Dandelion bread

Again, we are participating in the 19th Bread Baking Day, an event started by Zorra. This edition's theme are country spring breads. Yuuummy! The host is the previous BBD's winner - Cindy. 'Spring bread? Maybe something with dandelions?' - Gosia, thanks for the idea! Surprising, but working surprisingly well.


350 g plain wheat flour
150 g wholewheat flour
75 g honey
20 g compressed yeast
245 g warm water
2 Tbsp milk
1 Tbsp salt
50 dandelion buds

1. First you need to find a meadow far away from the road:-) Collect more buds for later use and some leaves if you like to prepare a salad. It is a good idea to use gloves as you may stain your hands with dandelions' sap.

2. Rinse and drain buds. Bring water to boil, toss in dandellions and keep over low fire for a minute. Drain buds and keep them aside. Let the water to cool down.

3. Mix flours and salt in a bowl. Take aside 50 g of it to be used in kneading. Add milk, honey and yeast to warm (not hot!) water and stir to dissolving of yeast.

3. Pour the liquid to the bowl, mix well with flours and take out on the pastry board. Knead pouring the remaining flour until the dough reaches a firm and flexible consistency.

4. Leave to rise in an oiled bowl covered with a wet cloth.

5. When the dough doubles the size, take it out on the board. Don't punch the dough but free the air by delicate flattening the dough into a circle. with your hands. Spread dandelions on the dough and carefully roll it into a roll shape. Stick together every end separately. Roll it a little with your hands to make the log even longer. Transfer it on a baking tray and roll into a snail putting the end at the bottom. Cover with a wet cloth and leave to rise.

6. Make cuts imitating flower's petals and place in preheated oven. Bake 50 minutes in 190 Celsius degrees.

Hm, what should I say now... Wait until it cools down? Well, I should. You can be scalded with dandelions' buds. This bread goes well with the cottage cheese and is rather too sweet to go with meat. I find bundz, Polish sheep milk cheese, very similar to another distinguished Polish cheese, oscypek, the most suitable. Remember that this cheese is the best exactly in May!

I believe that bread is like wine. You should get to know it, taste and learn it. Bread also has its character and can go straight to head. Flour types are like grape varieties. This dandelion bread was made of the mixed flours: plain wheat and wholewheat flour. In its bouquet you may find delicate buds' bodies dipped in the dough. Their scent wafts through this bread's hard crust. I can catch the smell of the bonfire baked potatoes. Imagine the spring bread that reminds that even this time is going by. The bottom smells of raisins and hot cross buns. The top smells of boiled corn. Honey gives a delicate character of the festive bread to it. Warm bread is alive, you can warm up your hands and face. It makes me feel safe. Can you hear bread? Sometimes. Can you talk to it? Yes, you can. But the best of it is that you can feel it. Cool down, my dear. I am waiting for you.


Irish stew

As I moved to Ireland I wanted to try a typical Irish dish for my Easter dinner. The quintessential Irish dish -Irish stew can provoke heated discussion among people in Ireland about its ingredients. They do vary a lot from recipe to recipe, but all are agreed that the meat is always lamb or mutton or beef and there must be onions and potatoes.

Stew isn’t an Irish invention. This dish has a long history. Stew was being made since prehistoric times. Herodotus says that the Scythians (8th to 4th centuries BC) cooked a dish which resembled modern stew. There are recipes for lamb stews and fish stews in the Roman Apicius cookery book, believed to date from the 4th century. Le Viandier, one of the oldest cookbooks in French, written by the French chef known as Taillevent described ragouts or stews of various types.
The first written reference to 'Irish stew' is in Byron's 'Devil's Drive' (1814): "The Devil ... dined on ... a rebel or so in an Irish stew."

There are many kinds of stew in the world and every recipe has some common characteristics. It is one-pot meal and it is made with water, meat and vegetables and boiled long time. So Polish Bigos is a type of stew! But I needed Irish dish and I found a good recipe. I cooked Irish stew according to my Irish cookbook, recipe below.

½ kg of mutton chopped in pieces
2 onions, sliced
3 carrots, sliced
4 potatoes cut in cub
1 tbsp. of pearl barley
1 tbsp. of fresh thyme leaves
2 tbsp. of plain flour
3 tbsp of melted butter
1,5 l. of beef stock
1 tbsp of parsley
1 tbsp of salt, ground black pepper

Season the flour with half the salt and pepper mix. Cut excess fat of the mutton pieces. Fry fat pieces in a dish until their fat is released. Discard the fat pieces, then brown the mutton in the liquid fat. Set meat aside, leaving a quarter of it in the bottom of the dish. Place a layer of onion slices over the meat in the dish. Follow this with a layer of carrots, then a layer of leeks. Season, then add one layer of potatoes and another layer of meat. Continue layers and seasoning. Sprinkle last layer of meat with thyme. Add the parsley, pearl barley and the stock, then finish off with a layer of potatoes.
Pour melted butter over the top layer. Replace on stove, bring to a simmer, then skim off any scum. Bring to the boil, then cover the dish with its lid. Boil for 3 minutes, then turn down and simmer for around 2 hours until cooked. Serve warm.



Happy Easter

New light is coming from the old darkness.

New life is coming from the death.

Have courage to change yoursefl.

Build on the joy of Resurrection.

We wish you a very blessed Passover and a happy Easter!

Gosia & Ila


Liquid curry

'What do I have to buy for the soup? What are you talking about?! One onion, one apple, one lemon?!' Yes, that's for the mulligatawny soup, of Anglo-Indian origin and of the name meaning literally 'pepper water' in Tamil.

Mulligatawny soup

1 onion
1 apple
1 garlic clove
2-3 Tsp oil
1 heaped tsp of curry powder
3 Tbsp flour
1,5 l chicken stock
1 Tbsp of lemon juice
salt, sugar, parsley, cream (30-35% fat)
180 g rice (for 4 people)

1. Boil rice in salted water. Cut onion and apple into small cubes, chop garlic. Heat the oil in the pot, brown lightly onion and apple, stirring frequently. Add garlic.

2. Add curry powder, mix adding some stock to avoid burning.

3. Sprinkle onion and apple with flour, mix well avoiding lumps, add stock if necessary.

4. Slowly pour in the pot all the chicken stock. Cook for another 10 minutes.

5. Season with lemon juice, salt and a pinch of sugar.

6. Serve with rice tower in the soup bowl, granished with fresh parsley and a spoon of cream if desired - this will smooth the texture and balance the flavours.

Again, something really simple can be very tasty. And quick. As well as attractive. And filling-up. And... and...

So we eat the soup of a strange name second time in three days. Because it is so delicious. Winter has gone now, but remember this recipe, certainly it is going to be your favourite also.


Soave - wine

I wanted to find a new wine for dinner with friends. I needed a white wine which would be good with fish and dried fruits. I found a good Italian wine from region Veneto. My wine was produced in SOAVE. Soave is a dry white wine from the northeast Italy, principally around the city of Verona. Garganega is the designation’s principal grape variety, and over the centuries it has found an ideal habitat.

The Soave production zone is situated in the eastern part of the hills in the province of Verona. There are three kind of Soave wine. Soave DOC it is designed to be drunk a year or two after the vintage. Soave Classico DOC using the specification "Classico" with the designation "Soave" is reserved for the product made from grapes harvested and vinified in the municipalities of Soave and Monteforte d'Alpone, i.e. the original and oldest classic "zone". And Recioto di Soave Superiore DOCG the production zone is limited to the hillside sites already noted in the regulations for the production of Recioto di Soave DOCG.

I bought Soave Doc because it was cheaper and lighter than other wine from Soave. Company which made this wine is old vineyard bought by Petro Sartori in 1898. Sartori makes wines which are modern interpretations of the classic wines of Verona.

My wine is made of Garganega (90%) and Trebbiano di Soave (10%) grapes. This wine is characterized by straw yellow color, liquid is transparent and clear. Wine have fresh and gentle aroma with delicate apple and fruits smell. Taste is fresh, fruity and light. This wine is good for appetizers, pasta with light sauces, fish and it would be good supplement for very traditional Polish Christmas Eve supper.


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