The Fresh Loaf

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Two versions of açma/acma, sourdough chocolate sheet cake & matcha braided loaf

Kistida's picture

Two versions of açma/acma, sourdough chocolate sheet cake & matcha braided loaf

A few months ago, I stumbled upon these puffy soft bagels called açma/acma while learning how to braid strands of dough. But I never got around to studying about their ingredients. They are so easy and fun to make. Unlike simit with its crispy crust, açma is soft and bun-like. I turned the doughs into different kinds of twists and rolls. The ones above were topped with chopped walnuts, brown sugar and maple butterscotch glaze.

Topped with cheddar and sesame seeds

First two batches were made with instant yeast and sourdough discard*

Açma with sourdough discard and instant yeast

100g starter discard (100% hydration)
40g honey or sugar
90g whole milk
100g Greek yogurt
1 large egg
1g instant yeast
350g all purpose flour
8g salt
50g light olive oil

1 large egg
1 tsp milk
A pinch of sugar
A pinch of salt

Toppings / fillings
Cheddar, shredded or chopped
Sesame seeds
Chopped walnuts with brown sugar
Unsalted butter, softened
Maple butterscotch glaze (recipe further down)

Prepare the eggwash
Whisk the egg, milk, salt and sugar. Cover and set aside in the fridge.

Prepare the dough

Whisk sugar/honey in the yogurt, milk and egg. Add the flour and yeast. Mix on low speed for about 3-5 minutes until the dough comes together. Cover and let the dough rest for 15 minutes.

Then, mix in salt and oil. Once these are absorbed, continue kneading at medium low speed for about 5-10 minutes, until the dough reaches windowpane stage.

Let the dough rise for 45 minutes at 23-25°C.

On a lightly oiled counter, gently deflate and perform stretch and fold on the dough. Then, shape it into a boule and return the dough to the bowl.

First proof
For a more flavorful açma, cover and let the dough rise in the fridge (4-5°C) for the next 10 − 14 hours.

To make the açma on the same day, cover and let the dough rise for another 45 minutes at 23-25°C. Then, chill the dough for 2 hours.

Remove the chilled dough from the fridge about 10 minutes before shaping. Divide the dough on the lightly oiled work surface into 40 - 80g pieces of dough.

Shape the dough pieces into thick logs, cover and rest them seam side down for 10−15 minutes.

To make plains bagel buns: use 60-80g dough per bun. Roll each dough log to about 20-25cm and then seal the ends together to form a bagel.

To make braided rings similar to simit: use 2 pieces of dough weighing about 40-50g.  Roll the dough to log to about 20-25cm in length. Take two strands of dough and twist them together like a braid. Seal the ends together to form a twisted bagel.

To make with filling (optional): flatten the dough pieces before rolling them. Brush a thin layer of softened butter on 2/3 width of the dough. Or add fillings like dried fruits and nuts. Roll the dough from the longer edge into a log. Seal the seams and continue rolling to about 20-25cm. Then proceed to twist or form single strand bagels.

If the dough pieces keep contracting when rolling, do not force them. Cover and let them relax for 10−15 minutes and then roll them out to the desired length.

Place the shaped bun at least 5-10cm apart from each other on parchment-lined baking sheet. With a pencil, mark 0.5 to 1cm points from the base the shaped dough to mark the rise of the dough.

Final proof
For fluffy soft açma: Loosely cover the shaped dough pieces with cling film and tea towel. Let them proof for about 60 minutes at 23-25°C or until the shaped dough reaches between the two markings.

About 15 minutes before the end of the proof, brush the shaped açma with egg wash.

Then sprinkle toppings, if using.

For bagel-like açma: once shaped, brush each shaped dough with egg wash and add toppings. Let them rest uncovered for 30-45 minutes. Then, bake as described.

At least 30 minutes before bake time, preheat the oven to 200°C. Place a heat proof casserole in the bottom rack with 2 cups of water.

Bake with steam for 15 - 20 minutes turning the baking sheet halfway, until the buns are golden and the internal temperature is at least 93°C.

Transfer the baked açma to cool on a rack. Cover with a tea towel to keep them soft.

This most recent batch were made with ripe sourdough, Tangzhong and semola rimacinata flour. I baked them on the same day and instead of letting them get too puffy, these had a shorter final proof for a more chewy, bagel-like texture.

Filled with butter, dark chocolate chips or laminated with hazelnut spread. Fun to make but tough to produce consistent shapes!

Sourdough açma

Starter 21-23°C 8-10 hours
- my starter has been consistently producing zero-sour breads with ratios like the one

2g starter
55g all purpose flour
55g water
2g sugar

15g all purpose flour
75g whole milk

All of the Tangzhong
100g starter (100% hydration)
15g milk
90g Greek yogurt
50g 1 large egg
40g sugar
114g Semola rimacinata flour
201g all purpose flour
7g salt
40g light olive oil

1 large egg
1 tsp milk
A pinch of sugar
A pinch of salt

Unsalted butter
Hazelnut chocolate spread
Dark chocolate chips
Sesame seeds

Preparation of the dough is the similar as the first batch. Prepare the Tangzhong first, then let it cool while preparing the rest of the ingredients. Add the Tangzhong together with rest of the dough ingredients.

Once the dough is smooth and elastic, let it proof for 1 hour at 23-25°C. Then, deflate, stretch and fold the dough on an oiled counter. Shape it into a boule and return to the proofing bowl.

First proof
Cover and let the dough rise for another 2 hours at 23-25°C. Then, chill the dough for 2 hours.

Shaping - similar steps as the instant yeast version above.

Final proof
For a bagel-like açma: Once shaped, brush each shaped bun with egg wash. Let them rest uncovered for 45-60 minutes. Then, brush another layer of egg wash (optional) and add the toppings and bake as described.

For fluffy soft açma: Loosely cover with cling film and tea towel. Let the shaped buns proof for 1 to 1.5 hours at 23-25°C or until the dough reaches between the two markings on the parchment.

Bake the açma the same way as the previous recipe.

The recipes above were adapted from these links:

Maple Butterscotch glaze/drizzle
- optional post-bake drizzle
- can also be used on cookies/cakes

30g brown sugar
50g maple syrup
1/4 tsp lemon juice
30g unsalted butter
60g cream or whole milk
A pinch of salt

Heat the ingredients over medium low heat. Stir until all the sugar has dissolved and butter is melted, then increase the heat to medium and bring the mixture to a boil.

As soon as it begins to boil, reduce the heat to low and let the mixture boil slowly for 5-10 minutes without stirring. Swirl the pan 2-3 times during the cooking period.

Remove from heat, loosely cover and let the glaze cool to room temperature before use. It will thicken as it cools. Drizzle over anything and everything because it's soooo gooood.

The next bake is one of my two favorite cakes at the moment: sourdough discard eggless chocolate cake (the other being a pandan yogurt cake)

Since I always have a little jar of discard* in the fridge, I started using them in my chocolate cakes instead of my usual buns/loaves.

A while back, I posted a recipe for a mini chocolate sheet cake using a 1/8 sheet pan. Sadly, a mini chocolate cake only serves 1, not enough to share. This recipe bakes in a quarter (1/4) sheet pan and contains no egg :)

Might've gone a little over with the white chocolate doodles here

Sourdough discard eggless chocolate sheet cake

120g all purpose flour
40g cocoa powder
90g brown sugar
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
50g 70% dark chocolate, chopped
120g sourdough discard
60g plain Greek yogurt
60g whole milk
15g (1 tbsp) lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla extract
40g unsalted butter, melted
40g light olive oil
120g freshly brewed coffee, hot

Chocolate glaze
60g unsalted butter
20g cocoa powder
80g semisweet/dark chocolate, chopped
A pinch of salt
3 - 4 tbsp whole milk/cream
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Optional: 2 tsp coffee liqueur or rum, 1/4 tsp instant coffee, 2-3 tbsp chocolate chips or toasted walnuts/pecans, shredded coconut
For doodles: White chocolate, melted

Prepare the cake
Preheat the oven to 180°C. Grease and line a quarter sheet pan with parchment paper.

Whisk together all purpose flour, cocoa powder, brown sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt and chopped chocolate in a medium bowl. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, mix starter discard, yogurt, whole milk, lemon juice, vanilla extract, melted butter and olive oil until the mixture is smooth.

Fold in the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients in 2-3 parts until just combined and with very little dry bits visible.

Then, add in the hot coffee and stir until the mixture is smooth. The batter will be is thin.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and gently tap the pan on the counter to release any trapped air bubbles.

Bake in the oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean or the cake bounces back when gently pressed with a fingertip.

Prepare the glaze:
While the cake is baking, prepare the dark chocolate glaze.

In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium-low heat. Stir in the cocoa powder, chopped chocolate, salt and 3 tbsp milk until the mixture is well-combined and smooth. Add another tbsp of milk for a thinner, pourable glaze (will take longer to set) and will make a fudgier cake.

Remove the pan from heat and whisk in vanilla extract and chopped nuts and liqueur (if using).

Immediately, when the cake comes out of the oven, prick holes all over the top of the cake with a tooth pick. Then, pour the glaze all over. Use an off-set spatula to spread the frosting to the edges of the pan. Add toppings, if using.

Let the cake cool for at least 30 minutes before serving or let it set completely for 1-2 hours in the fridge.

Use a plastic disposable knife or a warm sharp knife to cut the cake for clean cut edges.

Lastly, here's another braided/swirly loaf! This time, with matcha, AP and semola rimacinata flour:

Matcha milk loaf with AP & semola rimacinata

100g whole milk
20g all purpose flour

All of the Tangzhong
80g whole milk
1 large egg
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
120g starter discard (100% hydration)
220g all purpose flour
100g Semola rimacinata flour
2g instant yeast
50g sugar
6g salt
50g unsalted butter
15g light olive oil

Matcha dough
3g matcha powder sifted mixed with 5g whole milk. Mix into 330g (approx 40%) of the dough

Proofing temp: 22-24°C
First proof: 1 hour 30 minutes
Preshape, laminate both doughs: approx 15-30 minutes
Final proof: 1 hour 15 minutes or until the dough is about 2cm or 0.75" from the rim of the pan

Bake in a 9x4x4 Pullman loaf pan at 180°C 25 minutes with lid on, 20-25 minutes without, until internal temperature is at least    93°C.

*Sourdough discard
While I think it's ideal to keep little-to-zero discard for my starter, I feel "bad" whenever I remove a large portion for baking and then in that container, there's only this miserable 2-3g left. So, to keep them happier with more "friends", I feed them at a 1:5:5 (and sometimes with 1g sugar as a treat) in between bakes, whether on the counter or in the fridge. :)

These are some of the bakes that made it into my phone during the last couple of months; sometimes these bakes/makes get eaten way sooner than expected :p

3 versions of the same Queen Elizabeth date cake for my husband's birthday this year: 3" square, 4" rectangle, 6" round. Coconut ermine frosting with maple coconut butterscotch glaze.

Leftover paska dough turned into coconut braids (top) and pork floss & sesame twists

Mini sourdough focaccia with spiced onions, tomatoes and olives made in a 1/8 sheet pan

Mini sourdough pizzas with an awesome curry sauce from Glebe Kitchen and pulled chicken

Matcha & coconut butter mochi cake

Happy holidays (Canada Day and long weekend)! :p

- Christi


Econprof's picture

seeing your posts. Is there a recipe anywhere for the queen elizabeth date cake, or is it mostly your own creation? It looks like a lovely celebration cake.

Kistida's picture

The recipe I use is modified from another Canadian at Urban Cottage Life. I baked this last May too! :D

For this year, I made two batches, one was baked in a quarter sheet pan and another in 2x 6" round cake pans.

180g dates, pitted and chopped
180g water
1 tsp baking soda
1 tbsp rum (optional)

200g all purpose flour, sifted
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
A pinch of nutmeg/allspice
113g unsalted butter*, softened
80g coconut/brown sugar
1 large egg, beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract
120g heavy cream or coconut milk or mix
All of the cooked dates

Coconut maple butterscotch glaze
100g brown sugar
1/2 tsp lemon juice
80g unsalted butter
100g unsweetened desiccated coconut
60g 35% cream
40g maple syrup or honey
1/8 tsp salt (skip if using salted butter)

The bake times at 180°C:
6" round cake 30-35 minutes
1/4 sheet pan: 25-30 minutes

*I plan to make this recipe again with some orange blossom water but with oil instead of butter, perhaps with an easier method of mixing (I don't like the creaming method)

- Christi

Econprof's picture

Not being Canadian, I had not heard of this cake. I initially assumed it was a variation on a very old recipe dating back to Queen Elizabeth I, but a Google search corrected me on that one.

I may try this for my birthday in October. I finally got some 6 inch cake pans, which have opened up a lot of possibilities.

Isand66's picture

Everything looks amazing 🤩.  Thanks for sharing your creative baking.

Kistida's picture

Fun to make, fun to eat! :p


- Christi

Benito's picture

Christi, everything that you bake is so artistically presented.  Your shaping of all those buns and bagels is so lovely and quite uniform despite your comment to the otherwise.  Now where are those videos you promised you’d post of your braiding?  Happy Canada Day, I hope you and your family have a great long weekend.


Kistida's picture

I thought I did share a series of braiding steps a few moons ago? My old brain doesn't have the capacity to learn video skills Benny!

Happy long weekend to you and your loved ones too :D

- Christi