70 Inches of Snow = Dreams of Far Away Desserts + Reiska Bread Recipe

Reiska Bread

About a week ago the temperature went up into the lower 50s. The snow pack melted.  There was the hope that a glimmer of respite from the mini-mountains of snow that blocked the streets would disappear.  I could see the sidewalks again.  (This is Minnesota – wait a minute.) A storm rolled into Minneapolis this weekend. The snow depth was 13 inches after the snow came down for 24 hours.  I watched the sideways winds between the houses blow snow for hours.  A friend from California called to tell me that the weather was mild, but the snow decked the distant mountain tops that were seen on horizon.

Spending time locked up in winter, I cooked high carb meals and dreamed of a fancy white tablecloth restaurant in some far away land that served lovely desserts, which by the chef’s request I had to eat.  Well, it was only a dream of desserts.  Such is winter.  Another snowstorm is expected this weekend.  More dessert dreams please? (Since I can’t eat butter, sigh, I have to stop watching Julia Child and her guest bakers.)

The bread making challenge is still going on with a successful Rieska Bread from the Tassajara Recipe Book by Edward Espe Brown*.  This bread is a shorten version of a recent Limpa Bread that I made. It calls for baking powder and yeast.  The time involved is shortened. It’s part quick bread and part yeast bread.

Here’s the recipe. It makes one loaf. (I already ate it.)


½ teaspoon dry yeast

¼ cup warm water

1 teaspoon molasses

½ cup of white flour

½ cup of whole wheat flour

1 cup barley or rye flour, or ½ cup each (or, another cup of whole wheat flour)

1 teaspoon of baking powder

3 teaspoons of anise seed

¼ teaspoon of ground cloves or 6 whole cloves

½ teaspoon of cinnamon or equivalent cinnamon sticks ground

½ teaspoon mace

Grated peel of one small orange

¾ cup milk or light cream

2 tablespoons of melted butter


Dissolve the yeast in the warm water and add the molasses. Set aside.

Put the flours in a bowl with the baking powder.

Grind the spices in a spice grinder to make a fine powder.  Then stir them into the flours along with the orange peel.

Make a well in the center and pour in the milk, melted butter, and dissolved yeast mixture. Stir together until all the ingredients are well combined.  Do not stir more than this, as it will tend to toughen the dough.

Shape the dough into a circle with your floured hands and pat it smooth on top.  Place on a buttered baking sheet.  (Or parchment paper)

Prick the top of the bread with a fork and then bake in a 400˚ oven for about 45 minutes or until nicely browned.

Notes: No The bread is dense and moist. It has a nice spice and hearty taste that goes with lots of different toppings.  Cream cheese and jams are a couple that come to mind.

Your comments are welcome.

* Brown, Edward Espe; The Tassajara Recipe Book; Shambala Publications, Inc. 1985

About kunstkitchen

Visual artist and writer hunting words, languages, visions, and insight in my kitchen - connecting Art (Kunst) and culture and slow food cooking. Credits: Do not own a microwave oven and never have. Do not own a food processor. Chopped veggies in a Zen monastery for a weekend. (Seriously) Classically trained artist. Paint and draw with traditional materials. Live in the Northland where it's six months of winter. Appreciate the little things in life. Sharing food and art experiences and the lessons that my talented and generous friends have given me.
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