Spelt soda bread - at least this I know I'm good at doing!
Stupidly enough, the task of re-reading and editing my upcoming novel has been taking a toll on my self esteem and confidence. I expect to find a lot of things I will need to remove from the narrative, like sentences that are too sappy, scenes that are too cringe worthy, dialogues that sound too ridiculous and sobby and simply stupid. I expect to find all that, and much more. I fear finding all that, but know it's there, and I know exactly where I will pinpoint those parts of the writing that frankly need to go. Those that I know should be avoided for their over sentimentality or their erotic nature - but of of the good kin, mind you.
The problem is I can never cut things from my writing. Never. That's why I don't go back to former writings, because I know how much crap I will find there, and I know how much it will make blush and feel hot in the face, with shame and a deep sense of ricidulous. An enormous sense of ridiculous. But the moment one decides one wants to publish what one writes, well... one has to simply grow up and face the music, right? The problem is I fear I might simply delete parts of the narrative that are not indispensable to the story and the action, or parts of the writing that are not all that bad as my twisted mind may find them, and then I end up doing a worst job out of it all.
So yes, that dreaded moment that I have promised myself will begin on the second of November, has been playing me up and making me second guess all other things I do. Suddenly, my posts for this blog are not good enough. The photos I took deserve only to be binned - and I did bin a couple of sets already! - my styling is far too basic and shoddy, I don't understand light, I can't for the life of me take a decent pic! Then it's the editing, frankly horrid, making everything look far too photoshoped, even if I don't work with Photoshop at all. And the look of the food, yuck, unappetizing for sure, ugly food, ugly recipes, pairings that deserve to be kept out of the public eye. Nothing I seem to do lately is of good stance, in my eyes. I have deleted more chapters of the second volume than I care to remember. I have had a hard time writing and promoting whatever I do. Because I feel it's not worth it, what I have to offer.
Except for this bread. This magnificent soda bread - not the pictures, those look dreadful! - must be the best one ever. I have shared a few recipes already, because I love playing with soda bread and adding new stuff to it, like different flours and nuts and grains. But I hadn't yet baked a spelt soda bread, and I was mighty curious as to how it would turn out. I love spelt flour, cannot lie. There's something to it that is nutty in the flavour, but also sweet, and moist and tender. I like the scent of it and the touch of it and the colour of it. And this bread was a definite winner. I tried it soon after it was out of the oven, with butter melting over it, and it was heavenly. You won't be sorry if you bake this, although lately my creations have been quite simple and basic, this one hits all the right spots!
Here it is, the recipe for what has become my fave soda bread right now:
- 250 gr flour
- 100 gr spelt flour
- 50 gr mixed grains and nuts + bran
- 1 tsp soda bicarbonate
- 1 level tsp salt
- 2 natural yogurts
- 50 ml buttermilk
Start by preparing the buttermilk in advance, fifteen minutes in the least, by mixing a dash of cider vinegar or lemon juice to 50 ml of milk. Once it's ready, turn on your oven at 190º. On a large bowl, mix the flours and the grains with the salt and the bicarbonate. Prepare the buttermilk, yogurt and egg mix by beating the egg lightly and then adding it to the yogurts and the buttermilk, mixing the lot thoroughly. Now, with the help of a fork, whisk the wet mix into the flour mix and stir everything together. Once it starts to come together, lightly flour your hands and a cold working surface and pour the batter onto it. Pat together until you form a rough ball, but do not knead it. Transfer the dough onto a baking tray lined with parchment paper and flour, sprinkle some more flour onto the top of the bread and with a knife score a cross or a star over the surface. Place in the middle of the oven and bake for about forty to forty five minutes. Once it looks and sounds done, let it cool on a rack before you go slicing and buttering and gobbling it, but do try it still warm fro the oven, it is worth it!