Rugbrød (Danish Rye Bread)

IMG_7936

Those of you that know me, know that I have a real love affair with the Scandinavian way of life. I love the food, the cooler weather, the idea of long summer days, the Fika culture of coffee and cake with friends and the lovely hues of the painted buildings. If I were to choose somewhere to live other than the UK, it would undoubtedly be in one of those countries.

I gifted my mum the cookbook ‘The New Nordic’ by Simon Bajada after our trip to Iceland a few years ago. On my last visit home I found myself flitting through the pages, noting recipes I couldn’t wait to try, when I came across this Rye bread. I love Smørrebrød (a traditional Scandinavian open sandwich), of which Rye bread is an essential part.

Traditional Rugbrød is made with a sourdough starter however, Simon Bajada’s version uses a pre-soak made 18-24 hours before the dough is made to give it that sour taste without the hassle of tending to a sourdough starter.

My first attempt was sunken in the middle and raw. I knew when I had made the dough that it seemed too wet so, for my second I decided to add a little more flour and it turned out perfectly.

Rye bread stays fresher for much longer than white bread and is packed full of goodness. Cracked rye grains, sunflower seeds and linseeds means this bread is really filling without being too heavy.

IMG_7920IMG_7909IMG_7912IMG_7925IMG_7946

Continue reading “Rugbrød (Danish Rye Bread)”

Butternut Squash, Mushroom + Stilton Quiche

IMG_7613

There’s something so alluring about a beautifully baked quiche, just waiting for the first cut. I’m not sure if it’s the golden pastry peeping out around the edges or the shiny surface hinting at what awaits inside.

Sweet, tender butternut squash peeping through gives this quiche a delicate orange hue. Along with the sweet caramelised onions, floral rosemary and earthy mushrooms; it has a savoury sweetness that’s contrasted against the strong stilton cheese.

Savoury tarts aren’t something that’s thrown together. It takes time, but the reward of a soft-set rich slice of warm quiche waiting at the end more than makes up for it. There are a few crucial steps to make an exceptionally good quiche. Blind baking the shortcrust pastry and egg washing it to ensure a crisp base is the first. The second, is baking it until the filling is puffed and golden with an ever so slight wobble in the centre which will result in a velvet soft filling. I also choose to opt for a deep pie-style dish so that you have a tall slice that stands proud.

Quiches are such an adaptable bake. They’re perfect for lunch and dinner as well as those peckish moments. A way to use up spare vegetables, an excuse to spend a few hours tucked away in the kitchen or a need for a stunning picnic item; quiche is the answer.

IMG_7565IMG_7575IMG_7642IMG_7654IMG_7698

Continue reading “Butternut Squash, Mushroom + Stilton Quiche”

Rough Puff Sausage Rolls with Sage + Pickled Walnuts

IMG_6975IMG_7008

After a week of colder and typically English drizzly weather in June, I needed some buttery baked goods to brighten up the days. If you’re wondering what to eat, the answer is often sausage roll. Lunch box treat? Sausage roll. Snack? Sausage roll. Picnic in the park? Sausage roll. Cheeky breakfast? Sausage roll.

The first time you make sausage rolls, you realise what a sad version the shop-bought ones are. Pale soggy pastry, which lost all its flake in transit, filled with grey unseasoned filling. Granted, I have bought my fair share of supermarket sausage rolls. They have their place when time isn’t on your side and you just want convenience. Making your own is definitely more work but the beautiful product you get at the end is more than worth it.

I decided to make rough puff pastry as it’s a little easier than traditional puff pastry, but still gives you a flaky glossy and flavourful crust. By adding in fresh sage, caramelised onion and crushed pickled walnuts the sausage meat develops just the right amount of tang and sweetness.

IMG_6883IMG_6884IMG_6900IMG_6930IMG_6945

Continue reading “Rough Puff Sausage Rolls with Sage + Pickled Walnuts”

Moroccan Cornish Pasties

Eaten Cornish pastyCornish pasties are always guaranteed to put a smile on anyones face.

Traditional cornish pasties are filled to the brim with meat and veg; all encased in short crumbly pastry. The ideal takeaway lunch to keep you warm as this stubborn weather continues to be unchangeable. Continue reading “Moroccan Cornish Pasties”

Tartine Bread: Basic Country Loaf

country bread

I’m sure all of you know my obsession with bread has been increasing recently since I started cultivating my own sourdough starter using the Tartine bread book.

Enrique is now about a month old and smelling mature. Some days he smells like vinegar and others like overripe fruit.

This loaf isn’t actually my first country bread. I tried to bake the country bread when my starter was about two weeks old. Me being impatient yet again. The bread tasted lovely but Enrique just wasn’t old enough. The loaf didn’t develop enough gluten during its rise and ended up spreading and being very flat. Continue reading “Tartine Bread: Basic Country Loaf”

The Beginning of a Bread Obsession: Sourdough Starter

starter is aliveFollowers please meet Enrique. Enrique please meet followers.

You two are going to become very intimate over the course of the next few weeks.

Yes, Enrique is my Sourdough Starter. And yes, I talk about him like he’s my boyfriend.

‘What are you going to do tonight?’ ‘Oh, just going home and feeding Enrique.’ Continue reading “The Beginning of a Bread Obsession: Sourdough Starter”

Onion Herb Tart

finished tart 2This weeks lesson: do not buy pretty shaped tart cases that you have no experience lining.

Do not attempt to line said tart case in an angry and impatient manner. This will only result in the following: badly made pastry, pale under baked pastry case and, in the end, a broken square pastry case.

As you all know from my previous melt down, I have had trouble lining this tart case. Continue reading “Onion Herb Tart”