Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Elderflower Bread l Holunderblüten Brot

The elderflower season is short, if you have access to elder trees, which bloom from about April to the end of June, rush to pick those little white flowers from the elderberry bush while you can. The large, flat-topped clusters grow along urban roads, in parks and gardens, in countryside lanes, woods and hedgerows. Elderflowers smell floral, creamy and summery. Now is the time to make elderflower champagne, cordial, jelly, whatever takes your fancy.

At this time each year, I like to make elderflower cordial. With its sweet, delicate flavor of muscat, homemade elderflower cordial is so much better than anything you can buy. Serve the cordial with cold sparkling water for a refreshing drink or sparkling wine (maybe even from a wine grower in your area) for a delicious cocktail. A couple of years ago I posted the recipe for homemade Elderflower Cordial HERE. If elderflower fritters are your thing, go ahead, indulge while you can, I posted the recipe HERE.

Apart from using my elderflower cordial for drinks or fritters, I use it in a variety of ways including my baking. Sometimes I make a lemony sponge cake that I infuse with elderflower syrup. Or I will mix some elderflower cordial into icings for cakes and muffins.

This year I’m into baking a sweet yeast bread that I call Elderflower Bread (Holunderblüten Brot). It has ground almonds and elderflower blossoms as well as elderflower cordial in the dough . Basically, this is a so-called 'enriched yeast dough', meaning that there is butter, milk, sugar and an egg added to the simple yeast dough. And just before baking I like to place a sprig or two of the flowers on top – for looks and for taste.

Elderflower Bread l  Holunderblüten Brot

  • 200g strong white bread flour (around here 'Type 550'), plus some to flour the baking pan OR use spelt flour (around here that would be 'Type 1050') 
  • 50g almond flour (use almond flour OR grind 50g of natural almonds in your food processor)
  • 3g fine salt
  • 50g superfine baking (caster) sugar
  • 50g butter, unsalted, room temperature
  • 10g fresh yeast (the equivalent in dry yeast would be 4g) 
  • 60ml lukewarm whole milk (I like to use 3.5%)
  • 2 eggs (M), free-range, 1 for the dough, 1 for the egg wash*
  • 2 tbsp elderflower cordial (homemade OR good-quality store-bought)
  • 2 tbsp freshly picked elderflower blossoms (you can sub dried elderflower blossoms OR leave them out)
  • 1 or 2 small sprig(1) freshly picked elderflower blossoms (you can bake the bread without)
NOTE: * an egg wash is a mixture of beaten egg and liquid (usually water or milk) that is brushed onto baked goods like pastries before baking. It adds shine as well as color.

  1. In a large bowl, combine the flours, salt and sugar. Form a well. Add the butter to the well.
  2. Dissolve the yeast in the warm milk, pour the milk mixture into the well, add the whole egg and the elderflower cordial.
  3. Using the dough hook(s) of your mixer, mix until you have a soft, somewhat shaggy dough, then knead until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes more.
  4. Place in a greased bowl. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, at least about 1 hour (this can take up to 2 hours).
  5. In the meantime grease and flour a small loaf pan (mine is 21.5cm x 11cm) OR double the recipe and use a large loaf pan.
  6. Turn the risen dough out onto your work surface. Knead briefly and now add in the elderflower blossoms.
  7. Roll up the dough and place it into the floured loaf pan, place this in a warm place and let it rise again for about 1 hour or until it has visibly risen.
  8. In the meantime pre-heat your oven to 180° C (160°C convection oven).
  9. Brush the risen bread dough with eggwash and place one or two small elderflower sprigs on top of the loaf.
  10. Bake in your pre-heated oven at 180° C for 30 to 35 minutes or until golden brown and risen. NOTE: If your bread darkens too quickly, cover loosely with aluminium foil towards the end of the baking time.
  11. When finished baking, take the bread out of the pan and place on a cooling rack. Serve warm OR at room temperature.

The taste of the elderflower cordial as well as the elderflower blossoms is subtle but it's there and is complimented nicely by the sweet almond flour. Plus there is a bit of crunch from the elderflower sprigs on top, which is very nice. And very pretty too.

It‘s best eaten the day it was baked. We love it with fresh butter and homemade strawberry jam but local honey is nice here as well.

For more elderflower recipes:
  • Elderflower Cake with Strawberry-Elderflower Filling (Holunderblütenkuchen mit Erdbeer-Holunderblütenmarmelade) (HERE)
  • Elderflower Shortbread (Holunderblüten Shortbread) (HERE)
  • Elderflower Fritters (Ausgebackene Holunderblüten) (HERE)


  1. Sadly I will need to make this without the flowers, either dried or fresh, and my cordial will new store bought. I don’t think we can grow elderflowers here in the desert. Liebe Grüße! D

    1. Dear David, while I know that not all of us are lucky enough to have access to elder trees, I couldn't resist but post this recipe. The recipe works sans blossoms in the dough and on top of the loaf and with store-bought elderflower cordial/syrup - while, obviously, it won't be the same, it will still be delicious.
      No elderflower in the desert but a lot of other amazing plants that we cannot find around here :)
      Thank you for stopping by - ending you lots of 'liebe Grüße',

  2. I can just imagine how delightful this must taste. I adore the flavor of elderflower. I just have to find some organic flowers or the cordial and SOON!
    Hope your week is going smoothly, my sweet friend. xo

    1. Dear Colette, while elderflower season dosn't last too long, I believe this recipe is too nice not to feature it - seasonal, delicious and pretty to boot, what more coul one want from a recipe?!
      Hugs & kisses, my friend and a happy weekend!

  3. Andrea this looks beautiful and delicious!!! hugs!

    1. Gloria, what a nice comment, thank you for dropping by!
      Glad you enjoy this lovely little treat of a yeast bread!

  4. This bread looks so light, fluffy, and really delicious! I love using flowers in recipes.

    1. Dear Amy, flowers and blossoms have many culinary uses - I have been using them forever in my baking and cooking. Glad to read that you enjoy using them in your recipes as well! I remember your recipe for dandelion cookies - these cookies are quite popular around here too.
      Hope you and the kids are doing well!

  5. Oh Andrea, I love elderflower, as I use often in drinks...never thought in baking with it...your bread looks so luxurious...thanks for sharing the recipe.
    I hope you are having a fabulous week!

    1. Dear Juliana, although unfortunately elderflower season has come to an end, elderflower syrup is still widely available - so, while I love to use the flowers in baking while they are in season, I also love using the syrup for cordials, Italian gelato, in baking, in salad dressings etc. all year round.
      Thank you for stopping by, my friend

  6. Hallo Andrea, warum finde ich den erst heute deinen GROßARTIGEN BLOG mit traumhaften Rezepten, Fotos und wundervollen Texten, kann ich gar nicht verstehen!?!
    Folge dir jetzt auf Pinterest, schade das ich deinen Blog gar nicht abonnieren kann.
    Das Brot sieht mega lecker aus.
    Viele Grüße sendet,
    P.S.: Wenn du lust hast hier irgendwo auf einen meinen Ordnern deine großartigen Rezepte zu teilen bitte melden, möchte dich nur nicht mit lauter Einladungen nerven.

  7. It looks beautiful and I love your sunny photos. Please send some sun this way!

    1. Dear Gaye, I will sure to try and send some sunny rays your way - hopefully, this year, the summer will be more gentle on us than last year!
      Thank you for the kind comment!
      Hope all is well!