Archive for the bread Category

Hokkaido Pumpkin Soup

Posted in bread, pumpkin, soup, vegan, vegetables with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 14, 2015 by oskila

Today I’ll just post a dish and ignore that I’ve been off the grid since New Years. The local store offered Hokkaido pumpkins – a small pumpkin variety originating in Japan as the name suggests. One somehow followed me home.

1 Hokkaido pumpkin

1 onion

1 carrot

1 pint stock

Dig out the seeds, rinse and prepare for toasting. Chop aforementioned veggies and fry until nice. Add stock and simmer until soft. Blend until purée. Season until awesome (I used garlic, thyme, pink peppercorn and allspice). Eat until satisfied, with toasted seeds sprinkled on top. A dollop of something is probably nice too, as well as bread and cheese.


I hollowed out my pumpkin with a melon baller just for fun and used it as a serving bowl. The sandwich is grilled Camembert on sourdough batarde.

If anything in the post layout is odd it’s because I’m writing this entire post on my phone. A NerdCuisine first I think.

Shrimp Soup and Pão de Queijo

Posted in brazilian, bread, cheese, leeks, potato, shellfish, soup, stock, vegetarian with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 5, 2013 by oskila

We were invited to a potluck dinner on Easter Monday and my mother had kindly donated a pound of shrimps, which, combined with the shellfish stock made last Easter provided a good base for a most excellent soup.

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Leeks and carrots to begin with, along with some potatoes to give a bit of body.

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The haphazardly shelled shrimp keeping the defrosting stock company.

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Stock, water, shrimp and seasoning added. Classic bisque recipes call for brandy and/or sherry, but I don’t keep those in the house. Nothing wrong with a bit of white wine though.

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Ten minutes of blending and a pint of cream later the soup is done, if a bit on the lumpy side. For a proper bisque the shrimp shells would have been along for the whole ride, but one doesn’t want to attempt a smooth creamy soup with shells and only a hand blender.

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This has to be the most horrible phone pic I’ve ever voluntarily put on the web. It’s a plate of soup accompanied by a pão de queijo (Brazilian cheese bread) which we also made. The process mostly involves stirring tapioca starch into liquids and adding cheese, so I’m skipping that part. There are a lot of fine recipes online though, so try it! If you’re in a country where tapioca flour isn’t readily available in most supermarkets (such as Sweden) try the Asian grocery stores.

The Amorphous Loaf

Posted in bread, sourdough with tags on August 13, 2012 by oskila

Had another go at baking sourdough bread, this time with rye-based sourdough and less yeast. Also allowed the sourdough slurry to get comfy in room temperature overnight to get things going. Since most bread I make gets kind of dense, I used a little less flour than I usually do, which meant the dough was almost too sticky to handle. This, in turn, meant I wasn’t too interested in trying to shape it into loaves, so I just dumped the whole thing in a dish normally used for roasts and let nature take its course so to speak.

I put a pint or so of water in a tin in the oven and placed a saucepan on the vent to keep as much of the resulting steam as possible inside the oven, then removed both tin and pan after a bit less than half time. Also, prior to baking, Jabba the Loaf had been lightly sprayed with water and sprinkled with sea salt, which I imagine did have some kind of effect on the crust.

As you can see, there was also a good dusting of flour and a sprinkle of French herbs (which you probably can’t see)

To me, this is quite good bread with nice crust, moisture and chewiness, but there is an acidic note from the sourdough, which ideally shouldn’t be there. It’s entirely possible that my sourdough is crappy and that I should start a new one. Luckily, the collected sourdough wisdom of the blogosphere is huge.

Here’s a picture to show the crust and insides. One could call this bread a semi-foccacia of sorts since it was left to its own devises in a rectangular container but not deliberately flattened.

Moules au Safran

Posted in bread, condiments, french, mediterranean, sauce, shellfish with tags , , , on August 5, 2012 by oskila

Hey hey hey! French title! That’s because I spent ten days in France and picked up a word or two. It says ‘mussels with saffron’. A fairly French (or Provençal)  dish. Originally, I had planned on trying razor clams since the grocery store happened to have them, but a combination of economic sense an a failure on the clams’ part to look attractive upon close inspection, steered us towards the trusty old blue mussels instead.

Ingredients for the main component of tonight’s dinner: Blue mussels, white wine, lemon, garlic, saffron, shallots.

Sweat shallot and garlic in a large pot, then add mussels, then saffron, lemon juice and wine.

Remove mussels and start reducing the broth. I strained the solids from the broth and then reduced the broth with the sieve partially submerged in it, to get more flavor from the shallots and garlic. Thicken the broth to sauce using a dairy product or two. I used crème frâiche and Greek yogurt to avoid the worst greasiness that can happen if one’s too generous with for example double cream.

Plate the mussels and drizzle some nice saffron sauce over. We had fries on the side, as in a classic moules frites, but the fries are prefab and therefore not shown.

I will, however, gladly show off the bread I baked. It’s pretty nice to have something to slosh around in the sauce after you’re out of mussels.

And it’s of course not a proper French dish if there’s no aïoli to add more fat to your fried stuff. It’s the first aïoli I’ve made (in excellent teamwork with my fiancée) and also probably the best I’ve eaten. The trick is apparently to skip the vinegar and add small amounts of lemon juice and slightly too much salt – which will turn out to be the perfect amount of salt if the fries are underseasoned.

To sum up, it was very good eating, but I think I still prefer my mussels cooked by someone else, to save me the trouble of scrubbing and checking for bad ones and so on. I’d happily provide the aïoli though.


The Sourd’oh

Posted in bread, sourdough with tags , on August 2, 2012 by oskila

Sourdough baking seems to be one of the favorite hipster pastimes these days, and while I actively try to avoid getting labeled as one, my beard, glasses, corduroy jackets, occasional pipe smoking and of course food blogging aren’t really helping my case. To make matters worse, I was into sourdough baking way before it was cool. Back then, however, I was winging it something awful and the sourdough I had in those days looked more like prison hooch than actual sourdough. It quite likely did nothing to improve the bread, which wasn’t always that awesome.

Having spent ten days in France, with fresh baguette every morning, the thought of sourdough baking reentered my mind and here’s the result of the first dabble. I should probably point out that this is a story about how my baking went and not a good guide for beginners.

Here’s a piece of actual advice: Machines are awesome. Mixing and kneading dough by hand is something I find rather boring. The drawbacks are the constant risks of overworking and adding too much flour. Since machines are usually rather efficient they can make the dough too compact by kneading for too long and the efficiency also means you can pack more flour into the dough than you would if working manually. I did both of those errors right away…

Managed to partially save the dough by painstakingly adding more water, after which it rose quite nicely.

I cut my dough in two and made a small loaf and six rolls. Also took the opportunity to play around a bit with the scoring.

The rolls brushed with butter and sprinkled with sea salt and french herbs.

The final product looks pretty awesome but wasn’t as moist or fluffy as expected and had too much of a sour aftertaste.

As seen in this shot, the inside of the roll is a bit too dense. Things to do differently next time: Less flour, less kneading and probably sourdough made from rye instead of wheat.

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