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Classic Biscuit-Topped Cobbler with Mirabelles and Blackberries

Wednesday, August 10, 2022

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Make the most of foraged Mirabelles and hedgerow blackberries in this wonderful baked fruit dessert. There’s something rather satisfying about foraging food in nature and turning them into something delicious to enjoy. This cobbler recipe works great with all types of fruit and is an excellent dessert that is light on sugar and doesn't compromise on flavour--a healthyish and comforting summertime dessert, especially when served with a drizzle of coconut cream or top with a creamy scoop of vanilla ice cream for an indulgent treat. I baked this in a 30-cm cast iron pan, but a casserole dish or mini cast-iron skillets would work just great.

Mirabelle and Blackberry Cobbler

adapted from NY Times
The FruitThe Biscuit
  • 750 g Mirabelles, stoned
  • 200 g Fresh blackberries
  • 2 tbsp Raw cane sugar
  • 1 tbsp Potato starch
  • 200 g Spelt bread flour #1150
  • 1/4 tsp Fine sea salt
  • 1 tbsp Raw cane sugar
  • 2 tsp Baking powder
  • 6 tbsp Cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 180 ml Coconut cream, plus additional for serving, if desired
  1. Heat the oven to 190C/375F. Place pitted Mirabelles and blackberries in a bowl and toss with the sugar and potato starch. Set aside.
  2. To make the dough, mix the spelt flour, salt, sugar and baking powder in a bowl. Cut in the butter until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add the coconut cream and mix lightly, just until the dry ingredients are moistened.
  3. Put the prepared fruit in a 12-inch / 30-cm cast iron pan or baking dish. Make patties out of the dough, 2 to 2 1/2-inches / 5 to 6-cmin diameter and 1/2-inch / 1.3-cm thick. Arrange them over the top of the fruit. Bake until the topping is brown and the juices bubble thickly around it, about 35 to 40 minutes.
  4. Let cool slightly. Serve warm, with coconut cream to pour on top, if desired.

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Sourdough Jam Rolls

Sunday, August 07, 2022

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These soft, overnight sourdough rolls with no added commercial yeast are the perfect breakfast or afternoon tea treat! Baked with an enriched sweet dough, a homemade wild blackberry jam and dusted with powdered sugar. I used rye sourdough starter with 100% hydration, but spelt or wheat starter would work just fine. Sourdough adds so much flavour and really brings these jam rolls up a level. You can frost them with a cream cheese glaze if desired.

  • 240 ml Whole milk
  • 60 g Butter, melted
  • 2 Medium eggs
  • 145 g Active rye sourdough starter
  • 30 g Coconut sugar
  • 450 g Spelt bread flour #1150
  • 1/2 tsp Fine sea salt
  • 450 g (about 1 1/2 cup) Homemade or storbought blackberry jam
  • 20 g Almond flakes, optional
  1. Warm the milk and butter in a medium aucepan until the butter is just melted and the mixture is warm and well combined.
  2. In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add the eggs, rye sourdough starter, and coconut sugar. Mix to combine at the slow speed. With the machine running, slowly pour in the milk-butter mixture, then add the spelt bread flour and sea salt. Continue mixing until a rough, sticky dough forms, about a minute. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Cover the bowl with a damp kitchen towel and let the dough rest for 30 minutes.
  3. After the dough has rested, switch to the dough hook. Knead on medium speed for 6-8 minutes. The dough should feel soft, supple and pull away from the sides of the bowl when ready.
  4. Grease a tray with some butter or olive oil and place the dough in. Cover with a damp kitchen towel and let rise overnight at room temperature until double in size, about 8-12 hours. About 30-60 minutes into the bulk rise stretch and fold the dough. Grab one side of the dough in the tray, stretch, and fold across to the center of the dough. Repeat on all four sides of the dough.
  5. Line a square 10-inch spring-form pan with parchment paper. Lightly grease the work surface with olive oil. Turn out the dough onto the work surface. Dust the dough and your rolling pin with flour.
  6. Roll the dough into a 40x60 cm / 18x23 inch rectangle. If the dough resists, let rest for 5-10 minutes and try again.
  7. Spread the jam evenly over the rolled dough, leaving a 1 cm / 1/2 inch border untouched. Starting from the long side, gently but firmly, roll the dough into a tight log. Grease a sharp knife with a bit of olive oil and cut the log into 12 even pieces. Place the rolls into the prepared pan and let rest for 2-3 hours, or until the dough puffs up. Sprinkle the top with almond flakes if using.
  8. Preheat oven to 180C/350F. Bake the dough in the middle of the hot oven and bake for 35-40 minutes until deep golden brown. Remove from the oven and cool in the pan for 15 minutes before lifting the parchment paper and place on a wire rack. You can make a cream cheese glaze for the buns or simply dust it with some powdered sugar.

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Cucumber Snack Boats with Creamy Carrot

Friday, August 05, 2022

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These cucumber boats with the creamy, garlicky carrot filling are a tasty snack during the hot summer months. It is also perfect for an evening with friends or as a quick finger food. The combination of juicy cucumbers, creamy cream cheese and crunchy carrots tastes simply delicious. The recipe is super easy and can be thrown together in a jiffy.

  • 1 Carrot
  • 2 Garlic cloves
  • 3 tbsp Dill, chopped
  • 400 g Creamy fresh cheese
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • 4 Baby cucmbers
  • 1 tsp Black sesame seeds, toasted
  • Some cherry tomatoes, optional
  1. Wash, peel and coarsely grate the carrot. Peel the garlic and press it through a press. Wash dill, shake dry and chop finely.
  2. Mix the grated carrots, garlic, dill and cream cheese in a bowl. Season the filling with salt.
  3. Wash the cucumbers, dry and cut them in half lengthwise. Scrape out the seeds with a spoon. Spoon the carrot filling into the cucumber boats.
  4. Arrange them on a serving platter with a few cherry tomatoes aside if using. Sprinkle the black sesame seeds over and serve as a snack or appetiser.

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Tomato Couscous Salmon Bowl

Wednesday, August 03, 2022

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This tomato couscous bowl is perfect for meal prepping and packing up for lunches. All of the components are so fresh and great on their own, but somehow taste even better when combined together in a bowl. Instead of couscous, you can use brown rice, quinoa, kamut, or buckwheat for this deliciously healthy and wholesome summer bowl.

Dressing
  • 300 ml Tomato juice
  • 1/2 tsp Ras el hanout (or garam masala)
  • 100 g Couscous
  • 200 g Sugar snap peas (or snow peas)
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2x125 g Salmon fillets
  • 1 tbsp Butter
  • 80 g Leafy greens (purslane, spinach, arugula or lamb's lettuce)
  • Cilantro leaves
  • 1/2 Red onion, sliced into rings
  • A handful of blackberries
  • 1 tbsp Pomegranate seeds
  • 2 tbsp Pan juice from frying salmon
  • 1 tbsp Olive oil
  • 1 tbsp Lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  1. Place tomato juice and ras el hanout in a saucepan and bring it to a simmer. Stir in couscous, cover and leave to stand for 10 minutes, then stir with a fork to break up any clumps.
  2. Remove the end stems and the strings of each pod. Rinse and dry them. Add a tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add in sugar snap peas and sautee for 3-5 minutes until crisp-tender. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Season the salmon with salt and pepper. Heat a tablespoon of olive oil and a tablespoon of butter in a skillet over medium-high heat until very hot. Add in seasoned salmon fillets, with the skin down, and cook, undisturbed, for 5 minutes until crispy and browned.
  4. Flip the salmon over and lower the heat to medium. Cook the remaining 3 sides until the fish is cooked through, 3 more minutes.
  5. Whisk together the pan juice, olive oil, lemon juice and mustard in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper.
  6. To serve, divide the tomato couscous into two bowls. To each bowl, add the leafy greens, cilantro, onion rings and snap peas and top with a pan fried salmon fillet. Garnish with blackberries and pomegranate seeds. Drizzle the prepared dressing over.

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Spelt Emmer Sourdough Wholemeal Bread using a Scalding Method

Monday, August 01, 2022

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baked with seam side downbaked with seam side up


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Scalding, a very common process in grain preparation and cooking, is a technique involving cooking a portion of the flour (5%-20%) for a bread dough with relatively high hydration at a specific temperature which creates a gelatinized starch which can hold a lot more water than a normal bread dough mix. It also induces chemical reactions that create a sweeter flavor and make the bread more easily digestible. Usually 5% to 20% of flour are scalded one way or another. Higher percentages usually result in poor rise. Scald hydration is usually between 200% to 400%.
Scalding has been a part of bread baking for a long time, particularly in Northern Europe and Russia for many rye breads and for some wheat breads. There are different types of scalds (Scalds by gelatinisation degree, by saccharinification degree, by flavouring additives, by preservation and fermented scalds) and multiple ways to create a scald (cool down method - flour is measured, then boiling water is added and mixed in thoroughly; heat up method, like tangzhong where the flour is mixed with cold water, then slowly heated up to 65C/150F).
This bread uses a mixture of wholemeal spelt and emmer flour, which is not only very healthy, but also aromatic and very delicious. If you don't have emmer, then replace it with regular wheat or spelt flour.

Spelt Emmer Sourdough Wholemeal Bread

adapted from Marcel Paa
Scald / Scalded FlourSourdough PrefermentFinal Dough
  • 150 g Water
  • 50 g Wholemeal spelt
  • 20 g Sourdough starter
  • 80 g Water at 35C/93F
  • 100 g Wholemeal spelt
  • Scald
  • Sourdough Preferment
  • 220 g Water at 35C/93F
  • 8 g Fine sea salt
  • 50 g Magerquark
  • 200 g Wholemeal spelt
  • 150 g Wholemeal emmer
  1. Place the flour and water in a saucepan and bring the mixture to a boil, stirring constantly. As soon as the starch gelatinises, remove the saucepan from the heat, cover with a plastic film and put in the fridge for at least 2-3 hours or until ready for use.
  2. Mix the sourdough starter and water in a bowl. Add in wholemeal spelt and mix until combined. Cover with a plastic film and let ferment at the room-temperature for 8-12 hours.
  3. After the proofing time, put all the ingredients for the final dough in a food processor and knead on a low speed for 3-4 minutes. Then increase the speed and knead for a total of about 10 minutes.
  4. Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl or tray, cover with a clean tea towel and leave to proof at room temperature for 2-3 hours. In the meantime, stretch and fold the dough at 30, 60 and 90 minutes intervals. Cover the dough again and let it ferment for the rest of the time.
  5. After the dough has proofed, place it on a floured work surface and gently drag it over the floured work surface 1-2 times to get a smooth surface. Then place the dough, seam side down, directly into a lightly greased loaf tin. If you want a rustic look, then place it with seam side side up into the loaf tin. Dust the surface with a little wholemeal spelt flour.
  6. Cover the dough and leave to proof at room temperature for 30-40 minutes. In the meantime, preheat the oven to 230C/450F with a baking tray for the steam at the bottom of the oven.
  7. Place the pan with loaf in the middle of hot oven and add a cup of water to the tray at the bottom of the oven to create the steam. Close the oven door immediately. Reduce the oven temperature to 210C/410F and bake the bread for 20 minutes.
  8. After 20 minutes, open the oven door briefly to let the steam escape and then bake the bread for another 15-20 minutes. Turn out the bread and bake without the mould for another 10-15 minutes until crispy. Cool the bread on a wire rack.

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