Nigellapocalypse

Sourdough rye crackers

A few years ago, on the run up to Christmas, I spoke at a tech conference in Melbourne. It was beautifully warm and sunny, the people were lovely, the coffee was excellent, and I was just mildly confused by the Christmas decorations on the shops next to “Summer is coming!” signs. The organisers of the conference also gifted me with a really sturdy black canvas bag and a coffee mug with a similar design, which I both use often as I fondly think back about that visit.

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Poison pie

Poison pie close up

☠️ This is a great pie to bake for Halloween… or any time you feel witchy! 🧙🏽‍♀️🧙🏽‍♀️ ☠️

I got Malcolm Bird‘s fabulous book “The witch’s handbook” as a Christmas present in 1989 and we enjoyed reading it and making some of the crafty activities, but we never baked much at home, and also most of the ingredients in the cooking section were a bit unusual for Spanish palates, so the cooking recipes were sort of out of reach.

I still liked the book so much that I recently bought a second hand English edition—and it came just in time for Halloween. The best! 🎃

As I browsed through the book, the Poison Pie recipe caught my eye. Why not bake it, now that I feel confident to do so?

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Malted loaf, 2

After the success of the previous malted loaf, I attempted another version but just with malted flour. It was OK, and since I sliced and froze most of the loaf I enjoyed it for a couple weeks (it’s very convenient that way).

Malted loaf, 2
Malted loaf, 2

It was a decent loaf, but it was still too compact and felt a bit dry (even before freezing). I wondered if that was because of having used a rye sourdough starter in addition to the malted loaf. So I started preparing a white starter.

Malted loaf, 2, sliced
Malted loaf, 2, sliced
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Malted loaf

Malted loaf

This is such a nice bread! (specially after the last two “failures”). It’s like the ideal granary loaf, only without the “industrial nasties” (have you looked at the list of ingredients in a supermarket loaf?)… and also without any decoration, because I forgot to flour it 😂

We’re enjoying it toasted and buttered (and with a cup of freshly ground and brewed coffee… yum!)

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