Oh, how I miss this event! Zorra hosts the World Bread Day annually and this year I just couldn’t afford to miss it again. I haven’t been making bread for quite some time, so this is about time to roll my sleeves and dig into the flour.
The Italians have biscotti, we Indonesians have Bagelen. A twice baked bread with extreme crispiness, you’ll find yourself covered in all crumbs after you finished one. Bagelen is simply a dinner roll cut in half, spread with lots of whipped butter and powdered sugar then baked again until very crisp and the sweet butter melted to a perfect shine. The trick is after you cut the roll in half, you have to let it stale overnight. A stale bread is dryer than the fresh one, this guarantees the crispiness of the Bagelen when baked again later the second time. Yes, you’re thinking someone in the past just couldn’t let any bread go wasted, hence this bread was created. I wondered where the name Bagelen came from, so I Googled it and discovered that we have an area in Purworejo, Central Java, named Bagelen! Seriously, never heard about it before! So this nibble was originated there and naturally came the name. Parmesan for Parma, Bagelen for Bagelen. Sweet.
Now, let’s bake. Here I used basic soft bread recipe and real butter for the spread. You can use any bread recipe you fancy, or just buy one, then whip up the spread. That simple. And that good.
Basic Soft Bread
by Fatmah Bahalwan
500 gr bread flour
100 gr sugar
100 gr butter
11 gr instant yeast
1/2 tsp bread improver
4 egg yolks
300 ml iced water
1/2 tsp salt
- Mix together all the dry ingredients except for the salt.
- Add 200 ml water (reserve the rest for adjustment) and egg yolks. Blend together and knead until the dough forms a ball.
- Add butter and salt, knead until the dough does not stick to the bowl anymore and becomes elastic.
- Roll the dough long, cut into 20-30 gr pieces, roll each dough into a ball.
- Cover with plastic, let them rise twice their initial volume (about 1-2 hour). Brush the surface with a runny mixture of egg and milk, bake at 180 degree celsius until done.
- Cut the bun in half, let it stale overnight. The next morning, turn on your oven at160-170 degree celsius, spread it with Butter Spread, bake until crisp.
by me, or whoever, it’s barely a recipe anyway
200 gr butter
200 gr powdered sugar –> yes, you can use icing sugar 🙂
1/2 tsp vanilla extract –> this is important, do not omit!
- Mix all ingredients together until fluffy.
- A bread is done when it’s light, producing hollow sound when tapped.
- The remaining 100 ml water is for adjustment. When you feel the dough is too thick or too hard, soften it by adding some more water until it’s pliable. The water content in flour is different from one place to another due to different humidity, etc. So be flexible and have fun 🙂
So this is once again for bread on the World Bread Day. A celebration on one food that’s been feeding the world for centuries. Our prophets ate them, our founding fathers loved them. Let us eat, drink, and be merry. For the world of bread is the world of unity. Hail to bread!