I’ve been recently travelling inside my city quite a bit, thanks to the school visits that I’ve scheduled. Several schools where nowhere near the center nor the metro but one of the schools was almost inside one of the famous St Petersburg markets. Apraksin Dvor‘s been here since the 18th century and is famous for its fires (circa once a century) just as it’s famous for its goods. It’s now been renovated (for what I’ve seen – they’ve just shut down some of the blocks) but the thing is – it never changes, it’s truly a world on its own.
Bankovsky Lane leading to the market
So, for those who are in search of something unique in St Petersburg – go to Aprashka, or Apraksin Dvor (Market of Apraksin), but just be careful, ok? I actually prefer to avoid this place as much as I avoid the nearby Sennoy Market. Apraksin Dvor is a city within a city, with its rules, its habitants and its kitch à la Russe everywhere. Guaranteed are huge checkered bags, dummies dressed in really weird fashion, fake Dolce Gabana etc. all over the place and lots of non-Slavic languages. This time I’ve just walked through (or rather marched through pausing for some photos) but once we went there with the designer who was working on the Mariinsky Theatre production. He’s refined British artist and was a bit shocked by the ehm atmosphere. But, well, when you’re looking for a dozen faked designer handbags for the actors impersonating New-Russian oligarch wives, there’s just nowhere else to go better than this market.
This is the street I was referring to in my previous post, Kazanskaya Street (the one which starts with the Kazan Cathedral). Old building of various styles and sizes, all jammed together. Almost seems as if they’re not straight or something 🙂 Some days ago when I was waiting for the lights to turn green at the corner of Kazanskaya I looked up and saw the sky criss-crossed with electricity wires. Haha, babies born is St Petersburg should be really shocked the first time they realize the sky actually looks a bit different – neat and boring : )
And now on to some food. I’ve collected for you two tasty recipes for your loaf dish, here we go.
A year ago – Ramble On with some child-related memories
And this year – Walnut, Date & Honey Cake adapted from the unfailing www.bbcgoodfood.com will make a chewy loaf cake with crunchy topping
Go to the original post to see the entire recipe. My changes (yeah, inevitable…) were:
- a lot less butter
- regular sugar instead of muscovado sugar
- black currant jam (my Granny’s of course) instead of honey
- no dates
- almonds & hazelnuts instead of walnuts
Result: Mom said the best part of this sweet bread was its crunchy topping made of nuts. I think the jam was also a good idea as it added these tiny berries which were just fine as a substitute for dates. I know that my cake was haha not the original cake at all but a very nice variant indeed.
And one more recipe for your hard-working loaf dish. Mine is made of glass and it’s one of those first kitchenware things my Mother bought when those things appeared in the post-Soviet market. Oh yeah, the open market finally it was. The dish is battered alright but still a very much used thing.
Sourdough Oatmeal Bread adapted from meditationsandbread.com (thank you Amanda!) will make a wholesome loaf crusty outside and no less chewy inside
- I used my rye starter which always turns my sourdough loaves into rye-ish bread
- instead of all-purpose or bread flour with which you’re supposed to feed the starter I added rye flour + rye bran, so you can imagine the colour of the bread
- I added rye flour + wheat bran to the dough which made it even stickier but I’m accustomed to that already
- honey instead of molasses
I had to bake my loaf a bit longer – I took it out of the pan and baked a bit more on the oven rack. I usually do it cause the residual moisture seem to prevent the crust to be, well, the crust you want!
Result: This is one of those ‘light’ sourdough recipes by which I mean an easier sourdough recipe. You still need some hours for this loaf but not that much. I did not witness the inside of the bread actually nor did I taste it. You have to believe my parents who did.) They say it was good. No photo of the slices, sorry!
Will come back with more recipes, though I do not promise that’ll be soon. We’re all having quite a hot time right now with our jobs!