Nestled in Antwerp’s zigzagging streets of old and new is a warm little patisserie called Konditori. The baker, Steve van Huygevoort and his wife Angelique Smet, bring their worldly baking knowledge to the modern shopfront, providing a surprising assortment of original breads and pastries. Among them is rogge verdomme, an ancient Belgian bread, which has undergone a charming transformation.
Originating in the heart of Antwerp, rogge verdomme translates to ‘rye for the damned’. In the middle ages, a famous Dutch grain mill owner gifted the Het Steen castle (a prison between 1303–1827) prisoners and local poverty-stricken families loaves made from the leftover grains. A berry or raisin would be added to the bread to make it more edible. Piots are a modern, miniature version of this bread and are popular in Antwerp for breakfast with a coffee or for children as an after-school treat.
Piots served on an Andrei Davidoff plate courtesy of Craft Victoria. Photo by Beth Wilkinson for Lindsay.
500 g plain flour
225 g milk
35 g yeast
3 egg yolks
50 g sugar
10 g salt
80 g raisins
Serves: 20 / Skill level: Easy / Vegetarian
1. In a bowl, combine flour, milk, yeast, egg yolks, sugar and salt.
2. On a dusted surface, knead the mixture until you have a smooth dough. Leave to rest for 5 minutes.
3. Gradually knead raisins into the dough.
4. Leave the dough to rest in a cool place for a further 35 minutes.
5. Once the dough has risen, push the air out and divide into little balls (piots) weighing approximately 50 grams each. Let the piots set under a plastic sheet or clean towel 60 minutes.
6. Preheat the oven to 230° C (450° F). Lightly dust the piots with flour and bake for 8 minutes. They should be slightly golden and soft. Allow to cool before eating.
In Issue No. 1 we meet Australian fashion icon Jenny Kee, translator from Italian Ann Goldstein and French-Cuban music duo Ibeyi. We learn about Ramadan, the Aboriginal ball game Marngrook, the Kiribati dance, the art of pickling, and the importance of home. And we see what it’s like to dress up in Myanmar, live in Cuernavaca, make ceramics from different soil, and walk the streets of Florence.
In Issue No. 2 we meet New York-based Japanese composer Ryuichi Sakamoto, NASA astronaut Stephanie Wilson, and Croatian painter Stipe Nobilo. We discover how the French protect their language and the way women—all around the world—have used textiles as their political voice. We listen to lovers rock, prepare a boisterous Korean barbecue, venture to go to Feria de Jerez and eat our way around Hong Kong.
In Issue No. 4 we meet Nigerian-born artist Toyin Ojih Odutola, Indigenous Australian Elders Uncle Bob Smith and Aunty Caroline Bradshaw, and Palestinian-American chef and artist Amanny Ahmad. We peer inside the Parisian ateliers Lesage and Lemarié, muse over the iconic lines of European chair design and celebrate the colourful woodblock prints of Japanese artist Awazu Kiyoshi. And we venture along Morocco’s Honey Highway, get lost in the markets of Oaxaca and discover the favours of Ghana.
In Issue No. 5 we travel to the mountains with Etel Adnan, along coastlines wherever waves roll in, and then all over the world through the photographic archive of Lindsay James Stanger. We celebrate hair braiding in South Africa, Salasacan weaving techniques in Ecuador, Vedic jewellery traditions and the new sound of Ukraine. We meet artist Cassi Namoda, choreographer Yang Liping and lace-maker Mark Klauber. And we visit a bakery in Tel Aviv, discover the joys of making arak, and spend a summer stretching mozzarella in Italy.