Saturday, November 7, 2009

fig and fennel bread and roasted beet salad

It's a dark, rainy day - time to bake bread to eat later on by the fire for tea. Some tips for a great fig and fennel bread: Try to find some good, organic, stone ground flour for this recipe, it really makes for a better flavour and texture. The Red Fife, Island grown wheat would be wonderful, but I find it hard to get. The Seed of Life on Government street sells organic black mission figs, which is what I'm using. They're exceedingly sweet and good. Grind your fennel seeds by hand in a mortar and pestle to add a nice texture - they become too powdery in a coffee/seed grinder. You can't knead this dough too much-build up your arm muscles and knead for a good 15-20 minutes - it's a stiff dough and will give you a good upper body workout! I prefer to hand knead dough - it's one of life's simple pleasures. The recipe: 2 Tbs yeast 2 cups warm water 2 Tbs melted butter, cooled 1 Tbs molasses 2 1/2 cups stone ground whole wheat flour 2 cups unbleached white flour 1 Tbs ground fennel or anise seeds or combination 1 tsp salt 1 cup black figs proof the yeast in warm water and molasses, add the rest of the ingredients, and knead for at least 20 minutes. let rise in a warm spot until doubled, shape into loaves, let rise 1/2 hour bake @ 400 degrees for 30 minutes. Make toast and tea and sit by the fire. A nice way for the dough to rise is to bake something in the oven in the meantime - you can put your dough to rise on top of the stove. I decided to roast some beets for salad - this will keep the stove top nice and warm for an hour and the dough will rise happily as a result. I like to add toasted walnuts and feta to the salad, and use whichever greens are available in the garden, even dandelion leaves.


  1. Mercy ! that bread looks delish. Same goes for the salad !

  2. Wow that looks excellent! I have not make bread in ages. A few years ago I was keeping a sour dough starter going that I started with just yeast in the air. I should try to get one going again.

  3. Definitely make bread Dan :-) it's good for the soul and thanks for the kudos miss m - the roasted beets are really wonderful, better than boiling them, as they keep their dark red colour.
    thanks for visiting and for your comments :-)