Fika – The Art of The Swedish Coffee Break (my first book)

Friday, November 14th, 2014
books,bread,sweet — by Johanna

kindvall-fika-cover-3

Breaking news: Fika – The Art of The Swedish Coffee Break by Anna Brones and me will be in the bookstores April 2015. It’s a celebration of Fika, the coffee break that Swedes do daily: either at work, at home, in a cafes, on the train or during a walk in the woods. The book is loaded with cookie, cake and bread recipes developed from both our Swedish heritage. They are new, adaptations or renditions of old classics, such as cardamom buns, pepparkakor, chokladbiskvier and skållat rågbröd.

It has been such a sweet journey with Anna; developing the recipes, test baking (again and again), writing, editing and drawing it all. It has also been such a pleasure to work with our publisher and editor Kaitlin Ketchum at Ten Speed Press and with Elizabeth Stromberg, who did such a wonderful work creating the beautiful design of the book.

If you like, you can already pre-order the book in several online bookstores: Random House, Amazon (US), Amazon (UK), Barnes & Noble and iBooks.

I’m so excited that I can’t walk straight! And I think I need to sit down and have some fika!

© Johanna Kindvall

 

Sourdough Bread with Rye

Monday, November 3rd, 2014
bread,diagrams — by Johanna

One of my fun jobs this summer was to design chocolate packaging for Francoise Villeneuve at Wiggley Leroux Confections. My job was to create a label and a chocolate bean pattern for the chocolate bar wrapping paper. It was such a pleasure to work with Francoise on this project and her delicious confections are now available at BaconN’Ed’s food truck, Reston Station, Washington, DC.

Last week I was in Laramie, Wyoming to draw animals for the public art installation AnimalEyes by Walczak & Heiss at the Berry Biodiversity Center. It was great fun and I learned loads of cool stuff about local animals such as horned lizards, prairie dogs and bumble bees etc. Did you know that an ant queen can reach an age of 30 years? And that there used to be camels here?

On this trip I brought bread, which our hosts welcomed enormously. They served it with their in-house Roman dried tomatoes and pheasant gizzard confit. Wonderful!

This bread is also excellent, sliced thin, topped with aged cheddar and slices of fresh red pepper. This Autumn, I will have it as much as I can with a cup of strong black tea in front of the fireplace (or with my feet up on the radiator).

Sourdough Bread with Rye
one small boule

starter dough
50 gram well fed and lively sourdough starter
150 gram water (about 2/3 cup)
150 gram (1¼ cup) rye flour

2nd dough
330 gram (about 1 1/3 cups) water
600 gram (about 4¼ cups) all purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt

starter dough: For the 1st dough, mix together the starter together with water and rye flour. Cover and let sit for 12-24 hours in room temperature.

the dough: Add water to the starter dough and stir before adding the flour. Mix everything well together. Let rest for 15-30 minutes before adding the salt. Work the dough some more to distribute the salt evenly and form a ball (I find it easier to do this directly on the countertop). Place in a slightly greased bowl. Cover with a plastic bag.

Stretch and fold 3 times with 45 min intervals. After last stretch and fold let the dough rise for about one hour.

Shape the dough into one round boule. Set aside for about 10 minutes and shape again. Place it with the seam side up in a round floured banneton. You can also use a normal bowl with a well floured tea towel.

Cover with the plastic bag and let prove for 2-4 hours.

About 30 – 60 minutes before baking your bread, set the oven to 500°F (260°C). Place a baking sheet or baking stone into the oven. A stone will need more time to heat up than a baking sheet. If you want steam during baking, place a tray under the baking sheet. I fill it with boiling hot water just before I bake the bread.

When it’s time, take out the warm baking sheet (or stone) from the oven. Carefully transfer the shaped boule onto the hot baking surface. Score the dough (see scoring links below) before transfer it to the oven. Lower the heat to about 450°F (230°C). Bake for 15 minutes, open the oven door to let out some steam. The bread should have risen up nicely and started to get some nice golden color. Bake for another 30 – 45 minutes.

The bread is done when it sounds hollow when knocking on the bottom. You can also check the breads inner temperature, which should be around 208°F (98°C).

Let the bread cool completely uncovered on a cooling rack before slicing.

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More sourdough breads on kokblog

Plain Sourdough Bread
Sourdough Knäckebröd

Other useful links

Slashing or Scoring your Dough by Azelia’s Kitchen
Scoring Bread – post at Fresh Loaf

 

Smoke and Funk: A Fall Cheese Board (part 3)

Tuesday, October 7th, 2014
cheese — by Johanna

Fall is just around the corner (or at least here in Brooklyn) and it’s time for part 3 of the seasonal collaboration with Tenaya Darlington, alias Madame Fromage. This time of the year I just want to put my wellingtons on and pick loads and loads of mushrooms. And a proper mushroom hunt needs a picnic and together with Tenaya there will of course be cheese.

Smoke and Funk: A Fall Cheese Board (part3)
by Madame Fromage

In fall, I love when the air smells of damp leaves and wood fire. It’s a good time for a hike with wool hats and a hamper of cheese. Find a smooth tree stump or an overturned log without too many mushrooms, and you can create a woodland snack scape fit for a band of hobbits.

Such an adventure calls for cheeses that bring earth and forest to mind.

Clothbound cheeses. Leaf-wrapped cheeses. Bark-bound cheeses. Cheeses smoked over wood. And my favorite: booze-washed cheeses that are supple and mushroomy with a kick of rank funk.

Here are a few fall favorites with unusual coverlets and trappings…

Clothbound Cheese

Long before block American Cheddar appeared, traditional British Cheddars were wrapped in muslin and smeared with lard to keep them moist inside cellars. Aging a cheese in a cellar or a cave kept cheeses cool and allowed them to develop unique tastes – let’s call that taste “earthy.” Today, several traditional Cheddar makers still produce clothbound Cheddar – ask for samples of Montgomery’s, Keen’s, or Quicke’s next time you visit a good cheese shop. A handful of American makers have been inspired to wrap their Cheddars in cloth, too, including Cabot Clothbound and Beecher’s Reserve.

If you haven’t tried a clothbound Cheddar before, now is the time! As the days grow shorter, don’t you long for the taste of mushrooms and butter? Clothbound cheddars are ‘shroomy and supple, perfect to serve on Halloween – invite your friends in to taste mummified cheese from a cave. They’ll find it more compelling than candy.

Bark-bound Cheese

In fall, seasonal cheeses that are wrapped in bark begin to appear in markets. In France, the best-known varieties are Vacherin Mont d’Or and Epoisses. These small moons turn so soft and gooey that cheesemakers use “belts” made of bark (Birch or Spruce) to hold the wheel in tact. Think of them as cheeses that need girdles. This European tradition has, once again, inspired several American artisans to follow suit with special cheeses, like Harbison and Winnimere, from Jasper Hill in Vermont.

You can warm these cheeses very gently on a lipped plate or a crock – try 200 degrees in your toaster oven for 20 to 30 minutes. Then, plunge steaming new potatoes into them. This is how the Swiss make it through fall and winter. Be sure to serve a round of Doppelbocks.

Smoked Cheese

One of the best smoked cheeses, Idiazábal, comes from the Basque region of Spain — a nutty, buttery sheep’s milk cheese that is lightly smoked over a fire to impart a fragrant taste. This smoky accent is part of a mountain tradition; the same cheese from the valley around Navarre is not smoked. Idiazábal is often compared to Manchego, from the same region. Both cheeses are traditionally paired with quince paste or quince jam. The bright, acidic taste of the fruit offsets the dense, woodsy flavor of this cheese.

Sit by the fire with some mulled cider or a Spanish red. On a cheese board, this darling is wildly versatile. Try pairing it with toasted almonds, meaty green olives, cured meats, dried apricots, and pine honey. If you want to add another rare smoked beauty, make it Rogue River Smoky — a stunner from Oregon with midnight veins.

Booze-washed Cheese

Long ago, monks hatched the idea to wash wheels of cheese with beer and spirits — dampening the rinds adds moisture to the paste but also turns the exterior a wee bit sticky and funky. Stinking Bishop, from England, is washed in a spirit made from pears, called perry. Epoisses, mentioned above, is washed in Marc de Bourgogne – a dazzling brandy. Chimay is washed in Belgian Chimay. If you’re a fan of beefy cheeses, this is the season to break out these fudgy wedges and let the breeze carry the scent away from the rest of your family.

I love to serve these stinky monsters with a side of beef stew – they adore braised meat and onions. And, of course, you’ll want to wash it all down with a pint of Belgian ale or a snifter of Brandy. Maybe both, depending which way the wind blows.

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Please also read the other parts in this seasonal cheese calendar:

Late Summer Cheese Picnic (part 2)
Your Spring Goat Cheese Primer (part 1)

* If you want to dig into more cheeses, I recommend you to check out Tenaya’s cheese book. It’s wonderful!
* And I can also let you know that she is working on her 1st cocktail book together with her brother, André Darlington. Cheers.

 

Coming Home to Sicily (book review)

Wednesday, September 17th, 2014
books,bread,diagrams — by Johanna

kindvall-sicilian-headpots-2

Sicilian head pots with strawberries.

Coming Home from Sicily (published by Sterling Epicure, 2012) is an amazing book about seasonal farm to table cooking by Fabrizia Lanza. Fabriza is, as I have mentioned here before, the director of  Anna Tasca Lanza Cooking School at Case Vecchie in Sicily.

Fabriza grew up in Sicily and is a trained art historian. For many years she worked and lived outside Sicily, mostly in the north of Italy. She only visited her family in Sicily on vacations. However about seven years ago Fabrizia decided to return to Sicily to help her mother Anna Tasca Lanza with the cooking school. Fabrizia, as she says in the book, finds it as interesting to learn how to make a Cassatta as analyzing an artwork by Bottecelli.

For over a year, co-author Kate Winslow and her husband Guy Ambrosino (the book’s photographer) followed the growing seasons of the vegetables, the harvest and the cooking at Case Vecchie. Kate worked closely together with Fabriza in the kitchen and collected seasonal recipes for the book. Casa Vecchie, beautifully pictured by Guy in the book, is located on Regaleali, which is one of Sicily oldest and largest estates. The estate also includes the Tasca family’s own winery.

In the book, Fabrizia shares sweet personal stories about herself, her family, friends and employees. It makes the book great fun to read as well as a marvelous cookbook. It also brings back my own memories of Case Vecchie. It makes me think about the mineral flavor in the white wine paired with the panelles in the courtyard. The deep flavor of the olive oil together with the sweetest tomatoes I have ever had. And the rooster who woke me up every morning at 5am.

If you have never been to Sicily, this book will surely bring you there.

Some of my favorites in the book are the Pan roasted Rabbit, the fava bean pesto (Macco), the Grape Crostata and the Sfincione (Palermitan pizza).
For this post I decided to bake Fabrizia’s focaccia, a recipe I especially like because of the special ingredient of one glass of white wine. I haven’t changed much in this recipe, just a few things. Instead of 1½ tablespoons fresh yeast, I used instant yeast. I also topped it with mushroom instead of the oil-cured black olives that is suggested in Fabrizia’s recipe.

The bread is a simple and a perfect treat to bring to a picnic.

 

Focaccia con Funghi
adapted from a recipe by Fabrizia Lanza

dough

3½ cups (about 500 gram) durum wheat or semolina flour
1 ½ teaspoon instant yeast
about ½ – ¾ cup (180 ml) water
½ cup (120 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
½ (120 ml) cup white wine
1½ teaspoon fine sea salt

topping

about ½ cup (180 ml) mushroom confit (or sauteed mushrooms)
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
fine sea salt
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Mix together flour and instant yeast and place it directly on your counter top. With your hands, make a well in the middle and add ¼ cup (60ml) of the water. Work it well into the flour before adding the olive oil followed by the white wine and another ¼ cup (60 ml) water. Add the salt. If the dough feels too dry, add more water. Knead the dough 10 – 15 minutes (it should be a sticky dough). Place the dough in an oiled bowl and cover with a tea towel. Let rise in a warm place for about 30 minutes in a warm kitchen (I had it rising for about an hour as my kitchen wasn’t so warm and cozy).

Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Grease a 10 inch spring form with olive oil. Press the dough into it and let it rise for about 10 minutes more.

Make dimples in the dough with your fingertips. Place the mushrooms in the dimples. Sprinkle with rosemary and sea salt. Lastly drizzle with olive oil. Bake for about 30 minutes until golden brown.

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I also want to take the opportunity tell you that in the beginning of next year, Fabrizia and the cooking school will run a 5 week program for chefs around the world. The program will teach the chefs the experience of farm-to-table practices, in the field, garden and kitchen.

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other related links

Olive by Fabrizia Lanza (book)
The Flavors of Sicily by Anna Tasca Lanza (book)
The Heart of Sicily by Anna Tasca Lanza (book)
Natura in Tasca – products produced by Fabrizia Lanza

 

Chickpea Salad with Rosemary & Almonds

Thursday, August 7th, 2014
diagrams,green,sides — by Johanna

© Johanna Kindvall

One of my favorite starters is Jules Clancy’s warm chickpea salad with rosemary & garlic. It’s a wonderful dish that is super easy to put together. It always seems to be a welcoming treat for my guests. I serve it warm or cold as a starter together with fresh homemade bread. This dish is also nice together with olives, mushroom confit, feta and thinly sliced dried sausage.

I have tried different variations of this recipe; thyme instead of rosemary and sunflower seeds instead of almonds. They are all good, however the original combination of chickpeas, chili, rosemary and almonds is just perfect so I mostly stick to that. The recipe below is almost identical to Jules, but my method is slightly different. For example, I prefer to add the garlic at the end, as I easily burn the garlic otherwise. And in this way I minimize the risk of bitter and overcooked garlic.

Thanks Jules for this lovely recipe.

Chickpea Salad with Rosemary & Almonds
adapted from a recipe by Jules Clancy

400 g cooked chickpeas, drained (about one regular can)
chili flakes
one sprig of fresh rosemary, leaves chopped fine or kept whole
one garlic clove, minced
flaky sea salt
¼ cup (60 ml) almonds, toasted

In a separate frying pan, heat up some olive oil. When the oil is hot, lower the heat to medium and add the rosemary with a pinch of chili flakes, fry for about a minute before adding the chickpeas. Stir occasionally. Just when the chickpeas start to brown, clear a spot in the pan and add the minced garlic. Let cook for just a little bit before stirring in the rest. Lastly, add the toasted almonds and season with sea salt and some more olive oil (if it feels too dry).

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As you may know already, Jules is the creator of Stonesoup where she share recipes and teach minimal healthy cooking. In 2011 she was a guest here on kokblog. I have also done several illustrations for her websites, for e.g. the beets in the header of stonesoup, the yellow bench and header of her Virtual Cookery School.

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Can’t get enough of chickpeas? I suggest you check out these links:

Feed the Hommous – Chickpeas, the Versatile Bean by Fouad Kassab
Fabrizia’s Panelle by Nicky at Delicious Days  (I love Fabrizia‘s Panelle)
Black Chickpea and Broccoli Soup by Elizabeth Minchilli
Smoky Fried Chickpeas by Aliwaks at Food 52
Easiest Way to Skin Chickpeas for Super Smooth Hummus [VIDEO] by Andrew Janjigian at America’s Test Kitchen