20 . 05 . 17
Cabbage & Nutmeg Jersey rolls
Dough is wrapped in cabbage leaves to stop it from burning. Recipe and image by Julia Georgallis, adapted from an old Jersey recipe.
When I was 18, I found myself living in student digs in deepest, darkest, suburbanest Surrey. I stayed in a building that was originally a women’s prison down the end of an incredibly quiet residential road, complete with graveyard, living alongside a weirdly high proportion of Channel Islanders, mainly from Jersey and Guernsey. I have no idea why they were all in Art School, but there they were, navigating how not die without their mums along with me. There were some particularly hilarious meals that I remember from my first year away from home, a three course dinner made entirely with the fondue set, 3 am Melton Mowbray eating sessions, endless potato smiley faces and that one time someone brought home a pheasant (I did say I was in Surrey, didn’t I?). But a recipe that has stuck with me over the last 10 years was the mystical cabbage loaf (dough baked in cabbage) that a very dear Jerseyite friend mentioned to me which is native to the Channel Islands. I’ve finally got round to giving it a go. The lovely thing about this recipe is that cabbages are almost always in season and it works well with most types (though red is a bit tricky). Wrapping the bread in the cabbage gives it a really nice, almost salty, flavour and keeps it very moist – it was originally baked in a cabbage to stop it from burning… I’ve mainly experimented with bread rolls as they cook through better when covered by the cabbage’s leaves. Enjoy!
Makes approximately 5 rolls…
1000 g white strong bread flour
700 g water
20 g fresh yeast (or 10g dried yeast)
50 g natural yeast starter
10 g salt
1 tbsp nutmeg
A good bit of pepper
Cabbage leaves that have been oiled using olive oil (use any type of cabbage but red)
1. Add fresh or dried yeast to water and leave for 20 minutes.
2. Add sourdough starter to the water and yeast.
3. Add flour and mix into a rough dough, leave to rest for 20 minutes.
4. Dissolve salt into 2 tbspn water and add to the dough, stretching and folding until you have a smooth consistency.
6. Add in the nutmeg and pepper, making sure it is evenly mixed throughout the dough. Leave to prove for 3 hours, stretching and folding every half an hour.
7. Weigh and shape the dough into balls of 210 g balls and leave covered in the fridge overnight.
8. In the morning, lay cabbage leaves onto a floured surface, then arrange the dough balls onto oiled leaves. You can use any type of cabbage, but the leaves must be bigger than the dough balls, as they shrink in the oven.
9. Score the dough and lay another leaf on top, so that the rolls are covered.
10. Bake for 35 minutes as hot as your oven will go, adding water in a shallow pan at the bottom the oven to create steam for the bread.
11. Once baked, unwrap the bread and enjoy!