Bread – Walnuts and Olives

This bread is inspired by the Mediterranean cuisine. The walnuts and the olives give the bread an aromatic taste that you can already smell while it is baking in the oven. Fresh out of the oven, it tastes best with just a bit of butter. It is also a great way to impress family and friends during the next brunch or dinner. 😉

Ingredients

  • 350 g whole grain rye flour
  • 200 g spelt flour (type 630)
  • 2 tablespoons honey or maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground caraway
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 150 g active sourdough
  • 20 g yeast
  • about 150-170 ml lukewarm water
  • 150-160 g black olives
  • 100 g walnuts

How to Make It

  • Take a bowl and add the rye and spelt flour, then mix it.
  • Add the honey (or maple syrup), the salt, the caraway, and the rosemary.
  • Add the active sourdough and mix it all.
  • Take about 50 ml of the lukewarm water and dissolve the yeast in it.
  • As you mix your dry ingredients, slowly pour the yeast water into the bowl.
  • Mix for 10-15 minutes. Slowly add the rest of the lukewarm water until you have a moist dough.
  • Pit the olives (if necessary) and chop them up coarsely. Add them to the dough and knead them in.
  • Chop up the walnuts. Add them to the dough and knead them in.
  • Cover the bowl and let the dough rest in a warm spot overnight.
Baking with a Clay Pot
  • Soak the clay pot for a good 30 minutes.
  • Once the pot and the dough are ready, pour out the water, dry the pot, and put the dough into the pot.
  • Take a sharp knife and make three diagonal cuts across the loaf. Sprinkle the loaf with a bit of water and a bit of flour. If you have a pot with a lid like I do, just close the pot with the lid.
  • Put the pot into the oven and turn the oven on to 250° C. This is important as the pot needs to heat up slowly; putting the clay pot into a pre-heated oven can cause the clay to break.
  • Bake for 30 minutes, then take off the lid and bake for another 40-50 minutes.
  • Once the bread is done, turn off the oven and let the bread cool inside the oven.
Baking the “Standard” Way
  • The next morning, grease a baking tin and pour the dough in. Let the dough rest for at least another hour.
  • Take a sharp knife and make three diagonal cuts across the loaf. Sprinkle the loaf with a bit of water and a bit of flour.
  • Preheat the oven to 250° C.
  • Bake the bread for 60-70 minutes.
  • Once the bread is done, turn off the oven and let the bread cool inside the oven.

Empanada with Tuna, Bell Peppers, and Tomatoes

Empanada is a typical Spanish dish originating in the northern region of Galicia. Since my husband is Spanish, this dish has become a bit of a classic in our house and I thought I would share our recipe with you. Empanadas come in many different flavors, but they all have in common that a delicious filling is wrapped in a bread-like dough – hence the name (“empanada” literally translates to “enbreaded”).

It takes between 2-3 hours to make (including the time in the oven), but the taste is definitely worth the wait. Give it a try and let me know on Twitter or Instagram what you think!

Ingredients Dough

  • 500g wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 90g butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 40 ml white wine (if you like; otherwise replace with oil and water)
  • 50 ml olive oil
  • 50 ml lukewarm yeast water
  • 30 g fresh yeast

Making the Dough

  • Mix the wheat and the salt together. Add the eggs and the butter and mix. Add the white wine and the olive oil. Mix again.
  • In a separate container, dissolve the fresh yeast in lukewarm yeast water. Slowly add it to the flour-egg-butter-mix.
  • Mix the dough for 5-10 minutes until you have a homogeneous mass.
  • Oil a bowl, put the dough in it, cover it, and let it rest in a warm spot for 1 to 1½ hours. The dough should double its volume.
  • While the dough rests, you can start preparing the filling.

Ingredients Filling

  • 2 mid-sized onions
  • 2 cloves of garlic (or more, if you like)
  • 4 bell peppers (2 of them green, the rest as you like)
  • 400g (canned) chopped tomatoes
  • 350g (canned) tomato purée
  • 170g green olives
  • 3 hard-boiled eggs
  • 300g of canned tuna

Making the Filling

  • Peel and chop up the onions and cloves of garlic into fine pieces.
  • Sauté them in a bit of olive oil in a big pot or pan.
  • Chop up the bell peppers and add them to the onions and garlic in the pan. Fry for 12-15 minutes until they are crunchy. Make sure not to burn them, so you may have to add a bit more oil.
  • Add the chopped tomatoes and the tomato purée to the mix. Boil for another 15 minutes until the liquid is almost gone and the sauce has become highly condensed.
  • Cut the olives into thin rings. Then cut the hard-boiled eggs into pieces.
  • Once the sauce has become condensed, add the olives, the eggs, and the tuna.
  • Mix it all and season it with salt, pepper, and any other spices or herbs you want.

Making the Empanada

  • You need an additional egg.
  • Knead the dough one more time, then divide it into two parts and form two balls with your hands. Let the two balls rest in separate places for another 10-15 minutes. The doughs should rise again a little bit.
  • Oil a baking tray and preheat the oven to 180° C.
  • Roll out the first ball of dough between two pieces of baking parchment until it is slightly bigger than the baking tray. This will be the bottom half of the empanada. Peel off one sheet of baking parchment, place the dough onto the baking tray, and peel off the other sheet of baking parchment.
  • Spread the filling generously on top of the rolled-out dough. Leave a bit of room on the margins.
  • Roll out the second ball of dough between two pieces of baking parchment until it is roughly the same size as the baking tray. This will be the bottom half of the empanada. Peel off one sheet of baking parchment, place the dough onto the baking tray, and peel off the other sheet of baking parchment.
  • Join the top and bottom halves of the empanada by sticking the layers of dough together. The filling should be completely enclosed by the dough on all sides.
  • Crack an egg and mix it. Take a brush and paint the top of the empanada with the egg. With a fork, poke some holes into the empanada.
  • Put the baking tray into the oven and bake for 35-40 minutes at 180° C. The top should be a delicious golden-brown.

Pasta Salad

We eat this pasta salad quite often, especially in spring and summer when the weather is nice outside and we do not quite feel like eating “proper” warm meals. The salad is also a great addition to any buffet and brunch.

Let me know in the comments below or on Instagram and Twitter if you tried the salad. I would love to hear from you!

Pasta salad with goat cheese and dried tomatoes.

Ingredients

(enough for 4 people)

For the Salad
  • 250g of pasta
  • 250g of goat cheese
  • 180g of dried tomatoes
  • 160g of fresh lettuce
  • 160g of black olives
  • optional: 150g of dried salami
For the Dressing
  • 90-100ml of olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons of mustard
  • 1 tablespoon of honey
  • 3 teaspoons of pepper
  • 2 teaspoons of seasoned salt (preferably with herbs)
  • optional: additional fresh garden herbs

How to Make It

  • Boil the pasta according to the instructions on the package. Once the pasta is done, rinse it in cold water to prevent it from becoming mushy later. Put the pasta in a big bowl.
  • Cut the goat cheese and the dried tomatoes into pieces and add them to the bowl.
  • Add the olives to the bowl.
  • Wash the lettuce, dry it, and cut it into pieces. Add it to the mix in the bowl.
  • Optional: If you like, you can also add dried salami to the salad. Just cut it into pieces and add it to the mix.
  • Prepare the sauce and add it the salad. Mix it in well.
  • The pasta salad tastes best when you let it marinade in the sauce for a few hours. If necessary, add more salt and/or pepper afterwards.