Weekend in Rome, bread baking again


I had three days in Rome, and as usual baked some bread, between seeing friends and sorting bank issues. I’d bought some buckwheat flour in Paris to make crêpes, and used some here. Some items in my food cupboards in Accra and Rome have terrible food miles. Anyway, I wanted an everyday loaf that would freeze and slice well, so I keep trying variations of no-knead bread. This is getting close to what I have in mind. Sourdough would be better, hopefully I can get back to that eventually.


At my old bus stop in Garbatella: things do not change that much.


May weekend bread  (this made 4 small loaves)

25 g fresh yeast (or 12 grammes dry yeast)
3 tsp salt
1300 grammes white wheat flour (here, 00)
250 grammes wholewheat flour
100 grammes fine rye flour
100 grammes buckwheat flour (farine de sarassin)
50 grammes flax seeds

1.5 litre water  (sorry I forgot this when first posting)

Dissolve the fresh yeast in the water, then add everything else. Mix everything well, fold and fold with a strong spatula. Cover bowl (I use a plastic shower cap) and leave it to double for a few hours at room temperature. I folded it again, then divided dough between four mall parchment-lined bread tins. With bigger tins this might make 3 large loaves. Leave to double again, with a kitchen towel covering the tins. Heat oven to 230C and slash the tops with scissors right before loaves go in, so edges do not crack. Bake for 45 minutes or so, depending on your oven. Cool on rack before slicing.

Note: this dough was a little less wet than last time.


Garbage piling up in Rome. There is a good system for separating rubbish (bins for plastic and aluminum, paper, organic, glass and then the rest) but when it does not get collected, it quickly accumulates. Accra is not the only city with a waste problem.


On a more pleasant note, despite the bad graffiti, the street shrines are still there, with plastic flowers and candles.

Hopefully not dumsor….

For the third evening, our part of Accra and parts of the country have had power cuts. Not too bad tonight, but the last two evenings lights were blinking and power went on and off, not great for anything electrical. My voltage regulator had already been dusted off, after having laptop chargers fried: it keeps the voltage stable when the network fluctuates, only way to charge a laptop safely. The power company changed from ECG to PDS, and while officials say it is not officially dumsor here, the problems are expected to continue for five more days.

Dumsor. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. In Ghana, a dumsor (Akan pronunciation: [dum sɔ] ‘off and on’) is a persistent, irregular, and unpredictable electric power outage. The frequent Ghanaian blackouts are caused by power supply shortage.

Walking home tonight, the roar of generators across our neighborhood reminded me of our first year in Accra when power outages were the norm.  It’s gotten much better since that, so hopefully it’s better by next week. Not that we can complain, at least we have generators and money to run those.

Meanwhile back in Rome, there has been outcry after an overzealous contractor from the capital’s urban decor department painted over the classic “Vota Garibaldi” grafitti from 1948 in our neighborhood yesterday.  The sign is now being restored.

Before:Vota Garibaldi

No-knead November loaf in Garbatella


Heading back to Accra after some days in Rome, in our neighborhood of Garbatella. In Caro Diario, Nanni Moretti drives through this archway on his Vespa. Garbatella is getting trendier, which still seems odd, but is still a great place to live and visit.


Piazza Eurosia in sunshine, with Roman fragments.


Via delle Sette Chiese. Oh yes, and I baked! I actually doubled this and made one big and two small loaves, but here is enough for one.

No-knead loaf in Garbatella

5 grammes fresh yeast (or 3 grammes dry)
425 grams water
100 grammes wholewheat flour
400 grammes white wheat flour
a handful of sunflower seeds
8 grammes salt

Mix all this up, to a shaggy mess and  leave it on kitchen counter with bowl covered for a few hours while you go for apertivi.  When you are back, fold the dough over itself with a spatula for a couple minutes, until you have a firmer dough ball that can be tipped over into parchment paper. Lift that into a bowl or baking tin, cover it and leave in fridge overnight to rise. Next morning, heat oven to 250C and bake for 25-30 minutes. Cool before slicing, and enjoy!