Turkish Pita bread or Pide

Pita is a soft flatbread baked from wheat flour and known in multiple cuisines such as Mediterranean, Balkan and Middle Eastern. Can be used to scoop sauces, dips or as sandwich bread. It’s delicious combined with Humus or aubergine salad my mom used to make.

the quantities below make for 2 well-sized Pita breads

What you need:

  • 800 gr wheat flour 
  • 50 gr butter
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 spoon white sugar
  • 1 pack fresh yeast ( in Germany it’s 42 gr), it surely works with dry yeast as well 
  • ca. 600 ml fluid (400ml water, 200 milk) 

For later:

  • 1 egg yolk 
  • 3-4 spoons olive oil
  • white and black sesame seeds

This recipe was a bit adventurous for me but it will not be for you, as I figured it all out! 🙂

I have been researching for quite a bit now for a tasty and easy-to-make Pita recipe and found it on Aynur’s youtube channel. I assume she is a Turkish lady living in Germany, totally amazing but the measurements in glasses are kind of an acquired taste – so I converted everything in standard measurements for us.

Let’s do it!

Put flour, fresh yeast, salt, sugar and butter in a bowl and start kneading by adding the fluid to the mixture bit by bit. As I transformed everything in ml or gram for you it should not be a problem to pour everything into the bowl of a heavy duty mixer like Kitchen Aid and let the machine do the job until you have a homogeneous body. Let the dough rise for 30 minutes in a warm place. 

After the dough rose, prepare your working space. Sprinkle the table with flour and split the dough in two equal parts. Roll them out into 2 cm thick oval breads. 

After forming the oval pita breads, lay them onto the prepared backing trays and let them rest, covered for another 10 mins. 

Now get your gloss out – yolk and oil mixture – and coat the bread’s surface. When it’s totally shiny start an acupressure treatment on your Pide by pressing your fingers into the dough parallel with the breads  margin, leaving 2 cm distance. Watch Aynur’s video for this, it speaks a thousand words! You need to apply pressure properly, if not the line disappears during baking!

After applying the Pita acupressure technique successfully, sprinkle black and white sesame seeds on them. The mixture tastes wonderful. 

Preheat your oven at 180°C/356°F and bake the Pita breads for 30 mins.

Prepare to have sesame seeds all over the kitchen floor 🙂 As said: it’s a delightfully delicious adventure, darling! 

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Lime Meringue Tarte

The cake base is Pâte Brisée and the Curd recipe you can find here

the quantities make for 1 Tarte or 6 Tartelettes 

What you need for cake base:

  • 200g wheat or spelt flour (I prefer wheat) 
  • 100g cold butter, cubed
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 3 spoons caster sugar (or 2 spoons of sugar + 1 sachet Vanilla sugar)
  • 1/4 glass of water or milk

Mix butter and flour lightly until you have crumbles. Not too long though, add sugar, water (or milk) and the pinch of salt. Begin your work on the dough. If you feel it needs a bit more flour, feel free to add. 

Roll out the dough and place it in a Tarte or Quiche baking form. Prick the dough with a fork. Don’t forget to pre-heat your oven to 180°C/356°F. Baking time is 10 -15 mins. 

prick_the_dough

prick the pâte brisée

blind_baking

“blind-baking”, weighing down the dough

 

The dough needs to be “blind-baked”. Bake the cake base but prevent it from rising by weighing it down with beans, lenses or even rice. 

How to do it? Just add a layer of Aluminium foil or baking paper on top and fill the Tarte form with beans as in the image above. 

I presume the beans cannot be used for cooking anymore, at least I never tried but can be reused every time for this purpose.

When the dough cooled off, fill your Tarte/Tartelettes with the previously prepared lime curd. 

And nooow — It’s meringue time! 

You can make French or Italian meringue for the Tarte. Both are suited. I go with the French one, it’s less hassle to be honest. 

Prepare your mixer! It is vital for the Baiser.

I use 2 egg whites and 140 g caster sugar for one Tarte or 6 Tartelettes decoration. 

How to do meringue:

Start by beating the egg whites with a pinch of salt at low speed, add half of the sugar, keep the same speed until it gets a bit foamy and you see tips forming. Add the rest of sugar and increase the speed by 1-2 levels, depending on your mixer. 

The meringue should be stiff when you are done beating 🙂

You can either spread meringue on the curd using an offset spatula, making decorative swirls or use a star-like tip (like below) to decorate your Lime Tarte kiss by kiss (Baiser is kiss in French). 

tip_for_meringue

decoration tip

After spreading enough kisses on your Tarte, you should caramelize the tips of the kisses using a handheld kitchen torch.

If you don’t have a kitchen torch you can caramelize/dry the meringue on the Tarte under the broiler. 

The Tarte is at it’s best after 5 -6 hours in the fridge or even better, the next day.

It’s really delightful, darling! The sweetness of meringue melts into the soft, creamy, fruity curd texture.

Dare to bake it! It’s actually easy to make and the reward is incredible. Bring it to a party and you are cherished forever! But it takes some time! My tip: prepare the Curd on the previous day and you are good to go! 

Lime curd

Curd is originally a British spread made with lemons. But you can actually make curd with almost every citric fruit you can find (oranges, grapefruit, tangerines) as well as berries (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries) or mango. 

I love using it for tartes, topped with meringue. 

Note that the only additional step when making non-citric curd is pureeing the fruit using a food processor. 

I have seen and tried recipes using the lemon/lime zest but I like it more without it. It’s clear.

The quantities below make for 2 X150 gram jars. 

  • 150ml lemon juice
  • 140 gr refined sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 85 g butter, cubed 
  • 1 spoon corn starch

Squeeze the limes (+ not necessary step: strain the juice so it’s pure), mix in the sugar and corn starch and place it on the stove at medium heat. Once sugar melted add butter cubes piece by piece and stir gently.

In the meantime beat the 3 eggs, adding a pinch of salt.

Once the butter is blended in, add the beaten eggs but stir gently and continuously using an egg wisk. Keep the stir on until the curd starts clotting. 

(Mind that if you don’t stir continuously, the eggs might get flaky and the consistency of the curd changes, you want a smoothy, creamy curd 🙂 

Now pour into jars you prepared and let it cool. I always put it in the fridge for a few hours after it cools. 

Top tartes, cupcakes, Brioche and fancy cakes with it. 

Kept in the fridge, curd can be used up to 2 weeks. 

Enjoy! It’s delightful, darling!

Gâteau au chocolat

The best chocolate cake you will ever have and you know why? It’s almost pure dark chocolate enriched with butter, eggs and sugar, almost no flour. What makes it even more special is that I kept the recipe to myself for the last 10 years, but there is a copyright expiration time for everything, right?

I got this chocolate slice of paradise from my Luxembourgish friend, Aimée, when living in Gran Canaria. She was my boss’ neighbour and working for Luxair. I wanted to escape the winter in Munich so I took one semester off University and moved to Maspalomas at the Atlantic coast and took a job there for half a year. At some point in life each one of us dreams to live on an island, it seems so idyllic and a very nice dream to dream but reality might be very different…

Anyhow, this post is not about my escape on the Canarian Islands but about the awesome Gâteau au chocolat recipe, that dates back to ancient times in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. 

What you need! And get it really quick! 

  • 200 gr Dark Chocolate (e.g. Côte D’or, Callebaut or Ritter Sport 50% Cocoa would do it too) 
  • 100 gr butter
  • 150 gr white sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 50 gr flour

Give a bain-marie to the chocolate and butter or let it melt at very low temperature on the stove. In the meantime beat the eggs and sugar until foamy.  

Add the chocolate/butter mixture to the eggs and mix them really well, add 50 gr wheat flour and you are done.

Preheat the oven to 180°C/356°F and bake for 16- 20(max!) minutes, depending on your oven. I bake for 17 minutes sharp and it has this soft, moist, chocolatey texture that makes it melt on your tongue and crave for more.

It’s delightful, darling! I promise!

Tiramisu di Aquileia

During my studies I joined my friend Evita and her family many times on their boat, anchored in the port of Aquileia. We went sailing for an extended weekend or longer in the summer vacation. Awesome! Why am I telling you this? There is were one of Evita’s Italian friends gave me this Tiramisu recipe, that I now do for years and it still delights me!

the quantities below make for 4-6 portions

What you need:

  • 4 egg yolks
  • 2 egg white
  • 60 g icing sugar
  • 40 g refined sugar
  • 500g Mascarpone
  • ca. 300g Biscotti (ladyfinger biscuits)
  • 3- 4 spoons Amaretto (you could leave it out if you’ll have kids at the table)
  • 250ml strong Coffee
  • Cocoa powder

How to do it:

Beat the egg yolks and powder sugar until foamy, add mascarpone but be very careful, don’t stir to hard as it may get very fluid and you don’t want that, believe me! Do not use a mixer, try to fold the mascarpone in, slowly.

Use a mixer to beat the egg white with refined sugar until fluffy and fold it into the egg yolk/mascarpone mix. First chapter ended.

Turn on your coffee machine and make some strong coffee to dip in the Biscotti.

Prepare the container, add a bottom layer of the cream you just made. Dip the biscotti briefly in coffee (don’t let them absorb too much coffee) and start creating a biscotti layer, then add another cream layer. Normally you have 3 cream layers & 2 biscotti layers. Finish with a cream layer & dust heavily with cocoa powder.

Done! Keep it for at least 2-3 hours in the fridge before serving. It’s delightful, darling and you are done in less the half an hour.

Banana Bread aka Bananarama

Originally called Banana-Bread but I still don’t know exactly why – maybe because of the loaf pan it’s baked in. Let me know if you know the real reason. I would be very interested to know.

What you need: 

  • 250g wheat or whole-grain spelt flour 
  • 1/2 tsp of salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 pouch Vanilla sugar
  • 150g soft butter  
  • 125g refined or brown sugar 
  • 2 eggs
  • 125 ml milk 
  • 250g ripe Banana (2-3 pieces depending on size)
  • Powder sugar to decorate

How to do it:

Actually you should decide to bake Banana- Bread with really ripe bananas, almost at the point of going bad, their sweetness will give flavour to your pastry.

  • Pre-heat the oven at 180° C/ 356°F
  • Mix flour, baking soda, salt and Vanilla sugar. Beat sugar & butter until foamy (use a mixer), add eggs. Bit by bit start adding milk & the flour mix. 
  • Crumple the bananas & mix them with the rest of ingredients. Fill the mix into a buttered loaf pan & backe for 45-50 Minutes. 
  • Remove Banana bread from the baking tray and let it cool before serving. Dust with powder sugar. 

Extra Tipps:

If you want to do it even more nourishing, you can add chunked walnuts to it. I didn’t decide if it is a dessert or not but it is a very good traveling fare no matter if hiking in Alps or flying to Menorca for breakfast or to snack on something. 

It’s delightful, darling! – no matter how or where you decide to savour it!

For the love of Brioche

I have been experimenting for over a year now with Brioche recipes as I see it as the basis of all possible Brioche versions – it is a hard world out there – I had to keep a journal to record all learnings along the way.

I did not decide yet if it is a dessert or a kind of bread to me but anyhow I could eat it at any time of day – plain or with marmalade. What I enjoy more than eating is the scent during baking which is capturing every inch of the apartment. 

Or just pronouncing the word “brioche” feels like a slingshot in my gustative nerves, the word is filling your mouth with a tender, buttery and soft pastry for a silent explosion on “sshhh”

Enough! 

The winner is Clément, Aurélie Bastien’s father in law. I don’t know any of the two personally but I want to crown them both herewith. See their story here: La brioche de Clément 

What you need:

  • 500g flour 
  • 60g butter at room temperature
  • 60g sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 250 ml slightly warm milk
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 poach dry yeast (from Alnatura – and I tell you why I prefer it: it happened a few times when I took fresh yeast that the Brioches taste like it)

for later:

  • 1 egg yolk
  • coarse sugar for decoration

Decide for one big or multiple small baking moulds. 

I prefer the small, typical Brioche baking moulds. I have the 9cm size for the time being and the above dough makes for 8 brioches. The perfect size in my eyes is the 8cm ø. If you don’t have any yet, I suggest to buy this size. Also you can use muffin moulds.  

If you have a kitchen aid, now is the time to turn it on! If not prepare yourself for a good hand work! 

How to:

As always warm the milk slightly, add 1-2 spoons of sugar and the yeast, stir until sugar and yeast dissolved, add the egg. 

Put flour and salt in a bowl, add the milk mix and the butter cut in small pieces and the pinch of salt.

Start kneading until you have a homogeneous but slightly sticky body.

Then let the dough rise in a warm place for 1h. 

Following reopen the kneading process for another 3 minutes using the kitchen aid, 5-10 min by hand.

Prepare the moulds and partition the dough into 8 parts and shape them into spheres. Take the spheres one by one and separate part of the pastry(size of a walnut) to put on top of the main brioche corpus. 

Place the bigger spheres into moulds and form a small pit so you can place the walnut size dough ball into it. 

Let them rest for another hour. They should double the volume during that time.

After that paint them with egg yolk and decorate with coarse sugar. Preheat the oven in the meantime to 150°C/ 302°F. Bake for 35- 40 mins. 

Trick for softnessKeep in mind that if you take the small brioche moulds, you should add a container with water inside the oven (basically to bake them with vapours). If you decided for just one big brioche it is NOT necessary as it will most probably be too moist and partly crude after the baking time. 

It’s delightful, darling! 

Take some self-made Raspberry- Rhubarb marmalade and just enjoy the dolce vita!