Breuder

During Christmas season, the popular cake/ bread that is ordered from bakeries in Sri Lanka is the breuder. This is a speciality of the Burgher cuisine of Sri Lanka. I had been trying for some time to find someone to contribute a home-made recipe of this delicious bread. I was delighted to finally come across another blogger and invited him to share his family recipe on this blog as well. Here is the guest post of Paul van Reyk, from My Buth Kuddeh food site, with his introduction to his family tradition of baking breuder and his recipe. Wishing you all a merry Christmas!

No Christmas at our house in Sri Lanka was complete without my grandmother’s breuder. It’s basically a cakey bread, based on a yeasted dough but with the sweetness of a sponge cake, related to Italian pannetone. It’s a direct entry into Sri Lanka cuisine via the Dutch Broodtulband named for the fluted ‘turban’ shaped mould used to make it. Further embedding the Dutch connection, brueder is traditionally eaten in Sri Lankan Burgher households in slices covered in butter and topped with a thick slice of Edam cheese. There is something very festive about that red waxy ball which sliced open reveals a pale European sun yellow cheese. Making the breuder, I am transported back to the kitchen of my childhood, watching my grandmother knead the dough, having the thrill of buttering the mould and pressing sultanas against the sides anxious that they stay in place, full of expectation as it was taken to my uncles house across the road as we didn’t have an oven, and then the excitement of un-moulding this magical transformation of so few ingredients hoping desperately that it comes away cleanly. The smile on grannie’s face when it does was more rewarding almost than the first bite into its soft, crumby heart.

breuder

Breuder

  • Difficulty: difficult
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Ingredients:

  • 500gms plain flour
  • 50 gms butter
  • baker’s yeast
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • water
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 250 gms caster sugar
  • 125 gms currants or sultanas or raisins or a mixture of them

Method:

  1. Make the dough the night before. Take as much yeast as is recommended for your particular yeast for making bread with 500 gms of flour (it can vary so read the packet or ask when you buy it), add the yeast and the sugar to a little hot water to get the yeast started. It will froth slightly. When it’s bubbling happily, add this to the flour and mix in well. Now slowly add water and keep mixing until you have a lump of dough that lifts easily out of the bowl or off the board. Knead it for 10 minutes or so. Put it in a bowl, cover the bowl with a damp tea-towel and leave it in a warm place to rise overnight.
  1. The next day, take the dough and add to it the butter, egg yolks and sugar. Add the first three yolks separately and mix in well each time. Then add the others also one at a time alternating with dollops of the caster sugar till it is all used up. What you will have now is a very thick wet doughy batter.
  1. Butter a turban mould. Put a good sprinkle of whatever dried fruit you are using on the bottom. Squish some dried fruit against the sides of the mould, too. Pour in the batter. Sprinkle more of the dried fruit on top of the batter. If you like, and I do, you can mix some dried fruits into the batter, too.
  1. Leave this in a warm place, the mould covered with a damp cloth, for 1 or 2 hours until it rises again (it won’t rise as much as the dough did overnight).
  1. Meanwhile, pre-heat your oven to very hot – around 220C.
  1. When the dough has risen the second time, put the mould in the oven and bake for 30 minutes. Check at that stage that the breuder is cooked by poking a bamboo skewer or similar into the dough. If it comes out clean, your breuder is ready. If it doesn’t, give the breuder 10 – 15 minutes more.

Tip: Putting some baking/greaseproof/brown paper on the top will reduce the likelihood of the dried fruit burning.

  1. When it’s cooked, take it out of the oven and leave it to cool in the mould. You should then be able to give the mould a good thump and have the brooder come cleanly out of it.

Resist all temptation to ice or otherwise muck around with the breuder! Just slice it up and have some butter and Edam or cheddar cheese to have it with. But you are allowed to make summer pudding with the left over breuder if you like, or indeed any of those bread pudding dishes.

Recipe source: Paul van Reyk

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