Monthly Archives: September 2011

Traditional German dishes…again

I know, this is the 3th solid German recipe in a row…am I boring you? I really hope I am not, because this time I share a traditional dish from the part of Germany I was born: Franconia. Keeping the best for last, I know :)

Franconia is a well known wine region of Germany, famous for it’s white wine ‘Silvaner’. During the months september and october you can buy the early, very sweet version of wine, called Federweißer. It is quite delicious, but you really have to be carefull not to drink too much because you hardly taste the alcohol in it. The traditional food that is served with this drink is onion tart. I guess I don’t have to tell you that the most delicious onion tart is made by my grandma. I tried so many times to duplicate her version, but I never equalled it. For some reason the dough was never as mouth-watering as hers. Finally I tried a dough out of the most traditional cookbook I own and found the missing ingredient. Any guesses?

Yes, it was butter (everything tastes better with butter, doesn’t it?). The topping of my tart is from another cookbook, because I like the flat, but creamy version of onion tart.

Onion tart

for the dough

375g wheat flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

20g fresh yeast

1 tablespoon sugar

250ml lukewarm milk

60g butter

topping

750g onions

2 tablespoons oil

40g flour

350ml milk

200g Edam cheese, grated

3 eggs

200g crème fraîche

salt, pepper, caraway

1. Dissolve the yeast in the milk. Mix the flour with the salt and sugar in a large bowl. Spread the butter in thick flakes over the flour. Pour the milk with yeast over it and knead the dough until smooth. Let the dough rise for about 45min until it has doubled the size.

2. Cut the onions in rings and roast them in the oil until they are golden brown.

3. Preheat the oven to 175°C/350°F. Cover a baking tray with baking paper and roll the dough out on it. Spread the onions on the dough and salt&pepper them. Strew some caraway over the onions (about 1 teaspoon).

4. Mix the milk with the flour and boil it up. Let it shimmer at low heat for 5min – don’t forget to stir it! If you produce glob (I am not able to avoid that…) you can puree it with a hand blender. Melt half of the Edam in the milk. Fold in the crème fraîche and taste to flavour with salt and pepper. Mix the eggs with the topping and spread it evenly over the onions. Strew the remaining cheese over the tart and bake it for 40min, until it has a golden brown colour.

I know, this is still not as good as my grandma’s tart, but it’s definitely the best I can do!


Greetings from Bavaria!

It is Oktoberfest-time! As I live 2 train stations away from this crazy event, I really can’t escape from it. I guess tourists get the impression that ALL German stereotypes are true: people with Lederhosen and Dirndl who drink beer out of steins all the time are dancing on top of ale-benches to silly music :)

I am not the biggest fan of beer (to be honest: I really hate to drink it), but I am a big fan of Bavarian food (or at least the vegetarian dishes). This is the reason I have to share my favourite one: Breznknödl. Many people (at least German people) know and love bread dumplings. But I guess when they try dumplings made of pretzels they don’t want to eat the ones with bread any more!

Breznknödl (pretzel dumplings)

(5-6 dumplings)

4 pretzels (about 240g) from yesterday
1 egg
200ml milk
2-3 tablespoons breadcrumbs
1 onion
1 tablespoon butter
3 tablespoons chopped parsley
salt
aluminium foil

1. Cut or pick the pretzels to small pieces. It is easier if you do it when they are still fresh (then let the pieces dry for 1 day). If the pretzels are too hard to cut, put them into the microwave for 10s, this makes them soft again.

2. Heat the milk and pour it over the pretzel pieces. Let it rest for 10min. During this time, chop the onion and roast it gently in the butter.

3. After the onion has cooled down a bit, add them with the egg and parsley to the pretzel pieces. Knead the dough until smooth and taste it with salt to flavour. If the dough is too sticky, add as many breadcrumbs as you need.

4. Divide the dough into 5-6 even portions and form balls out of it. All of the cookbooks I have told me to put them into the water as they are. But I experienced a lot of accidents, where the dumplings just fell apart in the water. This is why I always put them into aluminium foil to avoid that. I promise that there are no disappointments any longer with this method!

5. Set up a large pot with salted water until it is boiling hot. Put the dumplings into it and let them brew at low heat for 15min. Remove the foil and serve them hot!

Typically you eat them with mushrooms and cream sauce, but I think they also harmonize with red cabbage very well.


May I introduce you to: Dätscher.

This time I’ll present something that my boyfriend cooked for me. It is a specialty from his hometown and he emphasises that you can’t find this delicacy anywhere else. I told him that I just saw the Bavarian specialty ‘Rahmfleckerl‘ at the Oktoberfest which looks kind of the same to me. But after a closer look on the dough I have to admit that they are different.

I really like this special Swabian treat: the dough is fluffy in the middle, crispy at the edge and the filling is simple but delicious! The recipe is from his mother and maybe that is the reason why he is never happy with the result of his dätscher: some dishes just have to be made by your mother/grandmother to taste perfectly. Nevertheless, I only know his version and I keep begging him to dish them up for me! Maybe dätscher have to be made by him to taste right for me :)!?

Dätscher

(serves 4)

for the dough

350g wheat flour

20g fresh yeast

1 teaspoon salt

40g butter

125ml milk

for the filling

200g sour cream

1 egg yolk

salt

1/2 bunch chopped chives

1. Melt the butter and add it with the flour and salt to a large bowl. Dissolve the yeast in the lukewarm milk. Add this mix to the bowl and knead it well. Cover the bowl with a kitchen towel and let it rise at a warm place for 1,5h.

2. Preheat the oven to 250°C/480°F. Roll the dough and cut it to 4 portions. Roll the portions out to little circles Ø 10cm/4inches. Press the middle of the dough a bit that the edge is a bit higher (to avoid the filling is running down).

3. Mix the sour cream with the salt and chives and apply it on top of the dough. Bake it for about 20min, until the dough is golden and the topping has a nice colour. Enjoy it right out of the oven!

Instead of the chives you can also use caraway or spring onions!