Sunday, July 27, 2008

Pathetic Anger Bread (1)

For all the Shakers out there, here is my take on what pathetic anger bread should be...

It is flat (except where it puffs up into hollow bubbles). It is dry and brittle (you don't have to push it far before it snaps). The flavours are strong and biting. It contains seeds, the better to get stuck in your teeth and cause irritation later. The dough is ripped up into irregular scraps rather than cut out into neat rounds, because we're all about promoting diversity of shapes, and pathetic anger bread is by definition liberal and sharp-edged. And it would go wonderfully with a topping of jellied eel I am sure (though we're all out of it right now, so I have not tested it myself).

(A more conventional description would be "black pepper and caraway biscuits". Use to dip in houmous or a mild dip, or top with creamy butter or a mild cheese such as Wensleydale. Or both.)

For two small baking sheets-worth (number depends on how big your final ripped up pieces are, obviously):
  • 100g plain flour
  • 50g cornmeal (makes them drier and grittier, but just use more plain flour if you have none)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon caraway seeds
  • 25g cold butter
  • 60ml hot milk
  • Preheat the oven to 200°C. Mix flours and salt together. Crush the black peppercorns in a pestle and mortar until coarsely ground (go on, bash them like you mean it - this is anger bread, after all!), then measure out 1 teaspoon into the flour mix. Give the caraway seeds a quick bash and then add them too to the dry mixture. Add the butter and rub in. Heat the milk until steaming then stir into the rest. Roll out on a floured surface, almost as thin as a coin. Rip into rough but reasonably even pieces, thinking 2-3 bites for each, taking pleasure in throwing off the shackles of conformity and uniformity. Place on lined baking trays and bake in the oven for about 5 minutes until turning brown (some of them will have puffed up a bit in places). Obviously, the timing depends on how big the biscuits you have created are. Transfer to a wire rack to cool as soon as they come out of the oven.

    Then, go ahead - feed the trolls!

    11 comments:

    Neil' said...
    This comment has been removed by the author.
    Neil' said...

    Hi Eleanor, I surfed in from Cosmic Variance after reading your cogent comment. I like the idea of "pathetic anger bread" - Yes, I feel pathetic and I am angry ...what a time it is now, to nibble on such a repast with grumpy feelings of loss or schadenfreude (depending upon whether you feel worse about your own situation or more inclined to rejoice in the fall of titans ...)

    Anonymous said...

    Please do not feed the trolls! I think we ought to keep all the pathetic anger bread for our fat lol...

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