This is one of my favourite months, I vividly remember going back to school each September and the hum of activity after the long quiet days of August, so September always feels like the starting point, one of the moments when you kick off from the side of the pool, extending your arms hopefully into the future, thinking that this will be the perfect glide, no water up the nose, just a smooth and here-in-the-now rush of sensation and rightness.
So September I embrace you, I love the light you bring into the kitchen in the morning, conveniently illuminating the bread board so I can take photos to show you.; the warm days and the cool nights, the changing colours, ripening fruits, making small plans to see friends, thinking about bigger plans. I love the possibilities of this time of year, not tied to any calendar festivities, the pressures of Christmas and Easter, the demands of holiday seasons.
I have made some glorious bread from my favourite flour from Stanway Mill in Gloucestershire, (I am going to write a little post about the mill next) combined with French spelt from the Moulin de Cotentin in Normandy, which was a gift from my Dad.
I also keep making the Dan Lepard BBQ semolina buns (above) for my neighbour to take to her mother, who is still enjoying home made sandwiches filled with garden tomatoes and other goodness.
The formula for the loaf is the Weekly Sourdough, using the spelt for the additional flour part. This time I mixed the dough in the evening and left the whole lot in the fridge overnight, shaped it when it was cold in the morning and left it to rise before baking. Dough is remarkably flexible. Brian baked these off and did the slashing so they look a bit different from usual.
I also made some dukka from the recipe in Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall’s book River Cottage Everyday. You can find it and some of his recipes that go with it here in this old Guardian article of his online – (see how I make it easy for you!)
Dukka (or duqqa) is a dry Egyptian mix of coarsely ground toasted hazelnuts, toasted sesame, coriander and cumin seeds, salt, chili and torn up fresh mint leaves. There are recipes for this traditional blend all over the net. Here is another one by Nikki Duffy, which is very similar and there are variations using pumpkin seeds and other nuts if you have a quick google.
Anyway I have become addicted and have been eating it with bread and good olive oil, sprinkled on my salads and over fried eggs. If you are trying to eat less sugar, this is a good thing to replace jams and preserves with on your breakfast table.
Does September give you that push off from the side of the pool feeling, is it a month of good associations for you too?