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In the Netherlands and in Flanders ‘ontbijtkoek’ (litterally translated 'breakfast cake') is a delicacy, which is eaten at breakfast, lunch or as a snack. It is similar to Dutch honey cake and is being made of rye flour with sugars, baking powder and spices added to it. These spices generally consist of cinnamon, nutmeg and clove. In the south of the Netherlands and in Flanders this is called ‘peperkoek’ (gingerbread).
There are several kinds of ‘ontbijtkoek’ available to which for example raisins, nuts or honey is added. ‘Ontbijtkoek’ is easily digestible and contains little fat.
Production of ‘ontbijtkoek’
The quality of ‘ontbijtkoek’ is mostly determined by the quality of the rye flour. Generally rye flour with ash contents of approximately 0,7% is used. A higher ash contents namely gives a less clear brown colour. As well as the ash contents the amylase-activity of the rye flower is relevant. When the amylase-activity is too low, the probability of a break in the crumb increases. With the amylase-activity too high, the volume ends up too low and a sodden crumb occurs.
The ‘ontbijtkoek’ contains a lot of sugars. Therefore too much stiffening of the starch is prevented, so the available water is divided well. These sugars can be added in different forms. A mixture of invert sugar syrup and glucose syrup is often used. Glucose syrup contains a high percentage of dextrins, which keep the cake tender for a longer time, but also causes the cake to get a smaller volume. Instead of the glucose syrup, sometimes starch sugar (‘massé’, glucose in crystal form), is added. Because of this the specific volume increases, but the tenderness deteriorates faster.
Generally natriumbicarbonate is added as baking powder. To neutralise the released natriumcarbonate, a certain quantity of acidic natriumpyrophosphate is added as well.
A large part of the sugar syrups and eventual added honey are heated to 100°C together with a large amount of water and old cake or ‘kantkoek’ (cut-off side pieces). The ‘ontbijtkoek’ stays tender longer when it is cooked together with approximately 20% old cake or ‘kantkoek’.
All the rye flour is at once added to this boiling syrup. The mass is mixed in a Z-arm mixing machine, causing a partial stiffening of the starch and a homogeneous mass with a temperature of approximately 70°C. This is called the first dough.
The first dough is placed in metal
trays to cool down to 15°C. The dough is left resting at this temperature for at least 1 day. When a big part of the starch in the first dough is stiffened, the starch will be broken down by amylase during the dough-rest. By so doing an ‘ontbijtkoek’ is obtained with large volume and good eating qualities.
The remaining sugars, spices and baking powder are added when the first dough has rested enough. This process in which extra sugars and spices are added during a second stage, is called 'braken' and it completes the aroma of the ‘ontbijtkoek’. ‘Braken’ takes place in a kneading machine. At this point raisins, nuts etc. can be added to the so formed final dough.
Next the final dough is distributed over baking trays, so that long bars of ‘ontbijtkoek’ are formed. The dough can be sprinkled with other sugars, pieces of fruit or starches as extra finishing.
The baking trays are automatically transported to a continuous oven. The ‘ontbijtkoek’ is baked at a temperature up to 300°C for 1 or even 3,5 hours, depending on the kind of cake.
The ‘ontbijtkoeken’ are taken of the baking trays and placed on shelfs by means of automatically turning appliances.
The still warm ‘ontbijtkoeken’ are placed in a conditioned room where they can cool down and lose a part of the remaining fluid. However, the ‘ontbijtkoeken’ may not lose too much fluid.
When the cakes are cooled down sufficiently, the long bars of ‘ontbijtkoek’ are cut to the desired size by using cutting machines. The ‘ontbijtkoek’ can also be cut in slices by a belt cutting machine.
After checking of conformity, the ‘ontbijtkoek’ is wrapped up in foil and provided with a tag by means of a machine. Before the cake is put in a box, it is checked for metal parts and weight, and deviating cakes are removed.
pan de miel
In the Netherlands and in Flanders ‘ontbijtkoek’ (litterally translated 'breakfast cake') is a delicacy, which is eaten at breakfast, lunch or as a snack. It is similar to Dutch honey cake and is being made of rye flour with sugars,... read full description