Starting the day right - a walnut and roasted barley soda bread that'll energise your mornings
It's Friday, the end of the week, that day when we all feel we can unwind and relax just a bit in preparation for the weekend. It's Friday, and what a week this one has been. I was rushed off my feet everyday, trying to squeeze in every thing that needed to be tackled, and now I'm glad to say I coe to the end of the week with having managed to finish the first round of edits on my upcoming novel. Second draft is now ready to be turned into third draft, with a thorough read and a few bits and pieces tweaked. Publishing seems to loom a lot closer, now.
Writing and editig may look like easy breezy work because you simply sit there and labour through it. Let me get you straight, it's not. It's really very taxing, especially the editing part. I get to the end of the day with my hed so tired, in a complete mush. I do try to get up and faff around the house every hour or so, and I did squeeze in a couple of long walks with the kiddo early in the mornings. I also managed to act all superwoman and sit at my desk editing while playing legos with him. Huge feat, trust me. I was feeling guilty all the time, for not being there with him, completely present and in the moment, giving him my undivided attention, but when I finally clocked off and left the desk, kid says he's had the best afternoon, and that he had so much fun with us playing legos together. I may have wiped a couple of tears, while feeling very smug for having done both things to the best content of all involved!
Because writing (and all that comes with being a self published author) is really taxing and tiresome, I always feel I need fuel to get me through the day. I like to start with a breakfast that I know will give me energy but also will taste good to me and leave me satisfied, not sick to the stomach. For me, that means bread and butter, milk and coffee. Anything else in the morning and up it comes, down the loo, and I'm left there trembling and sweating and sick, good for nothing. So I stick to what I know works for me, and this is it. But it can't be no simple, plain, white bread, nope. I need a bread that's nourishing and filling and energising. Bread is my nemesis, I love it, but I try to only eat one slice per day. That slice has to be a good one, and hit all the spots. That's why I eat homebaked bread, and that's why I am always experimenting with soda breads.
I've baked a few - if you've been reading me for long, you know there's more than a few here - and I've liked them all. Some I have repeated many times over, some are my go to recipe when I'm in a pinch, some I have baked only once or twice. Some I promised myself I mustn't bake them again , because they're that good. All in all, I tend to bake soda breads quite often and I like to play around with the ingredients. But I may have found the perfect recipe for a bread that is sure to give me energy in the morning, and yet is filling enough and satisfying enough to not have me go crazy in hunger by elevenses. Also, it's so tasty it becomes a pleasurable treat to lather a slice of this with butter and calmly sit down to eat it in the morning, while the house is still silent and I'm gathering my thoughts.
This is what you'll need for it:
- 200 gr strong bread flour
- 100 gr rye flour
- 50 gr roasted barley
- 50 gr white corn flour
- 1 tsp soda bicarbonate
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 egg, large
- 300 ml buttermilk or yogurt with a few drops of balsamic vinegar
- a cup of coarsely chopped walnuts
Pre-heat the oven at 190º. Place all the dry ingredients on a bowl, along with the chopped walnuts and mix thoroughly together with the help of a fork until combined. In a separate bowl whisk the egg into the buttermilk/yogurt, and then stir the liquids into the drys with the help of a fork. Once it starts to bind, pour onto a floured surface. Using your lightly floured hands, pat the dough and bring together without kneading it, forming a rounded ball, and move to a baking tray covered in a sheet of baking parchement lightly scattered with flour. Use your hands to flatten the dough only slightly into a disk. Scour the top with a knife into any design you may fancy. Bake in a ventilated oven for about 40 to 45 minutes, allow to cool over a rack, and enjoy with when it's still warm. It's filling, it's moore-ish, it's perfect for an energising breakfast.