Cyprus on a plate

first_imgNorthern Cyprus is not the best country in the world for a gourmet to live. Imported foodstuffs are rare and expensive, locally produced fruit and vegetables are good but limited in variety and very seasonal.Meat tends to be tasteless and tough – due, perhaps, to very limited grazing, less than considerate husbandry and hardly any maturation after slaughter; more than three days has to be requested. However there are some gems and some surprises, and the bread here is some of the best I’ve tasted. How these standards are achieved, I do not know. Quality assurance is only thought about and technical knowledge is, to be kind, limited. There is not a huge variety available, but the most popular versions – from wrapped and sliced to those made from stone-ground wheat and with natural fermentation – can be found. And the local olive bread, made with both baking powder and yeast, and featuring whole black olives, is addictive but has a very short shelf life. Tempo, a local supermarket, asked me to help them reduce the “crust” of wrapped and sliced box bread used for sandwiches, which was being baked for 30 minutes at 240ºC. Then the heat was turned off and the bread left in the oven for a further 30 minutes.The Tempo LoafBread flour – 30kgImprover – 150gYeast – 150gSugar – 400gSalt – 1kgUnsalted margarine – 500gMilk – 1kgWater – 15kgWe successfully reduced the bake time to 28 minutes and the weight of the dough piece by 100g. It appears to have done the trick.However, the real loss leader – the wrapped and sliced of Cyprus – is not wrapped and sliced at all. It is a most delightful bloomer-style loaf, featuring a thin crispy crust, a light tender crumb, which is amazingly white, with perfect cell structure and a wonderful real bread taste. The loaf is scaled at 350g and keeps well for 24 hours. It then makes great toast. The loaves sell at a loss, for about 20p, but the local Cypriots buy them by the dozen, Covered with seeds, it can be sold at 50p. Here is the recipe (or as close as I can get to it). The 20p LoafBread flour (circa 14% protein) – 120kgSalt- 1kg 600gSoya based improver – 1kg 600gYeast – 5kgSugar – 800gWater – (circa) 60 kgThe “on sack” declaration reads: Wheat flour, Saccharose, Emulsifier (E472) Soya flour, Oxidising agent (E 300), Enzymes (Fungal alfa amylases).The nearest I could get to a flour specification is that it is 72% extraction and bakers use a blend of three, from different mills, as the variation is very great. The soft dough is mixed on a spiral machine for 15 minutes, divided into 350g pieces, moulded, and then given 40 minutes’ intermediate proof. It is then shaped. If the bread is to be seeded, it is done at this stage – all over with a delicious mix of white and black sesame and a little aniseed. Finally, the loaf is proved and baked.There are about another five varieties, none of which have great sales but are all good to eat:German, a light rye; diet, with bran and wholemeal; wheat meal; corn bread, an American recipe; and olive bread, frequently made at home, some containing fresh herbs.Most of the bread in northern Cyprus is made by small- to medium-sized bakeries or in-store by the supermarket groups. But there is a specialist baker making what is known as “village bread” (main picture). This comes in two varieties: a round and a baton shape, both 1.2kg in weight. The baton is covered with black and white sesame seeds and a little aniseed, while the dough itself is flavoured with ground cloves and allspice. Fermentation is done using the natural yeasts in the atmosphere. The flour used is stone-milled from wheat imported from the Ukraine. Water is from a nearby spring and the loaf is baked in old stone-floored ovens.The “bakery” where it is made is, in fact, the kitchen of a once-popular hotel and restaurant in a remote beautiful valley near a village called Pinarbasi, some 10 miles from Kyrenia. The building is situated at the bottom of the valley alongside a fast-flowing mountain stream of sparkling clarity and cleanliness of taste. This is the water used for the bread.The bakery has a small spiral mixer, a moulding machine and three stone-floored clay-built ovens. It is operated by three or four people, who turn out 1,000 loaves a day, seven days a week. There is a lot of mystique to the process, but nothing would persuade the workers nor the owner of the business to change one iota of recipe, ingredients or process.The bread is made in three stages. The mixing machine is washed seven times, stone-ground flour is mixed with spring water to form a soft dough and this is divided into 2.5kg pieces, which are put into ceramic bowls. These are then placed in and out of the oven seven times (30 seconds each time) and are left in the bakery atmosphere for three days, open to natural yeasts in the air. Each of these can then be used to make 130kg of dough or they are frozen for use later.The wheat itself is not easy to obtain: imports are strictly controlled by Turkey. But when the grain arrives, it is taken to a modern mill with a stone-milling facility, close to Famagusta. The bread is pretty solid but, freshly made, it is very tasty. After 12 hours it firms up and loses some of its appeal, but for the next five to six days, it changes little and, with good butter, it’s nutty, spicy, slightly sour in taste, and makes delicious and compulsive eating.A bread ring called Simit is the last of the great products I discovered:The Simit Bread RingBread flour – 1kgSugar – 100gSalt – 50gCinnamon – 20gYeast – 50gOil – 30gWater – 400gBlack and white sesame seeds (enough to heavily coat the rings)This is made into no-time dough, divided into 50g pieces, shaped into a twisted rope, heavily coated in seeds and formed into neat rings, proved and baked in a hot oven.last_img read more

Rhodes deal dead – Bruce

first_imgHull boss Steve Bruce has said a potential deal to sign Blackburn striker Jordan Rhodes is “dead and buried”. “We’re close to one or two things, very close on one in particular, which will be a fantastic addition if we pull it off, but until it’s really, really rubber stamped then I’m not going to say much,” he said. “I really don’t want to comment after last week’s debacle on Jordan Rhodes. It would be wise of me to say nothing.” One person who has already completed his move to east Yorkshire this week is defender Michael Dawson, who signed a three-year deal from Tottenham for an undisclosed fee on Tuesday. Bruce is thrilled with his latest acquisition, believing Dawson’s maturity at the back will be vital as Hull battle on domestic and European fronts this season. “We’re delighted to get someone of his experience and his ability,” Bruce said. “I’ve always thought that especially in the centre of defence, a little bit of experience does everybody the world of good. “It’s been a long drawn out process but we eventually got him which I’m delighted about.” It was reported last week that Bruce was keen on bringing the prolific Championship striker to the KC Stadium following the departure of Shane Long to Southampton for £12million earlier this month. Bruce reported Blackburn were open to selling their star asset, but that they had changed their minds, with the former Wigan and Sunderland boss now conceding defeat in his pursuit of the Scotland international. Press Association “It’s dead and buried,” Bruce said. “We got an indication from Blackburn that they were willing to do a deal and that obviously changed in 24 hours. That’s their prerogative. “If they’d have said that to start with – that he wasn’t for sale no matter what we wanted to do – then fine, we’ll walk away. “But unfortunately it gets a bit protracted and last weekend we thought it was close and then all of a sudden he’s not for sale, so we’ll move on to the next one.” Bruce admitted his frustration at coming so close to landing the 24-year-old, who has scored 53 goals in 93 Championship appearances since joining Rovers two years ago, and blamed the constant scrutiny being placed on the deal. “It gets into the public domain and all of a sudden it’s not going to happen,” Bruce added. “It’s disappointing for everybody concerned, but more disappointing, I would presume, for somebody like Jordan.” Perhaps understandably, Bruce was a little more reticent about naming his other targets, but did reveal the club were nearing a deal to boost their forward line. last_img read more

Eagles Nip Trojans 4-3

first_img Hancock County Court News Nov. 3 thorugh Dec. 11 – January 22, 2015 Bio admin Latest posts by admin (see all) State budget vs. job creation – January 22, 2015center_img Latest Posts Brad Folmer of the Ellsworth Eagles dives back to first base as Jasper Cousins of the Mount Desert Island Trojans waits for the throw.—HUGH BOWDENELLSWORTH — Ellsworth righthander Pat Kelley stifled a Mount Desert Island rally in the sixth inning, then struck out the side in the seventh to preserve a 4-3 win for the Eagles at Ellsworth on Saturday. Kelley, who is working his way back into pitching form after being bothered by a sore arm, came on in relief of Ellsworth starter Andrew Hodge with one run in for the Trojans and two more on base in the top of the sixth inning.Hodge had walked leadoff hitter Devon Young and Dennis O’Neil reached base when third baseman Seth Cote couldn’t make a play on his slow roller to third base.Peter Logue then reached base on a throwing error that allowed Young to score and left Logue at second and O’Neil at third.This is placeholder textThis is placeholder textKelley struck out Caleb MacDonald, and Ian Hodgdon then grounded the ball to second baseman Garrett Kaspala, whose throw to catcher Jordan Carter nailed O’Neil as he tried to score the tying run.Gordon Falt, who had singled twice in previous at-bats, then struck out to end the inning.Kelley gave up a harmless single to Jasper Carter in the seventh but struck out Nolan Hall, Sam Stewart and Young.The Trojans played catch-up from the start.Ellsworth scored in the bottom of the first inning against MDI righthander Sam Stewart when Brad Folmer singled, stole second, went to third on a passed ball and came home on Hodge’s long fly ball to center field.The Trojans evened the score at 1-1 in the top of the second when Young doubled and scored on a double by Logue.Ellsworth went back in front in the third when Folmer walked, stole second and third and came home on a two-out double by Hodge.Again the Trojans answered in their next at bat as Young singled and scored on a double by O’Neil.Folmer again got things started with a walk as the Eagles took a 4-2 lead in the fifth.One out later, Adam Kaspala reached base on an error.Stewart got Hodge to foul out, but Mickey Manning followed with a single to drive in Folmer, and Kaspala raced home on a single by Carter. Stewart pitched a complete game for the Trojans, scattering six hits and striking out three. House fire in Winter Harbor – October 27, 2014last_img read more