Showing posts with label grains. Show all posts
Showing posts with label grains. Show all posts

Friday, 21 August 2015

Sourdough & Yeast Bread with Seeds

Yesterday morning, after non-stop rain on Wednesday, I think I could have give a home to some gold fish in my bike's panniers. That's the downside of having waterproof bags, you see .. the water usually keeps out, but if it gets in, it stays in there ;)

My panniers do have a hole...unintentionally...but it doesn't seem to help much in this case.
In any case it is always surprising how much less heavy my bike is without these panniers and the D-lock on it. 

Well, anyway ... I hadn't planned on having a free morning today, but since I now have one, I am tackling the following very urgent issue now:

Finally ... after moving this note from my desk to the kitchen, back to my desk, being carried around on my phone as a photograph when showing a friend how to make this bread  ... I am now putting it into proper writing for you!

Oh, hold on. Maybe you can just use the note? ;) No? Oh, okay then =P

I've made two versions of this bread now; one with seeds, as my Mum's original version was, and one with left-over red lentils and sunflower seeds. I can recommend both versions or simply using whatever you may have on hand.

Sourdough & Yeast Bread with Seeds

Recipe by Ines Feucht

Sourdough yeast bread with seeds, grains, or pulses. Wholegrain rye and wheat.

Prep time: 12 hours
Cook time: 45 minutes
Total time: 18 hours
Yield: 2 loaves


  • 245 g rye flour
  • 280 g water
  • 50 g ready-to-use sourdough-starter (before feeding)

  • 120 g mixed seeds, soaked in
  • 105 g water OR
  • 1 cup cooked lentils/grains

  • 350 g wheat flour
  • 60 g rye flour
  • 16 g salt
  • 2 tsp dried yeast (or 10 g fresh)
  • honey
  • 50 g water

  • water
  • seeds or flour for decoration


On the day before:
  1. Mix rye flour, water and sourdough in a bowl. Cover and place in a warm place overnight.
  2. Mix seeds of your choice with water and leave to soak OR make sure you have your grains/pulses cooked for the next day. You can also cook them on the next day, but since you wouldn't want them to be hot it is easier to have them ready. You can also add in grains/pulses and seeds.
On the baking day:
  1. Dissolve yeast and honey in lukewarm water.
  2. Mix wheat and rye flour with salt. Add to the dough you started the day before along with the yeast mixture and the seeds/grains/pulses.
  3. Knead until the dough comes together in a ball and keep on kneading for a bit until you have a soft and pliable dough. Knead into a ball, as described here in the kneading instructions and place back into your bowl. Cover and let rise in a warm place for two hours.
  4. With wet hands remove from the bowl onto a wet surface. Divide into two equal parts and knead into loaves.
    • Either: Place on a baking sheet lined with non-stick backing foil or dusted with a very generous amount of flour. Wet the loaves thoroughly with your hands. Dust with flour.
    • Or: Wet the loaves thoroughly with your hands. Dip, upside-down into a plate full of seeds. Turn back around and place on a baking sheet lined with non-stick backing foil or dusted with a very generous amount of flour. 
  5. Let the loaves rise in a draught-free place for half an hour and pre-heat your oven to 260 °C. If using fan heat only use 240°C. After 20 minutes place an oven-proof dish filled with water in the oven to let steam develop.
  6. With a wet, sharp knife cut into the loaf to determine where it will break up. You can choose the pattern. I did a cross-wise grid sort of pattern, as I remembered too late that I used to make my Mum cut hearts into the surface ;)
  7. Bake for
    • 15 minutes at 260 °C / 240°C fan heat
    • 15 minutes at 220 °C / 200°C fan heat
    • 15 minutes at 190 °C / 170°C fan heat
  8. Remove from the oven and check if the loaves sound hollow when you knock on them to confirm that they are done. Let cool on a rack until completely cooled, then wrap in a dish towel and store in a paper bag at room temperature OR freeze immediately, when still hot, in a sealed freezer bag.
  9. Enjoy :-)

Friday, 31 July 2015

Homemade Sourdough

These past weeks I've done so much, and time seems to pass so fast.

Still, there was time for a trip each week and after the Isle of Wight, last week we went to explore the area around Chichester by bike. We stopped in West Wittering, which has the most impressive beach I've seen since the last holiday in the Netherlands, which was about four years ago.

West Wittering Beach

It was low tide when I took that photograph, but this    s p a c e  ... isn't it amazing :)
I just love the beaches and the waves. Oh, and if you happen to come to this area, do take the ferry from Bosham to Itchenor. It was the most amazing ferry I've ever been on! A three meter boat was totally not what I had expected xD

But now that's enough of impressions ;)

Exciting things have been going on in our kitchen this week! And no, this is not a joke! I was actually jumping around excitedly when my first ever half-sourdough-bread started to RISE in the oven. It had been a very dense ball of dough and it did in fact look less than promising, but it turned out just as if my Mum had made it =) And according to my housemate it looked as if was from the lovely Czech bakery we have in town.

...That's just to let you know what you can expect if you choose to take up the experiment challenge =P
If you want to jump around excitedly then give it a try!

But to start from the beginning: I finally started a sourdough about two weeks ago! Something I'd wanted to do for ages, waiting for the right time to come, which of course has never happened. ... So I just went for it.

Basic Sourdough

Recipe by Ines Feucht

top left: directly after mixing, bottom left: day 1, right: day 3

Prep time: 1 week


  • flour
  • water
  • 1 big glass jar
  • 1 cloth
  • 1 rubber band
You can use wholewheat flour or regular flour. Don't use any self-raising flour, though!


  • Day 1: Start with ½ cup flour and and ½ cup lukewarm water. Place in the jar and mix well. Place cloth over the jar and secure with a rubber band. Place the jar in a dark, warmish place.
  • Day 2: After 24 hours add ½ cup flour and ½ cup lukewarm water. Mix and cover and return to the warm place.
  • Days 3 & 4: Each day empty the contents of the jar into a bowl. Clean the jar, since otherwise mold may develop if the sides of the jar are not clean, since you are keeping it in a warm place. Mix the starter in the bowl. Place ¼ cup of the starter back into the jar. Add ½ cup of flour and ½ cup lukewarm water and mix well. Cover and place back in the warmish place.

You can use the leftover starter in waffles or pancakes - I will post a recipe for you.

  • Day 5: Proceed as on days 3 and 4, but only add ¼ cup of flour and ¼ cup of water.

After this time you can use your starter as in any recipe it is asked for.

  • Feeding: For feeding keep ¼ cup of starter and add ½ cup of flour and ¼ cup water.
    • If you use it on a daily basis, proceed each day as on day 5.
    • If you use it on a weekly basis, proceed the same way once a week, keeping the starter in the fridge. In this case you can put a lid on your jar.

Minor deviations from your feeding schedule (missing one day or getting the time of the day wrong won't affect your sourdough, but make sure to maintain your overall pattern.

Note: After day three the sourdough became less bubbly and didn't seem as active anymore. I was a bit worried, but it doesn't seem to have done any harm. So if the same happens to yours, don't freak out and just keep on feeding it.

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Sauce Bolognese

Did you think: "Huh? Has she abandoned being vegetarian?" upon reading the title?
Well, in case you did, no I haven't ;)

In fact, in our family there was a long pause from Sauce Bolognese that lasted for about ten years ever since my Mum started cooking vegetarian food.
This was one of the few things that I was sad about back then, since Sauce Bolognese, Lasagna Bolognese, Goulash and Schinkennudeln (= ham noodles) were, I think, the only meat-containing things that I ever truly liked. Well...liked. In that case...I loved them!

My Mum used to make large - and when I say large I mean large, such as two giant pressure cookers full - batches of sauce Bolognese for freezing, which was an afternoon filling task. I remember I used to leave the door of my room open when she did that, just because I loved the smell. And this has to say something since, as a kid, there were things upon smelling which I would hide in my room for a day. Probably that was a bit crazy, but well...

The original recipe is from a small cookbook on Italian cooking, which gives the most amazing Bolognese. It needs to cook for several hours, but the time is so worth it!

Then, two years ago, my Mum and I decided that we absolutely needed to try to make a vegetarian version of this sauce. So we tried and tested lots of recipes, but never got anywhere near the one we used to have. Usually it tasted more like a hash sauce than Bolognese.
And then, at some point, we thought we'd just forget about all the recipes and try and make the old recipe, changing minced meat for cooked green spelt.
It needed two tries and a bit of tweaking at the following tries, but by now the new vegetarian version is 95% close to the old version and tastes absolutely lovely, even if it is not 100% the same! But it can't be, since it is something different.

We've used the sauce in lasagna as well and it makes deliciously amazing lasagna!
I can only recommend this to you and I can promise that it does not taste like hash sauce, but like Bolognese! (Very important!) And it does live up to the original version!

Sauce Bolognese

Time: about an hour

for 4-6 servings
75 g green spelt, cracked
150 ml + red wine
50 g butter
180 g onions, chopped
200 g carrots, chopped
90 g celery, chopped
30 g dried tomatoes, in stripes
(only dried, no oil)
800 g
= 2 tins
chopped tinned tomatoes
200 ml vegetable stock
120 ml cashew milk (using about 15- 20 g cashew nuts)

  • In a small pot combine cracked green spelt and red wine. Bring to a boil and simmer, covered, on low for about ten minutes until the grains are soft. Add a bit of water if the wine evaporates too quickly. Switch off.
  • Melt butter in a medium to large pot, add the chopped vegetables and sauté for 5 to 10 minutes until softened.
    • When I make a large batch I chop vegetables using a food processor. For small batches I chop them by hand.
  • Add the green spelt and red wine mixture. Then add dried tomatoes, tinned tomatoes and vegetable stock.
  • Bring to a low boil and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes.
  • Add the cashew milk and season with salt and pepper. Add more red wine if you think it tastes too much like tomato sauce. Leave to cook for another ten minutes.

Serve over spaghetti or other pasta or use for making lasagna.

The longer you cook the sauce, the better it tends to get.
The sauce freezes well and reheating (and thus cooking again) only enhances the flavour.

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Schneckennudeln with Nut Filling

As you might remember from my post on my Mum's Crusty Potato Bread I was on Easter break in Germany. I was enjoying cooking and baking with my Mum and re-creating some traditional German dishes. There are dishes I remember having as a child, which sometimes also my grandma made for Sunday lunch and some I've just never made myself... and any recipe I find on the internet wouldn't be the same as my Mum or may grandma used to do it.

One of these is Kohlrouladen (that's Cabbage Rolls in English), with a vegetarian filling, though ... But okay, maybe that was the main traditional dish we made. It was my Easter wish, as sometimes food memories just don't want to leave my head anymore until I've had that dish. The recipe for the Cabbage Rolls still needs some tweaking so I have something different for you first!

Last week my Mum and I made the original version of Schneckennudeln, which I told you about when I made my version with Orange, Almond and Raisin Filling. Traditionally Schneckennudeln are filled with either a nut filling or a poppy seed filling, as you will see when you look for Schneckennudeln on Google.

Since probably the nut filling is the most popular - and since that's the one my Mum wanted to do ;-) -  I am posting this one today.

Nut Filling for Schneckennudeln

Time for making the filling: 10-15 minutes

filling for Schneckennudel dough made of 500 g flour
200 g hazelnuts, ground
60 g honey
1 tbsp carob powder (you can substitute cocoa)
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1 pinch salt
150 g raisins, soaked in water and drained
about ⅓ cup orange juice
½ cup cashew cream for brushing (use a bit more cashew nuts
(1:7) than when making cashew milk (1:10))

  • Grind the hazelnuts if you haven't bought them ground and drain the raisins. You can reserve the water from the raisins and use it if you haven't got any oranges or orange juice.
  • Place all ingredients except for the orange juice in a bowl and mix well. Then add as much orange juice as needed to turn the mixture into a sticky paste.
  • Use for filling your Schneckennudeln. You can find the recipe for the dough here.
  • If you want, brush the Schneckennudeln with cashew cream after letting them rise the last time before baking. That way they will be a bit more moist even though the filling is not as moist as a jam filling.

Friday, 20 March 2015

Millet-Polenta and Pan-Fried Leeks, Spinach & Peas

And I am back again already ;-) As I told you there are quite a few things I've made in the past two weeks that I'd like to share with you!

Today's post is about what I made today though, as I was surprised how well my "I-want-some-dinner-and-I-want-it-fast" experiment turned out.
I had been at the library until 7.30, working for five hours straight on an assignment without falling asleep - I am really surprised by that =P
So in fact my dinner was not that inventive, since half of the recipe was what I made yesterday (you don't have to make it twice in a row ;-) ) and the other half were the vegetables I had left. But it was very good! As was yesterday's, but I totally missed out on taking some photographs of that.

Today what I made was a millet-based polenta-like something with a green vegetable-assortment pan.

Polenta is usually made from coarsely ground corn and, in the Italian version, seasoned with parmesan cheese. Besides, some of the hot water, which the cornmeal usually is stirred into, can be replaced by stock or milk so that the dish has a richer flavour. Then, the mixture can be more or less creamy depending on how much liquid is used. It can be pan-fried or baked as well.
There is also an African version, called Sadza. Sadza is the made up of water, salt and corn only.

My version here is made of coarsely ground millet, since I didn't have any corn semolina and since my grain mill cannot grind corn anyway. Corn is about the hardest grain, which is why a very strong mill is needed if you want to grind corn.
I've found, though, that the flavour doesn't differ that much and the color is nearly the same too!

Before I've tried using cornflour, which is usually used for thickening liquids. The result was...well. Not quite what I had been thinking of and the colour I found to be a bit weird too.
So I do not recommend that.

In any case what I made with the millet was delicious, regardless of how any original version is supposed to be.

Total time for making both: About 30 minutes.


per person
75 g millet
200 - 230 g water
about 1/4 tsp salz
1 tbsp nutritional yeast flakes
1/2 tbsp butter

  • Using a blender, coffee grinder or grain mill coarsely grind the millet so that it has the texture of semolina. When it turns out to be a flour this is not a problem. The recipe will still work - only the texture is a bit nicer when the mixture is a bit more grainy.
  • In a small pot bring the water with the salt to a boil. While whisking with a whisk or a fork slowly add the millet semolina to the water and keep stirring. Holding the lid over the pot bring the mixture back to a boil. The bubbles that surface when the mixture starts boiling might shoot at you, that's why I recommend the lid. When the mixture is boiling immediately reduce the heat to the lowest setting and put on the lid. After about two minutes turn off the heat and whisk the mixture again. Put the lid back on and let stand for about 10 minutes so that the millet can absorb more water and soften.
  • Season with salt and nutritional yeast, whisking with the fork again. If the mixture is not creamy, add a bit more hot water (preferably from a kettle). Add the butter and stir until incorporated.
  • Spread out the polenta on a plate and top with your desired topping.

  • Alternatively, wet a cutting board. Pour out the polenta on the board and flatten to a disk with wet hands (be careful, it will still be hot) or a spoon so that it has the same thickness in all places. Heat a pan with some butter over medium heat and fry the polenta disk in it until browned.
  • To turn over, place a plate on the pan and turn around. Then add more butter to the empty pan and let the disk slide back into the pan to fry the second side.

Green Leek-Spinach-Pea-Assortment Pan

for 1 person as a side
1 leek
70-100 g spinach (fresh or frozen)
1/3 cup peas (frozen)
1 garlic clove
1 tbsp olive oil
250 ml vegetable stock
curry powder
dried herbs (mixture of sage, thyme, majoram, basil)
lemon juice
lemon peel

  • Cut the leek in 0.5 cm rings. Finely chop the garlic.
  • Heat the olive oil in a pan for which you have a lid (or a plate that fits on it) over medium heat. Add the leeks. Fry over medium heat for 5-10 minutes*, stirring often so that the leeks brown slowly and slightly. Then add the spinach and some of the stock to the pan. Cover and let bubble over low heat until the spinach is defrosted or wilted. Add peas and garlic. Add more stock. Let simmer, covered, for a few more minutes.
  • Season to your liking (with the spices suggested) and add more stock if the vegetables are too dry and burning.
  • Serve over polenta.

* At that point I started preparing the ingredients for the polenta and went on making it whenever the vegetables didn't need any attention.

I apologise for the photos not looking calendar or cookbook-like ;-)

Saturday, 21 February 2015

Pan-Baked Spiced Millet-Balls

As Sunday is coming, I thought this might be nice for you to read on Sunday or maybe even to make!

Well, no ... in fact I didn't plan this. I just made it the second time this week. The first try was not quite what I wanted, but I think I've now found a good way to make these. And tomorrow it just happens to be Sunday and I was looking for a nice introduction to this post.

The recipe Millet Cakes with Carrot and Spinach by Love & Lemons, which I read earlier this week, was my inspiration for these. I have changed a few bits and pieces to my taste, though.
The key to these is to get them nice and crispy on the outside, but still soft on the inside. But I have to say that the mixture itself tastes pretty good too. I just couldn't resist while forming the balls...

Maybe, you'd like to do these as a starter or have them as a side, but you could also do a lot of them and just eat them on their own. Or make a lot and save some for lunch the next day...
Which was my plan, but in fact my housemate and I ate all of them ;-)

I can imagine that either a tahini-based sauce - like hummus - or something based on sour cream would go well with these. They are not hard to make and something quite different.

Time: I forgot to precisely watch the time, but I think in total it took me about 45-50 minutes to make these.

for 16 tabletennis-sized balls
(1 as a main or 2 as a side)
100 g millet
1 cup water
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 onion
1 garlic clove
1 tbsp olive oil
1 carrot
90 g spinach (fresh or thawed)
1 heaped tbsp flaxseed
1 tbsp cashews
about 1/4 cup water
1-2 tsp curry (depending on the curry)
mint leaves (fresh & chopped or dried and crumbled)

  • Put millet in a pot, along with 1 cup of water and ¼ tsp of salt. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and let simmer with the lid half on for about 10 minutes. Turn the heat off as soon as the water has been absorbed and let stand covered until you have prepared everything else.
  • Chop the onion and separately chop the garlic. Grate the carrot and chop the spinach into large pieces.
  • Heat the olive oil over low heat in a pan. Add the onion and fry for about 5 minutes. In the meantime place flaxseeds and cashews in a blender and blend finely. Add the ¼ cup of water and blend again. Then add carrot and spinach to the pan and continue frying for another 5 minutes until the vegetables have wilted.
  • Add some salt, pepper, the garlic, the mint and the curry and fry for another 3 minutes.
  • Put flaxseed-cashew milk in a bowl. Add millet and the spinach-mixture. With a spoon mix everything very well.
  • Take out a large plate. For the millet mixture into little balls (I'd say about the size of table tennis balls). Place all balls on a plate. Over low heat. heat a little bit of butter in a frying pan (you can use the same one as before) and place the balls in the butter. Over medium heat fry the balls from one side. Don't turn them, since you want them to get brown. Be patient. When they turn brown, turn them over, using two spoons. Also add a bit more butter in little pieces at different places into the pan. Fry the balls until the other side is also brown. The balls might stick a bit to the pan, but if you use a spoon you should be able to "lift" them off the pan so they stay relatively whole. If they don't do that completely, don't worry, the crusts will still taste good!
  • Turn off the heat, place balls on a plate and serve them in whatever way you like.

You could replace spinach and carrots by other vegetables and adjust spices to your taste!

I hope that you enjoy these or thinking about them! :-)

Monday, 2 February 2015

Hearty Buckwheat Gnocchi

Hi to everyone!
After a long time of my housemate not giving up on trying to persuade me to actually start a cooking blog I've finally done it and actually (technically, that's it) managed to write my first blogpost which even includes a table. That's stunning for me ;-) I hope you can see it all alright! Please excuse any mistakes or anything that look out of place...

My first recipe for you is one including buckwheat.
Buckwheat, huh? Have I confused you there?

In case you have not heard of that: buckwheat is actually a seed and not a grain and is gluten-free even though the name suggests otherwise. It has a quite hearty flavour and is good for any main courses, but maybe, from my point of view, not so much for sweets and desserts. You can cook the grains and eat them in salads and lots of other dishes, make porridge, or - as here -  grind them into a flour. Buckwheat flour is, I guess, available also from health food stores just as buckwheat itself. As the grain is rather soft grinding it should be possible with most blenders, though.

If you've gone through all this and now finally have gotten hold of some buckwheat this is a recipe that requires relatively few ingredients.
I have to admit that I needed some motivation before I started making this today, as I still had frozen potato soup and ...well, but, no, the thought of buckwheat gnocchi definitely was more appealing.

Buckwheat Gnocchi - here with Tomato Sauce with Fresh Rocket

125 gbuckwheat or buckwheat flour
+ some for dusting
1/4 tspsalt
nearly boiling water

When preparing your meal start with the dough for the gnocchi, as it benefits from resting for a short while, which it can perfectly do while you get started on the sauce you want to have with your gnocchi.

For the gnocchi themselves you only need three ingredients.
The rest is up to you, as these are very versatile. So if you'd like to brown them in a bit of butter, make some tomato sauce, have some leftover pesto or anything else you think would go with them you can take it from there.

For the gnocchi:
  • Grind the buckwheat in a blender or measure out your buckwheat flour. Mix with salt in a bowl. Heat up some water so that it is close to boiling. This is important, as otherwise the buckwheat won't absorb the moisture as nicely.
For the next step it's actually easiest to use any appliance than can mix dough, as the dough gets quite sticky and is hard to stir. If you fancy some exercise though or have someone there who is happy to help you ;-) use a heat-resistant bowl and a heavy-duty spoon that doesn't bend (like a wooden spoon or metal spoon, but not plastic).

  • Now, very slowly, add splash for splash of hot water and keep stirring. Do this until all flour is just incorporated and forms a soft dough. Then do not (!) add any more water, as otherwise you will end up with a sticky mess. Keep stirring for a bit longer, so you can be sure that the dough is all smooth. The amount of water you need can vary from day to day as it depends on circumstances like the humidity of the air. (I forgot to take a photo at that point, sorry for that!)
  • Using a spoon place the dough in a bowl, smooth the surface, so that the dough doesn't dry more than necessary and cover with a lid, a plate or foil wrap. Leave this to rest for 20 - 30 mins.
  • In the meantime bring some water for boiling the gnocchi to a boil.
  • Prepared Gnocchi
  • Take a large cutting board, a non-stick baking mat or a plastic placemat and, through a sieve, dust lightly with additional buckwheat flour or normal flour (if you don't mind it not being gluten-free). For the amount mentioned above I recommend dividing the dough in two sets for forming the gnocchi. Take dough out of the bowl and place on the dusted surface. Dust with more flour. On the flour-covered board roll each portion into a rope of about 1.5 cm in diameter. Then take a glass with water and a knife, wet the knife often (after every few cuts) and cut the ropes into 1.5 cm wide pieces. Make sure that all pieces get placed on flour-covered patches so that they don't stick to the surface. Also make sure that you use a knife suitable to your surface so you don't damage e.g. your baking mat.

  • When you've completed this make sure your sauce is ready, put salt in your boiling cooking water (about 1 tsp per litre) and gently (best with your hands, but beware from splashing water) drop the gnocchi in the boiling water (I recommend doing this in two batches). Make sure the water actually returns to a boil. When the gnocchi rise to the surface they are done. Fish them out of the pot using a slotted spoon.
  • Technically they are done now!
What I usually do is that I place all cooked gnocchi directly in the pot with the sauce which I then, having added all gnocchi, let simmer for a minute so that the gnocchi can immerse in the flavour of the sauce.

As mentioned the gnocchi go really well with tomato sauce.
Today, there was rocket in my tomato sauce, but feel free to add anything you like, such as parmesan or, if frying the gnocchi in butter, maybe some caramelised onions.

Let me know how this worked out for you if you tried it please! =)