VIENNESE STRIESEL – Bread Baking Babes December Bread
Right now I am baking and baking, I am even baking too much, yesterday I had complaints from a family member but everything disappears pretty quickly anyway so I happily bake on. This month’s Bread Baking Babes challenge disappeared very quickly too, the Viennese Striesel chosen by Katie of Thyme for Cooking, a perfect choice now when Christmas is coming up and it is not difficult, not time consuming to make. Well, it was a bit difficult for me because I had never made a braid with four strands before but I googled and found something that helped me but I suspect that you can make several variants of the four stranded braid because now I found another one that looked different from the one I managed to produce. But it really doesn’t matter that much because you put two other braids on top of it so no one will notice if you make mistakes! That makes the Viennese Striesel even more perfect, doesn’t it?
I tweaked the recipe a little because a) I really don’t like candied cherries at all so I used dried cranberries instead and b) I found that I had no candied orange peel at home so I had to skip that too. But apart from these deviations, I was a good babe and did was I was told. The striesel didn’t really do what I told it though because it was twisting and turning all by it’s own force and as you can see it looks like some kind of primordial worm or snake peeking out of its den in the first photo. But this is just me never managing to reach the perfection I am striving for but it really doesn’t matter as long as it is good! And it is!
I am not alone as you know, there are more Bread Baking Babes and I hope you will take the time to see their creations, here is a link to the complete list! And don’t be shy, join in and be a Bread Baking Buddy, the last day is 21st of December. For more details check out Katie’s blog!
from an old cookbook put out by Fleischmein’s Yeast called Breads of Many Lands
Basic sweet dough
1 package active dry yeast (I used 25 g fresh yeast because our house is cool now)
60 ml/ 1/4 cup very warm water (because of the fresh yeast, I didn’t warm the water that much, finger warm is nough)
120 ml/1/2 cup milk
60 ml/1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp salt
2 tbs shortening, melted (I used butter)
650-700 ml/ 2 3/4 – 3 cups flour
– Dissolve yeast in warm water
– Scald milk. Put milk, sugar, shortening, salt in bowl of mixer. Cool until just warm. Stir in 1 cup of flour. Mix in dissolved yeast.
– Whisk egg and add to dough. Add remaining flour and knead until smooth and satiny.
1 recipe Basic Sweet Dough
60 ml/1/4 cup seedless raisins
60 ml/1/4 cup candied cherries, chopped
2 tbs candied orange peel, chopped
1/8 tsp mace I couldn’t find it and used a pinch of both nutmeg and cinnamon
120 ml/1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar
1 tbs milk
almonds or walnuts for sprinkling
– Add fruit and mace to basic dough before the last cup of flour. Mix in well. Add remaining flour and finish kneading until smooth.
– Shape into a ball, place in lightly greased bowl, cover and let rise until doubled, about 2 1/4 hours.
– Punch down. Divide into 9 pieces, shape each into a ball and let rest 5 minutes.
– Roll each piece into a rope about 38 cm/15 in long. Lay 4 strands on a lightly greased baking sheet, overlapping at the center. Braid from the center toward each end. With the side of your hand make a trench down the center. Now braid 3 strands, also from the center to each end, and place in the ‘trench’. Twist the 2 remaining strands loosely together and place on top, bringing the ends over the end of the loaf and tucking in.
– Cover loosely and let rise until doubled, about 1 1/2 hours. Bake, 350F (175C) for 40 – 45 minutes. Remove and cool on a wire rack.
– Mix milk and sugar. When bread is cool, drizzle frosting over the top. Sprinkle with nuts.