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Randy Weston–African Cookbook

** Chef Larry Edwards is the author of the International bestselling cookbook “Edwardian Cooking: 80 Recipes Inspired by Downton Abbey’s Elegant Meals” and the newly released “Style and Spice”. In October, 2017, his tribute to American comfort foods will be released called “The American Table.” You can follow the Chef on Twitter @ChefLarryEdward **

Chef Larry Edwards is currently working on a new cookbook with the countries which make up the United Nations and celebrating the one food all people have in common… Bread! All the countries in the United Nations will be apart of this book. It is the Chef’s true belief that the world can come together in peace by sharing our customs and our food. We truly are ONE WORLD*ONE TABLE!


When one thinks of the West African country of Niger, one probably doesn’t think along the lines of France. The fact of the matter is, the official language of Niger is French and this comes from the day when it was colonized by France (as was a lot of Africa).

Niger, or as it is legally known, The Republic of Niger, has 80% of its land mass covered by the Sahara Dessert and is currently suffering from over-population, with about forty-eight percent of its population being under the age of fifteen.

As a poor country, the food of Niger is what is known as “wholesome earth,” meaning foods from the earth which the people can grow or farm. Bushmeat (hunted meat) is very popular and so are whole grains. As with most African countries, bread is an important part of all daily meals and one of the most popular in Niger is Butter and Milk Bread.

BUTTER AND MILK BREAD (makes 8 pieces)

Ingredients needed to make Butter and Milk Bread:

2 ¼ tsp. dry yeast
2 Tbs. sugar
¾ cup warm milk
2 eggs, beaten
½ cup melted butter
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. salt

Steps:

1) In a large bowl, whisk the yeast, sugar and milk. Set the bowl aside for the yeast to proof (foam).
2) Into the proofed yeast, stir the eggs and butter.
3) Stir in the flour and salt to make a dough.
4) Place the dough onto a floured surface and knead 10 minutes.
5) Place the dough back into the bowl, cover and let raise 1 hour.
6) Place the dough onto a floured surface and knead a few minutes. Divide the dough into 8 portions and form each into a ball.
7) Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicon sheet.
8) Place the breads onto the prepared baking sheet and let them rise 1 hour. It is okay if they raise into one another.
9) Pre-heat your oven to 375 degrees.
10) Place into the oven and bake 35-40 minutes.
11) Remove from the oven and let cool on a wire rack.

For some, Aunt Jemima evokes feelings of anger over a racial stereotype of a black woman with no apparent life of her own. But just who were the real Aunt Jemimas – those black cooks and chefs whose craft and skill did so much to define American cuisine?

“Their cookbooks, their efforts, their accomplishments, their love of the kitchen, their joy, their intelligence — all of that disappeared,” food writer Toni Tipton-Martin tells NPR. To find those missing men and women, Tipton-Martin turned to her collection of around 300 African-American cookbooks, dating back almost 200 years. Her new book is The Jemima Code: Two Centuries of African American Cookbooks.

Beyond ‘Aunt Jemima’: A Taste Of African-American Culinary Heritage

** Chef Larry Edwards is the author of the International bestselling cookbook “Edwardian Cooking: 80 Recipes Inspired by Downton Abbey’s Elegant Meals” and the newly released “Style and Spice”. In October, 2017, his tribute to American comfort foods will be released called “The American Table.” You can follow the Chef on Twitter @ChefLarryEdward **


Chef Larry Edwards is currently working on a new cookbook with the countries which make up the United Nations and celebrating the one food all people have in common… Bread! All the countries in the United Nations will be apart of this book. It is the Chef’s true belief that the world can come together in peace by sharing our customs and our food. We truly are ONE WORLD*ONE TABLE!

When you are a West African country bordered by the Atlantic Ocean and the Sahara Desert, you would think your national dishes would be rather enticing. This is not really the case when it comes to the country of Mauritania. Mauritania is one of the poorest countries in Africa, where 20% of the population makes only $1.25 a day (American currency) and slavery was only deemed illegal in 2007.

As with most countries like Mauritania, legal name actually being the Islamic State of Mauritania, when it comes to their food the people must use and create from what little they can find. Breads are a very popular food in Mauritania (as they are in most very poor countries) and Seed Bread is the most common made in the homes. It is a very simple bread which gets its flavor from two popular seeds in the region: anise and sesame. It is a very simple bread, which is also very delicious and goes wonderfully well with stews and hearty soups.

SEED BREAD (Makes 1 loaf)

Ingredients needed to make Seed Bread:

1 ½ tsp. dry yeast
1 ¼ cups warm water
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
¼ tsp. salt
1 tsp. anise seeds
2 tsp. sesame seeds

Steps:

1) In a small bowl, whisk the yeast and ¾ cups warm water. Set the bowl aside 10 minutes for the yeast to proof (foam).
2) In a large bowl, whisk the flour, salt, anise seeds, and sesame seeds.
3) Stir in the proofed yeast and remaining warm water to form a dough.
4) Place the dough onto a floured surface and knead 5 minutes.
5) Using your hands, form the dough into a ball.
6) Flatten the dough into a 6-inch round and 1-inch thick.
7) Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicon sheet.
8) Place the dough onto the prepared baking sheet and let rise 2 hours in a warm area.
9) Pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees.
10) Place into the oven and bake 50 minutes.
11) Remove from the oven and let cool on a wire rack.