[Breadmaking is] one of those almost hypnotic businesses, like a dance from some ancient ceremony. It leaves you filled with one of the world’s sweetest smells… there is no chiropractic treatment, no Yoga exercise, no hour of
meditation in a music-throbbing chapel. that will leave you emptier of bad thoughts than this homely ceremony of making bread.”
The last week or so has been a bit mentally draining. It’s exam year and back to school has felt a bit more stressful than usual.
September is usually my “New Year” ~ Autumn always feels like a new start with renewed energies, this year I just want to hibernate! I’ve got my last set of assessment drawings to do for my online drawing course, and my list of jobs is just getting bigger.
So after a week of us all having flu and feeling rubbish I thought bread and soup would hit the spot.
I used to have a bread maker, it was always so easy to pop the ingredients in and let it do it’s thing. The thought of doing all the kneading and proving always seemed too much like hard work. But since it broke I never had the inclination/money to replace it However, I found a great basic bread recipe on the back of a tin of yeast I bought a few months ago and I’ve usually got time to make it after work.
It’s from Allinsons’ Easy Bake yeast.
- Mix together 500g bread flour, 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt, 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar, and 7g dried yeast.
- Rub in 1 tablespoon of soft butter till it looks like breadcrumbs.
- Mix in 300ml of hand-warm water with a cutlery knife.
- Knead for 10 minutes.
- Pop back in bowl, cover and leave to prove for about an hour.
- Gently knead it 5 times, shape, and leave to prove till doubled in size. Depending on how warm it is this can take about 45 minutes.
- Bake for 30 minutes at 200/gas mark 6.
Sometimes I’ll throw in some herbs or seeds if I’ve got any in.
The soup we have quite often and it started out years ago as something cheap and quick I could do for my hubby when he worked shifts. I don’t even have a proper list of ingredients or method! I would just use about a pint and a half of water, throw in some vegetable Bouillon – about 2 teaspoons. Bring it to the boil and then put in 200g red lentils, 2 chopped large carrots, 1 chopped medium onion, 1 chopped small potato, and a splash of tomato puree. Simmer for about 40 minutes.
It’s not pretty but it is cheap and tasty. Just what we needed!