This Nori Foccacia Bread recipe was a surprising success for me! I hand-harvested some purple nori seaweed (Porphyra purpurea) here in Cornwall during Winter. Its delicate texture got me thinking that it might work well as as raw ingredient in bread. Indeed, it gave a…
Nori doesn’t just come in sealed packets, shipped across the world in the form of nori sheets. Nori (Porphyra) can also be picked fresh in Winter on Cornish coasts and from European waters. No plastic, no air miles, just fresh nori goodness.
Freshly picked nori needs to be dried to create the same taste as nori sheets. I share how to dry, flake and store seaweeds, as well as guidance on when, where and how to pick seaweeds sustainably in my award-winning seaweed book.
Here I share a recipe which uses flaked nori seaweed, combined with rye, oatmeal and roasted buckwheat to create a rustic cracker. These were shared on a seaweed foraging course with seaweed butter/oil or cheese. They were very moreish – everything always tastes better eaten outdoors on the beach!
Nori, Rye, Oatmeal and Roasted Buckwheat Cracker Recipe
These are easy to make, they store well and are full of natural goodness!
200 g white rye flour
100 g oatmeal (or ground porridge oats)
200 g roasted buckwheat grains
1 tbsp dried, ground nori
Large pinch of sea salt
2 tbsp oil (vegetable, olive oil or half and half of each)
200-230 ml water
Place all the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl and combined. Add the oil and gradually add the water until it makes a workable dough and set aside for half an hour to allow the moisture to be absorbed. Decide whether you want rustic, oval shaped crackers (1) or crackers shaped with biscuit cutters (2). Preheat the oven to 200°C/fan 180°C.
1. Break off walnut sized blobs and roll them out between two pieces of grease-proof paper to the thickness of the buckwheat seeds. If the dough is a little sticky, you can add more oatmeal. Roll in one direction to get tongue shaped crackers or keep turning them around to create rustic round crackers. You may need to change the baking paper if it gets too soggy.
2. Roll the dough out between two pieces of greaseproof paper and use a biscuit cutter to create the crackers. When pressing down the cutter into the dough, take this opportunity to press the dough more firmly together. My dough was quite crumbly, so doing this really helped!
Place the crackers on a large sheet of dry baking paper on an oven tray and bake for 15 minutes. Turn them half-way through with a fish slice or similar (they will be fragile) until all the water has evaporated and they have turned a little brown. Allow to cool on a cooling rack and store in an airtight container.
Made for Valentine’s Day, some hearts break easily, some stay whole, still delicious! If you try this recipe, I’d love to hear from you, tag me on instagram @rachellambertwildfoodforaging or ping me a message.
I love sweet, it is one of the flavours of my childhood. When I was growing up, Sunday lunch was always a big deal and automatically included homemade pudding as part of the experience. In autumn I remember the warm fluffy texture of the meringue…
Karen Pirie, a Cornwall based podcaster recently joined me on a seaweed foraging course to record a podcast for her new venture; Cornwall Woman. I’ve known Karen for a few years and find her easy company. She travelled with me to meet our group of keen…
Yesterday I was crunching on frosty kelp, today the seaweeds are limp and wet again, having defrosted in the sun. It’s a lot for seaweeds to cope with, or is it?
In reverence to seaweed, and in celebration of the ‘proper’ snow we had 2 weeks ago (the first time in 10 years here in west cornwall!), I thought I’d write about seaweeds, snow, frost and freezing temperatures.
Do they like it? Can they survive? And, if they can, what are their secrets?
Frost catches a moment in time, and literally, freezes it, the effect is beautiful, though what is the impact for the weeds?
Firstly, seaweeds exist across the world, in vastly varying temperatures and conditions, from 50 metre long kelps, to microscopic organisms to seaweeds that never emerge above the water’s surface, to ones that are exposed to the sun, air and being dried out for more than 6 hours every day.
Each species of seaweed is suited to particular environments. Deep sea seaweeds (these are sub-tidal and never come above the sea’s surface) are used to more constant temperatures, while inter-tidal ones (which get exposed twice a day at low tide) are built to sustain almost extreme changes in temperature.
‘Most seaweeds would be killed if frozen. However high concentrations of tissues salts and organic solutes in the seaweed’s cells lower the freezing points.’
Basically, seaweeds have in-built anti-freeze which protects them from freezing.
In reality, this means that Bladder wrack (top image) can cope with -40° C for months, Egg wrack (above) can go to -20° C and some of the laver species (below) can remain unscathed at temperatures as low as -70°C for 24 hours or so, as well as cope with rather high temperatures in the hot sun.
I feel hot and cold just thinking about it.
My awe of these millions of years old organisms increase with this knowledge. Furthermore, seaweeds also work together to protect each other – they live layered on top of each other, which means just the top layer freezes and the lower seaweeds are kept at a more tolerable temperature.
Similarly, emperor penguins, which survive some of the most harshest conditions on earth huddle together to keep warm. They congregate in groups, sometimes in thousands, and those on the outside of the huddle protect those on the inside, and between them they circulate so no penguin is continuously on the outside. Of course, like seaweeds, penguins body is suited to the environment, yet working together is essential for them to survive extreme temperatures.
Here’s to the beauty of the snow, the amazing science of nature, and a thankful heart for having warm wellies to go and forage for those seaweeds in.
Images courtesy of; loriedarlin.tumblr.com, daily mail, Pam Collins and 500px.com