21 February 2008

Swedish Bread - Fullkornight Formbrod

{FULLKORNIGHT FORMBROD} This is a story of  Swedish bread, my friends Nina &  Sophie – 2 Swedish sisters, their mother, Elisabeth, and four cities.

Nina was not into baking bread, that is to say not until this past Christmas…. when I got her roped into the kitchen, and not even my own kitchen but that of her mother’s….. as when I saw Elisabeth a few months earlier I asked her how to make Swedish bread… She said not to worry, that she had just the recipe and as Nina was home in Stockholm for the holidays, and would come back an expert.

As she did! And further family help was on the way, as Sophie, brought the authentic Swedish ingredients (vetekross – cracked wheat & grahamsmjöl– wholewheat flour etc.) from Stockholm, to London to Paris and finally to Geneva, where this past weekend Nina and I made the recipe together. So impressed was I with the outcome – thick crunchy crust, soft, yet dense centre of cracked wheat, that I just made another loaf just to post the results this evening.

So a big thank you to Nina, Elisabeth & Sophie – I truly believe that I was Swedish in another life!




21 August 2007

Sirapssnittar biscuits

{SIRAPSSNITTAR} are very addictive buttery Swedish cookies, whose name translates to Sirap = Syrup/treacle SnittCut, a logical name given that they are made with syrup and cut into squares when removed from the oven. I have baked 3 batches in the last 10 days and should theoretically have gained 10 pounds by now, had it not been for eager friends who were willing to take these divine treats off my hands.

Story : Little did I know it at that time, but my cookie making world was about to be turned upside down, whilst visiting Gamla Stan (the Old Town) of Stockholm a few months ago. It was here that I accidentally found Grillska Huset’s café and purchased my first bag of sirapssnittars. I must confess I have pleasantly not recovered since – this may be the best cookie i have had / made. The taste was like a portal back to my childhood, of home comfort , milk and cookies!

Olivier’s mom had the same experience when she tasted one – saying that it reminded her of when she was a little girl of 5, at her uncle’s pâtisserie in Paris. It was here that she spent one afternoon, nestled amongst the pastries, as her mother, sister, aunt and cousin went exploring the town. She was too little and therefore had no choice but to stay behind, the silver lining of which was her uncles undivided attention and an unlimited amount of sweet cakes…. ‘tu aimerais goûter encore celui-ci… tiens ma cocotte!” (would you like to taste this one… here my little chicken) When her mother returned that evening she was full of sugar, had red cheeks, a temperature of 40° and indigestion. When she thinks back to that day she laughs and says ‘it was well worth it!’

As for me, I returned to Geneva and was on the hunt for a recipe to recreate these wonderful cookies. After interrogating many a Swedish friend, I was thrilled to receive an email from Frida with this recipe: