breads scones & crackers

homemade pita – israeli style

8th March 2019

Making pita bread feels like magic!  It is surprisingly easy to make and starts with a simple yeast dough that gets baked in a very hot oven. The heat activates the yeast and creates steam, which makes the dough puff up dramatically, forming its signature pocket. The pita will deflate as soon as it cools, but the pocket remains.

To note  

  • It is important that the temperature in the oven is very hot and stays hot.
  • A pizza stone is very helpful to have when making pita, however,  preheating a baking tray works just as well.
  • To ensure a pocket, don’t roll your pita out too thin.

homemade pita

Makes 8 medium pita

ingredients

1½ cups warm water

2½ tsp dry yeast

1½ Tbsp sugar

3 Tbsp olive oil

3¾ cups/490g all-purpose flour

1 tsp fine rock salt

preparation

1.  Grease a large bowl with oil or ghee. Set aside.

2.  In a bowl with a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook or a large bowl (if mixing by hand), combine the water, yeast, salt. Let it sit for 5 minutes, at which point the mixture should look foamy. Add the salt and oil, and then gradually add the flour with the mixer running on low speed.

3.  Knead the dough for 5 minutes, it will look a bit shaggy at first but as it continues to knead, it will come together. After 5 minutes if the dough is still sticking to the bowl add a tablespoon of flour at a time so that the dough no longer sticks to the bowl. Do not add too much flour. The dough should be smooth and slightly sticky.

4.  Using oiled hands or a bread scraper place the dough in the oiled bowl and cover with a damp cloth or a beeswax sheet to rest at room temperature until doubled in size, 1 – 2 hours.

5.  Using an oiled bread scraper or a knife, turn the dough out onto a well-floured work surface and divide into 8 equal portions – approximately 105g each.

6.  Flour your hands and mould each into a ball by stretching the top and tucking the edges under, achieving a round shape with a smooth top. This is a great video demonstrating how to do this – jump to 3:00 mins.

7.  Place the balls 1-inch apart on a well-floured board, cover them with an oiled sheet of plastic wrap and let them rise for 30 minutes.

8.  While the pita rounds are resting, preheat the oven with the baking stone inside to 250C/480F.

9.  Use a rolling pin to lightly roll out the balls of dough into circles, ¼ -½ inch thick and approximately 13 -14 cm in diameter, you don’t want to press out all the air and make them too thin. Do your best to keep an even thickness.

10.  If using a pizza stone, gently lift a pita, with your fingers and flip it onto the hot baking stone (if your stone is large enough place three more pitas onto the baking stone) – bake for 5 minutes, or until cooked through and puffy. You don’t want them to brown.

11.  Take out of the oven and repeat with the remaining four. Cool on a rack. Fill with home-made hummus and salad or the next day cut into triangles, drizzle with oil, sprinkle with za’atar and toast in the oven to serve with your favourite guacamole.

Suggestions

  • If using a baking tray, preheat the baking tray when resting the pita rounds and when sufficiently hot flip the pita onto the tray and bake as above.

Variations

  • For a whole wheat variety, replace some of the all-purpose flour with 1¾ cups/230g of whole wheat flour.

no knead bread

17th February 2019

No knead bread gives a gorgeous, crusty loaf, with very little hands-on time. The use of a dutch oven (cast iron pot with a lid) creates a moist environment for the bread as it bakes, I use an old Le Creuset pot for this, however, I have read that an enamel, Pyrex or ceramic pot works just as well. The wet dough and long fermentation are the keys to success. The rough seam, when placed in the hot pot, creates unexpected beautiful results, so there is no need to slash or score the bread.

In a medium bowl, mix the flour, salt and yeast.

Pour in the water.

Then stir with a wet hand or a wooden spatula to form a sticky dough.

Cover the bowl with cling film or beeswax sheet and leave overnight or for at least 12-18 hours in a warm place.

With oiled hands, pull the sticky dough out onto a well-floured surface and fold it over a few times forming a ball.

Lightly dust a proofing basket or a medium bowl with flour and place the dough inside, seam side down and cover for another 2 hours.

About 45 minutes before baking, preheat the oven to 260C/500F and place your dutch oven inside (with the lid on) to heat up.

After the second rise, take the preheated dutch oven out (taking care and wearing oven mitts) and lightly flour the bottom surface.

Invert the dough into the floured dutch oven. If the dough didn’t land evenly, give the pot a shake and it should right itself.

Cover the pot with the lid, and pop it back in the oven. Bake the bread for 30 minutes covered and then 10 – 15 minutes uncovered.

Tip the bread out of the pot and cool on a wired rack. Allow the bread to cool completely, to fully establish the crust and set the crumb.

no knead bread

Preparation – 15 hours

Serves 8

ingredients

3 cups/390g unbleached all-purpose flour

1 tsp fine rock salt

½ tsp/2g dry yeast

1¼ cups warm water

preparation

1.  In a medium bowl, mix the flour, salt and yeast, pour in the water, then stir with a wet hand or a wooden spatula to form a sticky dough.

2.  Cover the bowl with cling film or beeswax sheet and leave overnight or for at least 12-18 hours in a warm place. The slow fermentation is the key to flavour.

for the second rise

3.  With oiled hands or a bowl scraper, pull the sticky dough out onto a well-floured surface and fold it over a few times forming a ball. I like to gently lift up the dough as I fold it over so that the dough is being stretched.

4.  Lightly dust a proofing basket or a medium bowl with flour and place the dough inside, seam side down and cover for another 2 hours.

5.  About 45 minutes before baking, preheat the oven to 260C/500F and place your dutch oven inside (with the lid on) to heat up. It may be cast iron, enamel, Pyrex or ceramic.

6.  Once your dough has finished its second rise, take the dutch oven out (taking care and wearing oven mitts) and lightly flour the bottom surface.

7.  Invert the dough into the floured dutch oven. If the dough didn’t land evenly, give the pot a shake and it should right itself.

8.  Cover the pot with the lid, and pop it back in the oven. Bake the bread for 30 minutes covered and then 10 – 15 minutes uncovered.

9.  Tip the bread out of the pot and cool on a wired rack. Allow the bread to cool completely, to fully establish the crust and set the crumb. It has a lovely crackling sound as it cools!

Enjoy!

suggestions

  • Cover the proofing basket in a heaped tablespoon of seeds (black and white sesame, flaxseeds & poppy seeds) before putting the bread inside.
  • If you think that your dough will be sitting out for a longer 24h period, then reduce the amount of yeast to a ¼ teaspoon. 

variations

  • Replace 100g of the all-purpose flour with whole wheat flour.
  • Replace the wheat flour with spelt flour. You may need to lessen the amount of water because wheat absorbs more moisture.

homemade challah (no eggs)

5th October 2017

challah - 1 (5)

I  always look forward to sharing this bread when the four of us are all together.  And, especially if we are lucky enough to have our family or friends join us on these Friday nights. This is where we savour the opportunity to pause, bless and reflect on the week just passed and to light the candles as a reminder of that inner light inside all of us.

What is left-over, we spend the weekend eating with all sorts of delicious spreads.

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Freshly pressed sugar cane juice – Mysore, South India.

challah - 1 (3)

homemade challah

Preparation 2½ hours

Baking time 35 minutes

Makes one large, challah or two small.

The recipe uses a mixer with a hook dough, but you can easily use your hands. 

ingredients 

2 Tbsp flaxseed, plus 6 Tbsp water

1 cup warm milk/almond milk

60g butter – room temperature/6 Tbsp olive oil

1 tsp active dry yeast

150g wholewheat flour

350g regular all-purpose flour

40g brown sugar/coconut sugar

1½ tsp fine rock salt

preparation 

1.  In a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment.  Whisk together the flax seeds with 6 tablespoons water – allow to sit for 10 minutes.

2.  Add the warm milk, butter and yeast, leave undisturbed until the mixture is foaming, about 5 – 6 minutes.

3.  Measure out the flours, sugar and salt, whisk together and add to the yeast and milk mixture, turn the machine on the lowest option and knead on medium speed for about 5 – 10 minutes.  The dough should be elastic and smooth.  If the dough seems too sticky, add more flour, a tablespoon at a time or if seemly too dry, add more liquid, a tablespoon at a time.

4.  Cover with a damp tea towel and allow the dough to sit in a warm place for 1 – 1½ hours until well risen and doubled its size.  The longer it sits the better the final bread.

5.  Take out the dough, knead a little with the heel of your hands and work it into a ball.

plaiting the dough

6.  Divide the dough into three equal pieces with a sharp knife or bench scraper.  Using your palms, and starting from the centre and working outward, elongate 1 piece by rolling it gently against the work surface with even pressure until you have formed a rope the desired length.  Repeat with the remaining 2 pieces.

7.  Place the three, side by side and pinch together the top ends and carefully braid the three, like you would if you were braiding or plaiting hair.  As I braid, I gently pull them length-wise to keep them as even as possible. Pinch together the ends and tuck them slightly under.

8.  Transfer the plaited loaf to the baking tray and brush with ghee/oil and sprinkle with poppy and sesame seeds.

9.  Cover loosely with an oiled plastic wrap or a damp tea towel and set in a warm place to rise for 1½ hours.

10.  About 10 minutes before the dough has finished rising, preheat an oven to 180C/350F.  Remove the plastic wrap or towel and bake for 25 – 30 minutes, or until golden brown.  Allow to cool completely before cutting into it.

When it is just the four of us, we have been enjoying the challah with a simple vegetable soup, a salad and a bowl of guacamole, and for dessert, slathered with homemade jam.

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Goodness shared by Stacey

easy spelt focaccia & a vegetable garden

13th June 2017

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I make this focaccia every Sunday as an accompaniment to our traditional pasta night.  I mix the dough in the morning and leave it covered on the side for a full day, the extra fermentation adds flavour to the bread.  You can also make it days before, and store in the refrigerator after the first rise, the dough develops a more complex flavour, and you can pull part of it out to make dinner – just be sure it has time to come to room temperature before shaping and continue with the recipe.

I usually make one large focaccia but since our move a month ago, I have a temporary small oven that fits two narrow trays – I make two oblong focaccia.

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Quality of Food

‘A very natural lifestyle in which we could collect fresh vegetables every day would be even more ideal, however. Growing a small garden can serve that purpose to some degree. There are also many other benefits one may experience from having a small garden. For example, one may gain beneficial exercise, as well as deep satisfaction in doing garden work. If done in a measured and relaxed way, it may lead to a calm and quiet mind.’ 

~ Dr. Shankaranarayana Jois – The Sacred Tradition of Yoga

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easy spelt focaccia

Makes 1 rectangular or 2 small focaccia. 

Recipe slightly adapted from Good to the Grain, by Kim Boyce.

‘You can top the focaccia with almost anything: a liberal pouring of oil and a dusting of salt, a handful of fresh herbs, olives or sautéed vegetables, or a flavourful tomato sauce. However, you plan to top your focaccia, before cooking pour a generous glug of olive oil over the top – especially around the edges – for a crunchy golden crust’.

ingredients 

1¼ cups warm water

1 tsp active dry yeast

tsp sugar

1 cup/120g whole-spelt flour; plus additional for kneading

2½ cups/320g white spelt flour/all-purpose flour

1 tsp fine rock salt

2 Tbsp olive oil + ¼ cup (divided) for drizzling over the top

herbs, spices, or other toppings of choice

preparation 

1.  Lightly rub a large bowl with olive oil. Set aside.

2.  Add 1¼ cups warm water, yeast, and sugar to another bowl. Stir, and allow the yeast to bloom and bubble for about 5 minutes.  (If it doesn’t, it may be inactive; throw it out and start again.)

3.  Add the flours, salt, and 2 Tablespoons olive oil and mix to combine to form a sticky dough.

4.  Knead by hand, turn the dough out on to a clean work surface. Knead the dough for about 10 minutes, or until smooth and silky.

Or, to use a food mixer, fit the dough hook and add the water, yeast, and sugar to the mixer bowl, stir, and allow the yeast to bloom and bubble for about 5 minutes. Add the flour and salt. Mix on low speed until evenly combined, then add the oil and leave to knead for about 10 minutes, until smooth and silky.

5.  The first rise, put the dough into the oiled bowl, turning it so that the top of the dough is coated with oil. Cover with a towel and leave for about 2 hours, or until doubled in size.

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6.  Generously oil a baking sheet with olive oil.

7.  The second rise, place the dough on the baking sheet or pan, and stretch the dough out with your hands (it helps to oil your hands) into your desired shape, and dimple it with your fingers. Cover with an oiled plastic wrap or a damp towel and leave to rise for 1 hour.

8.  Preheat to 200C/400F.

9.  After the dough has completed its second rise and has puffed up on the sheet, drizzle with 2 Tablespoons olive oil and sprinkle with salt, herbs or spices, or toppings of your choice.

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10.  Bake for 22  – 25 minutes, until golden brown. Drizzle with the remaining 2 Tablespoons oil while still hot from the oven.  Allow the bread to cool slightly before slicing and serving.

Serve it with your favourite pasta or top it with mashed avocado, grilled zucchini, tomatoes, red pepper, fennel and a sprinkling of fresh herbs and salt.

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Goodness shared by Stacey

chapati

12th July 2016

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Chapati has become a regular event in our house. They are wonderful drizzled with ghee and served with a simple dal, or vegetable palya. I also love them alongside a bowl of guacamole or roasted red pepper spread.

There are different varieties of chapatis available; one made with no fat, one made with oil and one made with ghee. Chapati made with ghee will support the physical and mental health to the fullest extent. It is recommended to be consumed while warm, as it becomes harder when cool. A chapati made with oil is also tasty and healthy and keeps its softness when it has cooled. Chapati can be consumed at any meal time, in all seasons and supports all constitutions.

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early morning vegetable garden

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chapati

Preparation 30 minutes

Makes 5 chapati

Recipe shared by our teacher, Ganapati Aarya.

Chapati is traditionally made with Atta, a granular flour milled from soft Indian wheat that yields very tender chapatis – which I buy from here.  If you are able to purchase this type of flour, it is recommended. Otherwise use a combination of cup wholewheat and cup white flour, resulting in a softer, less tough chapati.  Regular whole wheat flour (sifted to remove the larger bran particles) can also be used.  It may take a few attempts before finding the flours which suit best in your country of residence.  

Making chapati is great in getting the whole family involved in the kitchen. Each person rolling out chapati makes it fun and easy process.

ingredients 

1 cup/130g flour (or use ⅔ cup white & cup whole wheat)

¼ tsp salt

2 Tbsp/30ml melted ghee

¼ cup/60mL hot water (or enough for a kneadable dough)

to make the chapati dough 

1.  Into a bowl, place the flour and salt – whisk to combine. 

2.  Pour in the ghee and hot water and stir with a spoon, slowly bringing the dry ingredients into the wet, until mostly combined.

3.  Knead, adding water if needed (a teaspoon at a time), to create a tender dough. Knead until smooth, shining and does not stick to the hands – 5 minutes.  Set aside, covered for 5 minutes. 

4.  Divide the dough into 5 equal portions and shape each into a ball. Take one ball, flatten slightly into a disc and flour both sides, then roll into a thin almost transparent circle using a rolling pin. Makes sure each chapati is symmetrical so it puffs up well.  Set aside covered with a towel/individual sheets of baking paper, and repeat with the remaining balls.  

to cook

5.  Preheat a skillet or non-stick pan (tava) over medium heat.  Once hot (it is important that it is hot), cook the chapati until bubbles start to appear, about 1 minute.  Flip and cook until brown spots appear underneath, about 30 seconds.  It should start puffing like a balloon, which could be helped by pressing gently on the forming bubble with a cloth and thus expanding it over the entire surface of the chapati.  

6.  Flip twice more for 30 seconds on each side. Be careful not to overcook, otherwise, they will be dry and crunchy.  Stack and cover the chapatis as you continue to cook the remaining ones.  Serve immediately.

When made on a regular basis, becoming familiar with the process – chapatis become quick, easy and enjoyable to make.  Serve with a simple dal or Green Bean Palya. 

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Goodness shared by Stacey

amaranth-sunflower-spelt bread

24th May 2016

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Treasured gifts.

Divine teachings.

An Ocean of Gratitude.

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thank-you Kristin

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This recipe was introduced to me by Gillian.  She made it one night accompanied with a delicious beetroot borsch and a green salad.

A wonderful bread to go with a simple soup for a no-fuss dinner.  I love eating this bread the next day, with a thick spread of salted butter and a dollop of home-made jam/a drizzle of honey. Feels like a perfect balance between a bread and a cake.

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amaranth-sunflower-spelt bread

6 – 8 servings

Recipe slightly adapted from ‘Angelica’s Kitchen’.

She goes on to say, ‘ This is a highly nutritious bread that cries out for a leguminous accompaniment. Try cutting it into thick wedges and serving it alongside your favourite bean dish or soup. It can also be cooked in a cast-iron skillet, bringing it straight to the table and served piping hot.  The bread has a satisfying, complex texture in part because some of the sunflower seeds are mixed into the batter while others are sprinkled on top.’

For a savoury addition, add some sautéed fennel rounds or chopped olives and a sprinkling of rosemary on top of the bread before baking.

I like this bread with more sweetness, so I added extra maple syrup to the recipe.  If wanting it less sweet as in the original recipe, use only 1 Tablespoon of Maple syrup and increase the milk to 1 cup.

for the amaranth

1 cup water

½ cup amaranth

¼ tsp fine rock salt

for the bread

½ cup sunflower seeds – divided

1½ cups whole-spelt flour

½ cup medium ground cornmeal (can use polenta)

1½ tsp baking powder

¾ tsp baking soda

½ tsp fine rock salt

¾ cup unsweetened almond milk

¼ cup olive oil (mild tasting)

3 Tbsp apple cider vinegar

¼ cup maple syrup

to cook the amaranth

1.  Place 1 cup water and ¼ tsp salt in a small saucepan and bring to boil, then add amaranth, lower flame, and cover – simmer for 35 – 45 minutes or until the water has absorbed.  Set aside and allow to sit for 10 minutes.  It will be sticky and wet.

to make the bread

2.  Preheat oven to 350F/180C.  Lightly oil a 9-inch square pan or a round skillet.

3.  Spread the sunflower seeds on a baking sheet and toast for 8 – 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

4.  In a medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk together the spelt flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, salt and ¼ cup sunflower seeds.

5.  In a separate bowl, whisk together the almond milk, olive oil, apple cider vinegar, maple syrup and cooked amaranth.

6.  Combine the wet and dry ingredients together – mix thoroughly, but do not over-mix.  The batter will be thick, but pourable.

7.  Pour the batter into the pan/skillet and sprinkle with the remaining ¼ cup sunflower seeds.

8.  Bake for 45 – 55 minutes till golden, or when a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

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Goodness shared by Stacey

sesame crusted brown rice spelt bread

12th April 2015

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“Live quietly in the moment and see the beauty of all before you. The future will take care of itself……” ~Paramahansa Yogananda

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angels & wings – Jaffa, Israel

getting ready to fly into the unknown.  Again…..

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sesame crusted brown rice spelt bread

Since discovering this bread, I have been making it often.  It is quite special in the fact that it doesn’t feel heavy to digest and it has a slight sourdough taste.  The original recipe uses brown rice and sweet rice.  As I didn’t have sweet rice, I used amaranth which has a sweet and nutty flavour and has the same sticky quality as sweet rice when cooked.  

‘ The dough needs to ferment at room temperature for 14 hours.  I like to make the mixture at 5 p.m., then continue the process at 7 a.m., and enjoy the bread by 10 a.m.  The recipe is pretty forgiving, so don’t worry if you’re slightly off with the timing.’ –  Amy Chaplin.

Recipe from At home in the Whole Food Kitchen.

Makes one 12-inch loaf (the longer loaf pan creates a less crumbly loaf when slicing)

ingredients 

2½ cups/300g whole-spelt flour or sprouted spelt flour

½ cup/135g organic cornmeal (can use polenta)

½ tsp instant yeast

1½ tsp fine Himalayan salt

1½ cups warm filtered water

1 tsp unrefined sesame oil or coconut oil, for oiling the bread pan

2 cups cooked round brown rice and amaranth (½ cup/100g brown rice and ¼ cup/50g amaranth, preferably soaked overnight)

¼ cup/35g unhulled sesame seeds – divided

ferment the bread 

1.  Combine spelt flour, cornmeal, yeast, and salt in a medium bowl.  Add water and mix until combined. The dough will be sticky and quite wet.

2.  Cover bowl with a plastic bag secured with a rubber band, or plastic wrap, and allow to sit at room temperature (70F/21C) for 14 hours.

cook the rice and amaranth 

3.  Place the rinsed, soaked brown rice and amaranth in a small saucepan with 1½ cups water (add 4 more tablespoons of water if it has not been soaked overnight) and simmer covered until cooked. Set aside to cool completely.

assemble the bread 
4.  Brush loaf pan with oil and remove plastic from the bowl (save it for covering the bread again), measure 2 cups cooked brown rice and amaranth, and add half the sesame seeds to the dough, then with your hands, mix together the rice and seeds.

5.  Sprinkle some of the left-over seeds into the loaf pan, they should stick to the sides and bottom. Leave some for sprinkling over the top.

6.  Place the dough in the oiled pan and press lightly to distribute evenly.  Sprinkle the top with remaining sesame seeds and cover with the reserved plastic wrap.  Place in a draft-free place to rise for 1 hour.

bake the bread 

7.  Pre-heat oven to 350F/180C.

8.  Bake bread for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until a crust has formed and bread sounds hollow when tapped.   Allow to cool, then remove bread from pan.

This bread is simply delicious with a good quality olive oil, a sprinkling of salt, a few rounds of freshly ground pepper and spring greens, compliments from the garden!  Enjoy with your loved ones.

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Goodness shared from Stacey

pumpkin bread with a toasted walnut cinnamon swirl (vegan)

6th April 2015

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Just before we left for Israel for the holiday break, I was trying to use up most things in the kitchen. With this in mind and the arrival of a new cookbook, ‘At Home in the Whole Food Kitchen’ by Amy Chaplin, I was perusing through it the night before and was drawn to a recipe for pumpkin bread. It is an amazing book full of delicious recipes.

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mizpe hayamim – Israel

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pumpkin bread with a toasted walnut cinnamon swirl

Recipe found ‘At Home in the Wholefood Kitchen’ with a few tiny variations.  You can use any winter pumpkin, but the dense-fleshed ones like kabocha and red kur work the best because of their low water content.    

Lately, I have been mixing the cinnamon walnut twirl straight into the batter so that it is incorporated throughout.

Makes one 12-inch loaf pan

cinnamon walnut swirl

1 cup/100g toasted walnut halves, chopped

2 tsp cinnamon powder

2 Tbsp coconut or brown sugar

2 Tbsp maple syrup

pumpkin batter 

½ medium kabocha pumpkin, peeled, seeded, and cut in ½-inch dices (about 3½ cups/440g)

2 cups/240g whole-spelt flour

2 tsp aluminium-free baking powder

½ tsp salt

¼ cup, plus 2 tablespoons olive oil (65g)

½ cup/140g maple syrup

2 tsp vanilla essence

1 Tbsp vinegar

preparation 

1.  Preheat the oven to 350F/180C.  Lightly oil a loaf pan and line bottom and sides with parchment paper.  Set aside.

make the cinnamon walnut swirl 

2.  Place the walnuts on a tray and toast for approximately 8 minutes.  Allow to cool, roughly chop and place in a bowl, with the cinnamon, maple syrup, and sugar – mix to combine and set aside.

make the pumpkin batter 

3.  Steam the pumpkin for 10 minutes, or until soft – drain well, and cool.

4.  Place in a bowl and mash with a fork – measure out 1½ cups and place in a medium bowl, add the oil, maple syrup, vanilla essence, and vinegar – whisk until smooth and set aside.

5.  In another medium bowl, add the flour, baking powder, salt, and stir to combine.

6.  Using a rubber spatula, fold the flour mixture into the pumpkin batter until just combined.

7.  Spread half of the batter over the bottom of loaf pan. Layer the cinnamon-walnut mixture evenly over batter and top with remaining batter.

8.  To create a swirl, use a small rubber spatula or butter knife to zig-zag back and forth, finishing with one stroke through the centre. I like to sprinkle the top with 2 tablespoons of brown sugar and extra cinnamon and with roughly chopped pumpkin and sesame seeds.

9.  Place in the oven and bake for 45 – 55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.  Remove from the oven and allow to sit for 5 minutes before turning out and place on a wire rack. Slice and serve warm or at room temperature.

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Goodness shared by Stacey

red quinoa seeded spelt bread

4th January 2015

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goodness is – the fruit of the spirit, the state or quality of being good, virtue, kindly feeling; kindness; generosity, the excellence of quality, the best part of anything; essence; strength, a euphemism for God.

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tel-aviv – jaffa

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red quinoa & seeded spelt bread

Makes 1 medium round loaf/sandwich loaf.

Feel free to play with different flours.  I recommend using half white and the rest a combination of whole-spelt and/or whole-wheat, sometimes with half a cup of rye, barley or kamut flour.  I make this bread weekly, sliced thinly and toasted eaten with hummus, drizzled with olive oil or spread with avocado. I bake it in a bread loaf, other times as a free-form round loaf.  I love the dramatic addition of the of red quinoa which gives it a silky texture and nutty flavour.

quinoa 

¼ cup red quinoa

½ cup water

bread 

1 cup water

¼ cup sunflower seeds

¼ cup pumpkin seeds

¼ cup linseed/flax (If you are not adding linseed it is very important to lessen the water by ¼ cup, as the linseed soak up a lot of the moisture.)

2 Tbsp olive oil

2 Tbsp molasses/maple syrup

1¼ tsp salt

1½ cups white spelt flour

1½ cups whole-spelt flour

1 tsp dried yeast

sunflower seeds, caraway and black sesame for the outside

preparation 

1.  Cook the quinoa, covered until the water had evaporated – set aside and allow to cool.  (I like to slightly undercook it by simmering gently with the lid off until the water has evaporated and then allowing it to sit covered until cool.)

2.  Prepare the dough, in the bowl of a standing mixer, add 1 cup water, seeds, nuts, oil and sweetener.  On top of this add the flour, salt and yeast.  Do not mix. Fit the mixer with the dough hook attachment and mix on low for 10 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic.

3.  Add the cooked quinoa and mix until well combined.  If it looks too wet add 2 Tbsp more flour but keep in mind it should be sticky.

4.  Remove the bowl from the mixer and cover with a tea towel  – allow to sit at room temperature until doubled in size, about 1½ hours.

5.  Turn the dough out on a lightly floured surface and with oiled hands knead the dough by pushing it down and over itself for a few minutes.

6.  If you are baking this in a loaf pan than stretch the dough to a rectangle 20 x 25cm.  Roll tightly as if you were rolling a swiss roll, close the seam well by pressing the edges together.  Otherwise, for a free-form round loaf shape the dough into a ball.

7.  Brush with oil/ghee, lightly sprinkle with caraway, black sesame and sunflower seeds – cover lightly with a tea towel and allow to rise near a warm place for 1 hour or until it has doubled in size.

8.  Half an hour before the bread has risen, place a rack or baking stone in the centre of the oven and heat the oven to 210C/410F.

9.  When the bread and oven are ready, bake for 35 -40 minutes or until golden brown.  Remove and allow to cool on a rack.

If you are unsure whether the loaf has cooked through, turn the oven off and let it sit in the oven for a further 10 minutes.

Once cooled, slice and enjoy with your favourite spread.

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Goodness shared by Stacey

flaxseed crackers

10th February 2013

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yesterday

it felt like SPRING

 it left me in wonder at all this loveliness right at my feet!

today

the wind howls, nips and bites – leaving me somewhat bruised and bent, but still rooted.

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tomorrow?

well…..

flaxseed crackers

Makes approximately 40 crackers

These are a wonderful gluten-free snack inspired by Sarah Britton’s Detox workshop I attended the last weekend.  Feel free to experiment with the flavours using whatever is in season, a walnut and fig version sounds delicious.

ingredients 

1 cup flax seeds plus 1 cup water

1 cup ground flax seeds

½ cup toasted sesame seeds

1 medium beetroot – chopped with skin (if using organic)

1 small carrot – chopped

1 Tbsp chopped fresh rosemary

2 Tbsp olive oil

¼ cup tamari

¼ cup water (if needed)

pre-soak 

1.  In a large bowl, combine the flaxseed with 1 cup water and allow to sit for at least 1 hour.

preparation

2.  Add the ground flaxseed, tamari, toasted sesame seeds to the soaked flaxseed gel – mix well.

3.  In a food processor with an s-blade attachment, process the beetroot, carrot, rosemary and olive oil – add to the seed mixture and fold to combine.  Add the extra water if needed.  Mix well.

4.  Pre-heat the oven to 150C/300F.

5.  Divide the mixture into three equal batches, then turn out one batch onto a piece of parchment paper on a flat baking tray, using a spatula, spread the mixture out as evenly as you can, then place another piece of parchment on top of the mixture and using a rolling pin, roll the dough until as thin as possible (about three linseed deep). Remove the top piece of parchment, score cracker shapes with a knife.  Then, repeat with the other dough on another baking tray.

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6.  Place the three trays in the oven and bake for 30 minutes.  Take the trays out and flip the mixture over.  Peel off the parchment paper so that the moist side is now facing up (it may be a bit sticky on top and you will lose a little, but this is okay).  Place back in the oven, rotating the tray which was previously on the top to bottom.  Bake until crispy – about another 30 minutes.

I found it difficult to get the dough totally even and I ended up after the last 30 minutes, turning the oven off, removing the outer squares setting aside and placing the rest back into the oven.

7.  Allow to cool and break into pieces.  Store in air-tight containers if they last this long.  They will go quickly!!

Alternatively, if you have a dehydrator, spread the mixture evenly onto several dehydrator sheets, and dehydrate for 3 – 4 hours or until the top is dry.  Then flip over to a mesh dehydrating sheet. Continue dehydrating at 105 F until crisp, about 5 hours.

 Nutritionally it is better to use a dehydrator or using your oven’s lowest temperature as the high heating breaks down the oils and nutritive properties of the flaxseed, but unfortunately, this takes a lot longer. 

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Goodness shared by Stacey

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