Bread like Fresh from Your Favourite Bakery – Psyllium Bread

Psyllium is a plantago plant. Its seeds are used like fiber husk against constipation or diarrhea, but also as thickener. I found a recipe for bread and am amazed of the outcome.

On Ash-Wednesday I decided to start a fasting period. Not the 40 religious days, but at least 14 days.. That’s what I did. During these days I had nothing than water, a super light coffee and psyllium husk for a good digestion without eating anything. I ordered the fiber husk on Internet. And got the wrong ones. Instead of whole psyllium husk I got milled psyllium husk. Which resulted in no way to eat it, it jellies immediately. I ordered again the right ones. The fasting period went well and I ended all after 14 days.

What to do now with the psyllium husk powder? I looked for a recipe for bread as it would be full of fibers and healthy. I found an interesting recipe on this page.

Psyllium is a dietary supplement and can lower blood cholesterol, pressure and glucose in diabetes type 2. It can be used in ice-cream as a thickener and it helps with constipation or diarrhea. It can absorb an enormous amount of water which makes it also a game changer in losing weight. One tablespoon of psyllium husk and half a liter of water fills your stomach. Drinking a lot during the day is key of the benefits (up to two liters). Its health benefit for the colon is the slimy, vicious consistency that it forms with the water, cleaning the walls of the colon and taking out ‘old stuff’.

Of course I made my own version. She uses buckwheat, rice and chickpea flour, I switched to brown millet, rice and chestnut flour. She uses tapioca flour, I used potato starch. She put pumpkin seeds, I used walnuts, almonds and also a little bit of flaxseeds. Reading the notes and comments I decided to use less water and add instead apple cider vinegar. She baked for an hour, I instead for 1.5 hour, 20 minutes on 250°C, the remaining time at 190°C.

The whole process for the bread is super easy. The most difficult part is the waiting for cooling out. The bread comes out super crisp, and the smell is heavenly. The bread rises a little bit, just enough to open on the top and to stay that way.

The next morning – I bake bread always in the evening so it can cool out during the night without tempting me – I cut the first slice and was really enthusiastic. It doesn’t crumble like most other breads, it is gooey inside, crisp outside. It’s moist but not wet. Fluffy when you bite it. Perfect as sandwich bread, for jam or with tuna salad, with the last pumpkin soup of this winter or roasted with tomatoes on. Whatever comes into your mind.

Finally a bread that doesn’t need eggs, that doesn’t crumble when you cut it, a bread that is super easy as well, doesn’t need to be kneaded, doesn’t need to rise for hours in a warm place. I finished the bread after 6 days and stored it in a clay pot.

You can make a few bread loafs ahead, slice and freeze them. This way you have bread every time you want. I did this during this last winter.

With so many breads I tried out this is one very easy and very good one. You can add some spices like a ready bread spice mixture or Mediterranean herbs. I for sure will try a few different ways in future, also only white flours for a more ‘simple’ bread. And I will use psyllium husk in more bakery to get this gooey effect. It makes the dough more elastic.

Psyllium Bread
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
16 slices 20 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
1.5 hours 30 minutes
Servings Prep Time
16 slices 20 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
1.5 hours 30 minutes
Psyllium Bread
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
16 slices 20 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
1.5 hours 30 minutes
Servings Prep Time
16 slices 20 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
1.5 hours 30 minutes
Dry ingredients:
Wet ingredients:
Servings: slices
  1. In a bowl put first the water and the vinegar. Add the psyllium husk stiring with a whisk. It will get jelly very fast. Set aside for 30 minutes.
  2. In the meanwhile in another bowl add all the other ingredients and whisk them well.
  3. Preheat the oven to 250°C/480°F.
  4. Now add the psyllium husk jelly to the dry bread ingredients and start to combine. It will take about 10 minutes to have a homogenous dough. It will be lightly moist and sticky. Form a round or long bread and place on a parchment paper on a baking sheet. Put in the oven and bake for around 20 minutes. Then turn the heat a little down to 190°C/370°F.
  5. When the bread is golden check if it is ready. Take the bread out and knock on the bottom. If the sound is hollow it is ready. Otherwise leave the bread in the oven for another 10 minutes or until it sounds ready.
  6. Let the bread cool out completely on a cooling rack. Best over night.
Recipe Notes

You can choose your own flours and try out what is best to your taste. Even plain white gluten-free flour is a possibility for a more simple sandwich bread.

A great idea is to put some herbs or spices to make a Mediterranean bread or maybe a curry bread for an Indian touch. 

You can put all kinds of seeds or nuts you like, but don't overload.

I sprinkled a little rice flour on the top before baking to give it a more 'bakery' look.

I store my bread in a clay pot. You can also freeze it, best after slicing it. This way you have ready portions. 

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Slowly Nature Awakes – Spring 2022

Spring is one of the most amazing seasons. Nature shows every year again that from apparently dead environment life comes again.

Winter has not been particularly cold, there was nearly no snow, just a couple of weeks ago for a few days. Not very much rain but many sunny cool days. I used the time to clean and build and do all sorts of work in the garden. Especially because there is still no real garden.

In the end of February I started to wish spring would arrive soon. Coldness is important for plants, animals and also for us humans. But the warmer weather is just a little nicer. And finally everywhere flowers show up, leaves are showing the first light green.

This way I found a wild or abandoned pear, apple, plum, apricot and peach tree. All flowering. The calendula is growing nearly everywhere, just such a joy to look at them and to listen the many insects getting their nectar.

Wandering around in the fields I found a lot of leopoldia comosa. A kind of muscari that of called lampascione. They are eaten in Italy. You can conserve them in oil. It is a delicacy. I should go and collect them.

Spring is knocking on the door and I really welcome this with a lot of joy.

Celebrate spring!

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River of Times (A Mystery Story) – Where do I come from, where am I going?

She was lying on a rather uncomfortable bed, although it wasn’t really uncomfortable at all, but rather unusual. The pad was made from straw, covered with a thick linen sheet. She herself was covered with a wool-cover. The pillow filled with hay. She was still in her under-dress, only the linen overdress she took off. She was surrounded by absolute silence. No car horns, no young people talking under the window, no barking dogs. Oh, that was the best: she couldn’t hear her neighbor’s little dog barking without stop. That alone would be a reason not to go home.

Home! Fear welled up in her again. Would she ever be home again? See her friends, her parents? They would be worried in a few days at the latest, desperately looking for her, getting scared. And she couldn’t tell them she’s fine, she just has a ‘crazy adventure’. And soon everything would be ‘normal’ again. But what is normal?

Mertlin came to her mind. The long conversation she had with him in his herb garden. Exactly the kind of monastery garden she had always imagined and not nearly as accurate as it was always described in historical books. More of a coexistence of the plants than a strict separation. And a true fragrance experience. And insects, more than she had ever seen before. Birds chirped everywhere. To her the air seemed completely different. So pure, so clear, her lungs filled with oxygen with every breath, as if she were wearing an oxygen mask. She was incredibly clear in her head.

The old monk had listened to her with much patience and attention. And wanted to help her get back to her time. In her time… so time-travel was possible after all? But how? Mertlin said one doesn’t always need to have an answer for everything and sometimes just accepting things as they are is easier.

He had known her since childhood, he had told her. She was admitted to the monastery as a foundling, even though it was an all-male monastery. Frieda had a son, Thomas, at the same time, so she raised Adelais with her. Tho became her brother, best friend and confidant. Since both children were extremely bright and brother Richard was quiet enthusiastic about the quick learning ability of both, they were taught reading, writing and mathematics. Adelais in particular had a habit of reading through nights in the library. She had taught herself Latin (she could actually read Latin without ever having learned it).

She wasn’t very obedient, only did things that she understood and that made sense to her, was inquisitive and not at all shy. However, strangers were initially observed by her so that she could decide on the best way to behave towards them. Mertlin loved her quick and intelligent grasp of situations. And her intense interest in medicine and herbs, too.

In the morning she had had a discussion with Tho, she was told. Tho wouldn’t say what it was about, but she must have told him that ‘then’ she would go away forever. And she was gone. They had been looking for her all day. What was the argument about? She didn’t know. And why had she bathed in the ‘Forbidden River’?

For her it was a journey into the past, Mertlin saw it as if she had taken a journey into the future. Where did she really belong?

With a sigh, she closed her eyes and fell asleep.

Posted in The Storyteller | Tagged | 1 Comment

Sheep Invasion

In Italy sheep are still living the old way in many parts of the Abruzzo region. There is a shepherd, his guardian dogs, a couple of working dogs and of course a lot of sheep. They go where the grass is high, moving constantly.

I am currently living very much in the countryside of rural Abruzzo and last week a young guy came to tell me that he would like to bring his sheep for grazing. I told him that the owner always let sheep come in order to ‘clean up’ the wild. And the day I saw them coming: a long line of sheep, a barking dog jumping around and a lot of Abruzzese dogs.

It was incredible to see all these white animals to move on the green lawn. There was only one working dog, a little light-beige one with a mustache. But she was so good that just one bark would be enough to move the herd.

Most of the big white and some with black spots (they are no ‘clean’ breed) Abruzzese dogs were lying around, strategically to have all in the view, one was wandering around, to inspect the area. The shepherd, a young man, was just sitting in the sun and smoking his cigarettes or talking on the smartphone.

I very much enjoyed to watch them. How the little working dog just barked once and the sheep knew where to move. The dog understood well what the shepherd told him. The guardian dogs didn’t do anything more than assure a secure stay for the group.

They came another two times and every time I spent a little time to watch them. They will come back more often until mid May, the shepherd told me. Then they will walk up to the mountains and stay there until September/October. Before they go up into the mountains the sheep will be fleeced. Did you know that sheep wool is perfect for mulching your plants? But that is another story …

Posted in Abruzzo, Europe, Italy, ON TRAVEL, reflections | Tagged | 1 Comment

Healthy Eating with Homegrown Vegetables

There are many ways to eat healthy but the best maybe is with homegrown vegetables and fruits. Especially when they are not treated with any chemicals, grown in the permaculture style, healthy for humans and environment.

After a long time of nearly total absence I want to restart with my blog this year. We are still ‘locked away’ because of what is going on in the civilization but as I am living in the country for me many things are different. And I want to start to talk about my gardening, especially all around food.

Last year I already put a few recipes for preserves. Fruit and vegetables are great when freshly picked and prepared or eaten, but in the winter there is much less of all and the best is to preserve and can a lot of what we harvest during summer and autumn.

I was very lucky this year as I am again in a new home but the home-owner has a lot of land around and already put up a vegetable garden. Lucky also because he was not at all interested anymore in harvesting and let all to me. So I had from one moment to the other fruits and vegetables for a couple of families to my own.

The photos I took during the seasons summer, autumn and winter. With the to me never ending harvest of tomatoes I canned a lot. But I also tried out new ways to preserve like to sun-dry. I never did before. I started with tomatoes last year. This year I want to sundry much more like figs and berries if I find.

I want to harvest also more wild fruits like elderberry and sloes. I found a lot of wild growing asparagus, chard (whole year round nearly) and fennel. Of course I use wild flowers and ‘weeds’ like field-calendula, starweed and much more.

In my vegetable garden I found lettuce, peas, two types of beans, onions, garlic, potatoes, two types of tomatoes, zucchini, eggplants, hot chilies, winter melon and pumpkin. Around here in the wild I found a lot of cherries, figs, kaki, medlar, grapes, walnuts, almonds and hazelnuts (I missed the last ones as I came too late here). I got more fruits from my friend nearby and I was juicing like crazy (around 50 liters).

Here you can find some of my preserve recipes. There will be much more coming this year I am sure.

What I missed? Flowers. There were little wild flowers as the land owner was always cleaning the fields to leave them bare in the very hot summer sun. I will try to have flowers as well this year.

I really had a crazy year, not only for the world situation but also privately with my new home. But I enjoyed it very much, though sometimes I was on the edge of struggling in such a small place I live in. Now in winter I am enjoying my preserves and harvest every day. I have genuine, healthy and super tasty food, I rarely go to a supermarket, a farmer nearby has eggs and meat from free-ranged animals, I know farmers they sell ancient grains/flour I can use for (occasionally) bread and cookies.

Let’s rock this new year, let us make the best out of it! Happy 2022!

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