Caraway, anise and fennel whole wheat bread cakes |

Caraway, fennel and anise whole wheat cakes

Is it misleading to call something that’s not sweet “cakes”? In case it is, I’m sorry. These bread cakes aren’t very sweet. Not at all actually (they do have honey in them though). But they’re tasty. Especially if you’re into the whole caraway/fennel/anise thing. Which I am.

I suppose you could make them sweet if you wanted to. Not by adding sugar (technically you could do that too, I suppose), but by toasting them and serving them with melted butter and sweet marmelade on top.. I think I could slip down one of those. Maybe two even.

Caraway, fennel and anise whole wheat bread cakes |
Steaming hot out of the oven with some melted butter. Am I the only one in heaven?

It’s funny how you can’t stop baking with caraway, fennel and anise once you’ve started. Even though I like white bread, whole wheat bread with seeds, nuts and spices are just so much more interesting to me. It’s not even only the flavors, but the whole baking process. How fun is it to make a dough out of nothing but white flour? Not very fun. Right? Much more fun to mix and match.

Caraway, fennel and anise whole wheat bread cakes |
The baking cups are only there for decoration. Didn’t actually bake the cakes in them. But I know you knew that already. So we’re all good. No confusion.

Caraway, fennel and anise whole wheat cakes
Total time: 20 hours to let the pre-dough get active. Then another 6 hours to let the dough rise and baking the flat cakes. Makes 16 whole wheat bread cakes.

Day 1

  • 105 g (3.7 oz) white starter
  • 335 g (11.8 oz, not fluid!) filtered water
  • 204 g (7.2 oz) bread flour

Day 2

  • 1 tbsp sea salt
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1 cup wheat germ
  • ½ cup flaxseeds
  • ½ tbsp anise seeds
  • ½ tbsp caraway seeds
  • ½ tbsp fennel seeds
  • 150 g (5.3 oz) whole wheat flour
  • 100 g (3.5 oz) bread flour

wheat germ

Mix starter, water and bread flour in a bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit in room temperature for 20 hours until the pre-dough is active and bubbly.

Add sea salt, honey, wheat germ, flaxseeds, anise, caraway, fennel and flour to the starter mix. Knead to a firm dough and let rise in the bowl for 2-3 hours covered with a kitchen towel. Take out the dough on a floured surface and divide it into 16 pieces. Flatten each piece into a thin pancake, ca. ½ inch thick. Dip the bottom in wheat germ and place on a greased oven tray. Let rise 2-3 hours, covered with a kitchen towel.

Caraway, fennel and anise whole wheat bread cakes |
(Pan)cake tower!

Preheat the oven to 485°F. Punctuate the cakes with a fork and bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown. The cakes should sound hollow when you knock on the bottom.

Let cool on a rack, covered with a kitchen towel to keep them soft.

Caraway, fennel and anise whole wheat bread cakes |
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    14 thoughts on “Caraway, fennel and anise whole wheat cakes

    1. john@kitchenriffs

      You’re right that when we think of baked “cakes” we usually think sweet (crab cakes are a whole ‘nother thing, obviously). But I’d call these a cake – why not? These look incredibly good – wonderful combination of flavors. And I like the way they look – kind of a rugged sturdiness that’s appealing. Good stuff – thanks.

      1. Yvonne Rogell Post author

        Oh yes, crab cakes are different. Why not, right? I agree. Maybe if we use it often enough, the whole concept of sweet baked cakes will loosen up. Thanks so much, anise/caraway/fennel is one of my favorite flavor combination to use in bread, and I was kind of going for that rustic look, so thanks John! Appreciate it :)

    2. Korena

      I love your instruction to “punctuate the cakes with a fork” – that’s a great description :) These do look very good – I think I would lean towards the toasted with butter and jam version myself.


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