Halfway through the year already! Welcome, welcome!
Welcome to a new month and a whole new beginning as we usher in the mid-year with Squirt celebrating his 4th birthday a few days ago and me taking on our Monthly Mystery Munchies #14 with a new challenge, in a new country and a new home all the way from the Netherlands!
Now that we are already (almost) settling in Holland, we just have to go Dutch. You know, as part of my integration programme to the Dutch society.
If you recall, we did a country-swap 2 months back and this month, Gen’s challenge is to come up with something Afrikaan and me something Dutch – all thanks to her foresight for bringing this up a few months ago in anticipation of my permanent move here to the Netherlands. It was the perfect challenge to dish out so as to push our culinary skills that tad further.
Now, here comes the conundrum: I’m not a big fan of Dutch food. Dutch meals are known to be traditionally simple and straight forward with lots of vegetables, potatoes and little meat. Read: Boring. For a foodie like me, that just wouldn’t fly.
When it comes to Dutch food, the first things that pop into my head are bitterballen, their cakes and cookies and everything deep-fried. Those are goooooood. Bitterballen would have been the perfect recipe but I have featured my home-made bitterballen before and surely, I would have to think of something else for this.
I thought of cakes and cookies, but most of the Dutch dessert which I like require a lot of work and it was something I was not prepared to do. Not just yet. I thought I’d stick to the typical traditionally simple and straight-forward theme with easy to find ingredients and one that would be considered as typically Dutch.
We know that the Dutch love, love, love their bread. And cheeses. What better way is there than to combine the two and make a Dutch Onion and Cheese bread for this inaugural-living-in-the-suburb-of-Netherlands challenge! With only a few ingredients, it fits the Dutch theme of simple and straight-forward.
And you know what makes this even more exciting? I have, never in my life attempted to make any kind of bread before. This was my first and I had made it from scratch. The Dutch bread fairy must have shone her light on me to make me feel like I am some kind of a bread goddess when it turned out a.w.e.s.o.m.e! Just look at that:
There! My first homage to a Dutch dish apart from the Bitterballen. Anyone can make this and if you’ve never tried making bread before, this recipe will make you feel like the Goddess of Brood (Bread):
Sift the salt together with the flour. Once that is done, add in the warm milk and knead into a slightly sticky dough
Cover with a damp cloth and set aside in a dark place. Let it rise for about 1.5-2 hours till it gets to double its size
Shape the dough like a log. Cover and let it rise again for another 1-2 hours.
Then flatten the dough with a rolling pin to about half an inch in height on a flat baking tray. Meantime, heat the oven to about 190 degrees celsius
Once the dough is flattened to the desired height, shape it according to the tray.
Spread the onions slices all over the dough
Cover with the grated cheese and set aside to let it rise again for about another hour or until it's nice and fluffy
Bake for about 20 minutes or until the cheeses melt with a nice golden colour to it
Remove from the oven. Set aside to rest for about 5 minutes before cutting it into squares
Serve as a snack. Also good for breakfast and lunch!
Choose a sweet onion - the yellow or the white onions are preferred because of its sweetness. You can vary the types of cheese you use. Best eaten warm.
Warning: Very Addictive!
Grubbs n Critters http://grubbsncritters.com/
This was made and scheduled ahead before we left Bangkok as I had feared that I did not have the necessities yet to be able to make anything when we got here. My hunch was right – not because I did not have the time nor the equipment, but because I was completely out of order in our first 2 weeks here (a story for another time).
Still. My butt was getting itchy after weeks of being an invalid and when I got just a tad better, I made another attempt with a little twist of ingredients from my in-laws’ kitchen using a mixture of aged and cumin-flavoured cheese, 2 tablespoons of paprika and adding a tablespoon of thyme to the onions. They tasted just as good, if not better!
But enough of gloating about this bread, for I am itching to find out what Gen has made for her Afrikaan dish to share with the world.
Come, come! Come with me and head over to Gen’s blog and see what she has made this week that’s native to her South African roots for this month’s Monthly Mystery Munchies
Monthly Mystery Munchies features every first Friday of the month in collaboration with Gen, Author of Eat, Play, Clove. Next month will be my turn it seems to choose a theme and I’m still mulling over the whats. It’s getting tougher by the months. Until then!