It's a lovely, cold but sunny spring day ... it feels like the very first day of spring .....and boy oh boy is nature coming to life in my part of the world, on the south coast of England overlooking the sea. So it's great, when not a lot positive is in the news, to see carpets of yellows, reds, violets, oranges and so many more shades of colour in various corners of my town and its public gardens. So after a brisk walk by the beach I decided to bake again(for the second time this week) ...this time a loaf of super seed bread. Let me tell you from the start ... I am not a baker, I've never been interested in baking before, but recently, because I want to go on a wheat free, sugar free diet I decided to be adventurous, to cook all sorts of unusual (for me) dishes. It is a great place to experiment, to be adventurous .... the kitchen!
The recipe I decided to try comes from the Low-Carb Cookbook by David Cavan and Emma Porter but ... as always, I've changed the recipe a bit given that this is my second attempt at making it.
Whenever I cook I love to have a movie in the background and .... thanks to the iPad I am able to watch almost whatever I want, almost whenever I want. In the background today I had a lovely movie ... The Million Pound Note starring Gregory Peck (watch it .. it's lovely)
But before sharing with you the recipe, let me tell you a story, a story that involves seeded bread, (my mother used to call it German bread), the second world world, Russia, and my mother, a story the baking of seeded bread triggered. The second world war had a devastating impact on many nations, many families, including my own. Imagine you are 6 year old, living with your family in a tiny village called Besedka in Russia (the village does not exist anymore ... it was re-claimed by nature a long time ago and is now a forest) about 100 Km south of Moscow, on the WW2 Eastern Front.
Imagine that your family has been thrown out of their house to make space for German officers who, together with their soldiers, had occupied the village. My mother seldom spoke much about those times .. it was too painful for her and like many people of her generation she kept those memories deeply buried in her mind ...yet.. those times had put an indelible imprint on her life, the way she looked at people and much more. One of the very few things she told me about those times was that .. the German officer in charge of the occupation of her village was really kind ... he was chubby, loved playing the harmonica, loved children (apparently he missed his own kids) and was often found gifting the children of the village (including my mother) little pieces of German seeded bread which my mother said was absolutely delicious, moist and beautifully wrapped. For children who had very few things to eat ... that bread was pure heaven. But that memory was the only nice thing she was able to tell me about that time. Sometime in 1944/1945 when that same chubby, smiling village officer received his orders to start their retreat, he gave orders to burn all the houses in the village, including our family home.
I can't repeat what happened in our neighbouring village where none of the villagers survived their occupation because "their" occupier left after not only burning the village but also killing the people. Human nature was .... is ....can be ......why is it so? Anyway, here I am ... so, so, many years later ... baking this bread with a bitter sweet feeling - feeling real gratitude for my own life .... but remembering the story it unexpectedly triggered, one that has clearly left a big imprint on me as well as my mother - because it found it's own way from my deepest memory into my consciousness ...... We are complex beings with all sorts of memories, our own and our inherited ones. Now ... let's get back to business ... and see what are the ingredients ... to be continued ... click here