Chickpea Stew and Fennel, Agave Oat Bread.

Me, my boyfriend his sister and her boyfriend all sat down for a nice lazy new years lunch today, well I was up since early making bread and my by friends sister had her dissociation to write and also there’s the brisk walks with the hyperactive staffy, so not really that lazy. Im so glad my new years resolution is to bake bread again because there’s nothing like the smell, its seriously addictive! I know some people may think its a bit obsessive and unnecessary, but growing up baking it just brings back such lovely memories, and boy is it worth it especially to mop the bowls after a warming stew. Hope every one gets stuck into there new years resolutions with ease, Good luck.

Chickpea stew
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, halved and thinly sliced
1 clove of garlic, diced
1 tbsp Za’atar spice mix
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp turmeric
a pinch red chili flakes
3/4 cup rinsed and drained red lentils
3 small carrots, peeled and sliced into half moons
2 tin chopped tomatoes
2 cups of vegetable stock
1 tin chickpeas
1 tbsp tomato paste
100g fresh spinach

Heat the oil in a stew pot, saute the onion until softened. Add the garlic and fry off for a few minutes, stir through the spices and fry for a few seconds. Add the lentils, tinned tomatoes, carrots and stock, bring to the boil, then reduce too a simmer and add the chickpeas. Cover and cook for about 15 minutes, stir through the tomato paste and spinach, replace the lid and let the spinach wilt down before serving.

Fennel, Agave Oat Bread.
Fennel agave oat bread
3 1/4 cup strong white bread flour
3/4 cup stone-ground oatmeal
1 tbsp fennel seeds
2 tsp salt

1 1/2 cup tepid water
1 tbsp agave
1 tsp active dried yeast
1 tbsp rolled oats, for topping

Dissolve the agave and yeast in the tepid water, and set aside to ensure it froths up a bit. Mix the flour, oatmeal, fennel and salt in a big mixing bowl. Add the water and yeast mix into the flour mix, mixing it together with your hands until a nice dough forms. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead for 8-10 minutes. Lightly grease a bowl with oil, place the dough into the bowl and gently toss through to coat in the oil. Cover the bowl with a tea towl and pop in a warm spot for 1hr- 1 1/2hrs until risen and doubled in size. Once the dough has risen, knead lightly and shape into nice round loaf, leave to rise on a lined baking tray, uncovered for another 30 minutes. Brush the top of the loaf with cool water and press in the oat flakes gently. Slice a cross hatch into the top of the loaf with a serrated knife (this helps a little bit of the gas excape during baking) and bake for about 30 minutes in an oven preheated to 200c/390f until golden brown on top and it sounds hollow when taped gently on the bottom.

4 thoughts on “Chickpea Stew and Fennel, Agave Oat Bread.

  1. I completely agree about the bread. We make it in the winter because our wood fired stove is on 24/7 (or our 2 hyperactive Amstaffies would eat the furniture 😉 ). I had the amazing good fortune of actually getting out of the car when we were depositing a load of my fathers ex garbage at the local tip and having a look at the local tip shop. Someone had dumped a whole lot of sets of bakers loaf tins…3 of them together in a single unit. I managed to find 5 sets of 3 loaf tins that had obviously been used by someone to store their nails and screws in the shed! What a find at $2 each I was completely stoked and now use them to make amazing hightop homemade loaves 🙂

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