Never enough bread; poppy seed rolls and hearth bread

I tried yet another recipe from Nick Malgieri’s “Bake” and this time I wanted to try some rolls. The base of these rolls is a sponge which I made a day in advance. I could have made these the same day but then I should’ve started at 8 a.m. The sponge does not take very long but you do have to fold the dough once in a while so don’t make it unless you plan to stay at home. The great thing about the way Mr. Malgieri incorporated bread in this book is to give bakers 2 recipes for bread dough which can be used to make about 4 different breads each. I halved the recipe for the sponge as well as the bread dough to make 6 poppy seed rolls. I have never made rolls before so I was very excited , I love trying new things! Here are my rolls after their rise:

And this is how they turned out:

As you may have noticed I still have to work on my knots as the knots are less pronounced after coming out of the oven. But the taste of the rolls was wonderful.  Firm on the outside and tender on the inside. The rolls were smeared with a knob of butter and enjoyed with a slice of ham, yum, yum. The best way to eat them is fresh out of the oven but I could not finish them all so the leftover rolls were bagged. The next day I reheated them in the oven for a minute or so and they were still tasty. It is ever so satisfying making your own bread and fresh bread makes everything tastes even better whether it is some cheese or ham or regular peanut butter. That brings me to the bread I made yesterday from Rose Levy Beranbaum’s bread bible. I made the hearth bread which is made with mostly bread flour and a bit of whole grain flour( I used 7 grain flour). I believe that Ms. Beranbaum’s book deserves a post of her own and I will certainly be doing that another time. For now I just want to say that I have used her recipe twice and both times the bread turned out so delightful. See how this bread turned out:

dough after 2nd rise

Freshly cut and best eaten with peanut butter



food to cure a bad day

Yesterday I got some disappointing news in the afternoon and I took it pretty hard. I agonized about it but after an hour(or 2) enough was enough! Most people will have a drink after bad news but I tend to cook. It always makes me feel better after I chopped, tasted and pulled something out of the oven. I guess you could say, it’s a bit like therapy but cheaper. Thus to recover from this very bad day I decided to make a main course and a chocolatey dessert(chocolate always works for me!!). I went to the supermarket with no idea what so ever, sometimes it’s better this way because seeing the different veggies or a nice bit of meat can spark an idea. Coincidentally I saw nice cuts of ham and picked a small but plump piece to add to my shopping bag. And of course with the weather being so cold, chicory was readily available and at a bargain price (€0,59 for 4 pieces). I have never cooked with chicory before but they looked so delectable I just had to buy some. Looking at them I knew I wanted to make chicory wrapped in ham and smothered in Continue reading

Beets, a new favorite of mine

The one thing I really wanted to try this winter was beets. I have been curious about them for a while now. They do not grow them where I grew  so I have only known them in a pot in the supermarket aisle. And when I did taste them they did not seem to have any flavor t so I didn’t give them another thought. Until a year ago when my curiosity got the better of me and I tried them once. Only I wasn’t prepared for the time it took to roast them. So I messed up and threw them away but it kept bugging me that maybe I was missing out on something yummy. Thus I decided to give them another try this year and bought some at the market.

I tried roasting them again in foil, giving them 1,5 hours in some olive oil, salt and pepper. Continue reading

Mussel time

I wasn’t planning on it but as I walked past the market stall with mussels I felt the craving for the shiny molluscs. So I bought a kilo bag of mussels for dinner later on. But how to prepare them this time?

When I came to this country I did not like mussels but as I discovered later on that was due to how they were prepared. Since then I just try everything once and I have yet to be repulsed by something.Thus the trick for people who do not like specific foods is to find different ways to prepare them. So I have tried mussels with white wine, fried mussels and mussels with crumbs baked in the oven. Lucky for me I just caught a show by the kitchen boss Buddy Valastro on TLC. He was preparing mussels by opening them up first and throwing away one part of the shell. Then he combined bread crumbs with herbs, garlic, parsley and oil, put these in a pan and pressed the mussels on top. It took 2-3 minutes and then time for supper. Apparently this is the way italians of his mom’s village prepared their mussels. So I gave it a shot and I wasn’t disappointed, I ate the whole kilo by myself! (yes I know I am quite greedy 😉 ).

Here is the link to Buddy Valastro’s recipe and some pics of how they turned out when I made them.

Needs just a squeeze of lemon juice

Whole wheat bread from Nick Malgieri’s “Bake”

As promised I would write more about the recipes I have tried from Mr. Malgieri’s book “Bake”. His recipes are well written and the photographs in the book makes me want to bake everything in it. And so I tried his two-step whole grain bread. This bread is based on a sponge which I made 1 day in advance. The sponge itself is very easy to make but I found out the hard way that making the bread itself takes 1,5 hours longer than I anticipated. The result? I went out to buy some bread for lunch because my bread came out of the oven at 14.30. I thought I’d be eating fresh bread that day but  Continue reading

It’s already time to sow again

It’s January so it’s time to start thinking about what I want to sow this year so that I can order the seeds in time. Last year I ordered my seeds at 123zaden which I was happy about. If you only have a small order like I had, it fits in your mail box so I only had to pay for the stamp which is perfect for people with small garden(balcony garden). The delivery only took 4 days so I am definitely paying their website a visit again. Other websites I visit for seeds are Vreeken’s zaden, Garant zaden, Bolster,

Fast forward a couple of days, I ordered some seeds from 123zaden and within 4 days they were delivered to my mailbox, perfect. Wanting some more seeds I visited Vreeken’s zaden situated in Dordrecht( about 15 min by train from where I live). I remember from 2 years ago that if you order in January or February it might be a while before your seeds get delivered because it gets really busy around that time. But I was happy to go to the shop as I always see so many useful things there for my garden. When I see the large greenhouses I can picture myself having one of those in my back yard along with my Continue reading

my first try at antroewa

I thought that there would not be any cold days anymore, that winter had finally given up and chose to be kind this year. Last year was a mess, I fell twice while riding my bicycle and slipped many times while walking so this year I was thankful that the winter weather turned out to be mild. But today was such a cold day that I once again fetched my winter coat to go out. As with many people this weather condition translates to comfort food hence the craving for some chilli. At the market Saturday I bought some antroewa from the Surinamese guy. I should remember to take a couple of pictures of the different vegetables I see at the Surinamese stall the next time I visit so that you get a an idea of the goodies I see when I visit there. After going back and forth to either eggplant or antroewa I finally chose antroewa as I have never cooked it before. I however have tasted it and I loved it. It has a slight bitter taste Continue reading