Nordic Recipes and Techniques for Organic Bread and Pastry
Foreword by Jeffrey Hamelman
Translated by Marie-Louise Risgaard
Recipes and techniques for baking artisan bread using organic stone-milled flour, organic yeasts, sourdoughs, and more from renowned Danish organic farm and family-owned mill, Skærtoft Mølle-literally translated as “Cut-Road Mill”-situated on Als, an idyllic island in the southeast of Denmark.
Hanne Risgaard offers recipes for unique bread and pastry that bring a Nordic approach to bread baking that feels worlds away from most conventional baking books. At Skærtoft, there is a belief in organic, small-scale-produced whole grains, traditional stone-ground milling techniques, use of wild fermented sourdough, organic yeast, and attention to terroir. Their farm produces some of the highest-quality, nutrient-rich grain available. In fact, Copenhagen’s celebrated restaurant NOMA, recently accorded a “World’s Best Restaurant” award, uses Skærtoft Mølle products. Indeed, the growing movement of Nordic cuisine centers on its devotion to high-quality regional produce, the creativity of the chef, and a sound awareness of the workings of nature. This set of principles also serves to guide Hanne Risgaard in Home Baked.
Risgaard offers practical information not only on the concepts and processes behind creating delicious Scandinavian breads, but also concise growing and cultivation information about the grains themselves, as well as a guide to basic equipment and kitchen set-up, ingredients, and the history of Skærtoft and their philosophy. At the beginning of each recipe there is a brief story contextualizing where the recipe comes from. Their world comes alive!
Home Baked includes detailed sections on: baking with yeast; sourdoughs; baking without a raising agent (pies, cakes, cookies, crackers); and covers grains such as wheat, spelt, barley, and rye. The breads include unique ingredients like foraged herbs and greens, such as the Cocotte with Ramsons (either put directly in the bread dough or preserved in a syrup of pearls of rye and sea buckthorn berries); as well as other interesting standouts like the Buns for Tilters (with apple and yogurt, prepared for the annual horse games), Green Knots (made with stinging nettle, in honor of the fight to save the nettle in France), Rosemary Sourdough, Elderflower Muffins, and more.Perfectly timed for the growing interest in Scandinavian, and particularly Danish, cuisine, Home Baked is a must-have for the bread lover’s library.
Reviews and Praise
"Nordic baking may not be part of the household cookbook section, but it ought to be. In this new book, Hanne Risgaard introduces American bakers to the joys and intricacies of baking with organic grains. Taking a cue from an Old Danish proverb quoted in the book, “‘If only it had been a grain of barley,’ sighed the hungry hen, when she found a diamond in the dung-pile,” this book is about nurturing that which sustains the body and soul. Readers learn about baking, grain, and Danish culture in this warm and inviting book.
Co-owner and operator of Skærtoft Mølle, a working stone mill, Risgaard is intimately familiar with multiple grains, their properties, and the ways in which those properties translate into different tastes, textures, and color in baked goods. She began her career in media but after forty years in that business, she turned her attention to farming, and eventually organic farming. The Skærtoft Stable Kitchen at Skærtoft started offering bread baking classes in 2008, and in 2011, Home Baked was nominated for Best Bread Book of the Year at the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards.
The book begins with a foreword by Jeffrey Hamelman, the director of the Baking and Education Center at the King Arthur Flour Company in Norwich, Vermont. He reveals an initial apprehension about making an outstanding baking book for the home baker, but is soon relieved by Risgaard’s “clear and abiding concern and commitment for human health.” In addition to her discussion of the benefits of organic grains, she also gives the reader an appreciation for the Nordic landscape and palette.
American bakers will find lovely photographs and unique ingredients throughout the book, such as lavender, spelt, cardamom, elderflower, and more. They will also find that all of the measurements are given in grams. This may initially be off-putting for those accustomed to measuring cups and spoons, but Risgaard defends her choice, noting that baking, like chemistry, requires very specific measurement and a scale gives the necessary specificity for at- home success. She also gives very specific, well- illustrated instruction on kneading techniques
After the foreword, the author gives her own introduction of her life and work at Skærtoft Mølle, then she launches into an introduction to the equipment, ingredients, and basic tenets of bread baking. She offers recipes with yeast, sourdoughs, and other starters before expanding into other baking with baking powder and without a rising agent. Recipes include Pear and Sourdough Bread, Buns for Tilters, Fredericksgǻrd Lunch Bread as well as Hanne’s Lemon Pie, Fritters with Herbs, Chou with Cheese, and Elderflower Muffins with Mascarpone. The final section of the book features leftovers, a thoughtful addition for families trying to stretch a dollar or be attentive to their environmental impact.
This is an easy to follow, surprising, and inspiring baking book. Risgaard’s joy in sharing her craft is contagious and home cooks will find themselves headed to the kitchen for the both warmth this book promises and that the recipes deliver."--Camille-Yvette Welsch
More Reviews and Praise
"Many books capture the romance of baking, while others convey the nuts and bolts--but rarely does one book hit both chords at the same time. With Home Baked, Hanne Risgaard has written a practical, beautiful, and, most importantly, inspiring bread book for the ages. Every page, every recipe, makes me want to gather the grain with my own hands and transform it into earthy, delicious, and gorgeous loaves of bread."--Peter Reinhart, author of Whole Grain Breads and Artisan Breads Everyday
"When I first became a baker, I made a career-changing visit to an organic wheatfield and mill. As a baker I thought I knew flour, but it wasn't until I stood in a wheatfield that I realized that my passion for bread was part of a larger story. Home Baked is a testament to the craft that I have enjoyed since 1983. Refreshingly told from the perspective of the miller, the recipes are true to their Nordic origins and never step too far away from the fields on which the grain is grown."--Daniel Leader, author of Bread Alone and Local Breads
"Hanne Risgaard's connection to and understanding of the grains grown and milled on her land at Skaertoft shines through in this beautiful collection of Nordic recipes, drawn from the rich baking heritage of northern Europe. Home Baked is atmospheric and appealing!"--Richard Bertinet, author of Dough: Simple Contemporary Breads
"Home Baked is an absolute treasure! Plus, its timing couldn't be better with more people (myself included) exploring flours other than modern commercial wheat. I think people will like cooking by weight rather than volume-it will do so much to insure success in making Hanne Risgaard's straight forward, mouthwatering, and very promising recipes.--Deborah Madison, author of Local Flavors
About The Author
|Book Art:||Full-color photos and illustrations throughout|
|Size:||8.5 x 11 inch|
|Publisher:||Chelsea Green Publishing|
|Pub. Date:||August 14, 2012|
Available In/Retail PriceHardcover, 256 pages, $39.95
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