fresh baked bread

I am in Bread Heaven

This is the bread that I have always wanted. I finally managed it! It has a wonderful thick crust and complex flavour.

I achieved this using leftover pizza dough of all things and baked it in the Römertopf, that I heated up in the oven to 500 F. The dough is a simple dough. There is only flour, water, yeast, salt and some olive oil in it. It has normal hydration.

While I type this I realize I also changed another thing: I did not use parchment paper. It is possible that without it I got a better crust, because this might have had an affect like baking in a bread pan, which will give you also less of a crust.

Since the dough was firmer and less sticky than a No-Knead dough, I let it rise covered in a bread basket and then flipped it onto a floured board ( I could not find the semolina in a hurry.), scored it  and let it slide into the Römertopf. I only used the parchment paper last time, because I thought it made the sticky dough easier to handle.

I’ll have to experiment some more with higher hydration recipes, but my next bread on the list is one of my favourites: Walnut Bread.

Pumpkin Cinnamon Waffles

Pumpkin Cinnamon Waffles Recipe

Pumpkin Cinnamon Waffles

In our house we love waffles on the weekend. They are also good as leftovers during the week. You can quickly pop one in the toaster and you are having a better than usual weekday morning.

This is a new recipe that I have tried. I adapted it from “The No Time To Cook” book, which I can highly recommend for its creative, tasty recipes and a fun presentation. As you know I have to change every recipe I make, so here is my version of it and I really like it.


1 1/4 cup all purpose flour

2 tsp baking powder

1/3 light brown sugar

2 tsp ground cinnamon*

2 large eggs

1 1/4 cup buttermilk or regular milk

1 tsp vanilla extract or 2 Tbsp Vanilla sugar

4 Tbsp butter ( melted and cooled)

5 1/2 oz (150g) canned pumpkin puree

*This amount of cinnamon will make them taste strongly of cinnamon, so adjust to taste.

In a large bowl combine all the dry ingredients, taking care that all the sugar clumps are gone. Carefully pour the buttermilk, eggs and butter on top of the flour mixture. ( I really like the flavour that buttermilk adds to baked goods, but you can always substitute with regular milk).

Using a whisk, break the eggs and slowly combine the ingredients by going from the surface slowly to the bottom, adding more and more of the flour mixture to the wet ingredients. (This is the method for people that don’t like to wash too many dishes. It works.) Once you have a smooth dough, you add the pumpkin puree.

Heat the waffle iron to a medium temperature and bake each waffle for 2 1/2 minutes. Depending on your iron this recipe makes about 10 to 12 waffles.

Serve with maple syrup and apple sauce.

Knit Log Cabin Square

How to Knit a Log Cabin Blanket

Knit Log Cabin Square
I have always had a weakness for Log Cabin Quilts. In fact I have sewed several of them. I like the simplicity of the pattern that leaves so much room for playing with colour.

Over the years I have also debated knitting a blanket, but I thought I’d never have the patience to finish it. Then this spring when I realized my marriage was over I needed something that would occupy my hands without it being too complicated. The problem at the times was that I wanted things to happen, but they didn’t, at least not at a pace I liked. It was really hard. In the end it took almost 4 months until we were able to move out.

During that time I knitted my blanket squares. It was the right medicine. I did not mind the repetitiveness of the project or that my goal of knitting 56 squares seemed rather difficult to achieve. I liked that I could take it anywhere, start and stop anytime, and slowly but surely I made progress.

I started out with single skeins of handspun yarns, of which I had quite a few. When these ran out I decided to continue with Noro Kureyon, because I thought they were a good match with my handspun yarn. It turns out that one skein of Kureyon makes exactly 2 squares. This is how I knit them:

1. Cast on 11 stitches using long tail cast-on and knit in garter stitch until you have 11 ridges on the right side, ending with a wrong side row. Cast off all stitches until there is only one left. ( If you click on the photos, you can make them larger.)

2. Work your way counter-clockwise and pick up 10 stitches on the left side of the square. Pick up the stitches from in between the ridges.



3. Knit in garter stitch until you have again 11 ridges. Cast off all stitches except the last one. Pick up 21 stitches down the left edge of the rectangle. Pick up the first 10 stitches from between the ridges and the rest of the stitches from the loop of the cast-on edge.

4. Keep on knitting in garter stitch until you again have 11 ridges. Cast off the stitches except the last one.

5. Pick up 21 stitches on the left edge of the square and knit in garter stitch until you have 11 ridges again.

6. Cast off all the stitches except the last one and pick up 32 stitches down the left side of the rectangle.


7. Knit in garter stitch until you have 11 ridges. Cast off all stitches. Finished!

Coming soon: How to put it all together.

no knead bread

No Knead Bread Baked in the Romertopf


“There is no knead for this” – my daughter

I have had this Roemertopf for many years. It looks a bit worse for wear, but it still does what it is supposed to do. A few days ago I decided to give the no knead method another try and use my Roemertopf with it.

The no knead method is great, because it takes very little time, is flexible and a good solution for a little problem I have at the moment: my daughters don’t care for crusty bread ( weird, I know). So it makes not much sense to use my professional dough mixer. I need at least 8 cups of flour to make it work. That is too much bread just for me. I also have Kitchen Aid. This machine is over 15 years old and can’t handle bread dough anymore. It just makes an angry noise and stalls. I keep it to beat up softer things.

For my bread I used the following recipe:

3 cups bread flour

1 1/2 cups water

1 1/2 tsp salt

3/4 tsp fresh yeasts or 1/4 tsp instant yeast

1 cup muesli mix, combined with 1 cup boiling water, cooled

Here is the dough after resting overnight:

No knead dough

The Roemertopf comes with its own challenges. The original instructions tell you to always put it in a cold oven. I did some more research and found that you are supposed to water the lid for 10 minutes, plop the dough into the form, put it with the lid on in the cold oven and preheat the oven with the bread in it. This is what I tried.

I took the dough out of its container and shaped it with the envelope fold twice ( Pat the dough gently into a rectangle. Fold the short sides towards the middle, then the long sides).

shaped dough

I cut some parchment paper to size, lined the Roemertopf with it, dropped the dough  into it seam side down and slashed it.


I slid the Roermertopf into the oven and turned it on to 420F. I waited 15 minutes after the oven had reached its temperature, then I took the lid off and baked it for another 45 minutes at 390F.

This is what it looked like:

no knead bread

At first glance not too bad and I ate a few slices, but tossed the rest. The crust was thin. I would have liked a darker colour. The crumb was very nice looking, but there was too much moisture in it and it had the distinctive wet dough flavour. I really don’t like that.

After this disappointment I researched some more. Some people claim, that you can use the Roemertopf just like any other vessel traditionally used in the no knead method. The claim you can preheat the empty topf in the oven without soaking it and drop the much cooler dough into it when it is hot without breaking it. I’ll try that the next time.


Brushing off the Dirt

What do you after you had a fall? When you are lying there with grit in your mouth, your glasses askew and a burning pain on the palm off your right hand? You catch your breath, you look ahead, your attention drawn to the new perspective you have lying there on the ground. You can see a red frisbee under the shrub, that your kids must have left there last summer.

You take another brief moment and then you do what you have to. You push yourself up, put weight on your feet and rise slowly. You notice that your pants have a tear on your right knee, there is dirt on your shirt and your hand is bleeding. You straighten your glasses and slowly start walking. There is a twinge in your knee, but it holds. You take another step, gaining a bit of confidence that even though the fall frightened you, you are basically ok. You turn around, trying to figure out what caused you to trip. You notice that the brick path has become quite uneven and you must have caught your foot on a loose stone. No matter, you turn around, continue on your way, promising yourself to be more careful in the future.


This where I am in my life right now. In April this year I realized that my marriage of almost 20 years was over. That no amount of effort I put in was able to fix it. I had to do the right thing, take my kids and move out.

I have started my new life now and while there is still some pain and difficulties I enjoy being in charge of it. I want to teach my children that it is important and worthwhile to fight for what you believe in.