Cool Britannia

We just realised that this is the first post in our magazine this year and the first since last year’s Monaco Yacht Show. It’s also the first new post in the new format, but we will write an introduction about that later.

For now, we just pretend that it’s business as usual and post about a familiar topic. Bread.There is, however, something unusual about this one, and if we may say so, it’s pretty daring! We attempted to re-invent one of the most mysterious British icons, the cucumber sandwich! It’s just something we never managed to get our heads around after living here for so many years (and as far as we know, the rest of the world is slightly puzzled, too): Squeezing a few pieces of cucumber between two slices of white soft bread simply isn’t a culinary highlight. Frankly, it’s pretty awful.
However, we do feel that in general, Great Britain is cool as a cucumber, so maybe the concept just needed a little tweak?

Mix 300g of strong white flour with 100g of seeded / wholegrain flour
Add 2 tablespoons (fast action) yeast, 2 tablespoons sugar, 2 teaspoons salt, 2 table spoons oil or butter and 1 teaspoon crushed fennel seeds
Grate 1/2 cucumber and add it to the mix. You should not need any more water, but if the dough is too solid you might want to add a little amount, but not more than 50ml
Work into a dough for 5 minutes and put to rest (covered and in a warm place) for a few hours
Knead well and put back for another 2 hours of resting (flour the bowl before you put the dough back so it comes out easier)
Preheat oven to about 200 degree, put some semolina on a tray (that prevents sticking)
Bake for about 45 minutes, hopefully the bread did rise nicely, got some colour and sounds ‘right’ when you knock on it (a bit of a ‘dry’, hollow sound, meaning that it did bake well throughout
Take out from the oven, wait for it to cool down a bit and enjoy!

The result has a lovely and very distinct taste, lots of character and combines nicely with butter, jams and honey even! No more boring cucumber ever again!