The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

The making of a "Frisian Sugarbread", not for the fainthearted!

freerk's picture

The making of a "Frisian Sugarbread", not for the fainthearted!

Dear TFL'ers,


I promised to put up my recipe for a Frisian Sugarbread a few weeks ago. It took me a little longer to gain control of this larger than life loaf. Not for the the fainthearted; this bread is exactly what it promises to be; a luxurious sugarbomb!!

Here are some pics, and make sure to check out the video at the end!!! feedback appreciated :-)



and the crumb


Here is my step by step video on how the whole thing comes together:

P.S. You would do me a big favor endorsing my BreadLab iniative. Every "like" will get me closer to realizing a 6 episode documentary/road movie; chasing the best bread Europe has to offer. Thanks in advance!


nicodvb's picture

why it's called sugarbread:-) but sugar-butter-bread would be a more appropriate name.

What to say other than wow!! I'm still salivating.

Can you explain how you work the ingredients? They seem to be stirred with a spoon rather than kneaded. Also, the sugar at the end is very unusual.

freerk's picture

yes, you are absolutely right, this baby is chock full and loaded with both sugar and butter :-)

Traditionally this bread is a lot less rich, but I was looking for a"rich man upgrade" for the slightly flat tasting original recipe.

I added the saffron and the crushed cardemom. it works really nicely.


The pearl sugar can be bought at some places here and are mostly used for making the more traditional version of this frisian sugarbread. If there's none available in your area, it is easily made by adding a little water to casterd sugar. Mix it all up into "pearls" and let it dry. They will be a little more "spikey" than the nicely rounded shape of the ready made pearls, but they will do their job just fine.


I worked alll the ingredients with a hand mixer, but transferred the result to a clean bowl after every stage, just to keep the images of the video nice and clean and crispy :-). I made an enormous mess in the kitchen, although you can never tell from the video :-)


thanx for your feedback!



Jaydot's picture

Your video makes making this look like a piece of cake... er... sukerbôle :).
Well done, it looks great and I bet it tastes great too!
I never knew there was saffron in the recipe, very exotic.

freerk's picture

There are some really wild regional variations in this recipe. This one (the saffron) caught my attention. Since I was looking for a "rich man's sugarbread" it seemed the perfect candidate to give the taste a nice rich twist. The little explosions of cardemom (crushed and sprinkled on in the last 15 minutes of the bake) also help.


The bake is tricky. The sugar can cause some serious trouble. It's a struggle between the super rising dough and the heavy melting sugar. I bake it with a relatively low temp to accomodate as much rising as possible in the first 20 minutes.


The "hat" of the bread can easily collaps into itself. I fixed the problem by giving it a reinforcing egg wash in the last 15 minutes of the bake. Don't do it too soon or you'll risk an unexpected eruption of dough in a weak spot :-)


thnx for your nice words!



breadsong's picture

Hello freerk,
Your sugarbread does sound rich!
Thanks for the video instruction.
I was amused by your text resizing for...
"when fully proofed!"
from breadsong


freerk's picture

hey breadsong,


That was a total coincidence, but it made me laugh as well, so I left it that way :-)

Syd's picture

That is one truck load of sugar!  What kind of super strain of  osmotolerant yeast are you using there?  Looks delicious, Freerk.  I like the video, too. 



freerk's picture

I didn't have any osmotolerant yeast, so I used just regular instant, and although it struggled to keep itself up it did the job! But it's walking a thin line between succes and failure with these massive amounts of butter and sugar.


I had a few attempts that went wrong because the "hat " of the bread would collapse. I gave the bread an eggwash at the beginning of the bake; NOT a good idea; the dough just kept on coming and broke trough in unwanted places, so i solved it by giving it an eggwash in the last 15 minutes of the bake to reinforce the "hat". That seemed to work, even though the bread comes out almost topheavy, with more dough in the hat than in the base, hihi...


It's a bit over the top in richness, this bread, but by Jove, doezzzzz it tazzzzte good. Now I'm buzzzing off to work :-)


greetzzzz from amzzzzterdam




Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

while watching and listening to your video.  Oh how I envy your skills!  They did a little sugar plum fairy dance in the middle of the kitchen before they disappeared.

Thank you!

hanseata's picture

you would enjoy together with a cup of Frisian Tea with Kluntjes....


freerk's picture

East Frisian roots huh ;-)

O yes! It would be perfect with acup of strong black tea, served east Frisian style with heavy cream and "kluntjes"! I totally forgot about that, thanks for the tip!

hanseata's picture

To fortify your stomach for that feast you should probably add some rum to your East Frisian tea.

By the way, Freerk, do you have in Holland also the East Frisian fortified coffee with cream version, called Pharisaer?


freerk's picture

I think we used coffee with "beerenburg" instead of rum, than covered with cream by the same name!

Mike_Vienna's picture


when you chase down the best bread in Europe make sure to stop by in Austria!

I like your video a lot so I also liked your BreadLab initiative.




freerk's picture

thanx Mike, it's nice to be finally able to embed them here on the TFL site.


thomaschacon's picture
thomaschacon (not verified)

This looks delicious, Freerk. 

I can't save the video and will probably lose it to the vast Internet, so I transcribed it. Hope you don't mind me posting the transcription, as I know how much work goes into video productions of this sort (a lot more than most realize!). If you do mind, let me know and I'll delete (or ask Floyd to delete) the post.

Frisian Sugarbread
The BreadLab:
Photo and video of entire process:


64 g (2.25 oz) bread flour
113 g (4 oz) milk, lukewarm (98-105 F, 37 to 41 C)
9 g (.33 oz) instant yeast

To make sponge, combine flour, milk, and yeast and ferment for 30 minutes.


454 g (16 oz) bread flour
233 g (8.25 oz) eggs, slightly beaten (~ 4 to 5 large eggs)
11 g (.38 oz) salt
454 g (16 oz) butter, unsalted, room temperature
Seeds of two cardamom pods
7 g (2 heaped teaspoons) cinnamon, ground
Pinch of saffron (~10-15 threads)
350 g (12 oz) sugar, pearl (Note. If you can't find pearl sugar, wet some caster sugar (sold as 'superfine sugar' in USA), mix until it looks like pearls, and let it dry)

Add eggs to sponge and whisk until smooth.
In another bowl, combine flour, salt, sugar, cinnamon, and saffron.
Add these ingredients to the sponge/egg mixture and stir until evenly distributed.
Let mixture rest for 5 minutes.
Gradually work in a quarter (1/4) of the butter at a time, waiting until each assimilates before adding more.
Continue mixing for about 6 minutes until very well mixed; the dough will be very smooth and soft.
Refrigerate dough for about 4 hours.
Work pieces of the pearl sugar into the chilled dough, holding back a handful of pearl sugar for later.
Turn out the cold dough onto a lightly floured work surface.
Roll out the dough into a rectangle about the width of the biggest bread/loaf pan you have.
Add the handful of pearl sugar to the dough.
Roll up the dough as tightly as you can manage.
Place the dough into a lightly oiled bread pan, lightly oil the loaf itself, and cover with plastic cling wrap.
Let loaf rest until it's fully risen/proofed.
When fully proofed, bake the Frisian sugarbread for about 50 minutes on 180 C (360 F).
In the last 15 minutes of the bake, give to loaf a quick egg wash and sprinkle over the cardamom seeds.

freerk's picture

That is wonderful! I don't mind at all, that is what sharing is about isn't it? Thank you so much for the transcript