Friday, March 20, 2015

German Ham & Onion Torte

This recipe is from the Thüringin region of Germany and is a great addition to any Easter meal. I like the flexibility of this recipe which can be served for breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner.

Thüringin or Thuringia is one of the 16 German states located in the central east part of the country. It is known for its lush forest area and beautiful mountain range and is nicknamed "The Green Heart of Germany". Thüringin is a popular vacation destination for Germans with lots of outdoor activities to explore.

This quiche-like cake has a yeasted crust that is well worth the rise time wait. It adds heft and stability to the finished product. The main ingredients for the topping are ham and onions, however, this can be easily switched up by adding peppers or any other vegetable you like chopped into small pieces.
The recipe calls for speck or thick cut ham is preferred but bacon can be substituted as well. Turkey bacon or sausage is a good option if you want to avoid pork. You can also switch out the flour for the crust to whole wheat or spelt variety.

German Ham & Onion Torte
Prep Time: 45 minutes 
Rise time: 30 minutes
Bake Time: 35 minutes 
Yield: Serves 8
For the crust:
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 package dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1 large egg
  • A pinch of white granulated sugar
  • A pinch of freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
For the ham cake:
  • 1+1/2 cups of thick cut ham cut into small pieces 3 small onions, peeled and diced into small pieces 1/2 cup sour cream 
  • 3 eggs
  • Freshly ground pepper 

Make the crust:
  • Grease a 10 inch round springform pan and set aside. 
  • Place the all-purpose flour in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. 
  • Make a well in the middle of the flour. 
  • Heat 3 tablespoons of milk until lukewarm and dissolve the package of yeast in the milk. 
  • Place the dissolved yeast in the well in the middle of the flour. 
  • Add the pinch of sugar, using a mixer fitted with a dough hook attachment to knead the dough to combine everything. 
  • Add the rest of the milk, the large egg, freshly ground pepper and unsalted butter. 
  • Knead with the mixer until everything is combined and a dough forms. 
  • Transfer the dough to a warm bowl. Cover with a dish towel and leave in a heated place for 30 minutes. The dough should become larger but no necessarily double in size. 
  • Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured workspace and knead for a few minutes and roll into out into a round shape. 
  • Press the dough into the bottom of the greased springform pan. 
Make the Ham Cake:
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Sprinkle the chopped onions and ham evenly into the pan.
In a separate bowl whisk together the eggs, sour cream and freshly ground pepper until thoroughly combined. 
Pour the egg, sour cream mixture into the springform pan, over the ham and onion pieces.
Place the pan in oven and bake for 30 -35 minutes.
Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes before removing the cake from the pan to serve.

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