Welcome to 2019 everyone! I hope you had a good time over the last couple of days and celebrated the end of 2018 with a roaring party (or in any other way suited to your personal picture of “perfect”) that set exactly the right tones for a fantastic new year~!
I know the aftermath of such festivities can be a bit iffy to handle so, like every year, I’ll provide you guys with the ultimate (at least in my book) remedy for any undesired party effects still lingering in the general vicinity of your heads or tummies – or simply a great way to start a new year: a healthy, hearty and wonderfully easy to (pre-)prep breakfast, aromas-of-freshly-baked-bread-wakeup-call for everyone else in the area included~!
The amounts listed here will net you a 25cm loaf or approx. 20 slices of bread and enough of the spread to generously cover those slices with~
Just a quick note ahead: the dough for this bread won’t rise or change color a lot, nor will it do any other funky dough-things you might expect (other than… stick) so don’t worry if nothing seems to happen during the resting phases~!
The Nutty Protein Bread
50g Blanched Hazelnuts
50g Raw Pecan Nuts
500g Low-Fat Quark/Curd Cheese
Alt: 500g Fromage Blanc – careful with this in it’s low-fat version, it might be a bit too runny to work out as well as the regular 3,8-5% varieties
150g Almond Flour
150g Linseed Flour
50g Golden Linseeds or Sunflower Seeds, lightly toasted
1 Tsp Sea Salt
½ Tsp Caraway Seeds
½ Tsp Fennel Seeds
½ Tsp Aniseed
½ Tsp Coriander Seeds
1 Pinch of Nutmeg
1 Pk Cream of Tartar /wein stein
1 Tsp Vegetable Oil – just for the tin, make sure it’s a mild/neutral one
50ml Sparkling Water
Fleur de Sel Flakes, Linseeds and Caraway to dot the surface with
1) Heat up a large, heavy-based pan set onto medium-low heat, then add the hazelnuts and pecans.
2) Low-and-slow them while giving the pan the occasional shake until they’re nicely golden and deliciously fragrant.
3) Once you’re satisfied, tip the nuts out onto a tray or plate lined with baking parchment and allow them to cool off for about 10-15 mins before roughly chopping them up.
4) Pop the seeds into the pan as its cooling down to tickle out their essential oils without getting too much heat on them just yet.
5) Place the quark in a large mixing bowl and add the flours, seeds, salt, spices and the sparkling water.
6) Work the lot into a smooth and soft’ish dough first with the help of a rubber spatula, then with lightly floured hands.
7) Once you’re looking at a fairly lump-free ball of dough sitting in your bowl, cover the bowl with a kitchen cloth, place it in a warm spot and allow the dough to R&R for 30-45 mins.
8) Preheat your oven to 200°C/Fan 180°C.
9) Gently work the roasted almonds and baking powder into your well-rested dough until everything’s evenly distributed throughout.
10) Brush the loaf tin you’ve picked for the job with a bit of oil, then gently smooth the dough into it, wriggling and jiggling it a bit until everything fits. Make sure the “log” you’re looking at is equally thick all the way down its length and is sporting a relatively smooth surface – as smooth as the bunch of nuts and seeds inside allow, that is.
11) Sprinkle the surface with Fleur de Sel Flakes and with a totally optional but yumtastic amount of decorative seeds.
12) Slide the tin onto the middle rack of your oven and bake the loaf for 30-35 mins.
13) The top should be nicely golden and crispy at a cursory check-up glance once the time’s up but if you’re still unsure about what exactly you’re looking at, tip the loaf out of the tin and knock on the bottom – a hollow echo of your knock will be the sign you’re listening for~
14) If the sound is a bit on the dull side of things, pop the loaf back into the tin and the tin back into the oven for another 5-10 mins.
15) Once it’s done, take the freshly baked bread out of its tin, place it on a cooling rack and allow it to cool off a bit.
16) Tempting as it might be to go to town with a knife and a knob of your favorite high-quality butter, I highly recommend waiting just a little longer since this type of bread does have a tendency to be a bit crumbly until it had the chance to cool off and set. Trust me, while very delicious, hot breadcrumbs are seriously the wrong thing to try and maneuver in connection with knives, cold butter and a head wrapped in imaginary yet somehow very real cotton…
The Sun-Dried Tomato & Goat’s Cheese Spread
200g Firm’ish Goat’s Cream Cheese – best pick the ones being sold as Cream Cheese Coins/Disks
Alt: 200g Sheepsmilk Feta – in case you’re not all that crazy about goat’s cheese no matter how mild, sheepsmilk feta works too but it will have an impact on the consistency of the spread. Your best bet to get a creamy result anyhow is to ask around a bit to find the perfect not-too-crumbly sheepsmilk cheese for the job
100g Very Soft Goat’s Cream Cheese – You guys know I hate namedropping or advertising brands, but there’s no way around it in this case… I always use Chavroux pyramids for creamy jobs like this.
100-150g Goat’s Milk Yoghurt – adjust the amounts depending on the base-creaminess of your cheese and your desired dip/spread-consistency
125g Soft Sun-Dried Tomatoes
100g Sun-dried Tomatoes preserved in herbed olive oil – don’t be too thorough in shaking off “excess” oil before using them in this case, the deliciously flavored moisture has a place in this particular dip
2 small Shallots, roughly chopped
2 Cloves of Garlic, roughly chopped
½ Tsp Herbed Salt or Celery Salt
½ Tsp Dried Rosemary
½ Tsp Dried Basil
½ Tsp Dried Oregano
½ Tsp Black Pepper
Opt: ½ Tsp Chilli Flakes
This one’s the perfect thing to prep a day ahead, even while you’re in the middle of prepping the party or doing other stuff – it’s an “afterthought” kind of recipe, done in 2 mins and deliciously intense if it had a night in the fridge to develop some oomph~
1) Place everything, minus 1/3 of the yoghurt – in a food processor and whizz the lot until everything is smooth and well combined.
2) Have a little spoon-test for consistency and, if really necessary, whizz in some more yoghurt if it turns out to be too thick for your liking.
3) Once you’re happy with the consistency, tip the spread out into a sealable container and give it at least 30 mins to set and develop its flavors – this is where the night’s rest could come in as well~
4) About 30-60 mins before getting ready for breakfast – or whatever occasion you’ve picked for these yummies to make an appearance on your table – go through a taste-test and adjust the seasoning if necessary.
5) Make sure your additions are well blended into the mix before sealing the lot up again to give it another development phase until it’s time to dig in.
And that’s it~! A mug of coffee, maybe a glass of bubbly and a Virgin Mary to the side and you should find yourself able to skip the aspirin altogether~! Just for the record… this is exceptionally tasty sans a hangover as well, of course~! Case in point: We shot these pics on the evening of last year’s drive up north to Sylt – we always have a simple cold supper on our arrival day, but this time, thanks to nasty weather warnings and the resulting unreliable shuttle/ferry service we knew we wouldn’t arrive early enough to be able to hunt for fresh bread on the island. After having prepped this bread for several breakfast/brunch/bbq occasions I knew this one was a good traveler, so I whipped up the spread the evening before the trip and prepped/measured/boxed all of the ingredients for the bread in small containers. All I had to do was turn on the oven once we arrived, flick my wrist a couple of times and pop in the bread while we unpacked and did our usual “Hello, North Sea!”-walk across the dunes. Returning to the warm and cosy cottage and the yumtastic aromas of freshly baked bread was one hell of a good way to start a vacation~! Anyways…
…Enjoy and Happy New Year~!