At home, in the Netherlands, we always used to have Christmas bread during the holiday season. I always found the Christmas bread to be too dense for my liking. However, I’ve always loved the raisin bread buns. I decided to try adding the almond paste, that is typically in Christmas bread, to the middle of the raisin bread. By eliminating the extra fruit in the traditional Christmas bread it doesn’t turn out too dense. 

I have to say they turned out delicious!  Especially, with a finishing of powdered sugar on top they are drooling good! Combine it with hot cocoa or tea and you have yourself a nice treat in the morning, or any time of the day.

 

 

Raisin bread buns with almond paste

Also called rozijnen bollen in Dutch. They are bread buns with raisins and I added a little almond paste as a surprise in the middle.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: Bread
Keyword: almondpaste, kerstbrood, Raisin, raisinbuns, rozijnenbollen
Servings: 24
Author: Ester van Boesschoten

Ingredients

Almond paste

  • 1 1/2 Cup almond flour
  • 1 1/2 Cup powdered sugar
  • 1 egg white room temperature
  • 1 Teaspoon pure almond extract

Raisin bread bun

  • 4 Cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 Tablespoons active dry Yeast
  • 3 1/2 Tablespoons unsalted butter melted and cooled down a bit
  • 1 1/4 Teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/2 Cup milk lukewarm (90 Fahrenheit)
  • 3 Tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 Cup raisins
  • 2 eggs
  • Zest of one lemon

Instructions

Raisins

  • Soak the rasins overnight in lukewarm water, in a closed container, on the counter.

Almond paste

  • Combine all the ingredients in a food processer or blender. Pulse to combine.
  • On a counter, lightly dusted with powdered sugar, place the combined ingredients. Gather them into a ball. Roll it and then shape it into a log that is about 2” in diameter.
  • Wrap it in kitchen plastic wrap and allow it to chill for at least 1 hour and up to one week.

Raisin bread buns

  • Sift the flour.
  • Warm up the milk. Mix the yeast and brown sugar into the warmed milk until dissolved. Let it stand for 5 minutes to activate the yeast.
  • Add the lemon zest to the flour, ensuring it is mixed in evenly.
  • After the 5 minutes, add the flour to the yeast mixture. Mix till combined.
  • Let is rise for 20 minutes.
  • Mix in the melted butter, 1 egg yolk, 1 whole egg and raisins.
  • Knead until it is combined and elastic. It shouldn't stick to your hands. Add more flour when needed.
  • Let is rise again for 20 minutes.
  • Form 24 balls out of the dough. Weigh out each dough ball of 35 grams. Gently, with your fingers, make the dough into a flat round circle. Into the circle place a small ball of almond paste. Gather dough around the paste and pinch it together. With the seamside down, roll the ball in your palm and gently press it a little while rolling it. This makes a beautiful ball shape.
  • Place each ball on a baking tray, covered with parchment paper, and let is rise for another 20 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven at 460 Fahrenheit.
  • Mix the saved egg white with a little bit of water and powdered sugar. Gently brush this on the buns before baking. It gives it a nice shine.
  • Bake the buns in the warm oven for 12-15 minutes or until they are a nice golden brown.
  • Cool on a cooling rack.

Notes

Inspired by: Amsterdamse huishoudschool cookbook from CJ Wannee 

Before relocating to USA, I received an old family recipe that was passed down from my Aunt to my niece. I have made this Worstenbrood recipe multiple times since. But, if you know me, I am always looking for ways to improve a recipe. Thus, this recipe got a reboot as well. My addition was to add a roux to the meat mixture to make it less dry after baking. 

For all my American followers, Worstenbrood is a sausage roll which is made from ground meat that is encased in a bread, and baked in the oven. It is something you can only get in the region Brabant in the Netherlands. Growing up we always took this with us on road trips. It was also traditional to enjoy them after church with a nice, warm bowl of soup.

 

Worstenbrood

Ground meat filled breadroll
Prep Time1 hr
Cook Time15 mins
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: Bread
Keyword: Bread, sausage bread, worstenbrood
Author: Ester van Boesschoten

Ingredients

Bread dough

  • 2,5-3 Cups bread flour more or less as needed
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp active dry yeast
  • 3 Tbsp unsalted butter room temperature
  • 1 Tbsp light brown sugar
  • 1 Tsp salt
  • 1 egg room temperature
  • 1 Cup lukewarm milk (90-ish Farhenheit)

Filling

  • 1/2 Cup milk
  • 1 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 Tbsp flour
  • 0.65 Pound ground beef (300 gram)
  • 0.65 Pound ground pork (300 gram)
  • 1/2 Cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 Tsp salt
  • 1/2 Tsp nutmug
  • 1 Tsp Black pepper
  • 1 Egg

Instructions

Filling

  • Warm up the milk and butter in a pan.
  • When it is warm, take it off the heat source and add the 2 tablespoon of flour. Whisk to combine.
  • Put the pan back on the heat source, warm until it is thickened up.
  • Let it cool before you add it to the rest of the filling.
  • Put the rest of the filling ingredients in a bowl and combine gently. Don’t over mix.
  • Add the cooled roux and combine.
  • Make rolls of filling from about +/- 1 oz. (30 gram). Let them rest covered in the fridge while you prepare the bread.

Bread

  • On your work surface place the flour making a little well in the middle where you put in the egg, light brown sugar, yeast and a little of the warm milk. Let the yeast dissolve.
  • Slowly mix by hand the flour with the milk mixture from inside out. Little by little combine the milk into the flour.
  • After the milk is incorporated in the flour, knead in the salt and softened butter. Knead untill everything is combined and you have an elastic, but not too dry, dough. *
  • Knead the dough for 5 minutes.
  • Put the dough in a bowl and cover. Let it rest for 30 minutes, until it is doubled in size.
  • With a scale divide the dough into equal parts with a weight of 1.3 oz (35 grams). Shape each dough part into a ball. Gather up the dough, with the seam side down, roll it in the palm of your hand and on the counter to form balls. Make sure you put enough pressure on it with your hand.
  • Place the dough balls on plastic wrap and cover it with it as well. Cover the whole thing with a clean tea towel. Let it rest for 15 minutes until it is doubled in size.
  • After the second rise, roll out each ball of dough into a flat rectangle using a rolling pin.
  • In the middle of the rectangle place a roll of the filling. Fold the dough at the short end over the filling, then the long ends over that. Pinch the dough to close it and roll gently. Place it seam side down on a baking sheet.
  • Gently brush some egg over the rolls twice. Cover them and let rest for 20-30 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven to 465 Farhenheit.
  • Bake the worstenbroods in oven for 10-15 minutes.
  • Let them cool on a cooling rack.

Notes

 *You may need more flour to create a dry and elastic dough. If it is too dry add a little more milk.

 

After relocating from the Netherlands to the USA, over 10 years ago, I found it really hard to find good bread. They were all way too sweet for my preference. 

We quickly bought a bread machine, which did the job well until our little family grew and needed more than what the bread machine typically made. So I started baking them by hand and went looking for a good bread recipe. With a lot of trial and error I found a recipe that worked for our family. This recipe is a combination of many recipes I have baked. I kept a little notebook where I added things, modifying it till we enjoyed this final result. It is pretty diverse. You can add as much or as little rolled oats and whole wheat flour as you like. It all depends on your preference. As long as you carefully add the flour in the end, keeping a close eye to see when the dough is just right. It takes some practice to learn the right consistency but you will get it! 

*Dough after the first rise

*Dough after the second rise

 

 

Whole wheat bread

Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time35 mins
Cuisine: Bread
Keyword: Bread, sandwich bread, Whole wheat bread
Author: Ester van Boesschoten

Ingredients

  • 2.5 Cups lukewarm water (90-ish Farhenheit) plus more if needed
  • 1.5 Tbsp active dry yeast
  • 2/3 Cup raw honey
  • 1/4 Cup coconut oil in liquid form
  • 1 Tbsp salt
  • 3 Cups whole wheat flour
  • 3 Cups bread flour more if needed
  • 1 Cup Rolled oats *

Instructions

  • Combine the water, honey and the yeast in a mixing bowl. Cover the bowl and let it rest for 10 minutes to activate the yeast.
  • After 10 minutes add the rolled oats and other preferred ingredients like chai seeds etc. Add the coconut oil and salt too. Mix this in gently.
  • Add one cup of wheat flour at a time while the mixer is on. Adding in the next cup of flour after the previous one is completely incorporated into the dough. Next, add the bread flour one cup at a time until the dough pulls away from the mixing bowl and doesn’t stick to your hands. It should not feel too dry. If you have added too much flour and it feels dry, don’t worry, just add a little extra coconut oil or warm water. You want the dough to be stretchy and slightly tacky.
  • Once the dough has the right consistency knead it for 10 minutes with the machine or by hand.
  • After 10 minutes, cover the dough and let it rest for 1 hour and 30 minutes. You want it to rise until it is doubled in size in a warm draft free location.
  • After the first rise, cut the dough in half on a dry floured surface. Shape each half of the dough into loaves and place them in oiled bread loaf pans. 
  • Cover them with a clean dish towel and let them rise for around 1 hour and 15 minutes or until they doubled in size.
  • Preheat your oven at 350 Fahrenheit.
  • After the second rise, place your loaves in the warm oven and bake them for 30-35 minutes until they are nice golden brown. The should sound hollow when you knock on the bottom. 
  • Take them out of the loaf pans and butter the top right away. Let them cool completely.

Notes

* The rolled oats you can add as much or as little as you prefer 1/4 cup-1 cup