Saturday, 19 May 2012

Hairy Bikers Bakeation Challenge - Norway

So I've gone and set myself a little challenge.  As mentioned before I really enjoyed watching the Hairy Bikers recent Bakeation programme around Europe.  OH must have picked up on my enthusiasm as one of my recent birthday presents was the book to accompany the series - Yippee!

My little baking challenge is to bake at least one item a week from each chapter in the book and this week its Chapter 1 - Norway!  As this was one of my favourite episodes I've chosen two recipes to have a go at.  Of course one just had to be a bread recipe and I've gone for the Scandinavian Rye Bread or Rugbrod!

The yeast was added to warm water and milk and sugar and left to bubble for 10 minutes before being added to the flour, salt and caraway seeds.

I'm rather pleased with my new little mixing bowl which says "God Save The Cream" on the side (another pressie!) and the perfect size for the bubbling yeast mixture.

Once the ingredients are combined you pop the dough out onto a well floured surface and then knead for 10 minutes.  Its a very sticky dough, but does become more elastic with kneading.  It will still look like this after 10 minutes though, so don't expect a lovely puffed up ball of dough.

Popped into a bowl for an 1 1/2 hour or so and left to rise, you then tip it out, knead for a further minute (by this stage it is much less sticky and more elastic), shaped and placed on a baking tray to rise again for 40 - 50 minutes.

After rising it looked like this..........

Then it was baked in a static 180c oven for 40 minutes and came out looking like this........

I'm afraid I couldn't wait for it to cool before I sliced into it, hence the jagged cut, but its a really tasty loaf with a nice crust, moist centre and packing a great caraway seed taste.  Perfect with a board of cold meats and cheeses I think.  Definitely one to do again.

My second recipe was for the Cardamon and Lemon Stamped Cookies.  I mixed mine together using the K beater attachment in my Kenwood mixer until the ingredients all came together to form a stiff dough.  I popped the dough onto the baking sheet and divided it in half, then half again and then into 3's.  This way, rather than guess 24 portions straight out of the bowl, made it much easier to divide up.

Each portion was rolled into a ball.  If you have a cookie stamp, you use this to squash the dough down into a cookie shape and leaves a little impression on the top of the cookie.  As I didn't have one (add that to the list of baking wants!) I used the base of a little glass, which seemed to be just as effective.

They were then popped into a static 190c oven and baked for 11 - 12 minutes until a pale golden brown colour.  A nice quick recipe to make, with the ground almonds adding a nice crispness to the cookie and the cardamon coming through very faintly, adding more warmth rather than an over-powering flavour.  Perfect to enjoy with a nice cup of coffee in the garden along with some rare sunshine!

There's that phantom photographer again and a sneaky Aquilegia poking up through our table :)

Next week - The Low Countries - Belgium, Netherlands & Luxembourg.  I best get looking at recipes whilst munching on a cookie or two .................yummy!

Happy baking!


  1. Oh,my!! Those cookies look simply amazing. I am sure the taste is great, too!!
    I am so excited to hear about your next journey to other European countries.

    1. Thanks Soyun! My taste testers have given their thumbs up for the cookies. Still can't decide what to make next time, but nice to know you will enjoy hearing about it :)