Janina Grzesina – english

Janina Grzesina founded the Blog von guter Speise together with Wolfgang Haberl in 2016 and is focused on the buoch of guoter spîse from the middle of the 14th century since then. She combines a detailed exploration of the recipes with the sensual implementation of the same in the historical kitchen. The result are dishes that bring the historical culinary art to life in a wonderful way for both the spectators of the cooking as well as the tasters.

– Wolfgang Haberl


buoch von guoter spîse

The buoch von guoter spîse was written in Würzburg around 1350 and was part of the house book of Michael de Leone. It is the oldest known cookery book in the German language. The recipes are divided into two parts, which may be due to two different sources.

Doughnuts with an apple-nut-stuffing based on buoch von guoter spîse (about 1350)

Einen krapfen.
So du aber wilt einen vasten krapfen machen von nuezzen mit
ganzen kern, vnd nim als vil epfele dor under vnd snide sie wuerfeleht,
als der kern ist, vnd roest sie wol mit ein wenig honiges vnd
mengez mit wuertzen vnd tuo ez vf die bleter, die do gemaht sin zvo
krapfen. vnd loz ez backen vnd versaltz niht.

Das Buch von guter Speise (um 1350), ed. Hajek aus der Sammlung Monumenta Culinaria et Diaetetica Historica


A doughnut.

If you want to make a fasting doughnut with whole nuts, you take exactly the same amount of apples and cut them into cubes the size of the pit (= nut)  and roast them with some honey and mix it with spices and put it on the leaves to make doughnuts. And let it bake and do not salt it.

Since the recipe mentions fasting doughnuts, I have refrained from using animal ingredients (except for the honey mentioned ;))


Ingredients for 16 doughnuts
  • 1 – 2 litres vegetable oil
for the dough:
  • 250 g water
  • 550 g flour
  • 100 g sugar
  • 50 g vegetable oil e.g. safflower oil
  • 1 cube yeast
  • 1 pinch of salt
for the filling:
  • 32 walnut halves ~ 70 g
  • 1 apple
  • 50 g honey
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
Prepare the yeast dough:
  • Heat the water (so warm that you can reach inside; do not let it get too hot!)
  • Put the flour and sugar in a large bowl; dissolve 1 teaspoon of the sugar in warm water; add the oil and salt to the flour
  • Stir the yeast into the warm water and put the yeast water in a warm place for about 10 minutes
  • Add yeast water to the flour and knead the dough well
  • Leave the dough to rise in a warm place
Preparing of the stuffing:
  • Peel the apple, remove core and cut into 32 pieces
  • Roast the walnuts carefully in a pan
  • Add apple pieces and honey and fry gently
  • Add cinnamon and stir in
  • Let the filling cool in a bowl
Filling the doughnuts:
  • Knead the yeast dough again (if the dough still sticks too much, knead in the flour)
  • Cut the dough into 16 pieces
  • Work the pieces of dough into small flat cakes (“leaves”) with your hands or a log
  • put 2 apple pieces and 2 walnuts in each doughnut and close by folding them together; place the doughnuts with the closing side down on a lightly floured work surface or board and cover with a cloth
  • carefully heat the oil in a high-walled pan (or a kettle) and do not let it get too hot (test the temperature with a small sample piece of dough or wooden sticks -> small bubbles will rise)
  • place the doughnuts in the fat with a skimmer, with the top side down; let the top side turn golden brown, then turn the doughnut over and let the top side turn golden brown as well
    Attention: if the fat is too hot, the doughnut burns from the outside, while the core is not heated enough and remains raw! If the fat is too hot, the doughnuts may burst open and the filling may fall out.
    Tip: In order to keep the fat in the ideal temperature range, the temperature supply must be handled accordingly (not as easy on an open fire as on a cooker ;-). On the other hand, the doughnuts can be put into the fat little by little or turned. This will cushion the temperature peaks of the fat a little.
  • Remove the finished doughnuts from the fat with a skimmer, for example, and let them drain; serve warm or cooled down – YUMMY!

Quince purée Based on buoch von guoter spîse (um 1350)

Ein kuetenmus.
Wilt du machen ein kuetenmuos, so nim kueten, wie vil du wilt, vnd
suede sie gar schon. vnd nim denne einen moerser vnd stozze sie
dor inne clein vnd slahe sie durch ein tuoch. vnd nim eyer totern
dor zvo vnd suedez do mit. vnd tuo ein zucker druf vnd versaltz niht.

Das Buch von guter Speise (um 1350), ed. Hajek aus der Sammlung Monumenta Culinaria et Diaetetica Historica


A quince purée

If you want to make a quince puree, take as many quinces as you like and cook them. Take a mortar and crush them in it and beat them through a cloth. And take some egg yolks and boil them with it. And put sugar on it and do not salt it.

  • 1.5 kg quinces (results in approx. 1.1 kg when cleaned)
  • 200 ml water
  • 4 egg yolks (raw or cooked, see variations below in the recipe)
  • 20 g sugar (or more depending on taste)
  • 1 pinch of salt
Preparing the Quince Purée:
  • remove the hair of the quinces; remove the seeds and peel the quinces
    Tip: I have cut the quinces into smaller pieces to remove the seeds and peel them, this makes it easier: don’t leave quince pieces lying around for a long time, because they will get brown when exposed to air
  • Cook the quince pieces with water for 30 – 40 minutes until the pieces are easily mashed
  • mash quinces with a small mortar or otherwise (if modern, then properly! Here with a potato masher ;)) and pass through a cloth (or sieve)
  • The quinces were so beautifully mashed that it was no longer necessary to pass them.

Since the recipe does not mention whether the egg yolks are raw or cooked, I tried both variations.

Variant A: cooked egg yolks
–        Mash the egg yolks in a mortar and grind them smooth with some of the quince puree

– Stir the paste into the quince puree (break up any egg yolk crumbs as well as possible)

– Heat mush

– Stir in sugar and salt

Tip: depending on the taste and sourness of the quinces, the puree can also tolerate more sugar


Variant B: raw egg yolks
– Stir the egg yolks into the warm quince puree while mashing quickly (works well with a whisk)

– Heat the mush and continue stirring

– Stir in sugar and salt

Tip: depending on the taste and acidity of the quinces, the puree can also tolerate more sugar


 Variant A:
  • the boiled egg yolk gives the mush a beautiful yellow colour and keeps its glassy-watery character despite the thickening
  • Unfortunately, some egg yolk crumbs remained in the mush, which I personally don’t like so much. Since the recipe says that the puree will not be passed through any more, they will remain in it as an eye-catcher.
  • As the puree doesn’t need to be boiled when thickened with boiled egg yolk, variant A doesn’t quite fit the description in the recipe at first glance, provided the puree is served cold (due to the process of mortaring and straining, the puree is now cold!) However, if you assume that the puree should be served warm, the thickening with egg yolk can be considered independently of reheating.
  • I find this variant tastier and fruitier than variant B
Variant B:
  • thickening with raw egg yolk has given the mush a lighter colour and creamier consistency
  • the raw egg yolk has been stirred well into the lukewarm mush. Further stirring during heating has prevented the formation of lumps.
  • As described in the recipe, the next resonable step after stirring in the raw egg yolks is to heat the mush
  • under the smokeless conditions of modern kitchen, this variant has a subtle egg flavour, which does not cloud the overall taste

Both variants taste super delicious with the doughnuts!