Whole Wheat Bread

For the longest time, I’ve been struggling to eat bread from the shop, since after a couple of days it gets too hard and with my braces, I just can’t chew it. So after attending Marte Marie Forsberg’s workshop in England, I got hooked on no-knead bread. No need to tell you that it was such an eye-opener that I started experimenting with other types of bread- don’t get me wrong, I’ve been baking bread occasionally before, but now I’m talking about baking every other day or so. But hey, when the result is this good and the effort is minimal, why the hell not?

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Recipe for two hearty breads

2 breads made i 2 liters’ forms or baked round on a parchment paper

500 g wheat flour
450 g whole wheat flour
200 g rye flour
1 ½ tea spoon salt
50 g linseeds
1 bag of yeast, dry or fresh
8 dl water, around 30 degrees C

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Mix the dry ingredients in a large baking bowl. If you use fresh yeast, you can crumble it in the mixture as well. Add the water and set the mixer on its lowest speed. Knead the bread for 15-18 minutes. (I’ve done it by hand, even though I have a Kitchen Aid, and it worked just fine. I must have kneaded it for 5 minutes all together, I’m an efficient mother f*. haha!)

Cover the dough with a kitchen towel and let it rest for about an hour, until it doubles its size. If you have a silicon form like me, just sprinkle it with flower, if you have the classic metal one, butter them with oil or butter.

Use some flower on your baking table and knead the dough once, then divide it into two parts. Roll them into bread and place them into the forms, making sure you stretch them to fit as good as possible. Let them rest for 40 more minutes, covered in a towel, until the dough rises over the edge of the form.

Bake for 45-50 minutes at 180 degrees C, until the temperature inside is 98-99 degrees C. Take the bread out of the form and let them rest under a towel.

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Bon appetit!

 

Apricot Galette

For me, summer equals baking. I usually have a long holiday- there’s little to do in my branch when the courthouse is closed and although “crime never sleeps”, I can’t be bothered to take on just any assignments only to get out of the house. So I walk Sammy, I go to the beach, I read, I practice driving, I go to yoga and I bake. 😉

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Aigues-Mortes

I love Mediterranean lifestyle, but this year was so hot I thought I’d melt right there on the sidewalk like an ice cube. I had trouble sleeping at night and I found it hard to find the motivation to do anything after midday. Had I been traveling solo, you would have found me in the shade, eating olives and drinking rosé or sitting on the beach under an umbrella with a cocktail all day long. 😉 But I thank the stars my love is less affected by the heat than I am and generally a much more reasonable person altogether. 😉 Haha! And even though we had our share of self indulging, we also found the time and energy to travel around a bit.

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Peaceful Days

I realized I wrote the previous entry in a state of what you might call holiday blues. Now, four days away from our return, I feel I can do our vacantion more justice.

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I wake up at about 8, my mouth a bit dry from too much wine yesterday, my head heavy with sleep. I have trouble falling asleep when it’s this hot. I move around from the couch to the bed and then back, chasing the evening breeze.

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I open the doors to the balcony and let the morning light in, then follow it for the rest of the morning, first as a perpendicular line on the neighbouring block, then like a reflector on their balcony door, as if waiting for whoever lives there to step into the sunshine and grab their 5 minutes of fame.

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I make some coffee, it’s too hot to drink it warm and so I add three ice cubes and a dash of milk. I listen to the city sounds, the occasional car or motorcycle ventures into our little alley and I welcome the feeling of everyday peace it brings me.

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I open my book, it’s supposed to be glorious, but for now I fail to see it, so I put it away and start reading about a trip to Mauritania in winter, walking through the dessert and sleeping under the stars. Maybe we could do that for Christmas?

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I open the cupboard and take out a couple of Oreillettes, sweet cakes thin as a sheet of paper, sprinkled with sugar and tasting like orange blossom. They’re so good, I need to learn how to make them, I don’t think I can live without them from now on.

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Today we’re going to F’s aunt for lunch, so I should chill that rosé and brush up my French. It’s coming together, all the words I forgot or never learned in the first place suddenly come to the surface.

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She lives in the countryside, in a quaint stone house by an olive grove, with a husband and a lovely dog who’s afraid of her own shadow.

We’re looking for a property, for now we’re still dreaming, but I could really see myself living here during the summer and I know that if it was my place I wouldn’t have time to get bored.

It’s ten already and I’m still lounging in my beach towel, to hot to put on clothes and too alluring to go back to sleep.

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Drop me a line. I’ve missed you!

 

 

The Future is Now

I’m in a good place in my life- I feel loved and I love him back, with a peace of mind only possible in adulthood, not at all reminiscing of the exhausting experiences in my early twenties, when I was losing sleep and energy over a phone that didn’t ring or a date that was 3 hours late. If you haven’t experienced that, you should consider yourself lucky, I for one have been through it all- reciprocated love, unrequited love, hate, addiction, Platonic love, you name it. But not anymore. Now I love the way I probably should have from the beginning had I only known how. One of my earliest memories of not being like everybody else was when I kept wondering how it was possible for the parents of one class mate to love him as long as he had spectacles. I mean, I was probably 7 and that was what was going through my head, how you had to be perfect in order to be loved. :-/ Anyways.

Although I don’t feel particularly professionally accomplished (I know you’ve heard that before!), I’m investing time and money in my hobbies, I’m traveling and I’m reading like never before, I feel the world at my feet, the only thing I have to do is grab it by the tail! And that I am, every day is sort of an adventure, a small adventure, that is, ’cause I still need my naps, but these days I’ve been driving outside town with a friend for props- a marble board and old wooden boards- popped by thrift stores for antiques and styled my own little “tableaux”, with more or less luck. And today I’ve baked bread, not that I hadn’t done that before, but the kind of old-fashioned round bread, the no knead one. And boy, was it lovely!

 

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The English Countryside

As I probably mentioned before, I was going to England for a baking and photography workshop with Marte Marie Forsberg, hoping to get away from my somewhat stressful interpreter life and to catch up a bit with Lavinia, my ex high-school frenemy, now one of my dearest friends. And so I packed a few things to wear- obviously the wrong clothes and shoes, ’cause I’m a notoriously bad packer- two books and off I went. The first two days I stayed at Lavinia’s in London, in Burnt Oak, aka Little Romania, in a charming townhouse with a giant fig tree and two teenagers too shy for their own good. We chatted long into the night and I tried to sleep in the day after, but the planets aligned against it: the groceries got delivered at 7, then I had to use de bathroom upstairs when all the house was up, and then, when I was nearly falling asleep, the neighbour’s dog started barking and then again, when I had finally managed the deed, the vacuum cleaner started and it felt like the cleaning lady was hoovering the inside of my brain. So I made myself some coffee and read a bit in my pjs. By noon we went to Hampstead, where I did a bit of vintage, charity and regular shopping and then we all had lunch at this charming Italian restaurant. It was hot, too hot for England, and I so I rolled my pants up like a child to be able to bear with it without complaining. And the glass of rosé sure helped some.

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