Autumn and I return – Blackberry and Apple Loaf

Blackberries

Cannot believe I have not posted since the Spring. Somehow lost my focus, but an amazing holiday in Denmark and Norway has completely inspired me to cook again.

Why, you may wonder?

The list is long however one word, maybe two…or three, sums up the impressions our summer holiday left with me.

Natural – Wholesome – Simple

Bread is not just bread; it is seeded, it is rye, it is wholemeal, it has nuts in it, berries – dark chocolate. Wow! That is one recipe that will be shared eventually!

The environment is not just used; it is adored, appreciated, cherished, looked after. Every turn takes your breath away. Every turn inspires dreaming and laughter. Maybe some of the dreams created whilst there will be shared eventually!

People are not just strangers that pass you by; they are strong, sturdy, friendly, helpful and kind souls who make a proper effort to make your day better than it already was. True selflessness and kindness. Inspiring.

Walks are not just walks; they are rejuvenating, awe-inspiring, berry picking, soul enlightening miracles. And from the walks come fruit – berries – and from those berries come wonderful recipes. One of which I will share with you now. 🙂

Picking

We had friends over a few weekends ago and went for an amazing walk through fields of clover, parks, over little bridges and close by lakes. All along the way were rows and rows of blackberry bramble; bursting with ripe berries. I made a mental note and promised the children to return with bags and bowls…

For those that have followed this blog for a while, and cooked my recipes, you will know that I always try to incorporate healthy aspects into every meal (almost anyway!).  This gorgeous blackberry and apple loaf is no different. Very easy, very quick – moist – full of flavour, rye and fruit. A great lunch box or after school treat or a lovely Sunday breakfast or tea time surprise for the family.

What goodness will it give you?

  1. Exercise, a smile on your face, your children out of the house and maybe muddy shoes – picking the berries of course!
  2. Vitamin A & C, dietary fibre, heart-healthy fats, potassium and calcium – blackberries are an amazing addition to your diet. They are one of the berries women are advised to eat if they would like a flatter stomach (or so I have heard…)!
  3. Potentially cancer reducing – apple peel has quercetin in it – some studies have shown this to be a cancer reducing food.
  4. Slow releasing energy – rye! Read more here: benefits of rye

No excuses – get your wellingtons on, get into the outdoors, and pick those blackberries before they disappear.

Blackberry and Apple Loaf

150g rye flour

100g plain flour

175g butter (can be substituted for vegetable oil or apple sauce)

100g dark brown unrefined cane sugar

5 tbsp. Demerara sugar

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

1 tsp. baking powder

2 eggs

Zest of an orange

1 green apple grated (NOT peeled)

225g blackberries

  • Pre heat your oven to 180C
  • Grease a loaf tin using either butter or vegetable oil (approximately 1.5L)
  • Place the two flour types, butter (or oil/applesauce) and two sugar types in a mixing bowl
  • Combine with your fingers until the mixture resembles bread crumbs
  • Take 5 table spoons of this mixture and place it in a separate bowl – you will use this as topping at the end
  • Add the cinnamon to the topping mixture
  • Add the baking powder to the flour mixture
  • In a separate bowl combine eggs, the zest of orange and the grated apple
  • Pour the fruit mixture into the flour mixture and combine with a fork – do not over-mix (this will make a harder textured cake)
  • Gently fold the blackberries into the dough, again making sure not to over-mix
  • Spoon the dough into the loaf tin, sprinkle with the topping and place in the warm oven for approximately 1 hour (or slightly longer depending on your oven/tin etc. Please insert a skewer into the loaf after an hour to check that the dough is fully baked). If the cake starts looking a little dark for your liking simply place some tin foil over the top of it and leave to bake until it has finished.
  • Let it cool in the tin on a wire rack for a good 30 minutes before removing.
  • Serve as is or with crème fraiche/ice cream/custard….
  • (the little jar in the pictures below contains blackberry and ginger compote – great with cheese! That recipe will have to follow)

(for more information on the healthy benefits of almost anything: http://health.learninginfo.org/)

ApplesBlackberry and Apple LoafFinished LoafAs a gift?

Rye #6 – Sticky Cinnamon Buns

Despite the ability to post on rye recipes probably for ever, this will be the last recipe in the series for now! To be honest, this one is the guilty pleasure of the series and really I am posting it to show that you can adapt any recipe and add rye, without killing the flavour.

I adore cinnamon rolls. They are very much part of the Danish culture and my preferred pick from the Bakers on a Sunday morning (when in Denmark!) They go hand in hand with celebrations, treats, coffee…. any excuse to indulge slightly.

The classic ones are very buttery, puff pastry like, with a lot of cinnamon and usually icing sugar on top. These are not what I would call classic Danish cinnamon rolls, in fact, when I presented them to the children they sort of wrinkled their noses a bit – even if young they know their cinnamon rolls! However, within the first bit there was silence….and with the last bite…finger licking. Always signs of a good snack! I adapted my normal recipe – here – quite substantially.

Hope you enjoy – have to admit – despite the rye flour addition, these are still what I would classify as a naughty food! 🙂 Crunchy on the outside, soft and sweet on the inside!

PS – Apologies – the pictures did not turn out well, bad day for photography, thank goodness the flavours did!

Dough

300ml lukewarm milk
100g melted butter
80g caster sugar
20g fresh yeast – (or 3/4 tsp dried yeast)
1 tsp ground cardamom – if you cannot find, crush cardamom seeds in a pestle and mortar
1 egg
300g plain flour 
250g rye flour
 

Filling

75g soft butter
120g light brown soft sugar
2 tbsp ground cinnamon
 

Glaze

100 ml water
85g caster sugar
1 tbsp lemon juice
 
  •  To make the dough, lightly warm the milk and butter in a saucepan
  • Once the butter has melted, pour the liquid into a bowl and let cool to finger warm
  • Add the sugar, yeast, cinnamon and egg and whisk to combine, ensuring the yeast dissolves
  • While stiring, slowly add the flours until you have a dough ball that may still be slightly sticky. Transfer this to a clean bowl and cover with a tea towel – let rise for about an hour in a warm place. If your house is cold – a good trick is to turn your oven on 20-30C and leave the bowl in there, with the door slightly ajar. This works really well so long as you do not let it get any warmer than that!
  • While the dough is proving, combine butter, sugar and cinnamon to create the filling – yum! This is so tasty! In the pictures the filling looks grainy; my butter was too cold. Warmer butter will create a soft spread which is easier to work with. The end result is the same though so don’t worry either way.
  • Remove the dough from the bowl and knead a few times on a lightly floured surface. Roll dough to a rectangular shape, leaving it a good 5mm thick.
  • With a spatula or big spoon, spread the filling onto the dough ensuring all is covered
  • Roll the rectangle dough up from the long end, until a sausage is formed!
  • Cut the rolls – in a triangle if you want as I did or simply thick slices are also fine. You want to cut them quite thick as this creates a more impressive finished product! 5cm probably. If you cut a triangle, stand on lined baking sheet. If slices, lie them down.
  • Leave on the lined baking sheets for about an hour to rise – covered with a tea towel
  • Pre-heat oven to 200C and bake the buns until golden – 20-25 minutes
  • While the buns bake make your glaze – add all ingredients in a saucepan and cook for about 15 minutes – it will still be watery but slightly thicker than when you started. If you want a thick glaze, let cook for longer and just check as you go – and stop cooking when it reaches the consistency you like
  • Remove the buns from the oven, place on a wire rack – lay something underneath as it gets messy – and drizzle the glaze over them. Use it all…go large!
  • Enjoy….

Dough will be slightly sticky 

Very tasty dough….

Dough will double in size once left in a warm place

Roll and fill

 Place on baking tray and leave in a warm place to rise again

The dough puffs up and the buns sink slightly

Sticky, warm and irresistible!

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!