Seaweed BreadPosted: August 20, 2019
Yes, we’re back from holidays in La belle France and I’m plunging straight in with some DRAMATIC CONFESSIONS!
Confession Time: I don’t eat fish.
Actually, that’s not strictly true. Every six months or so I’ll indulge in a can of tuna and for the first few bites I think “Hey, this is really good, I should eat this more often!”, but by the end I’m already thinking “Yeah… nope.” I make a delightful smoked makerel pate and delicious salmon fishcakes… I just don’t like eating them. Seafood is a complete no.
But I love the seaside, and the beach and the salty foam of the waves and the blustery winds because it’s the epitome of holiday.
In the French region where we go on holiday (Charente-Maritime), there is a small bakery in a nearby town which was runner-up in a nationwide competition (La Meilleur Patisserie de France). My daughter maintains theirs are the best croissants she’s ever had. They have a couple of house specialities – their strawberry tart is exceptional – and they also make a Baguette des Algues with flakes of seaweed.
I tried to buy one this summer, but with fantastic planning, managed to drive over there on the one morning they were shut (third time we’ve done this in recent years). Undaunted, I decided to MacGyver my own recipe.
Further Confession Time: You probably won’t have all the ingredients in your cupboards to make this.
However, they are easily obtainable, and I’m making this post on a weekday so that you have time to order/buy them in preparation for some weekend baking.
For a number of years I have been using freeze-fried fruit powders to give both colour and flavour to cakes and bakes. Increasingly, there are an expanding range of vegetable powders such as beetroot, spinach, tomato, mushroom and now kelp. I ordered them from here.
I added some kelp powder and a few shredded nori sheets to a basic white bread dough. If you’re unsure whether you’ll like this flavouring, you could try just with nori sheets, which are available in most supermarkets. I would suggest adding a few extra sheets to ensure the flavour is there.
I cut the risen dough into finger rolls. That’s right – cut – no shaping or pummeling after the first rise.
The results are perfect for enjoying with bisques or chowders or any fish dish, slicing and using to serve appetisers of anything fish-related, but are also delicious just with salty butter – making a real taste of the shore. Even my fish-hating tastebuds love this.
Of course, if you grilled it, it would make delicious Coast Toast. 😀
Sorry, I’ll show myself out.
500g strong white bread flour
50g powdered kelp
5 nori sheets – cut into 5mm squares
1 sachet fast-action yeast
400-ish ml warm water/milk + water/whey to mix
- Put all of the dry ingredients into the bowl of a mixer.
- Add most of the water, and mix slowly, adding more as you see fit. You might need a little extra liquid as the kelp and nori might absorb more.
- Knead the dough on slow or by hand for 10 minutes.
- Knead on fast for two minutes.
- Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise until doubled in size, about an hour.
- Tip out the risen dough and gently pat into a rectangle.
- Divide the dough into finger rolls, or shape as you please.
- Transfer to a lined baking sheet and sprinkle with flour.
- Cover lightly with cling film and allow to prove for another 30 minutes.
- Heat the oven to 200°C, 180°C Fan.
- Bake rolls for 20 minutes, or loaves for 35-45 minutes.
- Cool on a wire rack. If you want the crusts to be soft, cover the hot bread with a clean towel and leave to cool.