By Olivia Ersil
The story behind the dish:
Following a basic recipe is easy. You just have to measure your ingredients, mix together, throw them in the oven and you’re done! However, trying to follow a complicated recipe that’s been stitched together over years of practice isn’t as simple. The original instructions have been lost after all these years, leaving behind only distant memories. Scribbled out steps and pitiful question marks drawn in the margins of a notebook doesn’t comfort any baker, yet you’re compelled to do it.
The recipe sits, mocking you with its mysteries. The imminent failure looms over you, watching and waiting. With shaking hands, you estimate what “a bit” meant to your ancestors when they baked, all the while knowing your choice will never be fully correct. You run back and forth from the kitchen to your parents, searching for reassurance that it’s right. They’re unsure. Everyone is.
You sheepishly peek at it while it cooks, hoping that it doesn't lunge out like a rabid animal. Though, it wouldn’t surprise you if it did. The timer for it ticks, and there’s nothing else you can do except wait (and cross your fingers). Then suddenly, as you sit down, drained from the mental olympics you just endured, the timer rings. It disturbs the quiet, almost peaceful room with its loud screech.
You apprehensively take it out of the pot, watching as it drips water onto the newly-cleaned counter. It seems as though it’s doing that just to spite you, but you carry on. You sink a knife into its surface, hoping it doesn't crumble in defeat. Carefully, you move slices onto plates. The familiar scent of klässe fills the air. Hoping for the best, but expecting the worst, you grab a piece for yourself. With teeth ripping apart the fragile slice, you can almost taste the memories. Christmases with heaps of stuffing, Easters with massive egg hunts, and many more to which you can’t quite give names.
There’s something missing. You can’t put your finger on it. You doubt that you’ll ever be able to. But it’s not bad, and that’s good enough for you.
- 2 white buns (kaiser preferably)
- 4 tbsp butter (and approx. an additional tbsp to put inside of bag)
- 6 tbsp flour
- 6 tbsp milk
- 6 eggs, separated
- 2 whole eggs
- 1 Klässe bag (about the size of a small pillowcase)
- Wooden spoon
- 1 large frying pan
- 2 large bowls
- Electric hand mixer
- 1 large pot (with lid)
- Ball of twine (length needed can vary)
- Bread knife