A typical Dutch recipe: Brabantse Broeder. A sweet bread filled with raisins and spiced almond paste (called amandelspijs in Dutch). Delicious to eat hot or cold for lunch, breakfast or brunch. This is one of the best preserved gems from the south of the country!
Since I'm living in the South of the Netherlands (in Noord-Brabant), it had to happen at some point: baking the Brabantse Broeder. A sweet bread that can be bought at the bakers in the area. The most famous variant is for sale in Udenhout at bakkerij Besselink but what if you are not living in the area. Then make it yourself!
This recipe is adapted from the Dutch blog Duizenden1dag.
What is a Brabantse Broeder?
It is a sweet bread filled with raisins, almond paste, and gingerbread spices. It has a crunchy outside and a soft airy inside. The almond paste is slightly sweet with a hint of warming spices.
And now you may be wondering, how did this recipe come about? In the Middle Ages, there were Guilds, and there was also a Bakers Guild. To become a member (and thus guarantee the quality of the guild), you had to pass a master's test with a good result.
To join the baker's guild you had to bake a flat round loaf of bread in a pan. It had to have well risen, and of course not burnt. This bread to be baked was called a broeder.
Is this recipe the original one? No definitely not. Because that's the baker's best-kept secret. But it comes pretty close.
- Butter - A real Brabantse Broeder contains butter. That makes that creamy bread.
- Sugar - Gives sweetness to the bread, but also helps the yeast do the job properly.
- Yeast - This recipe uses ½ oz. (14 grams / 3 teaspoons) of instant yeast. If you prefer to use fresh yeast, you need 1 oz. (28 grams). If you use dry yeast, you need ½ oz. (14 grams). Note: with both fresh yeast and dry yeast, you must first dissolve the yeast in lukewarm milk before adding it.
- Eggs - Add one of the eggs to the dough, beat the other and use it to brush the top of the dough.
- Raisins - The fruity bread filling. Let them soak overnight, so they won’t burn.
- Vanilla Extract - A touch of vanilla is super delicious in this bread.
- Salt - As a counterpart to the sugar in the bread. Make sure you add the salt when the dough has been kneaded for a few minutes. When yeast and concentrated salt come into contact, the yeast can die (thus reducing the rise of the dough).
- Butter - Use unsalted butter (salt is already added to the dough). Use the butter at room temperature.
- Milk - Both semi-skimmed milk and whole milk can be used. Heat the milk until it is lukewarm (100 °F / 37°C) so that the yeast starts working immediately before adding it to the dough.
- Flour - You can use plain flour for this recipe.
Ingredients spicy almond paste (Dutch amandelspijs)
- Almond Flour - Many recipes use almonds or shavings of almonds, which are finely ground. But to make it easy, we use almond flour in this recipe.
- Egg whites - Binds the almond paste
- Sugar - To sweeten the stuffing
- Gingerbread spices - To give a delicious warm taste to the almond paste.
- Moist the raisins by soaking them in water overnight. If you don't have time for that, heat a pan until the water boils and turn off the heat. Let the raisins soak in it for 15 minutes. Place the flour and butter in a large bowl. Shake the sugar into the flour mixture. Break the egg over the bowl. Pour the vanilla extract into the bowl. And add the lukewarm milk. Knead for 2 minutes until you have a cohesive dough.
- Spread the salt over the dough while mixing. Knead for another 13 minutes until you have an elastic and soft dough.
- Grease a bowl with oil and place the dough in the bowl. Turn it over once and cover with plastic wrap. Let the dough rise in a warm place for about 1 hour, until the dough has doubled in size.
- Place the almond flour in a bowl. Add the sugar and the gingerbread spices. Now mix the egg white with the almond flour as well until you get a cohesive paste.
- Pat the raisins dry. Knead the raisins through the dough. Cut the dough in half and roll out both halves into 1 inch (2 cm) thick circles. Spread the almond paste over one half. It can be nice and thick. Stay 1 inch (2 cm) from all outer sides.
- Place the other circle of dough over the almond paste and press the seams until closed. Let rise under plastic wrap for 45 minutes. Remove the foil and brush the top with beaten egg. Bake the Brabantse Broeder for 17 minutes at 430 °F (220°C) until golden brown and done.
- Nice and fresh - Add apple. Peel a medium apple and cut it into small pieces. Fry it in a frying pan with butter for 3 minutes on all sides until it is soft. Mix that with the almond paste.
- Nuts - Halve the amount of raisins and add 1 ⅓ cups (225 grams) of finely chopped nuts (unsalted) instead.
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Brabantse Broeder (A Dutch Sweet Bread)
- 5 cups flour
- ½ stick butter room temperature
- ⅓ cup sugar
- 4 ½ teaspoon instant yeast
- 1 cup milk lukewarm
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 egg size M
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 ⅔ cups raisins soaked in water and patted dry (see tips)
Almond paste filling
- 2 ½ cups almond flour
- 1 ½ cups sugar
- 2 teaspoons gingerbread spices
- 1 egg whites size M
- 1 egg size s, beaten
Ingredients you need per step are listed below the step in Italic
- In a large bowl, mix the flour with the butter, sugar, yeast, vanilla extract, and egg.5 cups flour, ½ stick butter, ⅓ cup sugar, 4 ½ teaspoon instant yeast, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1 egg, 1 cup milk
- Mix everything for 2 minutes.
- Spread the salt over the dough while mixing.2 teaspoons salt
- Mix on medium speed for an additional 12 minutes until the dough is elastic and soft.
- Grease a bowl with oil. Place the dough in it, turn it over once and cover the bowl with plastic wrap.
- Let the dough rise in a warm place for 60 minutes.
Making almond paste
- Mix the almond flour with the sugar, the egg white, and the gingerbread spices. Knead until it becomes a ball.2 ½ cups almond flour, 1 ½ cups sugar, 2 teaspoons gingerbread spices, 1 egg whites
Shape Brabantse Broeder
- Line a baking tray with baking paper.
- Remove the dough from the bowl and mix in the raisins.2 ⅔ cups raisins
- Cut the dough in half and roll out each piece of dough into a 1 inch (2cm) thick circle.
- Place one of the two circles in the center of the baking sheet.
- Spread the almond paste over the circle of dough on the baking tray, nice and thick. Make sure you leave the edges (1 inch / 2 centimeters) free.
- Fold the second dough over the almond paste and press the seams closed.
- Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for 45 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 430 °F / 220°C.
- Remove the plastic wrap from the dough and brush with the beaten egg.1 egg
- Slide the sweet bread into the oven and bake for 18 minutes until golden brown and cooked through.
Almond flour - Use almond shavings or peeled almonds instead of almond flour and grind it yourself in the food processor. 3. - Serve with Eat this bread, warm or cold, old-fashioned with a delicious smear of butter and some sugar or syrup.
But of course, you can also serve it as part of a brunch. In this overview with easy brunch recipes, you will find many recipes with which you can combine the Brabantse Broeder well to serve a great brunch. 4. - Storage
- Room Temperature - Store the bread in an airtight container or wrapped in plastic wrap for up to 3 days.
- Freezing - You can freeze this bread just fine. Pack it airtight and it will keep well in the freezer for up to a month. TIP. Cut it into wedges before freezing so you can thaw the bread in the right amount.
- Making fresh - When the bread has been sitting for a bit longer, or if it has been frozen, you can make it fresher again by heating it at 320 °F / 160°C for 5 minutes.