Last Friday (not the Friday just passed, but the one before that), I took a day off from work because we were watching Bumble (a Jack Russell-sized Staffordshire Bull Terrier) over Friday and the weekend, and Dave was in London (Microsoft does not seem to send invites for dogs to attend their conferences).
Among other things that day, I made two loaves of bread.
I should make bread more often than I do, but I don’t often seem to find the time for it. We’ve got a bread machine, too, so we really don’t have much of an excuse for buying any bread from the store, but come the time to order our shopping, we’re in the virtual bread aisle anyway. In any case, I’m now trying to make all the bread we need by hand or bread machine. I’m not sure how long this will last, but it’s worth a shot.
(It also helps that the “summer” we have over here consists of maybe 10-15 total days where the temperature tops 75 F/24 C, so it’s not miserable using the oven.)
So, two bread recipes. The first one I got from a magazine while we were on holiday in the Lake District a few years ago. Rufus tore the source information off the paper where I’d written down the recipe, so I have no idea. I think it was Country Life is something. The second was on the back of the wheat flour I’d bought, and I figured I’d used that one for contrast.
Wheat Bread, v1.
Source: Some magazine!
400 g stoneground wholemeal flour
150 g strong white flour
1 t quick yeast
1 t sea salt
380 mL lukewarm water
Mix all ingredients together, then knead until springy and elastic. Form into a ball, cover and let rise until dough has doubled in size. Knead again and shape into a loaf. Place in a greased bread tin and leave, covered, to rise again until almost doubled. Bake in hot oven (400-425 F/200-220 C) about 35 minutes, or until loaf sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom.
Wheat Bread, v2.
Source: Dove’s Farm Organic (strong wholemeal bread flour package)
500 g/1 lb wholemeal bread flour
1.5 t salt
1 t quick yeast
1 t sugar
325 ml/11 fl oz warm water
1 T vegetable oil
Mix together flour, salt, quick yeast and sugar, then roughly mix in the water. Add the oil then knead until springy and elastic. Form into a ball, cover and let rise until dough has doubled in size. Knead again and shape into a loaf. Place in a greased bread tin and leave, covered, to rise again until almost doubled. Bake in hot oven (400-425 F/200-220 C) about 35 minutes, or until loaf sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom.
That’s it for the bread. I prefer the second recipe, personally, but if you don’t like bread with a fairly hefty texture, neither of these recipes are for you. I will probably experiment with some white bread in the future, but right now I am happy eating slices of bread that are heavier than the seem like they have any right to be.
Otherwise, food has been not that interesting. There were fake chicken (I call it chocobo) fajitas and meatballs in a gorgonzola béchamel sauce (served over pasta) and roasted potatoes last week. This week is heavy on the pasta, with the artichoke tomato sauce I posted about before, mushroom bolognese and stir-fried tofu and vegetables (over rice, which may save us from turning into noodles). I may post about some of those recipes later, but none of them are particularly spectacular.
Next weekend we’re heading to a party on Saturday, so I’m planning on making a “happy everything” (it is a party for a bunch of different things) strawberry cake to take. I will report back on whether it is loved as much on this side of yon pond as it seems to be over there.