet to proof instead of in the loaf pan.



Step 6: Baking the Loaf

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Bake the loaf in the preheated oven until it is golden brown, about 20 – 30 minutes.  If it starts browning too much on top before it is baked all the way through, you can tent it with aluminum foil.  Test for doneness by inserting a toothpick or wooden skewer in the middle of the loaf. Just do it in an inconspicuous place especially if you plan to give the loaf away.


Step 7: Cooling the Loaf

Remove the loaf to a wire rack to cool.  Let it cool in the pan for a few minutes, then remove it from the pan and let it cool completely on the wire rack.



Step 8: Glaze the loaf or brush with butter

To make the glaze, mix the orange juice and sugar in a small pan and heat. Stir until the sugar dissolves. Then boil until it becomes syrupy. Brush the syrup over the loaf and let it cool.

I got distracted and let my glaze burn so I opted to brush the loaf with melted butter instead of the glaze. I think this worked out better for giving as a gift anyway.



Step 9: Wrap and give the bread as a gift

If you want to give the bread as a gift, let it cool completely, then place it in a plastic bread bag or wrap it in plastic wrap and decorated it festively.



I gave this bread to a special family. They’ve been enjoying it as toast with breakfast.  I’m so glad!



Happy Baking!


Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Cinnamon Spelt Tea Biscuits

I enjoy attending events during the Holidays and baking special treats. As I mentioned in my previous post, I attended a Christmas Tea last weekend. I brought Lavender and Orange Biscotti and these Cinnamon Tea Biscuits.

These crunchy biscuits are sort of an updated version of old-fashioned English tea biscuits. They’re not the fluffy, melt-in-your-mouth Southern biscuits that I grew up eating. However, I must say I really like them. They’re not too sweet or rich. The combination of cinnamon and butter makes the perfect accompaniment for tea or coffee. They taste great warm or room temperature.



These biscuits are fun to make. I made my version with Spelt. They are rolled out and folded over similar to how we folded the Pocketbook Rolls last month, but those rolls were round and these are square. Those were fluffy, melt-in-your-mouth rolls. These biscuit rolls crunch in your mouth, but the crunch gives them substance.  They are very enjoyable.


Cinnamon Tea Biscuits

Makes: About 1 dozen 3” biscuits or 20 smaller biscuits

Adapted from: Biscuit Bliss: 101 Foolproof Recipes for Fresh and Fluffy Biscuits in Just Minutes by James Villas


  • 1/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 cups white Spelt flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) chilled butter, cut into bits
  • 2/3 cup almond milk
  • additional butter for topping



1) Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Spray a baking sheet with spray oil and put it aside. Mix the cinnamon and brown sugar together on a plate and set it aside.



2) Whisk together the rest of the dry ingredients: flour, baking powder and salt, in a large mixing bowl.  Add the butter bits and cut them in the flour with a pastry cutter.  Mix until the mixture is mealy. 



3) Add the milk and stir the mixture just until a soft dough forms.



4) Transfer the dough to a lightly-floured surface and knead 3 to 4 times.



5) Roll out the dough to about 1/3-inch thick and cut out 3-inch squares. I decided that 3 inch squares were a little too big so I cut the squares in half.



6) Fold the squares in half, then press the top into the prepared sugar-cinnamon mixture.  Arrange the squares on the prepared baking sheet. Generously sprinkle the tops of the squares with more cinnamon sugar and dot each square with a little bit of butter.



7) Bake the biscuits on the center rack of the oven until they are glazed, about 15 minutes.  Serve them hot or at room temperature.



Happy Baking!


Sunday, 9 December 2012

Lavender & Orange Biscotti with Spelt

I attended a Char-I-Tea this weekend with one of my Ladies’ groups. It was a festive and fun event for a worthy cause. The tables were decorated for Christmas, and we enjoyed food items appropriate for a high tea. We had different types of finger sandwiches, tea biscuits, cookies, and other delicious items. One of my contributions was this Lavender & Orange Biscotti made with Spelt flour.


Biscotti means twice-baked. This biscotti is flavored with fresh lavender and orange peel and a generous amount of toasted almonds. The toasted almonds give the cookies a beautiful golden color. I used lavender from my herb garden. It grows right next to the rosemary so it almost smells like rosemary instead of lavender. In fact, one of the ladies thought it was rosemary. I’m thinking a savory biscotti with rosemary would taste great. Maybe next time…

I liked the flavor and texture of this biscotti. You can definitely taste the lavender, but I think it could use more orange flavor. I was having problems with my hands this weekend so I used dried orange peel rather than grating it myself.  I think the fresh orange rind would boost the flavor. In fact, I almost squeezed the juice from the orange slices on top of the baked biscotti, but decided maybe not.  I didn’t want to make them soggy.


Lavender and Orange Spelt Biscotti

Adapted from: Biscotti with Lavender and Orange on

Makes: About 15 –20 cookies


  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh lavender
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon powdered orange rind or 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated orange peel
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups white Spelt flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract



1) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. and lightly grease a baking sheet.

2)  Add the butter, sugar, chopped lavender and orange rind in the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat at medium speed until the ingredients are well blended.  Add the eggs, 1 at a time, and beat until blended.

3) Combine the Spelt, baking powder, and salt, then gradually add the flour mixture to the sugar mixture and beat until blended.  Stir in the almonds and vanilla.



4) Shape the dough into a 10-inch log and place on the greased baking sheet. You can flour your hands if you like, but I used wet fingers for this part.



Flatten the log to 1-inch thickness.



5) Bake the log at 350 degrees F. for 30 minutes.  Remove the log to a wire rack to cool completely.



6) Reduce the oven temperature to 300 degrees F.  Cut the log diagonally into 1/2-inch-thick slices using a serrated knife.  You’ll need to use a gentle sawing motion for this part.  I had trouble with the cookie crumbing during so I think it would be better to slice the biscotti before baking it.

7) This time you’ll place the slices on an ungreased baking sheet.  Bake them at 300 degrees F. for 20 to 25 minutes. Remove the biscotti to a wire rack to cool completely.







This biscotti went over really well at the tea. Several of the ladies commented on it and asked if I was the one who had made it. They know me as the “bread lady.” Some of them even asked to take some home. I guess that means they liked it. 


Happy Baking!