Life has been pretty busy for me lately. On top of working my regular full time job at a camera shop, I’ve also been working part time as a stagiaire at a bakery near my place. It was a big learning experience for me. The most major (and surprising) thing I learned is that I do not like working in a bakery! It’s tough work, let me tell you! And for those several months, I only once baked in my own kitchen. It just doesn’t have the same appeal to me as creating in my own kitchen.
Despite all this, though, I did learn some things that will help me in my personal baking, and I’m really glad I took the opportunity to learn about the real food world without spending all the money on schooling, only to find out it wasn’t the life for me. I prefer doing what I do in my kitchen much more, and hopefully now that my time is up there, I’ll have more time to experiment on my own.
I actually made this ontbijtkoek several months ago, photographed it, and am just now getting around to uploading it. I specifically remember what urged me to make it, though: as strange as it sounds, it was a customer at my work that smelled deliciously of gingerbread, and it immediately made me crave the spiced goodness of ontbijtkoek.
Ontbijtkoek translates to “breakfast cake” in Dutch, and in Canadian supermarkets it’s simply called honey cake. It’s basically a dense, spiced loaf of bread, not so much a cake as the name implies. It’s not typically a home baked item, but being that I like a challenge in the kitchen, I set out on a quest to find a recipe that most closely mimicked the store bought loaf. I stumbled upon a blog called The Dutch Table which, judging by the ingredients, appeared to have the closest recipe. I gave it a whirl, and was extremely impressed to discover that it was almost exactly like the real thing! The denseness, the texture, and the taste were all so similar to the ontbijtkoek that I knew and loved. I really have to hand it to her because she came up with a perfect recipe. I’ve had her blog bookmarked since then so I can refer to it for all my Dutch food cravings!
The best and simplest way to eat ontbijtkoek is smeared with a generous helping of butter or margarine. Eet smakkelijk!