The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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I went shopping yesterday at Aldi and found this fantastic cake spring form tin made by Zenker that also doubles as a serving platter and came complete with a plastic lock just remove the spring form and the cake is ready to be served, great for making cakes and transporting them!


The cake tin came with a recipe book so I just had too try a recipe, since my sister had given me some home grown apples I picked out this recipe. The cake was really nice and moist, I used ricotta and sour cream and also used ground almonds. My dough was too soft to roll out so I half rolled it and used my hands to press it into the tin, but the cake still turned out lovely.

Moist Apple Cake


150 grams quark (or 2 parts ricotta and 1 part sour cream

6 tbsps milk

6 tbsps oil

80 grams sugar

4 heaped tsps vanilla extract

2 pinches salt

3 heaped tsps baking powder

300 grams flour


Glaze and topping

4 egg yolks

250 grams sour cream

100 grams sugar

100grams ground almonds or hazelnuts

800 grams sour apples

Juice of 1 lemon

6 tbsps apricot preserve


For the dough

Mix the curd cheese (or substitute), milk oil, sugar, vanilla extract and salt. Thoroughly knead in the flour mixed with the baking powder. Grease the sheet cake spring form 38(L) x 25(W)with butter. Roll out the dough to a size somewhat larger than the baking tin and place it into the tin, forming a rim at least 1 cm in height.

For the glaze

Mix the egg yolks, sour cream and sugar, and fold in the ground nuts. Pour the glaze onto the dough and distribute it evenly. Peel and quarter the apple removing the core, slice and mix with the lemon juice. Arrange the sliced apples on the glaze. Bake for 25 – 30 minutes in a preheated oven on the middle shelf at 190 degrees C or 170 degrees C circulating heat. Warm up the apricot preserve and press it through a sieve. Remove the cake from the tin and spread the preserve over both the top and sides of the cake.

Cheers Sonia

sonia101's picture

I'm soooooo tired!

I made my favourite Pasta today, I only do this a few times a year and spend the whole day making them. I always make them in bulk and freeze them, tho most of the time my extended family end up taking most of my stash!lol.....Hmmm I made 100 Maultaschen today, I wonder how many I will get to freeze and eat?

This is a bulk recipe that makes approx. 100 large Maultaschen.


Pasta Dough

2 kilos of type oo flour

2 dozen eggs



500 grams minced bacon (minced)

8 medium sized onions (minced)

6 cloves of garlic (minced)

1 kilo pork sausage meat ( I used pork sausages and squeezed them out of their castings)

3 stale rolls soaked in water and then squeezed to remove the water

1.5 kilo cooked spinach ( I used finely chopped frozen spinach and removed all the water)

1.5 kilos ground lean beef

9 eggs

10 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

salt, freshly ground pepper and freshly grated nutmeg to taste

1 egg and 3 tablespoons milk mixed (for brushing the pasta sheets )

Make the pasta dough and refrigerate until needed (depending on the size of eggs you might need a touch more flour). Mince the meat, bacon, garlic and onions and add all the ingredients and mix really well.


Season to taste with salt, pepper and nutmeg...I recommend placing a tablespoon of mixture onto a plate and popping it into the microwave and having a taste test to make sure it is  tasty enough. I had to taste the mixture 3 times before I got the taste to my liking.


Roll out the Pasta into long strips ( Thank god I have an electric pasta machine, I used setting#7 as my final pass) Top with meat mixture (just under 1cm thick approx) and brush the edges with egg/milk wash and top with another strip of pasta. At this stage I normal have a mess everywhere and today I even got flour on my camera lens LOL

Using a wooden spoon handle make impressions to seal each individual Maultaschen.

Using a zig zag pastry cutter cut them into individual Maultaschen.

Drop a few (depending on the size of your pot, I cook 10 at a time) into boiling (soft boil or they might split open while cooking) salt water and cook for 15 minutes, then drain. Refrigerate or freeze until needed.


Reheat in stock and serve with either a beef or vegetable stock and top with slow dry fried onions. You can also slice and fry them in butter, or  scramble an egg over them.


My reward after a hard day of cooking :-)

Cheers Sonia

sonia101's picture

I needed a break from gluten free baking and felt like baking with REAL flour!!! lol I found this recipe a while back on the Internet somewhere but sadly no longer have the link.

500 grams wheat flour
280 ml water
7 grams dry yeast
15 grams baking malt
15 grams of salt

Lye solution
20 grams of sodium hydroxide (NaOH)  dissolved into 1 litre of cold water


Mix all ingredients until the dough forms a nice soft ball, I used my mixer with the dough attachment and then kneaded by hand because I haven't kneaded a dough in soooo long! Kneading is like free therapy :-)


Cover the dough and place in a warm spot for 1 hour or until it has doubled in size.



Remove the dough and knock it down and then divide the dough into 12 equal balls (66grams) let rest for 10 minutes and then form into pretzels and place on an oven tray lined in baking paper.


 Cover and let rise for 20 minutes in a warm place.

Then place the trays in the fridge for 1 hour (or longer if that suits you, I have left them overnight) this makes the pretzel firm and they will not fall apart when you dip them into the lye bath.

BTW this photo is NOT my food fridge, it's the beer fridge in the backyard!! lol

As you can see after 1 hour in the fridge you can easily pick them up without the pretzels bending. Leave the pretzels in the fridge until you are ready to dip them, they soften very quickly!

Next the Lye Bath:

USE EXTREME CAUTION: Caustic even a weak solution like this is considered corrosive. Always use gloves and use extreme care. Never use Aluminium with caustic soda, and always line your baking trays.

Add 1 litre of COLD water into a GLASS bowl and then add 20 grams of sodium hydroxide (NaOH) into the water and stir until dissolved. I used a stainless steel slotted spoon to stir the mixture.


Put the pretzel onto the stainless slotted spoon and then lower it into the lye bath for about 10 seconds.


 Drain the Pretzel and place back onto the lined baking tray, score (through the thick part of the pretzel horizontally) and  sprinkle with salt. Place in a preheated oven at 180 Degrees Celsius for 20 minutes. Once you have dipped them they need to go straight into the oven, so if you have a few trays leave the surplus trays in the fridge  and dip and bake them when the oven is free.


Now I'm off to eat these with a BBQ dinner that my husband is cooking :)

Cheers Sonia



sonia101's picture

It was a stunning day in Melbourne yesterday so I decided to bake my first gluten free sourdough loaf by the pool, I figured my day was going to end in disappointment with my bread so I might as well enjoy the sun while baking. lol

I pretty much played around (probably my downfall) and didn't really follow a recipe, I used flax seed oil and whey (from my homemade cottage cheese) instead of water. As you can see from the photos my loaf doubled in size so my starter must be doing it's job, so I'm really pleased with that part. The crust was good but I got zero oven spring, I baked the loaf in my dutch time I might try lowering the cooking temperature at the beginning and then turn it up???? Could also be my slashing??  The crumb was definitely bread like and not cake like and had a nice sour flavour, tho it was really dense, more like a rye bread.

All in all not a great loaf of bread but a great starting point.


Cheers Sonia


sonia101's picture

I made a gluten free Black Forest Gateau  for a friends birthday. It was a challenge for me  since the recipe was written in German . I actually doubled the recipe and replaced the 100 grams of flour with GF flour and the cake turned out perfect. I thought I'd share the recipe in case there are any GF bakers interested, the recipe can be found here

Guess I should have cleaned the bench before taking this photo! lol

sonia101's picture

I've recently been baking gluten free bread as a friend has been diagnosed with celiac disease and I finally found a really nice recipe

My whole gluten eating family really like this bread, great flavour and can also be used for sandwiches as well as toasting.

I did make a few changes and I also cooked the bread in a dutch oven and found I got much better oven spring in the dutch oven over the pizza stone.

Gluten-Free Flax Bread

All ingredients at room temperature

brown rice flour (120 grams)
tapioca flour (70 grams)
surgham flour (33 grams)
potato starch (80 grams)
cornstarch (37 grams)
flax seed meal (37 grams
xanthan gum (7.5 grams)
active dry yeast (7 grams)
salt (6 grams)
2 eggs
2 egg whites
soda water ( 210 grams)
olive oil (23 grams)
honey (43 grams)
apple cider vinegar (8 grams)

Combine flours, flax, starches, gum, yeast, salt.
In the mixer, combine wet ingredients, then add the dry.
Scrape the sides, and mix on medium for 4-5 minutes.

Pour into a floured bread basket, the dough is really sticky but if you wet your hands you can help shape it

and let rise to top of the basket (took about 80 minutes)I covered the basket with cling wrap

The dough is really light and needs to be handled with great care!!! I put a piece of baking paper onto the top of the bread basket and then covered it with a pizza paddle and gently invert it onto the baking paper. I then gently lifted the baking paper/bread into the dutch oven.

Bake at 220 C / 425 F for about 40 minutes in a dutch oven ( I pre heated the dutch oven for 30 minutes)

 Remove from pan and allow to fully cool before cutting.



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Recipe found at What's Cooking America





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