Monday afternoon off and I’ve spent a fair chunk of it finishing off yesterdays baking. More Lebkuchen which have managed to find an appreciative audience (and I’ve still got quite a lot of dough left, the promise that it would make 40 seems to have been a bit conservative but I’m not complaining). I got a new electric whisk on the way home and fresh yeast as well so I could have another go at the current buns. They rose this time – erupted might be a better description, I turned my back for a few minutes and the whole lot came damn near to escaping.
The buns are now out of the oven and have had a vote of confidence from both myself and the Scottish one – still annoyed about yesterdays rubbish results, and having walked into John Lewis as they unpacked the Kitchen Aid of my dreams (a rather fetching dark blue) I’m somewhat underwhelmed with the new whisk (not a fetching blue colour) but at least I feel like I’ve regained control of my kitchen which is something.
I liked the Lebkuchen so much that I’m giving a slightly amended version of the recipe (tailored to what I had in the cupboard) in ‘Tante Hertha’s Viennese Kitchen’:
250g runny honey
125g golden caster sugar
1tsp ground cloves
3tbsp ground cinnamon
80g unsalted butter
90g of dried apricots
150g of mixed nuts – I used mostly hazelnuts with some almonds as the original recipe suggested but imagine walnuts would be nice too.
2 large eggs + another egg to glaze the biscuits
500g plain flour
1tsp bicarbonate of soda dissolved in a tbsp of water.
Mix the honey and sugar in a pan and bring to a gentle boil stirring until the sugar is melted, add the spices and set aside to cool a little.
Melt the butter.
Whizz the fruit and nuts in a blender until they’re at bread crumb consistency and add the flour.
Beat the two eggs until frothy and then mix all the wet ingredients with the dry. It’s a stiff mixture, I started with a wooden spoon and ended up kneading it altogether with my hands which worked much better. Flatten into a manageable slab, wrap in clingfilm and chill in the fridge for a good few hours.
When the dough is good and cold and hard heat the oven to 160°C/ gas 3, roll it out to about half a centimetre thick, and glaze the biscuits with beaten egg before they go in the oven. They will be done in about 20 – 25 minutes, are wonderful, and will apparently keep for about a month in an air tight container (some chance).