Ciabatta Buns with Garlic and Italian Herbs


Ciabatta Buns with Garlic and Italian Herbs | Koekbook

If you follow me on Instagram (if you don’t, find me here: @koekbook) you might have seen pics of my plants on my story. I’ve taken up gardening this year, as my dad wasn’t using his greenhouse. I’m growing tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers, LOTS of beans, strawberries and, most notably in the context of this recipe, herbs! Okay, I’ll admit, I cheated with the herbs… I bought most of them as a plant at my local gardening store. I did raise some sage and celery myself though!

Ciabatta Buns with Garlic and Italian Herbs | Koekbook

I usually add dried herbs to my dishes but fresh ones are a lot more flavorful I’ve noticed. I’ve been making homemade soups and sauces with my homegrown herbs and it’s been a very tasty experience! I saw this recipe in a bread baking book by the fabulous Levine van Doorne and couldn’t stop myself from making it. The hydration of this dough is quite high, so it is not an easy recipe, but if you follow the instructions carefully you can’t go wrong!Ciabatta Buns with Garlic and Italian Herbs | Koekbook

Ciabatta Buns with Italian Herbs and Garlic Recipe

Adapted from: Meer Brood Uit Eigen Oven (I used only white bread flour instead of a wheat/semolina mix)

Yields: 9 buns

Tools: dough scraper, large bowl, roasting pan, pizza/bread stone, baking parchment


500 grams strong white bread flour
4 grams instant yeast
9 grams salt
400 grams water
1 sprig rosemary, needles finely cut
2 sprigs thyme, leaves finely cut
1 sprig oregano, leaves finely cut
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

30 grams olive oil to coat bowl with

rye flour for dusting

  1. Add all dough ingredients to the bowl of a freestanding mixer with paddle attachment. Make sure the salt and yeast don’t come into direct contact. Mix at low setting for 10 minutes until the dough passes the windowpane test (use wet hands to test). If necessary, stop the mixer twice during mixing and loosen the dough from the bowl with wet hands/wet dough scraper.
  2. Coat a large bowl with olive oil, add the dough with a dough scraper and stretch the dough over itself so that all of it is coated in olive oil. Cover the bowl with clingfilm and leave for 30 minutes. Next, stretch the dough over itself with wet hands on four sides (like this). Repeat this resting and folding 3-4 times (with wet hands!!). After you’ve folded the dough for the last time, leave it for 30-60 minutes before you continue shaping it.
  3. Preheat the oven to 230°C/445°F. If you have a pizza/bread stone, preheat it in the oven as well. Place the roasting tin at the bottom of the oven. You’ll need the tin to put water in for steam once you bake.
  4. Dust your working surface with plenty of rye flour. Carefully turn your dough out onto the working surface. Flour your dough as well. Carefully stretch and push your dough into a square shape. Don’t push all the air out of it! Trim the sides of the square with a (wet/oiled/floured) dough scraper. Divide the trimmings into 9 pieces. Now divide the square into 9 smaller squares. Add the 9 smaller pieces from the trimmings to the bottom of the smaller squares. Flour the baking parchment with plenty of rye flour. Place the buns on it, if necessary, dust more rye flour on top. Cover with some cling film. Leave to proof for another 30-45 minutes. Make sure the buns don’t start sticking to the clingfilm. Dust more rye flour on top if this is the case.
  5. Slide buns (with baking parchment) onto your pizza/bread stone or place baking sheet in the oven. Pour 150ml of water into the roasting tin (be very careful with this, you might want to do this with oven mitts on). Immediately close the oven. Bake for 15 minutes, then take out the roasting tin and baking parchment. If the buns are very browned, turn down the temperature a bit. Bake for another 10-15 until they are a gorgeous golden brown.
  6. Leave buns to cool on a wire rack.

Mini Christmas Stollen

Mini Christmas Stollen | Koekbook

A Merry Christmas to you all! If you have loads of nuts and dried fruits left from making your fruit cakes and Christmas puddings, use them to make these mini stollen! I say mini, they’re not thát small actually but perfect to serve for Christmas breakfast. I like cutting them into smaller slices and slathering them with soft, real butter – ultimate decadence <3

Mini Christmas Stollen | Koekbook

I’ve used up whatever I could find in my cupboard as filling in these stollen but feel free to make you own, unique filling with dried fruits, nuts, or even pearl sugar. Whatever the filling, you must sprinkle on copious amounts of icing sugar!

Mini Christmas Stollen | Koekbook

Mini Christmas Stollen Recipe

Makes 8 small stollen

Source: base recipe from Uit de Keuken van Arden



375 grams strong white bread flour
10 grams instant yeast
50 grams sugar
160 ml lukewarm full-fat milk
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon speculaas spices or mixed spice
7 grams salt
75 grams soft unsalted butter, diced

Filling 1:

75 grams chopped dried apricots
100 grams golden raisins
125 grams currants
50 grams chopped almonds
25 grams chopped hazelnuts

Filling 2:

250 grams almond paste
zest of 1/2 orange
16 amarena cherries

1/2 – 1 cup of icing sugar

  1. Steep the dried fruits in some hot water (optionally with some orange liqueur or rum) for 15 minutes, then leave to dry overnight in a sieve.
  2. To make the dough, mix all the ingredients EXCEPT for the butter in a large bowl, making sure the yeast and salt aren’t touching each other directly. Knead for about 7 minutes in a free-standing electric mixer. Then add the butter a little bit at a time until all of it has been incorporated. Shape into a ball and leave for 15 minutes. Then knead in filling 1, by hand or with the mixer. Shape into a ball again and leave to proof for 1 hour.
  3. For filling 2, mix the almond paste with the orange zest. Half the amarena cherries.
  4. Divide the proofed dough into 8 pieces. Shape each piece into an oval shape with your hands. Divide the almond paste into 8 pieces and roll each piece to the same length as the wide side of the oval. Place it on the dough, then place 4 amarena cherry halves on top. Fold the dough over. Place on a baking sheet lined with baking parchment. Proof for another 45 minutes.
  5. Preheat the oven to 200C/390F.
  6. Once proofed, bake the mini stollen for 30-35 minutes. Leave them to cool on a wire rack. Once cooled, cover with plenty of icing sugar. Enjoy with some butter slathered on!


Italian Focaccia

Italian Foccaccia | Koekbook


Focaccia is a really easy bread to bake, so good to start with if you’ve never attempted it before. This particular dough is soft, stretchy and will result in a super fluffy bread. You need strong white bread flour and semolina flour. Semolina flour is used to make pasta but also goes very well in bread. It has a high protein content so will create great gluten development. This bread goes great with some hearty soup and also does well at parties with some olive oil to dip in. You can choose whatever topping you like, I’ve also seen yummy focaccias with mozzarella, onions and parmesan. Enjoy!

Italian Foccaccia | Koekbook

Italian Focaccia Recipe

Source: adapted from Levine van Doorne’s “Meer Brood Uit Eigen Oven

Yields 1 13×9 inch focaccia


300 grams strong white bread flour
150 grams semolina flour
300 grams water 20-25 C
45 grams olive oil
4,5 grams instant yeast
8 grams salt


150 grams cherry tomatoes, halved
dried or fresh mixed Italian herbs
fine sea salt
more olive oil

  1. Combine flours, water, olive oil, yeast and salt in a large bowl. Make sure the yeast and salt don’t touch directly. Knead until the dough passes the windowpane test.
  2. Prepare a 13×9 inch baking tray by greasing it with olive oil and lining it with baking parchment. Shape the dough into a ball using oiled hands and place in the baking tray. Cover with greased clingfilm. Leave to proof for 45-60 minutes.
  3. When proofed for the first time, cover the whole bottom of the baking tray with the dough. Push the dough out into every nook and cranny with oiled hands. Cover with greased clingfilm and proof for 20 minutes.
  4. When proofed for the second time, use oiled fingers to create dimples in the dough. Push the cherry tomatoes into the dough skin side down. Sprinkle with herbs, sea salt and lastly with some olive oil. Cover with greased clingfilm and proof another 30 minutes.
  5. In the meanwhile, preheat the oven to 200 C.
  6. Once the dough has done proofing the third time place the baking tray in the oven and bake the focaccia for 30 minutes or until golden brown.
  7. Take out of the oven, leave in the tray for 5 minutes, then lift it out with the baking parchment and place on a wire rack to cool. It’s best eaten fresh but you can freeze the bread easily in a paper bag.


Swedish Christmas Plaited Bread

Swedish Plaited Christmas Bread | Koekbook

It’s that time of year again where people start thinking about Christmas. Well, people like me that is. And people who compete in Christmas bread competitions! Last year, I competed in such a competition as well but didn’t win anything. I’ve applied again and see if I have better luck this time around. I have gone with a Swedish theme, as I love the breads Swedes come up with during December. They are called “lussekatter” and are traditionally eaten during the feast of Saint Lucia. Usually they’re more swirly like these ones but I’ve gone with a plaited bread. It looks stunning but is very easy to do! I’ve also added a lovely crème pat and raisin filling to make it as festive as possible. The gorgeous yellow color is the result of adding saffran – an expensive spice to buy, but we’re allowed to go a little crazy with Christmas right? 🙂Swedish Plaited Christmas Bread | Koekbook

Swedish Plaited Christmas Bread | Koekbook

Recipe Swedish Christmas Plaited Bread



220 ml full-fat milk
35 grams sugar
0,5 grams saffran
90 grams unsalted butter, softened
350 grams strong white bread flour
6 grams instant yeast
2 grams salt
1 teaspoon ground cardemom seeds
30 grams egg (keep aside the rest for glaze)

Filling & Topping:

250 ml lukewarm full-fat milk
1/2 vanilla pod
50 grams sugar
1 egg yolk
20 grams cornstarch
70 grams rum or cointreau soaked raisins (keep a few aside for topping)
20 grams shaved almonds
  1.   For the dough: grind together the saffran and sugar.  Mix into the milk together with the egg. 
  2.    Mix together flour, salt, sugar, yeast, softened butter and ground cardemom seeds in a bowl. Make sure the yeast doesn’t come into direct contact with the salt or sugar. Pour the milk mixture into the dry ingredients with the machine (fitted with dough hook) running. Knead on setting 2 for about 9 minutes once the dough has come together. Shape dough into a ball and leave to proof in a bowl covered with cling film for about 45 minutes, or until doubled in size.
  3. For the filling: mix 2/3 of the milk with the seeds from the vanilla pod and half of the sugar in a saucepan.  Mix rest of the milk and sugar, egg yolk and cornstarch in a bowl. Bring milk mixture to a boil, take off the heat and pour into the egg mixture while whisking. Pour back into the saucepan and bring to a boil while continuously mixing. Leave to simmer for about 30 seconds, then side aside to cool.
  4.  Form the bread: knock the dough back. Roll out to a 30x40cm rectangle on baking parchment or a silpat mat.  Spread the vanilla cream over the middle of the rectangle lengthwise. The width should be a little less than 1/3 of the total width. Scatter some raisins over the vanilla cream, make sure you leave a few for the topping.
  5.  On either side, cut 2 cm strips diagonally.
  6.  Plait the strips over the middle. If you’ve had to cut away a bit of dough, use it to make roses and leaves and place them on the bread.
  7.  Leave the plait to proof for another 20 min. Preheat the oven to 190C.
  8. Glaze the bread with the leftover egg. Decorate with almond shavings and raisins.
  9.   Bake bread for about 25-30 minutes. Leave to cool on a wire rack underneath a tea towel.

Pesto Pizza Rolls

Pesto Pizza Rolls | Koekbook

The couronne is my favorite bread shape. I’ve made big pesto couronnes plenty of times but sometimes it’s just handy to have some mini ones at hand. The dough I make these with is a bit like pizza dough, hence the name. Perfect to take into work for lunch or to have for Sunday lunch with a hearty bowl of soup! 🙂 To make these even more fancy, you can make your own pesto.

Pesto Pizza Rolls | Koekbook


Pesto Pizza Rolls Recipe

300 grams strong bread flour
5 grams instant yeast
5 grams salt
55 grams olive oil
150 grams lukewarm water
40 ml (homemade) pesto
  1. Preheat the oven to 180C.
  2. Combine the flour, salt and yeast. Make sure the salt and yeast don’t come into direct contact with eachother. Add the olive oil and water and knead until the dough passes the windowpane test (about 10 minutes in a Kitchenaid on speed 2). Shape dough into a ball and leave to proof in a bowl covered with clingfilm for about an hour or until doubled in size.
  3. Divide dough into 8 equal pieces. Roll each piece out into a 25x6cm rectangle. Brush a teaspoon of pesto on each rectangle. Roll it up tightly, cut the roll in half and braid the two strings together. Roll the braid into a snail shape and place on a lined baking sheet. Cover the rolls with clingfilm or a damp tea towel and leave to proof for an hour.
  4. Bake in the preheated oven for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown. Leave to cool on a wire rack.

Christmas Orange, Pecan and Cinnamon Couronne

Christmas Couronne (Orange, Pecan and Cinnamon) | A Dutchie Baking

This recipe has been requested so many times I haven’t been able to keep count! I posted the picture on Facebook in a couple of groups and on my own Facebook page and everyone went crazy over it. I enrolled in a Christmas bread competition with this bread and wasn’t sure whether I could post the recipe, but I couldn’t help myself! It is my recipe after all 😉

I’m so excited for the competition! I actually got through to the final, where I have to bake it live in front of (what I presume) an audience in just 4 hours. The venue is a large foodie gathering so I will also get to taste some awesome stuff afterwards. It’s going to be a final kind of weekend with a baking competition of a cookery store on Saturday and then the Christmas competition on Sunday! Unfortunately my friend Nadine didn’t go through to the Christmas final (she did to the other one) but her bread looked amazing as well! You can find it on her blog.

Christmas Orange, Pecan and Cinnamon Couronne Recipe

Source: dough recipe adapted from



250 ml full-fat milk
100 grams unsalted butter
400 grams strong bread flour (+extra for dusting)
7 grams instant yeast
40 grams sugar
1/2 orange, zest of
2 grams salt
1/2 egg (keep the rest aside for brushing)


55 grams unsalted butter
2 tsp cinnamon
65 grams light brown sugar
100 grams unsalted roasted pecans, roughly chopped


55 grams icing sugar
1/2 to 1 tsp orange juice
candied orange peel
10 whole roasted pecans
  1. Melt the butter in a saucepan. Take off of the heat, add the milk. Leave to cool for a bit.
  2. In a large bowl, mix flour, orange zest, salt and yeast. Make sure the yeast doesn’t come in direct contact with the zest and salt!
  3. When the milk-butter mixture has cooled down sufficiently (lukewarm), pour into the dry ingredients. Knead for 9 minutes in a freestanding electric mixture with a dough hook (KA setting 2), or about 15 to 18 minutes by hand. The dough is ready when it has stopped sticking to the sides of the bowl. Shape dough into a ball and place into a bowl. Cover with clingfilm or a damp kitchen cloth and leave to proof for about 45 minutes or until doubled in size.
  4. In the meanwhile, make the filling. Roast the pecans in the oven at 160C and chop them up roughly. Up the temperature of the oven to 190C. Cream the softened butter, cinnamon and sugar.
  5. Knock the dough back when proofed. Roll the dough out to a 55×35 cm rectangle. Spread the butter mixture out over the whole rectangle. Then scatter the chopped pecans over the rectangle. Roll it up from the widest side. Cut the roll in half along the seam. Braid the two parts together, then place on a baking sheet lined with baking parchment or a silpat mat and shape into a wreath, making sure the ends are neat.
  6. Leave the whole bread to proof for another 20 minutes. Brush with the remainder of the egg. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the core temperature is 90C.
  7. Take the bread out of the oven, leave to cool on a wire rack. Make the icing. Mix the icing sugar with orange juice until it has the right consistency (not too sloppy, not too thick). Pour it over the warm bread. Decorate with candied peel and whole pecans. Eat while still warm or leave to cool completely.

Maple and Pecan Plait Danish Pastries

Maple and Pecan Plait Danish Pastries | A Dutchie Baking

I remember when I was in high school, short walks up to the nearest supermarket (basically next to the school) every “big break”.  We’d buy snacks to munch on and (unintentionally) terrorize our teachers with. It was really cool not to eat the lunch your parents had made for you, lunches which ofoften cheese and peanut butter sandwiches). Instead, pink cakes, danishes and croissant were part of our regular diet. And occasionally a pack of cookies.


Maple and Pecan Plait Danish Pastries | A Dutchie Baking

Looking back, that wasn’t exactly a healthy choice but at least I had teenage metabolism.. Anyhow, my treat of choice was definitely the maple and pecan danish. They must’ve had some kind of fake maple in it though (sugar syrup with maple extract?) and there were hardly any pecans to find. Just what you’d expect from those pesky supermarket breads!

Maple and Pecan Plait Danish Pastries | A Dutchie Baking

It is no surprise, then, that I have taken up the task of baking these beauties myself. At 14 years old I didn’t have a clue on what was hidden in my food but boy have I caught up! In these scrumptious plaits I have used organic maple syrup and plenty of pecan nuts. I plucked the recipe from a Polish baking blog which I discovered a while back. I usually just look at the pictures but Google Translate really helped me out in deciphering this recipe. Really, thank god for Google Translate! I hope you’ll enjoy the recipe as much as I’ve done, and do send pictures of your bake(s) to me via Facebook or Twitter, I love seeing them! 🙂



Maple and Pecan Plait Danish Pastries Recipe

Source: Moje Wypieki


900 grams danish pastry dough (approx.)
85 grams maple syrup + extra for drizzling
50 grams brown sugar (I used light brown)
40 grams golden syrup
40 grams unsalted butter
40 grams whipping cream
1 egg yolk + 1 egg, beaten
120 grams pecan nuts, chopped  +a few extra for topping

1. Preheat the oven to 180C/355F.

2. To make the filling, combine syrups, sugar, butter, whipping cream and egg yolk in a saucepan. Bring to a boil and leave to boil for a few minutes. Take off the heat and stir in the pecan nuts. Leave to cool.

3. Roll out the danish pastry dough to 4-5mm thickness. Mine was about 40x30cm when I had finished rolling. Divide dough into 12 rectangles. Spoon 3 to 4 teaspoons of the mixture into the middle of the rectangle lengthwise (holding the rectangle horizontally). Cut 3 slanting slits along both “naked” sides. Pleat inwards, try to pleat as such to keep the mixture inside or it will leak out while baking. Place on baking sheets lined with baking parchment/silpat mat, cover and leave to proof for 1 to 1,5 hour. Once risen, brush the tops with beaten egg (optionally with a splash of milk in there), then bake for 18-20 minutes or until golden brown. Leave to cool on a wire rack or eat while still warm (not too warm though, you don’t want to burn your tongue on the syrup filling ;)).




Multi Seed Rye-Wheat Buns

Multi Seed Rye-Wheat Buns | A Dutchie Baking


Rye: a fickle mistress! Not only because it hardly contains any gluten, but also because of its complex flavor.. I have never had a great relationship with rye. I remember that, when I was younger, my father would eat typical Frisian rye bread, think immensely dense loaves that are sticky to beat. I would try a bit every now and then and without exception, I would be heavily disappointed. Recently, though, I have re-discovered rye and allowed myself to create some positive rye memories to build on. Rye Swedish crispbread is absolutely delicious! Or any rye cracker for that matter. I have now found the a perfect rye and wheat bun recipe: mixing the two results in an amazing flavor and (I was quite surprised by this) a fluffy, soft bun. Have a go at it yourself and tell me what you think! 

Multi Seed Rye-Wheat Buns | A Dutchie Baking

Multi Seed Rye-Wheat Buns | A Dutchie Baking


These buns go great with some (raspberry) jam, but do try other combinations as well such as cream cheese with dill! Very Swedish..

Multi Seed Rye-Wheat Buns | A Dutchie Baking


Multi Seed Rye-Wheat Buns Recipe

Tools: baking tray, pastry brush

255     grams strong white bread flour
140     grams finely milled rye flour
8        grams salt
8        grams yeast
330    grams full-fat milk, lukewarm
45      grams light syrup or honey
20      grams sunflower oil + extra for greasing bowl
seed mix for topping (for example sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame)

1. In a large bowl of a stand mixer, mix together the flours. Add salt on one side of the bowl, yeast on the other, then mix it into the flour mixture with a whisk. Add the syrup and sunflower oil. Start kneading with the dough hook, slowly add milk and knead for about 5 minutes on low-medium speed (speed 2 on a Kitchenaid mixer). The dough will stay somewhat sticky. Transfer to a greased bowl, cover with clingfilm or a damp tea towel and leave to proof for about 50-60 minutes or until doubled in size.

2. Preheat the oven to 250C/480F.

3. Once proofed, turn dough out onto a lightly floured working surface. Cut into 8 even pieces, about 95-100 grams a piece. Shape each piece into a bun by gathering the edges of the dough to the centre to make a ball. Turn the ball upside down, cup your hand over the dough and with gentle pressure, roll the ball of dough around and around until it forms a smooth ball. Place buns on a baking tray lined with baking parchment, a silpat mat or greased with butter. Brush the top of the buns with water, then sprinkle your seed mix on top. Leave to proof underneath a damp tea towel for 30 minutes.

4. Place in the oven, then immediately set the oven temperature back to 225C/440F. Bake for 15-18 minutes. Leave to cool on a wire rack.


GBBO Challenge Week 7: Kouign Amann

This week on the GBBO: a technical challenge which no-one knew of – such fun! In fact, the same thing happened on the Dutch Bake Off this week, but everyone there failed miserably there. That strengthened my belief that British Bake Off contestants are just the best, as they did a whole lot better considering. 


Can I just say that the standard in the GBBO is incredibly high at the moment? You’d think that after an x number of seasons, the talent would sort of water down, but that is not at all the case. Any of the bakers left would have probably made it to the final in any of the other seasons. I am still standing by my final prediction of Martha, Luis and Richard though – probably Luis coming out as the winner. He is just a baking savant. The high standard is bittersweet, though, as anyone leaving at this point is an absolutely excellent baker who’d just had a bad day or weekend. 
Last week: pastry week! Although the technical challenge wasn’t super “pastry”. The challenge was to make 12 individual sized Kouign Amanns, a Breton speciality bake. Really you could class this in any “box”, a bread (because of the bread dough involved), a cake (“kouign” means cake) or a pastry. Kind of like last week’s gugelhupf, which is a cross between a bread and a cake. Great, these hybrid bakes, but very confusing..
I made a bit of a rookie mistake in making mine though, where I accidentally cut the dough into rectangles to go in the tin, rather than squares. They still looked nice, but a little burnt because of all that sugar that’s layered between the dough and sprinkled on top. Okay, and my mom had to use the oven at the same time so I had to place the tin higher up in the oven – I’ll admit. But even with these flaws, the pastries were super super tasty. It’s sort of like a croissant with caramelized sugar I suppose, very flaky and crispy and with a creamy flavor (so. much. butter.). My parents went wild over it, which (with their lack of a sweet tooth) is quite a feat. It’ll take you a while to produce these, but it’s more than worth it! 
Recipe Paul Hollywood’s Kouign Amann
Source: BBC 
Tools: 1 12-cup muffin tin, freestanding electric mixer with dough hook (you could knead by hand, in which case you should knead for longer than stated)
300   gr strong plain flour, plus extra for dusting
5       gr fast-action yeast
5       gr salt
200   gr warm water (about 24C/75F)
25     gr unsalted butter, melted and cooled (should be about 30C/85F)
250   gr cold unsalted butter, in a block
100   gr caster sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
1. Put the flour into the bowl of a freestanding mixer fitted with a dough hook. Add the yeast to one side of the bowl and the salt to the other. Mix with a whisk. Add the water and melted butter and mix on a slow speed for two minutes, then on a medium speed for six minutes.
2. Tip the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and shape into a ball. Put into a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with cling film and leave to rise for one hour.
3. Sandwich the butter between two sheets of greaseproof paper and bash with a rolling pin, then roll out to a 18cm/7in square. Place in the fridge to keep chilled.
4. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to a 20cm/8in square. Place the butter in the centre of the dough diagonally, so that each side of butter faces a corner of the dough. Fold the corners of the dough over the butter to enclose like an envelope.
5. Roll the dough into a 45x15cm/18x6in rectangle. Fold the bottom third of dough up over the middle, then fold the top third of the dough over. You will now have a sandwich of three layers of butter and three layers of dough. Wrap in cling film and place in the fridge for 30 minutes. This completes one turn.
6. Repeat this process twice more, so you have completed a total of three turns, chilling the dough for 30 minutes between turns.
7. Roll the dough into a rectangle as before. Sprinkle the dough with the caster sugar and fold into thirds again. Working quickly, roll the dough into a large 40x30cm/16x12in rectangle. Sprinkle the dough with caster sugar and cut the dough into 12 squares.
8. Grease a 12-cup muffin tin well with oil. Gather the dough squares up by their four corners and place in the muffin tins, pulling the four corners towards the centre of the muffin tin, so that it gathers up like a four-leaf clover. Sprinkle with caster sugar and leave to rise, covered with a clean tea towel, for 30 minutes until slightly puffed up.
9. Preheat oven to 220C/200C(fan)/425F/Gas 7. Bake the pastries for 30-40 minutes, or until golden-brown. Cover with foil halfway through if beginning to brown too much. Remove from the oven and leave to cool for a couple of minutes before turning out onto a wire rack. Be careful not to burn yourself on the caramelised sugar, but don’t leave them to cool for too long, or the caramelised sugar will harden and they will be stuck in the tin.
10. Serve warm or cold.

Traditional Frisian Sugarbread

I’m proud of my Frisian roots and even though I like a good French baguette or an American pie, few things can top those traditional foods from your childhood. I know – your teeth might as well fall out at the sight of this super sugary bread. But ohmy. A sticky, flaky crust, the brioche-like inside studded with coarse pearl sugar and a cloud of cinnamon and ginger syrup to flavor the dough. Even though we aren’t the only ones baking sugarbread, ask any Dutchman or woman what Frisians eat and 9/10 will answer “suikerbrood” or “sûkerbôle”. There are versions of this bread in other parts of the Netherlands and even in Belgium, but apparently we Frisians like quite a bit of the ol’ sucrose (although you wouldn’t guess it, considering Frisians’ general aversion to buttercream). We use about double the amount of sugar other bakers do – a whole lot. Recently, cooks, ice cream makers and bakers have been trying to give a modern twist to the bread by churning it into ice cream, or using it to make the most AMAZING of bread and butter puddings. 

Small history fact: this bread was traditionally gifted to moms who had given birth to girls! I couldn’t find out why sugarbread was especially suited to girls’ moms exactly, if you know or have a theory, please do share in the comments!

 Recipe Frisian Sugarbread

Tools: pastry brush, bread tin (25cm/10inch)



350   gr bread flour
7       gr instant yeast
1       teaspoon salt
10     gr caster sugar + extra to sprinkle in the tin and sprinkle on top of the bread
20     gr softened butter + extra to grease the tin
2       tablespoons ginger syrup
150    ml milk, at 30C/86F
1 egg, beaten with a pinch of salt (keep one tablespoon aside for the glaze!)


150    gr coarse pearl sugar (“greinsuiker”) *
1/2    teaspoon cinnamon

* Coarse pearl sugar can be hard to find. If you can’t find it where you live, try smashing up sugar cubes in a tea towel (not too finely!). Alternatively, you could add 2 tablespoons of water to 150 gr caster sugar, spread it onto a baking sheet and leave it to dry overnight.

1. To make the dough, measure out the flour in a large bowl. Add yeast on one side of the bowl, salt and sugar on the other side. Combine with a balloon whisk. Add the rest of the ingredients, except for the filling, and combine to form a dough with a wooden spoon. Knead 10 minutes in a stand mixer with dough hook attachment. Alternatively, knead by hand until the dough passes the windowpane test. This will take a bit longer.

2. Transfer dough to a bowl, very lightly greased with sunflower oil. Cover with a damp teacloth or clingfilm and leave to prove for 45 minutes.

3. Grease your tin with plenty of butter and cover the inside of the tin with sugar (like you would flour a tin). 

4.  Pre-heat the oven to 200°C/390°F. 

5. Once proofed, turn dough out onto a working surface (it doesn’t have to be floured!). Knock it back, then push into a rectangular shape. Scatter the pearl sugar and cinnamon over the rectangle, then roll it up. Knead it a few times, then shape into a rectangle again, long side faced horizontally. Fold the bottom third of the rectangle up (this is a little like folding a letter!), then fold the top third down to cover the other 2 layers. Roll it slightly until it fits your tin. Place dough in tin, seam downward. Cover with oiled clingfilm or place in a plastic bag and leave to prove for 30 minutes. 

6. Glaze the top with the leftover egg and sprinkle plenty of sugar on top. Bake in the oven for 30-35 minutes. The crust and sides can become quite dark, but don’t get worried as this is to be expected with so much sugar involved! Turn out onto wire rack immediately after coming out of the oven, or you’ll have a difficult time getting it out of the tin. Leave to cool. Slice it up and serve with butter for extra deliciousness!

Source: Janneke’s, adapted slightly.