A nice hearty soup needs a nice freshly baked bread to go with it. Or at least that’s what I think. Today, I’ve been making enough soup and stew to feed the family and the whole neighbourhood. (I feel rich when I have food in my kitchen… =)) Looking at the lovely pumpkin soup I’d made, I felt it would be a shame not to have a proper good bread to serve with it.
Thyme & Tomato bread (pic does not do the colour justice)
I looked through my cupboards and found some tinned chopped tomatoes and I harvested some thyme from our little herb garden. I chopped the thyme and mixed it with the tomatoes, 2dl olive oil, a bit of salt and a cup of hot water. Then I stirred 75g of fresh yeast (can be bought in Polish shops) into this mixture and made sure it was properly dissolved.
With the wet mixture ready to go, I added a handful each of pumpkin and sunflower seeds and another handful of oats. Then I worked roughly 1,5kg of white flour into the mix until I had a nice moist dough that did not stick to my hands. I covered the bowl and allow the dough to rest for half an hour.
The dough now doubled in size was again worked together and cut up in three bits. One I turned into little rolls, and two into bigger flat breads. Again, I allowed them to rest for another half hour before baking in the oven at 250 degrees. 7-8 minutes for the rolls and 12-15 for the breads.
Last, but not least, we had newly baked rolls with real butter and a gorgeous bowl of pumpkin soup – all at a bargain cost of less than £5. What a feast!
Sour dough bread is a very healthy, and very tasty, bread that is quite common in Sweden. It is very easy to make, but it does take its time to make. Once its baked you have a tasty bread that stays fresh for up to a week. At least. Save a piece of the sour dough in an air tight box or jar and you’ll have the base ready for next time.
- 4 tbsp rye flour
- 2dl finger warm water
- Mix flour and water and leave to rest in an air tight jar or box for at least 48 hrs. Do not put it in the fridge – it has to be warm!
- After 2 days, add another 2 tbsp of rye flour and leave to rest for another 24 hrs.
- DAY 1 – In the evening, take your sour dough and mix it with 3dl finger warm water and 200g rye flour. Leave to rest over night.
- DAY 2 – In the morning, take away 1dl of sour dough, put in an air tight jar och box and put in the fride for next time. Add 3dl finger warm water and 200g rye flour to your dough and leave to rest for 5-10 hrs.
- DAY 2 – In the evening, add 5dl finger warm water, 1 tbsp salt, 2dl flour and 500g rye flour. Leave to rest for an hour.
- Cut the dough in four and mould into loaves.
- Put the loaves in greased or papered baking trays and sprinkle them with a little flour.
- Leave to rest for about 40 mins until you can see little holes emerging in the dough.
- Set the oven to 250 degrees C.
- Put the loaves in the oven and reduce the temperature to 200 degrees.
- After 40 minutes, reduce the temperature to 180 degrees and leave the breads in for another 10-20 minutes.
- Take the loaves out and let them cool.
You can freeze the bread, but it stays fresh for a long time, so unless you’re a small household or nor very hard on the bread you can keep it wrapped in a plastic bag for at least a week.
The first time I was introduced to Bammies, I got the name wrong and was wondering why on earth you’d name a bread after your bum. But then I realised in the West Indies it wouldn’t be called a bum if that’s what they were referring to. I’m still none the wiser as to why they’re called Bammies, but I do know this little cake is something you should try!
Made of cassava, these breads/cakes/fritters or whatever you’d like to call them are often served with fish, but you can have them with many types of meals or just as a snack. In Jamaica I hear they are common for breakfast.
- 1kg cassava
- 1 tbsp salt (or to taste)
- coconut milk
- Grate the cassava and squeeze it dry (easiest if you put it in a cloth and wring all the fluid out)
- If you want to make them r-e-a-l-l-y fine, pound the grated cassava in a mortar or run it through a blender/food processor.
- Add salt
- Prepare each bammy by pressing one cup of the cassava mixture into a small, greased frying pan.
- Cook over moderate heat, turning when edges shrink from the sides of the pan (about 10 minutes per side).
- Soak bammies in coconut milk for 5-10 minutes.
- Fry until light brown.
This one is here for the benefit of my sisters and my kids. I guesstimate that I’ve made around 20000 of these little buggers so far, so I’m not very likely to forget this recipe. Ever. But I’ve always said that kids need rolls, and these are just the best!
I normally make about 150 of these at a time and stick some in the freezer, but here’s a recipe for 1/3 of my normal batch… =)
- 50g fresh yeast
- 1dl caster sugar
- 5dl milk
- 200g margarine
- (2tsp ground cardamom)
- 1,6kg white flour
- Break yeast into little pieces in a bowl
- Pour sugar over and allow yeast to melt in the sugar
- Melt margarine in a saucepan
- Add milk and allow to get finger warm – hot enough for you to stick your finger in there without burning it
- Pour milk mixture over yeast (add cardamom if you want ot use it) and stir until the sugar is completely dissolved.
- Work flour into the liquid until you have a smooth, non-sticky dough.
- Cover with a towel and allow to rest for 30mins.
- Put dough on ‘floured’ surface and knead the dough.
- Cut into two halves.
- Use a rolling pin to work the dough into a rectangular shape, roughly 30 by 60cm.
- Spread margarine over the dough and sprinkle liberally with cinnamon and caster sugar (easier if you mix it in a bowl first as otherwise the cinnamon may be unevenly spread).
- Roll up into a +60cm long ‘sausage’ and cut in 2,5cm slices
- Put each slice on a baking paper (or in baking cups) in a baking tin – five rows of four rolls
- Cover with a towel and allow to rest for another 30mins.
- Paint with beaten egg and bake until beautifully golden brown (5-10mins) at 230*
If you like to experiment you can try these with different fillings. I’ve done them with berries, with cardamom, with marzipan/perzipan (v-e-r-y niiiiice!!), with chocolate and with custard and iceing (in Sweden we’d call that butterkaka). For Christmas I also add saffron to the dough.