Apple Sourdough Bread

Autumn to me means apples and I’ve been seeing lots of lovely apple recipes floating about. My food blogger friend Louise of Louilicious has been whipping up delicious apple creations left and right as has Nadia over at Foodfanatic. So needless to say, I’ve had apples on my mind…a lot. This coincided with a renewed interest in bread making, inspired by the man who lives in my house. He seemed to transform into ‘Pat the Baker’ while I was away recently for a week. I’m not complaining. A recipe in Claus Meyer‘s baking book caught my eye and I decided to try my hand at it. The recipe is based on an apple sourdough and is really good. You do have to plan the thing though. The mashed apples have to sit and ferment in your kitchen for a week before they can be used.

And the apple of my eye…well one of a few ;)


For the apple sourdough:
3 ripe apples (is enough for several breads – keeps for quite some time)

For the dough (makes 2 breads):
450ml cold water
100ml apple sourdough
a little yeast (optional)
600g good quality flour, preferably stoneground
15g sea salt

To make the apple sourdough
Core the apples and blend them to a pulp. Pour into a glass container and cover with a loose-fitting lid or some foil with a few holes punched in it, so that the apple pulp can breathe. Leave it to sit for 1 week at room temperature, stirring every day. Make sure it doesn’t get too warm or it will become mouldy. Once the sourdough starts smelling like beer you know it’s about ready.

To make the bread
Day 1: Mix 350ml of the water with 100ml of the apple sourdough (and a pea-sized amount of yeast if you like) in a mixing bowl. Add the flour and salt, and mix slowly in a food mixer for 3 minutes. Afterwards knead it at high speed in the mixer for a further 15 minutes. Add the remaining water gradually. The dough should be firm and elastic once it’s done. Place the dough into an oiled bowl, cover, and put in the fridge for 20-22 hours.

Day 2: Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and carefully split it down the middle. Place the two breads onto a floured board or bread spade. Leave to rise for an hour.

Heat the oven to 250°C (225°C fan)/475°F. If you have a baking stone place it in the oven to heat. Gently transfer the breads onto the warm baking stone and bake them for 20-25 minutes. Transfer the bread onto a cooling rack.

Recipe based on ‘Ølandsbrød hævet på æbler’, Meyers Bageri

Scones

Scones are by no means rocket science, but they are bloody good. Where I come from you just have to have a good scone once in while. The real name of the recipe is ‘Mummy’s Sweet White Scones’, but I thought that was way too embarrassing to have as my title here, and it comes from good ol’ Darina Allen of Ballymaloe. Like any good scones, these are best eaten within a few hours of being baked. They do come with a warning though, and that is, **highly addictive**.

In Denmark it’s tradional to bake bread rolls for childrens’ birthday parties. I often bake scones instead and these ones are always a massive hit with the little monsters.

Scones:
900g good quality flour
170g butter, cut into cubes
3 organic eggs
pinch of salt
60g fine granulated sugar
3 heaped teaspoons baking powder
425ml (approx) milk to mix

Glaze:
egg wash (1 egg whisked with a pinch of salt)
sugar (large granules preferable)

Pre-heat the oven to 250°C (225°C fan)/475°F/gas mark 9.

Sieve all the dry ingredients together. Rub in the butter. Make a well in the centre. Whisk the eggs with the milk and add to the dry ingredients. Mix to a soft dough. Turn out onto a floured surface. Knead lightly, just enough to shape into a round. Roll out to about 2.5cm in thickness (no thinner than this or the scones will end up too flat) and cut out into scones using a round cutter. Place on a baking sheet. Brush with the egg wash and sprinkle with the granulated sugar. Bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes, until golden brown on top. Cool on a wire rack.

Scones are best served halved, spread with butter or clotted cream and topped off with your favourite jam.

On a different note, I have a real soft spot for stuff from Avoca. This pretty tea towel was a gift from my good friends Eddie and Tremayne in Ireland and is a perfect match for this afternoon treat.

Broccoli Flower Salad

As you may know we started trying to grow some of our own vegetables this year. It’s been quite the learning experience. One of things we have learned is that if broccoli goes unattended during a warm spell it can go to flower. My heart sank a little when I saw this upon return from our summer holidays. However, anguish soon turned to joy when we discovered that these broccoli flowers can be eaten…and taste really good.

So before you could say “bunny food”, Himself (aka Mr. Foody) discovered this little recipe. It was really good and I think I will be using it for regular broccoli too – perhaps just quickly blanching it first.

Salad:
200g (approx) trimmed broccoli flowers
200g (approx) fresh broccoli stems, chopped
100g of your favourite hard cheese, grated (Vesterhavsost is my choice here in DK)
100g sunflower seeds
1 small onion, chopped

Dressing:
4 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
8 tablespoons good mayonnaise
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon lemon or lime juice

Combine the salad ingredients in a large bowl. Mix the dressing ingredients and add to the salad. Stir well and chill for at least an hour to allow the flavors to combine. (Start with half of the dressing and then keep adding more to taste.)

Recipe inspired by One Creative Mommy