Friday 9 September 2016

Dampfnudeln (GBBO Technical Challenge)

I think this was a pretty new one for most people who don't live in Germany! I had seen from the trailers that something to do with steaming coming up, and had done some sneaky reading, but these never showed their face. I suppose in some ways these are poached, rather than steamed, and they look a little...anaemic?

I dug up a few recipes in Google, nearly all in German, and all in stupid American Cup measurements! So, I set about translating and converting all the numbers, and got myself a basic recipe, or rather the average of several, as there were a lot of variations across the board.

Actually making them was not nearly as bad as I expected. The dough came together really well, and rose beautifully while I was breaking myself on the bike for an hour, and the steaming/poaching was not too bad either...obviously I had an idea of time (unlike the TV competitors!). The end result is a really rather nice brioche roll with a caramel topping, served with custard and a tart plum compote.

I wasn't that happy with my custard, so I'm not going to do the recipe here (I'll find a better one, and redo it at some point). There are loads of methods out there, and my work colleagues are getting the safest...tubs of Ambrosia! I could only fit 10 of the buns this made in my cooking pan, so you could reduce the ingredients volume by 10%

Dampfnudeln - Recipe


  • 500g plain flour
  • 10g fast-action yeast
  • 250ml lukewarm milk (35'C)
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 1 egg (room temperature)
  • 80g unsalted butter (room temperature)
  • ½tsp Vanilla essence
  •  Pinch of salt

1) Place the milk, sugar, vanilla essence and yeast in a large jug, and mix until the sugar is dissolved.

2) Place the flour and salt in a stand mixer bowl with the dough hook attached

3) Add the milk and egg to the stand mixer bowl, and begin to mix, speeding up as the dough comes together

4) Once a dough is formed, add in the butter, and get it incorporated into the dough (you might need to scrape down the sides)

5) Mix on a medium speed for 10 should get a smooth, glossy dough

6) Leave to prove for 45-60 minutes in a warm location

7) Knock back the dough

8) Form a long sausage, and split into 12 equal parts

9) Roll each part into a ball, and place on a lightly greased baking tray

10) Leave to rise for another 30-45 minutes in a warm location

11) While this is happening, you can make the poaching sauce

Poaching sauce - Ingredients

  • 100g caster sugar
  • 100g butter
  • 125ml milk

1) Place all the ingredients in a large, tall sided frying pan (it must have a close-fitting lid!)

2) Gently heat/stir until the butter is melted and the sugar is dissolved

3) Add the dough balls, packing them in firmly (so they fill the pan, but don't force them in. I could only fit in 10)

4) Run at a medium heat until the liquid begins to boil

5) Place the lid on and reduce to a low heat...the liquid should be just boiling (a glass lid helps a bit here!)

6) Poach for 25-30 minutes. DO NOT TAKE THE LID OFF! It's vital the steam stays in the pan. They are done when the liquid is nearly gone. For the last 5 minutes you may want to raise the heat a bit to caramelise the sugar in the poaching fluid.

7) While they are cooking, you can make the plum compote

Plum Compote - Ingredients

  • 6 plums
  • 60g demerera sugar
  • 1tsp lemon juice
  • ¼tsp cinnamon
1) Quarter and remove the stones from the plums

2) Place all the ingredients in a food processor and whizz until smooth

3) Transfer to a saucepan, and heat gently until simmering

4) Simmer for 6-7 minutes, until a good purple colour has permeated the sauce from the skins, and it's thickening

5) Leave to cool

6) Once the buns are cooked (30 minutes, not before), take the lid off, and using a spatula remove the buns. Serve with a dollop of the compote, and custard.