Define “Savoury”…. (BBB November 2019)

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BBB: Let's Keep Baking summary: it’s too early for snow; recipe for Wild Savoury Danish Crown; making substitutions; reading difficulties; almost late… again; information about Bread Baking Babes;

The Sky is Falling! The Sky is Falling!

November Snow

Bread Baking Babes (BBB): Sourdough Danish Crown

Oh my ears and whiskers, how late it’s getting!

I was determined not to be late (yet again). I really was. And it came awfully close.

I blame the far too early snow fall. :stomp:

~ ~ ~

Back when we could still easily ride our bikes and I was just beginning to think I should probably turn off the outside water and haul the non-hardy plants into the basement (nick o’ time on that), I was really happy when Cathy announced that we would be baking a savoury bread this month! But then, as I looked at the ingredients for the filling, I started to pause.

  • Onion? Hmmm… I’m not sure. We do have beautiful leeks right now thanks to J and J. (Remind me to rave about those gorgeous leeks!) Maybe those could be substituted.
  • Grated Parmesan? Maybe…
  • Egg? No, thank you! (Cathy does offer a substitute for the egg….)
  • Ground almonds? Bread crumbs? Great ideas!

And it suddenly dawned on me. Raisins are savoury, aren’t they?

BBB November 2019

Here’s how things went with making a wild savoury Danish Crown:

BBB savoury Danish Crown diary:

2 October 2019, 14:13 I have to say that Cathy’s Danish Crown looks really fabulous! Even though the dough contains eggs :lalala: …. The crown seems like it would be an ideal WOW factor addition for US Thanksgiving tables.

I particularly like the look of the sunflower seeds!

10 October 2019, 23:42 …I just noticed “gelatanized chia seeds”. Eeek! I guess I should probably read the whole recipe through, eh?

6 November 2019, 15:55 We raked leaves yesterday; there was a frost warning for last night and a warning of possible snow for today (mercifully no snow yet); and I suddenly realized that it is only 10 days until the 16th!

I’m thinking that if I am smart, I should probably make the Danish Crown this weekend.

You all already know I am a freak – I love using our digital scale for everything… with the help of Gourmet Sleuth, I calculated the alterations of ingredients that didn’t get translated from volume measures:

13 November 2019, 14:27
I’m thinking that if I am smart, I should probably make the Danish Crown this weekend.
– me, 6 November

Clearly, I am not smart…. {sigh}

waaaahhhhhhhhhhh! Best laid plans and all that. Once again, I have not paid proper attention to my calendar (I blame the premature massive snowfall – it looks pretty, but it has really made a mess of the roads). I think I might be able to make the bread on Friday but I’m not sure that I’ll manage a write-up until Monday.

14 November 2019, 23:15 Maybe I can be on time after all! I just mixed the starter and made an executive decision to double the amounts of flour and water for the leavener. Because I know that works….

Just after I left the kitchen, I raced back in because I suddenly remembered what I had read recently. (If it is published in a book, it MUST be true.)

[I]t is important to note that dough volume will be enhanced only by solid fats, not by liquid oils. The latter have a slightly depressing effect on volume. […] [F]ats that are hard at room temperature, such as butter and lard […] have the advantage of giving extra volume to bread, something that neither liquid oils nor semi-hard ‘spreads’ do. […] [A]n addition of about 5g fat per kilo of flour will give maximum loaf volume, with rather more needed for wholemeal breads.
If you are using a solid fat, such as butter or lard, there is no need to rub it in but it will disperse into the dough better if it has not come straight from the fridge. – Andrew Whitley, ‘Mixing’, Bread Matters: The sorry state of modern bread and a definitive guide to baking your own, Chapter 4: The essential ingredients and Chapter 5: Starting from scratch

Therefore, instead of melting the butter tomorrow morning – as I have done in the past – I dutifully put the butter into the oven with only the light turned on. That way it might actually be soft tomorrow morning.

15 November 2019, 10:38 The dough is mixed. Oops. It’s a tiny bit late in the morning, isn’t it?

My excuse? I don’t really have one. Although, I can hear Julia Child’s voice echoing in my head saying something like “Ye Gods! You are the boss of that dough. Mix it on YOUR schedule”. As if I actually have a bread-making schedule. :lalala:

Even though the butter was in the oven with the light turned on, the kitchen is cold enough now (why oh why has winter arrived so early this year?) that the butter was just barely soft-ish. Even though Whitley says it’s unnecessary to rub the butter in first, I felt compelled to use our pastry cutter to get it sort of uniformly into the flour mixture.

But the coolest thing about the mixing process was seeing that ground flaxseed really does gelatinize!

12:13 I just squooshed in the salt. Ummm, I sure hope I haven’t added too much whole wheat flour to the dough. It looks pretty brown.

16:57 The dough looks beautiful.

Shriek!!! This is a laminated dough?! Is THAT what the “butter, divided” was all about? (And here I was so sure that I had read through the recipe from start to finish.) :stomp: :stomp:

I cannot believe that I didn’t manage to comprehend everything in the instructions. (I’m suddenly reminded of my sister’s dislike of any recipe that says “Meanwhile”.)

So. I just slivered butter directly out of the fridge and rolled out the dough into several layers, laying down bits of butter and folding the dough in half over the butter.

I’m now about to make the filling. And I’m determined to bake the ring tonight. Because if I put it in the fridge overnight, I feel certain it will over-rise and we’ll end up with a door stop of a ring. (Nobody wants to see or hear either of us when we take a just-baked doorstop out of the oven….)

In my determination to transgress massively, I’ve also decided not to include onions. It’s just going to be almonds, bread crumbs, salt, and pepper. And maybe a little more butter.

18:42 In for a penny, in for a pound – I went ahead and shaped the bread about half an hour ago.

Just as I was about to roll the dough in jelly roll fashion (feeling ever so slightly guilty about purposely omitting the onions and cheese), I thought: raisins. Yes! Raisins will be the perfect addition. J’adore raisin bread!

Doing the rest of the shaping was a breeze. I hardly lost any of the filling on the board as I transferred the ring to the parchment covered pizza tray. I liberally sprayed the shaped ring with water, scattered on some sesame seeds, put an overturned stainless steel mixing bowl overtop, and stuck the tray into the oven with only the light turned on.

Savoury Danish Crown

I suddenly remembered I was supposed to put in salt and pepper!

How handy that, over the years, we have been given various containers of finishing salts. I whisked the tray out of the oven, scattered some Camargue fleur-de-sel on top of the ring, re-covered it, and thrust it back into the oven.

We’re planning to bake the ring after dinner. It should work.

Shouldn’t it?

21:30 It smells great but it needs 10 more minutes, I think.

21:40 Looks beautiful!

BBB November 2019

We cut into the bread this morning….

Nailed it!!

BBB November 2019
sigh… under-baked crumb
BBB November 2019

Waaaaaaah!!!! :stomp: :stomp: This bread should have been great. Too bad it’s not done internally! (Would using a thermometer have made a difference? Would it have told me that the insides weren’t baked yet?)

We toasted the slices as best we could, and drizzled them with honey. Hmmm, not bad….

But I have to be honest. I think this bread is just a little too whole-grainy for our taste. Although, it could be that the reason we think it is too whole-grainy is because it wasn’t completely baked through.

Yes. I bet that’s it.

If only I had managed to follow all the directions, this would have been great bread!

Thank you for choosing Savory Sourdough Danish Crown, Cathy! Next time I make it, I’ll make sure it’s baked through; I know this recipe will be a keeper.

Here is the BBB recipe for Savory Sourdough Danish Crown that we were given. And here is what I did to it:

Savoury Danish Crown
adapted from a recipe in “BREAD: the breads of the world and how to bake them at home” by Christine Ingram and Jennie Shapter

Makes 1 Crown Loaf

Leavener [The BBB recipe calls for “25g flour” and “25g water”]

  • dessert spoon Jane Mason starter from fridge
  • 50g 100% whole wheat flour
  • 50g water at body temperature


  • flour [The BBB recipe calls for “260 grams + 30 grams unbleached all-purpose flour + more for sprinkling” and “65gm dark rye flour”]
       » 230g unbleached all-purpose flour, divided
       » 25g 100% whole wheat flour
       » 65g dark rye flour
       » 10g wheat germ
  • 113g (8 Tbsp) unsalted soft butter, divided [The BBB recipe calls for “3 Tbsp + 1 stick butter, softened [155gm]”]
  • 7g flaxseeds, ground finely [The BBB recipe calls for “1 egg”. Rather than add an egg, I substituted with 7g flax and 20g water “whisk[ed]; allow[ed] to gelatinize”.]
  • 11g powdered milk [The BBB recipe calls for “½ cup lukewarm milk [120gm]”]
  • 260g water at body temperature, divided (hold back 20g water for adding the salt) [The BBB recipe calls for “½ cup lukewarm water [120gm]” and “½ cup lukewarm milk [120gm]”]
  • All the starter
  • 6g sea salt


  • butter, melted [The BBB recipe calls for “2 Tbsp oil [28gm]”]
  • ½ c dried bread crumbs [54gm dried]
  • ¼ c [24gm] ground almonds
  • ½ cup freshly grated or dried Parmesan cheese [50gm]
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten, divided or ½ Tbsp. chia seeds + 1 ½ – 2 Tbsp water (stir; allow to gelatinize)
  • Thompson raisins [The BBB recipe calls for “2 medium onions, finely chopped”]
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste [Oops!! I forgot this!]


  • sesame seeds
  • 1 Tbsp freshly ground hard cheese [Oops!! I forgot this!]
  • 2g corn starch + enough water to make thin glaze [Oops!! I forgot this!]
  • leavener In the evening of the day before making the bread: Put the starter, flour and water into a smallish bowl. Mix with a wooden spoon until the flour is stirred in well. Cover the bowl with a plate and set aside overnight in the oven with only the light turned on (or if it is summer and staying quite warm at night, don’t even bother turning on the light).
  • mix the dough In the morning of the day you will be making the bread: When a small forkful of the leavener floats in a small bowl of room temperature water, you can go ahead and mix the dough.
    • If the leavener does not float, stir in a small amount more whole wheat flour and water – even amounts by weight – cover with a plate and leave for about 30 minutes more. Chances are that it will now float.

    Put the finely ground flaxseed into a small bowl and whisk it into 20 grams water; set aside for a moment. In a large bowl, whisk together the flours and wheat germ. Use a pastry cutter to rub in the 4 tablespoons butter. Add the milk powder, all but 20 grams water, the now gelatinized flaxseed sludge, and all of the leavener. Use your Danish dough whisk – of course you should use a Danish dough whisk when making a Danish Crown – (if you don’t have a dough whisk, use a wooden spoon) to mix these ingredients to make a rough dough. Cover the bowl with a plate and leave on the counter for about 40 minutes.

  • adding the salt: In a small bowl, whisk the salt into the final 20 grams water. Pour the salt mixture over the dough.
  • kneading: Use one of your hands to squoosh the salt and water into the dough; use the other hand to steady the bowl – this way you always have a clean hand. At first the dough might be a bit messy and seem like it’s coming apart. Persevere. Suddenly, it will seem more like dough than a horrible separated glop. Keep folding it over onto itself until it is relatively smooth. Cover with a plate and leave to rest for about 30 minutes.
  • stretching and folding the dough: Turn the bowl as you fold and re-fold the dough into the center. Cover the bowl with a plate and leave on the counter (or if the kitchen is cool like ours in winter and early spring, into the oven with only the light turned on). Repeat the folding step about 3 times in all at 30 minute intervals. You’ll notice that after each time, the dough will feel significantly smoother. After the final time of folding, the dough is ready to shape.
  • laminating: Suddenly wonder what was supposed to be done with the extra butter. Re-read (with more than just vague comprehension) the BBB recipe to see that this dough is supposed to be laminated. [Ooops!!] Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured board. Roll it out into an rectangle about 1 cm thick. Lay thinly sliced butter (about 4 tablespoons) from the fridge – unless you were clever enough to make sure it is softened – on one half of the rolled dough. Fold the dough in half. Lay more thinly sliced butter on one half and fold in half again. With lightly floured hands, pat the dough out into a rectangle. Lay just a little more thinly sliced butter and fold the dough in half again. Place an overturned mixing bowl over the dough and allow it rest for 20-30 minutes.
  • filling: Prepare the filling. Whisk bread crumbs (we used Tartine bread crumbs that were dried in the toaster oven) and ground almonds together. Pour a little melted butter overtop. Realize that it can’t really be mixed in with a wooden spoon. Use your hands. Feel a little guilty about deciding not to add onions and cheese and throw in some raisins. Forget to add salt and pepper.
  • shaping:
    1. Line a pizza pan with parchment paper and set aside.
    2. Scatter a dusting of all-purpose flour on the board and gently place the dough down. Roll it into a rectangle that is
      roughly 50×25 cm. Scatter the filling over the dough leaving the edges clear. Roll it jelly-roll style starting from the long sides. Seal the edge with your thumbs and place the rope seam-side down on the board. Use a dough scraper to cut the rope in half lengthwise to form two long half-ropes. witht the cut sides facing up, gently twist the ropes together, then shape the twisted ropes into a ring.
    3. Carefully transfer the ring to the parchment papered pizza pan.
  • add the topping: Liberally spray the ring with water. Evenly scatter sesame seeds over top. Cover the ring with an overturned stainless steel mixing bowl and allow the dough to rise in the oven with only the light turned on until it has almost doubled.
  • baking: To know when it’s time to bake, flour your index finger and gently but firmly press it on the side of the bread. If the dough springs back immediately, re-cover the bread with the bowl and leave it in the oven with only the light turned on. If the dough gradually returns back after being pressed, leave the tray on the counter and, making sure there is a bread stone on the middle shelf of the oven, turn it to 400F to preheat. When the oven is preheated about fifteen minutes later, put the pizza pan – with it’s stainless steel mixing bowl hat still on, onto the hot stone. Immediately turn the oven down to 375F. Bake for a total of 50-60 minutes. At the half hour mark, remove the stainless steel bowl, turn the oven down to 350F, and continue baking until the ring is nicely golden brown.
  • I confess that it’s tricky to know when this bread is done. Please ask the others for advice on this. In my limited experience with this ring, if the bread looks done and comes off the parchment paper easily, it isn’t yet fully baked. :lalala:
  • cooling: When the ring has finished baking, allow it to cool on a footed rack before breaking apart and eating; the bread is still cooking internally when first removed from the oven! If you wish to serve warm bread (of course you do), reheat it after it has cooled completely: To reheat any uncut bread, turn the oven to 400F for 5 minutes or so. Turn the oven OFF. Put the bread into the hot oven for about ten minutes. This will rejuvenate the crust and warm the crumb perfectly.
  • Serve the bread warm or at room temperature. It’s delicious for breakfast with honey (and more butter if you like) and giant cups of coffee. :-)


    Leavener: The leavener was made with a 100% hydration whole wheat starter. It takes about 5 days to create. It resides in the fridge after that – our starter has been happily bubbling away and raising fabulous bread since July 2017. (Please see our take on Jane Mason’s Natural Starter made with Wheat Flour.)

    Wheatgerm: I’m re-reading Andrew Whitley’s book, “Bread Matters: The sorry state of modern bread and a definitive guide to baking your own” and am once again horrified by what we are allowing the millers and manufacturers of our flour to do. I felt even more compelled that ever to add wheatgerm to the BBB recipe….

    Before the invention of roller milling, all flour was produced by crushing wheat between revolving stones. All parts of the wheat — bran, germ and starchy endosperm — were pulverised and mixed together […] The roller-milling system, deployed from 1870 onwards, was quite different. It passed the wheat between pairs of steel cylinders, which gradually stripped the layers off the grain, sifting the material thus produced into a series of streams, each containing a different fraction of the flour. […] [T]he reduction in the roller-milled flour of several important nutrients […] Removing the germ, which contains virtually all the valuable vitamin E of the wheat, was a nutritional disaster
    [A]lmost all the ‘whole’ wheat flour produced today is from roller mills. In other words, it is reassembled from the separated fractions of flour but without the crucial wheat germ oil, on the grounds that replacing it would shorten the flour’s shelf life. Perhaps such flour should be labelled ‘reconstituted semi-whole wheat flour’ to alert consumers to the fact that it does not contain all the elements of the original grain.
    – Andrew Whitley, Bread Matters, Chapter One: What’s the Matter with Modern Bread? p22-25

    Butter: Before realizing that the dough was to be a laminated one, I planned to use only 4 tablespoons of butter in the dough. But when it finally dawned on me that there was a reason for the word “divided” beside “butter” in the BBB recipe, I added another 4 tablespoons – still less than the original recipe. It was plenty!

    The recipe called for 3/4 cup of butter – 1 1/2 sticks. I ended up using 1 stick and 3 tablespoons, but I’m not sure it needs that much butter. I think you could get away with less, but I’ll leave that up to your discretion.
    – Cathy, message to BBBabes


    If only it had been baked through, we would have LOVED this ring. It’s a terrific way to use up old bread!

    Bread Baking Babes BBB: Let's Keep BakingSavory Danish Crown (sourdough)

    Cathy is the host of November 2019’s Bread Baking Babes’ project. She wrote:

    The November Bread is a Sourdough or Wild Savory Danish Crown. It reminds me of a big croissant filled with onions.
    – Cathy, in message to BBBabes

    Ha. Perhaps I should try making it with onions…. :lalala:

    We know you’ll want to make a Sourdough Savory Danish Crown too! To receive a Baking Buddy Badge to display on your site: make the bread in the next couple of weeks and post about it (we love to see how your bread turns out AND hear what you think about it – what you didn’t like and/or what you liked) before the 29 August 2019. If you do not have a blog, no problem; you can also post your picture(s) to Flickr (or any other photo sharing site) and record your thoughts about the bread there. Please remember to email the Kitchen of the Month to say that your post is up.

    Please note that it’s not enough to post about your bread in the Facebook group. Because of the ephemeral nature of Facebook’s posts, your FB post may be lost in the shuffle. Please make sure to directly contact the kitchen of the month if you want to be included in the BBBuddy roundup.

    For complete details about this month’s recipe, the BBB and how to become a BBBuddy, please read:

    Please take a look at the other BBBabes’ November 2019 Danish Crowns:


    November Snow

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    6 responses to “Define “Savoury”…. (BBB November 2019)

    1. Katie Zeller (

      Raisins are savory? Really? Is that why people pit them in oatmeal cookies?
      Leeks and slivers of dry-cured ham….
      Yours could be great, toasted for breakfast, with honey, of course. Actually, with onions and honey.
      Happy first snow!

      17 November: I’m trying to be happy about the first snow, but it keeps taunting me by staying on the ground. (It’s too early for snow here!)
      As for raisins, we always put them into pilau. And I often add them to stir-fried beet greens. (I see that I’m not alone with this idea that raisins are for savoury dishes: But yes. This bread is great for breakfast with honey. And bacon on the side. But no onions, thank you. :-) – Elizabeth

    2. Kelly (A Messy Kitchen)

      I forgot the cheese on top too! I really like the little punch of sweetness when I add the currants or raisins called for in any of my Moroccan recipes, so I would say that perhaps raisins “go with” savory. ;) Love how your rising ring looks! I was afraid mine had burned on top when I pulled it out and I did pick off a few pieces of onion and cheese filling that were just slightly more than bien cuit!

      18 November: I was so thrilled with how the bread was rising! I’m still not certain what exactly went wrong in the bake. Perhaps I was being punished for not adding the onions. :-) – Elizabeth

      1. Kelly (A Messy Kitchen)

        Murphy’s law. ;)
        You will perhaps be pleased to know that I am now adding the raisins to tonight’s savory stew…

        21 November: I am very pleased about that, Kelly! Confirmation is always so satisfying. – Elizabeth

    3. barbara

      Yay. This one has so many laugh-out-loud moments. Just curious, why didn’t you want to add onions? (I love “onion buns” …)

      18 November: How thrilling to know you were laughing out loud! It just proves (no pun intended) that it’s much more entertaining when things don’t go quite as well as hoped. I don’t know why I suddenly didn’t want onions. Because, you’re right, Barbara; “onion buns” are delicious! (Oooh, Suddenly I’m drooling thinking about onion buns for hamburgers….) Perhaps I will relent when I make this bread again and add onions after all. – Elizabeth

    4. Cathy (Bread Experience)

      I think perhaps your bread was too grainy because you didn’t have the onions and cheese to offset the bread crumbs and wheat germ. Just thinking out loud. Raisins do sound like a nice addition. I wonder what they would taste like with the onions and cheese?

      21 November: I bet that would be delicious, Cathy! (I know that prunes, onions, and blue cheese are great together so why not raisins, onions and cheese?)
      With regards to the graininess, I think it might have been because the bread wasn’t quite done internally. When we heated up pieces in the toaster oven, the bread didn’t seem too grainy at all. (But I’ll still use more white flour than whole grain, next time.)
      – Elizabeth

    5. Tanna (My Kitchen In Half Cups)

      As if I actually have a bread-making schedule. Yes, well right, why would you need a schedule … I baked my crown today but at least I did finally get it baked and posted. Talk about late!
      Your crown is lovely, great shape, crumb and beautiful color! Raisins are sweet in my book BUT they perfectly pair with savory for that very reason.

      edit: Better late than never! I’m very glad you baked the Crown, Tanna! Even if you didn’t add raisins. …for me, that’s the beauty of raisins. They can be either savoury or sweet. – Elizabeth (Speaking of schedules, so far today, I’ve managed to remember that there is bread dough rising and have stretched and folded it twice now. Almost right on schedule each time. :lalala: )


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