Pretzels: Love Laugh Bake! Silvia Colloca

Love Laugh Bake

Love, Laugh, Bake! By Silvia Colloca, Published by Plum, RRP $39.00, Photography by Rob Palmer 

 

THE BREAD BASKET
PRETZELS
“If you have travelled around those magnificent lands in the north of Italy, right on the border with Switzerland
and Austria, you may have wondered if all of a sudden you had crossed the frontier! Fair enough too, as
the first language spoken up there is German, and the culinary traditions of the area borrow more from the
neighbouring countries than the rest of Italy. This is where local restaurants offer wonderfully rich cabbage and
pork stews, spaetzle soup, apple strudel and the much-loved pretzel to accompany pints of Weissbier.
The traditional recipe for pretzels is a tricky one. It’s not complicated but in order to achieve the unique chewy
crumb and bronzed caramelised crust you need one crucial ingredient: the very caustic and abrasive lye. It is
true that you only need it at 3% of its strength, but after reading that I would need to protect myself with
thick gloves and safety goggles and (knowing how accident prone I am) I had to come up with an alternative.
Using bicarbonate of soda may make some purists cringe, but I am very happy to say the pretzels taste divine
and my hands and eyes are burn free! ” (p.52)

PRE-FERMENT
375 ml (1½ cups) lukewarm water
2 teaspoons dried yeast
225 g (1½ cups) 00 or plain flour
1 tablespoon barley malt syrup

DOUGH
375 g (2½ cups) 00 or plain flour
40 g unsalted butter, softened
2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon bicarbonate of soda
2 tablespoons barley malt syrup
salt flakes, poppy seeds or sesame
seeds, to coat

To make the pre-ferment, mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl to
form a wet dough. Let it stand for 2 hours or until it looks very bubbly and has
doubled in size.

Add the flour, butter and salt to the risen ferment and knead for 6–8 minutes
or until smooth. Use a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook if you have one
handy. Cover the bowl with a damp tea towel and prove at room temperature
for 1½ hours or until more than doubled in size.

Line a large baking tray with baking paper. Gently scrape the dough out of the
bowl onto a floured surface and form into an oval shape. Cut it evenly into
eight pieces and roll each piece into a long thin rope. Twist the rope around to
form a pretzel shape and gently press the ends into place.
Place the pretzels on the prepared tray, leaving plenty of room for spreading.
Cover with a damp tea towel and rest at room temperature for 20 minutes.
The pretzels will grow by about one-third during this time.

Preheat your oven to 200°C.

Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil and add the bicarbonate of soda
and barley malt syrup. Working with a few pretzels at a time, drop them into
the simmering water for 1 minute on each side, then lift them out gently with
a slotted spoon back onto the tray. Sprinkle liberally with salt, poppy seeds or
sesame seeds and bake for 12–15 minutes or until golden. Remove and cool
on a wire rack for 30 minutes before eating.

MAKES 8

 

                  

Meat Free Monday: Vegetarian Pho – Fodmap Friendly – Georgia McDermott

FODMAP Friendly Cover

FODMAP Friendly by Georgia McDermott, Published by Macmillan Australia, RRP $34.99

“Vietnam is one of my all-time favourite travel destinations, and at least 70% of that assessment is a direct result of
the national dish, pho. While pho is traditionally made with a beef broth heavy in onion and garlic, I’ve created
an inadvertently vegan and advertently FODMAP-friendly version. Shiitake mushrooms add a necessary depth to the
broth, but you can adjust the amount if they are a trigger for you.” p.66

 

Vegetarian pho

Vegetarian pho
Serves 4
Pho broth
4 cinnamon quills
7 star anise
2 cloves
1 tablespoon peanut or
sesame oil
2 large carrots, roughly
chopped
1 large fennel, roughly chopped
(you can throw the fronds
in too)
10 g fresh ginger, peeled and
finely sliced
75 g fresh shiitake mushrooms,
sliced
4 tablespoons gluten-free tamari
2.5 litres water
a bunch of Thai basil, leaves picked, stems discarded
a bunch of Vietnamese mint, leaves picked, stems discarded

to serve
200 g firm tofu
1 large carrot, julienned
a bunch of bok choy
250 g rice noodles
fresh red chilli, finely sliced
lime wedges

 

1. Place a large saucepan over a medium heat, and dry-fry the cinnamon, star anise and cloves for a minute or two, or until fragrant. Add the peanut oil, chopped carrot and fennel and cook for a couple of minutes until it begins to sizzle. Add the ginger, shiitake and a splash of water, and continue to cook for another couple of minutes.
2. Add the tamari, and once it has reduced down and caramelised on the bottom of the pan, add the water. Place the lid on the pan and bring the broth to the boil. Add a handful of the herbs, reduce to a medium heat and cook for 20 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, in a medium frying pan over a medium heat, dry-fry the tofu, cubed or in slabs, and then pour over
a splash of tamari. Remove the pan from the heat.
4. Transfer the tofu to a plate, then rinse out the frying pan and return it to the heat. Gently cook the carrots and bok
choy with a splash of water until done. Remove from the heat.
5. Prepare the rice noodles as per the packet instructions.
6. To assemble, divide the noodles between four serving bowls and then arrange the tofu, carrot and bok choy on top. Ladle over the pho broth, and finish the bowls with some fresh chilli, herbs and wedges of lime.

Review: Fodmap Friendly – Georgia McDermott

For the digestive challenged 🙂 

FODMAP Friendly Cover

Fodmap Friendly

95 Delicious Gluten – Free, Mostly Vegetarian Receipes suitable for the Digestively Challenged.

Georgia Mc Dermott

Macmillan Australia

ISBN: 9781760555467

RRP $34.99

 

Description:

A low-FODMAP diet is the simplest and most effective way to manage irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and a range of other dietary intolerances.

 

Georgia McDermott is one of the 15 per cent of Australians who suffer from IBS. She is also a passionate home cook. She set out to find a way of managing her symptoms and discovered the low-FODMAP diet. At the same time, she chronicled her journey and her cooking experiments on her phenomenally successful blog and on Insta (@georgeats).

 

Now, in her first book FODMAP Friendly, Georgia shares over 90 recipes that are not only delicious, but will help relieve the uncomfortable symptoms of an unsettled gut.

 

Georgia creates food for all occasions, from colourful salads and hearty dinners to gorgeous savoury bites and full-blown baking extravaganzas. Accompanied by all-new photography, these recipes – most vegetarian and sometimes pescetarian – are tried and tested by Georgia to ensure that taste is never sacrificed in the pursuit of feeling well and comfortable.

 

Whether you’re following a low-FODMAP diet, suffer from food intolerances or experience gut-health issues OR you simply love great-tasting food that’s also good for you, this book, bursting with deliciousness, is for you.

 

 

My View:

This book is an excellent resource with many recipes that will soon be on my daily meal plan. I will put my hands up – I am digestively challenged, reflux is not my friend. A low *FODMAP diet is one I am keen to try.

 

*FODMAP stands for Fermentable Oligo-, Di-, Mono-saccharides and Polyols – types of carbohydrates that some people find hard to digest. Common FODMAPs include:

Fructose: A simple sugar found in many fruits, vegetables and added sugars.

Lactose: A carbohydrate found in dairy products like milk.

Fructans: Found in many foods, including gluten grains like wheat, spelt, rye and barley.

Galactans: Found in large amounts in legumes.

Polyols: Sugar alcohols like xylitol, sorbitol, maltitol and mannitol. They are found in some fruits and vegetables, and often used as sweeteners.

 

Georgia states (p. 10): “Digestive issues are extremely personal, and everyone has nuanced reaction to food. For example, I don’t tolerate many gr4ains (FODMAP friendly or not) so I only eat them occasionally, If onion and garlic don’t bother you? Add them! If the thought of tomatoes makes you nauseous? Don’t eat them. Remember the whole point is to feel better.  If something doesn’t sit well with you acknowledge it, work around it and substitute other foods.  This book will hopefully provide you with ideas and inspiration to experiment with a way of eating that suits you.”

 

Sound advice. I am ready to experiment.

 

 

 

 

Whole Stuffed Pumpkin: Roast – Louise Franc

Roast by Louise Franc_cover_

Edited extract from Roast by Louise Franc, published by Smith Street Books, $39.99. Available now. 

 

 

Whole stuffed pumpkin

Serves 8

60 ml (2 fl oz/¼ cup) olive oil

200 g (7 oz) uncracked freekeh, rinsed

1½ teaspoons coriander seeds, crushed

1½ teaspoons cumin seeds, crushed

1 litre (34 fl oz/4 cups) vegetable stock

40 g (1½ oz/⅓ cup) slivered almonds, toasted

3 large garlic cloves, finely chopped

70 g (2½ oz/½ cup) dried cranberries

2 large rosemary sprigs, leaves picked and chopped

large handful parsley, roughly chopped

1 large pumpkin (winter squash), weighing at least 2 kg (4 lb 6 oz)

60 ml (2 fl oz/¼ cup) maple syrup

60 ml (2 fl oz/¼ cup) apple cider vinegar

 

Heat a small splash of the olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the freekeh and coriander and cumin seeds and cook until the mixture starts to sizzle and pop. Add the stock and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 45 minutes, or up to 1 hour, until the freekeh is cooked through. Transfer to a large bowl and add the almonds, garlic, cranberries, rosemary and parsley. Mix well and season to taste.

 

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F (fan-forced).

 

Using a large kitchen knife, cut out the top of the pumpkin and set aside as a lid. Scoop out the seeds and fibres with a spoon and discard. If your pumpkin is very thick in places, scoop out a little of the pumpkin until it is even on all sides — this will help the pumpkin to cook evenly.

 

In a small bowl, combine the maple syrup, vinegar and remaining olive oil. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper, then pour over the freekeh. Toss to combine and check the seasoning.

 

Spoon the freekeh into the pumpkin shell. Place the pumpkin lid on top and wrap the whole pumpkin in two layers of foil.

 

Place on a baking tray, transfer to the oven and roast for 1 hour. Remove the foil and roast for at least another 1 hour. The pumpkin may seem soft at this stage when tested with a sharp knife, but it takes a long time to cook all the way through. You can test it’s done by inserting a knife into the middle and scraping off a little of the pumpkin flesh inside. If it is still a little fibrous, cook the pumpkin for longer.

 

Allow the pumpkin to rest for 10 minutes before slicing into large wedges.

 

Whole Stuffed Pumpkin

 

Harissa-roasted cauliflower with fig & yoghurt sauce: Roast – Louise Franc

Roast by Louise Franc_cover_

 

Edited extract from Roast by Louise Franc, published by Smith Street Books, $39.99. Available now

 

Harissa-roasted cauliflower with fig & yoghurt sauce

Serves 4

Harissa Roasted Cauliflower

185 g (6½ oz/¾ cup) plain yoghurt

1 whole cauliflower

25 g (1 oz/¼ cup) flaked almonds

1 tablespoon chopped parsley

 HARISSA

4 long red chillies

½ teaspoon caraway seeds

½ teaspoon coriander seeds

¾ teaspoon cumin seeds

½ teaspoon smoked paprika

3 garlic cloves

½ teaspoon rock salt

½ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 roasted red capsicum, from a jar

juice of ½ lemon

 

FIG & YOGHURT SAUCE

125 g (4½ oz/½ cup) plain yoghurt

1 teaspoon tahini

zest of 1 lemon

1 small garlic clove, crushed

2 dried figs, finely chopped

 

Preheat the oven to 160°C/320°F (fan-forced). Line a deep-sided baking dish with foil.

 

To make the harissa, cut two of the chillies in half lengthways and remove the seeds and membranes. Roughly chop all four chillies and set aside.

 

In a small frying pan, toast the caraway, coriander and cumin seeds over medium heat for a minute or two, until fragrant. Tip the toasted seeds into the small bowl of a blender. Add the remaining harissa ingredients, including the chopped chillies, and blend until all the ingredients are chopped and you have a thickish paste.

 

Mix half the harissa through the 185 g (6½ oz/¾ cup) yoghurt, then taste to check if it is spicy or hot enough for you. Add more harissa to your taste, until the heat is to your liking.

 

Remove the core and any outer leaves from the cauliflower. Brush the harissa yoghurt mixture all over the cauliflower, ensuring it is evenly coated on all sides.

 

Transfer the coated cauliflower to the baking dish and into the oven. Roast for 30 minutes.

Add 125 ml (4 fl oz/½ cup) water to the dish, cover with a lid or foil, and roast the cauliflower for a further 20 minutes, or until tender.

 

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix together the fig and yoghurt sauce ingredients until well combined.

 

Serve the cauliflower warm, with the fig and yoghurt sauce, sprinkled with the almonds and parsley.

 

 

A CookBook To Suit Everyone’s Needs

Recently I came across a cookbook that asserts that: “Whether you’re an occasional meat-eater, a vegetarian who needs to cook for meat-eaters, or even a dedicated veggie, you’ll find this very flexible book filled with delicious and practical recipes for every lifestyle. The Flexible Vegetarian’s beautiful and tasty dishes offer two solutions: they can be served as completely vegetarian meals, or with the addition of a simple meat, chicken or fish recipe, making them suitable for meat-free days and meat-eaters alike. Recipes cover international flavours, from spiced poke to peashoot and asparagus gnudi, and they are all simple, quick, packed with protein and well-balanced. As well as easy meat and fish additions and hacks for each vegetarian recipe, The Flexible Vegetarian shows you how to ace a handful of classic recipes, from the perfect roast chicken, to the perfectly cooked fillet. Chapters include: Brunch, Broths, Small Plates, Large Plates, and Dips & Bits.”  https://www.murdochbooks.com.au/browse/books/tv-celebrity-chefs/The-Flexible-Vegetarian-Jo-Pratt-9780711239043

The Flexible Vegetarian

 

I have a dilemma  – do I give this to my vegetarian daughter so she can cook the occasional meal for her non vegetarian friends and family ? Or do I keep this one to source recipes for when my daughter visits?  (I am always looking for new and tasty meals I can prepare that we can all share when she visits.) What would you do?

 

**As a bonus this book contains many recipes that include cheese, and one I will  definitely be making in summer, Grilled Peaches, Burrata and Mint Pesto – YUM.   The section “Dips and Bits” deserves a special mention – there are so many of my favourite foods presented here: labneh, hummus, tahini dressing, pesto…and section, “Small Plates”… well I just have to try smashed bean, kale and tomato toast – what a great breakfast idea!  So many good ideas here. I dont think I could choose just one favourite.

 

 

 

Waffles & Date Chocolate Sauce – The Goodness of Nuts & Seeds: Natalie Seldon

It’s World Chocolate Day – let’s celebrate with a little something that combines decadent with wholesome.

goodness-of-nuts-and-seeds

http://www.simonandschuster.com.au/books/Goodness-of-Nuts-and-Seeds/Natalie-Seldon/9780857834133

 

WAFFLES & DATE CHOCOLATE SAUCE

 

*VEGETARIAN *GLUTEN-FREE *DAIRY-FREE

Decadent yet wholesome, these are drizzled with warm, sticky sauce and vibrant fresh berries for an indulgent affair to savour. Golden and crispy on the outside with a soft and fluffy centre, these griddled, healthy treats contain gluten-free buckwheat flour, supplying a multitude of vitamins and minerals. These provide a little sweet solace on wet and windy days and are sure to warm the hearts of family and friends.

Makes 3–4 (depending on the size of your waffle iron)

75g buckwheat flour

75g almond flour or ground almonds

2 teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons date syrup  (or unrefined sugar)

1 egg, lightly beaten

275ml almond milk

2 tablespoons almond butter

2 teaspoons vanilla bean  paste or extract

 

For the date chocolate sauce

100ml date syrup

75g raw cacao powder

2½ tablespoons maple syrup

 

To serve

200g fresh red berries, such as raspberries, strawberries and redcurrants

25g toasted flaked almonds

 

  1. Sift both flours, the baking powder and salt into a mixing bowl and stir to combine. Add the date syrup, egg, almond milk, almond butter and vanilla bean paste or extract, then mix well until combined. Leave the batter to rest for 5 minutes.

 

  1. Make the date and chocolate sauce by heating all the ingredients together in a small pan over a gentle heat. Stir until combined and glossy, then set aside until needed.

 

  1. Preheat a waffle iron as per instructions, spray both sides of the iron with oil spray (I use coconut oil) and pour a large ladleful (about 150ml) of batter in the centre of the iron and spread out towards the edges with a flat-bladed knife. Close the lid and allow to cook. Repeat until all the batter is used.

 

  1. Serve the waffles with the fresh fruit, a drizzle of date chocolate sauce and the toasted almonds.

Waffles with date Chocolate sauce

 

Recipes from The Goodness of Nuts & Seeds by Natalie Seldon. Published by Kyle Cathie. RRP $19.99