entertainingfoodFood & Drinkin the kitchen withkristina gillrecipes

in the kitchen with: karin eriksson

by Grace Bonney

this week’s designer in the kitchen, karin eriksson, is a perennial favorite at design*sponge. karin was nice enough to provide two incredible recipes. we’re starting to see that good designers also make good food! just click “read more” to find out more about karin and read her favorite recipes for twisted bread and isabella’s lentil soup. enjoy!

karin 3

A little about Karin in her own words:

I live and work in Stockholm, Sweden. I’m 37 years old and exactly ten years ago I switched careers from being a project manager in an advertising firm to training as a ceramic designer at Central St. Martin’s in London. Now I run my own business selling handmade ceramics. I get inspired by nature, fashion and by other people and their achievements. I love music and sing in a choir and am trying to improve my salsa dancing, I read whenever I get a spare moment, I love dinners – whether it’s with a whole party or with just my family – and meeting for coffee with friends. That’s me right now.

Twisted Bread

This recipe comes from my favourite Swedish cook-book, “Annas mat” (Anna’s food) by Anna Bergenström

25 grams yeast (1 ounce)
1.3 litre wheat flower (5.5 cups)
6 dl lukewarm water (2.5 cups)
2 tbs salt (30 grams)

This is the easiest bread ever. Allow it to rise for a couple of hours, a longer rising time only makes it taste more. Crumble the yeast into a bowl and strew salt over it. Stir it out with a little bit of the water. Add the rest of the water. Add flour and stir. Cover the bowl and let the dough rise for around 2 hours. Heat the oven to 250-275 C (480-530F). Butter a baking-tray. Pour (it is quite liquid) the dough out on a very floury baking table. Do not knead (that is the secret)! Cut with a sharp knife into three parts and form them into three oblong baguettes. Twist the dough with floury hands and put the twisted baguettes on the baking-tray. Cut them with a sharp knife. Let rise for 10-15 minutes. Bake in the hot oven for 15 minutes. Lower the temperature to 150C (300F) and bake for another 15-20 minutes.

karin 3

Isabella’s lentil soup

This recipe is from my friend Isabella and its perfect for chilly fall evenings.

olive oil
lime leaves or lemon grass (I use half a stick of lemon grass)
2 piri-piri
a bit of fresh ginger
4-5 cloves of garlic
30 grams red Thai curry paste (1 tablespoon)
6 dl chopped leeks (2.5 cups)
3 dl red lentils (1.25 cups)
5 chopped potatoes
1.5 litre water (6.3 cups)
vegetable stock
4-5 chopped tomatoes
salt and pepper to taste

Heat the lime leaves finely chopped, piri-piri, ginger, garlic and red Thai curry paste in olive oil for a minute or two. The amount of seasoning you use is really personal depending on how hot you like your soup, the above are just recommendations. Rinse the lentils and add them to the seasoning paste together with stock, chopped potatoes and leek. Bring to the boil and reduce to a simmer. Loosely place a lid on the pot leaving slightly ajar as to allow some evaporation. Cook for about 40 minutes until the lentils are tender. Add salt and pepper to taste. I like pressing some lemon into my soup and put a spoonful of crème fraîche on top of the hot soup.

About these recipes:

I chose this bread and soup because although I’m terribly short of time these days I always have time to make the twisted baguettes since they require a minimum of time from my side. And the soup…I just love soup. Give me soup daily and I’ll be quite content. Especially in the autumn when it’s getting colder. I also love bowls of course although i do enjoy drinking soup from a mug once in a while.

The soup bowl, spice pots, and spoon rest are Karin’s own creations.

Compiled by Kristina of Three Layer Cake

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  • Every recipe that has been posted so far looks AMAZING. I haven’t had time to make any of them yet, but definitely intend to. Once enough recipes are compiled, you should have a cookbook designed and available for sale. I would definitely buy a Design*Sponge cookbook!

  • thanks guys! so glad you like them, kristina and the designers are doing such a great job.

    and you know leigh, i’ve never been keen to do a book before but i’d love to compile all of these. maybe we could do them for fun at the holiday time.


  • That bread erally looks great, can’t wait to try it, but I’m confused about the instruction: ‘Cut them with a sharp knife.’ that comes after putting the baguettes on the baking tray… If you could just explain that, I would really appreciate it. thanks!

  • i’m a soup person too, and i think that one of the best things about all is that it means i can start eating soup again without overheating. it’s been so rainy, windy and stormy in vancouver this week, that all i’ve been wanting to eat is soup. this will be the perfect thing for the weekend. it looks beautiful! i am going to try adapting that bread for spelt and/or kamut and will write back with how that goes.

  • i meant to say “the best thing about Fall is”. oops.

    you can’t crumble plain old active dry yeast. i think that karin’s recipe calls for live yeast like what bakeries use that isn’t available in grocery stores here. if that’s the case you need to adjust the yeast quantity listed above. there’s a formula for it that i can’t remember off the top of my head, and since i have no idea how to convert weight into volume for live yeast i can’t help!

  • s.o.s.

    i’ve bought yeast like this at specialty shops before, but you can also buy this kind from a local bakery. well, at least mine down the street lets me ;)


  • How can I get my hands on those spice pots! They are divine. I could not locate them on your website. Thanks!

  • Hi– I’ve baked with several different kinds of yeast. The 25g is a standard sized little yeast cake which is roughly equivalent to one packet of dry yeast (the tiny beads– 2 1/4 teaspoons or a quarter ounce package) that we use in the U.S. Unfortunately, from what I’ve learned and what I’ve always done, the dry yeast needs to be proofed first, and then added to the flour. You would *not* add salt to the water when you are proofing, as it would kill the yeast. Stir the salt directly into the flour.

    For quick references on these types of things, I like to consult Baking911: http://www.baking911.com/howto/yeast_proof.htm

    For the conversions I don’t know off the top of my head, I’ve used the calculators at gourmetsleuth.com . One note: For all of the metric conversions I use 125g = 1 cup of flour as a base. I think 150g per cup is a bit too much. In this recipe, you may need to add flour according to your specific conditions.


  • I did some more reading and I seem to understand that in the U.S., the size of the yeast cakes that are available are different than the sizes here (Italy). One cake is 25g here (almost 1 oz.) whereas in the U.S. they seem to be smaller– either .6 ounce or 2 oz. So you will need to use 40% more than what I wrote above… (I usually just use 1 tablespoon of active dry yeast in place of the fresh yeast cake NOT instant yeast). It’s about a 2:1 ratio. So what does that come out to in grams?? Ugh.. let’s see uh…about a tablespoon. But please check around on the internet. Making bread isn’t like making cakes though. If you use too little, your bread will just be a bit flatter, but it shouldn’t be a pancake!!!

  • wow, you seem to have already figured out about the yeast and piri-piri and cutting in the bread… ;)
    Lauren – the spice pots were made for a wood firing course I did once and they cannot be repeated but I can make similar ones, in fact I do make similar ones :)

  • I made the soup and bread last night! the soup was very yummy. There were no piri piri to be found so I used habanero – only about half a small pepper. It could have been hotter for me, but my husband said it was perfect. The bread was tricky because of priming the yeast and the different standard sizes, but it still turned out great. I used too much salt and next time I’ll use a combo of white and wheat flours. Yummy, easy recipe!

  • I’ve tried the bread recipe and while the shape turned out great, the bread was way too salty. Next time I would use less than half of it.

  • Even though it’s been over two years, I have kept this page in the back of my mind as a recipe I want to try and I finally did! The bread worked beautifully even though it was dry before rising (it was quite moist afterwards, as the recipe suggests). I’m surprised that no one mentioned that there are no instructions on what to do with the tomatoes! I just put them in towards the end, 10 minutes before I was ready to eat. It came out really yummy, but I wonder if it would have been better if I’d put them in at the last minute?

  • Yum! I just made this soup and it was absolutely delicious. I added a little bit of fresh coriander when serving and I will definately be making this again!!

  • your photos are yummy enough to eat..just so gorgeous! being a vegetarian, i am always looking for delicious recipes that are do-able and have lots & lots of flavor!! thank you for your wonderful photography also..buon appetite!

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