This month we are testing and finalising recipes for Ice Trains and Snow Foods, Tastes of Turkey, Lazy Vegan, Meatballs of Europe and Legendary Dishes.

bread buns made with apple juice


500 g strong white wheat flour
225 ml apple juice, natural cloudy
100 ml full cream
15 g yeast 
8 g salt
Butter, for greasing

Grease a large rectangular baking tray with butter. Combine flour and salt in a large bowl in a warm area. Dissolve yeast in half the apple juice, add the cream. Add yeast mixture and remaining juice to the flour and salt, knead into a smooth dough. Leave to rise for 50 minutes, degas. Rise again for an hour, degas. Divide dough into 10 equal pieces, around 80 g each, shape into rolls, place them on buttered tray, leave to rise again, for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 200ºC. Bake in the middle of the oven for 20 minutes.

sugar buns

Sugar buns? An indelicate description for these delightful breads.


500 g / 16⅔ oz zopf flour 
(or 80% strong white flour, 10% barley flour, 10% spelt flour) 
165 ml / 5½ fl oz milk, lukewarm 
1 egg, beaten 
50 g / 1⅔ oz butter, softened 
40 g / 1⅓ oz sugar 
1 orange, zest 
1 lemon, zest 
45 g / 1½ oz pistachios, chopped 
45 g / 1½ oz sultanas 
20 g / ⅔ oz yeast 
Saffron powder, pinch 
Salt, large pinch 

1 egg, beaten 
45 g / 1½ oz pearl sugar

Dissolve yeast and saffron in half the milk. Leave to froth. Sieve flour into a large bowl with salt and sugar. Add remaining milk, yeast mixture and then incorporate butter and egg. Stir in the zest, pistachios and sultanas. Knead into a smooth dough, cover and leave to rise for an hour. Degas, divide into ten pieces, around 60 g each. Place on baking trays covered with greaseproof paper, leave to rise for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 180ºC. Brush buns with egg wash, sprinkle with pearl sugar. Bake for 25 minutes.

Schwein mit Kraut
pork and cabbage


A traditional dish that remains very popular, despite Austria’s haute cuisine obsessions.

1 kg / 2 lbs 3 oz pork, bite-sized pieces
1 large green cabbage, shredded
600 g / 1lb 8⅓ oz onions, sliced
250 ml / 1 cup water
100 g / 3⅓ oz butter
90 ml / 3 fl oz sour cream
30 ml / 1 fl oz sunflower oil
15 g / 1 tbsp paprika

In a large pot fry onions in half of the butter, about 15 minutes, sprinkle with paprika, add water, pork and seasonings. Simmer for an hour, until pork is tender. Immediately saut. cabbage in remaining butter and oil for ten minutes, add sour cream, season, cover, reduce heat and simmer for an hour. Add cabbage to pork, stir, cover and cook for 30 minutes.

Icli Köfte
beef, bulgar and walnut meatballs


The Turks took these delightful Assyrian meatballs to their hearts (and stomachs) a very long time ago, and now produce numerous variations on the very old original recipe. In Istanbul the proliferation of Syrian restaurants has increased the competition to produce the best icli k.fte. (See notes below.)


500 ml / 2 cups + ⅔ fl oz / approx. 1 pint water, boiled
350 g / 11⅔ oz bulgur, fine ground
150 g / 5 oz semolina, fine ground
30 g / 1 oz walnuts, fine ground
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp sweet paprika
1 tsp salt
Semolina, coarse, for coating

Soak bulgar and semolina in the hot water, leave to rest for 30 minutes, then add the walnuts and seasonings. Wet hands and knead into a soft dough.


250 g / 8⅓ oz beef, double minced
200 g / 6⅔ oz onions, chopped
100 g / 3⅓ oz walnuts, coarse chopped / fine ground
4 tbsp fresh mint, finely chopped (optional)
4 tbsp parsley, finely chopped (optional)
30 ml / 1 fl oz olive oil
30 ml / 1 fl oz pomegranate molasses
15 g / ½ oz red pepper (paprika) flakes
45 g / 1½ oz red pepper paste / tomato paste (quantity optional)
1 tsp sumac, ground

Sauté onions in oil, about 15 minutes. Add the meat, break and fry for three minutes. Add paprika, sumac and walnuts. Increase heat, stir for three minutes until the walnuts release their oil. Stir in the molasses and paste, leave to cool. If desired, work the herbs into the mixture. Divide dough into walnut-sized pieces, about 30 g each. Using thumb and forefinger make a cavity with thin sides in the bulgar dough. Place 10 g of filling inside the cavity, push down and fold dough over the filling, seal and shape into a ball. Deep fry in sunflower oil at 190°C until golden or shallow fry in a large frying pan or bake in a 200°C oven or boil in salted water. Note: The pastes can be bought in jars but they are easy to make if good fresh red peppers and tomatoes, preferably Turkish, are available. For a colourful description on how to make red pepper paste go to

Note: The crust for icli köfte is not always made with bulgar. Semolina became a crust ingredient along with nuts aeons ago. Wheat grits have also played a part while in more recent centuries potatoes have been combined with eggs and flour. Some recipes call for double-ground meat to be added to the various flours that define the crust. The bulgar can be coarse ground and also fine ground, the latter producing a crispy crust. The cooking method is also variable. According to Sahrap Soysal, author of A Cookery Tale, fried icli köfte are called irok, while the boiled version is known as igdebet.

Pan de Nueces
sweet walnut bread

This typical sweet walnut bread has many guises as a bread and as a cake-bread, with various enrichments, such as butter, sugar and sultanas. Generally though it is a simple flour, water / milk, walnut, salty yeasted bread. This version includes lemon rind, fine grated, worked into the dough with a little vanilla sugar to give a hint of sweetness.

150 ml milk / water, warmed
150 g strong white wheat flour
125 g white wheat flour
50 g walnuts, coarse chopped
1 lemon, rind, grated
30 g vanilla sugar
20 g butter, softened  / olive oil
15 g yeast
5 g salt
Butter, for greasing

Dissolve yeast in the warm milk or water. Sieve flour into a large bowl, add salt, sugar and yeast mixture. Work into a dough, adding butter or oil in small amounts until the dough is soft and spongy, dough temperature 26ºC. Leave to rise for 50 minutes, degas, leave to rise for a further 50 minutes. Grease a baking tray. Work lemon rind and walnuts into dough, shape into a long or round loaf, place on tray and leave to rise until double in size. Preheat oven to 180°C. With a sharp knife make deep cuts in the surface of the dough. Bake in the middle of the oven for 25 minutes.