Bread and Dukka

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.

Zeb Bakes spelt and rye sourdough

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.

Zeb Bakes Bread and makes DukkaI 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?

46 thoughts on “Bread and Dukka

  1. ceciliag

    in NZ we re-entered the school world in february. Right in one of the hottest months of the year and i ALWAYS loved the beginning of school. In fact i was one of those kids that just loved school period. September over here in the US is still hot but now we are finally getting the rain so i am entranced with the deliciousness of this month.. things are growing!! Love the bread shot with the sun as a back light.. gorgeous.. c

    1. Joanna Post author

      It’s lovely when there is rain and light and things keep growing – makes your heart sing doesn’t it ? Here we are clinging onto the surface of the planet just being :)

    1. Joanna Post author

      I would like to say I am thin as a whippet and can still eat everything, but I am not a whippet, nor particularly slim. Best way to enjoy baking and not get obese is to share it and eat sensibly, take exercise, etc etc that’s what you find most home bakers do if they have their heads on the right way round :)

  2. Jeannette

    I’ve always loved September because it my birthday month! But I do love it also for all the reasons you state, and we always seem to have nicer weather in September, perhaps because we are not expecting it to be summer-like!
    You have a lovely array of bread Joanna, the BBQ buns look really good, I haven’t tried those yet and I love the way Brian has slashed your loaves too. I made the 5 seed with Spelt from Bethesda Baker’s book yesterday and it turned out very well, I have made it many times now. Friends always make the comment to me too about my weight, expecting me to be like 2 ton Tess, I think, but I’m not yet, hopefully I won’t get that big, I just enjoy my lovely sourdough and eat it in moderation.

    1. Joanna Post author

      It’s like a reprieve this fine weather, after the let down of the ‘summer months’ I remember last year sitting out at the end of October thinking how lovely it was, Maybe our summer is really in the autumn these days? Mick’s book has very reliable recipes. I haven’t been very adventurous lately, apart from an experimental rye with dates and syrup. Happy Birthday for September Jeannette :)

  3. Cas

    Some fabulous looking loaves there again!

    September now is a great favourite of mine, filling the store cupboard with bottled plums and blackberries and apples (no apples this year cos of a late frost).When I was a kid I hated it, always out of my comfort zone going back to a new class or school. The smell of new leather like our satchels and brief cases when we started secondary school still makes me remember how anxious I felt.

    1. Joanna Post author

      I am sorry the frost has taken all your apples and I confess I haven’t been up to pick blackberries, I don’t know if there will be any left where I usually go. I like the sound of bottled plums a lot and am glad that September is now a happier time. I think I always liked the idea of change and new books and teachers; the reality didn’t always match up to my expectations though.

  4. drfugawe

    September hereabouts is the nicest, most consistent month of the year – days are often the warmest of the year, and nights are always cool and crisp – blankets needed. It’s also a transition month – we all know summer is winding down, and September is our notice to start getting ready. The rains haven’t returned yet, but we can feel them coming. It’s our true ‘Indian Summer’, and we make the most of it.

    1. Joanna Post author

      Hi Doc – it is just lovely out this morning, clear skies and gentle sunshine. I was just looking at Imported Kiwi’s pretty photos of daffodils in Christchurch, NZ, I think they are just revving up as we wind down. But you are so right, lets make the most of it!

  5. hotlyspiced

    Your Dukka looks great and it would be so lovely with this bread. We go back to school in February which is our hottest month of the year and comes after the long Christmas holiday break. xx

    1. Joanna Post author

      Thanks Charlie, I like the bite of the chilli and the contrast with the toasted coriander and sesame seeds and the little sweet hit of the mint leaves. It woudl be excellent with labneh type cheese too. I didn’t realise you go back to school in the middle of your summer. When do you have your harvest times? Historically children were supposed to help with that here, so we always had our long break then.

  6. ray@garlicbuddha

    September is the month for my “summer” holiday and sue and I will be off to Berwick upon tweed this Saturday for the fifth year running. I love the Northumberland coast and the the late summer weather. Sunshine -head for the coast – rain -head for the art galleries in Edinburgh.

    Looked at the Dukkha recipe before but not tried it -will remedy that soon.

  7. Mal

    Have you tried Zaatar? It’s a slightly different Lebanese seed/herb/spice mix (sumac sesame seeds thyme) which is eaten the same way (with bread and olive oil). A favourite with us – I’ve never heard of Dukka before, but will experiment. Thanks

    1. Joanna Post author

      Hi Mal, I reckon if you like zaatar you will like this one too. I often put it on bread spread with labneh. Pic in my ‘Slice of Bread’ post. It is much greener than this one. There is also a mix called baharat which I have yet to try. Claire on Twitter was telling me about a pistachio dukka which sounds amazing!

  8. Sincerely, Emily

    Aaah September. I definitely liked Sept when I lived further north and it was starting to feel like fall up there. Right now, just waiting for October I guess to see some cool down. I know the feeling of which you speak. Love it. What I am really looking forward to is the smell of the crisp fall air and the return of a goosebumps on my arms. Enough to want to put on a heavier shirt. Dreaming…

    The dukka looks wonderful. Can almost taste it on bread with olive oil or on eggs like you mentioned.

    1. Joanna Post author

      I don’t think I could live somewhere where it was hot nearly all the time, I am sure one gets used to most things, but I love putting on my sweaters and thick socks and seeing my breath curl white away from me on a cold morning. Sending you ‘cooling’ thoughts and love. You would definitely like the dukka. Did I tell you I put your handmade soaps in my ‘smalls’ drawer and I get a whoosh of scent every time I open it? xx

    1. Joanna Post author

      Did you read the Hugh FW piece, it sounds very good sprinkled over baked squash, doesn’t it?

  9. Jean

    Looks like a good base recipe. By the way, do you like Twenty Twelve theme. I suppose putting the date elsewhere makes your recipes more timeless. But then, food is timeless!

    1. Joanna Post author

      Hi Jean, do you mean the bread or the dukka? I am still getting used to the theme, I only noticed the date wasn’t at the top of the post the second day or so I used it. In some ways it is rather lovely as when I come back to the blog to read comments I don’t feel the pressure of seeing the date of the last post and thinking ‘Oh dear, I haven’t blogged for a while’. I just felt like a change I guess :)

  10. Debra Kolkka

    I have just arrived in Bagni di Lucca for gorgeous September. It has been very hot here, but just before I arrived there was rain to cool things down. I can see the trees starting to change and autumn is not far off…….my favourite season here in the mountains.

    1. Joanna Post author

      Lovely! You have that wonderful chestnut season to revel in over there. I have heard how very hot it has been in Italy from Carla who lives in Rome, it has been a hard time there. I imagine the mountains are cooler though.

  11. Cas

    I first came across Dukka in Australia and I do love it, I lob it into anything that needs a bit of a boost as well as on bread. Stirfries come alive with a sprinkle of Dukka and as a seasoning on meat or fish to be baked or grilled it works a treat.

    1. Joanna Post author

      I will try it on my stir frys next, good idea, thanks ! Australia must be a wonderful foodie heaven I always think, from reading Celia’s, Brydie and Charlie’s blogs. I get particularly envious of their fish market :)

    1. Joanna Post author

      Hello Rocksalt! Thanks for visiting – I was just reading about your Guinness and maca bread on your blog :)

  12. heidiannie

    September is a good month for me- a time to take some time and figure out what I’m going to concentrate on in the Fall- selecting projects for making for Christmas gifts and going through the Summer memory baskets to dump or preserve what I gathered on hot sunny days.
    I’ve been baking lots of bread, and apple dishes -although no pies yet.
    As usual- your breads look very fine – and you know how fond I am of your thin sliced bread in the window sunlight shots!

    1. Joanna Post author

      If you hover your mouse over the photos the titles come up, the windowpane was for you – took me six goes to get one just right, I am out of practice. I am thinking about apples too – my little tree will be ready to harvest in a week or two. hugs, jo

    1. Joanna Post author

      Thankyou sweetpea :) We have silky September sunshine and some resolution to our worries for the time being, and I still know how to swim xx

    1. Joanna Post author

      It was a fried duck egg which split in the pan and some left over chestnut mushrooms covered in dukka and a bit of bread. Glad you like the look of it, food styling is not my strong point, thanks for visiting me :)

  13. cityhippyfarmgirl

    those bbq semolina buns look wonderful, between you and Celia doing them again, I really should have a go. My bread making mojo has dipped a little. I’m still making it but not pushing the boundaries every week to try something new like I was before… I guess that’s what little babies do :-) I have been playing with spelt though and I’m loving it a hell of a lot. I’m not sure that I really want to go back to every day flour anymore, I’m finding the spelt very adaptable.

    1. Joanna Post author

      Thanks Brydie. I think I make these over and over again, chiefly because next door’s Mum is such a fan of them, though Brian always looks a bit sad when they disappear out the door, so I have promised to make him some next time. I have been using a little spelt lately, though only at about 15% of the total weight of the flour in the bread, I am not very good at using it as the main flour which is why it’s been so good using the Stanway flour which is full of flavour :) My bread mojo virtually disappeared this summer, so the moment I baked these, I confess I thought – oh goodie something to post as well as to eat …

  14. bakecakecrumbs

    Beautiful bread and beautiful photographs too – I love the first photo and the way the light falls. You and Celia have both reminded me how good Dan’s semolina barbeque buns are, I must make them again. September does feel like a ‘starting again’ month, but I do wish I had some memories of summer weather to think of too, to help with the impending winter. I like autumn, but dread winter!

    1. Joanna Post author

      A few weeks on since I wrote this post and it is dark later in the mornings and decidedly cooler overnight. I was thinking about how to make the living room more thermally efficient, whether to put a chimney balloon in or something like that. We were crawling around on hands and knees, squinting up the chimney. I think we’ll have to do something else, the chimney has two steps inside. Interestingly I did a batch of this dough just as round rolls and they didn’t have the same charm as the duvet style buns.

  15. Urvashi Roe

    I love that September light too. It’s just glorious and keeps me smiling all day. Your bread is amazing. Must try dukka too. Thanks for the link :-)

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