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No Bake Blueberry Curd Tart

Wednesday, June 29, 2022

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A no bake fruit art with butter cookie crumb crust filled with homemade blueberry curd, then garnished with some white chocolate crunchy balls--simple, delicious and perfect for hot summer days when the berries are in abundance. Do make an extra portion of blueberry curd to spread on homemade bread or pour over some pancakes. You can use fresh or frozen blueberries for the curd. Berries of any kind always yield delicious results! Besides blueberries, you could opt for raspberries, blackberries, or strawberries.

Cookie CrustBlueberry Curd
  • 200 g Butter cookies
  • 80 g Unsalted butter, melted
  • 300 g Fresh blueberries
  • 4 tbsp Freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 150 g White sugar
  • 2 Eggs, medium
  • 4 Egg yolks
  • 70 g Unsalted butter, cut into 6 smaller pieces
  1. Place butter cookies in a large ziploc bag. Seal all but 1-inch of the bag, so that air can escape. Take a rolling pin and roll over the ziploc bag of cookies until you have fine crumbs.
  2. Place cookie crumbs and melted butter in a large bowl and stir with a fork until the mixture looks like wet sand. Place in a 35x13cm tart pan with a removable bottom and press until it’s very compact. Chill the crust for 1 hour before filling.
  3. While the cookie crust chills, prepare the curd. Wash and dry the blueberries. Place the berries, 2 tablespoons of lemon juice and half of the sugar in a saucepan. Use a hand blender to puree the mixture. Cook the mixture over medium heat until it turns dark purple and it has started to thicken a bit, about 10 minutes.
  4. Strain the mixture into a medium-sized bowl through a fine mesh strainer to remove the blueberry skins. Pour the blueberry puree back into the saucepan and add in the remaining lemon juice and sugar.
  5. Place a medium bowl with a fine-mesh strainer next to the stove. Add the whole eggs, and egg yolks to the saucepan and whisk to thoroughly combine. Place the pan over medium-low heat and whisk constantly, until the mixture is slightly thickened.
  6. Remove the saucepan from the heat and whisk in the butter one piece at a time until thoroughly incorporated. Strain curd through the strainer into the bowl.
  7. Remove the crust from the fridge and pour the strained curd into the crust. Chill the tart for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight, until firm. If desired, garnish with mint leaves and chocolate crunchy balls.

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Arugula Salad with Serrano Ham and Dried Tomatoes

Monday, June 27, 2022

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This arugula salad with Serrano ham is fresh, healthy and delicious. The paper-thin sliced Serrano ham with an aromatic taste or Italian Prosciutto if you prefer the milder taste, perfectly complements the peppery arugula salad with dried tomatoes. Other greens like romaine and curly endives are good choices too. The sophisticated salad gets the necessary zing with a basil pesto and makes a wonderful appetizer especially on hot summer days.

  • 40 g Pine nuts
  • 1 bunch Basil
  • 1 clove Garlic
  • 150 ml Olive oil
  • 40 g Parmigiano-Reggiano, grated
  • Salt to taste
  • 200 g Arugula, or other greens
  • Olives of your choice
  • 100 g Serrano ham
  • 100 g Dried tomatoes, in olive oil
  1. Toast pine nuts in a skillet over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until they're golden-brown and smell quite nutty. Set aside to cool.
  2. Pluck off the basil leaves. Peel garlic clove and crush with a little salt and pine nuts in a mortar. Add basil or chop everything in a blitz chopper. Add finely grated Parmesan cheese and gradually add olive oil. Season the pesto with salt.
  3. Clean and dry arugula leaves. Place them in a large salad bowl with olives and toss with a tablespoon of pesto. Arrange them on serving plates.
  4. Roughly tear the Serrano ham into strips and place them and dried tomatoes on the arugula leaves. Serve the salad with pesto aside.

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St. Gallen Country Bread with Overnight Fermentation

Friday, June 24, 2022

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St. Gallen Bread with 100% Bread Flour

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St. Gallen Bread is a traditional Swiss bread loaf that is shaped into a round knot with a torn front with a very crunchy, thick crust and a dense, soft and tender interior. It is one of the most common and popular breads found in almost every region of Switzerland, esp. in German-speaking region, and in almost every grocery store and bakery. Originally, St. Gallen bread was common in the cantons of St. Gallen, Thurgau and both Appenzells, although in Appenzell it is called "Appenzeller Brot" and in Thurgau "Thurgauer Brot". Today it is mostly made in loaves of 500 g or 1 kg, sometimes 250 g. In the past, loaves of 2.5 kg were common.
I simply shaped my St. Gallen bread into a big knot, very much like a snail shell. If a traditional St. Gallen bread shape is desired, then divide the dough into thirds and shape each into a ball. Place them on a floured parchment paper and chill in the fridge for 12-18 hours. Lightly flatten a dough ball and fold in two thirds of the dough from the back side to the front side, then one quarter from the upper left side. Now you will have kind of a “nose” in the middle, and with the sides of your hands, press the dough a little on the left and right side of this nose. This will result into kind of little wings – fold the wings into the middle. Repeat with remaining two dough balls. Place them together on parchment paper or into a loaf pan. Check out the Kochtopf's blog or Marcel's video below if you need more details on shaping process.

St. Gallen Bread with Overnight Fermentation

adapted from Marcel Paa
  • 350 g Cold water
  • 500 g Bread flour #1050 (or 400 g #480 white wheat flour + 100 g Dark rye flour #1150)
  • 5 g Fresh yeast
  • 8 g Salt
  1. Place water first into the mixing bowl of your mixer fixed with a dough hook, then add in the rest of the ingredients. Mix at slow speed for 2-3 minutes. Increase the speed to medium and knead the dough for about 10 minutes. Check the dough with the "window test". If the dough is still sticky and cracks, continue kneading until it passes the window test.
  2. Transfer the dough into a greased mixing bowl, cover with a kitchen towel and place in the fridge for 12-18 hours.
  3. Place the dough on a lightly floured work surface, and roll the dough into a 80cm long rope. Now form the rope into a snail shell. Place it on a piece of parchment paper dusted with flour. Cover with a kitchen towel and set aside to proof for 60-90 minutes.
  4. If a traditional St. Gallen bread shape is desired, then divide the dough into thirds and shape each into a ball. Place them on a floured parchment paper and chill in the fridge for 12-18 hours. Lightly flatten a dough ball and fold in two thirds of the dough from the back side to the front side, then one quarter from the upper left side. Now you will have kind of a “nose” in the middle, and with the sides of your hands, press the dough a little on the left and right side of this nose. This will result into kind of little wings – fold the wings into the middle. Repeat with remaining two dough balls. Place them together on parchment paper or into a loaf pan. Before baking, make a deep cut in the dough directly under the "nose" with a sharp knife.
  5. Preheat the oven to 230F/445F with a baking tray at the bottom of the oven for the steam and a baking stone in the middle.
  6. Place it in the middle of hot oven and pour 200 ml of water into the baking tray at the bottom of the oven. Close the door immediately. Bake for 20 minutes. Open the oven door briefly and let the steam escape. Lower the temperature into 210C/410F and bake for a further 30 minutes until golden brown and crisp.

St. Gallen Bread with 100% Bread Flour


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Watermelon Salad with Cumin Maple Syrup Vinaigrette

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

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For the perfect combination of sweet and salty, you can't go past this watermelon, blueberries and feta salad with cumin maple syrup vinaigrette. Serve this vibrant salad that's bursting with flavour, colour and nutrients, as a side to your favorite protein dish (we enjoyed it with a bone-in, skin-on pork shoulder roast flavoured with fennel) for the ultimate summer feast. It's refreshing, deliciously healthy and a perfect dish for entertaining. The sweetness of watermelon and Gorgonzola would make a great combination too if you prefer a stronger flavour of cheese or ricotta if you want a milder variety.

DressingSalad
  • 1 Lemon, juiced
  • 4 tbsp Olive oil
  • 1 tsp Maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp Freshly milled cumin
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1 Mini watermelon, cut into triangles
  • 100 g Feta, crumbled
  • Mint, chopped
  • 100 g Blueberries
  • 1 tsp Black sesame seeds
  1. Whisk freshly squeezed lemon juice, olive oil and maple syrup in a small serving bowl. Season with cumin, salt and pepper.
  2. Wash and dry the watermelon. Cut the clean watermelon into triangles, about 2cm thick. Arrange watermelon on a large serving platter with blueberries and chopped mint. Drizzle some prepared dressing over. Crumble feta over the salad and sprinkle the black sesame seed over.
  3. Serve as an easy appetizer, a light snack or as a side to your favourite source of protein, such as meatballs, chicken wings, steak, salmon, or pork roast.




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100% Wholemeal Rye Sourdough Bread

Monday, June 20, 2022

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There's nothing like a good slice of whole rye bread! Spread with butter or topped with cheese, and sausage. It's perfect for breakfast, in between meals or for supper as home-baked always tastes best!Nothing else goes into the dough here but wholemeal rye, water, salt and optional malt extract. A little time, a little practice and you have a hearty and nutritious bread on the table. The bread releases an irresistible aroma as soon as it is baked. You can tell if the rye bread is baked through by tapping on the underside of the loaf. If it sounds hollow, the bread is ready. It is best to let the loaf cool down completely before cutting it.
Wholemeal rye flour is rich in dietary fibre as well as minerals due to the high proportion of husks. Fibre promotes good and healthy digestion, while the minerals perform various tasks; phosphorus, for example, is important for strong bones and zinc ensures good defences. The B vitamins are also essential for the brain and nervous system.

100% Wholemeal Rye Sourdough Bread

inspired and adapted from here and here
  • 5 g Rye sourdough starter
  • 325 g Water, lukewarm
  • 1/2 tbsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Barley malt extract (or molasses)
  • 400 g Wholemeal rye flour
  1. Mix the starter with 25 grams of lukewarm water, add 25 grams of flour, mix well and leave to mature in a screw-top jar with a lid at room temperature for 3-6 hours.
  2. Dissolve the salt and malt extract in the remaining water in a mixing bowl, then add in wholemeal rye flour. Now add in active sourdough starter and mix everything well by hand until a sticky, even dough is formed. Cover the bowl with a large plastic bag and leave to rest at room temperature for 30 minutes.
  3. Wet your hands with cold water and stretch and fold the dough. To do this, reach under the centre of the dough, pull upwards and fold to other end. Repeat this with the remaining 3 sides. Cover and let the dough rest for 30 minutes, then stretch and fold again. Cover the dough and allow it to ferment for 1-2 hours.
  4. Carefully scrape the dough out on a lightly floured work surface and form into a round. To do this, fold the sides of the dough towards the center in clockwise with a little pressure so that the dough does not stick too much to your hands. Place the dough, seam side up, (or down if you like a more rustic look) in a floured, round proofing basket. Cover with a large freezer bag or plastic film and leave to rise in the fridge for 12-16 hours. The dough should at least double in size during this time.
  5. Preheat the oven to 250C/480F with a baking stone in the center and a baking tray at the bottom of the oven.
  6. Turn the dough out onto a piece of baking paper or pizza shovel dusted with flour. Transfer the bread to the hot oven and pour a cup of water to the baking tray at the bottom of the oven. Close the oven door immediately and bake the bread for 15 minutes. Open the door briefly to let the steam escape. Lower the oven temperature to 220C/410F and bake for a further 35-40 minutes. Remove the bread and cool on a wire rack for at least 2 hours before slicing.

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