Spelt and poppy seed buns to make up for non stop gabbing on about my novels

I know this is supposed to be a food blog. I am aware that the primary intention of this blog is giving vent to part of my creative needs, that of styling and photographing food. I also know that in between the images, the text should be about food. It hardly ever is, come to think of it. I normally use this space as a monologue for whatever subject has caught my mind. And currently, all I wanna talk and write about is my upcoming novel. Boring, yeah, I can imagine. You didn't come here for that. You came here for the food. I'm the worst blogger in the world, because while I do give you the pics, I ain't talking food, I'm talking my book - and how narcisistic does that make me? On the other hand, I'm pretty sure most people skip down to the recipe directly, so there's no harm done, not really!

But the fact is that this new novel has been much on my mind, yes. I think about it non stop, because I want it to come out soon. It's been so many years in the making I feel like we're old friends, know what I mean? Unlike my previous novel, which I happened to write in one month - although it took me nearly a year to revise and edit and finally publish! This one has been with with me for years, honestly. About ten years ago I started writing a first version of it, which has actually made it into the second volume of the trilogy. I had an idea of what I wanted, I had the mythology all worked up, I had tons of genealogies made, I had background and sceneries and ambiance. I didn't have a voice, though. I didn't have a main character, or characters that had the strenght to carry a story. So I dropped it, and felt vindicated in the dropping when I shared those first few chapters with a fellow writer who confirmed my theory that the whole thing sucked. That it was way too confusing.

But the truth was that I liked those first few chapters, I loved that opening line and that opening page, and those names, those families, those genealogies they stayed with me, at the back of my head. One day I was minding my business, writing something else completely different, when a name popped into my head. And lodged itself there. I knew I was gonna have to include that name in a story, soon. I had no idea who that character would be, only the name. And right after that, another name seemed to write itself in my head. A name that came along with a description of a character, both physical and psychological. I just knew I had to tell the story of that character. I was fascinated already, by that character. So I dropped what I was working on, opened a new file, and began to write. Strangely enough, that particular character takes a few chapters to show up in the story. When I began jotting down the first lines, I knew it was his story, yes, but it did not begin with him. And then I found myself meeting the voice I had lacked on my previous attempt ten years ago.

I found myself penning down a name that had come from those genealogies, and a being that came from that mythology I had created for a previous novel that had never seen the light of day. And I knew I had it, then, I knew I had the voices I had searched for who could tell the story and bring it all together. I knew I would end up using those chapters I had written so long ago, eventually. I knew I would end up using those characters, as well. Only not as main characters. Suddenly, I knew them all intimatelly and I knew their stories well, and I knew where they were going. I was as if they had always been there, most of the characters, they had been there and I knew who they were, their names, how they looked and behaved, their past, their present. Not their future, at least not to some extent. I am not the kind of author who knows straight away what's gonna happen to my characters. I have an idea of how I want the story to go, yep. But I usually find out these characters seem to have a life of their own, and the action will take them places I had not thought of before.

Right now, I already know what's going to happen in book two, it's nearly finished, the first draft. I know what needs to happen for things to evolve in the way I want it for book three. I just don't know exactly how it's gonna happen. It's always a mystery to me, frankly. I sit down to write knowing this and this must now take place, but when I loose myself in the creation of the story, in the writing per se, it takes turns I hadn't seen, and stuff happens in ways I hadn't imagined before. It's like the writing process takes hold of my brain and guides it. Like being possessed, sort of, I think. I might be thinking a character would act along these lines, and then as I write, that same character is saying things I never thought, or doing stuff I hadn't predicted but that in the end makes more sense. And so it goes, sometimes a character turns out to be quite different from what I first imagined it to be!

So what's this gotta do with bread, you ask? Nothing. But, like my characters who suddenly surprise me with doing or saying something I would never have expected of them, these buns surprised me with being much better than I had expected them to be. Spelt and poppy seed buns is a good way to go!

  • 150 gr strong bread flour
  • 100 gr spelt flour
  • 10 gr fresh yeast
  • half a cup poppy seeds
  • pinch of salt
  • 180 ml lukewarm water
  • 30 ml vegetable oil
 Turn on your oven at 200º (220º if it's non fan). Place the flours on a bowl and make a hole in the middle. Pour in the yeast, the oil and the water onto the hole and start mixing everything together with your fingers or a fork - you can use a food processor or a blender with a hook attachement. Add the salt and pour the batter onto a floured surface, adding the poppy seeds. Now knead the dough until it's smooth. Oil another bowl and place the dough inside. Let it prove for about two hours. After this time, pour the dough onto an oiled surface and flour your hands lightly. Divide the dough into smaller chuncks and roll them into individual buns. Place them on an oven tray lined with baking parchement making sure you leave a good amount of space between each bun. Leavethem to prove until double the size. Bake them for about 30 minutes with fan on, then turn off the fan and let them bake for ten more minutes before taking them out of the oven. If using a non fan oven, cook for 30 minutes on 220º mark then lower to 200º for ten minutes, using a tray that has some water in it to create steam, then take them out and allow them to cool. Lather them with homemade quince marmalade and you're a happy beaver, for sure!!


  1. Estão lindos :)
    Eu adoro pãezinhos de espelta!
    Ficaram um encanto com as sementes de papoila!
    Um beijinho


Post a Comment