Gingerbread Dan (Bastille)

Gingerbread Dan (#Bastille) | A Dutchie Baking

This post has been in the making a while. It’s difficult to put into words what the music of Bastille has meant to me so far but I’ll give it a try. Bastille’s music to me is like a breath of fresh air in an airtight box. When I’m down it brings me up, when I cry it dries my tears and when I’m happy it heightens my euphoria. It is absolutely and totally liberated. My heart grows a few sizes when I listen to The Anchor or Lethargy or Flaws. There is nothing I’d rather do than imagine two Pompeii victims contemplating their fate or overthinking the madness of the world nowadays with the crisp voice of Dan Smith singing the words to stimulate my brain. Gingerbread Dan (#Bastille) | A Dutchie Baking

I knew no better way than to bring my two passions together on this blog to show my passion for this music. Maybe that makes me a weird fan, maybe that just makes me a bit silly or enthusiastic. I don’t care either way.

I waited to post this article because I wanted to listen to their newest album, Wild World, first (it came out on September 9th). Of course I’d heard quite a few new songs online (hey Youtube! you’re great!) but the album blew me away. In these gingerbread Dans (or Den?) I have incorporated some of my favorite lyrics. You might see a philosophical metaphor in these cookies but I can assure you, it’s just a clever, annoying pun. On the other hand, I’d like to bite into Dan any day of the week so in that regard it’s probably a double metaphor (I’m joking, I’m joking).

#Bastille Themed Gingerbread | A Dutchie Baking

Bastille have started their world tour (see here) but unfortunately I couldn’t get tickets for their Amsterdam gig as I am completely and utterly broke (I’m taking too freaking long on my thesis to be honest and tuition fees are bleh. I’m not one for quitting though.). I did see them once in Leeuwarden though, which was awesome, and I almost saw them during Eurosonic in January 2013. I still wanna hit myself in the face for missing that €15 opportunity at the start of their career! Anyhow, I’ll just act out my fandom by listening to their music every day like I have been doing since 2014 and doing weird stuff like baking Dan in gingerbread. If you wanna do the latter too, the recipe is beneath and I have added some of the templates I used to create the Dans. I used this recipe to make the gingerbread.

**The templates were created by my friend MUAFrou per my request. I’m lousy with Photoshop!

#Bastille Themed Gingerbread | A Dutchie Baking


Template 1 Template 2

Swedish Christmas Plaited Bread

Swedish Christmas Plaited Bread | A Dutchie Baking

It’s that time of year again where people start thinking about Christmas. Well, people like me that is. And people who compete in Christmas bread competitions! Last year, I competed in such a competition as well but didn’t win anything. I’ve applied again and see if I have better luck this time around. I have gone with a Swedish theme, as I love the breads Swedes come up with during December. They are called “lussekatter” and are traditionally eaten during the feast of Saint Lucia. Usually they’re more swirly like these ones but I’ve gone with a plaited bread. It looks stunning but is very easy to do! I’ve also added a lovely crème pat and raisin filling to make it as festive as possible. The gorgeous yellow color is the result of adding saffran – an expensive spice to buy, but we’re allowed to go a little crazy with Christmas right? 🙂

Swedish Christmas Plaited Bread | A Dutchie Baking

Recipe Swedish Christmas Plaited Bread



220 ml full-fat milk
35 grams sugar
0,5 grams saffran
90 grams unsalted butter, softened
350 grams strong white bread flour
6 grams instant yeast
2 grams salt
1 teaspoon ground cardemom seeds
30 grams egg (keep aside the rest for glaze)

Filling & Topping:

250 ml lukewarm full-fat milk
1/2 vanilla pod
50 grams sugar
1 egg yolk
20 grams cornstarch
70 grams rum or cointreau soaked raisins (keep a few aside for topping)
20 grams shaved almonds
  1.   For the dough: grind together the saffran and sugar.  Mix into the milk together with the egg. 
  2.    Mix together flour, salt, sugar, yeast, softened butter and ground cardemom seeds in a bowl. Make sure the yeast doesn’t come into direct contact with the salt or sugar. Pour the milk mixture into the dry ingredients with the machine (fitted with dough hook) running. Knead on setting 2 for about 9 minutes once the dough has come together. Shape dough into a ball and leave to proof in a bowl covered with cling film for about 45 minutes, or until doubled in size.
  3. For the filling: mix 2/3 of the milk with the seeds from the vanilla pod and half of the sugar in a saucepan.  Mix rest of the milk and sugar, egg yolk and cornstarch in a bowl. Bring milk mixture to a boil, take off the heat and pour into the egg mixture while whisking. Pour back into the saucepan and bring to a boil while continuously mixing. Leave to simmer for about 30 seconds, then side aside to cool.
  4.  Form the bread: knock the dough back. Roll out to a 30x40cm rectangle on baking parchment or a silpat mat.  Spread the vanilla cream over the middle of the rectangle lengthwise. The width should be a little less than 1/3 of the total width. Scatter some raisins over the vanilla cream, make sure you leave a few for the topping.
  5.  On either side, cut 2 cm strips diagonally.
  6.  Plait the strips over the middle. If you’ve had to cut away a bit of dough, use it to make roses and leaves and place them on the bread.
  7.  Leave the plait to proof for another 20 min. Preheat the oven to 190C.
  8. Glaze the bread with the leftover egg. Decorate with almond shavings and raisins.
  9.   Bake bread for about 25-30 minutes. Leave to cool on a wire rack underneath a tea towel.

Waterford Blaas – Irish Bread Rolls

Waterford Blaas (Irish Bread Rolls) | A Dutchie Baking

The roots of these lovely Irish rolls lie in the town of Waterford. I came to know of these buns while scrolling on one of my favorite Facebook pages: Artisan Bread Bakers. There is a lot of bread on there that I aspire to make! This particular recipe was posted by Karen from Karen’s Kitchen Stories and it’s a blast to bake ánd eat! The rolls are very fluffy and are great with some butter and cheese. Karen gives the option of eating them with bacon or fries – something I won’t be doing anytime soon 😉

Waterford Blaas (Irish Bread Rolls) | A Dutchie Baking

I have been in Ireland once in my life and loved it. My mother and I took a city trip to Dublin and went on a day trip to Kilkenny and the Wicklow Mountains. The scenery was absolutely stunning and Dublin was a city with character. Subsequently I’ve read some of Roddy Doyle’s work set in Ireland and I have to say, he has become one of my favorite writers. It has also opened my eyes to what went on in Dublin during the Troubles (especially in “A Star Called Henry, my absolute favorite). Anyhow, if you want to conjure up a little part of Ireland, try these lovely Waterford Blaas!

Waterford Blaas (Irish Bread Rolls) | A Dutchie Baking


Waterford Blaas Recipe

Tools: 9×13 inch baking dish


285 to 300 grams lukewarm water
10 grams instant yeast
10 grams sugar
500 grams strong bread flour + extra for dusting
10 grams salt
10 grams unsalted butter, softened
  1. Mix together water, sugar and yeast (start with 285 grams water) in a bowl.
  2. In a seperate bowl, weigh out the flour, salt and butter.
  3. With the machine (fitted with a kneading hook) running, slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry ones. Add more water if necessary. When it has come together into a dough, leave to knead for about 10 minutes or until the dough passes the windowpane test.
  4. Form dough into a ball and place in an oiled bowl. Cover with clingfilm and leave to proof for 40-45 minutes or until doubled in size.
  5. Preheat the oven to 410F/210C. Line the baking dish with baking parchment and flour the bottom.
  6. Once proofed, knock the dough back. Divide into 8 even pieces (about 105 grams a piece) and shape each piece into a ball by cupping your hand around it. Place into the baking dish, there should be 4 x 2 buns. Cover dish with clingfilm and leave to proof for 45 minutes or until the rolls have doubled in size.
  7. Before going into the oven, dust the rolls with some flour. Bake for 18-20 minutes. Once baked, take the rolls out of the baking dish and place them on a wire rack. Dust off some of the flour with a pastry brush. Leave to cool, or eat slightly warm. Enjoy!

Pickwick Tea Cookies

Pickwick Tea Cookies | A Dutchie Baking

Tea and the Netherlands are tightly intertwined. For centuries, children have come home from school to be served a hot mug of tea and milk and gossip has been exchanged over dainty cups of amber liquid. They say the Netherlands is a coffee country, but secretly, we couldn’t do without tea. I’ve used a classic Dutch tea brand (Pickwick) in these delicate cookies.  Pickwick Tea Cookies | A Dutchie Baking

You can use any black tea in these cookies, but if you can find Pickwick, you will get the ultimate Dutch flavor. It is usually sold in speciality expat stores where there are Dutchies or people of Dutch descent around. These cookies are perfect on a rainy autumn day!

Pickwick Tea Cookies | A Dutchie Baking

Pickwick Tea Cookies

2 tablespoons Pickwick Dutch blend tea
1/4 cup caster sugar
1/4 cup icing sugar
1 1/4 cup plain flour
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons milk
1/2 cup butter, slightly softened, diced
1/2 cup icing sugar
lemon juice


  1. Toast the tea in a non-stick skillet for about 1-2 minutes or until fragrant. Pulse tea together with sugars, flour and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Add vanilla extract, milk and butter and pulse until the dough starts to come together. Add more milk if necessary. Shape dough into a 1 ½ inch thick log and wrap log into cling film. Leave to rest in the freezer for at least 30 minutes. While the dough is resting, preheat the oven to 350 F/170 C.
  2. Cut 1/3 inch slices off the log and place on a baking tray lined with baking parchment with a few inches between each cookie. Bake in the oven for 10-12 minutes or until the edges of the cookies start browning. Leave to cool on a wire rack.
  3. Mix icing sugar with lemon juice – use as much lemon juice as will yield you a pipeable consistency. Fill a piping bag with a small round nozzle with the icing and pipe straight lines onto the cookies (or any other design you like). Enjoy!


Strawberry Choux Buns

Strawberry Choux Buns | A Dutchie Baking

Summer is about over, but while I can still get strawberries for a reasonable price, I’ll chomp ’em down without shame. Strawberries are best with a bit of whipped cream so I combined them both in a lovely fluffy choux bun.Strawberry Choux Buns | A Dutchie Baking

These buns are perfect to make for afternoon tea, they’re delicate and delicious. Best served with some proper tea! I’ve recently gotten into green tea, I never like the flavor but something apparently clicked where I love it now. Matcha is still too grassy for me though. I found this amazing shop in Coevorden (the Netherlands) where they sold art-related tea, so I am now the proud owner of “Mona Lisa’s Smile” tea and “Vermeer’s Street” tea. Both are equally yummy and I’m sad because the end is in sight for both of ’em. What’s your favorite tea and would you serve it with these buns?

Strawberry Choux Buns | A Dutchie BakingRecipe Strawberry Choux Buns 

First published in DUTCH the Magazine; yields 6 choux buns

1/3 cup water

1.4 oz. butter
1/3 cup plain flour
2 eggs

1 ½ cup whipping cream
1 ½ tablespoon caster sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
heaped cup of chopped strawberries
3 small strawberries, halved

  1. Preheat the oven to 390 F/200 C.
  2. In a saucepan over medium heat, bring water and butter to a boil. Lower the heat and add the flour all at once. Stir with a wooden spoon for 1-2 minutes. Set aside to cool for 5 minutes. When cooled, add one egg at once and beat furiously with a wooden spoon until incorporated. Break another egg into a bowl and beat with a fork. Add a little to the mixture at a time while beating. The mixture is done when it just falls off the spoon (you might not need the whole second egg).
  3. Fill a piping bag fit with a large round nozzle with the batter. Pipe 6 even-sized heaps of the batter onto a baking tray lined with baking parchment. Bake in the oven for 25 minutes, then turn the oven off. Prick a hole in the bottom of each bun with a knife to let the steam out, then return to the oven for 15 minutes. Leave to cool completely.
  4. Whip the cream with the sugar and vanilla extract. Fill a piping bag fit with a star nozzle with the cream. Slice the bottom off each bun. Pipe cream onto the bottom half and into the top half of each bun. Top the bottom half with the chopped strawberries, then sandwich the top on. Pipe a rosette on top of each bun and top with a half strawberry. Serve on the same day.