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100% Rye Banana Bread

Wednesday, April 27, 2022

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Spiced with cinnamon, nutmeg, and aromatic cardamom and sweetened with coconut sugar and honey, this deep-dark quick rye bread with a super moist and tender texture and lots of banana flavour is a hearty and healthy take on a regular banana bread recipe. It's filled with 100% nutritious, earthy rye flour and is free from refined sugar. With a combination of over-ripe banans, aromatic warming spices, good quality honey and earthy rye flour, this bread guarantees great taste experiences. Be sure to use really ripe bananas - the more dark brown spots on the skin, the better.
Rye is a close relative of both wheat and barley. It has a deep, rich taste and is packed with vitamins, minerals and soluble fiber. Rye has been linked to a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, colon cancer, breast cancer and diabetes.

100% Rye Banana Bread

adapted from Kingarthurbaking
  • 120 g Unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 100 g Coconut sugar
  • 1 tsp Dr. Oetker vanilla bean paste
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp Nutmeg
  • 10 Cardamom
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp Baking soda
  • A pinch of sea salt
  • 3 Large, very ripe banana, mashed plus one extra for the topping
  • 85 g / 4 tbsp Honey
  • 2 Large eggs, at room-temperature
  • 160 g Organic whole-grain rye flour
  • 160 g Light rye flour (I am using Roggenmehl #997)
  1. Preheat the oven to 160C/325F. Lightly grease or line a 9-10" x 5" / 24-26 cm x 12cm loaf pan with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, beat the butter, coconut sugar, vanilla paste, spices, baking powder, baking soda, and salt until smooth.
  3. Add the mashed banana, honey, and eggs. Mix until combined. Add the flours, stirring just until combined and smooth.
  4. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing the top. Cut a whole banana in half lengthwise and lay the two halves, cut side up, atop the loaf.
  5. Bake the bread for 60 to 70 minutes, or until a long toothpick or skewer inserted into the center comes out clean, or with a few wet crumbs clinging to it.
  6. Remove the bread from the oven and allow it to cool for 10 minutes in the pan. Turn the bread out of the pan, and cool completely on a rack.

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How To Make Wild Garlic Flavoured Oil

Sunday, April 24, 2022

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Infusing or flavouring oil is a great way to capture the flavour of fresh herbs without preserving the herbs themselves. However, homemade herb-flavoured oils do not stay fresh for long and should be used within a short time, esp. the one with fresh herbs, or they go rancid and get spoiled very quickly. It's easy to make flavoured oils at home and they make a great gift for the friends and family.
Incorporating wild garlic into oil means you can enjoy its health benefits all year around and inject this distinctive SPRING flavour into all sorts of dishes like salad dressings, marinades, a dip for homemade bread, meat, fish, grilled vegetables, or drizzling over soups or pizza. You can even use it for sautéing and stir-frying, but its flavour is most intense if used uncooked. If using fresh herbs, strain them out of oil by pouring oil from bottle through a strainer or coffee filter and into a new bottle. Dried herbs can remain in oil, but oil will stay fresh a bit longer if they are also strained out.
Dehydrator-drying is an easy and effective way to dry herbs for best flavour and quality. Once the moisture is extracted, not only is the shelf life long but the flavour intensified. Simply place washed herbs in a single layer on dehydrator trays. Set the thermostat to 30C/85F to 50C/120F. Drying time varies from 1 – 3 hours. Check your dehydrator manual for exact temperature and drying time.

  • 300-500 g Wild garlic leaves, rinsed and spinned dried
  • 500 ml Light virgin olive oil (or cooking oil if you prefer)
  1. Wash and spin dry the wild garlic leaves. Spread the prepared wild garlic leaves in a single layer on dehydrator trays. Set the dehydrator to 30C/85F to 50C/120F. Dry 1-3 hours or until the herbs are dry and crumble easily. Do check your dehydrator manual for exact temperature and drying time.
  2. If you don't have a dehydrator, set your oven on it's lowest, spread the wild garlic leaves on cookie sheets and dry them with the door propped open a little. Periodically check the leaves and move them round, so that they dry evenly.
  3. Sterilize clean glass bottles or jars by boiling in water for 10 minutes. Allow the bottles or jars to dry thoroughly before using.
  4. Place the dried wild garlic leaves in a tall cylinderial container or a tall pitcher and add in oil. Mix for 30 seconds with an immersion blender until combined. You can do this with a food processor too.
  5. Seal the bottles with the lids and leave them in a cool, dark place for about one week before using. The intensity of the flavour increases over time. Strain the herbs if desired.

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Wild Garlic Pesto Swirled Rolls

Thursday, April 21, 2022

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These herbal rolls are swirled with a homemade wild garlic pesto and perfect for a picnic or for dipping into soup. They are super soft and an easy dinner roll recipe to make. If you love wild garlic and are a fan of pesto, you will enjoy this! Add an extra sprinkle of Parmigiano-Reggiano over the pesto if you want extra cheesy swirls and of course any kind of pesto would be great for this recipe.

Pesto Swirled RollsWild Garlic Pesto
  • 240 ml 3.5% Milk at room-temperature
  • 60 g Butter
  • 2 tbsp Coconut sugar
  • 2 tsp Dried yeast
  • 450 g All-purpose flour
  • 2 Medium eggs at room-temperature
  • 1/2 tsp Fine sea salt
  • 1 tbsp Olive oil, for the mixing bowl and bundt pan
  • 2 tbsp Chopped hazelnut, for the topping
  • 1 Egg, lightly beanted, for brushing
  • 100 g Wild garlic leaves
  • 30 g Parmigiano-Reggiano, finely grated
  • 1 clove Garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/2 Lemon, zested and juiced
  • 30 g Pine nuts , toasted
  • 80 ml Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt and pepper
  1. Rinse and roughly chop the wild garlic leaves. Blitz the wild garlic leaves, grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, garlic, lemon zest and pine nuts to a rough paste in a food processor. Season, and with the motor running slowly, add in olive oil. Taste, season and add in lemon juice. Transfer the pesto to a clean jar and top with the extra olive oil. Will keep in the fridge for two weeks. You just need half of the pesto for the filling. Use the remaining to serve the buns or use it in other recipes.
  2. In a saucepan, add milk, butter and coconut sugar. Melt over low-medium heat, stirring frequently until the butter is melted and sugar dissolved. Turn off the heat and set aside to cool until warm to touch. Brush an 11-inch / 28-cm bundt pan with olive oil.
  3. In the bowl of your table mixer fitted with the dough-hook, add the warm milk mixture. Sprinkle the dried yeast on top, then add eggs, flour and salt. Stir on low speed until just combined, then increase the speed and mix until the dough begins to form a ball and pulls away from the sides of the bowl. The dough should be elastic, soft and stretchy.
  4. Remove the dough and shape into a ball. Lightly grease the mixing bowl with a bit of olive oil. Return the dough ball inti the greased mixing bowl and cover loosely with cling wrap or a damp kitchen towel. Let rest for 45 minutes in a warm spot until it's almost double in size.
  5. Once the dough has risen, punch it down with your fist and roll out the dough into an 20x12-inch / 50x30-cm rectangle. Spread half of the pesto filling out evenly over the dough, leaving a 1-inch / 2.5-cm border on sides. Beginning at the long side, tightly roll up the dough towards you and pinch the edges together to seal.
  6. Cut the sealed roll into 12 equal portions. Place the rolls into the prepared bundt pan. Cover the pan again with a damp towel or cling wrap, and leave it in a warm place to rise for 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F.
  7. Once the rolls have risen, brush the top with the beaten egg and sprinkle with chopped hazelnuts. Bake in the middle of hot oven for about 22-25 minutes until golden and cooked through. Cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes before removing from the pan and slicing. Serve it with the remaining pesto sauce if desired.

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Easy Melt&Mix Date Bars with Macadamia Nuts and Mahlep

Sunday, April 17, 2022

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This quick and delicious treat is perfect for an afternoon snack, a breakfast bite or an indulgent but healthy dessert. A classic melt and mix date bars recipe made with date syrup (or golden syrup), coconut sugar (light brown sugar is a good substitute), butter (or coconut oil if you prefer), macadamias (or nut of your choice), and dates, of course. The real star of these cookie bars is mahlep.
Mahlep, Mahalepi or Mahlab, used mainly in holiday breadmaking, cookies and pastries in the Middle East countries, is an aromatic baking spice made from the seeds of the mahaleb cherry, aka rock cherry, prunus mahaleb, and St. Lucy's cherry. Mahlep tastes a bit like cherries, bitter almond with a hint of rose and vanilla. Once baked, it becomes fruity and rich, but subtle. The seeds either have to be ground or boiled as an infusion and strained to obtain the most flavor. You can find it in Greek and Middle Eastern food shops or Amazon. (I got mine from a local Turkish store), As it comes from a seed, powdered mahlab is more vulnerable to get rancid and spoiled, so it’s best to buy it in small quantities, and store it in a cool, dry place. Whole mahlab whole seeds store well in the freezer for a very long time. Grind it just before using for best results.

  • 220 g Unsalted butter, cubed
  • 100 g Coconut sugar (or light brown sugar)
  • 3 tbsp Date syrup (maple syrup or golden syrup)
  • 300 g Plain flour, sifted
  • 2/3 tbsp Baking powder
  • 1 tsp Baking soda
  • 1/3 tsp Salt
  • 2 tsp Mahlab
  • 300 g Dried dates, pitted and roughly chopped
  • 100 g Macadamia nuts, roughly chopped
  • Rind of 1 lemon, finely grated
  1. Preheat oven to 180C/350F. Grease and line a 30cm x 25cm/12inch x 10inch rectangular baking pan and set aside.
  2. Combine butter, coconut sugar and date syrup in a medium saucepan and cook the mixture over a medium heat until sugar melted and the ingredients combined.
  3. Meanwhile place plain flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, dates, macadamias and lemon rind in a medium bowl, mix to combine.
  4. Add melted butter mixture to dates and flour, and mix well to combine. Spoon the thick mixture into the prepared baking pan, smoothing the top with the back of a tablespoon or a spatula.
  5. Bake for 25 - 30 minutes until top is deep golden brown. Allow to cool in the pan for 30 minutes before cutting into bars to enjoy. Store the bars in a sealed airtight container for 3-4 days at room temperature or in the fridge for up to one week.

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Dandelion Salad with Bacon, Egg and Parmigiano Reggiano

Thursday, April 14, 2022

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A freshly picked dandelion salad is one of the joys of spring, made with crispy bacon, boiled eggs and the 30-month Parmigiano Reggiano, that help smooth the strong and assertive bitterness of danelions and characteristically bitter edge of radicchio. You could use all dandelions if you prefer or substitue baby spinach or arugula greens. Besides bacon, salami or other sausages are great for this salad too.

SaladDressing
  • 8 slices Bacon
  • 4 Eggs, boiled to your liking
  • 100 g Dandelion greens
  • 100 g Radicchio, thinly sliced
  • 30-month Parmigiano Reggiano
  • 1 Shallot, minced
  • 1 tbsp Hazelnut oil
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp Apple cider vinegar
  • 50 ml Homemade broth
  • Salt and freshly milled black pepper
  1. In a medium skillet over low heat, cook bacon until brown and crisp, 5 to 8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer bacon to a paper towel, reserving fat.
  2. Return the skillet to the heat, add the minced shallot and sauté, stirring occasionally, for a minute, until slightly softened. Add the hazelnut oil, mustard, vinegar and broth and stir for about 1 minute, until bubbling and just the slightest bit reduced, scraping up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Taste and season.
  3. Meanwhile boil the eggs in boiling water for about 8 minutes for hard-boiled eggs. Drain and rinse egg briefly under cool water until cool enough to handle. Peel and cut the egg in half.
  4. Toss the dandelion greens and radicchio with salad dressing. Arrange on serving plates with the eggs, bacon and shave some Parmigiano-Reggiano over. Serve immediately.

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Roggenmischbrot German Mixed Rye Bread with Honey

Sunday, April 10, 2022

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One of the great pleasures of living in Europe is the wide array of breads in various forms, tastes, textures and colours available. Healthy rye bread is gaining popularity because of its wholesomeness, high nutritional value and may be more beneficial in weight loss than wheat. Breads made with rye flour have a longer shelf life and taste fresh longer than breads made with wheat flours. It is also often combined with other flours because of its low protein / gluten content.
Many so-called rye breads are actually a mixture of rye and wheat, or some other grain that’s easier to work with. Rye bread in Germany, according to the law, must be made with no less than 90% rye. Any bread with a lower percentage of rye flour is called Mischbrot, either Roggenmischbrot / mixed rye bread or Weizenmischbrot / mixed wheat bread.
Rye flour is darker than wheat flour and it has higher amounts of vitamins B and E. Earthy, tangy rye bread is often made with additions like honey, malt syrup, or cocoa powder, which add colour, aroma and flavour. Very often bread seasoning / bread spice / Brotgewürz, like caraway, dill, fennel, anis, coriander, or cardamom, is added to the dough according to personal or regional preference, and they make the bread particularly tasty, aromatic and also aid digestion.
While you can make bread with 100% rye, which is difficult to work or knead and the crumb tends to be denser, heavier and tighter, though taste more distinctly of rye, very digestible and nutritious if made as a sourdough. That means it needs a lot of help if you aim to get a fluffy, airy product. One of commen practices is the addition of some wheat flour. Wheat flour can be added in any ratio that suits your taste and liking to help form a better gluten structure and get a good rise but still keeps good rye flavour and aroma.
Light and soft inside with a very crunchy crust, this bread is a great choice for corned beef, roast beef, or pastrami sandwiches slathered with grainy mustard and topped with cheese. It freezes very well too. Wrap it in plastic wrap and aluminum foil, then store in a freezer bag for up to three months. Thaw at room temperature and reheat in the oven if desired.

Rye Mix Bread with Honey

inspired by Roggen-Krustenbrot mit Honig
  • 300 g Dark rye flour (German #1150)
  • 200 g All-purpose flour (German #550)
  • 60 g Rye sourdough
  • 40 g Liquid honey
  • 15 g Fresh yeast
  • 280 - 310 ml Lukewarm water
  • 10 g Salt
  1. In the mixing bowl of your table mixer fixed with a dough hook, add rye flour, bread flour, sourdough, honey, and fresh yeast. Mix at slow speed while you slowly add in water until the ingredients roughly come together. Increase the speed to medium and stir for 5 minutes. Now add in salt and continue to mix for a further 2 minutes until the a firm dough forms.
  2. Turn out onto a work surface and shape into a ball. Grease the mixing bowl with a bit of olive oil and return the dough ball to the bowl. Cover with a plastic wrap and let it rise in a warm, moist environment until double in volume.
  3. Fold the edges of the dough inwards several times and let the dough rise again for 1 hour.
  4. Lightly flour your work surface and gently shape the dough into an oval batard or round ball. Place the shaped dough into a well floured bread basket with the seam sides up. Cover the dough with a slightly moist kitchen towel and let rise for about an hour.
  5. Meanwhile preheat the oven to 240C/470F with a pizza stone on the 2nd bottom rack and a baking tray at the bottom.
  6. Turn the puffy dough onto a floured parchment paper or the floured back of a baking sheet. Use a sharp knife, razor blade, or bread lame to score a couple of lines across the dough. (here is a scoring tutorial just in case you are interested) Place the dough onto the pizza stone and throw a few ice cubes into the baking tray at the bottom to generate some steam.
  7. Close the oven door immediately and bake the bread for about 15 minutes. Lower the oven temperature to 210C/410F and bake for 30-35 more minutes until the bread crust is deep golden brown. Remove and cool the bread on a wire rack.

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