Tag Archives: baking

Greek olive bread

Greek olive bread

The flavours of the Mediterranean simply ooze from this decorative Greek olive bread, speckled with black olives, red onion and herbs. Originally this bread was a Lenten food for the priests of the Eastern Orthodox Church, although now olive bread or elioti is produced all over the country and can be enjoyed at any time of the year. It is generally a white bread, enriched with a little olive oil, flavoured with marjoram or oregano and studded with black olives. Throughout Greece, local bakers produce their own particular bread, which necessarily becomes a favourite with their customers. In the cities, the more enterprising bakeries produce a wide range of breads flavoured with raisins, olives and herbs, but among the islands and in the mountains, most loaves continue to be of the plain, farmhouse variety – large and crusty and sometimes sprinkled with sesame seeds.

Mocha soufflés

Mocha soufflés

Mocha soufflé is is a lightly baked cake made with egg yolks and beaten egg whites combined with coffee granules and cocoa powder. The word soufflé is the past participle of the French verb souffler which means “to blow up” or, more loosely, “puff up”—an apt description of what happens to this combination of custard and egg whites. When it comes out of the oven, a soufflé should be puffed up and fluffy, and it will generally fall after 5 or 10 minutes (as risen dough does). It may be served with the top punctured and sauce poured on (for example, chocolate or vanilla). Soufflés can be made in containers of all shapes and sizes but it is traditional to make soufflé in ramekins. These containers vary greatly in size, but are typically glazed white, flat-bottomed, round porcelain containers with unglazed bottoms and fluted exterior borders.

Skolebrød

Skolebrød
Skolebrød (literally “School Bread”) are sweet buns filled with custard and topped with icing sugar and desiccated coconut. They are super popular and can be found all over Norway. Traditionally, they would feature in kids’ school lunch boxes as a special treat or for the annoying swots to give to the teacher, so the story goes. Nowadays, Skolebrød is fairly ubiquitous and can be found in coffee shops, snack bars or when invited to someone’s house for coffee (never tea in Norway, just lots and lots of strong black coffee). Be careful though as they are very addictive, and one is never enough. Filled with rich vanilla cream or vanilla pudding, Norwegian School Bread is a special treat to include in your children’s lunches or to prepare for a special school gathering.

Pastilla

Pastilla

Many people make pastilla with pigeon but it is great to do it with the duck. Brik pastry is the correct one to use and can be bought ready-made from Moroccan shops, some French delis and food halls. You can also use filo pastry instead, but do be careful using filo this way as the pastilla can become greasy if you add too much butter. Pastilla is generally served as a starter at the beginning of special meals. It is a pie which combines sweet and salty flavours; a combination of crisp layers of the pastry, savory meat slow-cooked in broth and spices and shredded, and a crunchy layer of toasted and ground almonds, cinnamon, and sugar. In a round pizza pan, the first dough layer is added, and butter brushed onto it. The cook adds the sauce over the dough, and places two more sheets on top. It is then baked, sprinked with confectioner’s sugar and perhaps more cinnamon, and served.