The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Luctor et Emergo; video recipe

freerk's picture
freerk

Luctor et Emergo; video recipe

                                          


Managing the Water

Secretly I enjoy the way all of us here in the Low Lands are stumbling into 2012. After days of continuous rainfall and storms coming in, the water levels are rapidly rising. A small stretch of dike in the North has broken, but much worse has been avoided so far by doing what the Dutch were born to do, or so it seems; managing the water. In some parts of the country dikes are broken on purpose to give way to the water in a controlled way. Storm barriers are lowered, risen, unfolded, or whatever which genius technical way they have come up with to protect us from the ever hungry rising water. Don't you love it when a system works? These are the moments that your hard-earned tax money is worth every cent you paid, and more! For instead of huffing and puffing and dragging sacks of sand around, I can sit here behind my computer, with dry feet and not worry about a thing. 'Cause I got some one watching out for me, and all of us out here! The Dutch province of Zeeland ("Sealand") is, when it comes to water, the "epitome" of what it means to be living at or under sea level. Looking at this map, I guess you can figure out why.

Luctor et EmergoThe slogan on their weapon shield reads "Luctor et Emergo", translating into "I struggle and emerge". Even though that slogan goes back a long time and actually refers to the struggle against Spanish occupation in the 16th century, the average Dutchman will associate Zeeland with the biggest disaster ever to hit the province on the 1st of February 1953. In a big storm and the flooding that followed, almost 2000 people drowned and 100.000 people lost everything they owned; their houses, their livestock, everything... They struggled, together with the rest of the country and did indeed "emerge". I an epic mission never to let this sort of thing happen again, they constructed this little baby;

Zeeuwse Bolussen

Brought to Zeeland by the bakers of the Portuguese Sephardic Jews who were forced to flee north at the end of the 15th century, these sticky sweet rolls, traditionally shaped in a spiral, quickly became popular with the locals as well, to such an extent that the "Zeeuwse Bolus" has become the signature bake of the province in modern days. That is another thing the Dutch are quite good at; all through history the Netherlands has been a refuge and safe haven for people on the run. Or should I say; another thing the Dutch WERE good at, because nowadays, even though the biggest part of the world still thinks of The Netherlands as a liberal and tolerant place, the Dutch authorities are sending kids who were raised here out of the country just to set an example. Let this recipe for "zeeuwse bolussen" remind us all how something really good can come from opening up to "strangers" in dire need! Luctor et Emergo indeed...

Ingredients
500 gr. All Purpose Flour
7 gr. Salt 5 gr. Instant Yeast
320 gr. Lukewarm Milk
75 gr. Unsalted Butter
250 gr. Brown Sugar
2 TBS cinnamon
zest of one lemon
Method
Combine the flour, yeast, zest and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer. Work in the softened butter with the tips of your fingers. Add the lukewarm milk. Depending on your flour, you may have to add a little more milk or need to hold a little back. Start with 300 gr. of milk and add more if needed; what you are looking for is a slightly slack dough that will be easy to roll out in strands. Mix until the dough is well-developed, it should pass the window pane test; approximately 10-15 minutes on medium low-speed.

Lightly oil a container, transfer the dough and coat all around with the oil for a first rise of about 45 minutes. After 45 minutes, divide the dough into equal pieces of about 45 grams. You should end up with 14-16 dough pieces. Form the dough pieces into balls and let them rest for 20 minutes, so the dough will be slack enough to form into strands. First roll out all the balls into short strands of about 20 cm.

Mix the brown sugar with the cinnamon and cover your work surface with it . Then roll out the strands in the sugar mixture to a length of about 40 cm. If the dough really resists, you might have to go for a third round of rolling strands after giving it another 10 minutes to relax. Shape the strands into spirals or knots. The spiral is the more traditional way of shaping, but since the rolls come out of the oven really dark brown, I prefer to knot them, just to avoid associations that I won't go into here and now :-)

For spirals: start in the middle and just drape the dough in circles. It is okay to make it look a little rustic and not too neat! For knots: Place a strand horizontally in front of you. Take the ends and form two loops, leaving some space in the middle for proofing. Make a knot on each side of the loop.

Place the formed bolus on a baking sheet, cover and let them proof until puffed and doubled in size, for about 1 hour. Preheat the oven to 250°C/475°F. Bake the "Zeeuwse Bolussen" for about 8 minutes. You want them to be just done, so keep a close eye on your oven. Too long and they will be crusty, too short and they will be gooey.

Please feel free to comment and subscribe if you want me to keep you updated. Also I want to ask you to endorse my growing BreadLab initiative on Facebook; every like gets me closer to realizing a 6 episode "breadomentary", chasing the beast bread the world has to offer. Thanks in advance!

Freerk

Comments

siuflower's picture
siuflower

Love the video and thank you for sharing the recipe.

 

siuflower

freerk's picture
freerk

thank you siuflower!

ehanner's picture
ehanner

Freerk, you my friend have out done yourself with this video. Very creative way to add drama to the ingredient list. Your story is compelling and the rolls look sinfully good. Thank you for sharing.

Eric

freerk's picture
freerk

Thank you so much Eric. I'm on the verge of buying myself a new camera, when you have any suggestions, I'm more than happy to hear about it! I'm dreamingof the EOS 7D or even the 5d mark II, but due to lack of extra money I might have to go for something alittle cheaper!

 

Freerk

ehanner's picture
ehanner

Freerk, I have a batch of your rolls in final proof now. My wife says "Is this a dessert?" Nope just a snack from 600 years ago. I took a couple photos I will post with my bake.

On a camera, I like anything Canon these days. I have a large collection of Nikon gear but the inexpensive Canon shirt pocket models from $100 and up are excellent cameras with crisp clear lenses. For posting on the web, you need not spend more than $150 US.

BTW, the lemon zest goes into the sugar/cinnamon, right?

Eric

freerk's picture
freerk

Wow, tht was fast! I always put the zest in the dough, but it will also work in the sugar mixture :-) I saw your post; great! Thanks for the advice on the camera. I will have to keep looking around until I find the right one :-)

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

I see a post by you.  I can't wait to veiw it.  Thank you for sharing all, Freerk!  Another reason to bake these lovely Zeeuwse Bolussen!

Sylvia 

freerk's picture
freerk

let me know how they turned out when you bake them :-)

freerk

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

Freerk,

I loved this video and the story behind the rolls; the story of your land and it's trials with water.  Thanks you so much for sharing it all.    

I love checking in here and seeing something posted by you because I know I will learn something new and have a tasty morsel too :-).  Food, history, art, geography and politics ;-/ all packaged in a delectable bundle.  ( A distressing report on the young man....)

Take Care,

Janet

freerk's picture
freerk

Hey Janet,

Thanks for the kind words Janet. I'll keep 'em coming if you keep watching them :-D

freerk

jarkkolaine's picture
jarkkolaine

I loved how you combined the pieces of Dutch history with your recipe both in the text and the video! And the rolls look delicious!

Jarkko

shansen10's picture
shansen10

Wonderful combination of artistic talent, history lesson and delicious recipe - thank you!

Sue in Tallahassee

Wild-Yeast's picture
Wild-Yeast

Having sweets to hawk is an ingratiating way to soften one's entrance into a strange land...,

I'm impressed by your creating an entertaining morsel of food history into a national perspective. Nicely done and tasty from the looks of it!

Bien Cordialement, Wild-Yeast

freerk's picture
freerk

It most certainly is! I did a post on ensaimadas not too long ago, and that basically has the same sort of back story to it; Jewish bakers seem to have been at the frontline when it comes to integrating with the locals. Just shows you how important a baker is to a culture and society (and how much the Jewish people have been chased around, I guess...)!

Freerk

FlourChild's picture
FlourChild

Wonderful video and post- love the history and culture, as well as the recipe!  Very inspiring :)

freerk's picture
freerk

I'm blushing here guys! By the way; next up is the Laminated Sandwich Loaf by TXfarmer! Not an easy bake, and certainly a video challenge, but I'm glad he's gonna let me have a swing at it! My first test bake wasn't half bad!

cheers!

 

freerk

varda's picture
varda

Freerk,  It took me awhile to get to this, but I should have done it earlier.   I love your surreal videos, and appreciate the history lesson.   And on top of that, such nice baking.   Then I see that two new posts are up trying your formula immediately after.   What a success!  -Varda

freerk's picture
freerk

I'm a bit baffled by that as well... but I like :-D

That is what I love so much about TFL!

Thnx for ur compliments, it's gonna help me make an even nicer one.

Freerk

 

teketeke's picture
teketeke

Hi Freerk,

Thank you for your great rolls!  I really appreciate for all your work! The video was very helpful for me to make your rolls!

  The crumb is so great!  It was very easy and fun to make because of your nice write up and video. Thank you so much.

Happy baking,

Akiko

freerk's picture
freerk

You did an exceptional job. Don't you love that "pulled dough"-look the rolls have?

Freerk

 

Bertel's picture
Bertel

He Freerk,

 Super filmpje! Vormen gaat wel wat snel... ;-) De ingredientenlijst is werkelijk super, heb je dat gewoon met meel en water gedaan zodat een deel blijft kleven. Werkelijk origineel. Kan nu even niet bakken maar zodra ik in mijn nieuwe huis zit (Italie, en nee het is niet van mij en niet groot, ben oppas) ga ik ze proberen. Laatst een x cinnamon rolls gemaakt maar puur nederlands is natuurlijk veel beter!