The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

freerk's blog

freerk's picture

Hey guys, I need your help!

So my brother saw my breads and now he wants in on it :-)

He wants me to make him and his wonderful family my variation on a traditional regional Dutch currant-bread associated with the holidays. At Xmas, New Years, but also at Easter, in the East and North of the Netherlands a lot of people eat this traditional "krentenwegge" (a heavy currantbread with an almondpaste filling). This is what the original loaf looks like...


You'll have to imagine the almond paste filling in the middle, I could not find a very satisfying pic.


There are numerous traditional recipes going around on the net, BUT.....

I never really liked these breads as a kid. I'm not too big on currants, but a big lover of almond paste, so as a kid I always found myself in a dilemma; I want the almond paste, but do I really need to eat ALL those currants to get it...? After getting too old to eat the almond paste and feed the rest to the dog, I just left the bread for what it was...


Until now! I want to make a lighter version of this bread. I want it to look like a buttermilk cluster (fresh out of the oven here today :-)


and preferably with the sweet taste of polenta dough, where I replace the currants with a decent amount of dried candied cranberries (also fresh out of the oven here today):


The idea is to fill each individual roll in the cluster with a little almond paste whilst forming the rolls. I'm not at all certain about the polenta dough, but somehow I feel it could give me the crumb that I'm looking for (light, airy, yellowy...). Also the sweetness of the polenta could taste great with the almonds and cranberries. That is; if I manage to get it as light and airy as I have it my mind's eye :-)


Before embarking on this triple-fusion baking experiment I would like to hear your input on what dough to choose for this sweet bread. I've also been thinking about the dough for the cream cheese braid. Could that be a viable option?


Thanks to the members here who originally posted these two recipes here. I can't really find out anymore who posted the originals, but you guys know who you are; Thanks a bunch!


I'd love to hear from you guys




freerk's picture

Help! Somebody stop me from churning out more bread than even my freezer can handle... or... wait a minute.. I NEED A BIGGER FREEZER!!!!

I had my first try at croissants. We won't talk about that. Not at all.

The second attempt though was much more satisfactory. I made them too small, in retrospect, and by doing so I think I restricted the layers from really fully developing, but everything was there; the crunch, the slightly chewy core, a nice taste and flavor; subtle buttersweet. I'll put on some pics of the crumb later, and for now; here's how I did it.

By the way; what is the best technique to get the butter on the dough as evenly and hasslefree (for the dough)  as possible? I came up with my own way, working with two sheets of baking paper. My first attempt (the one we won't talk about in public) I tried to do it by cutting it to 4 mm pieces and layering it on..... well....

Intuitively I think the way it's done in the famous Julia Child-video has to be the best way. But I'm a bit hesitant about wacking my dough still.. hey, I'm a novice! Keeping the butter in one piece between those sheets of baking paper did the trick though :-)

freerk's picture

Because there are hardly any bread baking videos out there in Dutch, I decided to do it myself; this loaf is way too good to be only made in English!



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