Food is not an integral part of my novel-to-be, but you can’t create a different world without including at least a few signature dishes. Luckily, one of my characters is a foodie while another one hails from a family of bakers. Hence, I was able to incorporate some great Aetherian cuisine into my story.
After recreating an Aetherian love potion, I couldn’t help but try my luck in the realm of Aetherian baking too. My goal: to come up with “Ullsdamse lookbollen” (Ullsdam — place name — garlic balls). Yesterday evening, I did just that.
The image quality isn’t great, but their taste will more than make up for that:
Before you get started
The lookbollen recipe listed below is the de-luxe version (includes cheese) served in the Citadel on New Year’s Eve. If you want to make regular ones, simply leave out the cheese and double the amount of garlic per bun.
Ingredients (makes +/- 15 lookbollen)
– 15 fat cloves of garlic (one per bun; if you’re using smallish cloves: double!) – You can use an entire bulb or separate cloves; doesn’t really matter.
– 2x 2 tbsp olive oil
– 450g white bread flour
– 300ml water
– 8g dried yeast
– 1 tbsp sea salt
– 100g Danish blue (or similar)
– 1 tbsp rapeseed oil (or another vegetable oil – NO olive oil!)
– A few pinches of poppy seeds
1. Preheat your oven to 225°C/215°C (fan). If using an entire bulb, cut the top off, so as to slightly expose the cloves inside and place on a piece of kitchen foil. Drizzle with 2 tbsp of olive oil, then wrap the garlic in foil. Bake for 35 minutes and let cool. Next, remove the mushy garlic cloves from their pods.
2. While your garlic is in the oven, add the remaining 2 tbsp of olive oil to the water and mix with the flour, yeast and salt (making sure to keep your yeast and salt at opposite sides of the bowl before you start mixing). Mix until well combined and transfer to a lightly floured surface. Knead for 8-10 minutes until smooth and elastic. Put the dough in a bowl, cover with cling film and leave to rise until doubled in size (about 40 minutes).
3. Put the ball of dough back on the surface, knock back and roll outward from the middle until you end up with a baguette-shaped piece of dough. Divide into 15 pieces of (roughly) the same size, rolling each one into a small ball.
4. Roll out each ball into a flat disk/disc (whichever you prefer). Take a lump of cheese and place it in the middle, then top with garlic. Pinch up the edges and seal. Place your lookbol (pinched side down) on an oiled baking tray. Repeat for the rest of your dough. Make sure you don’t leave too much room in between if you want to make a tear ‘n’ share; otherwise space well apart. Cover with a dampened kitchen towel and leave until doubled in size (about half an hour).
5. When the dough is nearly ready, preheat the oven to 190°C/180°C (fan). Bake for 25 minutes.
6. Remove from the oven, brush with 1 tsbp of rapeseed oil and sprinkle with poppy seeds. You can eat them straight away (do be careful not to burn your tongue… hot cheese and whatnot) or cold.
NOTE: When I made these, I added 2 jalapeños and 1 bird-eye chillie (soaked in boiling water first, then finely chopped), because there’s another de-luxe version in the novel which also includes “devil’s pepper”. Suffice it to say your mouth (and possibly, stomach) will feel like it’s been to hell. Try adding just the bird-eye chillie or some cayenne if you want a bit of heat.