Monday, April 20, 2009

Bread Con't., Wine, and Aarstiderne

So the Norwegian Mountain Loaf was a success.  It's an incredibly dense bread that, when held in your palm, feels only slightly lighter than a brick.  That being said, the flavor is nutty and bold and the texture moist and nubby.  It is delightful as is with butter and/or jam or toasted and spread with the same toppings.  From Nigella Lawson's How to Be a Domestic Goddess, here is the recipe:

Norwegian Mountain Loaf
1c plus 2T low-fat milk
1c plus 2T water
2 1/4c whole wheat bread flour
1/3c rye flour
1pkg (1/4 oz) rapid-rise yeast (or 1T fresh yeast)  
1T salt
3T linseeds
3T sunflower seeds
2T wheat germ
1/4c rolled oats (not instant)

Mix the milk and water together in a measuring cup, and combine all the other ingredients in a large bowl.  Pour the liquid into the dry ingredients, stirring all the while, to make a sticky, porridgelike mixture.  Scrape into an incredibly well-buttered loaf pan--or better still, a sturdy non-stick silicon loaf pan, which you need not prepare in any way--and put into a cold oven. Turn it on to 225F and after 30 minutes turn it up to 350F.  Bake for 1 hour, though in some ovens it may need 10-15 minutes more.  You should be able to slip it out of its pan and check by the knocking method, but with a loaf of this heaviness that's not always a reliable gauge, so do poke a cake tester or fine skewer to make sure; if it comes out clean, the loaf's cooked.  If not, you can just put it back in the oven without its pan and give it another few minutes.  

This is the wine du is a bottle left over from my husband's brother's wedding in August 2007.  It's a 2005 Saint-Joseph "Le Grand Pompee," and it is divine.

Because I've always wanted to join a community supported agriculture (CSA) service, I signed up for delivery of organic fruits and vegetables from a Danish organization called Aarstiderne, meaning Seasons.  They deliver all over Denmark.  The cost of the package I selected is 198DKK a week (about $40), and you can choose to have it delivered weekly, twice a month, or even once a month depending on how fast or slow you eat it all.  It is supposed to contain enough fruits and veggies for two people, and we'll get our first delivery this Thursday. I can't wait to see what's in it.  The Danes eat A LOT of potatoes and while I enjoy them from time to time, I'm hoping for some decent variety.

Finally, I wanted to share a couple of photos of a classic Danish Rugbrød that I bought in the bakery of the Kvickly supermarket today.  Rugbrød is rye bread and it comes in hundreds of varieties (dark, light, seeded, without seeds, small slices, different shaped slices, and so on). Typically I stay away from the in-store bakeries because of the cost. But there was a special today on the Rugbrød - one loaf for 18DKK ($3.60), so I thought it was worth it.  After only ever trying the pre-packaged bread-aisle Rugbrød, I was very impressed with the fresh, warm bakery loaf.  I don't ever recall having Rugbrød in the U.S., although I have a feeling it's available somewhere, and it's truly a Danish specialty.

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