One of my favourite words is tandsmør. It’s a Danish word which, literally translated means tooth butter – or when you have so much butter on your bread it leaves teeth marks. Now, if that isn’t cause for joy, I’m not sure what is.
Another Danish word I’ve recently discovered is brodpisker. The meaning of this one is much more mundane – it refers to a Danish dough whisk. That’s it in the photo below.
I’ve been searching for one of these babies since I saw Nigella brandishing one in Cook, Eat, Repeat. And now, thanks to this (way too tempting) online store I have one – it cost $8. (I also scored a cool green enamel casserole dish, a dough scraper, a bread lame and a couple of ravioli cutters from them.)
Anyways, back to the brodpisker. While it looks like something that wouldn’t be out of place in Harry Potter (or as if it could be carried in processional by the robed leader of some cult or another in an episode of Midsomer Murders), this is the best tool for mixing dough or batter. The design means that the batter doesn’t stick to the surface (like it does to a wooden spoon) and ensures that no pockets of flour or fruit will go undetected – all without over-mixing. As a result, it will, I suspect, become my go-to tool for mixing muffins – the last thing you want to do with muffins is over-mix them.
It’s also the perfect tool for this no-knead bread.
I’ve never been afraid of using my hands to stir, mix, or fold ingredients – they are truly the best tools we have – but my brodpisker made mixing the dough easier, quicker, and much less messy. While I like nothing more than kneading bread after a hard week – and last week was a stressful one in the day job – finding the time to do it can sometimes be a hassle.
Enter no-knead bread.
This loaf is a life-changer and will, I suspect, be the weekend artisan bread treat going forward. I mix up the dough (with my brodpisker – how many times do you think I can type that word in this post?) just after lunch on Friday afternoon, pop it aside with a tea towel over it until early Saturday morning, scrape it out of the bowl and form it into a round to let it prove again, go to the markets, come home, pop it into a heated casserole (I used the lovely new green enamel one) and bake it. Hands-on time is literally minutes. Time – and the oven – do the rest of the work and at the end, you get bread with a fabulous crust and (thanks to the long slow prove) a sourdoughy inside without the commitment of feeding your own sourdough starter.
That’s a win in my book.
The recipe is in Nigella’s Cook, Eat, Repeat, but she got it from Jim Lahey’s My Bread. The recipe is here. The only difference between this one and Nigella’s version is that Nigella adds a tablespoon of lemon juice to the water – or uses water that has been used to cook pasta or potatoes.
This bread is so easy to make that even dedicated non-bakers should give it a go. Go on – you know you want to…