12 Dec 2008

Suffering from neglect, somewhat.

Hello there

As it says above, I haven't been paying much attention to this poor ol' blog lately!

One thing after another, germs, germs, almost terminal germs, and a general sense of laissez-faire have done nothing for the writing up of day to day life in our lovely flea pit. Yes, one of the more recent developments is both cats acquiring those little bitey beggars (fleas), and spreading them amongst the house and family. Cheers to you, Mouse and Boo, and begone. Never had them before, and I hope to God we've got rid of them all now cause I'm fed up with being bit.

With my newly acquired ill gotten gains (sales of handmade stuff) I treated myself to this fantastic bread book - Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day which has rather occupied my time. Today, I finished off the most recent batch of bread with this little dear :-

And then, being unable to resist the thought of lovely bagels, made these from a new batch for me and Teflon boy for tea. Mmmm, mmmm, good!

I would highly recommend this book. I've been making my own bread for about 8 or 9 years - on and off. We slipped into buying from the supermarket when I was in hospital and recovering this year, and I kind of stopped bothering for a while. Also my bread making machine (which I just use for mixing and rising the dough) packed up last year and I was too idle to do much making without it. Then I managed to get a new machine a few months ago, and started up the old home bakery again.

But, to be honest with you (and I am well aware of how silly this sounds) I was beginning to lose the will to put a mix up every day - then I saw this book on someone else's blog and had a look. It starts with a simple premise - mix up a big batch of dough - enough for 4 or 5 loaves, leave it to rise, refrigerate it, and cook up a loaf with very little fuss. There's no kneading, so you don't have to worry about your weak little wristies (like I do), and it does take literally 5 minutes to make a batch up, and five minutes to put enough dough up for the day's loaf. The only time you need is rising time for each loaf, and you'd have that anyway with the regular method. The great thing is, the longer you leave the mix, the more the flavour develops, so you end up with something similar to a sourdough flavour without all the palaver of starters, bigas and all that. Hooray. And, it's really good fun. There are plenty of recipe variations, so lots to look forward too, my only bugbear is the lack of photographs - 3 or 4 plates in the middle of the book is a bit thin in my opinion. Go and buy one, or borrow it from your mates - it's worth it.

And no, I haven't bought any bread from the supermarket since I started doing this method - and the children now always ask if the bread they're having is 'Mummy's homemade'.

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