Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Baking with Yeast

This April, we're excited to release The Lost Art of Baking with Yeast by Baba Schwartz.

Many cooks would love to utilise the incredible properties of yeast, but lack a guide to inform and inspire them. The Lost Art of Baking with Yeast shows how simple baking with yeast can be, and how irresistible the results.

The book includes recipes for cakes, slices, pastries and buns. You can find two delicious sample recipes below.   


This traditional cake comes from northwest Hungary. It is usually baked for festivals and other special occasions.
Makes four rolls, two with poppy seed and two with walnut filling.

15 g fresh or 1 heaped teaspoon dry yeast
50 g sugar
3 tablespoons warm water
140 g margarine
350 g plain flour
1 egg yolk
¼ cup orange juice
pinch of salt
apricot jam


Nut Filling
1 egg white
100 g sugar
juice of ½ lemon
rind of ½ lemon
150 g ground walnuts or almonds
¼ Granny Smith apple, grated

Poppy Seed Filling
1 cup water
½ cup sugar
250 g freshly ground poppy seed
grated rind of ½ lemon
egg wash for glazing

Dissolve the yeast and a pinch of the sugar in the warm water and set aside to bubble for 5 minutes.

Work the margarine into the flour with your fingers until it resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Add the risen yeast, egg yolk, orange juice, the remaining sugar and salt, mixing by hand to form a dough. Knead, bringing the dough in from the sides of the bowl and pushing it into the middle with your knuckles. The dough should be firm but elastic. If it is too stiff, add a little more orange juice. Continue to knead for 5–6 minutes, then cover and set aside to rest for 30 minutes.

To make the nut filling, beat the egg white and sugar together, add the lemon juice and rind, then mix in the ground nuts and grated apple.

To make the poppy seed filling, put the water and sugar into a small saucepan and heat until the water dissolves. Add the poppy seed, stirring well, and simmer for a few minutes. Remove from the heat and add the lemon rind. If the mixture is too dense, add a little more water.

Preheat the oven to 200°C. Divide the risen dough into four equal portions.

In turn, roll each portion out into a rectangle 35 x 45 cm. Spread a thin layer of the apricot jam over the entire surface. Using a metal spatula or knife, spread a 2–3 mm layer of filling over the layer of jam.

Roll up tightly and press the long side and both ends to seal and enclose the prepared filling. When all four portions of dough have been rolled out and filled, transfer them, seam-side down, to a baking sheet that has been lined with baking paper or well oiled.

Brush with beaten egg and set aside to rest for 10–15 minutes. Prick with a fork at 2.5 cm intervals on the diagonal to form a decorative pattern.

Bake for 30–35 minutes or until golden, rotating the baking sheets after 15 minutes to ensure even browning.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool before cutting, on the diagonal, into 1.5–2 cm slices.

Jam Cornets (Hamentaschen or Oznei Haman)
These are special cakes baked for the Feast of Purim which commemorates Jewish Queen Esther’s saving of her people from destruction by the wicked Haman. In Hebrew, their name means ‘Haman’s ears’. It is traditional to give gifts to the poor and send trays of sweetmeats including these cakes to all one’s friends during the Feast of Purim.

5 g fresh or 1 level teaspoon dry yeast
pinch of sugar
2 tablespoons warm water
150 g margarine
250 g plain flour
100 g caster sugar
2 eggs
rind of ½ lemon

thick jam such as powidl
beaten egg white for glazing

To make the dough, dissolve the yeast and pinch of sugar in the warm water. Cover and set aside to bubble for 5 minutes.

In a large bowl, work the margarine into the flour with your fingers until it resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Add the risen yeast, sugar, eggs and lemon rind, mixing well. Knead for 3–4 minutes, then set aside in a warm place to rise for 25–30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 200°C. Turn out the dough onto a floured work surface and roll it out to a thickness of 3 mm. Cut out circles with a large round cookie cutter. Put a generous spoonful of your preferred filling in the centre of each circle and roll into a cornet shape. Place each cornet on a paper-lined baking sheet.

Brush with the beaten egg white and set aside to rise for 20 minutes. Bake for 25–30 minutes or until golden brown, rotating the baking sheet after 15 minutes to ensure even browning.

The above recipes are just a taster of what you can find in the book. The picture below shows lots of other delicious goodies you can make:

And here's a picture of the results when our very own staff members made some of the recipes (boiled bagels and Kindli):

We can confidently say, if you love baking, you'll love this book! Available now from all good bookstores.


  1. Wow!!! Looks really yummy. I am a food lover and I love to try out various recipes. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

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