Ruby’s Smørrebrød with Fennel, Flax, Poppy & Chilli


Series 9

This seeded, lightly spiced Danish rye bread is ideal for breakfast or brunch. Each topping will make 4 ‘open’ sandwiches.

Serves: 1 loaf (16 slices)
Difficulty: Needs skill
Hands-On Time: 1 hr, plus rising
Baking Time: 35 mins
  • Ingredients
  • Method
Print recipe

Step 1
Make the dough. Place both the flours, along with the yeast, salt, all the seeds and the chilli powder into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook.

Step 2
Mix the treacle with the water and pour into the bowl. Mix on medium speed for 10 minutes, to a soft, slightly sticky dough. If the dough looks too dry, add more warm water. Place the dough in a well-oiled bowl, cover with cling film and leave to rise in a warm place for 1 hour, until about doubled in size.

Step 3
Transfer the dough to a lightly dusted worktop and knead briefly to knock out any air. Shape into a smooth oval loaf and place it into the prepared tin. Place the tin into a proving bag or cover loosely with cling film and leave in a warm place for a further 1 hour, until the dough has risen to the top of the tin. Towards the end of the proving time, heat the oven to 220°C/200°C fan/425°F/Gas 7.

Step 4
Lightly dust the loaf with rye flour. Slash 5 diagonal cuts across the top, then bake for 35 minutes, until dark brown and the base sounds hollow when tapped. Turn out onto a wire cooling rack for at least 30 minutes to cool before cutting.

Step 5
To make the tandoori topping. In a large bowl, stir together the tandoori, garlic and ginger pastes, then add the garam masala, cumin, onion and chilli and stir to combine. Add the chicken, stir to coat and leave to marinate, covered, in the fridge for about 1 hour.

Step 6
Make the raita. Mix the red onion and tomatoes into the yogurt with the garam masala, salt, chilli powder and a squeeze of lemon.

Step 7
Dice the reserved core of the cucumber. Place in a bowl and squeeze over a little lemon juice and season to taste with pepper.

Step 8
Cook the tandoori chicken. Heat the oil in a medium pan over a medium heat. Remove the chicken from the marinade and fry for about 5 minutes, until cooked through. Set aside.

Step 9
Spread the raita over 4 slices of bread, top with equal amounts of the cucumber ribbons, then the chicken and sprinkle with diced cucumber, feta and preserved lemon (if using). Serve straightaway.

Step 10
To make the asparagus and avocado topping, put the mashed avocado in a bowl and add the chopped onion and coriander. Season with lemon juice, salt and pepper.

Step 11
Fry the chorizo in a small pan over a medium heat for 3–4 minutes, until the slices release their oil. Set aside.

Step 12
Boil the asparagus tips for 4 minutes, until just tender. Drain well, then melt the butter in a griddle pan over a medium heat, add the asparagus and cook for 1–2 minutes, until lightly charred.

Step 13
Boil the quail eggs in a small pan for 1 minute, drain, then immediately run under cold water to stop them cooking. Remove the shells and cut the eggs in half.

Step 14
Spread the avocado equally over 4 slices of bread, arrange the asparagus spears, chorizo and quail egg halves on top and season with a little more salt and black pepper. Serve immediately.