Savour Food – @AlbertaatNoon – Karen Anderson’s food column – recipes from a wood-fired cob oven

Wood Fired Bread Baking with Sidewalk Citizen Bakery owner  and  world-famous baker Aviv Fried Photo courtesy of Dirt Craft Natural Builders
Wood Fired Bread Baking with Sidewalk Citizen Bakery owner and world famous baker Aviv Fried
Photo courtesy of Dirt Craft Natural Builders

Here are the recipes for my monthly food column on CBC Radio One’s Alberta@Noon. Thanks to my dear friend and dedicated Calgary Food Tours Inc. associate Tilly Sanchez for her beautiful galette recipe and thanks to Dirt Craft Natural Building’s Heather Noakes and Ashley Lubyk for the recipes and photos of their eggplant and flat breads. Remember you can still make these recipes in a conventional oven or even on your barbecue unit. I hope they help you savour your food and savour your life. Cheers, Karen

Tilly Sanchez's Rustic Tomato Galette in cob oven Photo - Karen Anderson
Tilly Sanchez’s Rustic Tomato Galette in cob oven
Photo – Karen Anderson

Tilly Sanchez’s Tomato Galette with Caramelized Onion Jam

Makes enough for four, 6” galettes
5 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp kosher salt
1 ½ sticks (6 oz) cold, unsalted butter cut into small pieces
11 oz solid vegetable shortening chilled
1 cup ice water
• Mix flour and salt together in a large bowl. Add the cubed butter.
• Cut the butter into the flour using a pastry blender, until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Be patient, this takes a while.
• Continue working with the pastry blender and cut in the shortening until mixture has small clumps and curds.
• Switch to a spatula and add the ice water, stirring to incorporate it.
• Turn the dough onto a work surface and fold it over on itself a few times, being careful not to over work it or handle it too much.
• Divide the dough evenly into four sections. Pat into disk shapes. Cover and refrigerate for half an hour to two hours. You can also freeze any disks you don’t use. They will keep well wrapped in the freezer for a few months.

Caramelized Onion Jam
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
10-12 sprigs of thyme
6 cups thinly sliced red or yellow onions (about 3 1/4 pounds)
2/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup dry sherry
1/4 tsp salt
• Heat oil and butter in heavy large pot over medium heat.
• Add onions and thyme sprigs. Cover and cook until onions are tender, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes.
• Remove the lid and continue cooking until onions are deep golden brown, about 15 minutes more. Remove thyme sprigs.
• Add brown sugar and stir. Deglaze the pot by pouring in the vinegar and sherry. Stir gently to combine. Reduce heat to medium low. Cook uncovered, stirring frequently, until onions are very tender and mixture is thick, about 20 minutes.
• Stir in salt, remove from heat and cool completely.
• Transfer to a container and refrigerate (can be refrigerated for up to 2 weeks).

Assembling your rustic tomato galette:
1 disk chilled galette dough (multiply the ingredients by 4 if using all the dough)
4 Ripe Heirloom Tomatoes of different colours such as
Cherokee Purple, Jubilee, Green Zebra sliced ¼” thick
6 Tbsp Caramelized Onion Jam
Splash Olive oil
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves
4 fresh thyme sprigs
1/3 cup cheese such as grated parmesan, slices of fresh mozzarella or crumbled feta
Pinch salt and pepper
1 large egg, beaten
• Preheat oven to 400° F (whether using a cob oven or conventional oven).
• Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper or non-stick silpat liner. On a floured surface, roll the galette crust to approximately 8” in diameter. Transfer pie crust to the prepared baking sheet. Don’t worry if the edges fall over the sides, they will be folded over the filling later on.
• Using a 6″ inverted bowl or pan lid, lightly mark the inside of the pastry crust. Be careful not to cut through the dough. This outline will be used as a guide so you know where to spread the caramelized onion jam. Be sure to keep it within the marked area.
• Sprinkle cheese or place mozzarella slices on the onion jam. Then place a layer of sliced tomatoes on top of the cheese, placing a basil leaf between each overlapping tomato slice until the top is covered.
• Sprinkle with a dash of salt and pepper for seasoning, a light drizzle of olive oil and place 4 sprigs of thyme on top. Moisten the edges with a small amount of water and carefully fold up the edges, pressing, folding and pinching the pastry in a rustic pattern.
• Brush the pastry with egg wash and sprinkle with a small amount of kosher salt if desired.
• Bake galette at 400°F for approximately 40-50 minutes or until the pastry is nicely browned.
• Drizzle with a balsamic reduction (if desired) and serve. This galette is best enjoyed the same day it is made. Leftovers should be refrigerated.

Roasting Eggplants Photo courtesy of Dirt Craft Natural Building
Roasting Eggplants
Photo courtesy of Dirt Craft Natural Building

Heather Noakes’s Roasted Eggplant Dip
1 kg Eggplant
1-2 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 t cumin
1/2 c tahini
1/2 c lemon juice
1 t sea salt
1/2 c yogurt
2 T extra virgin olive oil
• Roast the eggplant until it is very soft, and the skin is somewhat burnt (poke it with a fork to allow some of the moisture to escape while roasting).
• Put the eggplant on the hearth, while the fire is still burning, to achieve a wonderful smoky flavour (10 – 12 min).
• Or roast in a regular oven at 400°F (about 35 – 40 min), or BBQ (20 – 30 min).
• Combine the crushed garlic clove with the cumin, tahini, and lemon juice, and salt in a wood fired oven. Add yogurt. Mix well.
• Take the eggplant, peel it and let it cool in a strainer so as to drain any excess water. Mash the eggplant together with the other ingredients in the mixing bowl.
• Enjoy with fresh flat bread (recipe below) or tortilla chips.

eggplant dip with flat breads Photo courtesy of Dirt Craft Natural Builders
eggplant dip with flat breads
Photo courtesy of Dirt Craft Natural Builders

Heather Noakes’s Flat Bread
1T dry active yeast
1 t honey (optional)
1 1/3 c warm water (approx.)
1 3⁄4 c whole-wheat flour
1 3⁄4 c unbleached flour (you can adjust proportions of flours as you wish though we find that too much whole wheat flour diminishes the texture)
1 t salt
1⁄2 t black pepper
3 t olive oil
Unbleached flour for kneading
Garnish with:
Olive oil
Selection of your choice: fresh or dried herbs (garlic, parsley, oregano, thyme)
Coarse sea salt
• Dissolve dry yeast in the warm water in a mixing bowl . Add one cup of flour, mix well, and allow to sit in a warm place for about an hour. If the mixture is not bubbly, it is possible that your yeast may be expired. Get some new yeast, and try again.
• Add remaining amounts of flour, and the olive oil, salt & pepper. Knead for about 10 minutes, or until the dough is smooth, and no longer sticks to your hands or the counter.
• Return the dough to the mixing bowl, cover it with a towel and let it sit for another hour, or until the dough has approximately doubled in size (if you are using a wood fire oven, now would be the time to light it up, so it is hot and ready when your flat breads are ready to be baked).
• Divide the dough into four pieces and roll each flat with a rolling pin, making sure there is plenty of flour to prevent the dough from sticking to you counter.
• Brush or rub each flatbread with your personal mixture of olive oil, herbs, and coarse salt.
• Once your wood fired oven has been going for a good hour, either remove the fire entirely, or push it to the edges, making sure the hearth is free of ash. Using a baker’s peel (like a pizza paddle), transfer to the oven, and wait only a few (maybe five at the most) minutes.
• Or transfer breads to a preheated oven (465°F) with pizza stone inside for 20 minutes, alternatively the BBQ with a pizza stone (for 15 minutes).
• Tip: if you don’t have a bakers peel, divide the dough into 6 or even 8 balls, roll flat and use a metal spatula. The flat breads will be smaller and easier to handle.
• Makes about 4 – 10″ flat breads.
• Enjoy the fresh flat bread with your roasted eggplant dip on the back patio for a simple but very delicious appetizer, snack or potluck dish.


Leave a Reply