I came across Baking Eggless Group on Gayathri's blog, where a group of enthusiastic bloggers lead by Gayathri try out new eggless recipes experimenting with egg substitutes in their own way and according to their experiences. Being a vegetarian I am always in search of eggless recipes. When I read about this challenge, the idea to come out of our comfort zones, experiment on original recipes, find an egg substitute and convert it into an eggless recipe was exciting and this really tempted me to join in. Morever, I was eager to know and read about co-bloggers successful attempts using different egg substitutes for a particular recipe. This year the challenge is focused on baking eggless breads. I immediately contacted and informed her about my interest to join this group. The challenge for the month of March was selected by Priya Srinivasan of Enveetu and it was a Norwegian Christmas Bread "JULEKAKE". Online information hinted me this to be a very popular flavourful bread served as breakfast during Christmas time, a bread richer and more sweet than Christmas bread.
Julekake or Julekage [pronounced as yoo-ley-key-yeh] is loaded with raisins and candied citrons. Gayatri mentioned on the group wall that we can use candied peels of orange or lime instead of citron. I could not locate any of these peels nor could prepare them at home due to shortage of time. I added tutti fruit pieces to the dough in my first attempt. Somehow was not satisfied with my results, probably the flour quantity used was too much as compared to wet ingredients. With a note to myself and pointers of where I must have gone wrong, I decided to prepare it for 2nd time after my return from Abudabhi. Meanwhile, browsed online to find if anybody had tried making this bread without these candied peels which is when I came across two recipes - one here suggesting to use dried cranberries and other recipe here that used orange zest. I planned to go ahead with these ingredients [due to their easy availability] as substitutions for candied citron. [If you find the candied peels you can add 1/4 cup instead of these two ingredients]. The original recipe asked for eggs but I used flax seed powder instead and it turned out great this time. The wonderful scent of cardamom could not be missed as the aroma of baking filled my house.
Recipe source : Out side Oslo
1 and 3/4 cup all purpose flour/ maida
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup dried cranberries
2 and 1/2 tsp yeast
1/4 cup warm water
1/4 tsp salt
2 tbsp butter + extra to grease the bowl
1/4 cup sugar
5 tbsp milk
1 tbsp ground flax seeds powder in 3 tbsp water [ used as egg substitute]
1 tsp orange zest
1/2 tsp cardamom powder
Warm milk in a small saucepan over medium heat. When bubbles begin to form around the edge, remove from the flame and mix in melted butter and sugar. Stir it till the sugar dissolves completely. Add salt and keep it aside to cool down to lukewarm. In a small bowl take fine ground flax powder and gradually add 3 tbsp water and stir it continuously with a fork. Keep this mixture also aside. After few mins you will find this mixture forming a sticky paste.
Make the water lukewarm and sprinkle yeast over it. Leave it aside covered for 10 mins. After the said time you will see the bubble froth at the surface of the solution. Mix well till the yeast dissolves. Add the lukewarm milk mixture, flax mixture and stir it. Add 1 cup of flour, orange zest and cardamom powder. Beat with a wooden spoon until the mixture is smooth. Now add in raisins, dried cranberries and as much of the flour as necessary [I used about 3/4 cup of flour]. Allow it to rest in the bowl covered with a towel for about 10 mins.
For the first rise: Take the dough on a lightly floured surface. Knead it for about 10 mins until the dough turns smooth and elastic. Shape it into a round ball and transfer it to a large lightly greased bowl. Cover the bowl with a towel and set it in a warm place to rise until it doubles in size. [ approx 1 and 1/2 hr]
For the second rise: Punch down the dough and turn on lightly floured surface. Divide the dough into two parts. I shaped one into round ball and the other one as a loaf. Cover them for 10 mins and place in pans lined with parchment paper, greased and dusted with flour. Allow it to rise in a warm place until almost double. [approx 1 and 1/2 hr again]. Once ready to bake, brush the top surface of each loaf with milk, taking care not to press down on it too much. Bake for 15-20 mins, then cover with foil [this is done to prevent over browning] and bake until the loaf gets nice golden brown color [it took me approx 20 mins]. Remove from oven and allow it to cool on wire rack completely. Slice and enjoy it as it is or toasted with butter.
Linking this to Baking Eggless March and Bake Fest #30 by Vardhini hosted by Nandoo's Kitchen