There are mornings when I very much wish I was a coffee-drinker.
This month we have been sadly wrapping up at our allotment. We have gardened there for 9 years. I have planted 9 fruit trees, many soft fruit bushes and a cut flower garden. We have improved the soil a great deal. Because we don’t dig and because we use mulch extensively, the soil has become crumbly, fertile and teeming with worms. We have made many raised beds edged with reclaimed tiles – moving the tiles has been a lot of hard physical work. The deadline is 1st October. Till the last moment, I have hoped that the owner could be made see reason and allow us to move our trees on a later date, after they have gone dormant, especially since it seems there are no immediate plans for the plot.
But yesterday I have learnt that we are expected to leave the plot plant-free. I have not slept well…
It means that the next three days, we will be frantically moving plants to our new (much smaller and partially shaded) plot, while praying for their survival.
Maybe you have a more leisurely weekend ahead. In that case – make tart. Maybe I will, too. Tarts tend to improve my outlook on the world. I need that. Especially since I don’t drink coffee.
Make the dough first – it can be kept in the fridge for at least 3 days. This tart dough is made with equal amounts of all-purpose and rye flour. That makes it a bit more nutritious and also more interesting tasting. You can of course use all all-purpose flour. Just follow the method closely, to achieve a well laminated dough. When it comes to tart dough, it’s all about the method.
Rustic Rye Dough
from Good to the Grain: Baking with Whole-Grain Flours
Makes dough for two 9-inch tarts
105 g (1 cup) rye flour
125 g (1 cup) all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
185 ml (3/4 cup) ice water
170 g (6 ounces, 1 1/2 sticks) cold unsalted butter
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
Sift the dry ingredients into a large bowl, adding back any bits of grain or other ingredients that may remain in the sifter. Cut the butter into 1/2-inch pieces and add them to the dry mixture.
Rub the butter between your fingers, breaking it into smaller bits. Continue rubbing it until the butter is in sizes ranging from peas to hazelnuts. The more quickly you do this, the more the butter will stay solid, which is important for the success of the recipe.
Add the vinegar and 8 tablespoons of ice water to the flour mixture. Working from the outer edge of the flour, mix the ingredients with your hands just to moisten the flour. The dough needs to come together to see if a ball forms. If it is too dry to come together, add additional ice water 1 tablespoon at a time.
Pile the dough onto a sheet of plastic wrap, sprinkle a few drops of water over the top, wrap tightly, and chill for a minimum of 1 hour or overnight.
Unwrap the dough onto a floured surface. Pat the dough into a square, then use a rolling pin to roll it into a rectangle about 8 1/2 by 11 inches. The dough will be crumbly and rough around the edges, but don’t add more flour or water, as it will come together during the rolling.
For the first turn, fold the dough into thirds like a letter. The seam should be on the left side. Turn the dough so that the seam is at the top and parallel to your body.
For the second turn, repeat the previous step, then wrap the dough in plastic and chill for 1 hour or up to 3 days before using.