by Diana Studer
- gardening for biodiversity
in Cape Town, South Africa
Fairview is on the slopes of the granite mountain of Paarl. Visitors stop at the Goat Tower as they head in. Swiss Saanen goats would like to climb mountains.
Fairview is famous for its wines - with quirky names. Goats Do Roam. A history of the farm from the Khoi to the Huguenots.
For us it is about cheese. 'The arrival of a large group of French engineers in Cape Town to work on a new power plant [Koeberg Nuclear Power Station], added impetus to the cheesery. Goats’ milk cheese was a tough sell in South Africa in the 1980s as it was not a product that consumers were familiar with. Fairview recently became the first Carbon Neutral Cheesery on the African continent'
Blue Rock and Blue Tower. White Rock with cranberries. Bleu et Blanc. Brie or camembert with a crust of fresh herbs. We went home with enough deluverly cheese to keep us happy for weeks.
But what the Ungardener wants is the bread. Bretzel and ciabatta. From our new False Bay home good bread is part of our weekly food shop. With an in-store bakery at Woolworths in the Noordhoek Mall.
Most commercial bread in South Africa is steamed - which means it looks like crust, but it is rubbery, not crisp. I pull out the crumb (soft centre) of a white roll. ROLL it into a BALL. Then see how high you can bounce it! No wonder people have wheat allergies. The word glutinous, comes from the gluten in wheat. In the early 1960s they super-hybridised new varieties of wheat. Higher crop yield, herbicide resistant and for the bakers to make Larger Lighter Cheaper loaves of bread.
Fairview specialises in artisanal bread.
Baked fresh today, still hot from the oven.
Smells like bread, good to eat bread.
And with a Crisp Crust.
Crusty bread and blue cheese.
Jami @ An Oregon Cottage (finding joy in the simple and imperfect) has easy artisan bread. They like crusts. So do we – the joy of baking your own bread – is that people who like crusts – can bake rolls. A crisp crusty loaf of bread for one!
Our daily bread, despite us living surrounded by wheat fields, usually had ADDED FOOD MILES from Porterville. Added by us, because we bought our bread at Woolworths, for the Good-Food-Journey (video clip). Sliced low GI, which we freeze, then use as needed.
Kneading dough gives me eczema, so I tweak a no-knead recipe. Baking is on my tomorrow, next time, one day list - but I have baked rolls once in our new oven!
Elephant’s Eye Rolls
4 cups brown bread flour
(you can replace 2 cups with any other flour or crushed grain)
1 packet dry yeast
½ tsp salt
Add sunflower or poppy seeds for variety
1 tsp honey
2 tsps olive oil
~1 ½ cups of warm water (or buttermilk)
Add liquid to flour, adding more water if necessary, to form dough.
Allow to stand for 10 minutes.
Knead (or just mix with a wooden spoon, as I do)
Divide into six, for large muffin tin.
Leave to rise for 25 minutes, until doubled in bulk.
Bake in a preheated oven at 180 C for 40 minutes.
Tap the bottom, if it sounds hollow, bread is baked. Allow to cool before eating. Keeps happily for the three days it takes us, to eat for lunch.
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