Rye #5 – Thin Rye Crisps

If you have ever gone to IKEA you most probably will have seen the massive, round rye crisps – with a hole in the middle. Essentially, that is what this recipe will make you – but slightly thinner (as this makes a more crisp, crisp!) and I make mine smaller so they are snack size for the children after school.

Why the hole in the middle? In older days when these were made, they were hung on poles to dry by the fire. Cute right?

The recipe is an adaptation of several recipes and my own experimentation! I have added bits from one, bits from another, therefore mentioned must be the recipes of London’s Nordic Bakery, Nigel Slater and Annie Rigg. You can, of course, just buy them at the supermarket but what would be the fun in that? These come out all different shapes and sizes, uneven and individual! Cute as a gift, maybe with a jar of homemade hummus?

As always, full of rye, seeds, quinoa – all great for you! Don’t consider this a diet snack because it actually is not meant to be! It is just a light and crunchy bread that tastes great! How to eat this? With dips – hummus, pesto, olive tapenade or with salmon and cream cheese, mackerel pate, cottage cheese, brie and peppers, as a side to any salad, in the children’s lunch box with a bit of butter on….so many ways! Hope you enjoy!

Thin Rye Crisps

100ml luke warm water
100ml luke warm milk
100g butter (can be substituted with a few tbsp olive oil or omitted)
10g fresh yeast
400g rye flour
100g plain flour
4 tsp small seeds – caraway, sesame, poppy or even sunflower seeds
1 tsp quinoa
1 tsp salt
Optional sea salt for sprinkling
 
  • Gently heat milk and water in a pan until finger warm (if you decide not to add butter, add a bit more water or the olive oil at this stage)
  • Put the yeast in a large bowl and pour the luke warm liquids over the top – whisk the liquids until you have dissolved the yeast
  • Measure out your flour, seeds, quinoa and salt in a bowl. Add the butter and combine until the mixture resembles bread crumbs. Add the luke warm liquids to the mixture – combine to form a ball –
  • If you find your dough to be quite sticky this is also OK – it might be a bit tricky for yo to roll out the crisps later but once baked the taste will be fine. If you do not want it sticky, add a bit more flour
  • Leave in a warm place to rise for an hour – it will probably only puff up slightly but this is fine
  • Pre-heat oven to 210C
  • Once risen, on a slightly floured surface, roll out your dough – thin but not so it falls apart! Probably 2-3mm
  • If you want round crisps, roll little dough balls and use a rolling pin to shape – make a hole in the middle
  • If you want rectangular ones – cut them to that shape. Use cookie cutters to make hearts or other shapes too…cute for different occasions
  • Place the crisps on lined baking trays and punch holes in them with a fork or a grating board – works a treat! You may even be in the possession of a proper, Swedish thin crisp rolling pin…use it if you are!
  • Sprinkle with a bit of sea salt – if you like!
  • Place in the warm oven and bake for between 10-15 minutes – watch them carefully as they are not nice if burned but not crisp if undercooked. Dark brown is good.
  • Let cool completely on a wire rack and store in air tight container.

Dough BallRectangular

For round thin crisps

After school snack or in the lunch box!

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Great use of my pasta machine – Vanilla Biscuits!

About five years ago I bought a pasta making machine. It was bought with much anticipation, not least that of my husband, of great homemade pasta dishes. The truth is, I brought it home and put it in a cupboard and well…it has been in that cupboard, unwrapped, for five years!

You may wonder what it has to do with Danish Vanilla Christmas biscuits…a lot actually! About two weeks ago I made pasta for the first time using the machine! It was disastrous, hilarious and absolutely divine all at once! That story is for another blog though! The exciting bit is, for me at least, that while making pasta I realised this machine could be used to make these gorgeous, probably my favourite, Christmas cookies! Vanille kranse – or Vanilla Wreaths directly translated.

It worked a treat and here are the results! YUM!

 

The recipe is, once more, a family one! Passed on to me and gratefully received! It is the fresh vanilla and chopped almonds that make the difference! The flavour is beautiful with the biscuits melting in your mouth, but being crisp at the same time… You must make (and eat) them to understand!

500g plain flour
375g butter
250g sugar
1 egg – stirred
165g chopped almonds
Seeds from two vanilla pods (slice the pods open and scrape out the seeds – see picture below if you have never done before!)
 
  • Put flour and butter in a bowl and chop into the butter with a knife until the mixture resembles bread crumbs
  • All other ingredients go in – remember to give the egg a quick stir with a fork before adding it
  • Knead it until it comes together – it is quite a soft dough due to all the butter (never claimed this was a healthy recipe!)
  • Leave in the fridge for a few hours to cool
  • Using a mince maker machine – or in my case a pasta machine with rigatoni shape attached! – make finger long sausages and bring them together to make a circle – hard to explain – see pics!
  • Bake in a 200C oven for about 10 minutes or until golden brown

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Once you have scooped out all the flesh from your pumpkin – do not discard the seeds! They make a super tasty and healthy snack!

  • Scoop out the seeds once you are carving your pumpkin and save them
  • Wash them in a bowl and remove any flesh – guess who will love this job!!?? Little ones…Big bowl and a little water…they will be at it for a while!
  • If you have no patience for the children doing it then fill a bowl of water and dump the seeds and left over flesh into it. Stir it for a few minutes and you will find that the seeds automatically come to the surface – simply scoop them out!
  • Lay them on a tea towel over night to dry
  • When dry, place them in a bowl and toss them in any (or all) of the below:
    • olive oil
    • soya sauce
    • garlic powder
    • chilli
  • Place them on a baking sheet on a tray and bake them at 120C for about 30 minutes tossing every 15-20 minutes to ensure they don’t burn
  • Once done, let them cool completely!
  • They are lovely and crisp and a great source of protein!
  • Will keep in the fridge for months – but probably won’t last a day!!!

Lemon, Honey and Garlic Roast Chicken

Full of flavour and really crisp – perfect Sunday meal or playdate food – thrown in the oven and spend time with your family while it cooks!

1 whole chicken
4 jacket potatoes choped into 8 pieces each
2 lemons
Lots of garlic cloves – to taste of course
Fresh rosemary
Runny Honey
Sea Salt/Pepper to taste
  • Take your chicken and rub it with lots of salt and pepper. Leave it for an hour or so in the fridge.
  • Preheat oven to 190C
  • Chop the potatoes and place in a pot of cold, salted water – bring to boil and drain once boiling. Let them steam dry for a few minutes then shake around in pot to make slightly fluffy…adds to crispiness!
  • Get your chicken and shake off excess salt. Place it in a roasting tin and drizzle with olive oil and honey. Rub this into it. Sticky job! Let the children do it!
  • Place a whole lemon and some garlic cloves inside the cavity of the chicken.
  • Put it in the oven and cook for 40 minutes
  • Take out chicken and add potatoes to the dish – any liquids from the chicken are great for basting it with as well as coating the potatoes with!
  • Sprinkle rosemary onto chicken and potatoes
  • Place remaining garlic cloves in between potatoes
  • Cut the remaining lemon into small quarters and place into the tin
  • You can add a splash of white wine to the tin also – not necessary though!
  • Put everything back into the oven and cook until chicken is done – usually another 40- 50 minutes depending on size
  • Meat should pull away from chicken easily and juices run clear if stabbed
  • Enjoy! I love to eat the roasted garlic with the chicken as it has a lovely sweet flavour when warm. It is gorgeous on fresh bread…yummmmmyyy!

Skate Wing Salad with Walnuts and Lemon Dressing

I first tasted this when I was 9 and the flavours have stayed with me ever since! The crisp salad with the luke warm skate wing and the tangy lemon….gorgeous.

1 skate wing
2 tbsp olive oil
1 knob butter
Salt and Pepper to taste
Handful walnuts
Mixed Green salad – fresh spinach, ruccola, watercress – any combination will do
Handful flat leaf parsley finely chopped
Lemon dressing – see recipe in Lemon section

 

If you have a frying pan large enough to fit the whole skate wing – great – use it! If not, have the fish monger cut the skate wing in half or do this yourself!

  • Heat the olive oil and butter in the frying pan
  • Season the skate wing with salt and pepper on both sides
  • When sizzling, gently lay the skate wing into the pan
  • Over medium heat, keep a close eye on the colour of the flesh of the skate wing. It will change from pink to white as it cooks
  • After about 5 minutes, carefully turn the skate wing. While it is cooking, scrape the flesh off the wing and gently lay on a plate. he flesh should come away from the bone easily. If it does not, wait!
  • Once the second side has been frying for 5 minutes, turn again and scrape flesh from this side. If any of the fish did not come off easily you simply repeat this process until all flesh has come off the wing. It will very much depend on the thickness of the wing you bought.
  • Prepare two plates and lay the green salad down first and then the parsley. Sprinkle the luke warm skat wing onto it followed by the walnuts. Finally drizzle with the lemon dressing.
  • Enjoy with a glass of white wine! Sauvignon Blanc…New Zealand…Dreaming now…