”I’ve been out spotting the new shoots and up pop the nutrient dense nettle. Everyone knows stinging nettles as they are abundant and have a sting delivered quite precisely through needles on the stem. 100% the most under-utilised ingredient but also many other uses in medicine, blood flow especially for joints, fabrics, dyes and much more. I’ll do more videos on this hard hitter. I must warn you though I have a book called 1001 things to do with nettles.GeorgeFlavour Fred
When I see the new nettles I always look to my previous years dried stock. Just like with herbs you can bundle, tie and hang in a dry ventilated space and they dry. You do need to be cautious when collecting nettles mainly when they are in seed during summer. I’ll come back to that later but the seeds are also powerhouses so it’s a suitable swap.
Stripping the leaves for a later date is a must and blending for enriching with nutrients on an already enriched bread seemed fitting. I have a recipe below which has ingredients for both plant based and with eggs and butter. This is adapted from a traditional recipe to incorporate the nettles.
makes 3 3-plait challah
200ml warm water
(Other foragers with use plantain seeds – will be doing that later in the year)
80g plant butter / butter
800g strong white flour
30g fresh yeast
100 ml plant milk / milk
20g chia seeds / 2 eggs
25g dried nettles
Plant milk or egg yolk and milk for brushing before baking.
Mix the water with the fresh yeast and add in the dried nettle to rehydrate. If doing the plant based version I put in the chia seeds now to get the consistency of a thicker liquid in the place of the eggs. Otherwise use eggs and omit the chia. Melt the butter and add the rest of the ingredients except the salt mix with a dough hook then add the salt as it comes together. Cover with a damp towel and allow to prove and double in size.