Rachel´s Wanderings – Photographer, Stunning Scenery and Figgy Bread
A travelling interlude in this time of uncertainty was a welcome break. A break that took us to a town of inland Andalucia that we hadn´t been to before – Riogordo. This area east of Malaga is known as Axarquia and is a rich and winding land dotted with hillside towns of varying sizes, all unique.with Arab influences in architecture and agriculture.
Our base just outside Riogordo was the lovely Finca Riogordo B&B run by professional photographer Peter Laarakker and his wife Marina. The B&B is adorned with stunning photographs and is in itself very photogenic, a lovely small hostelry with welcoming owners and stunning views just perfect for an escape or photography classes. Our overnight stay was the worst day weatherwise we´d had for months, we´d caught the edge of storm Alex and it was rather wild. Dramatic grey clouds sat atop the mountain range Sierra de Tejeda, Almijara y Alhama and later on rain and mist obliterated the lot. Not that we minded as it was a special evening with dinner by a Belgian ex Michelin star chef, the only downside was it wasn´t al fresco!
As a bit of a foodie dinner was a highlight but then came breakfast which was a feast in its own right. Homemade jam and peanut butter, honey caramelized grapefruit, homemade apple cake, homemade walnut and fig bread, cheese, jamon, eggs if wanted, oodles of tea of whatever variety you can think of and great coffee. Finca Gordo is a great stay and my introduction to fig and walnut bread for which I googled a Spanish recipe – this will become a frequent bake in my house now. It may not be as good as Marina´s but good it is! So I will be drying figs again and walnuts scatter the ground right now so I´m picking up as many of those as I can too.
- 100 gr dried figs
- 75 gr skinned walnuts
- 150 ml water
- 250 gr plain flour
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 level tbsp brown sugar
- 15 gr de fresh yeast or 5 gr dried yeast
- Preheat the oven 220º and put a bowl of water in (you get a better crust when the oven is humid). Remove the water before cooking the bread.
- Moisten the figs with warm warm and add the yeast.
- Put the flour in a big bowl and add the water with yeast in, salt, sugar and oil. Work the dough well until it is smooth and shiny (add more flour if necessry and leave to rise.
- Knead again, add the walnuts and figs and knead for a further 5 mins. Rest again for half an hour.
- Cut dough into two and form short French sticks. Put on oiled greaseproof paper and lower the oven to 200º bake until brown and set when stabbed with a skewer.
Fancy a visit to Finca Gordo – the website is a feast for your eyes.