Fruit and Nut Rye

There is something about truly wholesome food that feeds the soul. A simple seasonal dish, fruit and vegetables picked at their best. Honest food that nourishes, heals and restores.

It could be something as simple as revitalising an appetite or tantalising those taste buds. Inspiring to cook better. I was watching a cooking programme the other day and got so excited about the simple ingredients the chef was using. The presentation was beautiful, the colours, the textures and also the fact that it took just a few minutes to prepare.

Food is exciting. It can be wonderfully vibrant. It brings people together. The textures, the smells, the colours all mixed together can do so much. As I quite often write, it doesn’t have to be complicated, and it doesn’t have to take half a day to prepare.

Packets don’t have the same effect. Jars are unlikely to as well. Fruit and vegetables with their genetic diversity dumbed down for convenience and then stored for great lengths of time do not have the same qualities and effects of their seasonal local heirloom variety counterparts.

I love sweet things, and don’t have any issue with sweet recipes in moderation. However I do think that in our society sugar is being used as a substitute for taste. Salt is right along side it. A product lacking in flavour, health, anything nourishing what so ever will be added to. What with? Sugar and or salt. It deadens the taste buds, you want more, your satisfaction levels get confused and more gets consumed. Using ingredients that are easily identifiable, and letting their real flavours shine through brings dishes to the table that make a person smile.

Listen closely to a small child with their favourite simple piece of fruit, and more often than not, slow enjoyable eating sounds will be heard. A sun kissed strawberry brings nothing but happy slurps and red stained fingers and mouth. Taste buds heightened and ignited. A lesser strawberry would still be consumed, but leaving no satisfaction, taste buds lying dormant and on finishing it, you’ve already forgotten about it and moved on.

Bread is no different. For this bread I wanted something that nourished every part of me. A couple of slices for breakfast that would leave my taste buds awakened and my body energized.

Fruit and Nut Rye

300g starter

200g strong bakers flour

100g rye flour

50g linseed

100g sultanas

50g chopped pecans

25g unprocessed wheat bran

1 tsp dark malt flour

275mls (approx) water

1 1/2 tsp salt

handful of raw almonds

Mix all ingredients together except the salt. Resting period for about 40 minutes. Add the salt and mix again. Two long proves with a quick knead in between. Shape or pop in an oiled loaf tin, making sure you throw in a handful of whole raw almonds at the bottom of the tin and bake at 240C with plenty of steam. I baked this one for about 40 minutes. Then gently flipped the loaf out of the tin and into the oven again for another 5 or so minutes, bottom side up, to toast the almonds a little more. Cool on a rack, then wrap and leave over night before cutting into.

This post submitted to the wonderful yeastspotting

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Golden light rye rolls

Breakfast has always been my favourite meal of the day.

Travelling overseas, it was always breakfast time that excited me the most. What did the locals eat? How did they start their day?

Germany was always my favourite. A substantial rye bread, cheese, meat and muesli. I read once that the German breakfast was the best way to start the day in terms of low GI and giving lasting energy through out the day. Compared to their neighbouring companions in Italy, who often start the day with a strong coffee and some sweet biscuits to dunk in. Not that I didn’t like that breakfast as well, however I would quite often be hungry two hours later. By lunch time I would be chasing my tail, eyes looking vague and softly muttering oh please feed me.

Malaysia I was also happy with. Eggs and roti (roti telur) being readily available, a little sambal on the side with some tea laced with condensed milk to wash it all down. There’s quite a lot to like of condensed milk early in the morning.

Bagni di Lucca had posted recently on eating breakfast in Finland. While smoked salmon and I are not friends, the picture of the rye bread rolls, remained at the fore front of my brain until I just had to have a go at baking the little fellas.

I enjoyed them so much, there have been at least four batches since. Just the thing to start your day with. It’s not a bowl of cafe au lait, or a straight off the hot plate roti telur. But teamed up with some tarty marmalade and cheese or some avocado/black pepper and tomato and I’m a happy mama. Giving me lots of energy to think about my next meal…


Golden light rye rolls

200g starter (100%)

250g strong bakers flour

100g rye flour

50g golden flaxseed

200mls+ water (approx, may need more.)

1 tsp dark malt flour

1 tsp salt

extra

1 tbls rye flour

80mls boiling water

Mixing ingredients together. Resting period of about 40 minutes before adding the salt, mix again plus a quick fold. Prove. Shape. Now make up the rye water mixture. (I first did this for this 100% rye, and wanted a similar soft top.) Slowly adding your boiling water, while quickly whisking your rye flour. Once mixed together just leave it until the bread is finished the final prove. Just before the bread rolls go in to bake add a good spoonful of the rye mixture to the top, smoothing it over. Squirt with water and pop in the oven at 240 with steam.

This post submitted to yeastspotting.

It’s all feeling a little Nordic

Something had been reignited again. It started with a holiday and then snowballed from there.

I’ve been reading.

Congratulations, I hear you mutter. But really it is a big thing. Books were getting piled up in ambitious piles and not moving. The newspaper was taunting me.

Then it all changed. Three books in three weeks and the ball was rolling, really quite fast. They were fat books too. The most I had been reading before that, was the back of the peanut butter jar… Even that was skim reading.

So what got me going again?

Stieg Larsson. The Millenium triology.

Goodbye Monkeys, goodbye Mr Chocolate, goodbye tv, *ahem* goodbye cityhippyfarmgirl blog… hello Sweden and your criminal mysteries.

Thoroughly enjoyed the books, all three of them.

Now with that being said, I have been immersed in all things Scandinavian and my taste buds are calling for food that would be fitting. Rye bread was obviously a must, along with anything else I could make happen.

I had also kept in the back of my mind this beautiful lady’s crisp bread recipe from the beginning of the year. It was time to give that one a go, and I’m so glad I did. They make the perfect base for an open sandwich, and I think they will definitely become a staple around here.

 

Knekkebrod

200g spelt flour

200g whole oats

100g pepita

100g sunflower seeds

100g LSA (linseed, sunflower and almond meal)

25g sesame

350mls water

These are the ingredients I used as it was what I had on hand. I can see how they would be incredibly versatile though, and using any ingredients that you really like. I loved them, and am definitely going to make them regularly now. See here for Turid’s original recipe though.

The Split Pea Soup I suspect is not just restricted to Swedish eating, however Jamie Oliver has a recipe for it in his Swedish section in this great book, and while I adapted it to what I had on hand and my taste buds, the one thing that I think is genius was to put mustard on top. Now, I love my mustard but I would never have thought to add it to a Split Pea Soup, so thanks Jamie.

Split Pea Soup

adapted from Jamie Oliver’s “Jamie does…”

A good couple of slurps of olive oil

add a couple of diced sticks of celery, and an onion

cook it down a little

add 500g of washed split peas

and about 1.5 litres of stock (I use vegetable stock)

1 tsp oregano

and simmer it for about 45 minutes or until soft.

Serve with a dollop of mustard and knekkebrod.