I’ve already talked to you about Dan Lepard in previous posts. I am now particularly interested in his most recent publication, Short and Sweet. This book deserves a prize. This book deserves all the attention people can give to it. It deserves all the time to try all the recipes in there. I own the book for more than 3 months now but have only tried a couple of recipes… until a few weeks back when I took it to my bedsit table and started reading it again. Some have considered this book “a bible”. Well, when I read this I shrug. I think a bible of any kind is some book with all the basic techniques, all the basic recipes for a complete beginner. It’s a book where all the classics will be found. And here is where I think Dan’s book is much much better than a “bible”. His recipes are original, are completely new, not so classic, very interesting and irreverent. Where else can you find a recipe that uses wine to make a bread instead of water? Where else can you find a bread that uses a porridge? Who would have thought of making a cake out of rye flour? Well, perhaps this is not that new to the expert baker. But for me, it’s a complete joy to find this not so familiar mixtures, and the results…They are wonderful! Just be open minded!
I forgot to buy bread this morning, but I had bought walnuts to make another recipe (I’ll come back to this later on). I knew there was a simple walnut loaf in Short and Sweet, so, here I go make the walnut bread. Another surprise: red wine. I did not have it. But, I had canned cherries, again, for the other recipe. So, instead of using the red wine which I did not have, I’ve opened the can of cherries and used their syrup instead.I am very curious about the result of this bread made with wine, but I’ll leave that to another time when there’s wine laying around in the house. I must say though that the result with the cherry syrup is not bad at all and the colour that would come from the red wine is still there.
This bread is very easy to make, very little kneading needed. I’ve used too much yeast here (since I had bad experiences with this yeast before) but the bread was not too airy. This bread sounds really fancy and it actually is. The taste of walnut is quite intense because some are left intact, in small chunks mixed with the dough, but some are blended in a food processor with the honey and the wine.
Now the other recipe that uses the cherries. It is from Super Natural Everyday, my new addition to my library. The book is from Heidi Swanson, from the blog 101 cookbooks. It is with vegetarian recipes but not the kind of boring, super spicy vegetarian recipes. I will want to have a proper post about her book so for now I’ll just comment on this super tasty salad: wholegrain rice salad. From the title no one is really attracted to this recipe, but from the picture, you see a bright purple bowl of rice with some basil leaves and walnuts. Hmmm… More interesting now! This is in the salad sections but for us it was a main course, our dinner. It is a salad but it is not completely cold. It is a salad but the main ingredient is the rice. The greens in this salad are basil leaves for flavour and spinach (barely cooked,only mixed into the hot pan of rice as soon as it finishes cooking. Pretty clever! I love learning new simple techniques like this one). The dressing is not only the usual olive oil and vinegar but cherries, all whizzed up to a smooth paste! Walnuts (the walnuts used for the bread but bought with this recipe in mind) and goat’s cheese finish it off and let me tell you…It was delicious!
Uff! Sorry for this so long post..This just proves I need to post more often…
Stay in touch for more Dan Lepard’s recipes, the apple and rye cake and even more from Super Natural Everyday!