22 July 2011

New interview, and a recipe

Eat Me

Iain Rowan posed good questions, and has been a great pesterer to actually answer them. The interview with me is only one of his series, "Writers talk about writing".

Tambourian Bread

Heat the oven to bloody hell (220 C or about 420 F)
Toss in flour-strewn baking sheet.

In a big bowl, throw
3 (metric *) cups unbleached flour
2 cups rolled oats
Rub the oats till they're broken up somewhat, and add
1 and a half (metric) teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons bicarbonate soda
  • 1 mix of half to one cup yogurt (or sour cream or kefir or sour milk or buttermilk or milk soured with a teaspoon or two of lemon juice)
  • and water, to equal a total of 2 cups liquid (the bread above is 1 cup thick tart homemade yogurt to 1 cup water)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
Shake liquid in a jar. Dump into dry ingredients and mix all fast with a wooden spoon and with maximum cheap satire(cuttingly). Turn out onto table. The mixture will be rough, and might need some more liquid, or maybe some more flour. Bully quickly into brick (on its side) and cut the top three times.

Toss, literally, onto hot baking sheet in oven.
Reduce temperature to medium heat (170 C or about 350 F)
Bake 60 minutes.
Cool on rack, and cover and store in tea towel or any old thing that will breathe (anything woven, that is)

This bread smells wonderful, has a toothsome crust, and a dense internal texture like fresh Irish soda bread. But unlike Isd, it keeps excellently. Fabulous toasted. Walnuts and dates have begged to be included in it. Blackcurrant jam has declared fealty. Cheeses, however, have fought to sit upon its hunks.

* Non-metric measurers can be used, as this is all to-taste anyway, and flour measured by volume can mean anything, as does the amount of liquid added. Today, for instance, some big-eyed goddess is crying melodramatically somewhere Above, and even the talcum powder is getting sympathetic.


Lucy said...

Poor goddess. Poor talc.

I only meant to read your interview there, which was faskinating, but then I moseyed around for ages reading what other writers had said in reply to the same questions (your Gibbons answer was far and away the best). You certainly lead me over the hills and far away to places where I never went before, both in your own writing and in the other places you link to.

The bread looks and sounds splendid. I do love soda breads. I tried making a wholewheat one with poppy and pumpkin seeds in once. It was so crumbly you needed to eat it with a spoon, but it tasted quite good.

anna tambour said...

That's great that you moseyed. Everyone is different, and Iain's such a good interviewer. I hope you get into his own writing, as his stories are visceral. Here is an interview of Rowan himself on Criminal-e. But for something hilarious, read his piece "Police and thieves".

That Irish soda bread of yours does sound delicious, but that's so true about the bread. By day two, it's only good for the road. Hansel and Gretel would have to carry spoons …

Jeff said...

Oh my gosh...that's bread? When I saw the photo, I assumed the post that followed would focus on some sort of exotic sea creature! I may have to try baking this.

anna tambour said...

Like being born to the magic, there's no 'try' to it. You will succeed, whether you are left or right-handed, throw with a spin, or are distracted by incombustible salamanders. As for that picture, you might want to get your camera out to cover yours. These breads have strong personalities. The one before this had as many secrets in its shadows as Greta Garbo. And this very bread was the scene of a tragedy on the other face. Five gourmet nanoclimbers fell to their death, traversing the chrüst.