A Feast of Ice and Fire: Medieval Leek Soup & Black Bread

A review of Medieval Leek Soup and Black Bread from the “A Feast of Ice and Fire” Cookbook.

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Medieval Leek Soup

This might just be the easiest soup I’ve ever made.  Seriously.  And it was perfect to pair with tonight’s Game of Thrones finale!!!

The broth is placed in a saucepan with some saffron and brought to a boil.  The chopped leeks, chopped mushrooms, ginger, pepper, salt, and poudre forte (a medieval spice mixture they show you how to make in this cookbook) are all added to the broth and cooked for a few minutes.

That’s it.  Pour into bowls and serve.

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Taste: 8/10

The broth was really nice with all of those spices added, and I love leeks so of course I enjoyed this!  It mostly tastes like leek and pepper.20190512_201215

Difficulty: Easy

Just chop up the mushrooms and leeks, measure out the spices, and cook over the stove.

Cost: Average

You will need a leek, mushrooms, chicken broth, saffron, ground ginger, black pepper, salt, and a few spices required in the “Poudre Forte” mixture.  The saffron is actually what bumps the price up on this one; it’s the most expensive spice in the world!

Black Bread

As with most breads, this recipe starts by soaking yeast.  Unlike with most breads, the yeast gets soaked in dark beer and honey!

Once the yeast is nice and foamy, egg and flour are added in until the dough is one big mass.  For flour, they say any would work but do list the flour types they used when they made the recipe.  I decided to use whatever was in my pantry, since it didn’t seem to matter, and ended up with white flour and buckwheat flour.

I probably should have added salt in here as well, as it’s listed as an ingredient, but they never say where to add the salt in the instructions.

The dough gets kneaded before leaving it to rise for an hour…or in my case three hours because my apartment is basically a refrigerator.  Then the dough is punched down and left to rise once again for 2 more hours (4 hours for me).

Now’s the weird part, which I think messed up my bread.  The oven is preheated and the dough is separated into two loaves.  I feel like we should have separated the dough in a previous step and then left the dough to rise on its own for a couple of hours, instead of separating the dough (which deflates it) and then immediately throwing it in the oven.

Anyway, my dough deflated as I figured it would while I separated it into two loaves…this resulted in a pretty dense bread in the end.

The dough is dusted with flour and baked until the crust is browned and crisp.20190512_202141

Taste: 6/10

The bread was too dense, and I wish I used a different flour.  It probably would have been better with wheat, rye, and white than the buckwheat and white I used.

Difficulty: Average

Bread is never easy, but this recipe wasn’t too difficult as far as bread recipes go.  I wish the instructions were more clear, though.  I kind of feel like they dropped the ball on this one, which is disappointing since their other recipes have been pretty clear and specific for the most part.

Cost: Average

You’ll need dry yeast, dark beer, honey, egg, and flour.

Suggestion:

I would suggest breaking the dough apart into two pieces when you punch the dough down, before leaving it to rise for 2 hours.  This way it’s nice and fluffy before you cook the bread, and it won’t be as dense.

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