Tag Archives: Rye

Quick Norwegian Flatbread (and How to Make it Lunch)

You know when you wake up from a nap, and it feels so good to stretch out?

Henry knows all about that.  I call this The Morning Dance of the Cat:

It took me a little while to wake up this morning, too, but once I got my butt in gear, had a piece of peanut butter and banana toast, and drank my tea, I headed off to the gym.  Try not to be too impressed, but I ran 2.6 miles–quite an accomplishment for a real running-hater like myself.

Though I have to clarify–I hate the actual running, but it feels so good after. That’s why I keep doing it.

Anyway, once I got home, I had some lunchtime inspiration from my CSA box (no picture this week, sorry!) and the giant tub of hummus (best batch yet) that I made yesterday.  Sungold cherry tomatoes + hummus + herbs from the garden + flatbread = lunch.

Quick Norwegian Flatbread (from Bernard Clayton’s New Complete Book of Breads)

  • 1 1/2 C rye flour
  • 1 1/2 C whole-wheat flour
  • 1 T brown sugar
  • 2 t baking powder
  • 1 t baking soda
  • 1 t salt
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 1/4 C butter, melted
  • 1 C buttermilk

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.  While you are getting the ingredients ready, I’ll give you two short cuts that I used today.  One, to bring an egg rapidly to room temperature, let it sit in a cup of hot water for a minute.  Two, if you don’t have buttermilk, just combine some milk and a little lemon juice for a quick fix.

Combine the egg and buttermilk in the mixer.  Add the melted butter and mix again to combine.  In a separate bowl, combine the remaining dry ingredients and pour them into the liquid, mixing until a dough forms.  Knead with the dough hook for a few minutes until smooth, adding pinches of flour if necessary to make the dough pull away from the bowl.

Divide the dough into two pieces on a floured countertop, and roll out with a rolling pin until about 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick.  Traditionally, this is rolled into a circle, but I went with a more rectangular shape just ’cause it’s easier.  Transfer on a greased baking sheet and bake in the oven on the medium rack until browned on the bottom and lightly golden on top, about 15-2o minutes.

This was so delicious as is.  If you want to toss together a quick bread for dipping in soups, eating with hummus, or with jam and butter, this is a great choice.  So soft and the subtle rye taste is irresistible.

But I needed lunch.  I set one flatbread aside (in a ziplock bag), and got to work on the other.

I spread a nice layer of hummus over the top of the remaining flatbread, then sprinkled it with some lemon thyme from my herb garden.  I sliced a handful of cherry tomatoes, placing them cut-side up on top of the hummus, and sprinkled the whole thing with a bit of salt and pepper.  Just a few minutes under the broiler and voila!  Lunch is served.

Next time I’d spread the hummus all the way to the edges to keep them from browning too rapidly…and because hummus is just delicious.

These tomatoes from my CSA box are also super sweet–I can’t resist eating them whole, which is quite unusual for me, since I was never a big tomato fan.

In fact, as a child I threw up when my parents made me eat one, and they stopped making me try after that.  My feelings for raw tomatoes are definitely improving this year–but they are even better cooked.  On flatbread.  With hummus.

What else came in our CSA box this week?  Well, the size of the box is a little small this week, thanks to Miss Irene, but we still got some good stuff:

  • 2 acorn squashes (yes!!!!)
  • 1 pint of Sungold cherry tomatoes (that you’ve seen here today)
  • Red beets and their greens
  • Baby leeks
  • Bunch of cilantro
  • Several big red tomatoes
  • 1 bag of green beans

Though it was a slightly smaller box, it was full of all of my favorite veggies, so I’m pretty excited to have our kitchen restocked.  I’m still trying to plan something to do with the cilantro (Fritz is not a fan), but most of it will likely have to be frozen.

Have a good weekend!

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Seeded Crackers

What a relief to finally be home!  We began our travels yesterday at 8:00 in the morning and finally arrived home to Long Island at almost 9:00 at night.  Super long day.

Needless to say, we were super exhausted when we finally made it home–but very, very excited to see this face:

He’s been cling-wrapped to us all day and I think he’s finally starting to get that when we leave, we won’t be gone for another two weeks.  Oh–except that I’m catching a flight tomorrow night for Syracuse to see my side of the family (but Fritz is staying here, since his classes are starting tomorrow).

So, it was nice to have a bit of a normal routine today, including weekend baking.  I decided to attempt making crackers for the first time ever today, using this recipe from It’s Not About the Recipe for inspiration.

Seeded Crackers Printable Recipe Card

  •  1 C whole-wheat flour
  • 1 C rye flour
  • 1/4 C poppy seeds
  • 1/4 C sesame seeds
  • 1/4 C sunflower seeds
  • 1 t salt
  • 1 1/2 t baking powder
  • 3 T olive oil
  • 3/4 C water

This was a super easy recipe.  In the mixer, combine all the dry ingredients.  Mix in the olive oil, then the water, until a dough forms.  Let it rest for 15 minutes.

After resting, break the dough into four pieces (the original recipe said eight–not sure why, since it was not necessary and a bit more time-consuming).  Roll out the dough until very thin, using extra flour to prevent sticking (I stopped rolling only when I had to–when the thickness of the sunflower seeds prevented me from rolling it out any thinner).  Using a pizza cutter (or a pastry roller if you are lucky enough to have one), cut off the rough edges and slice the crackers into squares.  Place them close together on baking sheets lined with parchment paper, and stick ’em with a fork a couple of times for those cute cracker dots.

Bake in a hot oven (450 degrees) for 7-10 minutes until light golden brown.  You gotta watch these guys carefully, since they’ll burn fast and the only thing worse than the smell of burnt sesame seeds is the taste of burnt sesame seeds.

Let them cool completely and store in an air-tight container for about a week.

I wasn’t a huge fan of these crackers at first, but I posted the recipe anyway because I think that it’s a personal preference–I’m just not a huge fan of toasted sesame seeds.

Fritz enjoyed the crackers just fine.

Oh, and when I tried them the way I used to eat Ritz crackers in my youth (with strawberry jam), I was totally won over.

Yum.

Double, triple, crunchy seedy cracker yum.  These guys might just be those crackers that really work best with toppings.

My next cracker attempt (because these were so fast that I will definitely be making more crackers soon) may have to be sweet.  Or cheddar.  Or herby.  Either way, we need more crackers.

Back at the homefront, Henry has been peering out from behind our television (the one place he’s not supposed to go and is therefore his favorite place), daring us to have the gall to yell at him after we abandoned him for two weeks.

World’s worst cat.

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Buttermilk Rye Whole-Wheat Bread (so good you might want to marry it)

Yes, I made bread today.  But more importantly:

WE BOUGHT A CAR!!  Finally!  Fritz wandered into a Kia dealership and they happened to have a trade-in that was in our price range.  Fritz checked it out and drove home to tell me (I was home baking).  When the bread had risen, the oven preheated, and after an eternity the bread fully baked, we drove back so I could perform my thorough car evaluation/inspection (“It’s cute!”).

WOOOOOOO!!!!

Anyway, let’s get back to business. 

Buttermilk Rye Whole-Wheat Bread (From Bernard Clayton’s Complete Book of Breads)

  • 1 C rye flour
  • 1 C whole-wheat flour
  • 1 pkg dry yeast
  • 1 T wheat germ
  • 1 T caraway seeds
  • 2 t salt
  • 1 C buttermilk
  • 3 T molasses
  • 2 T canola oil
  • 1 C bread or all-purpose flour

You’ll need a large loaf pan (5″-by-9″), greased, and I strongly suggest using a mixer to save your biceps all the hard work of kneading this dough!

In a mixer bowl, combine the rye and whole-wheat flours, the yeast, wheat germ, caraway seeds, and salt.  Mix well.  I use dry buttermilk, which I added to these dry ingredients (4 T).  In a saucepan, heat the buttermilk (in my case, the water I’d mix the dry buttermilk with normally), molasses, and oil until hot (120 degrees).  Pour into the dry ingredients and blend at a medium speed for three minutes with a flat beater.

By hand, gradually stir in the white flour to make a firm (but not stiff!) dough.

Knead for 8 minutes using the mixer and the dough hook.  If the dough remains sticky (mine did!), add pinches of all-purpose flour.  Be careful not to add too much!  Bernard Clayton, author of this recipe, calls the “cannonball” a standard rookie mistake of new bakers.  Place the dough in a greased bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap.  Allow it to rise until doubled in size, about an hour.

Lightly flour your work surface (ahem, my kitchen table), and roll the dough out to a 14″-by-17″ rectangle.

Start on the short side and roll the dough up tightly.  Pinch the edges and ends to seal, and place in the greased pan.  Loosely cover with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled, about an hour to an hour and a half.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees for at least 20 minutes before baking.  Place the pan in the oven and bake until the loaf is a dark brown color and sounds hollow when tapped.  Let cool on a wire rack before serving.

It’s a lot of work, but it’s worth it.  The bread is moist, tangy, and full of whole wheat goodness!  Something I learned from Mr. Clayton today is that if you are planning on eating the bread in the next two days, store it in a paper bag to keep that crispy exterior.  If  not, freeze what you plan on eating later–wrap it in two plastic freezer bags.  To defrost, take out of the freezer and wait until all the ice crystals have reabsorbed into the bread, then pop it in the oven at 350 degrees for 15 minutes to revitalize.  This makes your bread taste good as new, rather than that stale taste it’ll pick up after only a few days in the fridge.  Thanks, Bernard!

I made sushi tonight with some friends for the first time, and I’ll update on that tomorrow.  Until then–here’s a Henry shot for you to cuddle up to:

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