Saturday, November 21, 2009


I often have a craving for brioche when Christmas is near, and this year, I decided to make my own because in my part of Spain, bread isn't all that great.

I'm not really a baker and have never made Brioche before, so I looked for something simple and easy and here it was at La Tartine Gourmande.

I had to add some flour to get the dough feeling right, but this is pretty normal when making bread or pastry. You just have to use your common sense and add enough flour until the dough isn't a sticky mess.

Her instructions are very straight forward and she has helpful photographs that reassure you you're on the right track if you're making this for the first time.

I think I needed to lower the temperature a bit or bake it for a slightly shorter period of time, as the top of the brioche came out slightly browner than it should have been. Aside from this, the crust was nice and flaky and the inside was buttery and soft. I have to say I was pleased with the results.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Lemon Poppyseed Muffins

These were soft, fluffy and not too sweet. Last but not least they were very easy to make. I'd definitely make them again. The recipe's here.

I made mine without any lemon rind because I didn't have any organic ones lying around, but the icing with the lemon juice sure gave it enough lemon flavor. I also used almost twice as much yogurt. If the batter seems too hard, I'd add more. If the batter seems soft I'd go easy on the yogurt. Basically you can make your final adjustments on the consistency of your batter with the yogurt.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Multi-Seed Spelt Sourdough Bread

My bread baking so far has been very limited by my inability to procure different ingredients, but a visit from a friend from the UK and my discovery of a Finnish grocer in Fuengirola has made it possible for me to do a few more variations. Further to this I was down for a week with a muscle injury, but now I'm back to my weekly bread baking now.

I used 1 cup of organic whole spelt flour in today's loaf. The starter was 'whole wheat flour heavy' because I mostly fed it on whole wheat flour for weeks. I also kneaded poppy seeds, white sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds and caraway seeds into the dough. The result was a pretty nice looking flavorful bread!

Multi-seed Spelt Sourdough Bread


2 Cups of Sponge (Proofed Starter)
1 Cup Organic Whole Spelt Flour
1 Cup AP Flour + add more flour depending on how wet your dough is
2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
4 Tsps Brown Sugar
2 Teaspoons Coarse Sea Salt

2 Tbsp Caraway Seeds*
2 Tbsp White Sesame Seeds*
2 Tbsp Poppy Seeds*
2 Tbsp Pumpkin Seeds

*Note: I toasted all the seeds with an asterix separately and mixed them. I did not toast the pumpkin seeds. Maybe they should have been toasted too.

Step 1: Mix 1/2 cup AP flour into your sponge to make the yeast happy. Add the sugar and mix it. The very wet dough should be very bubbly and look 'alive'.

Step 2: Mix in all of the spelt flour and then add the olive oil and salt. Keep adding AP flour as you mix it until you've reached the desired consistency. Remember that the wetness of your sponge and flour varies in absorbency, so trust your instincts on when to stop adding more flour. I tend to work with a soft wet dough in the beginning, because I end up sprinkling it with more AP flour as I knead it anyway. Once the dough is thoroughly mixed and is somewhat solid (not a liquidy mess), let it rest for 25 minutes covered with a cloth. At this stage you haven't done any hardcore kneading yet, but have just 'blended' the ingredients.

Step 3: Knead/fold the dough 100 times or so and let it rest for 30 minutes.

Step 4: Repeat Step 3.

Step 5: Repeat Step 3 again.

Step 6: After kneading the dough for 3 rounds, let it rest covered with a cloth until it doubles in size. This may take 2 hours or longer. It depends on how strong your starter, how warm your room is and how humid it is. So, again, trust your eyes. If the dough has doubled in size, it's time for the next step.

Step 7: Punch the dough down and mix in the seed mixture minus 2 Tbsps of it which you will use to decorate your loaf later.

Step 8: Roll the dough into a loaf and set it on a sheet of oven paper dusted with coarse corn meal and cover this with a cloth and let it double in size.

Step 9: When your loaf is nearly double in size, pre-heat the oven to 230 C.

Step 10: Right before your loaf is about to go into the oven, brush the top with water and sprinkle the remaining seeds on top of it.

Step 11: Bake at 230 C for 20 minutes with steam and then for another 25 minutes at 210-220 C. I use a casserole dish filled with boiling water to create steam.


Sourdough Baking by S. John Ross

100% Spelt Levain Bread

Multigrain Seeded Bread

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Scalloped Lemon Dill Potatoes

Today was an unusually overcast day and the photography session on my kitchen counter did not go well. I guess if the lighting is bad enough, not even Photoshop can salvage it. I was going to show you how lovely this looked before it went into the oven, but I guess we'll just have to be satisfied with the final results.

This is a very simple recipe you can make with an extra boiled potato that you had leftover from yesterday...because you boiled too many of them...or you can boil on afresh if you really want.

Scalloped Lemon Dill Potatoes


1 Big Potato Boiled with its Skin On

Fresh Dill

2 Cloves Garlic

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Lemon Salt (You can make it with fresh lemon rind and salt if you wish)

Black Pepper


Coarse Spanish Paprika

Step 1: Preheat your oven to 250C. Get your biggest casserole dish and line it with oven paper.

Step 2: Slice the potatoes as thinly as you can and then lay them in one layer in the casserole dish.

Step 3: Sprinkle with lemon salt, black pepper, fresh dill, chili and paprika.

Step 4: Make another layer on top and do the same thing.

Step 5: Drizzle extra virgin olive oil and place 2 garlic cloves on top.

Step 6: Roast in oven for 30 minutes or until the top layer has browned a bit and looks crispy.

This would make a nice side dish for a lot of things but I have to be honest. I just had this with eggs & Kalles on the side. This was my Sunday morning brunch!